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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending June 4, 2010

EPA'S EARTH DAY POSTER CONTEST WINNERS GET RECOGNITION

The Philadelphia FOX 29 morning show "Good Day Philadelphia" featured three Delaware Valley area winners of the EPA/Philadelphia Zoo sponsored Earth Day poster contest for students from K-12.  EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Bill Early accompanied the winning students.  Vasiliki Dinoulis, a seventh-grader at St. Laurentius School in Philadelphia; Ella Schrand, a 10th-grader at the C.W. Henry School in Philadelphia; and Yusef Kose, a home-schooler from Newark, Del., displayed their artwork and talked about the contest. 

INITIATIVE HELPS POPULARIZE RAIN GARDENS

The Rain Gardens for the Bays Campaign, a collaborative effort between EPA Region 3, the Mid-Atlantic National Estuary Programs, the DNREC 319 Program, the University of Delaware, the Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Delaware Nature Society, is promoting rain gardens to filter systems, prevent erosion and stop stormwater from getting into drainage systems.  The first demonstration rain garden has been installed at the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean and Environment in Lewes, Del.  The university received $3,500 towards the design and installation and provided a $35,000 match. Approximately 10 demonstration gardens will be installed, with offers of up to $3,500 toward costs.

EPA STRENGTHENS AIR QUALITY STANDARD FOR SULFUR DIOXIDE TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH

EPA is issuing a final 1-hour SO2 standard rule to better protect public health from the adverse effects of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from power plants.  This standard is more protective against short-term exposures ranging from five minutes to 24 hours and will replace the old standard.  It is estimated that the new standard will prevent 2,300 to 5,900 premature deaths and 54,000 asthma attacks a year. EPA is also improving the monitoring requirements for SO2 and will identify/designate areas not meeting the new standard by June 2012. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/air/sulfurdioxide

EPA OFFERS COOLING TIPS FOR EVERY BUDGET THIS SUMMER

EPA's Energy Star program is offering low- to no-cost energy-efficient cooling tips to beat the heat. A typical household spends almost 20 percent of its utility bill on cooling, and by taking steps this summer to improve energy efficiency, you can save energy, save money and help fight climate change. For example: if your central air conditioning unit is more than 12 years old, replacing it with an Energy Star model could cut your cooling costs by 30 percent. Get information about keeping cool and comfortable while saving money this season at http://www.energystar.gov

DATA CENTERS CAN NOW EARN ENERGY STAR LABEL

EPA announced that data centers and buildings that house large data centers can now earn the Energy Star label to save energy and money and help fight climate change, providing they are in the top 25 percent in the EPA's energy performance scale. Data centers use a significant amount of energy (accounting for 1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption at a cost of $4.5 billion annually), but they can improve their energy efficiency by following Energy Star energy efficiency initiatives, purchasing Energy Star qualified servers, ensuring that HVAC equipment functions properly, and other methods. For information about the Energy Star label for data centers, go to http://www.energystar.gov/datacenters  

 


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