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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for week ending April 15, 2011

PHILADELPHIA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT HONORED WITH PRESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL YOUTH AWARD

EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin presented high school senior Joy Best of Philadelphia with the EPA mid-Atlantic region 2010 President's Environmental Youth Award at a ceremony held at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on April 13.  Best's successful environmental awareness community festival, held at the Wyoming Branch of the Philadelphia Library in Philadelphia's Feltonville section, educated and enlightened the community about water protection, solar energy, urban forestry and community gardens.  For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/enviroed/peya/index.html

EPA ANNOUNCES EIGHT MID-ATLANTIC REGION ORGANIZATIONS AMONG THE 2011 ENERGY STAR AWARD FINALISTS

On April 12, EPA honored 111 Energy Star partners for promoting energy efficiency, cost-effective ways of reducing pollution, improving public health and spurring economic growth through Energy Star. Eight organizations from the mid-Atlantic region were honored for their leadership and commitment in one of three award categories: Sustained Excellence, Partner of the Year, and Energy Star Award for Excellence.

Energy Star Award for Sustained Excellence
Saint-Gobain (Valley Forge, Pa.)
Sunoco, Inc. (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Energy Star Partner of the Year
Constellation Energy/Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) (Baltimore, Md.)
Continental Refrigerator (Bensalem, Pa.)
EnergyCAP, Inc. (State College, Pa.)
Loudoun County Public Schools (Broadlands, Va.)
NVR, Inc. (Reston, Va.)

Energy Star Award for Excellence
National Housing Trust (Washington, D.C.)

Energy Star's popularity continues to grow: To date, nearly 1.2 million new homes and more than 12,600 office buildings, schools, hospitals and public buildings earned the coveted label.  Since 2000, approximately 3.5 billion Energy Star qualified products were sold. For more information and a full list of the 2011 award winners, go to http://www.energystar.gov/awards

EPA REVISES OIL SPILL REGULATION TO EXCLUDE MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS UNDER THE PRESIDENT'S INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE REGULATORY REFORM

On April 12, an executive order to improve regulations designed to prevent oil spill damage to inland waters and shorelines, has exempted milk and milk product containers from the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule since the current regulations placed an unintended, unjustifiable burden on dairy farmers.  It is estimated that the exemption will potentially save the milk and dairy industries more than $140 million per year. For more information on the milk and milk product containers exemption:  http://www.epa.gov/oem/content/spcc/spcc_milk.htm

EPA ANNOUNCES ACTIONS ON TWO COMMONLY USED CHEMICALS TO PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH

On April 13, EPA released plans to address the potential health risks from exposure to methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), toluene diisocyanate (TDI), and related compounds widely used in homes to apply spray foam insulation, sealing concrete or finishing floors. EPA will work with the polyurethanes industry and others to improve labeling to safeguard consumers against potential severe skin and breathing reactions, work-related asthma, and even fatal consequences.  For more information about spray polyurethane foam, go to http://www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/projects/spf/spray_polyurethane_foam.html
For more information on these and other chemical action plans, go to http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals

EPA REGION 3 SELECTS THE 2010 ENVIRONMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD WINNERS

On April 14, EPA announced 11 Mid-Atlantic Environmental Achievement Awards winners, recognizing organizations, government agencies and individuals for improving and protecting the environment in the region. The winning entries from the mid-Atlantic region from more than 30 nominations include:

  1.  Gregory Adolfson – West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (Charleston, W.Va.)
  2.  Carroll Citizens for Sustainable Growth, (Carroll County, Pa.)
  3.  Construction Specialties, Inc. (Muncy, Pa.)
  4.  Green DMV (Washington, D.C.)
  5.  Habitat for Humanity (New Castle County, Del.)
  6.  Veronica B. Kasi, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (Harrisburg, Pa.)
  7.  Maryland Port Administration (Baltimore, Md.)
  8.  Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  9.  Transportation Security Administration (Arlington, Va.)
  10. Upper Merion Area School District (King of Prussia, Pa.)
  11. Virginia Beach City Public School District(Virginia Beach, Va.)

EPA SOLICITS PUBLIC COMMENT ON DRAFT PERMIT TO REDUCE STORMWATER DISCHARGES FROM CONSTRUCTION SITES

On April 15, EPA released a proposed draft Construction General Permit (CGP) for public comment in a plan to improve the nation's waterways by regulating the discharge of stormwater from construction sites and containing the sediment and pollutants that harm aquatic ecosystems, increase drinking water treatment costs and pollute recreational waters. The public will have 60 days to comment on the draft permit and EPA anticipates issuing the final construction general permit by Jan. 31, 2012.  The current permit is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2011, but EPA is proposing an extension until Jan. 31, 2012 to finalize the new permit. For more information, go to http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/cgp.cfm

FORMER ADMINISTRATOR LISA P. JACKSON PROVIDES TESTIMONY ON RADIATION AND NUCLEAR SAFETY IN VIEW OF JAPANESE NUCLEAR EMERGENCY

On April 12, former Administrator Jackson gave testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, on EPA's role in monitoring radiation associated with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant incident in Japan.  She said that EPA will continue to provide monitoring results to the public in a very open and transparent manner, and while radiation from the damaged Japanese reactors is not expected to reach the U.S. at harmful levels, the nation's air, milk, precipitation and drinking water, will be carefully monitored and the public kept well informed of all results. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/radiation/

PHILABUNDANCE CELEBRATES EARTH WEEK BY BECOMING AN EPA SUSTAINABILITY PARTNER

In a special Earth Day signing ceremony held April 20 in South Philadelphia, the non-profit organization Philabundance enrolled in EPA's Sustainability Partnership program.  With programs such as WaterSense, Energy Star and WasteWise, EPA will help Philabundance reduce waste generation, natural resource use, and energy consumption and direct more dollars to their work of providing food for the poor by reducing their environmental footprint and operating costs. The organization will also compost their food waste and divert it from methane-producing landfills.  For More information on the program, go to http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/spp/index.html
For more information on Greenhouse Gases go to http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/tools/payt/tools/gases.htm.

GREEN POWER CHALLENGE RECOGNIZES COLLEGES FOR REDUCING HARMFUL AIR EMISSIONS, PROTECTING HEALTH AND DRIVING UP CLEAN ENERGY DEMAND

Several mid-Atlantic region colleges and universities were recognized for increasing their individual green power purchases generated from renewable resources such as solar and wind to the reduction of their use of traditional fossil fuel-based electric power.  These were:  Pennsylvania State University, University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon, Drexel University, University of Maryland, American University, the Catholic University of America, Dickinson College, Allegheny College, St. Mary's College of Maryland, and Mercyhurst College.  For the full list of EPA's College and University Green Power Challenge winners, go to http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm
For information on EPA's Green Power Partnership, go to http://www.epa.gov/greenpower

HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHT

HOOK, LINE AND SINKER !–   The six states comprising EPA Region 3 include many lakes and rivers for recreational fishing. In view of current news on contaminant levels in fish, don't worry!  Each state in the region supplies fish advisories notifying people how much of a certain species of fish they can safely eat over a period of time: Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer
Pennsylvania Fish Consumption Guide
Maryland Fish Consumption Guide
West Virginia Fish Consumption Guide
Virginia Fish Consumption Guide

Share your thoughts and ideas!  http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/

 


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