Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Weeks Ending April 23 and April 30, 2010EPA EVALUATES HEALTH IMPACT OF LEAD IN AVIATION GAS
EPA is requesting public comments to evaluate the health impact of leaded gas emissions from aircraft. EPA will review the comments and determine whether aircraft lead emissions contribute to air pollution, endanger public health, and require the issuance of safer standards and the necessary steps to transition piston-engine fleets to unleaded gas. This action will be open for a 60-day comment period upon publication in the Federal Register. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/otaq/aviation.htm
COMMENTS SOUGHT ON PLAN TO CLEAN TRASH AND DEBRIS FROM THE ANACOSTIA THROUGH A TRASH DIET
On April 19, EPA proposed a draft TMDL plan to deal with excessive trash and debris carried by stormwater into the Anacostia River. The project will funnel the runoff into storm drains before it reaches the river, limit trash, reduce flooding, save on stormwater damage repairs, and reduce the “heat island effect” with the addition of shade trees, woods, grasses, and marshes. The EPA will receive public comments through May 18.EPA PROPOSES STRICTER STORM WATER CONTROLS IN D.C. TO PROTECT BAY WATER QUALITY
On April 21, EPA announced issuance of a proposed permit requiring the District of Columbia to improve its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program to better control stormwater runoff. Stormwater runoff can damage streams, cause significant erosion, and carry excessive nitrogen phosphorus, sediment, toxic metals, volatile organic compounds, and other pollutants downstream and into the Chesapeake Bay. The permit’s comment period will begin on April 21 and last 45 days, ending June 4. EPA expects to finalize the permit within 3 months of the close of the public review. To view the permit online visit: http://www.epa.gov/reg3wapd/npdes/draft_permits.html For more information about Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) visit http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/munic.cfm
PHILADELPHIA ZOO COMMITS TO MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE IN EARTH DAY CEREMONY
A three-day event at the Philadelphia Zoo celebrated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. Zoo officials re-committed to work towards a reduced footprint under EPA’s Sustainability Partnership program, improve the Zoo’s energy efficiency program, and minimize the use of the organization’s energy, resources and waste generation. Since 2008, the zoo reduced its overall water usage by more than 50 percent, improved its water reuse systems and storm water management practices, tripled its recycling capacity, and kept more than four tons of material out of landfills per month. For more information on the Sustainability Partnerships Program go to: www.epa.gov/region3/green.
EPA’s P3 Program awarded more than $1 million in grants to 14 college teams across the country at the 6th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. The national P3 award competition encourages college students to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems through technological innovation and awards each winner up to $75,000 to develop a design, and implement it in the field, or marketplace. Winners this year include Virginia Tech and Drexel University in EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. For information on the P3 Award competition, go to http://www.epa.gov/P3 For information on the P3 program, go to EPA’s sustainability research program.EPA HOSTS FIRST NATIONAL BUILDING COMPETITION TO IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY – FOLLOW PROGRESS ON WEBSITE
EPA is sponsoring the first national energy efficiency contest featuring 14 commercial building finalists across the country to be judged on their energy performance from Sept. 1, 2009 to Aug. 31, 2010. The building that sheds the most energy waste on a percentage basis will be declared the winner at EPA’s final weigh-in on Oct. 26. Each building’s energy use is being monitored with EPA’s Energy Star online energy measurement and tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. Contestants include: 1525 Wilson Boulevard Building, Arlington, Va.; Sears, Glen Burnie, Md., and Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach, Va. For more information, go to http://www.energystar.gov/buildingcontest
Learn more about EPA’s Energy Star program for commercial buildings: http://www.energystar.gov/buildings
EPA has launched an online map showing the locations of federal air and water enforcement actions in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The map is part of EPA’s increased enforcement of federal pollution laws in the bay watershed region, and targets geographic areas and pollution sources that are contributing the greatest amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment to streams, creeks, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. For more information, go to
http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/initiatives/progress-chesapeakebay.html For more information on Chesapeake Bay Compliance and Enforcement Strategy, go to
EPA is launching a new set of web tools, data, and interactive maps to inform the public about serious Clean Water Act violations in their communities and to ensure that facilities comply with EPA Clean Water standards. The report lists state-by-state summary data of violations and enforcement responses taken by the states for smaller facilities, making it easy to compare states by compliance rates and enforcement actions. Interactive Map for Clean Water Act Annual Noncompliance Report:
http://www.epa-echo.gov/echo/ancr/us/ State Review Framework: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/state/srf/index.html Enforcement and Compliance History Online: http://www.epa-echo.gov/echo
EPA TO CUT MERCURY, OTHER TOXIC EMISSIONS FROM BOILERS, AND SOLID WASTE INCINERATORS IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE U.S.
EPA is issuing proposals to cut mercury emissions by more than half and significantly cut other pollutants known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health problems and environmental damage, from boilers, process heaters and solid waste incinerators. Facilities with boilers would also be required to conduct energy audits to find cost effective ways to reduce fuel use and emissions. EPA will take comment on these proposed rules for 45 days after they are published in the Federal Register, and hold a public hearing on these rules soon after they are published in the Federal Register. For more information on the proposals and details on the pubic hearings: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/combustion
Starting May 1, TVs that earn the government’s Energy Star label are required, on average, to be 40 percent more efficient than conventional models, and represent EPA’s most stringent Energy Star TV specification to date. These new requirements are helping consumers save more energy and money, are helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions, use less energy when turned on, but still ensure a satisfactory level of brightness and overall performance. See the latest qualified product list: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=find_a_product.showSearchForm&pgw_code=TV&pd_code=TV
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