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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending January 22, 2010

EPA CONFERENCE AT DREXEL PROMOTES GREENER CLEANUPS

EPA's Green Cleanup Symposium on Feb. 10-11 at Drexel University in Philadelphia will promote the most environmentally safe and innovative methods available to clean up abandoned or contaminated properties and ready them for revitalization.  Speakers will emphasize sustainable cleanup techniques that avoid wasted energy, water, and materials, use renewable energy/recycled materials to conserve resources and decrease emissions.  "By conducting cleanups with innovative green techniques in mind, we can further reduce our footprint and demonstrate how we value our land as a natural, cultural, and economic resource," said Shawn M. Garvin, administrator for EPA's mid-Atlantic region. For conference  information and registration forms: http://www.drexel.edu/cities/greencleanupsymposium.html Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

EPA ASKS PUBLIC TO REPORT SUSPICIOUS OIL AND GAS WELL ACTIVITY IN THE NORTHEAST

Concerned about the environmental effects of well drilling and pipeline construction in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and West Virginia, EPA has announced the start of its "Eyes on Drilling" line at 1-877-919-4372 (toll free), and an e-mail address eyesondrilling@epa.gov where citizens can report non-emergency well development actions that appear to be illegal.  These may include the drawing of water from water courses, the illegal disposal of well wastewater or other questionable activity.  For emergencies related to a well drilling operation, the EPA advises individuals to call the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802. Individuals may leave anonymously tips. 

EPA TO REFORM TSCA CONFIDENTIALITY CLAUSE, INCREASE PUBLIC ACCESS TO CHEMICALS

EPA announced a new policy to increase public information on the safety of around 17,000 chemicals used in commerce, to ensure that they do not endanger public health or the environment.  EPA is seeking to strengthen the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), rejecting a certain type of confidentiality claim, known as Confidential Business Information (CBI), that allows companies exemption from disclosing information on the identity of chemicals that may damage their profits.  EPA's new TSCA policy will better target chemicals of concern to assess and regulate new and existing chemicals. More information on the new policy: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/tsca8e/ More information on EPA's principles for comprehensive TSCA reform: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/principles.html

VIRGINIA SULFUR DIOXIDE POLLUTION CASE SETTLED

O-N Minerals (Chemstone) Company, a lime production facility in Strasburg, Va. has agreed to resolve its consent agreements with EPA and DEQ and will pay two penalties: $158,980 to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and $121,829 to the United States Treasury. O-N also agreed to install a sulfur dioxide (SO2) continuous emissions monitoring system, achieve a lower SO2 emission rate from the rotary kiln and revise its state permit. Emissions of sulfur and sulfur dioxide contribute to smog and acid rain and have been linked to serious human health effects, including respiratory function and cardiovascular illnesses. For more information on SO2 emissions, go to http://www.epa.gov/air/sulfurdioxide/

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE TOUR PLANS STOP IN MARYLAND, OTHER STATES

Former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and Barbara Lee, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, announced plans to visit several areas throughout the country to highlight environmental justice challenges faced by Americans in many communities, including Maryland, South Carolina, and Georgia among other states. "Environmental justice is a priority for EPA and must be part of every action we take. I'm proud to join Representative Lee and members of the Congressional Black Caucus in taking that message directly to our communities," said former Administrator Jackson. "By meeting people where they are and talking to them about the challenges they face, we can broadly expand the conversation on environmentalism. Instead of being left further behind, these communities can begin work on solutions to improve their health, the environment and the economy."

EPA'S WATERSENSE PROGRAM ATTRACTS TWO NEW PARTNERS TO PROMOTE WATER-EFFICIENCY IN THEIR OPERATIONS

The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) and the City of Richmond (Va.) Department of Public Utilities have teamed up with EPA's WaterSense® Program to help protect their water supplies.  Using the WaterSense program's methods will reduce unnecessary water consumption, costs and foster a clean and water efficient-program.  WASA provides drinking water and wastewater treatment to more than 500,000 residential, commercial and governmental customers in D.C., and also collects and treats wastewater for 1.6 million customers in Maryland and Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia. WaterSense is a voluntary partnership program and labeling program sponsored by the EPA to promote water-efficient products and practices.    To learn more, go to www.epa.gov/watersense.

APPLICATIONS DUE MARCH 9 FOR ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY GRANTS (CARE), WILL ANSWER QUESTIONS FEB. 2, 23 AND 26

EPA is making $2 million available in 2010 to reduce pollution at the local level through the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program. This competitive grant program gives local communities a way to take action to reduce the toxic pollutants they face and the funding to address these risks. Applications for the CARE grants are due March 9, 2010.  EPA will conduct three Webcasts to answer questions from prospective applicants about the application process on Feb. 2, 23, and 26 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  CARE cooperative agreements are awarded at two levels. Level I awards range from $75,000 to $100,000, and Level II awards range from $150,000 to $300,000 each. To apply, visit: http://www.epa.gov/care/ To learn more about the CARE program, go to http://www.epa.gov/care/basic.htm#Description


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