Jump to main content.


Envirobytes - Archive

Archive Information

EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending July 3, 2009

EPA STAFF CONTINUES TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE MARINE AND ESTUARINE SUMMER PROGRAM FOR MIDDLE SCHOOLERS

EPA staff continued seasonal support of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's (UMES) Upward Bound summer program for grades 8-10, giving disadvantaged youth the opportunity to learn about coastal ecology at the university's marine laboratory.  This summer, students covered Low Impact Development practices (LID) as well as other "green" technologies recommended by EPA to protect the Chesapeake Bay.  LID practices effectively control storm water pollution and urban non-point source pollution with the use of green roofs, vegetated swales, permeable surfaces, bio-retention cells, and turf which help protect and restore water quality.

EPA AWARDS DELAWARE WITH $19,239,100 RECOVERY ACT FUNDS FOR WASTEWATER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

EPA awarded more than $19.2 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Clean Water State Revolving Fund program to help the state and local governments finance improvements to wastewater projects across the state.  The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program provides low interest loans for water quality protection projects, wastewater treatment, non-point source pollution control, watershed and estuary management, with at least 20 percent for green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency improvements and other projects. For information on EPA's implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in Delaware, visit: http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/allocation-programs&state=DE
And for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program visit: http://www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/cwsrf/

EPA PROPOSES STRONGER AIR QUALITY STANDARDS FOR NITROGEN DIOXIDE TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH

EPA proposes to strengthen the nation's nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air quality standard and monitoring requirements to reduce public exposure to high, short-term concentrations of NO2. The proposed NO2 standard (whose final decision must be issued by Jan. 22, 2010) would ensure that area-wide NO2 concentrations formed by emissions from cars, trucks, buses, power plants, and industrial facilities remain below levels that cause health problems. EPA will accept public comments for 60 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register, will hold two public hearings in August 2009 and will provide details in a separate notice issued later this summer.  For details about the proposal, go to http://www.epa.gov/air/nitrogenoxides

EPA POSTS LIST OF 44 "HIGH HAZARD POTENTIAL" COAL ASH WASTE IMPOUNDMENTS

Following the failure of an impoundment at the TVA facility in Kingston, Tn., in 2008,  EPA has posted a list of 44 "high hazard potential" impoundments containing coal combustion residuals (coal ash) at 26 different coal burning electric utility facilities nationwide.  "The presence of liquid coal ash impoundments near our homes, schools and businesses could pose a serious risk to life and property in the event of an impoundment rupture" said former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "By compiling a list of these facilities, EPA will be better able to identify and reduce potential risks by working with states and local emergency responders."  EPA has also committed to proposing regulation on the management of coal combustion wastes by December 31.  The full list is available at  http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/industrial/special/fossil/ccrs-fs/index.htm

EPA GIVES CALIFORNIA AUTHORITY TO ADOPT ITS OWN EMISSION STANDARDS ABOVE FEDERAL STANDARDS

The Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority to allow California to adopt its own emission standards for new motor vehicles due to the seriousness of the state's air pollution challenges. Beginning with the current model year, EPA is granting California's waiver request enabling the state to enforce its greenhouse gas emissions standards for new motor vehicles, a move that opens the way for Pennsylvania, Maryland and other states to follow. The California program met legal requirements regarding the protectiveness of public health and welfare as well as scientific and technological viability.  The agency has also opened a new comment period, including public hearings.  For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/ca-waiver.htm

EPA PROPOSES STRINGENT STANDARDS FOR LARGE SHIPS

EPA is proposing to set tougher engine and fuel standards for U.S. ships that would relate to international standards and lead to significant air quality improvements nationwide. By 2030, the domestic and international strategy is expected to reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from large marine diesel engines by about 1.2 million tons and particulate matter (PM) emissions by about 143,000 tons. The estimated annual health benefits in 2030 are valued between $110 and $280 billion at an annual projected cost of approximately $3.1 billion - as high as a 90-to-1 benefit-to-cost ratio. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/otaq/oceanvessels.htm

EPA EXTENDS COMMENT PERIOD FOR RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD PROGRAM

EPA is extending the comment period by 60 days on its proposed revision of the national Renewable Fuel Standard program rule (RFS2) formerly to end on July 27, and now extended to September 25. The proposed rule would dramatically increase the volume requirements for renewable fuels, establish four categories of renewable fuels, and require some renewable fuels to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions compared to the gasoline and diesel fuels they displace. For more information and instructions on submitting comments, go to http://www.epa.gov/otaq/renewablefuels/index.htm

INCREASED NUMBER OF SINGLE FAMILY HOMES EARN ENERGY STAR LABEL

EPA announced that nearly 17 percent of all single-family homes built in 2008 earned EPA's Energy Star label -- up from 12 percent in 2007.  It seems that builders and buyers are continuing to invest in high performing homes that save on consumer utility bills and help protect the environment.  Features such as properly installed insulation, high-performance windows and high efficiency heating and cooling can reduce home energy needs by 20 to 30 percent, and save American families thousands of dollars on their utility bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For more information about how to earn the Energy Star label set by EPA Energy Star qualified homes, go to http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=qhmi.showHomesMarketIndex  

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

 


Local Navigation


Jump to main content.