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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for the Week Ending June 11, 2010

THIS WEEK'S HEALTHY WATERS BLOG INVITES COMMENTS ON CONVERTING WASTE IN USEFUL WAYS

This week's Healthy Waters blog is inviting comments on "Poo Power – Generating electricity from waste" illustrating how cow manure is converted to generate methane gas to produce electric power and fertilizer.  If you haven't yet, you can still comment on last week's blog: "gurgle, gurgle" which visualizes how, by mid-century, climate change may impact Maryland shoreline waters to rise by 1.3 feet. We look forward to reading your comments. Visit the Healthy Waters website at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/

EPA WITHDRAWS 2008 RULE TO RECLASSIFY CERTAIN FUELS AS HAZARDOUS WASTE

EPA has withdrawn the old 2008 Emission Comparable Fuels (ECF) Rule which omits classifying certain fuels as hazardous waste even though they generate emissions similar to fuel oil when burned.  The new rule will more comprehensively classify fuels as hazardous waste, improve the regulatory process, and better protect communities from toxic hazardous waste.  For more information on the rule, go to http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/tsd/td/combust/compfuels/exclusion.htm

EPA OFFERS $10 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR COMMUNITY INITIATIVES TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

EPA is offering up to $10 million in Climate Showcase Communities grants to help local governments and communities establish sustainable initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  EPA will award approximately 25 cooperative agreements ranging from $100,000 to $500,000, with approximately five percent of the funds ($500,000) for tribal governments. A 50 percent cost share is required, but not for tribal governments and intertribal consortia recipients. Proposals are due by July 26, 2010 with grants to be awarded in February 2011. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/local/showcase.

EPA TO PHASE OUT THE INSECTICIDE ENDOSULFAN TO PROTECT FARMWORKERS AND WILDLIFE

EPA is phasing out use of the insecticide Endosulfan and will transition growers to low-risk pest control practices.  Endosulfan, used on vegetables, fruits, and cotton, can be dangerous to human health through inhalation and skin contact.  It can also disrupt the health of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, and birds and mammals consuming aquatic prey that ingest the toxic insecticide.  Although Endosulfan is used on ornamental shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plants, it has no residential uses, and does not pose a danger from ingestion due to its limited use. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/endosulfan/endosulfan-cancl-fs.html

FIRST PHASE OF SCHOOL AIR MONITORING INITIATIVE NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE FOR ALL 65 SCHOOLS IN 22 STATES

Since March 2009, EPA has worked with state and local air quality agencies to monitor 62 air toxics around schools near large industrial facilities and in urban areas to determine  immediate health concerns.   Thus far, EPA has posted the completed air quality testing results outside 63 schools in 22 states and at two tribal schools. This data will now be used to determine the potential long-term health risks near schools and if additional monitoring or enforcement actions are necessary. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/schoolair

EPA ENERGY STAR PROGRAM RECOGNIZES FIRMS FOR THEIR ENERGY-EFFICIENT BUILDING DESIGNS

EPA announced that 84 commercial building design projects from more than 50 firms achieved the 2010 "Designed to Earn the Energy Star" designation for reducing their carbon footprint and saving on energy bills over the lifetime of the building. The buildings will save more than 50,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and more than $6.5 million in energy costs.  The Pfaff Construction Building of Glenolden, Pa., designed by architect Lorrain Bradshaw of Media, Pa. was among this chosen group. For the full list of projects, go to http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=new_bldg_design.top_design_firms  For the recognition event, go to http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=new_bldg_design.architects_challenge

EPA ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION TRAINING PROGRAM

EPA is accepting grant applications until July 26 for the National Environmental Education Training Program.  EPA will award one cooperative agreement of approximately $10 million to qualified applicants to provide resources to teach students about environmental issues over the next five years. All U.S. institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations are eligible. 

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH ECO FRIENDLY ADVICE FOR HEALTHY LAWNS AND GREENSCAPES

Learn to use eco-friendly landscaping methods to save time, money and help the environment. EPA's tips can help homeowners create beautiful, easy to maintain, environmentally friendly yards. The basic principles include: selecting regionally native plants, reducing the use of turf, pesticides, and powered landscape equipment, and adapting soil and water conservation. For more information on healthy yards and greenscaping, visit  http://www.epa.gov/reg3esd1/garden/index.htm.  For beneficial landscaping, go to http://www.epa.gov/reg3esd1/garden/benefits.htm.

EPA PROGRAM IMPROVES ASTHMA SUFFERERS' QUALITY OF LIFE

Asthma affects the quality of life of 23 million Americans (including 7 million children). In summer, ground-level ozone (smog) rise can aggravate asthma attacks. Not only does outside air affect the health of those with asthma, but indoor air pollutants can also be serious.  Although there is no cure, medical treatment and management of environmental asthma triggers such as secondhand smoke, dust mites, mold and nitrogen dioxide can help. 

MDE AND EPA PRESENT UPDATE ON STATUS OF SPARROWS POINT/SEVERSTAL SITE REMEDIATION

A meeting will take place on June 24 (6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.), at the Northpoint-Edgemere Volunteer Fire Department, 7500 North Point Road, Baltimore Md.  The Maryland Department of the Environment and EPA Region 3 will present an update on the status of work being done at the Sparrows Point/Severstal site (former Bethlehem Steel) under the current Multimedia Consent Decree (CD). The general public is invited. The presentations will identify the cleanup work remaining to be completed under the CD and the work completion roadmap.  A Q&A session follows the presentations.  For more information, contact Mike Frankel at (215-814-2665), or frankel.michael@epa.gov.

 


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