Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending October 9, 2009
REGULATION ENSURES SAFETY OF AIRPLANE DRINKING WATER
On Oct. 5, former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson signed the final Aircraft Drinking Water Rule applicable to U.S. carriers to ensure that safe and reliable drinking water is available to aircraft passengers and crew. The rule combines coliform sampling, best management practices for operations and maintenance plans, corrective action, public notification, operator training, and reporting and recordkeeping. Airlines must routinely disinfect, flush and test water in galleys and lavatories on U.S. planes. The rule will be effective 18 months following publication in the Federal Register for implementation by the regions. The airlines have two years to come into compliance. For more information on the regulation, please visit http://www.epa.gov/safewater/airlinewater/index.html
HAMPTON ROADS (VA) SANITATION DISTRICT SIGNS CONSENT DECREE TO PREVENT SEWER OVERFLOWS
EPA signed a final Consent Decree with the Va. Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Justice, and the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (which operates 13 sewage treatment plants), to address sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) from the Sanitation District collection system that has made its way several times into various bodies of water including the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The sanitation district agreed to pay a $900,000 civil penalty, collect sewer flow data, and create a model of the sewer system which will be used to develop a regional plan to ensure that the sewer system has adequate capacity to handle flows, prevent future SSOs, and protect public health. The sanitation district will be required to make $140 million worth of major upgrades and improvements to the sewer system infrastructure over the next eight years.
EPA PUBLISHES VOLUNTARY GUIDELINES FOR METHAMPHETAMINE LABORATORY CLEANUP
EPA has issued a document providing state and local governments with technical guidance for the cleanup and remediation of environmental hazards left in abandoned methamphetamine laboratories. The document, titled Voluntary Guidelines for Methamphetamine Laboratory Cleanup, was developed based on extensive review of the best available science and practices as well as taking into consideration local regulations. Although the domestic production of meth has seen a decline in recent years, vigilance and cleanup/remediation measures are warranted. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/oem/methlab.htm
SMARTWAY TRANSPORT PARTNERSHIP HONORS FREIGHT INDUSTRY LEADERS FOR REDUCING CO2 EMISSIONS
EPA honored 37 national organizations with its 2009 SmartWay Transport Partnership Excellence Awards for slashing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and saving fuel through significant improvements to freight operations by investing in clean truck technologies, adopting freight management strategies that reduce carbon emissions, and promoting the benefits of the SmartWay Transport Partnership to address climate change. EPA's technical support includes tools to evaluate options for lowering fuel use and emissions, help in locating financing for purchase of environmental and fuel saving technology. The partnership projects that in 2009 it will eliminate six million tons of CO2 and conserve more than 540 million gallons of diesel fuel, saving at least $1.3 billion a year in fuel costs. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/smartway/ For a list of 2009 winners: http://www.epa.gov/smartway/transport/partner-resources/awards-2009.htm
EPA'S ENERGY STAR LABEL AVAILABLE FOR FOUR TYPES OF GLASS AND FOOD PROCESSING PLANTS
The manufacturing plants that make several well-known container and food items in the U.S. can now use EPA's new Energy Performance Indicators (EPIs) to earn the EPA Energy Star Label for superior energy efficiency as guides to assess their energy performance, set competitive goals for improvement and advance their energy performance. The glass industry spends more than $2 billion annually on energy while the food processing sector spends nearly $7 billion per year. Improving the energy efficiency of these industries by just 10 percent would save nearly $900 million in energy costs and more than 150 trillion BTUs (British thermal units) while reducing greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by more than 1 million homes a year. More information on Energy Star Food Processing EPIs:
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=in_focus.bus_food_proc_focus More information about Energy Star Glass Manufacturing EPIs: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=in_focus.bus_glass_manuf_focus
EPA RECOGNIZES 2009 WATERSENSE PARTNERS OF THE YEAR; ONE FROM HAMPTON ROADS, VA
On Oct. 7, EPA announced its 2009 WaterSense Partners of the Year award winners in Las Vegas, Nev. The Partners of the Year awards represent the best of WaterSense's four Partner categories that made strides in increasing water efficiency and WaterSense label awareness across the country. The winners are: Kohler Co (Manufacturer); Lowe's Companies, Inc. (Retailer/Distributor); Cobb County Water System of Atlanta, Ga. (Promotional Partner – Large Utility); the Region 3-based James City Service Authority of Hampton Roads, Va. (Promotional Partner – Small Utility); and Brian Vinchesi of Massachusetts (Irrigation Partner). The awards recognize partners who advance the overall mission of WaterSense; increase awareness of the brand; and demonstrate overall excellence in water-efficiency. Learn about these partner's activities (PDF) (4 pp, 872K, About PDF) and review the EPA press release.
