LGEAN Home
Ask LGEAN News e-Mail Update Calendar of Events Contact LGEAN Search LGEAN City
Facebook Twitter Linked In

News

Communities Invited to Become SolSmart; Receive Recognition and Technical Assistance for Reducing Solar Energy Costs
Wednesday, April 27, 2016-- The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and The Solar Foundation (TSF) today announced the launch of the SolSmart designation program. SolSmart will recognize leading solar cities and counties as well as empower new communities to advance through no-cost technical assistance. A core component of the technical assistance program are the SolSmart Advisors, fully-funded temporary staff embedded in up to 40 communities to help each achieve designation. Communities interested in pursuing SolSmart designation, receiving technical assistance, and applying to host an Advisor can learn more and take action at solsmart.org. SolSmart is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. -- (full text)
[ICMA]

EPA History: Earth Day
Friday, April 22, 2016-- It may be hard to imagine that before 1970, a factory could spew black clouds of toxic into the air or dump tons of toxic waste into a nearby stream, and that was perfectly legal. They could not be taken to court to stop it. How was that possible? Because there was no EPA, no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act. There were no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment. -- (full text)
[U.S. EPA]

Superfund is Making a Visible Difference
Wednesday, April 20, 2016-- Thirty-five years ago, the Superfund program was created to clean up sites where hazardous releases have occurred or might occur. At some of these sites, there are potential long-term human health effects from contamination, such as cancers, birth defects, or respiratory issues. Contaminated sites can also cause long-term harm to fish, wildlife, and other natural resources if not addressed and managed. At other sites, the risk might be more immediate in the form of fires and explosions. By implementing the Superfund statute with the help of residents, and collaboration with state, tribal and local officials, we can restore these sites that threaten the health and environment of communities across the country. That is why we recently added five sites, and proposed adding an additional eight to the National Priorities List (NPL). -- (full text)
[U.S. EPA]

EPA Publishes 21st Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
Friday, April 15, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 21st annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (GHG Inventory), today, which presents a national-level overview of annual greenhouse gas emissions since 1990. The inventory shows a nine percent drop in emissions since 2005, and a one percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 2014 from 2013 levels. -- (full text)
[U.S. EPA]

Permission to Build? Why Well-Maintained Hazardous Waste Permits are Good for the Environment, Good for our Communities, and Good for Business
Tuesday, April 12, 2016-- We all know this principle: that which is built, also must be maintained. This applies to the houses and buildings we live in, the bridges and roads we travel, and the infrastructure that provides us reliable electricity and clean water. And it also applies to the facilities that treat, store, and dispose of hazardous waste  including the operating conditions and requirements at manufacturing facilities that also manage hazardous waste (treatment, storage, or disposal facilities). These requirements are maintained in their hazardous waste permits. -- (full text)
[U.S. EPA]

EPA Grant Will Help Central States Improve Air Quality
Tuesday, April 12, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $561,507 to the Central States Air Resource Agencies Association to help states collaborate on improving air quality. This group of nine states in the central U.S. will work on issues related to air pollution moving between states, and provide lower-cost training for state staff. -- (full text)
[U.S. EPA]

HUD and National Environmental Health Association Join Forces to Discuss Environmental Health and Healthy Housing
Friday, April 08, 2016-- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) today announced they are co-hosting an annual educational conference from June 13-16, 2016 in San Antonio to address today's pressing environmental health issues. The State of Big Ideas: Moving Environmental Health Outside the Box will include sessions on emerging issues such as Zika virus, preserving affordable housing through healthy home repairs, marijuana, climate change, the Flint, Michigan water crisis and more. -- (full text)
[U.S. HUD]

University of New Mexico and EPA fight Climate Change
Thursday, April 07, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing $335,605 to the University of New Mexico to research challenges associated with protecting the air we breathe from the impacts of climate change. Specifically, the university will study how changes in land-use patterns and transportation systems affect greenhouse gas emissions and community exposure to vehicle pollution. Protecting the air we breathenow and in the futureis a priority for EPA, said EPA regional administrator Ron Curry. Thats why its essential to have a better understanding of the impacts of climate change. EPA funds climate change research grants to improve knowledge of the health and environment effects of climate change, and provide sustainable solutions for communities to effectively manage and reduce the impacts of a changing climate. This research also puts new tools and information in the hands of citizens, communities, air quality managers and regulators to reduce air pollution. -- (full text)
[EPA]

