Envirobytes - Archive
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending April 24, 2009
TOXIC CHEMICAL FACILITIES FACE STRICTER REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
On April 21 former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson finalized the reinstatement of the Toxic Chemical Inventory Rule (TRI) requiring stricter, more detailed reporting of toxic chemical emissions from industrial and government facilities handling toxic chemicals. Reinstatement of this older rule reverses the TRI Burden Reduction Rule implemented in December 2006 that environmentalists and 13 states objected to in a lawsuit as being less stringent. EPA considers the reinstatement of a successful and cost-effective public health and safety resource with more stringent requirements as more adequately protective of human health from exposure to a list of toxic chemicals. These changes will apply to all TRI reports due July 1, 2009. For more details, go to http://www.epa.gov/tri/index.htm.
DREXEL UNIVERSITY IS REGION'S P3 AWARD WINNER
EPA showcased its 2009 P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) Award competition's winning university teams at its annual National Sustainable Design Expo held in Washington, D.C. from April 18-20. Up to $75,000 was awarded each winner to commercialize the cutting edge technologies they have designed for projects that apply technology in innovative ways, tackle global environmental challenges, and prove to be economically profitable. The P3 Region 3 winner was Philadelphia's Drexel University with its innovative Syntactic Selective Near Infrared Scattering Architectural Coatings technology design. The project will study "architectural coatings capable of scattering and reflecting UV, Visible, and NIR radiation from the sun to reduce solar gain on the exterior of a building" and will use glass hollow microspheres to create the coating. For information on the P3 Award competition projects, and the other winners, go to
EPA PROPOSES TO SLASH MERCURY EMISSIONS FROM CEMENT PLANTS
EPA is proposing to significantly reduce mercury air emissions from Portland cement kilns nationwide - the fourth-largest source of these emissions in the U.S. The proposal would set the limit on mercury emissions from existing kilns, strengthen the limits for new kilns, set emission limits for total hydrocarbons, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide from cement kilns of all sizes, and reduce hydrochloric acid emissions from large emitters. When mercury in the air changes to methylmercury in water, this highly toxic form contaminates fish and those who ingest the fish can suffer the health consequences of mercury poisoning (especially women of childbearing age and children). EPA will take public comments on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register and will hold a public hearing on the proposal if requested. Hearing requests must be received within 15 days of publication in the Federal Register. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3pfpr.html
SELECT WINNER OF SUNWISE POSTER CONTEST TO PREVENT SKIN CANCER
Skin cancer accounts for half of all cancer cases in the United States striking more than 1 million Americans every year. EPA's SunWise program seeks to prevent cancer cases by teaching children and their caregivers about protecting themselves from overexposure to the sun and by joining to vote for the winner of the 2009 SunWise/SHADE foundation of America national sun safety poster contest. Children are invited to craft posters with catchy messages that feature skin cancer prevention. Each state winner is entered into an online voting competition (open until May 10) to select the national winner. The winner will be announced on May 22. For more information on SunWise and to vote for your favorite poster, go to http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/
NATIONAL HEALTHY SCHOOLS DAY CELEBRATED APRIL 27 IN THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION
EPA co-sponsored National Healthy Schools Day with the Healthy Schools Network to promote healthy indoor and outdoor school environments for the nation's children. The Healthy School Environment Resources involves the use of on-line resources to help facility managers, school administrators, architects, design engineers, school nurses, parents, teachers and staff address environmental health issues in schools. Since about 5 million children spend a large portion of their days in about 12,000 public and private schools in the mid-Atlantic region, often in buildings that are old and in poor condition, the program can improve school conditions to become more conducive to learning, to improve student behavior, and to protect children from exposure to pollution. To learn more about what you can do to promote greening of your school in the mid-Atlantic region, go to http://www.nationalhealthyschoolsday.org.
COLLEGES IN REGION 3 LEAD GREEN POWER PURCHASERS
The 2009 Green Power College and University Challenge winners were announced by EPA on April 20 recognizing the collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power purchases in the nation to reduce the environmental footprint associated with their conventional electricity use. This year's challenge included 44 competing colleges representing 22 different conferences nationwide, collectively purchasing more than 1 billion kWh of green power. The University of Pennsylvania led the Ivy League Conference (totaling more than 225 million kWh purchased) with Penn State University leading the Big Ten Conference (totaling more than 133 million kWh purchased). Six of the 22 individual conference champions were located in Region 3 including St. Mary's of Maryland, Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Catholic University, and American University (both in Washington, D.C.). For more information, please visit www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm
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