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Erie County Town Receives $172,000 EPA Funding For Green Infrastructure to Improve Water Quality in Lake Erie
Wednesday, August 10, 2016-- The Environmental Protection Agency today has awarded a $172,125 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to the Town of Evans, New York to fund green infrastructure projects to improve water quality entering Lake Erie. The town will use these funds to install rain gardens and bioswales, which are tracts of land designed to manage drainage, in Evans Town Park to reduce bacteria at the beach and prevent approximately 221,000 gallons of untreated stormwater from reaching Lake Erie. In 2014, the Evans Town Park beach was closed on 31 days of the 66-day beach season due to water pollution occurrences. Through this EPA grant, Evans, New York will use green infrastructure to prevent stormwater from carrying contamination into Lake Erie and closing public beaches to swimming, said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. -- (full text)

EPA Awards $4.5 Million to Advance Air Monitoring Technology
Tuesday, August 09, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced grants to six research organizations to develop and use low-cost air pollution sensor technology, while engaging communities to learn about their local air quality. Through these projects, scientists and communities will join together to develop and test new low-cost, portable, easy-to-use ways to measure air pollution, said Thomas A. Burke, EPA science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPAs Office of Research and Development. This research will provide tools communities can use to understand air pollution in their neighborhoods and improve public health. While recent advances in technology have led to the development of low-cost air pollution sensors, they have not been widely tested, especially under field conditions. These grants will help fund research projects that explore how scientific data can be effectively gathered and used by communities to learn about local air quality. -- (full text)

Federal Research Aims to Knock Down Two of the Electric Cars Biggest Hurdles
Tuesday, August 09, 2016-- The U.S. Department of Energy thinks it can solve two of the largest obstacles standing in the way of the electric car. Many experts have asserted that the limited range of modern electric vehicles and the amount of time it takes to charge the batteries are the primary reasons why they still make up a miniscule portion of the automobile market  less than 1 percent, according to HybridCars.com. But with a pair of research projects, the DOE is betting that it can more than double the energy density of lithium-metal batteries and dramatically increase the speed of charging. The energy density project  which Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will lead in conjunction with eight other research institutions  is called Battery500. Thats because the project is aiming to pack 500 watt-hours of energy per kilogram into lithium batteries, compared with todays average 170-200 watt-hours per kilogram. That means cars would essentially be able to travel 2.5 to 2.9 times farther without increasing the weight of their batteries. -- (full text)
[Government Technology]

EPA Provides Partnerts $710K for Gold King Mine Response Costs
Friday, August 05, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding more than $710,000 to reimburse state, tribal and local response costs for actions taken in Colorado and Utah associated with the August 5, 2015 Gold King Mine release near Silverton, Colo. These funds include costs incurred for various activities associated with the release response, including field evaluations, water quality sampling, laboratory analyses, and personnel. EPA continues to evaluate state, tribal and local response costs and has reimbursed nearly $1.4M to date through cooperative agreements established with regional partners. Nationally, the agency has awarded more than $3 million in reimbursements, and $2 million in Clean Water Act grants. -- (full text)

City of Derby, Conn. Will Take Steps to Stop Sewage Discharges to Rives under EPA Order
Friday, August 05, 2016-- The City of Derby, Conn. has agreed to sign an order from the Environmental Protection Agency and to make changes to limit future sewer overflows. According to EPA's New England office, since June 2, 2011, on at least four occasions, the City discharged untreated sewage from its sewer system to the Naugatuck River or to the Housatonic River. The order requires that, in order to prevent future overflows, known as sanitary sewer overflows or SSOs, the City will re-evaluate and revise its operation and maintenance practices. An assessment done by the City as required in the order will evaluate the condition of its sewer system and operational practices. Based on that assessment, the City will create a plan with a schedule for putting in place infrastructure improvements and operational changes to limit further overflows. -- (full text)

U.S. EPA Co-Hosts Food Recovery Summit in Sacramento
Friday, August 05, 2016-- On Monday, August 8, Kathleen Salyer, with U.S. EPAs Office of Resource Conservation & Recovery, will be joined by state and national officials to highlight the importance of keeping food out of the waste stream. U.S. EPA will also be announcing a new tool for tracking waste and food recovery. U.S. EPAs first Pacific Southwest Food Recovery Summit supports the national Food Loss and Recovery Goal of cutting food loss and waste in half by 2030, with a focus on the measurement of food recovery programs. At the Summit, leaders in this field will highlight various food recovery issues, including measurement, food rescue to feed those in need, source reduction, mandatory commercial programs, and anaerobic digestion. U.S. EPA is co-sponsoring the Summit with the California Resource Recovery Association, and the event is being held as part of the broader California Resource Recovery Association Conference, now in its 40th year. -- (full text)