EPA Awards $700,000+ Grant to Harvard for Research on Climate Impacts on Air Quality
Thursday, April 07, 2016-- A US Environmental Protection Agency research grant of $719,780 will assist a Harvard researcher for a project to study how climate change will affect changes in dust and smoke on the Earths surface over the next several decades, which can have significant impacts on air quality. The grant to the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Cambridge, Mass. is one of 12 grants EPA is giving to universities nationwide to address current and future challenges to protect air quality from the impacts of climate change. The Harvard project, called Effects of Changes in Climate and Land Use on U.S. Dust and Wildfire Particulate Matter, will look at impacts from smoke due to a rise in wildfires that are increasing as a result of climate change. It will focus on the West and Southwest of the United States, which are projected to become warmer and dryer with potentially large impacts on dust and wildfire. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Nevadas rivers and streams show progress in newest list of impaired waters
Thursday, April 07, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the State of Nevadas list of waterways in need of protection, and proposed adding portions of two rivers in northeastern Nevada. The federal Clean Water Act requires states to assess their rivers, lakes and coastal waters, and submit a list of impaired waterways to EPA. The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection previously developed cleanup plans, known as Total Maximum Daily Loads, to address pollutants in over 100 perennial river miles and over 80,000 lake acres. State and federal water quality standards have since been attained for approximately half of those impairments. Clean water is essential to the health of Nevadas residents, economy and wildlife, especially during times of drought, said Tomás Torres, EPAs Water Division Director for the Pacific Southwest. EPA works in close partnership with the state of Nevada to identify waterways in need of added protection so that residents can enjoy the many picturesque rivers and lakes that Nevada has to offer. -- (full text)
[EPA]

U.S. EPA Awards $790,000 to UC Davis for Research on Protecting Air Quality in a Changing Climate
Thursday, April 07, 2016-- Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $790,000 to the University of California, Davis to help answer the question of how to protect the air we breathe from the impacts of climate change. University researchers will use the funds to study air quality, exposure, and health impact outcomes under a range of energy use and emission scenarios. California has some of the worst air quality in the nation, and the changing climate could exacerbate the problem, said Jared Blumenfeld, EPAs Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. UC Daviss research is an important step toward protecting the climate and achieving the states goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions substantially by 2050. We are excited to bring air pollution effects on public health into the discussion about Californias energy future, said Michael J. Kleeman, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Davis. This information will allow everyone to see the complete picture including air quality impacts. -- (full text)
[EPA]

U.S. EPA Awards $700,000 to UC Irvine for Research on Protecting Air Quality in a Changing Climate
Thursday, April 07, 2016-- Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $701,304 to the University of California, Irvine to help answer the question of how to protect the air we breathe from the impacts of climate change. University researchers will use the funds to study the effects of ammonia and rising global temperatures on secondary organic aerosol formation. California has some of the worst air quality in the nation, and the changing climate could exacerbate the problem, said Jared Blumenfeld, EPAs Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. UC Irvines research is an important step toward protecting the climate and achieving the states goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions substantially by 2050. "This grant offers an exciting opportunity to learn about air pollution in the future from both state-of-the-art experiments and from computer modelling techniques" said Donald Dabdub, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UC Irvine. "We know that both ammonia and organic compounds will be emitted more strongly in the future and this can bring about new chemical reactions, which increase the burden of particulate matter. We will be able to better quantify the effect of this previously unexplored chemistry at the end of this project." -- (full text)
[EPA]

EPA Provides $2.3 Million to Two Universities in Atlanta to Protect Air Quality in a Changing Climate
Wednesday, April 06, 2016-- Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $8.5 million in research funding to 12 universities to protect air quality from the current and future challenges associated with the impacts of climate change. Among the grantees, Emory University was selected to receive $ 787,298 for research to develop a concentration-response model to assess health impacts of exposure to PM2.5 and ozone from fires, and to predict the effects of climate change on wildfires, including changes in future exposure to PM2.5 and ozone and public health in the Rocky Mountain Region. The Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta was selected to receive $789,820 for research on an integrated analysis of land use based policies for improving air and water quality with a focus on agricultural reactive nitrogen and wildland fire emissions as climate, land use and an additional $789,261 for research on anthropogenic emissions change and research on the effect of ammonia on organic aerosols in a changing climate. The research funded by these grants will improve our understanding of how climate change is impacting our air and our health, said Thomas A. Burke, EPA science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPAs Office of Research and Development. By examining the relationship between air quality and climate change this research will help better protect human health and the environment. -- (full text)
[EPA]

