Envirobytes - Archive
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for week ending October 1, 2010
EPA, DC SHOWCASE GREEN ROOF TO CURB STORMWATER RUNOFF POLLUTION INTO ROCK CREEK AND THE BAY
Federal and local officials celebrated the completion of the third largest green roof in the District of Columbia. The 27,750 square feet of green roof atop the World Wildlife Fund headquarters in D.C. will help reduce stormwater runoff to nearby Rock Creek a tributary of the Potomac River that empties into the Atlantic Ocean via the Chesapeake Bay. The $1.1 million green roof project, funded in part by EPA through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will also provide shade, remove heat from the air, and reduce roof surface temperatures.
SCHOOLS IN THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION EARN THE COVETED ENERGY STAR LABEL TO SAVE ENERGY; SUCCESS STORIES ILLUSTRATE HOW THIS CAN BE DONE
A total of 112 K-12 schools in the mid-Atlantic region have earned the Energy Star building label for superior energy efficiency: 7 schools in West Virginia, 4 in Delaware, 7 in Maryland, 68 in Virginia and 26 in Pennsylvania. Some special awards were also given to three school districts in the region in 2010 showing how they became success stories:
Sustained Excellence: Council Rock School District (Pa.)
Partner of the Year: Loudoun County Public Schools (Va.)
Mark for Energy Efficiency: Seaford School District (Del.)
Top performing ENERGY STAR labeled schools cost forty cents per square foot less to operate than the average performers. EPA can get your school started by guiding you to benchmark your energy use and earning the Energy Star label.
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Let's learn more about Manure on the current Healthy Waters blog! We want to hear from you about this water pollution source at http://go.usa.gov/xe5. Another blog: “Chesapeake Bay Road Trip” gives us a good opportunity to learn more about the Chesapeake Bay's new nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment limits for the watershed and the public meetings being offered nationwide. To submit formal comments to EPA on the Bay TMDL, to find a public meeting near you as well as the online opportunity for those unable to attend, go to (http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl/). Visit the Healthy Waters Web site at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/
EPA PROPOSES TO REGULATE THE RELEASE OF DENTAL MERCURY TO PROTECT WATER QUALITY
EPA will propose a rule next year to reduce mercury waste from dental offices by requiring the use of amalgam separator technology to prevent dental mercury waste from entering wastewater systems and being discharged to rivers and lakes and through incineration or land application of sewage sludge. Approximately 50 percent of mercury entering local waste treatment plants comes from dental amalgam. Mercury in its toxic form (methylmercury) affects human health mainly through the consumption of mercury-laden fish and shellfish. Although twelve states and several municipalities already require amalgam separators in dental offices, dentists can voluntarily use the technology until the regulation is passed in their states. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/mercury/dentalamalgam.html
EPA AND DOT ANNOUNCE PROPOSED TIGHTER TAILPIPE AND FUEL ECONOMY STANDARDS FOR PASSENGER CARS AND TRUCKS (2017-2025)
Building on the success of the first phase of the national program covering cars from model years 2012-2016, EPA, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced they will begin the process of developing tougher greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for passenger cars and trucks built in model years 2017 through 2025. The national program will cut down on fuel costs, improve our nation's energy security by reducing dependence on petroleum, and protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas pollution that leads to climate change. For information on the Notice of Intent, the technical assessment, and submitting comments, go to http://www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy and http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regulations.htm
EPA PROPOSES TO CUT MERCURY EMISSIONS FROM SEWAGE SLUDGE INCINERATORS
EPA is proposing to cut emissions of mercury, particle pollution and other harmful pollutants from sewage sludge incinerators typically located at wastewater treatment facilities and the nation's sixth-largest source of mercury air emissions. Both mercury and particle pollution are linked to serious health effects. The proposed standards would apply to both multiple hearth and fluidized bed incinerators and would cut mercury emissions from these units by more than 75 percent. EPA will take comment on the proposed rule for 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register. The rule will be finalized in 2011 and become effective in 2015. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/new.html
EPA SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD RELEASES FIRST REVIEW OF EPA SCIENCE ON MOUNTAINTOP MINING IMPACTS ON WATER QUALITY
On Sept. 28, EPA's independent Science Advisory Board released its first draft review of EPA's research which concludes that valley fills are associated with increased levels of conductivity into downstream waters threatening stream life and causing significant damage to local streams polluted with mining runoff from mountaintop removal. The benchmark of EPA's research is intended to protect 95 percent of aquatic species in streams in the Appalachian region influenced by mountaintop mining and valley fills. Following the completion of the external peer review and review of public comments, the report will be revised and published as a final report.