Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Weeks Ending November 27, 2009 and December 4, 2009
FORMER ADMINISTRATOR LISA JACKSON CELEBRATES GREEN STREET PROJECT IN MARYLAND
Former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson joined Region 3 Administrator Shawn Garvin and other officials at a ceremony to celebrate the financing of a green street project through a $1.1 million American Recovery Act Clean Water grant. The reconstruction of Decatur St. in Edmonston, Prince George's County will save energy, reduce water pollution to the Anacostia River and Chesapeake Bay, improve local air quality, and create jobs. Projects include the planting of dozens of native trees, installing rain gardens and porous paving to reduce flooding, building bike lanes, and using energy-saving street lights powered by wind. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/recovery.
TOYOTA AND DOW PARTNER WITH EPA FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
EPA Region 3 Administrator Shawn M. Garvin joined W. Va. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman to welcome two new members to EPA's Sustainability Partnership Program in two signing ceremonies. Garvin recognized Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc. at its Buffalo, W. Va., facility, and Dow West Virginia at its South Charleston facility. The Sustainability Partnership is an innovative program developed by EPA's mid-Atlantic region as a one-stop shopping approach to help organizations "go green." Instead of individual voluntary programs, EPA combines various voluntary programs into a "green plan" to save money, minimize the use of natural resources, energy consumption and waste generation. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/spp/aboutus.html
NEW EPA RULE REDUCES WATER POLLUTION FROM CONSTRUCTION SITES
EPA issued a final rule to reduce water pollution from construction sites by limiting stormwater discharges and preventing the clearing, excavating and grading of construction activities from polluting nearby water bodies during storms. Soil runoff from construction can reduce the depth of small streams, lakes and reservoirs, leading to the need for dredging. Under the new rule, construction activities must comply with specific limits on discharges to minimize the impact on nearby water bodies. The rule is effective February 2010 and is to be phased in over four years. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/guide/construction
FIVE COMPANIES LAUDED FOR REDUCING PESTICIDE RISK; NEW PARTNER JOINS PESTICIDE STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM
EPA presented awards to five Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) members for their excellence in transitioning to safer pesticide uses that reduce toxic risk to people and the environment. Region 3's awardee was the U.S. Department of Defense Armed Forces Pest Management Board (Washington, D.C.) for its commitment to integrated pest management (IPM) and efforts to prevent/manage pests and pathogens that attack crops or livestock. The EPA PESP partnership aims to reduce risks posed by pesticide use to human health and the environment in both agricultural and urban settings. Audubon International is EPA Region 3's newest partner. Focusing on environmental education, sustainable development and community engagement, Audubon plans to reduce its pesticide use using PESP's efficient and cost-effective pest control methods.
EPA AWARDS $800,000 FOR ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE GRANTS IN FIVE STATES, INCLUDING PENNSYLVANIA
EPA awarded a total of $800,000 to five state agencies in Alaska, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and S. Carolina (each receiving $160,000) to address environmental and public health issues in communities disproportionately exposed to environmental pollution. In Region 3, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (in partnership with the Chester Environmental Partnership, and the Crozer-Keystone Health System) will address the problems of exposure to air pollution and solid waste through community based education on asthma, solid waste disposal, and children's environmental health. For information about state funding for environmental justice programs, go to http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-sejca-grants.html For funding for local governments and non-profit organizations, go to http://www.epa.gov/compliance/environmentaljustice/grants/ej-smgrants.html
SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA PARTNERS WITH EPA TO IMPROVE ITS INDOOR ENVIRONMENT
The School District of Philadelphia, eighth largest nationally by enrollment, has agreed to voluntarily partner with EPA to establish several indoor air quality programs to remedy indoor pollution and other environmental needs. An EPA team will work with the district to incorporate many of EPA's voluntary programs into the district's current health and safety program. EPA programs such as Indoor Air -Tools for Schools, Energy Star, Radon, Asthma, Green Buildings, Recycling, Children's Health, and others, will help provide a healthy atmosphere for students and teachers.