EPA Provides $8.5 Million to Protect Air Quality in a Changing Climate
Wednesday, April 06, 2016-- Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $8.5 million in research funding to 12 universities to protect air quality from the current and future challenges associated with the impacts of climate change. The research funded by these grants will improve our understanding of how climate change is impacting our air and our health, said Thomas A. Burke, EPA science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPAs Office of Research and Development. By examining the relationship between air quality and climate change this research will help better protect human health and the environment. -- (full text)
[EPA]

City of Fort Worth Becomes Latest Blue Zones Approved Worksite
Monday, April 04, 2016-- The city of Fort Worth, Texas, continues its commitment to employee health and wellness with its designation as one of the newest Fort Worth Blue Zones Project Approved Worksites. Eighteen city locations earned the designation. Fort Worth joined more than two dozen organizations that were recently recognized by the City Council for efforts to improve the communitys well-being. The businesses, restaurants, grocery stores and organizations were acknowledged at the March 29 City Council meeting for achieving Blue Zones Project Approved status in the first quarter of the year. All became Blue Zones Approved by completing their respective Blue Zones Project Pledges and adopting or supporting a number of best practices from a list of options designed to make the healthy choice the easy choice in Fort Worth. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Reduced in Southwest Detroit
Monday, April 04, 2016-- The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality recently took an important step to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from the U.S. Steel, Great Lakes Works facilities in Michigan. A rule currently awaiting Legislative approval contains new sulfur dioxide limits for U.S. Steels Zug Island Boiler Houses and the Hot Strip Mill Reheat Furnaces at the Ecorse facility. Permanently reducing the sulfur dioxide emissions in Southwest Detroit is a priority for the DEQ. In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified a portion of Wayne County as having sulfur dioxide levels higher than the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for sulfur dioxide of 75 parts per billion. The federal Clean Air Act requires the NAAQS for sulfur dioxide be met by 2018. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Chicago Receives Loan for New Railcars to Improve Transit Service
Monday, April 04, 2016-- U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the closing of a $255 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan to the Chicago Transit Authority to buy new railcars, helping to modernize one of the oldest and busiest transit systems in the country. "Every Chicagoan knows how important the L is for accessing jobs, education and opportunity in the city and throughout the region," said Secretary Foxx. "This funding will bring state-of-the-art railcars to serve Chicagos communities, helping to expand economic opportunity and socioeconomic mobility throughout the Chicago area." CTA will use the TIFIA loan to purchase 490 railcars, replacing nearly one third of the aging railcars in its entire fleet. The new rail cars will help meet growing ridership demand and improve security with up-to-date technology. Modernizing CTAs rail fleet also will improve the reliability of transit service and give passengers a smoother, more comfortable ride. Along with these benefits to riders, replacing old cars with new technologically advanced vehicles will help CTA reduce energy and maintenance costs. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Groups Announce 2016 Best of Green Schools
Monday, April 04, 2016-- The Center for Green Schools at U.S. Green Building Council, in collaboration with the Green Schools National Network, announced the 2016 Best of Green School award recipients. The awards recognize 11 individuals, institutions, projects and events representing the best environmental efforts in schools across the country and highlight the national leaders and innovators in school sustainability for the year. The awards were announced at the Green Schools Conference and Expo taking place in Pittsburgh recently. "This years honorees are making huge strides in their schools and communities," said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. "Each recipient is an inspiring example of innovation and passion in pursuit of schools that educate a generation of sustainability natives, students prepared to take the lead in the 21st century. Becoming a green school is a journey, not a destination; through their work, the leaders behind this inspiring work are blazing new trails in this movement to transform all schools into healthy, safe and inspired places for learning." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

29 Utilities Honored with National Award for Reliable Electric Operations
Monday, April 04, 2016-- wenty-nine of the nations more than 2,000 public power utilities earned ­the Reliable Public Power Provider designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service. Brent McKinney, Director of Electric Transmission and Distribution at City Utilities of Springfield, Mo., and chair of APPAs RP3 Review Panel, presented the designees during the associations annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference held in Minneapolis, Minn. The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity. The RP3 designation lasts for three years. This year, 29 utilities earned the designation and, in total, 219 of the more than 2,000 public power utilities nation-wide hold the RP3 designation. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

