Envirobytes - Archive
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for week ending December 31, 2010
EPA FINALIZES RIGOROUS CLEANUP PLAN FOR THE CHESAPEAKE BAY
On Dec. 29, 2010, EPA established a landmark "pollution diet" or Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) that the bay states must implement to reduce the growing levels of pollution into the Chesapeake Bay. With strong EPA oversight, the historic Chesapeake Bay "pollution diet" calls for a rigorous 25 percent reduction in nitrogen, 24 percent reduction in phosphorus and 20 percent reduction in sediment levels with all control measures in place by 2025, and with at least 60 percent of the actions completed by 2017. The bay states include Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/chesapeakebaytmdl
JANUARY IS NATIONAL RADON ACTION MONTH AND A TIME TO REDUCE UNNECESSARY LUNG CANCER DEATHS
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the U.S. after smoking. The only way to know if radon is present in a home is by conducting a test. Test kits can be bought for approximately $20 and mailed to a lab for results. If a high level of radon is found in a home, people can hire a qualified contractor to make the necessary home improvements to lower their health risks. For more information about radon and radon testing, go to http://www.epa.gov/radon/.
EPA's Living Healthy & Green campaign is helping to spread the word about the dangers of radon by providing public service announcements that can be used to fill spots on television, radio stations and MP3 players or as notices in newspapers, magazines, billboards and the Web, and can be ordered on line.
HOW TO PROPERLY CLEAN UP BROKEN COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULBS CONTAINING MERCURY
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) save energy and prevent greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global climate change, but when one breaks, a small amount of mercury vapor can be released into the air. To protect against mercury exposure, EPA has updated its CFL brochure with tips on how to properly clean up broken compact fluorescent lamp bulbs and how to properly recycle them. To read the updated guidance, go to http://www.epa.gov/cflcleanup. For more information on CFLs, go to www.epa.gov/cfl
HOW TO PROPERLY HANDLE, DISPOSE OF AND RETROFIT OUTDATED PCB-CONTAINING FLUORESCENT LIGHTS
EPA released a guidance aimed mainly at old school buildings on the proper handling and disposal of PCB-containing fluorescent light ballasts and how to safely retrofit them to fully remove the hazard. EPA banned PCBs in 1979, but some PCB-containing ballasts were allowed to continue, provided they were not defective or leaking. For more information on handling and disposing of PCB-containing light ballasts, go to http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/tsd/pcbs/pubs/waste.htm. School districts, building owners and others desiring technical guidance should contact EPA at 1-888-835-5372. The guidance document is available online at http://www.epa.gov/pcb
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHT
The Schuylkill River Movie Starring YOU! The current Healthy Waters blog highlights the Schuylkill River watershed. Share your comments about what you love to do in, on or by the Schuylkill River! Visit the Healthy Waters Web site at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/