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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending March 26, 2010

ENERGY STAR DESIGNATES PHILADELPHIA AND D.C. AMONG TOP 25  MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT CITIES IN THE NATION

EPA released its annual list of Top 25 Cities with the Most Energy Star labeled Buildings in 2009.  Two cities in the mid-Atlantic region made the top 25 list: Washington, D.C. (at number 2) and Philadelphia (at number 24).  In 2009 nearly 3,900 commercial buildings earned the Energy Star label, representing annual savings of more than $900 million in utility bills and more than 4.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. As many as thirteen types of buildings can earn the Energy Star label, including schools, hospitals, office buildings, retail stores and supermarkets.

Access EPA's real-time registry of all Energy Star labeled buildings 1999-present:
http://energystar.gov/buildinglist

Learn more about earning the Energy Star for commercial buildings:
http://energystar.gov/labeledbuildings

MARITIME DESIGNATION WILL LEAD TO REDUCED EMISSIONS FROM SHIPS TO PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Emissions from ships (Nitrogen Oxides, Sulphur Oxides and Particulate Matter) affect large areas of the U.S. and Canada.  The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is expected to officially designate waters off the North American coasts as an Emission Control Area (ECA).  This designation will prompt large ships to use cleaner fuel and technology to significantly reduce emissions, greatly benefit coastal populations as well as marine and land-based ecosystems.  EPA expects that the cleaner air will bring relief to nearly five million people from acute respiratory symptoms in 2020 and save about 14,000 lives each year.  

EPA ADMINISTRATOR ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR STRICTER DRINKING WATER REGULATIONS

Former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced on March 22 new EPA strategies to protect public health from the growing number of drinking water contaminants and has decided to revise the drinking water standards for four cancer causing contaminants: tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene (TCE), acrylamide and epichlorohydrin. The first two industrial solvents (tetrachloroethylene and TCE) which can be introduced into drinking water from contaminated ground or surface water will be revised to new standards within the next year. The second two acrylamide and epichlorohydrin (water treatment process impurities that can contaminate drinking water) will be revised at a later date.  For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/safewater/sdwa/dwstrategy.html   For information on the six-year review: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/review.html

EPA WILL ADD ADDITIONAL SOURCES TO GREENHOUSE GAS REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Starting Jan. 1 of this year, large emitters of greenhouse gas emissions were required, for the first time, to report emissions under EPA's Mandatory Reporting Rule.  The sources added include the oil and natural gas sector, industries that emit fluorinated gases and facilities that inject and store carbon dioxide (CO2) underground for geologic sequestration or oil and gas recovery.  Proposals will be open for public comment for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.  Public hearings will be held on April 19 in Arlington, Va. and April 20 in Washington, D.C.  For more information on these proposals and the hearings, go to http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/proposedrule.html

EPA WEBSITE PROVIDES UNLIMITED INFO ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The EPA mid-Atlantic region's new climate change website is a central source of climate change information on a variety of local, regional and national websites.  The site provides a description of the various impacts climate change is having/may have on the region, especially sea-level rise on estuaries, barrier islands and coastal cities as well as related information linked to local, state and national sites.  Tables and charts show total, per capita and percentage CO2 emissions for sectors and states within the region as well as emissions for the region and nation as a whole.  For more information, go to  http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/

EPA RELEASES PUBLIC DATABASE ON RISK ASSESSMENTS

EPA is releasing the Health and Environmental Research Online (HERO) database allowing access to scientific studies used in making regulatory decisions, including EPA's periodic review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six major pollutants. The database allows review of scientific literature behind EPA science assessments supporting agency decision-making, as well as the articles used to develop specific risk assessments. HERO includes peer-reviewed literature to develop EPA's Integrated Science Assessments that feed into the NAAQS review as well as references and data from the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database to help set agency policy for chemical regulation.  More information on HERO database: http://www.epa.gov/hero  For more information on IRIS, go to http://www.epa.gov/iris

PUBLIC WEBSITE POINTS OUT A POWER PLANT'S USE OF FUEL TECHNOLOGY

EPA's eGRID program (http://www.epa.gov/egrid) is offering a highly interactive user-friendly publicly available internet web page that maps over 300 power plants across the region by fuel type, emission sources and annual emissions, and plant capacity in megawatts (MW).  Moving the mouse over any map point displays a popup box containing detailed information about the facility including power plants and other power generating facilities that utilize clean fuel technologies, carbon-based fuels, or both. See http://bit.ly/cNA2Dz  Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

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