Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending July 31, 2009
EPA GRANT UPGRADES SHARON, PA SEWER SYSTEM AND PROTECTS SHENANGO RIVER WATER QUALITY
EPA awarded a $133,900 Clean Water grant to the Sharon (Pa.) Sanitary Authority to fund needed repairs to its antiquated sewer lines. The funds will repair/replace approximately 75 miles of old or damaged sewer pipes and prevent untreated sewage discharges caused by backups and leaks from making their way to the Shenango River. This will allow the Authority to carry out its function to protect public health and the river's water quality. A portion of the money for the project will come from Pennvest grants and loans. The EPA grant will pay for 55 percent of eligible project costs of $243,455. Construction began in April 2009.
MARPLE TOWNSHIP, PA JOINS EPA'S WATERSENSE PROGRAM
Marple Township, Pa. is the newest member to join the WaterSense voluntary public-private partnership program launched as part of EPA's sustainable infrastructure efforts to help organizations become more efficient in water use and conservation. Marple Township pledged to use water resources more efficiently, reduce water and wastewater infrastructure costs, prevent unnecessary water consumption, and use a list of WaterSense labeled products. WaterSense quality labeled products are 20 percent more water-efficient than similar products in the marketplace. For a list of water efficient labeled products and membership opportunities, go to http://www.epa.gov/watersense.
REGION AWARDS GRANT TO VIRGINIA TECH. TO HELP AGRICULTURAL GROWERS TRANSITION TO MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND PESTICIDES
EPA awarded a $54,379 Region 3 Strategic Agricultural Initiative grant to Virginia Tech University this July for a project titled "Alternatives to FQPA-Targeted Insecticides and Methyl Bromide Use in Tomatoes" to guide tomato growers in their transition to more environmentally sound pest management practices and away from using toxic pesticides to suppress disease and pests in plants. EPA encourages the use of pest management alternatives instead of more toxic soil fumigants such as methyl bromide, organophosphates, carbamates and pyrethroids to protect the environment and the health of farm workers. For more information, go to
SIX APPALACHIAN COMMUNITIES BENEFIT FROM EPA GRANT
EPA awarded a $269,374 CARE grant (Community Action for a Renewed Environment grant) to Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia using local, community-based solutions to improve the health and environmental problems facing the Appalachian communities of Mud River, Prenter, Cabin Creek, Anstead, Logan and Varney, W.Va. The university and the Appalachia CARE partnership will use this grant to identify and resolve the specific problems these six Appalachian communities face from the impacts of mining and coal slurry and to seek solutions through improved water and wastewater management, the reduction of public exposure to toxins; strengthening the use of community-based medicine and ensuring clean, potable water. For more information: www.epa.gov/air/care/basic.htm
PENNSYLVANIA BENEFITS FROM $93 MILLION IN RECOVERY ACT FUNDS FOR WASTEWATER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
EPA awarded about $93 million to the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority's (Pennvest) Clean Water State Revolving Fund to provide low interest loans to repair and upgrade wastewater infrastructure projects such as wastewater treatment, water quality protection, non-point source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management. About 20 percent of the funds are to be used for green infrastructure improvements using innovative approaches to reduce pollution and lower operating costs. Projects receiving the funding were announced in April and July. For information on the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program visit http://www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/cwsrf/. For details go to http://www.pennvest.state.pa.us/pennvest/lib/pennvest/Stimulus_Water_Rel_080309.pdf
EPA IS PROPOSING TO REVISE ITS AIR QUALITY STANDARDS FOR NITROGEN DIOXIDE
EPA is proposing to strengthen the nation's nitrogen dioxide (NO2) standards. The proposed revisions would retain the current annual standard of 53 ppb., reflecting the latest health effects of exposure to NO2 and establish a one-hour NO2 standard at a level between 80 and 100 parts per billion (ppb). NO2 is formed by emissions from cars, trucks, buses, power plants, and industrial facilities, contributes to smoggy, unhealthy air from ozone pollution and to acid rain and particulate pollution. Two hearings took place, one on August 3, in Arlington, Va. and one on August 6 in Los Angeles, Ca. EPA will accept written comments on the proposed rule until Sept. 14 and faces a Jan. 22 judicial consent decree deadline to have the NO2 standard in place. For more detailed information on the proposed rule and instructions for submitting written comments, go to http://www.epa.gov/air/nitrogenoxides/actions.html
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