Louisville, Colo., Banks on Future Solar Savings
Friday, August 05, 2016-- Solar energy continues to become a more prevalent source of energy throughout the U.S., with individuals opting toward clean power. In keeping with the trend, Louisville's City Council will look toward multiple agreements later this month where officials would commit to purchase 400 kW of electrical production from a Clean Energy Collective (CEC) solar array, and through a lease-purchase financing agreement with Alpine Bank and related documents with CEC for solar panels rated to produce an additional 199 kW of electrical production. City Council will vote on the agreements at its next meeting on August 16. -- (full text)
[Government Technology]

The Adirondacks: A Battleground for Conservationists and Development-Hungry Towns
Friday, August 05, 2016-- All across the Adirondacks, small towns and villages find themselves in a struggle for survival. With mining and logging jobs nearly gone, with businesses closing and with the population growing older, the towns are looking for any way they can find to halt the decline. Frequently, though, efforts to revive local economies come into conflict with concerns over preserving the park. The battle between conservation groups and pro-development town officials amounts to a dramatic test for a park long viewed as one of the countrys grand experiments in conservation. The most contentious battle these days between conservation groups and town officials concerns the future of the large Boreas Ponds tract, the most scenic and highly coveted parcel in a recent land purchase. -- (full text)
[Government Technology]

Officials Emphasize Commitment to Flint after Federal Emergency Declaration Expires
Wednesday, August 03, 2016-- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State of Michigan and City of Flint reaffirmed a continued commitment to restoring Flints drinking water system and support for Flint residents past the August 14 expiration date of the federal emergency declaration. I want to assure residents of Flint that the city, along with our federal and state partners, will continue efforts to support Flints recovery after the federal declaration ends on the August 14, said City of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. Filters, replacement cartridges and bottled water will continue to be distributed at no charge. Other support services that have been in put in place will continue as well. -- (full text)

EPA Report Tracks our Changing Climate
Tuesday, August 02, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a report that shows compelling and clear evidence of long-term changes to our climate, and highlights impacts on human health and the environment in the United States and around the world. The report, Climate Change Indicators in the United States, features observed trend data on 37 climate indicators, including U.S and global temperatures, ocean acidity, sea level, river flooding, droughts and wildfires. With each new year of data, the signs of climate change are stronger and more compelling, said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPAs Office of Air and Radiation. This report reiterates that climate change is a present threat and underscores the need to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and prepare for the changes underway, to protect Americans health and safeguard our childrens future. -- (full text)

Emerging Environmental Sustainability Leaders from Southeast Asia to Visit the U.S. through Professional Fellows Program
Tuesday, July 19, 2016-- The International City/County Management Association (ICMA), with funding from the U.S. Department of State, is offering a Professional Fellows Program for participants from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Over 40 Fellows participate each May and October and are hosted by local governments, organizations and/or companies throughout the United States. ICMA is accepting applications from local governments, organizations and/or companies with technical expertise in environmental sustainability to host Fellows fall 2016. This is a reciprocal international exchange. Selected hosts will nominate a staff member to travel for two weeks to a Southeast Asian community post-program to deliver technical assistance and consultation. Initial review of applications to host Fellows October 15  November 12, 2016 will begin August 1, 2016 and will then be accepted on a rolling basis until all spots are filled. -- (full text)

US EPA, US DOT, Californias Air Resources Board Issue Draft Technical Assessment Report of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Economy Standards for Model Year 2022-2025 Cars and Light Trucks
Monday, July 18, 2016-- The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the California Air Resource Board (CARB) today took the first step in the mid-term evaluation of the National Program for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for light duty cars and trucks by releasing a draft Technical Assessment Report (TAR) for public comment. The release of the TAR delivers on a commitment that EPA made in 2012 as part of the rulemaking establishing a National Program for the 2017-2025 period. The draft TAR covers model years 2022-2025. The draft TAR shows that automotive manufacturers are innovating and bringing new technology to market at a rapid pace, and that they will be able to meet the MY 2022-2025 standards established in the 2012 rulemaking with a wide range of cost-effective technologies. Moreover, it indicates that these standards can be achieved by relying primarily on advanced gasoline vehicles. The report also shows that manufacturers will be able to meet the stricter standards at similar or even a lower cost than was anticipated in the 2012 rulemaking, with substantial savings on fuel costs for consumers. -- (full text)
[EPA News Releases ]

