Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
ENVIROBYTES, A SUMMARY OF ISSUES AND EVENTS FOR WEEKS ENDING MARCH 23, 2012 TO APRIL 13, 2012
EPA AND AMERICAN RIVERS AWARD $1.37 MILLION GRANT TO RESTORE THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE POTOMAC HIGHLANDS RIVERS AND COMMUNITIES
On April 12, at an event in Frostburg, Md., EPA and American Rivers awarded a $1,373,119 Potomac Highlands Implementation Grant for projects to restore and protect the Potomac Highlands ecosystem and communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. "The communities that comprise the Potomac Highlands will significantly benefit from this grant," said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. "The projects receiving grants today undertake a variety of approaches to achieve tangible economic and environmental benefits for this unique area." For more information, go to www.epa.gov/reg3esd1/highlands-plan.html.
EPA REGION 3 GRANT HELPS FUND ELIZABETH RIVER (VA) CONSERVATION EFFORT
On March 29, EPA announced a $902,500 Targeted Watershed Initiative Grant to fund the Elizabeth River Project at Paradise Creek Nature Park in Portsmouth, Va. The grant will help restore the Elizabeth River, its communities and the Chesapeake Bay by improving water quality and habitat at 10 industrial facilities and giving public access to Paradise Creek. For more information, go to http://paradisecreekpark.org/.
FORMER EPA ADMINISTRATOR JACKSON AND PHILADELPHIA MAYOR SIGN GREEN CITY, CLEAN WATERS PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
On April 10, former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz and other officials signed a partnership agreement representing a $2 billion plan to help Philadelphia manage runoff pollution. The approach maximizes green practices to efficiently and cost-effectively prevent polluted stormwater from infiltrating waterways during wet weather, and serves as a model for other cities. To view the agreement, visit www.phillywatersheds.org.
EPA ANNOUNCES DC-AREA AS ACHIEVING THE SECOND HIGHEST NUMBER OF ENERGY STAR CERTIFIED BUILDINGS IN THE U.S., PHILADELPHIA IS 15TH ON LIST
On April 11, EPA released its 2011 list of metropolitan areas having the most Energy Star-certified buildings in the nation. In Region 3, the DC metropolitan area became the second highest on the list with 404 buildings and by using 35 percent less energy and emitting 35 percent less carbon dioxide than average buildings. Philadelphia was 15th on the list of cities with a total of 135 Energy-Star certified buildings. For more information, go to http://www.energystar.gov/TopCities.
CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED IMPLEMENTATION PLANS GO FORWARD
On April 3, EPA announced that the Chesapeake Bay Program Office's final Phase II Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) were submitted by Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. EPA officials will review the final Phase II WIPs and provide the states with feedback and assistance to achieve the necessary pollution reductions in the Bay watershed. The Phase II WIP submissions are available at http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl/.
EPA PROPOSES CARBON EMISSION STANDARDS FOR NEW POWER PLANTS; SETS NEW LIMITS ON GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
On March 27, EPA proposed the first Clean Air Act standards to curtail carbon emission pollution from newly-constructed industrial power plants including natural gas and coal burning plants. The new rules will limit carbon dioxide emissions from industrial plants to 1,000 pounds per megawatt hour generated to further protect public health. There will be a 60-day comment period after the proposal appears in the Federal Register.
EPA UPDATES WATER PROGRAM STRATEGY ON CLIMATE CHANGE WITH NEW DRAFT
In March, EPA released for public comment an updated draft on the "National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change" describing how EPA plans to manage the nation's sustainable water resources in light of climate change. The strategy includes plans for protecting healthy watersheds and wetlands, managing storm water with green infrastructure, improving water infrastructure, and reducing pollutants. The Strategy is open for public comment until May 17, 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.
EPA APPROVES GASOLINE WITH 15 PERCENT ETHANOL MIX (E15); 20 FIRMS APPROVED TO MAKE E15
On April 2, EPA approved the first registration applications to increase the amount of ethanol mixed with gasoline from 10 percent ethanol to 15 percent (E15). On April 9, 20 companies were cleared by EPA to produce the new higher-blend biofuel mix for the marketplace. E-15 is for use in model year 2001 and newer cars and light trucks but barred from use in pre-2001 motor vehicles, offroad vehicles, boats and lawn equipment. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/web-e15.htm.
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
ATLANTIC STURGEON ENTERS NEW ENDANGERED SPECIES PROTECTION PROGRAM - The endangered Atlantic Sturgeon, the largest species native to Mid-Atlantic waters, has dwindled to dangerous levels through overfishing. Give your input on what you can do to protect the bays and the endangered species that dwell within, at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.
FIX A LEAK: LOTS OF SAVINGS – To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, EPA will be highlighting the Clean Water Act's role in reducing pollution. In April, the focus will be on water conservation. Share your ideas, at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.
ON THE ROAD TO WASTEWATER ENERGY SAVINGS - EPA can help homeowners as well as drinking water and wastewater plants become more efficient and save in operating costs. Share your ideas at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.