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Envirobytes - Archive

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ENVIROBYTES, A SUMMARY OF ISSUES AND EVENTS FOR WEEKS ENDING NOVEMBER 11, 2011 AND NOVEMBER 18, 2011

GANNON UNIVERSITY IS ONE OF 45 UNIVERSITIES AWARDED PEOPLE, PROSPERITY AND PLANET (P3) GRANT BY EPA

On Nov. 18, Gannon University in Erie, Pa. was awarded an EPA 2011-2012 People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grant for designing a sustainable technology project that improves quality of life, promotes economic development and protects the environment. The Gannon University Phase I P3 grant will be used to develop renewable fuel from grape pomace, a residue from wine production. After eight months, designs will be selected for Phase II grants to improve, implement or market the designs. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/ncer/p3/current  Applications are being accepted through Dec. 22 for the Phase I awards for 2012-2013, at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/p3/apply

EPA AND GSA RECOGNIZE ALLENTOWN, PA’S AERC/COM-CYCLE ELECTRONICS PROCESSING RECYCLING FACILITY FOR MEETING STRINGENT NEW STANDARDS

On Nov. 17, EPA and the U.S. General Services Administration recognized AERC.com Inc.’s Com-Cycle facility for attaining the designation of certified electronics responsible recycler, and operating its facilities with the most stringent electronics recycling industry certification standards. Since Americans now generate almost 2.5 million tons of used electronics yearly, the responsible management of electronic products is important to improve economic development, create jobs and prevent pollution. For more information, go to  http://www.epa.gov/electronicsstrategy 

ENERGY STAR HELPS HOSPITALS IMPROVE THEIR ENERGY EFFICIENCY

On Nov. 7, EPA updated its Energy Star performance scale to help hospitals improve their energy efficiency and prevent greenhouse gas emissions. By improving their energy efficiency by just 10 percent, America’s hospitals can save 7.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, 243 million therms of natural gas each year, and about $740 million annually in energy bills. For more information, go to http://www.energystar.gov/healthcare

EPA AWARDS GRANTS TO TWO REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN DC AND BALTIMORE TO HELP PROTECT LOW INCOME CHILDREN FROM ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH HAZARDS

On Nov. 7, EPA announced a $100,000 grant each to the National Nursing Centers Consortium in Washington, D.C. and to the Baltimore City Health Department’s Healthy Environments for City Kids program to help protect local children from health hazards such as lead, mold, pesticides and carbon monoxide, and to educate area residents how to keep their homes hazard-free and lead-free. These two were among 13 organizations EPA selected out of 263 applicants nationwide. For more information, go to http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/childenvhealth.htm

MORE THAN 400 BUILDERS COMMIT TO EPA’S NEW GUIDELINES FOR ENERGY STAR QUALIFIED HOMES

On Nov. 9, EPA recognized 400 leading builders in the nation who have committed to the new rigorous requirements for new homes under the 2012 Energy Star label, assuring better value, quality, and comfort while protecting the environment. Included is NVR, Inc, of Reston, Va. that committed to meeting requirements that will deliver a total energy-efficiency improvement of up to 30 percent compared to typical new homes. For more information, go to http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=next_generation.ng_qualified_new_homes

THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA AGREE TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE AND SAVE ENERGY IN COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS WITH ENERGY STAR

On Nov. 9, EPA and its counterpart, Natural Resources Canada, signed an agreement to measure and assess the energy performance of commercial buildings in both countries using an enhanced EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. This dialogue on clean energy technology will help enhance energy security, revitalize the economy and create jobs. The agreement will run through March 30, 2016. For more information, go to https://www.energystar.gov/buildings

EPA ANNOUNCES COURT ORDERED SCHEDULE TO REDUCE HARMFUL HAZE-FORMING POLLUTANTS IN NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDERNESS AREAS

On Nov. 9, EPA announced a court-ordered schedule to review and act on more than 40 state regional haze pollution reduction plans in national parks and wilderness areas and to work closely with the states to approve their plans. In addition, the plans will also protect public health from haze-forming pollutants including fine particle pollution, nitrogen oxide/sulfur dioxide compounds and certain volatile organic compounds. EPA will accept public comment for 30 days following publication in the Federal Register. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/visibility/actions.html

EPA RELEASES FINAL REPORTS ON AIR TOXICS NEAR FOUR WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOLS AS PART OF NATIONAL INITIATIVE

On Nov. 10, EPA issued two final reports on monitoring outdoor air toxics around four western Pennsylvania schools, including the Sto-Rox Elementary/Middle schools in McKees Rocks, Pa, the Clairton Educational Center in Clairton, Pa., and the South Allegheny Middle/High School in McKeesport, Pa.  Only South Allegheny is still being monitored to characterize the potential for health concerns and long term exposure to coke oven emissions. This is part of the agency’s initiative to better understand the health concerns of long-term exposure to air toxics. To see the reports, go to  http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/schools.html. For a listing of the schools monitored in this initiative, go to http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/schools.html.

EPA ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF APPS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT CHALLENGE

On Nov. 8, EPA announced the winners of its Apps for the Environment challenge, which encourages new and innovative uses of EPA’s data to create online apps that address environmental and public health issues such as how energy efficient light bulbs affect local air quality, or games that help people learn environmental facts.  For information about the winners, go to http://appsfortheenvironment.challenge.gov/submissions.  For information about EPA’s Apps for the Environment forum, go to http://www.epa.gov/appsfortheenvironment/forum.html

EPA HONORS GREEN POWER PARTNERS FOR THEIR LEADERSHIP IN THE USE OF CLEAN ENERGY  

On Nov. 16, EPA presented the 2011 Green Power Leadership awards to 19 EPA Green Power Partners across the country for using clean, renewable energy sources to increase the nation’s energy security and to reduce harmful pollution to protect public health and the environment. The regional award winners include: Green Power Community of the Year: Washington, D.C.; Green Power Purchasing: Allegheny College (Meadville, Pa.), Franklin & Marshall College (Lancaster, Pa.), and Mercyhurst College (Erie, Pa.).   Green Power Partner organizations voluntarily substitute conventional electricity use with green power to reduce emissions.  For more information, go to www.epa.gov/greenpower/awards 

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND EPA RELEASE 2012 ANNUAL FUEL ECONOMY GUIDE

On Nov. 16, EPA unveiled a joint DOE/EPA proposal to set stronger fuel economy and greenhouse gas pollution standards for model year 2017-2025 passenger cars and light trucks responsible for nearly 60 percent of U.S. transportation-related petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions. The proposal will save more than $1.7 trillion at the pump, nearly $8,000 per vehicle by 2025, and by 2025 reduce dependence on oil by an estimated 12 billion barrels. Public comments will be available for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register and public hearings are held. For more information, go to http://www.fueleconomy.gov/

HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS

ZAPPING ENERGY COSTS - In a series of free webcasts and other outreach activities, the EPA’s mid-Atlantic region is offering tips and tools on how a treatment plant can reduce operating costs through energy use assessments and auditing. Join us to learn more at  http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.

ADAPTING TO WATER – For flood-prone property owners, there are many ways to minimize their flood damage, agencies they can contact for assistance such as FEMA and EPA, and contractors they can contact who offer effective floodproofing techniques.  Share your ideas at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.

 


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