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County's Biomass Project Provides Economic, Environmental Benefits
Thursday, January 22, 2015-- Perseverance was the key for Sullivan Countys District Energy biomass project, but officials said it was more than worth the wait since the benefits have been immediate. Sullivan County, N.H. was interested in utilizing biomass for quite some time in order to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and carbon emissions. At a cost of $3.4 million, the Biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) District Energy System was constructed at its Unity Complex. The system is almost entirely fueled by locally sourced, renewable wood chips, provided by Cousineau Forest Products in Henniker, N.H., and produces inexpensive heat and electricity for the more than 215,000 sq. ft. of conditioned space. The system has replaced 95 percent of fuel oil purchases and 10 percent of electric purchases in the nursing home. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

EPA Launches Finance Center to Improve Community Water Infrastructure and Resiliency
Tuesday, January 20, 2015-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center today to help communities across the country improve their wastewater, drinking water and stormwater systems, particularly through innovative financing and by building resilience to climate change. EPA's Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center will serve as a resource for communities, municipal utilities, and private entities as they seek to address water infrastructure needs with limited budgets. The Center will support communities and explore creative and innovative financing practices, including public-private partnerships. -- (full text)

Concrete Ideas for Reducing Concrete Waste
Thursday, January 15, 2015-- Civil engineering researchers, sustainable construction advocates and innovators in the zero-waste movement are on the hunt for the most effective and efficient ways to use and reuse concrete. The world is literally covered in concrete and with an annual production of 3 tons per person globally it is the second most consumed material on earth, after water. Its strength and durability are coveted by construction crews from New Zealand to Zimbabwe. But, it is also a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

EPA Requests Nominations for Mobile Sources Technical Review Subcommittee
Wednesday, January 14, 2015-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites nominations from a diverse range of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to its Mobile Sources Technical Review Subcommittee (MSTRS). Vacancies are anticipated to be filled by October 2015.The MSTRS is a federal advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 92. The MSTRS provides the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC) with independent advice, counsel and recommendations on the scientific and technical aspects of programs related to mobile source air pollution and its control. Learn more at the link below. -- (full text)

EPA Seeks Nominations for Annual Environmental Champion Awards
Tuesday, January 13, 2015-- Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honors individuals, businesses and organizations that have contributed significantly to improving the environment and protecting public health in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight federally recognized Indian Nations over the past year. EPA is now seeking nominations for the Environmental Champion Awards, previously called the Environmental Quality Awards. Winners will be honored at an awards event on Friday, April 24, 2015. The Agency is accepting nominations for Environmental Champion Awards until February 17, 2015. -- (full text)

Register for the 2015 EPA ENERGY STAR® National Building Competition!
Monday, January 12, 2015-- What could your local government do with an extra $25,000!? Over the past 2 years, that's how much the average competitor in the EPA's National Building Competition has saved in energy usage! EPA is once again hosting the largest competition of its kind in the nation. Energy managers at commercial buildings in every state will compete to see who can save the most energy and water, all while fighting climate change, too. Competitors will work off the waste through improvements in energy and water efficiency with help from EPAs ENERGY STAR® program. Registration is now open for 2015. -- (full text)

EPA Recommends Radon Testing in January
Monday, January 12, 2015-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated January as national Radon Action Month, a perfect time for you to protect your family by testing your home for radon. Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, so testing is the only way to know if radon is present in your home or school. Test kits are available in home improvement centers, hardware stores and online. They cost approximately $20. The kits are simple to use with easy testing and mailing instructions. "Testing for radon is an easy and important step in protecting the health of your family," said EPA Mid-Atlantic Region Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. "By reducing radon exposure, we can make our homes, schools and communities healthier places to live, learn, work and play." -- (full text)

EPA Will Review 24 Hazardous Site Cleanups during 2015
Monday, January 12, 2015-- EPA will review site clean ups and remedies at 20 Superfund Sites and oversee reviews at 4 Federal Facilities across New England this year by doing scheduled Five-Year Reviews at each site. EPA conducts evaluations every five years on previously-completed clean up and remediation work performed at Superfund sites and Federal Facilities listed on the National Priorities List (aka Superfund sites) to determine whether the implemented remedies at the sites continue to be protective of human health and the environment. Further, five year review evaluations identify any deficiencies to the previous work and, if called for, recommend action(s) necessary to address them. -- (full text)

Launch of the New Sustainable Forestry Initiative 2015-2019 Standards and Rules
Friday, January 09, 2015-- The decisions we make every day directly affect the health and future of our forests. The launch of the new Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) 2015-2019 Standards and Rules marks an important advancement to support better decision making all along the supply chain and to promote sustainable forest management. When a Fortune 500 company sources forest products, a landowner makes a forest management plan or a consumer buys copy paper, they can all make the right choice for our forests by choosing SFI. "The revised SFI standards will continue to serve as a proof point for responsible forestry in North America," said Lawrence Selzer, Chair of the SFI Board of Directors and President and CEO of The Conservation Fund. "These standards are shaped by the people and communities who put them into practice every day." -- (full text)
[The Conservation Fund]

Denver Strives to Bring Sustainability to Scale
Thursday, January 08, 2015-- While Colorados epic floods of September 2013 made national news, it has been a water disaster of another kind that worries Denvers Chief Sustainability Officer Jerry Tinianow the most. "Really its the lack of precipitation, he said. Drought is a much bigger threat here." In June, Denver published its first Climate Adaptation Plan, intended to help the city and county prepare, mitigate and plan for risks associated with an increase in temperature and urban heat island effect, an increase in frequency of extreme weather events, and a reduced snowpack and earlier snowmelt, among other potential consequences of climate change. A hotter, dryer climate does not bode well for area ski resorts, which represent an important segment of the regions economy. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

EPA's New Stormwater Rules for New Construction
Wednesday, January 07, 2015-- On February 15, 2012, things got even more complicated for companies starting new construction projects. That's when the EPA's new and expanded Construction General Permit (CGP) went into effect. The latest set of regulations will affect more than 82,000 companies and costs are expected to hit $1 billion a year. How will the latest changes affect you? How can companies avoid heavy fines? Report includes insights on how to write an effective Stormwater Plan: "How to avoid 7 mistakes companies make on stormwater compliance" "6 key areas that stormwater pollution prevention plans must include" "EPA focuses on dirt: Prepare for upcoming turbidity standards" "Switch to numeric limits: How to craft stormwater plans that ensure compliance " -- (full text)
[PBP Executive Reports]

White House Names Dubuque a 'Climate Action Champion'
Wednesday, December 10, 2014-- The White House has named Dubuque, Iowa, one of 16 Climate Action Champions, a diverse group of communities defining the frontier of ambitious climate action whose approaches can serve as a model for other communities to follow. This announcement cited Dubuques greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 50 percent below 2003 levels by 2030. Additionally, Dubuque is focused on flood risk reduction and resilience, especially as it relates to development and redevelopment of community infrastructure. From creating climate-smart building codes to installing green infrastructure to setting targets for reducing energy consumption, the 16 local and tribal communities selected as Climate Action Champions have considered their climate vulnerabilities and taken decisive action to cut carbon pollution and build resilience. In addition to being designated the first cohort of Climate Action Champions, Dubuque and the other selected communities will benefit from facilitated peer-to-peer learning and mentorship and targeted support from a range of federal programs. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]