EPA Launches New Voluntary Methane Challenge Program To Reduce Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector
Wednesday, March 30, 2016-- On March 30, as part of the Obama Administrations ongoing commitment to take action on climate change and protect public health, EPA launched a new voluntary partnership programwith 41 founding partner companies in the oil and gas sector. The Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program builds upon the Natural Gas STAR Program, a flexible, voluntary partnership between EPA and the U.S. oil and natural gas industry that focuses on achieving cost-effective methane emission reductions from natural gas operations. Methane is upwards of 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the planet. To protect public health and combat climate change, today, we are expanding our voluntary partnerships to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector through our new Methane Challenge program, which is a platform for companies to transparently report actions to reduce methane emissions and to be publicly recognized as leaders in reducing methane emissions in the United States, said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. The voluntary Methane Challenge program is one important part of our overarching strategy to reduce methane emissions, and complements regulatory efforts that will help the United States meet the Obama Administrations goal of reducing methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2025. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Washington, DC Tops EPAs List of Cities with the Most Energy Star Certified Buildings/Energy efficiency leads to a stronger economy and healthier environment
Wednesday, March 30, 2016-- he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its eighth-annual Top Cities list, which ranks the 25 U.S. metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star certified commercial buildings in the preceding calendar year. For the second year in a row, Washington, D.C. held its lead with 686 certified buildings. Los Angeles came in second with 527 buildings followed by third place San Francisco with 355 buildings. Atlanta and New York City round out the top five, each with more than 300 Energy Star certified buildings. The Top Cities list illustrates how cities across America are embracing energy efficiency as a proven path to financial savings and a healthier environment. "Every year, more cities and buildings are turning to energy efficiency to protect the environment and strengthen their local economies, said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Money saved on energy bills can boost the bottom line and be reinvested. The cities on this list prove energy efficiency saves money, improves our communities today, and helps us build toward a healthy future full of opportunity. Public and privately-owned commercial buildings contribute roughly 16 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and cost American organizations and cities more than $100 billion per year in energy bills. Since 1999, more than 27,000 buildings across America have earned EPAs Energy Star certification, which signifies proven, superior energy performance. On average, these certified buildings use 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings. These buildings have saved more than $3.8 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 2.6 million homes. -- (full text)
[EPA]

EPA Proposes Use of Climate-Friendly Alternatives to HFCs/Action supports Climate Action Plan by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Tuesday, March 29, 2016-- On March 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to expand the list of acceptable substitutes and prohibit the use of certain chemicals in the U.S. that significantly contribute to climate change where safer, more climate-friendly alternatives exist. This is another step forward in a series under President Obama's Climate Action Plan, which aims to reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of potent greenhouse gases that can be up to 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide and are used in air-conditioning, refrigeration, and other equipment. The emissions avoided from this proposed rule are estimated to be up to 11 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030, which is equal to the emissions from the energy used by approximately one million homes for one year. This new proposal would reduce the use and emissions of some of the most harmful HFCs, which are thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide, and approves safer, more climate-friendly alternatives to protect public health and our environment, said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. In support of President Obamas Climate Action Plan, this action will not only result in significant reductions of harmful greenhouse gases, but it expands the options for safer alternatives available on the market. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Pella Corporation Named 2016 Energy Star Partner of the Year for Outstanding Achievements in Energy Efficiency
Tuesday, March 29, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected Pella Corporation of Pella, Iowa, a window and door manufacturing company, as one of eight businesses recognized as a 2016 Energy Star Partner of the Year for Outstanding Achievements in Energy Efficiency. Pella Corporation continues to innovate by offering new Energy Star certified products that meet the newest program requirements, including options for Energy Star Most Efficient 2015, and partnering with Lawrence Berkeley National Labs to develop new automated shading technology. The company also earned the Energy Star Challenge for Industry recognition for three different manufacturing facilities that improved building energy efficiency in excess of 10 percent. Other recipients of the Partner of the Year Awards for Outstanding Achievement include Beazer Homes, General Motors Company, Ivey Residential LLC, DirecTV, The Home Depot, Kenton County School District (Fort Wright, Ky.) and Verizon. -- (full text)
[EPA]

