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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Environmental Issues and Events for Week Ending October 30, 2009 

EPA NAMES TOP 20 GREEN POWERED SCHOOLS, FIVE FROM REGION 3

EPA named the 20 K-12 schools nationwide using the most power from renewable energy.  Five schools in the mid-Atlantic region (all using wind energy) are among the 20 selected: The Bullis School of Potomac, Md. also has the distinction of ranking among the top five nationwide.  The other four are the  Norwood School of Bethesda, Md.; Green Acres School of Rockville, Md.; the Sheridan School  of Washington, D.C.; and the Evergreen School of  Wheaton, Md.  EPA's Green Power Partnership promotes the voluntary purchase of green power (including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, or biogas) to reduce the environmental impact of conventional electricity use.  For information on EPA's Green Power Partnership, go to http://www.epa.gov/greenpower   For the top twenty list by rank, go to http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/toplists/top20k-12schools.htm

EPA RELEASES GUIDE TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM EXPOSURE TO ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTANTS

EPA released its “Highlights of the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook,” to help risk assessors understand how children are exposed to pollution so that they can protect children from exposure.  It is a resource and quick-reference guide to the more comprehensive 2008 “Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook” and provides important answers to questions about childhood exposure through drinking water, breathing, and eating foods, such as:

For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/childexpfactors/highlights

EPA ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE 3RD ANNUAL RACHEL CARSON CONTEST

Votes from individuals across the country and the world cast their ballots for this year's winners of the Rachel Carson contest, named after the founder of the American environmental movement.   An essay: "A Fish with a Crab;" a poem: "Place of Peace;” a mixed media entry entitled "Pop-pop's Garden," an untitled photo of a sunset on a beach, and a video (by the Intergenerational School, Judson Park Assisted Living and the Shaker Nature Center) were among the winners selected based on originality, intergenerational teamwork and how the project touched Carson's sense of wonder about nature and its joys.  The contest was sponsored by EPA, Generations United, the Dance Exchange, Inc. and the Rachel Carson Council, Inc. More information: http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/thesenseofwonder/2009/

EPA ORDERS TESTING OF CHEMICAL PESTICIDES FOR THEIR EFFECTS ON ENDOCRINE SYSTEMS

EPA ordered the first group of chemical pesticides to undergo testing through the agency's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program for the potential effects of pesticides on the human/animal endocrine systems.  On Oct. 21, EPA issued test orders to manufacturers of 67 chemicals and will eventually order testing of all chemical pesticides.  EPA will evaluate the data, the potential of endocrine interaction, and whether additional testing is necessary to guide further regulation.  The program is the result of an effort that includes validation of the science through a scientific review process with the goal to protect human health and the environment. More information about the screening program: http://www.epa.gov/endo

CARBOFURAN PESTICIDE NOT TO BE APPLIED TO FOOD CROPS AFTER DECEMBER 31

EPA is moving forward to protect public health by revoking tolerances for the pesticide carbofuran, stating that dietary exposures to carbofuran do not meet today's rigorous food-safety standards. Since the tolerances are being revoked, EPA reminds growers that carbofuran should not be applied to any food crops after December 31, 2009 and encourages growers to switch from carbofuran to safer pesticides or other environmentally preferable pest control strategies. Use of carbofuran after this date could be subject to enforcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/carbofuran/carbofuran_noic.htm

EPA ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE OF PUBLIC MEETINGS ON CHESAPEAKE BAY POLLUTION REDUCTION PROGRAMS

EPA will hold 14 public meetings to discuss the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) pollution reductions program to help the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries move closer to meeting clean water standards. EPA officials will receive public input during the sessions, with a draft to be issued in August 2010, followed by a public comment period.  A final TMDL will be established by EPA in December 2010.  The meetings are scheduled in the six bay watershed states of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and New York and the District of Columbia, from early November through mid-December:

Nov. 4 Martinsburg, W.Va. 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Nov. 5 Moorefield, W.Va. 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Nov. 16 Washington, D.C. 10 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
Nov. 17 Wilkes Barre, Pa. 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Nov. 18 Williamsport, Pa. 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Nov. 19 State College, Pa. 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Nov. 23 Lancaster, Pa. 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Dec. 1 Binghamton, NY 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Dec. 8 Baltimore, Md. 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 10 Laurel, Del. 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Dec. 11 Wye Mills, Md. 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 15 Williamsburg, Va. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 16 Harrisonburg, Va. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 17 Fredericksburg, Va. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

For the specific location of a meeting in your area, visit:  www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl .

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS ARE STILL OPEN FOR 2010 ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION GRANTS

The Request for Proposals period to apply for a 2010 environmental education grant opened on Oct. 28, with a deadline of Dec. 15, 2009.  This is a competitive grants program providing financial support for innovative projects that design, demonstrate, or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques.  The grant projects submitted promote environmental stewardship and help develop knowledgeable and responsible students, teachers, and citizens. EPA's 10 regional offices fund projects that request EPA funds for amounts from $5,000 to $50,000.  Headquarters funds projects that range from requests of $50,001 to $200,000. 

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