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Envirobytes - Archive

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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Weeks Ending February 12, February 19, and February 26, 2010

FORMER ADMINISTRATOR JACKSON UNVEILS INITIATIVE TO RESTORE THE GREAT LAKES

EPA announced a new initiative designed to protect and restore the Great Lakes.  The Great Lakes (including Lake Erie, in Pennsylvania) face significant challenges including pollution and the threat of invasive species. The action plan includes the protection/cleanup of the lakes' most polluted areas; combating invasive species; protecting high priority watersheds and reducing urban, suburban and, agricultural runoff; restoring wetlands and other habitats; and working closely with the states, non-profits, stakeholder groups and Canada in efforts to protect and restore the lakes. For more information on the full plan, go to http://www.greatlakesrestoration.usExit EPA Click for Disclaimer

EPA LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE TO INCREASE PUBLIC ACCESS TO PROPOSED AGENCY REGULATIONS

EPA is launching a new website to better inform the public about agency regulations.  The website will allow users to search for EPA rules that relate to special interests, including small business, children's health, environmental justice, and state, local and tribal government. EPA's Rulemaking Gateway discussion forum will open through July 16 allowing the public to suggest improvements to the site.  For more information on the rulemaking gateway and the discussion forum, go to http://www.epa.gov/rulemaking/ More information on Regulations.gov website, go to http://www.regulations.gov

EPA/TEMPLE U. INITIATIVE PROMOTES SUCCESSFUL ELECTRONIC RECYCLING PRACTICES

On Feb. 17, EPA Region 3 staff and Temple University's Computer Recycling Center (CRC) joined forces to show colleges and universities how electronics recycling can reduce energy costs, conserve natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The CRC (part of the EPA Region 3's Sustainability Partnership initiative) has pioneered a successful comprehensive life-cycle approach to electronics recycling that reduces environmental impact by reusing computers, monitors, printers, and other electronic equipment and donating computers to local schools and community organizations.  For more information on Sustainability go to www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/spp/index.html

EPA AWARDS ITS 2009 BUILDING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES FOR ACTIVE AGING AWARDS TO FOUR COMMUNITIES, TWO IN REGION

EPA recognized four communities including 2 in Region 3 with its 2009 Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Awards for helping to improve the quality of life of older adults and reducing air pollution through smart growth principles. The Achievement Award was given to the Martinsville-Henry County, Va. Coalition for Health and Wellness  for overall excellence in building healthy active aging communities. The Commitment Award was given to the City of Gaithersburg, Upcounty Senior Center, Md. for specific plans to implement smart growth and active aging principles.  Applications for the 2010 Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Awards are due on July 17.  For more information on the awards, go to http://www.epa.gov/aging/bhc/awards/2009/index.html

EPA AWARDS GRANTS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH TO 25 UNIVERSITIES INCLUDING PENN STATE

EPA awarded nearly $17 million in Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants to U.S. universities to study the consequences of climate change in four areas: air quality, allergic airway disease, water quality, and carbon sequestration. EPA aims to scientifically develop the tools to assess the overall impact climate change has on human health, ecosystems and social well being. Penn State University was awarded a $239,782 grant for: "A Probabilistic Framework for Projections of Watershed Services in US Headwaters under Climate Change Scenarios.” For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/ncer/climate

RULE REDUCES AIR TOXICS FROM EXISTING STATIONARY DIESEL ENGINES TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH

EPA is setting standards to reduce/control emissions of formaldehyde, benzene, acrolein and other toxic air pollutants from certain stationary diesel engines to protect public health. Owners/operators of the largest of the engines will need to install emissions controls (catalysts) to their engine exhaust systems. When fully implemented in 2013, EPA estimates the rule will reduce annual air toxics emissions by 1,000 tons, particle pollution by 2,800 tons, carbon monoxide emissions by 14,000 tons and organic compound emissions by 27,000 tons. EPA will issue final emissions standards for similar existing stationary engines that burn gasoline, natural gas and landfill gas (spark ignition engines) by Aug. 10. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/new.html

WEBINARS OFFERING INFORMATION ON THE USE OF TMDLS TO RESTORE THE CHESAPEAKE BAY PROVE POPULAR

EPA's Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Load (TMDL) online webinar proved a big success, with more than 500 people having tuned in on Feb. 25.   The webinar system was also successfully used last fall to broadcast public meetings from each watershed state and D.C. on using TMDL allocations as scientific tools to guide the bay's cleanup, pollution-reduction, and restoration.  The next webinar in this monthly series is scheduled for March 25 at 10 a.m. (The TMDL is scheduled to be completed in December 2010). To register and to find out all about TMDLs, go to www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl

EPA AWARDS $7.8 MILLION IN GRANTS TO HELP CLIMATE SHOWCASE COMMUNITIES COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

EPA announced that 20 communities in the nation will receive $7.8 million in grants for projects that will reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs), increase energy efficiency and save money.  As former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said: "The projects will target every aspect of a community's carbon footprint, from increasing energy efficiency in homes and businesses, to helping residents save fuel by decreasing the number of miles they drive." The communities will also contribute more than $5.6 million in matching or leveraged funds, and EPA will post their quarterly updates online to measure their progress. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/local/showcase/

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