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Envirobytes - Archive

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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Weeks Ending August 13, 2010 and August 20, 2010

EPA GRANT FOR NEW LOW-EMISSION SHUTTLE BUSES HELPS IMPROVE LOCAL AIR QUALITY

EPA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin awarded a $475,669 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant to the Philadelphia International Airport to replace eight old diesel-powered shuttle buses with new low-emission vehicles.  It is estimated that the new vehicles will eliminate more than 1.18 tons of nitrous oxide, 1,540 tons of carbon dioxide, and .02 tons of particulate matter from the local air and help reduce asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments. The EPA diesel program upgrades and replaces older diesel engines and equipment, and also provides new exhaust filters and catalysts.  Visit EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign at http://www.epa.gov/diesel/. Visit EPA's regional diesel website at http://www.epa.gov/reg3artd/diesel/index.htm.

EPA ANNOUNCES PUBLIC HEARINGS ON PROPOSED COAL ASH REGULATIONS (TWO IN REGION 3)

EPA is hosting seven public hearings - one in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania - on a proposal to regulate the safe disposal of coal ash waste and its residues of mercury, arsenic, lead and other toxic metals from coal-fired power plants. EPA has proposed two approaches to manage safe disposal: one approach phases out surface impoundments and moves all coal ash to landfills; the other allows coal ash disposal in surface impoundments, but with stricter safety criteria. The agency will consider the public comments in its final decision.  Meetings in Region 3 will take place on Aug. 30 at the Hyatt Regency, Arlington, Va. and Sept. 21 at the Omni Hotel, Pittsburgh, Pa.  For information on the hearings and the proposed regulation, go to http://www.epa.gov/coalashrule   See charts comparing the two approaches at http://www.epa.gov/coalashrule/ccr-table.htm

CEMENT MAKERS ORDERED TO LIMIT AIR POLLUTION, INCLUDING A FIRST FOR MERCURY EMISSIONS

EPA is setting limits on toxic air emissions from cement plants to meet more stringent Clean Air Act standards by 2013.  Cement plants will be required to upgrade their pollution control equipment, increase their reporting requirements, and reduce their yearly emissions of mercury, hydrocarbons, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, acid gases and nitrous oxide.  EPA estimates these reductions will cut more than 16,000 pounds of mercury annually from the nation's cement kilns and prevent illnesses and up to 2,500 premature deaths per year.    For information on mercury pollution's health effects go to http://www.epa.gov/mercury/effects.htm

PROPOSED RULE WILL IMPROVE CHEMICAL REPORTING OF TOXIC CHEMICALS, PROVIDE GREATER PUBLIC ACCESS, PROTECTION

EPA is proposing to improve the chemical reporting that manufacturers must make public under the Toxic Substances Control Act's chemical inventory reporting rule so that the agency can use the information to better identify, disclose and prevent the serious potential risks commercial chemicals may pose to human health and the environment.  This proposal will undergo public comment in time for the next reporting period, scheduled for June 1 - Sept. 30, 2011. To submit comments, see docket  EPA–HQ–OPPT–2009-0187 at http://www.regulations.gov.  For information about the proposed rule, go to http://www.epa.gov/iur

EPA PROPOSES SEDIMENT POLLUTION LIMITS TO HELP THE CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED MEET CLEAN WATER ACT STANDARDS

On Aug. 13, EPA announced proposed new sediment pollution limits for the Chesapeake Bay watershed (between 6.1 billion pounds and 6.7 billion pounds of sediment pollution per year-- down from last year's 8.09 billion pounds). Too much sediment in water blocks sunlight from reaching underwater grasses, depriving aquatic life of needed shelter, and waterfowl from a vital food source.  The six bay states are working on their watershed implementation plans (WIPs) which will determine how the pollution limits (TMDLs) will be met. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl/

HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS

Flushed With Success  Wastewater treatment plants that follow discharge rules to the letter on what can be discharged into a local river, most probably had a good operator behind the controls.  Of the small treatment plants that are violating their permits, three quarters could be brought into compliance with better-trained operators. How is your local wastewater treatment plant operating? EPA looks forward to your comments. Visit the Healthy Waters Web site at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/

COMMENTS NEEDED ON EPA'S DRAFT STRATEGY FOR CLEAN WATER

EPA is inviting the public to provide comments on the approaches outlined in the new draft strategy "Coming Together for Clean Water: EPA's Strategy for Achieving Clean Water."  The public's input is needed to protect and restore America's lakes, streams and coastal waters in light of national trends in water quality and recent environmental disasters. Public comments on the draft strategy should be submitted by Sept. 17. EPA will review all comments and post a final strategy later in the year. For more information and to comment, go to http://blog.epa.gov/waterforum/

 


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