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Envirobytes - Archive

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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending October 16, 2009 

BROWNFIELD GRANTS TURN VACANT INDUSTRIAL SITE INTO GREEN, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

On Oct. 15, the American Public University System (APUS) broke ground on a new 45,000-square-foot academic center in Charles Town, W.Va., funded by with three separate EPA Region 3 Brownfield Hazardous Substance assessment grants totaling $595,000.  With these grants, the two cities of Ranson and Charles Town, W. Va. (considered one community and located northwest of Washington, D.C.), are revitalizing and turning a vacant corridor of properties into sustainable (LEED)/certified "green" facilities built to Green Building Council standards.  The properties include high-tech/commercial offices, retail and entertainment amenities, infill housing, park and recreational areas, and expanded government facilities. 

EPA GRANT WILL ELIMINATE UNTREATED SEWAGE DISCHARGES INTO BECKLEY, W. VA. CREEKS

EPA awarded a $955,600 Clean Water grant to the City of Beckley, W. Va. to replace 7,000 feet of wastewater main with new, lined, high density polyethylene pipe to more efficiently convey more than 1.5 million gallons of wastewater daily into the city's wastewater treatment plant for treatment.  The project will eliminate untreated sewage discharges which may contain viruses and protozoa as well as other parasites that can affect the health of children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women. The EPA grant will help pay for the estimated $1.8 million project cost, the balance being financed by loans through the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection's State Revolving Fund loan program.  Project completion is January 2010.

EPA EXPERTS BRIEF BRAZILIAN DELEGATION ON AMERICAN WASTE REDUCTION METHODS

The Region 3 Land and Chemicals Division was visited by a Brazilian delegation from the Brazilian State of Minas Gerais whose industries and mining companies deal with large quantities of solid waste materials. The visitors wanted to compare methods with EPA experts to improve and learn more about the intricacies of solid waste classification, characterization, treatment, and disposal methods as well as pollution prevention and cleaner production to take this knowledge back to help improve solid waste problems in their country. EPA staff gave relevant presentations on pollution prevention and sustainability issues, such as EPA voluntary programs, recycling and proper disposal methods of solid waste industrial materials.

2010 ANNUAL FUEL ECONOMY GUIDE HELPS DRIVERS SAVE MONEY WHILE REDUCING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

The EPA/Department of Energy 2010 Fuel Economy Guide provides estimated fuel costs and mileage standards for model year 2010 vehicles.  Consumers can find clean, efficient, cost-effective vehicles that cut harmful air pollution, reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change, and thereby lessen our dependence on foreign oil.  Model year 2010 fuel economy leaders include a wide range of hybrid models and an estimated annual fuel cost based on the vehicle's miles per gallon (mpg) rating as well as national estimates for annual mileage and fuel prices. Consumers can input information online for a personalized fuel cost estimate that is available to mobile users (fueleconomy.gov/m), accessible from a mobile device, smart phone, or personal digital assistant (or PDA). For a complete version of the Guide, go to http://www.fueleconomy.gov. For other information, go to http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/basicinformation.htm

EPA PLANS TO DEVELOP INTERIM PRELIMINARY REMEDIATION GOALS FOR DIOXIN IN SOIL

EPA is seeking public comment to develop interim preliminary remediation goals (PRGs) for dioxin in soil at contaminated sites. The plan includes a review of current dioxin cleanup guidance established by EPA, states and other countries, including the latest fully peer-reviewed dioxin toxicity assessments. EPA will release the draft interim PRGs for public comment this December, and anticipates issuing the final interim PRGs in June 2010. EPA is currently undertaking a reassessment of dioxin; results expected to be released by the end of 2010. To comment on the proposed plan for developing interim recommended PRGs for dioxin in soil, please send comments to: OSWER_Dioxin_PRGs@epa.gov  For more information on the plan: www.epa.gov/superfund/policy/remedy/sfremedy/remedies/dioxininterimplan.html  For information on EPA's efforts to clean up dioxin-contaminated lands, and reduce the public's exposure, go to http://www.epa.gov/ncea/pdfs/dioxin/factsheets/dioxin_regs.pdf

EPA ADMINISTRATOR SEEKS TO RETOOL CLEAN WATER ACT ENFORCEMENT

Former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced the stepping up of Clean Water Act enforcement since data shows that the nation's water quality is unacceptably low in many parts of the country.  The Clean Water Action Enforcement Plan will revamp the compliance and enforcement program to better address water pollution challenges, including pollution caused by dispersed sources (such as concentrated animal feeding operations, sewer overflows, contaminated water that flows from industrial facilities, construction sites, and runoff from urban streets). The effort will provide better public access to water quality conditions, strengthen state and federal level enforcement, and target the most serious violations and most significant sources of pollution with prompt correction actions. More information on the plan: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/cwa/cwaenfplan.html

EPA REPORT: CAP AND TRADE PROGRAM LOWERS SMOG LEVELS IN EASTERN U.S.; COST-EFFECTIVELY REDUCES HARMFUL AIR POLLUTION

EPA released a report (The 2008 NOx Budget Trading Program Annual Report) showing that since its inception, the cap and trade program has effectively reduced smog-forming emission of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emitted from power plants and industry in the eastern U.S.  Summertime NOx emissions from power plants and large industrial sources were down by 62 percent compared to year 2000 levels and 75 percent lower than in 1990 and the reduction of NOx has helped reduce smog levels by 10 to 14 percent in the region. The cap and trade program contributed to improvements in air quality in 97 percent of nonattainment areas in the east, with 85 percent of these areas now below the smog standard. The program aims to cost-effectively reduce the regional transport of NOx during the ozone season.  More information on the report: http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/progress/NBP_4.html

FALL 2009 LAND REVITALIZATION E-NEWSLETTER NOW AVAILABLE

Read the Region 3 first "School Edition" of this quarterly e-newsletter to learn how West Virginia is powering their school buses with biodiesel; how parents and students are greening Philadelphia's storied Greenfield School; the newest trends and techniques at EPA's upcoming Green Symposium at Drexel University; and how a group of urban high school students have built an award winning hybrid car.  Region 3's Land Revitalization E-newsletter is distributed to more than 1,000 stakeholders interested in the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties.  Read about revitalization news and events at http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/bf-lr/lr_newsletters.html.

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