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Envirobytes - Archive

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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending April 2, 2010

EPA HONORS MARYLAND TOWN FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THEIR WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT

EPA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin presented the town of Hurlock in Dorchester Co., Md. with an Operations and Maintenance Excellence Award on March 31, for their commitment to clean and safe water in the operation and maintenance of their wastewater treatment plant. The plant was recognized for its outstanding performance in complying with its wastewater permit, its superior operations and maintenance management, and its use of only three certified operators to maintain its complex wastewater treatment process.  For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/owm/mtb/cwa-awards-history.htm

ENERGY STAR PARTNER PRESENTED WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING AWARD

On March 31, EPA and the U.S. Dep't of Housing and Urban Development presented Milford Housing Development Corp. (MHDC) of Delaware with an Energy Star Excellence in Affordable Housing award for incorporating energy-efficient appliances and practices at its affordable family and senior developments in Delaware. "Thanks to the dedication of partners like MHDC, families living in Energy Star qualified homes are saving money on their energy bills while also improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Shawn M. Garvin, EPA Regional Administrator. For more information, go to http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=partners.pt_index

APPLICATIONS ACCEPTED UNTIL APRIL 22 FOR EPA'S SUMMER ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM IN THREE CITIES

The EPA Student Environmental Development Program (SEDP) is accepting applications for seventh-grade students from the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas for its summer, science-based academic enrichment program. The students will benefit from the program's focus on environmental education, leadership development and college preparation.  Schools may nominate up to three students, and parents or guardians may submit applications with recommendations from the student's school. 

OZONE SEASON BEGAN OFFICIALLY ON APRIL 1

As the weather warms, exposure to unhealthy ground-level ozone conditions becomes more likely and especially harmful to asthmatics and those with respiratory conditions. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and Nitrous Oxides (NOx) react with hot temperatures in the air to form ground-level ozone. To alert and protect the public, EPA's AIRNow website at (http://airnow.gov/) provides information about air quality conditions to prevent dangerous over-exposure to ozone pollution. For more information, go to  http://www.epa.gov/air/ozonepollution/index.html

EPA PROPOSES TO UPDATE AND IMPROVE 2009 ”AGGREGATION RULE” UNDER THE NEW SOURCE REVIEW

The New Source Review permitting program ensures maintenance of air quality safety when factories, industrial boilers and power plants are built or modified.  It also ensures top quality emission control technology is installed at plants undergoing major modification. In 2009 an amendment to the NSR changed the way existing industrial facilities combine “aggregate” upcoming construction projects to determine if Clean Air Act permits are needed.  EPA considers that these changes do not adequately prevent increased emissions and may need to be revoked. EPA will take comment on the proposed rule for 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/nsr/actions.html

EPA PROTECTS APPALACHIAN COMMUNITIES FROM HARMFUL IMPACTS OF MOUNTAINTOP MINING

EPA announced a plan of action using sound science to further clarify the standards that should be applied to strengthen the environmental review of new Appalachian surface coal mining projects to ensure protection of the communities' local water and environment. Mountaintop removal mining's use of explosives to access coal seams generates wastes that bury adjacent streams, significantly compromising water quality and damaging ecosystems.  To view all the documents, go to http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/guidance/mining.html

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