Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
ENVIROBYTES, A SUMMARY OF ISSUES AND EVENTS FOR WEEK ENDING JULY 31, 2012
REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR ATTENDS CLIMATE CHANGE FORUM IN DELAWARE
On Aug.1, Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin participated in the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary's “Out of Harm's Way Forum” at the Delaware History Museum. Community leaders and experts exchanged ideas on how communities can address the challenges posed by climate change. Four communities committed to take action: Lewes and Wilmington, Del.; Chester, Pa.; and Maurice River Township, N.J.
EPA GRANT TO BENEFIT STUDENTS FROM MARYLAND'S LOWER EASTERN SHORE
On July 27, EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin awarded $173,400 to the Maryland Coastal Bays Program to support training for minority high school and college students to enable them to choose environmental careers, improve the environment and become better environmental stewards.
LOSERS WIN AT THIRD ANNUAL ENERGY STAR NATIONAL BUILDING COMPETITION
On July 25, EPA's Energy Star program launched the 2012 National Building Competition Battle of the Buildings, with a record 3,200 commercial buildings vying to improve their energy efficiency and utility costs and become the biggest energy “loser” in the nation. For a list of competitors and other information, go to http://www.energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings.
DRAFT REPORT IDENTIFIES SUBSTITUTES FOR TOXIC FLAME RETARDANTS
On July 30, EPA released a draft report assessing a list of safer alternatives to the toxic flame retardant decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), and identified 30 alternatives already in the market to be used, as decaBDE is phased out by Dec. 2013. EPA is seeking stakeholder and public input on this draft report for 60 days. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/dfe.
EPA AND USDA ANNOUNCE NEW GUIDELINE TO DETERMINE HEALTH RISKS FROM FOOD AND WATERBORNE DISEASES
On July 31, EPA and the USDA announced a new Microbial Risk Assessment Guideline providing a more overarching approach to assess microbial risk posed by pathogens in food and water. For more information on the guideline, go to http://www.epa.gov/raf/microbial.htm.
EPA GRANT HELPED BALTIMORE CITY SCHOOLS DIVERT CAFETERIA WASTE
During 2011, an EPA Region 3 Solid Waste grant funded the collection and composting of food and other organic waste at eight Baltimore City schools. Quarterly reports show that the schools with the highest diversion rates are sending 700-800 pounds of food and other organic waste each week to be composted rather than to a landfill.
EPA, HUD, AND DOT AS PARTNERS FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES WILL HELP STATES MEET GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT GOALS
On July 31, EPA, HUD and DOT announced they will partner the Governor's Institute on Community Design seeking to improve the housing, transportation, environmental, and health challenges facing states. For more information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, go to http://www.sustainablecommunities.gov
MY AIR, MY HEALTH COMPETITION STILL ACCEPTING PROPOSALS UNTIL OCTOBER 5
On June 6, EPA, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Department of Health and Human Services announced a competition to inspire the invention of technologies that monitor how air quality affects health. Four finalists will each receive $15,000 to demonstrate how their projects measure the physiological effects of air quality on health. One of the four finalists will be awarded $100,000 to use the collected data that in the long-term will improve diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. More information on the challenge: http://challenge.gov/HHS/372-my-air-my-health-challenge
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS:
Conserving Water Resources With Green Infrastructure - Do you know how green infrastructure helps promote better water quality? Share your ideas at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.