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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending October 23, 2009

EPA AWARDS $38.9 MILLION RECOVERY ACT MONEY TO D.C. FOR WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

EPA awarded more than $38.9 million 2009 Recovery Act funds to the District of Columbia to finance repairs to its aging water infrastructure through improved wastewater management programs. The funds will be distributed to the District Department of the Environment ($14,572,958) for sustainable clean water, and green infrastructure projects (including rain roofs, rain barrels, improved water and energy efficiency), and to the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority ($24,360,442) to improve the city's drinking water distribution system, and  control its stormwater runoff.  The projects will prevent excess nutrients from reaching the Chesapeake Bay watershed, protect public health and the environment, boost the local economy and create jobs. For more information, go to http://recovery.dc.gov/recovery/site/default.asp

CAMPAIGN TARGETS ILLEGAL DIESEL VEHICLE IDLING

A Philadelphia-based campaign promoted by the Clean Air Council is targeting illegal idling to help the city reduce the harmful emissions from diesel-driven city motor vehicles and trucks. A new hotline by the Clean Air Council (1-877-853-1552) and a new Web resource, www.idlefreephilly.org, encourages Philadelphians to report truck and bus idling throughout the City to reduce residents' exposure to diesel exhaust pollution, a leading contributor to heart disease and climate change. Fines range from $150-$300 and court costs. The website was developed as part of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commissions (DVRPC) Sustainable Skylines Initiative. The initiative is an EPA supported, public-private partnership designed to improve air quality and promote sustainability in communities. For information on the EPA
Sustainable Skylines Initiative, go to http://www.dvrpc.org/SSI/ Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer or visit: http://www.epa.gov/sustainableskylines/index.html. For a summary of EPA Region 3's multi-state anti-idling regulations and laws, go to http://www.epa.gov/reg3artd/diesel/anti_idling_regs.htm

“BROWNFIELDS TO GREENFIELDS” WORKSHOP PRESENTS MEASURES FOR THE GREENING OF BROWNFIELDS

Can a Brownfield be converted to a Greenfield?  EPA Regions 1, 2 and 3 hosted a workshop titled: "Brownfields to Greenfields" where experts were on hand to answer that question and others.  The workshop, held Oct. 20-22, in Edison, N.J., highlighted the many ways EPA programs can guide brownfield redevelopment, urban stormwater management, and green infrastructure to bring about the greening of Brownfield sites, and of vacant and potentially contaminated properties. Brownfield conversion improves environmental quality, revitalizes neighborhoods, creates sustainable, livable urban areas and tackles the ecological and human health impacts associated with storm-generated urban area overflows in the context of Brownfields revitalization.

NATIONAL LEAD POISONING PREVENTION WEEK HIGHLIGHTED NEW RULE

During National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (Oct. 18-24), EPA not only warned about the dangers of lead exposure, especially lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 housing, but highlighted a new, stricter lead prevention rule governing home remodeling.  Formerly, contractors working on projects in pre-1978 built homes had to wear and use special equipment and keep pregnant women and small children from being exposed to the old paint. Now effective April 2010, the regulation will include any home that was built before 1978 regardless of the age and condition of the occupants. To find out about lead poisoning prevention in Region 3, go to http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/lp-healtheffects.htm

EPA SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT TO EXTEND STORMWATER CONSTRUCTION GENERAL PERMIT BY ONE YEAR

EPA is seeking public comment to extend the 2008 stormwater construction general permit by one year to June 30, 2011 to regulate the discharge of stormwater from construction sites, preventing sediment loss, soil erosion and other pollution issues at active construction sites.  The agency (as permitting authority in five states: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Idaho and Alaska; Washington, D.C., most territories; and most Indian country lands) needs sufficient time to establish national clean water standards for the construction and development industry by Dec. 1, 2009.  The public will have 30 days to comment on the proposed extension to the permit after publication in the Federal Register.  More information: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/cgp.cfm

NEW EPA INFORMATION ON INSECT REPELLENTS PREVENTS MISUSE

EPA has launched a new website providing information on the effectiveness and safety of (skin-applied) registered insecticide products, available for sale in the marketplace.  It will help consumers make better choices to protect themselves from the potential toxic effects that may come from insecticide over-application/misuse. The website also contains information on safe use of insecticides against vector-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease (a seasonally longer period of use including the fall and early winter), as well as personal protection measures.

EPA'S SUNWISE PROGRAM'S POSTER CONTEST (GRADES K-3 AND 4-8) PROMOTES SUN-SAFETY; DEADLINE: APRIL 7, 2010

The 2010 SunWise with SHADE poster contest Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer is a joint effort by EPA's SunWise program to protect children from excessive sun exposure which can lead to skin cancer, cataract/eye damage, and immune system suppression. To enter, students must submit hand-drawn posters on 8.5 x 11 inch paper, be original, creative, show ways to prevent skin cancer and raise sun safety awareness, and must be attached to an official entry form. Besides other prizes, the national winner in the 4th-8th grade category will receive a family trip to Disney World and a WeatherBug Tracking Station for his/her school with lifetime access to WeatherBug Achieve.  Additional information on EPA's SunWise program, its partners and the 2010 poster contest can be seen at http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/

EPA PROVIDES TIPS TO FIREPLACE USERS TO REDUCE WOOD SMOKE POLLUTION

Nearly three-quarters of an estimated 12 million Americans who heat their homes with wood stoves each winter, do not use EPA certified stoves. EPA's Burn Wise campaign encourages homeowners to use EPA-certified wood stoves or to follow EPA's recommendations to reduce wood smoke pollution emitted from older, uncertified models by burning only dry, seasoned wood, maintaining your wood stove or fireplace with a certified yearly inspection, and changing to an EPA-certified wood stove or fireplace insert. Wood smoke is mixture of gases and fine particle pollution unhealthy to breathe indoors or out, especially for children, older adults and those with heart disease, asthma or lung diseases. More information on Burn Wise: http://www.epa.gov/burnwise

THE PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION WINS AWARD FOR IMPROVING CHEMICAL SAFETY IN SCHOOLS

EPA honored 11 organizations nationwide for promoting responsible chemical management in K-12 schools through its Schools Chemical Cleanout Campaign and for removing an estimated 70,000 pounds of potentially dangerous chemicals from approximately 300 schools.  In Region 3, The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer was one of the winners, for reducing chemical hazards in 10 Pennsylvania schools through proper chemical management and information with the help of EPA Region 3 staff.  The joint EPA/DEP team helped remove more than 5,600 pounds of chemicals from the schools, including toxic, flammable, and corrosive chemicals.  For more information on the program, go to  http://www.epa.gov/SC3

CITY OF ALLENTOWN, EPA ENTER INTO SUSTAINABILITY PACT

EPA and the City of Allentown became partners in the US EPA Region 3 Sustainability Partnership Program to help the city prevent pollution, minimize waste, and conserve resources while saving money.  The partnership assists those who are major users of water, energy, and natural resources improve their environmental footprint, and meet their sustainability goals by identifying ways to minimize any adverse effects on the environment in their operations. EPA and Allentown agreed to host an Energy Efficiency Expo; provide specific tools, and financing for these improvements; attract businesses and residents to help create a sustainable city; and utilize EPA Brownfields grant funds to clean up properties and prepare them for redevelopment.

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