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Envirobytes - Archive

Archive Information

EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for week ending November 12, 2010 and November 19, 2010

EPA RELEASES REPORT ON SCHOOLS NEAR AIR TOXICS

On Nov. 9, EPA issued a final report after testing 63 selected schools near toxic sites in 22 states to scientifically determine if long-term exposure to toxics in the air outside these schools poses health concerns to children and staff.  The report found no short- or long-term health risks from the levels of air toxics outside these schools in Region 3: Central Virginia Training Center in Madison Heights (Va.); Kreutz Creek Valley Elementary School (Hallum, Pa.); Cabell County Career Technology Center (Huntington, W.Va.); Riverside Elementary School (Reading, Pa.)  To see a listing of all the 63 schools monitored in this initiative, go to: http://www.epa.gov/schoolair/schools.html

EPA REQUIRES PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS FACILITIES TO REPORT GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY MARCH 2012

Petroleum and natural gas facilities that emit more than the equivalent of 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year are now required to report all greenhouse gas emissions to EPA under the 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. Data collection begins in Jan. 1, 2011 with first annual reports due to EPA by March 31, 2012. The data will help develop programs and policies to more effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions from these facilities, such as carbon dioxide and methane. For more information on this rulemaking, go to http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/subpart/w.html
For more information on the GHG Reporting Program:
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ghgrulemaking.html

EPA REQUESTS INFORMATION TO STUDY IMPACT OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING ON DRINKING WATER QUALITY

EPA announced that it has sent requests to nine major natural gas drilling companies that use the hydraulic fracturing process in their drilling activities to help the agency conduct its study on the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water and human health.  The agency must provide initial results on the chemical composition of the fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process and their safety by the end of 2012. For more information on the mandatory request on hydraulic fracturing operations, go to http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing/index.cfm

EPA ISSUES PERMITTING GUIDANCE TO HELP STATES REDUCE GHG POLLUTION FROM LARGE INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES

On Nov. 11, EPA made available guidance and tools to help state and local air permitting authorities identify cost-effective pollution reduction options for greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act.  In January 2011, large emitters of GHGs such as power plants, refineries and cement production facilities planning to build new facilities or make major modifications to existing ones must implement BACT (Best Available Control Technology) to minimize their GHGs. A two week comment period for public input will close Dec. 1, 2010.  For information on EPA’s guidance, go to http://www.epa.gov/nsr/ghgpermitting.html

EPA RELEASES THE 2010 FUEL ECONOMY TRENDS REPORT

EPA reported a decrease in average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and a slight increase in the average fuel efficiency for new light duty vehicles in its 2010 fuel economy trends annual report.  The report provides data on the CO2 emissions, fuel economy and improved technology of new light-duty vehicles (cars, minivans, sport utility vehicles, and pickup trucks), that account for 50 percent of vehicle sales.  Technologies such as hybrid-electric vehicles, clean diesel and variable displacement engines are helping to cut our oil addiction and reducing global warming. For information on the report: 'Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2010,' go to http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm

EPA IDENTIFIES AREAS IN THE NATION VIOLATING LEAD STANDARDS; THREE IN PA

EPA has identified 16 areas in 11 states across the country not meeting the agency’s national air quality monitoring standards for lead and have been designated as nonattainment areas and not meeting the 2007-2009 health-based standards. These areas must develop and implement plans to reduce pollution and meet the lead standards by Dec. 31, 2015.  Reducing levels of lead pollution is an important part of EPA’s commitment to protect children and the environment. The list of areas designated nonattainment on Nov. 16, 2010 include three in Pennsylvania:  Lower Beaver Valley, Lyons in Berks County and North Reading in Berks County. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/leaddesignations.

EPA TO EXPAND CHEMICAL TESTING FOR ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION

EPA has identified a list of 134 additional chemicals to be screened (in addition to 67 that are already being screened) for their potential to disrupt the endocrine system which regulates growth, metabolism and reproduction.  After public comment and review, EPA will issue test orders to pesticide registrants and manufacturers requiring them to determine whether their chemicals disrupt the estrogen, androgen and thyroid pathways of the endocrine system. EPA will begin issuing orders for this second group of 134 chemicals beginning in 2011. More information: http://www.epa.gov/endo

HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHT

One Man’s Waste Is Another’s Biosolid!   One of the most innovative ways to recycle waste is to recycle wastewater treatment plant residues, or biosolids.  But only 50 percent of the biosolids produced from wastewater treatment plants are used, with only one percent of agricultural lands using it as fertilizer.  Most ends up in landfills where this valuable fertilizer goes to waste.  Find out more about this useful product. Contribute your ideas by visiting the Healthy Waters Web site at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/

 

 


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