Envirobytes - Archive
ENVIROBYTES, A SUMMARY OF ISSUES AND EVENTS FOR WEEKS ENDING MAY 4, 2012 AND MAY 11, 2012
PA STUDENTS RECOGNIZED FOR PROTECTING THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER
On May 9, EPA recognized the Sandy Run Middle School in Dresher, Pa., the Spring-Ford Intermediate School in Royersford, Pa., the Limerick Elementary School in Royersford, Pa., and Cabrini College in Radnor, Pa. with the Schuylkill Action Network Drinking Water Scholastic Award for projects that protect the Schuylkill River watershed, a precious source of drinking water and fish habitat. For more information, visit www.schuylkillwaters.org/.
MAY IS ASTHMA AWARENESS MONTH
In 2010, EPA's pollution prevention standards and reductions in fine particle matter and ozone pollution prevented more than 1.7 million asthma attacks in the nation. Nearly 26 million people suffer from asthma and more than 7 million are children and a disproportionate number low income and minorities. EPA provides helpful information to alleviate asthma symptoms and avoid high ozone levels, at http://www.epa.gov/asthma/awareness.html.
EPA ANNOUNCES AREAS THAT MUST IMPLEMENT STRICTER OZONE STANDARDS
On May 1, EPA announced that 45 areas nationwide are in violation of the 2008 smog standards and need to reduce their ozone pollution levels to meet these standards. The final designations will help areas implement stricter plans to improve air quality, reduce smog and protect public health. Find out how your area is doing at http://www.epa.gov/ozonedesignations/2008standards/index.htm.
EPA TO MONITOR UNREGULATED DRINKING WATER CONTAMINANTS INCLUDING TOTAL AND HEXAVALENT CHROMIUM
On May 1, EPA published a list of chemicals and viruses to monitor from 2012 to 2015 to determine at what levels these are found in drinking water systems and what, if any, preventive measures are needed to ensure safe drinking water quality. Up to 30 unregulated contaminants must be monitored every five years. For more information, visit: http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/ucmr/ucmr3/index.cfm.
EPA REPORT IDENTIFIES AND ENCOURAGES THE USE OF SAFER ALTERNATIVES TO WIDELY-USED TOXIC SURFACTANTS
On May 9, EPA Design for Environment (DfE) Alternatives Assessment Program released a report identifying safer alternatives to Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). NPEs are substances widely used in laundry detergents and other consumer products and proven toxic to aquatic organisms. The program is voluntary and awards partner companies that pledge to use these safer alternatives. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/projects/npe/index.htm.
EPA RELEASES PERMITTING GUIDANCE FOR DIESEL FUEL USE IN OIL AND GAS HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OPERATIONS
On May 4, to ensure natural gas is developed safely and responsibly, EPA released a draft underground injection control (UIC) program permitting guidance for class II wells that use diesel fuel during hydraulic fracturing activities to clarify how companies can comply to carry out these operations. EPA will take public comment on the draft guidance for 60 days upon publication in the Federal Register. For more information, go to http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing/hydraulic-fracturing.cfm.
EPA TO PHASE OUT GAS STATION EMISSIONS CONTROL SYSTEMS
Since 1994, gas stations in areas that did not meet certain air quality standards were required to curb gasoline emissions at the pump with special emissions control systems. Now that many vehicles are equipped to capture these emissions, EPA began on May 10 to phase out the outdated station recovery systems, potentially saving the approximately 31,000 affected gas stations more than $3,000 each year. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/air/ozonepollution/.
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS:
Responding to Water Impacts of Climate Change - Climate Change can have a great impact on water resources. EPA's recently drafted 2012 Strategy Response to Climate Change addresses how Climate Change could affect EPA's water programs. Share your ideas at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.
The More You Know… About Your Drinking Water - There are many ways to get information about your drinking water and how various agencies provide this information. Share your ideas at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.