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Envirobytes - Archive

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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for weeks ending May 20, 2011 and May 27, 2011

EPA RELEASES SEARCHABLE DRINKING WATER VIOLATION WEBSITE

On May 16, EPA announced the release of an enhanced Enforcement and Compliance History Online "ECHO" tool to provide public information on the quality of a community's drinking water.  The public can use the tool to check the facility's compliance data to see if a public water system is adhering to Safe Drinking Water Act standards and if measures are being taken to correct safety violations.  To access the ECHO tool, go to http://www.epa-echo.gov/echo/  For the compliance search page, go to http://www.epa-echo.gov/echo/compliance_report_sdwa.html

EPA PLANS TO IMPROVE SAFETY OF COAL ASH IMPOUNDMENTS TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH

EPA is making information available to the public on the measures 20 electric utility facilities are taking to make their 70 coal ash impoundments safer, as well as on assessment reports of an additional 38 coal ash impoundments at 17 facilities across the country. The objective is to develop regulations for the safe disposal and management of coal ash from coal-fired power plants and to prevent releases to groundwater and air. The rule will be finalized pending evaluation of all information and comments.  The information request responses from the electric utilities to EPA is available at http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/industrial/special/fossil/surveys/index.htm#databaseresults  Assessment report information is available at
http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/industrial/special/fossil/surveys2/index.htm

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS RECOGNIZES EPA'S NATIONAL LIBRARY NETWORK AS INFORMATION CENTER OF THE YEAR

EPA's National Library Network has been named Federal Library/Information Center of the Year by the Library of Congress for the top notch, free library services it provided to agency staff and the public during fiscal year 2010.  The EPA National Library Network partners with EPA staff and the public to promote and support environmental awareness and protection of human health and the environment.  For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/libraries/  For information on the award, go to http://www.loc.gov/flicc/FliccForum/index_forumandwards.html

FRIDAY, MAY 27 DESIGNATED AS "DON'T FRY DAY"

The Friday before Memorial Day is "Don't Fry Day" to remind the public about the dangers from exposure to the sun's ultra-violet rays and that melanoma is now a serious form of skin cancer among young adults aged 25 to 29. EPA's SunWise program and the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention have partnered to provide simple protective tips that could save lives, including using sunscreen, sunglasses or wearing a hat while enjoying the great outdoors.  For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/dfd.html
Actualities (sound bites): http://www.epa.gov/adminweb/multimedia/newscontent/2011-5-23-oa/index.html

EPA APPLAUDS MARYLAND LAWN FERTILIZER BILL LEGISLATION FOR HELPING MEET CHESAPEAKE BAY POLLUTION DIET GOALS

On May 19, EPA applauded Governor O'Malley and the Maryland House and Senate for passing water quality standards legislation that will help meet the state's commitments to restore local rivers and streams throughout the bay watershed.  Maryland, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia are all expected to meet the rigorous limits in the pollution diet or TMDL and have all nutrient-reduction practices in place by 2025, with 60 percent of the effort completed by 2017.  For more information about the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, visit http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl/

KEEP COOL THIS SUMMER WHILE SAVING MONEY, REDUCING POLLUTION

On May 19, EPA's Energy Star program issued its summer list of ideas to help cut cooling costs and protect public health. The list includes using more efficient light bulbs, setting thermostats a few degrees higher when not at home, using ceiling fans, maximizing shade, reducing oven use, using air conditioner filters, and plugging duct system leaks.  Last year Energy Star saved Americans approximately $18 billion on energy bills while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emission of 33 million vehicles. To reduce your energy costs this summer, go to http://www.energystar.gov/cooltips  Help protect the environment through "Energy Stars Across America": http://www.energystar.gov/starsmap

EPA, DOT UNVEIL THE NEXT GENERATION OF FUEL ECONOMY LABELS ENCOURAGING MORE FUEL EFFICIENT CHOICES

On May 25, EPA AND DOT unveiled new fuel economy labels to provide consumers with better information on a car's cost and fuel-efficiency, help consumers save money at the pump, and provide consumers with information on each vehicle's environmental impact. Starting with model year 2013, the improved fuel economy labels will be required to be affixed to all new passenger cars and trucks – both conventional gasoline powered and "next generation" cars, such as plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. For information on the new label, go to http://www.epa.gov/carlabel and http://www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy

HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS

Watts up? Bring ‘em down Towns have an opportunity to learn to use the EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager online tool to track their wastewater/drinking water treatment facility's energy usage, and costs and associated carbon emissions. It's free and could lead to big savings. Encourage your town to participate.  Learn more during a June 16 webinar.  Share with your friends at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/

Adopt-A-Beach  Delaware has initiated a successful program to keep beaches clean with the help of volunteers.  If a beach is adopted, the volunteers commit to cleaning the beach up to four times over a two-year period. What is the state of your beach?  Can you learn from the Delaware program? Provide your input at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/

 


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