EPA and DOE Honor 2016 Energy Star Partners of the Year for Outstanding Achievements in Energy Efficiency
Tuesday, March 29, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently honored 149 businesses and organizations in 35 states for their commitment to saving energy and protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. Recipients of the 2016 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award include Beazer Homes, The Home Depot and Verizon. This years Partner of the Year Award winners prove every day that saving money and protecting the environment go hand in hand, said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. From major household brands to school districts, these leaders deserve to be congratulated for their commitment to reducing carbon pollution and protecting our climate. Energy Star Partner of the Year Award winners help families, individuals, and businesses become more energy efficient, said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. By offering energy-efficient products, services, and programs, this years awardees continue to provide Americans with lower utility bills, new jobs, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

EPA Honors Kentucky-based Companies with 2016 Energy Star Partners of the Year In 2014 alone, all Energy Star partners prevented 283 million metric tons of GHG emissions, providing $31.5 billion in economic benefits
Tuesday, March 29, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is honoring Schneider Electric and Big Ass Solutions for their commitment to saving energy and protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. The Kentucky-based companies are among 149 businesses and organizations in 35 states to receive the honor. Recipients of the 2016 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award include Beazer Homes, The Home Depot and Verizon. This years Partner of the Year Award winners prove every day that saving money and protecting the environment go hand in hand, said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. From major household brands to school districts, these leaders deserve to be congratulated for their commitment to reducing carbon pollution and protecting our climate. Energy Star Partner of the Year Award winners help families, individuals, and businesses become more energy efficient, said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. By offering energy-efficient products, services, and programs, this years awardees continue to provide Americans with lower utility bills, new jobs, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Since its inception in 1992, Energy Star and its partners, including the 149 Partners of the Year awardees, have helped prevent a total of more than 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2014 alone, Energy Star and its partners provided more than $11 billion in societal benefits due to reducing damages from climate change. -- (full text)
[EPA]

EPA Announces $3.3 Million in Funding for Water Reuse and Conservation Research/Research will measure health and ecological impacts of water conservation practices
Monday, March 28, 2016-- On March 22, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced funding to five institutions to research human and ecological health impacts associated with water reuse and conservation practices. Increasing demand for water resources is putting pressure on the finite supply of drinking water in some areas of the United States, said Thomas A. Burke, EPA Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator of EPAs Office of Research and Development. The research announced today will help us manage and make efficient use of the water supply in the long term. Water conservation practices that promote water reuse are becoming increasingly important, especially in the western United States, where factors such as climate change, extreme drought, and population growth are decreasing water availability. To help promote sustainable water reuse, this research will evaluate how reclaimed water applications such as drinking water reuse, replenishing groundwater, and irrigation can affect public and ecological health. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Energy Department Announces Publication of Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator Resources Toolkit
Monday, March 28, 2016-- On March 28, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the publication of a high-impact, informational resources toolkit through its Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator developed in partnership with 18 cities and utilities across the nation. The Energy Data Access: Blueprint for Action Toolkit is a compilation of case studies, guidance and real-world best-practices adopted by cities and utilities to help building owners measure and track energy use, and benchmark the energy performance of their buildings. Access to energy data is important to assessing the best options for saving energy in our buildings, said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. This Toolkit is the product of two years of work with public and private sector partners to improve this access and will be invaluable to utilities, state and local governments, real estate leaders, and other stakeholders nationwide. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