MID-ATLANTIC REGIONAL ASTHMA NETWORK (MARAN) E-NEWSLETTER
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Asthma Network (MARAN) E-Newsletter Fall 2009 is available at http://www.epa.gov/reg3artd/asthma/marainewsletter/index.htm. The purpose of this E-Newsletter is to provide and share asthma information/best-practices with various stakeholders within the Mid-Atlantic Region on current issues, educational topics, CME training, health articles relating to ways to improve asthma management and preventive care. The featured article in the annual E-Newsletter focuses on Promoting Healthy Homes and Healthy Schools.
CLARKSBURG, W. VA. WATER BOARD JOINS EPA'S WATERSENSE® PROGRAM
WaterSense is a voluntary partnership program promoting efficient use of water resources, water preservation, reduction of water and wastewater infrastructure costs, unnecessary water consumption and the purchase of WaterSense labeled products. On Nov. 20, the Clarksburg Water Board joined EPA's WaterSense program pledging to foster a more water-efficient culture. Using water resources more efficiently helps preserve water for future generations and reduces water and wastewater infrastructure cost by reducing unnecessary water consumption. Learn about WaterSense labeled products, tips on saving water, and how businesses and organizations can partner with WaterSense to improve their environmental footprint at www.epa.gov/watersense
NEW ONLINE FORUM HELPS INCREASE PUBLIC'S ACCESS TO EPA
EPA has launched an online forum as an important component in EPA's efforts to increase transparency and public engagement. The forum is designed to improve communication between EPA and the public on issues such as contaminated sites, waste management, and recycling. The first four discussion topics pertain to community involvement, Superfund metrics, toxic material reduction, and land revitalization - topics challenging stakeholders, the public, EPA program managers, and policy experts to engage in dynamic discussions about EPA's work. A new topic will be planned each month to generate discussion. For more information on the forum, go to http://blog.epa.gov/oswerforum.
REGION 3 BROWNFIELD GRANT RECIPIENT WINS HIGHEST AWARD FOR SMART GROWTH ACHIEVEMENT NATIONWIDE
EPA hosted the National Smart Growth award ceremony at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Each year, hundreds of applicants compete in each of the following categories: Built Projects; Smart Growth and Green Building; Policies and Regulations; and the top award - Overall Excellence in Smart Growth. Region 3 announced that Lancaster County, a Brownfield grant recipient, won the top award for planning and implementing smart growth strategies and incorporating them into zoning codes and ordinances and measuring their success. For more information on the winners and EPA's Smart Growth Program, go to http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/. For information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities: http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/index.htm
RECYCLEMANIA COMPETITION PITS COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TO SEE WHO RECYCLES THE MOST CAMPUS WASTE
Last year 4.7 million students and 1.1 million faculty and staff from 510 participating campuses collectively recycled or composted just over 69.4 million pounds of waste during the 10-week RecycleMania competition. This competition pits colleges and universities against other rivals and schools across the nation to see who can reduce, reuse, and recycle the most campus waste. Registration for the competition runs now through January 14, 2010 and is open to students, student organizations, staff, faculty or facility managers at degree-granting colleges and universities. For complete rules, information and to register go to www.recyclemania.org or call RecycleMania's helpline at (843) 278-7686.
APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR 2009 PRESIDENTIAL YOUTH AWARDS
EPA is accepting applications for its 2009 President's Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) program until Dec. 31. The award recognizes individual students who promote environmental awareness through their projects at school or in their communities. Winners of the award are honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., and all student participants receive a certificate signed by the President honoring them for their efforts to protect human health and the environment. Applications from student groups or individual students in grades K-12 may be submitted by an adult sponsor. Rules and applications can be viewed or downloaded from EPA's PEYA website at: www.epa.gov/peya. For applicants from Region 3 (D.C., Del., Md., Pa., Va., and W. Va.) call the EPA Region 3 office in Philadelphia at (215) 814-3287.
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