Envirobytes - Archive
ENVIROBYTES, A SUMMARY OF ISSUES AND EVENTS FOR WEEKS ENDING NOVEMBER 25, 2011 AND DECEMBER 02, 2011
EPA IS SEEKING PROPOSALS TO FUND COMMUNITY-BASED STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PROJECTS THAT HELP REDUCE CHESAPEAKE BAY POLLUTION
The EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program is seeking proposals to fund innovative research projects that promote and develop community-based stormwater management solutions that will help clean up the Chesapeake Bay. Proposals should include community-based participatory research. The Solicitation closing date is Jan. 11, 2012, 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The full announcement is available at http://epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2012/2012_star_chesapeake.html.
EPA DECLASSIFIES AND MAKES PUBLIC ADDITIONAL INDUSTRIAL CHEMICAL INFORMATION
On Nov. 28, EPA announced that it has declassified and made public more critical health and safety chemical information formerly held as confidential under “classified business information.” This newly-available chemical information submitted by industry to EPA can be found online at Chemical Data Access Tool. For additional information, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/transparency.html.
TIPS FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY GIFTS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
This holiday season, choose gifts from a wide array of useful products bearing the Energy Star, Design for the Environment, and WaterSense labels across the country. For a list of these products, which can cut energy bills and harmful pollution while protecting the environment, go to http://www.epa.gov/epahome/hi-winter.htm
For information on Energy Star products: http://www.energystar.gov/products.
More information on Winter Tips: http://www.epa.gov/epahome/hi-winter.htm.
LAFARGE NORTH AMERICA INC. AGREES TO INVEST AN ESTIMATED $8 MILLION AT 189 FACILITIES IN THE U.S. TO HELP PREVENT STORMWATER RUNOFF INTO LOCAL WATERWAYS
On Nov. 29, Lafarge North America Inc., one of the nation's largest suppliers of construction materials, agreed to resolve alleged Clean Water Act violations including unpermitted discharges of stormwater at 21 concrete manufacturing facilities in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland and New York. The settlement will help improve the company's stormwater management and prevent harmful pollutants from being discharged into local waterways. The Maryland facilities include: Marriottsville Aggregate (Marriotsville, Md.), Jessup Ready Mix (Jessup, Md.), Frederick Aggregate (Frederick, Md.), and Rockville Ready Mix (Rockville, Md.). For more information on the settlement, go to http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/cwa/lafargenorthamerica.html.
EPA PROPOSES TO UPDATE VESSEL PERMITS TO PROTECT U.S. WATER QUALITY AND LOWER INVASIVE SPECIES RISK
On Nov. 30, EPA issued two draft vessel general permits that would regulate discharges from commercial vessels, excluding recreational and government vessels. The proposed permits would help protect the nation's waters from ship-borne pollutants and reduce the introduction of invasive species from ballast water discharges. One of the permits covers commercial vessels greater than 79 feet in length, the other vessels smaller than 79 feet in length. Both permits will be subject to a 75-day public comment period to allow a broad array of stakeholders to provide feedback. EPA intends to issue the final permits in November 2012, to allow vessel owners and operators time to prepare for new permit requirements. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/npdes/vessels.
EPA PROPOSES CHANGES TO CLEAN AIR ACT STANDARDS FOR BOILERS AND INCINERATORS TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH
On Dec. 2, EPA proposed changes to Clean Air Act standards for boilers and certain incinerators to reduce the emissions of harmful pollutants on the less than one percent of high emitting boilers, typically operating at refineries, chemical plants and other industrial facilities. EPA estimates that for every dollar spent to cut these pollutants, the public will see $12 to $30 in health benefits, including fewer premature deaths. EPA will accept public comment on these standards for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. EPA intends to finalize the reconsideration by spring 2012. For more information, go to: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/combustion.
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 new rigorous requirements for new homes under the 2012 Energy Star Version 3 label which assures better value, quality, and comfort while protecting the environment. These firms committed to meeting requirements that will deliver a greater total energy-efficiency improvement compared to typical new homes. Regional companies that have committed, include:
Delaware - CountryLife Homes (Milford), Habitat for Humanity (Wilmington), NVR Homes (Dagsboro, Newark, Millsboro)
Maryland - Advantage Homes LLC (Germantown), Columbia Builders, Inc. (Columbia), Finish Werks (Savage), Mid-Atlantic Builders, Inc. (Rockville), NVR-Ryan Homes (Ellicott City, Nottingham, Owings Mills, Beltsville, Gaithersburg), NVR-NV Homes (Elkridge, Gaithersburg), Quality Built Homes (Prince Frederick)
Pennsylvania – NVR-Ryan Homes (Pittsburgh, West Chester), NVR-NV Homes-NVP (West Chester), Spectrum Homes, Inc. (Whitehall), The McKee Group (Springfield), Weaver Master Builders, Inc. (Mars), Beazer Homes – Pennsylvania (Feasterville Trevose), C.J. Piper Builders, Inc. (New Oxford), Envinity, INC (State College), Maronda Homes of Pennsylvania (Imperial), NorthStar Point Breeze (Philadelphia)
Virginia – Arlington Designer Homes, Inc. (Arlington), Bain Waring (Richmond), Jeff Sowder Incorporated (Roanoke), KB Home – DC Metro (Alexandria), New Dimensions, Inc. (Manassas), NVR-NV Homes (Reston, Fairfax), NVR-Ryan Homes (Charlottesville, Williamsburg, Richmond, Fredericksburg, Fairfax), PD&M, Inc. (Moneta), Trigon Homes (Culpepper)
West Virginia – Habitat for Humanity (Huntington).
For more information, go to http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=next_generation.ng_qualified_new_homes.
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
BAY WEBSITE FOCUSES ON ACTION – There's a new look to EPA's Chesapeake Bay “pollution diet” website. The website now has a greater focus on activities at the Bay watershed local level and its efforts to reduce pollution impacting the Bay and its vast network of connecting rivers and streams. Check out the new items on the site, and let us know what you think. At http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.