EPA Issues Final Actions to Cut Methane Emissions from Municipal Solid Waste Landfills
Friday, July 15, 2016-- Continuing the Obama Administrations commitment to taking action on climate change and protecting public health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking steps to further reduce emissions of methane-rich gas from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. Under todays final rules, new, modified and existing landfills will begin capturing and controlling landfill gas emissions at levels that are one-third lower than current requirements, updating 20-year-old standards for existing landfills. Combined, the final rules are expected to reduce methane emissions by an estimated 334,000 tons a year beginning in 2025  equivalent to reducing 8.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. EPA estimates the climate benefits of the combined rules at $512 million in 2025 or more than $8 for every dollar spent to comply. -- (full text)
[EPA News Releases ]

U.S. EPA Announces $700,000 to Clean up Contaminated Brownfield Sites in Economically Disadvantaged Communities in California
Thursday, July 14, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $700,000 in supplemental funding to help transform communities by cleaning up contaminated brownfield properties in California. EPA will provide the Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) awards to Humboldt County and Californias Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to help communities carry out cleanup and redevelopment projects. Funding for brownfields projects will allow communities to revitalize properties that have been sitting idle far too long, said Enrique Manzanilla, EPAs Superfund Division Director for the Pacific Southwest. These projects will help communities continue to create jobs while improving peoples health and the environment. -- (full text)
[EPA News Releases ]

SF Styrofoam Ban has Ties to Health, Recycling and Marine Protection
Thursday, July 14, 2016-- Citing trash in the ocean, long-lasting litter in the streets and even carcinogenic properties, San Francisco has banned most Styrofoam. The City by the Bay's board of supervisors voted on June 28 to no longer allow the plastic compound  polystyrene is its chemical name, Styrofoam is the popular brand  in food ware, packing materials, pool toys and more. The move could have implications for many city programs, not the least of which is recycling. The city, which boasts an 80 percent diversion of trash from landfills, recognized with the vote that polystyrene cant be recycled and doesnt decompose well, making it a tough customer in its goal to get to zero waste. The legislation also acknowledged that Styrofoam tends to find its way into local waterways  an especially large concern for San Francisco, which sits on the edge of a peninsula that marks the gateway into a mostly enclosed bay -- (full text)
[Government Technology ]

EPA Announces Stabilization Work Resuming at Gold King Mine
Friday, July 08, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is mobilizing contractors to complete work started last fall at the Gold King Mine. This work involves the continued stabilization of the mine adit, as well as additional stabilization of the mine waste pile located in front of the adit. EPAs contractor will begin this work on Saturday, July 9, and will continue work through October 2016. -- (full text)
[EPA News Releases ]

U.S. EPA Proposes Greater Protection from Selenium in San Francisco Bay and Delta
Friday, July 01, 2016-- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a federal Clean Water Act rule to tighten the current selenium water quality criteria for the waters of San Francisco Bay and Delta. The proposed change would better protect aquatic species, including salmon, smelt, and diving ducks, that are dependent on the Bay and Delta ecosystem, from harmful exposure to elevated levels of selenium. -- (full text)
[EPA News Releases ]

EPA Awards $2.7 million to Virginia Foundation To Research Stormwater Options, Water Reuse
Wednesday, June 29, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced two grants totaling $2.7 million to the Water Environment and Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) of Alexandria, Va. for water research projects that will benefit communities nationwide and in the Potomac watershed.The grants include $1.95 million to develop tools that will help communities choose the best ways to control stormwater runoff and $750,000 for improving water reuse and water conservation in the Potomac watershed.EPA has done extensive research on green infrastructure, water reuse, and water conservation to help ensure the availability and quality of water in the United States, said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin These grants will help take this work a step further by developing technologies that communities can use nationwide. -- (full text)
[EPA News Releases ]

EPA: Compliance with Environmental Laws Helps Protect Air, Water and Land in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington Communities
Tuesday, June 28, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys Region 10 completed 38 environmental compliance and enforcement actions in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington from January 1, 2016 through March 31, 2016. Violations of environmental laws put public health and the environment at risk. EPA enforces federal environmental laws to protect communities and to keep our air, land, and water healthy. These compliance and enforcement efforts also level the playing field by deterring violators who might otherwise have an unfair business advantage over environmentally compliant facilities and businesses. -- (full text)
[EPA News Releases ]

Seventeen Projects Unveiled to Green Local Communities
Tuesday, June 28, 2016-- Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Chesapeake Bay Trust, in partnership with Marylands Department of Natural Resources, announced $803,489 in grants to be awarded to 17 organizations through the Green Streets, Green Towns, Green Jobs Grant Initiative (G3). This program was created in 2011 to advance watershed protection and economic vitality by developing green stormwater management techniques that create jobs and help make communities more livable.Todays announcement includes five projects designed to improve central Pennsylvania, as well as twelve other initiatives in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. -- (full text)
[EPA News Releases ]