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Envirobytes - Archive

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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending August 21, 2009 

EPA LAUNCHES TMDL WEB SITE TO REDUCE CHESAPEAKE BAY POLLUTION

EPA has launched a Web site dedicated to the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program. The program has a major role to restore the bay and reduce its pollutants by identifying the extent and causes of bay impairment and the pollutant load reductions needed to meet EPA water quality standards.  The Web site clarifies the role of the TMDL in determining the limits of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediments and other pollutants contributing to bay pollution from wastewater treatment plants, agricultural manure runoff, the air (electric generating or power plants), sewer systems, stormwater runoff and septic systems.  The Web site also explains why reducing these pollutants is the key to restoring healthier conditions in the bay. To access the site, visit http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl 

EPA TO SET STRICTER LIMITS TO CLEAN UP THE BAY ESTUARY
 
At a session of the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference in Ocean City, Md., EPA and Maryland Department of the Environment representatives met to outline a plan to impose stricter limits on the amount of nutrients that drain into the Chesapeake Bay Estuary from the six Chesapeake Bay watershed basin states of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York.  Putting more stringent total maximum daily load (TMDL) standards in place is important to minimize nutrient overloads into the bay and curb nitrogen and phosphorous levels by early 2011. Local states and counties will implement the plan with measures to limit agricultural manure runoff, improve wastewater treatment plants, form tributary wetlands and forest buffers and limit impervious surfaces in cities and suburbs.

PORT OF BALTIMORE AWARDED $3.5 MILLION TO REDUCE DIESEL POLLUTION, CREATE JOBS

EPA announced $3.5 million in Recovery Act funds for the Port of Baltimore to curb diesel emissions from vehicles transporting goods and cargo in port operations. Installing the technology necessary to reduce diesel emissions of air pollutants in ports will cut diesel emissions by 90 percent, reduce pollutants contributing to ozone smog, and reduce rates of respiratory illnesses such as asthma.  The grant will install/replace clean-diesel technology in diesel-powered equipment including two tugboats, seven locomotives, 50 short haul trucks, and 83 units of cargo handling equipment.  The port is also switching to cleaner fuels, retrofitting, repairing, repowering, replacing equipment, and reducing idling to promote cleaner air. For information about EPA's clean diesel initiatives visit: http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel

TOWN OF ABINGDON, VA HONORED WITH WATERSHED PROTECTION AWARD 

EPA Acting Regional Administrator William Early and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine presented the town of Abingdon, Va. with EPA's 2008 State Revolving Fund Creating Environmental Success (PISCES) award. Abingdon was commended for its successful efforts in using a $9.8 million Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan to plan, manage, and finance the upgrade and expansion of its Wolf Creek Water Reclamation Facility to ensure clean and safe water for the community. The construction of a special waste handling facility to treat septic tank wastewater, grease, and other special wastes will result in the release of cleaner effluent into Wolf Creek stream, a tributary of the North Fork of the Holston River Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer in Virginia.  For more information on the PISCES awards, go to http://www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/cwsrf/cwsrf2008awards.pdf 

REGION BENEFITS FROM $192 MILLION EPA AWARD TO CLEAN UP LEAKING UNDERGROUND PETROLEUM STORAGE TANKS NATIONWIDE

EPA awarded $197 million in Recovery Act funds for the cleanup/assessment of the nation's leaking underground petroleum storage tanks. Delaware was awarded $1.2 million, Maryland $3.7 million, Pennsylvania $6.1 million, Virginia $4.6 million, West Virginia $1.6 million and the District of Columbia $607,000. Leaks of petroleum from abandoned gas stations, factories and shipyards and other facilities that use these tanks can contaminate ground water and drinking water, render the site unusable and jeopardize public health. The funds will accelerate badly needed cleanups of leaking petroleum tanks under cooperative agreements with the states and the District of Columbia and promote needed redevelopment and revitalization.  For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/swerust1/eparecovery/statealloc.htm

EPA ANNOUNCES $80 MILLION IN RECOVERY ACT FUNDS FOR WASTEWATER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS IN VIRGINIA

EPA has awarded more than $80 million to the Va. Department of Environmental Quality provided under the American Recovery Act to help state and local governments finance overdue improvements to wastewater projects essential to protecting public health, and the environment and creating jobs.  The Recovery Act funds will go to the state's Clean Water State Revolving Fund program for low interest loans to fund water quality protection projects for wastewater treatment, non-point source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management.  At least 20 percent of the funds are to be used for environmentally innovative projects. For information on the Clean Water State Revolving Fund program, please visit http://www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/cwsrf/ 

HOW TO APPLY FOR BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT GRANT FUNDING HIGHLIGHTED IN EPA WORKSHOP

EPA co-sponsored a one-day workshop in Portsmouth, Va. to increase Brownfield redevelopment and revitalization projects in the area and to show how communities can apply for Brownfield grants.  The workshop provided an overview of the Brownfield redevelopment process, the benefits, and funding sources available to assist communities along the Elizabeth River in conjunction with the Elizabeth River Project Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer (a watershed group dedicated to restoring the Elizabeth River in southeastern Virginia). Applications for Fiscal Year 2010 Brownfield grants are due on Oct. 16.  To apply, please refer to the Proposal Guidelines. For information on Brownfield grants, go to http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/bf-lr/bf-grants.html

EPA RELEASES GUIDEBOOK ENCOURAGING HEALTHIER LIVING FOR SENIORS

EPA has released a new guidebook providing older adults with information on the importance of environmentally friendly community design. "Growing Smarter, Living Healthier: A Guide to Smart Growth and Active Aging" offers suggestions and links to resources on environmentally friendly community design and how a community's decisions about growth can make it a better place in which to grow old and a place to carry out daily activities in spite of limited mobility. The guidebook's self-assessment tool allows communities to rate themselves based on how well they follow the principles of smart growth. To access the guidebook, go to http://www.epa.gov/aging/bhc/guide/index.html

EPA PROPOSES RULE TO REDUCE IMPACTS ON WATER QUALITY BY AIRPORT DE-ICING OPERATIONS

EPA is proposing to control contaminated wastewater runoff from aircraft and pavement de-icing operations at more than 200 commercial airports nationwide to make the process less harmful to the environment. Discharges from de-icing operations at airports can drain to nearby rivers, lakes, streams and bays and contaminate water, reducing oxygen levels, and have a harmful effect on wildlife, nearby residential areas and parkland. Measures will include using less polluting substitutes to prevent contamination of waterways. Compliance with regulations will reduce the discharge of deicing-related pollutants by some 44.6 million pounds per year. Public comments will be accepted through Dec. 28. For information on the proposed rule, go to http://www.epa.gov/guide/airport/

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