The James City Service Authority of Hampton Roads, Va. mentioned as WaterSense Partner of the Year
EPA named James City Service Authority, James City, Va., as the national small utility WaterSense partner of the year for 2009. The Authority helped consumers in coastal Virginia save water and money by encouraging local plumbers and retailers to provide discounts on the sale and installation of WaterSense labeled toilets and offering one of the widest varieties of rebates on WaterSense labeled products in southeast Virginia. Serving approximately 46,000 people, the authority is the only water utility in the Hampton Roads region to offer a water conservation rebate program and its own Let's Be Water Smart program, a joint effort by 35 builders, developers, contractors, irrigation specialists, landscape designers, and landscapers to rein in outdoor water use. More information on WaterSense Partner of the Year award winners: http://www.epa.gov/watersense
EPA GRANTS CHALLENGE STUDENTS TO DESIGN SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGIES TO HELP THE ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMY
EPA awarded 43 grants to college and university teams challenging them to design creative, sustainable technologies for the developed and developing world. The People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Phase I awards for the 2009-2010 competition challenges student teams to design and build sustainable technologies that improve the quality of life, promote economic development, and protect the environment. The competition's Phase I awards $10,000 grants to student teams who submit applications on a wide range of categories (including water, energy, agriculture, built environment, materials and chemicals, and information technology). After eight months, the teams take their designs to the 6th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. to be judged, and where a few will be awarded P3 Awards and Phase II grants of up to $75,000 for students to further their designs, implement them in the field, or move them to the marketplace. More information on EPA's P3 program: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/p3/ More information on 2009-2010 Phase I P3 Awards: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/p3/current
EPA HONORS GREEN LIFECYCLE BUILDING CHALLENGE WINNERS; ONE IS FROM REGION 3
EPA recently honored six innovative Lifecycle Building concept winners (one from Region 3) whose designs reduced the environmental and energy impacts of buildings and assisted the building industry in reducing more than 88 million tons of building-related construction and demolition debris sent to landfills yearly. The Lifecycle Building concept is to design structures that facilitate disassembly and material reuse, minimize waste, energy consumption, and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Doubling the reuse and recycling of construction and demolition debris may result in an emissions savings of 150 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, or equal to the entire annual carbon emissions from the state of North Carolina. The Region 3 Green Lifecycle Building winner in both the Best Professional Building and the Outstanding Achievement Award in Best Greenhouse Gas Reduction Categories is The Arboretum and Research Visitors' Center (Kira Gould, William McDonough + Partners, Charlottesville, Va.). More information on the winners: http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/pubs/lbc3.html More information on Green Building: http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR REGION 3 FEBRUARY GREEN CLEANUP SYMPOSIUM
Region 3 is partnering with Drexel University to co-host a Green Cleanup Symposium scheduled for Feb. 10-11, 2010. Area experts on green cleanup practices will be available for informational sessions, workshops and forum discussions during the symposium. Topics to be discussed include tools for long-term cleanups, green construction, life-cycle analysis and renewable energy at contaminated sites. The Drexel University/EPA website for the Green Cleanup Symposium provides biographies on speakers, session topics, hotel and local information, as well as an opportunity to register for the conference. For additional information on the Symposium or for registration, go to: http://www.drexel.edu/cities/greencleanupsymposium.html.
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