Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
ENVIROBYTES, A SUMMARY OF ISSUES AND EVENTS FOR WEEKS ENDING APRIL 20, 2012 and APRIL 27, 2012
EPA ANNOUNCES GRANT TO SUPPORT PHILADELPHIA GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE
On April 26, Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin announced a $200,000 grant to the George W. Nebinger School in South Philadelphia to help the school become greener and healthier, and a model to follow. The grant and matching funds will help the school manage stormwater runoff with infrastructure projects such as rain gardens, porous play surfaces/ pavement, and stormwater planters to prevent overflow of polluted stormwater and sewage into area waterways. For more information, visit www.phillywatersheds.org.
EPA PROGRAM REDUCES FOOD WASTE, PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT, AND FEEDS THE HUNGRY
On April 18, EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin welcomed 10 Philadelphia Shop-Rites, the food bank Philabundance, and the Marlton, NJ-based organic recycler Organic Diversion to the EPA Food Recovery Challenge program. The three organizations will learn to reduce, recycle and donate excess food waste in an environmentally and cost-effective way. For more information, go to www.epa.gov/foodrecovery.
EPA UPDATES CLEAN AIR STANDARDS FOR DOMESTIC OIL AND NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION
On April 18, EPA finalized standards to reduce air pollution emitted from oil and natural gas wells, including for the first time, hydraulically fractured natural gas wells, storage tanks and other equipment. The new cost-effective technologies will help reduce the release of methane and other air toxics captured at the wellhead that can cause cancer and other serious health effects. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas.
EPA PUBLISHES NATIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORY
On April 16, EPA released the 17th annual U.S. greenhouse gas inventory that calculates the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by source and economic sector. The new figures indicate that overall, greenhouse gas emissions grew by more than 10 percent from 1990 to 2010, and in 2010, totaled 6,822 million metric tons. The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions removed from the atmosphere by “sinks,” or carbon uptake by forests, vegetation and soils. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/usinventoryreport.html.
EPA PROPOSES RULE REQUIRING ELECTRONIC REPORTING ON CHEMICAL INFORMATION
On April 13, EPA proposed a new rule requiring electronic reporting of information that must be submitted under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Electronic reporting will streamline the reporting process, reduce administrative costs, and provide quicker and more accurate information on chemical testing, health and safety studies. The agency will be soliciting comments on this proposed rule for 60 days. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/oppt/chemtest/pubs/SIGNED_eTSCA_NPRM_FRdocument_2012-03-30.pdf.
REGION 3 COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES EXCEL IN THEIR GREEN POWER PURCHASES AND GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSION PROJECTS
On April 18, EPA recognized colleges and universities having the largest individual green power purchases for 2011-12. Colleges and universities in Region 3 included: University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, Drexel University, Dickinson University, University of Maryland, Georgetown University, The Catholic University of America, American University, Allegheny College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Mercyhurst College, Duquesne University, and Chatham University. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/index.htm.
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION NAMES 78 SCHOOLS AS GREEN RIBBON SCHOOLS, INCLUDING SOME FROM REGION 3
On April 23, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair’s Nancy Sutley, and former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools winners at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The list of winners include two from D.C., four from Maryland, four from Pennsylvania, one from Virginia and two from West Virginia. Schools are recognized for becoming more cost-efficient, environmentally friendly and healthier places of learning. For more information, go to http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html.
EPA AGREEMENT WITH AMTRAK BRINGS ENHANCED DRINKING WATER PROTECTIONS FOR RIDERS
On April 26, EPA entered into an agreement with the National Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak) to ensure that Amtrak provides Safe Drinking Water Act protections to riders and work force of its fleet of approximately 1,500 railcars. The agreement requires Amtrak to monitor for microbiological contamination, and ensure preventive maintenance and disinfection in the dispensing of safe water throughout its entire drinking water system. For a copy of the consent order, go to http://www.epa.gov/reg3wapd/index.htm.
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS:
What Water Means to You…in just Six Words - EPA has teamed up with SMITH Magazine to launch the Six Words for the Planet project and is encouraging everyone to submit a six word essay about our planet, and in this case, water. Share your ideas athttp://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.