Envirobytes - Archive
ENVIROBYTES, A SUMMARY OF ISSUES AND EVENTS FOR WEEKS ENDING OCTOBER 21, 2011 TO NOVEMBER 4, 2011
EPA IS EVALUATING HYDRAULIC FRACTURING’S POTENTIAL IMPACTS ON DRINKING WATER
On Nov. 3, EPA announced a final research plan to scientifically evaluate hydraulic fracturing, a technology used to extract natural gas. This plan will help determine hydraulic fracturing’s impact on the nation’s drinking water and to safeguard the environment and public health. The initial research results and study findings will be released to the public in 2012, with the final reporting ready in 2014. www.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing
EPA TAKES FURTHER MEASURES TO PROTECT AGAINST EXPOSURES TO TOXIC RAT AND MOUSE ERADICATION PRODUCTS
Although safe and child-protective rodent control products are now available in the marketplace, beginning on Nov. 2, EPA is taking steps to cancel 20 more toxic rodenticides. Information to alert the public of safer, more updated products to control rodents and make them aware of dangerous products still in the market, is available at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/mice-and-rats/consumer-prod.html. For more information on EPA’s review of rodenticides, go to http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/mice-and-rats
REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AMONG TOP 20 FINISHERS IN THE 2011 ENERGY STAR NATIONAL BUILDING COMPETITION
On Nov. 2, EPA announced the top and overall finishers of EPA’s 2011 Energy Star Battle of the Buildings competition, in which 245 buildings across the country competed to save energy, reduce costs, and clean the air by tracking their monthly energy consumption using Energy Star’s online tracking tool. The Fannie Mae office in Washington, D.C. distinguished itself as number 6 overall, with a 35 percent reduction; the Haslett Armory in Dover, De. made number 14 overall, with a 27 percent reduction; and the GSA’s Social Security Administration building in Norfolk, Va. made number 17 with a 24 percent reduction. For more information, go to http://www.energystar.gov/BattleOfTheBuildings.
WEATHER-BASED IRRIGATION CONTROLLERS NOW ELIGIBLE FOR EPA’S WATERSENSE PROGRAM LABEL
On Nov. 3, EPA’s WaterSense program announced that irrigation controllers with precisely scheduled irrigation systems will soon be the first outdoor products eligible to earn the coveted WaterSense label. By using water only when needed, irrigation controllers can help save a substantial amount of water and energy bills. Since 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save 125 billion gallons of water and more than $2 billion in water and energy bills. For more information on WaterSense, go to http://www.epa.gov/watersense.
EPA DEVELOPS NEW PLANNING APPROACH TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY IN CITIES
On Oct. 28, EPA announced an integrated planning process to help financially ailing municipalities better meet their Clean Water Act obligations and more cost-effectively reduce their wastewater and stormwater runoff. This planning process will help municipalities prioritize infrastructure investments to address the most serious water quality issues and provide flexibility to use innovative, sustainable wastewater and stormwater management solutions such as green infrastructure. Read the EPA memorandum at http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/integratedplans.cfm. For more information on green infrastructure: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=298.
EPA RECOGNIZES TOP 50 GREEN POWER PARTNERS WHO SWITCHED TO LESS POLLUTING SOURCES OF ENERGY TO GENERATE ELECTRICITY
On Oct. 25, EPA announced the Green Power Partnership’s 2011 top 50 green power purchasers who are reducing CO2 emissions by meeting their electricity needs with green power. Among these were Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Panera Bread’s 35 locations in Maryland (which used green power to meet all their electricity needs). Virginia-based Hilton Worldwide purchased enough green power to meet 94 percent of its electricity use, and Amerigroup Corp.’s Virginia Beach National Support Center used two on-site wind turbines to generate 100 percent of its electricity. For more information on EPA’s Green Power Partnership, go to http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/top50.htm.
WINTER ENERGY EFFICIENCY TIPS FROM ENERGY STAR
With winter approaching, EPA’s Energy Star program is offering tips that increase household efficiency and help save money to stay warm. EPA recommends the following basic steps: maintain your heating equipment; check your system’s air filter every month; use a programmable thermostat to save energy costs; seal air leaks in your home; utilize the Energy Star website; and look for Energy Star qualified products. For more information, go to http://www.energystar.gov/heatingtips For information on other ways to save energy year round: http://www.energystar.gov/changetheworld
APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR 2012 BROWNFIELDS GRANT FUNDING APPROACHES
EPA is encouraging eligible organizations to apply now through Nov. 28 for the 2012 Brownfields funds in the form of brownfields assessment, cleanup or revolving loan fund grants that can be used to redevelop/revitalize sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants or other contaminants. Cleaning up and reinvesting in formerly contaminated or abandoned properties protects the environment, reduces blight and takes pressure off green spaces. For more details on the EPA Brownfields grant application guidelines, go to www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicat.htm.
EPA LAUNCHES SPANISH VERSION OF MYRTK APPLICATION TO INFORM ON TOXIC CHEMICALS
On Oct. 27, EPA made available a Spanish version of the “My Right-to-Know” (MyRTK) application to give Spanish-speaking communities information on releases, disposal and other waste management activities of more than 650 toxic chemicals in the nation under EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program. TRI shows what chemicals are being released into the air, water, and land, their potential health effects, and whether a particular facility is in compliance with environmental laws. For more information, http://www.epa.gov/tri/myrtk
More information on TRI data: http://www.epa.gov/tri/tridata.
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
APPS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT – “The most ‘app’ealing entries in EPA’s Apps for the Environment challenge have been announced. We gave you a heads up about the challenge in a blog post earlier this year.” Click here to read it. Share your ideas at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.
LEAVE IT BE! Many homeowners use chemicals to fertilize their lawn in the fall. Did you know there is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to give your lawn nutrients? Find out what this is! Share your ideas at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.