Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for weeks ending July 29, 2011 and August 5, 2011
EPA SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR CLEAN AIR EXCELLENCE AWARDS BY AUGUST 24
On July 22, EPA announced that it is accepting applications for the 12th Annual Clean Air Excellence Awards Program to recognize outstanding projects that promote cleaner, healthier air. The five standard award categories are: Clean Air Technology, Community Action, Education/Outreach, Regulatory/Policy Innovation, and Transportation Efficiency Innovations. The program will also recognize two special award categories: The Thomas W. Zosel Outstanding Individual Achievement Award and the Gregg Cooke Visionary Program Award. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/air/cleanairawards/index.html
ADMINISTRATION RELEASES NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR ELECTRONICS STEWARDSHIP
On July 20, the Obama Administration announced the release of the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship report (PDF). The report promotes a more environmentally friendly, safe, efficient, sustainable, and responsible management and recycling of electronic products here and abroad; ensures federal agencies (the largest electronics consumers) purchase, use, reuse and recycle electronics responsibly; and advances a domestic market for electronics recycling that protects public health and creates jobs. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/materials/ecycling/index.htm
EPA HONORS DELAWARE NATIVE WITH PRESTIGIOUS AWARD FOR PROTECTING WETLANDS
On July 25, Stefania Shamet, an attorney for EPA's mid-Atlantic regional office in Philadelphia, received EPA's prestigious Edward T. “Red” Heinen Wetlands Award in recognition of her superior work in protecting wetlands. During her 14-year tenure at EPA, she has provided counseling and enforcement for the region's water pollution control program in the course of fulfilling her duties to uphold the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.
PA/DOE ANNOUNCE 2011 ENERGY STAR AWARD WINNERS
On April 12, EPA and DOE honored businesses and organizations for their outstanding contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency, at the 2011 Energy Star Awards ceremony. Award winners based in the mid-Atlantic Region included:
Energy Star Partner of the Year
Constellation Energy/Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) (Baltimore, MD)
Continental Refrigerator (Bensalem, PA)
EnergyCAP, Inc. (State College, PA)
Loudoun County Public Schools (Broadlands, VA)
NVR, Inc. (Reston, VA)
Energy Star Award for Excellence
National Housing Trust (Washington, DC)
For more information, go to http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=pt_awards.showawardlist&year=2011
EPA PUBLISHES RULE TO IMPROVE REPORTING OF CHEMICAL INFORMATION
On August 3, EPA announced the final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) Rule (PDF). The new rule will increase the type and amount of information collected from chemical manufacturers to better evaluate the toxic risks the chemicals may pose. Companies will start following the new reporting requirements in the next data submission period, from Feb. 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012. More information about the rule and reporting program is available at www.epa.gov/iur.
EPA TO STUDY THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF BPA ON THE ENVIRONMENT
As of July 26, EPA requested public comment on requiring testing, environmental sampling and monitoring of surface, ground and drinking water, soil, sediment, sludge, and landfill leachate to better address the toxic effects from Bisphenol A (BPA) on environmental organisms and the environment. BPA is widely used in consumer and industrial products including plastics. Comments must be received on or before Sept. 26. [Docket number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0812 at http://www.regulations.gov.] For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/actionplans/bpa.html.
EPA PROPOSES FIRST EVER COST-EFFECTIVE RULE TO CONTROL AIR EMISSIONS FROM HYDRAULIC FRACTURING DRILLING SITES
On July 28, EPA proposed regulations that would require oil and gas well operators to meet new air pollutant standards, including for hydraulically fractured wells, that incorporate a cost-effective method of capturing escaping gas from the process and making that gas available for sale. The new standards will help reduce cancer-causing benzene, sulfur dioxide, methane, and also smog-forming volatile organic compound (VOCs) emissions responsible for asthma attacks and premature deaths.
ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES HISTORIC FUEL EFFICIENCY STANDARDS TO REDUCE DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL
On July 29, President Obama announced a historic agreement with major automakers to increase the fuel economy standard to 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by model year 2025 to help reduce domestic dependence on foreign oil. Combined with the model year 2011 light truck standard, the new standard will save American families $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, and by 2025 result in an average fuel savings of more than $8,000 per vehicle. The oil savings, consumer, and environmental benefits are detailed in Driving Efficiency: Cutting Costs for Families at the Pump and Slashing Dependence on Oil.
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Real Worth of Water -The Earth's surface is covered with more than 70 percent of water; however less than 1 percent of that water is clean enough to be used for human needs. What can we do to conserve this vital resource? Share your ideas at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/
Greening our Communities - One Green Street at a Time! - Interested in greening your street and your town? Creating healthy, livable communities, through "green infrastructure" is one step in the right direction. Share your ideas at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/