Construction Completed at the Chemfax, Inc. Superfund Site in Gulfport, MS
Monday, March 28, 2016-- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the construction of all cleanup actions at the Chemfax, Inc. Superfund Site in Gulfport, Miss., are complete. The Site occupies 11 acres just south of I-10 at the intersection of Creosote Road and Three Rivers Road, and was placed on EPA's National Priorities List in 2012. Site contaminants included benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and naphthalene, and have impacted groundwater. In 1999, EPA addressed immediate threats at the Site in its first cleanup action. Drums, storage tanks, tank contents, asbestos and approximately 3,400 cubic yards of contaminated soils were disposed off-site. Most of the processing lines, tank farms, bulk storage areas, buildings and structures were also dismantled at that time. In April 2014, field activities began for the Remedial Action at the Site, with excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soils, to address long-term risks. Significant challenges during this work included funding delays and higher volumes of contaminated soils than expected. Construction activities were completed in December 2015, with a total of 109,211 tons of contaminated soils/sediment disposed off-site. EPA and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality conducted a joint Site inspection on personnel on Jan. 12, 2016. The installation of groundwater monitoring wells at the Site was completed on Jan. 29, 2016, while a final Remedial Action report will be finalized in the summer of 2016. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Diesel Engine Grant Program Nets Major Air, Public Health Benefits
Sunday, March 27, 2016-- Clean diesel grants aimed at cleaning up old diesel engines have greatly improved public health by cutting harmful pollution that causes premature deaths, asthma attacks, and missed school and workdays, according to a new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Since its start in 2008, the Diesel Emission Reduction Act program has significantly improved air quality for communities across the country by retrofitting and replacing older diesel engines. Diesel exhaust significantly contributes to the formation of dangerous soot and smog and is likely to increase the risk of cancer. The funding from the program has helped clean up approximately 335,200 tons of nitrogen oxides and 14,700 tons of particulate matter, which are linked to a range of respiratory ailments and premature death. The program has also saved 450 million gallons of fuel and prevented 4.8 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. EPA estimates that clean diesel funding generates up to $13 of public health benefit for every $1 spent on diesel projects. "EPA is making a visible difference in communities that need it most through the funding of cleaner trucks, buses, trains, and other heavy equipment," said Janet McCabe, the EPAs Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. "The report on DERAs impact offers striking evidence that this program is succeeding in providing Americans with cleaner air where they live and work while also cutting the pollution that fuels climate change." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Nearly a Third of Local Governments Have Adopted Sustainability Plans
Sunday, March 27, 2016-- Thirty-two percent of local governments have adopted a sustainability plan, according to a national survey of U.S. cities and counties. Among the responding jurisdictions that have adopted plans, nearly 68 percent indicated that those plans contain goals or strategies related to economic development. Other plan priorities include energy conservation and disaster mitigation. Building on the data collected through a 2010 survey, which was the first nationwide study to establish benchmarks for sustainability initiatives among U.S. communities, Local Government Sustainability Practices 2015 was conducted by ICMA, the Sustainable Communities and Small Town and Rural Planning Divisions of the American Planning Association, Binghamton University, Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Through this 2015 survey, ICMA and its partners can examine the progress of U.S. cities and counties in addressing issues that have a direct impact on a communitys sustainability," said Andrea Fox, director, ICMA Center for Sustainable Communities. "While there has been much progress since we initiated the survey back in 2010, there are still a number of areas in which local communities can improve to enhance their capacity to endure and thrive." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Mayor Announces More Than $28M to Support Affordable Housing
Sunday, March 27, 2016-- Mayor Martin Walsh announced $28 million in funding awards to support the creation of affordable housing throughout Boston. The funding, which will preserve or produce 837 housing units, comes from $21 million of federal and local resources awarded through the Department of Neighborhood Development and $7 million of Linkage funds, awarded through Boston's Neighborhood Housing Trust. "We are committed to creating a Boston where everyone who wants to live here, can afford to," said Mayor Walsh. "I thank our local, state and federal partners for these housing investments that create good jobs and fuel our economy." The new funding will leverage more than $323 million dollars of public and private investment in the neighborhoods, and will help to create an estimated 500 construction jobs. These developments will also create 125 units for homeless or extremely low-income families. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Fort Worth Awarded Grant for Community Park
Sunday, March 27, 2016-- Fort Worth, Texas, has received a $1 million grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to build a new community park in far north Fort Worth. The 2016 Urban Outdoor Recreation Grant funds will be used for Phase I development of the future Alliance community park, scheduled to be developed south of Hwy. 114 and east of I-35W. Phase I will include development of the park drive and parking area, trails and three lighted competition athletic fields. Land acquisition, funded from park dedication fees, will serve as the citys match for the grant. Initial development is being coordinated in partnership with Hillwood Properties. Fort Worth was recommended for half of the total statewide allocation from the Urban Outdoor Recreation Grant funds. The Alliance community park will be built in Council District 7. Councilmember Dennis Shingleton, who represents the area, said a community park is sorely needed in far north Fort Worth. "The grant and development of the future Alliance community park further demonstrates the citys commitment to deliver facilities and services to the developing North Fort Worth communities," said Shingleton. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Pilot Street Cleaning Program Implemented Permanently in Charlestown, MA
Sunday, March 27, 2016-- In cooperation with Charlestown, Mass., residents and elected officials, the city of Boston announced that a pilot Street Cleaning Program that has been underway in that neighborhood since July of 2015 will be implemented permanently effective immediately. Vehicles parked in violation of the posted Street Cleaning regulations on streets in Charlestown will no longer be towed but will be subject to an increased parking ticket fine of $90. The Street Cleaning parking ticket fine remains $40 in other Boston neighborhoods where vehicles may be towed and additional fees may be incurred for this infraction. This amendment to the citys Code of Ordinances was approved by the Boston City Council on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, allowing for a permanent change to the citys Street Cleaning Program. The legislation also ensures that all Boston residents are provided the option of implementing the increased fine but no tow alternative for their respective neighborhoods as well. Bostons Street Cleaning Program is a joint effort of the Public Works Department that manages the undertaking and is responsible for cleaning the streets, the Mayors Office of Neighborhood Services that assists PWD with implementation and notification, and the Boston Transportation Department that encourages compliance with the regulation through the issuance of parking tickets. "Id like to thank Charlestown residents for their willingness to pilot this modified street cleaning program in their neighborhood," said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca. "Thanks to their cooperation, the pilot has been successfully completed and we are pleased to be moving forward with these enforcement updates designed to help keep Charlestowns streets clean." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Energy Department Announces Participation in Clean Lines Large-Scale Energy Transmission Project
Friday, March 25, 2016-- Building on the Department of Energys (DOE) ongoing efforts to modernize the grid and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz recently announced that DOE will participate in the development of the Plains & Eastern Clean Line Project (Clean Line), a major clean energy infrastructure project. The Clean Line project will tap abundant, low-cost wind generation resources in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandle regions to deliver up to 4,000 megawatts of wind power via a 705-mile direct current transmission line  enough energy to power more than 1.5 million homes in the mid-South and Southeast United States. This marks the first use of Congressional authority conferred to DOE as part of Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 with the objective of promoting transmission development. Congress passed this provision when it was becoming clear that our nations transmission infrastructure was beginning to show its age and needed modernization. Congress recognized the need for a modern and resilient grid that could accommodate increasing demands for power with newly available resources. Based on our thorough review of the Clean Line project, it satisfies the goals for which Congress established DOEs authority. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

