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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending May 1, 2009

REGIONAL STAFF PROMOTE GREENSCAPING TECHNIQUES AT EARTH DAY CELEBRATION IN DELAWARE

A notable celebration took place this past Earth Day at Wilmington, Delaware's Rodney Square where hundreds of people, including 36 environmental agencies, organizations and businesses, joined the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.  Earth Day was celebrated by educating the public about environmentally friendly products, tips for the home, workplace and roadway.  EPA Water Protection Division staff hosted a booth to educate the public about stormwater runoff pollution and greenscaping techniques that property owners can use to minimize pollution runoff from entering storm drains.  A stylish rain barrel was raffled off to a winner. 

EPA UNVEILS NATIONAL TOP 50 U.S. GREEN POWER PURCHASERS UNDER ITS GREEN POWER PARTNERSHIP

EPA released a list of the nation's 50 top purchasers of green power under its Green Power Partnership voluntary program that seeks to reduce the environmental impact from conventional electricity use.  Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower (generates less pollution than conventional power with no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions). The three main companies leading the list were Intel Corporation (for the second year in a row the nation's largest single purchaser of green power with purchases of more than 1.3 billion kWh of green power per year), PepsiCo, and Kohl's Department Stores. Overall, EPA Green Power Partners are buying green power annually equivalent to the CO2 emissions from electricity use of more than 1.5 million American homes. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/top50.htm

EPA AWARDS DELAWARE $19.5 MILLION OF RECOVERY ACT FUNDS TO UPGRADE WATER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS, PROVIDE SAFE DRINKING WATER, AND PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH

As part of the $2 billion dollars to be awarded to fund drinking water infrastructure projects across the country under the Recovery Act in the form of low-interest loans, principal forgiveness and grants, EPA has awarded $19.5 million to Delaware's Department of Health and Social Services. The funding will help Delaware finance improvements to its water infrastructure projects (including sewer systems) through the state's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program. For more information on the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program, visit
http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwsrf/ and http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwsrf/allotments/funding_dwsrf_allotments_arra.html 

EPA SOON TO REVIEW THREE NEW SOURCE REVIEW CLEAN AIR RULES

EPA is planning to carry out a review to update and improve the New Source Review (NSR) program (a preconstruction clean air permitting program for industrial facilities to prevent air pollution and protect human health and the environment). Portions of permitting rules will be reconsidered that determine when and how facilities are required to account for air emissions (that are not released through a stack, vent or other confined air stream); how to keep records on emissions; and how to account for air emissions associated with fine particle pollution. EPA will soon publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register requesting comment on certain aspects of each of these rules to ensure the program protects clean air and allows public review of recent changes that may impact permitting program implementation.  For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/nsr/actions.html

EPA ADMINISTRATOR SINGLES OUT IMPORTANCE OF STUDY ON HOW METHYLMERCURY CONTAMINATES SEAFOOD

Former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson noted in a press release that a newly published scientific study by the U.S. Geological Survey documents the process by which increased mercury emissions (mainly from Asia) make their way into the North Pacific Ocean and contaminate tuna and other seafood which Americans consume. She noted that the study " … gives us a better understanding of how dangerous levels of mercury move into our air, our water, and the food we eat, and shines new light on a major health threat to Americans and people all across the world."  Scientists have predicted an additional 50 percent increase in mercury in the Pacific by 2050 if global mercury emission rates continue as projected.  The USGS study is available at http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/pacific_mercury.html

EPA TO HONOR STEWARDS OF THE ENVIRONMENT

The EPA is seeking nominations for its 2009 Mid-Atlantic Environmental Achievement Awards program to recognize individuals and organizations outside EPA who are making significant contributions to improving the environment in the region. The nomination period closes on May 29.  Winners will be honored on Sept. 16 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pa. in the following categories:  non-profit or volunteer organization; business and industry; and state, local or other federal government agency. 

EPA CELEBRATES MAY AS YEAR OF SCIENCE 2009 SUSTAINABILITY MONTH

EPA scientists are designating May as Sustainability Month to share their knowledge through blogs, podcasts and demonstrations on the importance of sustainability for communities and to get feedback from the public. Sustainability is defined as meeting  today's needs without compromising future generations' ability to meet their own needs. This includes conserving natural resources through alternative renewable energy sources, recycling used materials into new products, and finding alternative to toxics that could pollute the environment.  May activities include:  

For more information on the EPA Year of Science: http://www.epa.gov/yearofscience

Note: If a link above doesn't work, please copy and paste the URL into a browser.

 


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