U.S. EPA Announces $749,000 for UC Riverside to Research Reclaimed Water
Wednesday, March 23, 2016-- On March 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $749,631 to the University of California, Riverside to study the human and ecological health impacts of water reuse and conservation practices. University researchers will use the funds to measure levels of contaminants in vegetables irrigated with treated wastewater. Nationally, $3.3 million was awarded to five institutions nationwide for water reuse and conservation research. Competing water needs, combined with impacts from prolonged droughts and a changing climate, has increased demands on the finite drinking water resources in the West, said Tomás Torres, Water Division Director for EPAs Pacific Southwest Region. The research UC Riverside will be doing can help advance the role that recycled water plays in meeting our long-term supply needs. Treated municipal wastewater is a valuable source of water that is currently wasted or under-utilized, but may play an important role in overcoming water scarcity in regions such as the American Southwest, said Jay Gan, a professor of environmental chemistry at UC Riverside. "Our project will evaluate potential transfer of trace organic contaminants from the treated wastewater to food produce when the treated wastewater is reused for irrigation, and assess the potential human health and ecological risks. The findings will be valuable for safe guarding the consumers while promoting sustainability in agriculture and the environment. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

EPA Announces $330,000 for UNLV to Research Microbes in Water Reuse Systems
Wednesday, March 23, 2016-- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $329,650 to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to research human and ecological health impacts associated with water reuse and conservation practices. Nationally, $3.3 million was awarded to five institutions nationwide for water reuse and conservation research. Competing water needs, combined with impacts from prolonged droughts and a changing climate, has increased demands on the finite drinking water resources in the West, said Tomás Torres, Water Division Director for EPAs Pacific Southwest Region. The research UNLV will be doing can help advance the role that recycled water plays in meeting our long-term supply needs. Located in an arid desert, we understand first-hand the importance of mitigating the effects of long-term drought and finding solutions to the increasing demand on our water resources, said Rama Venkat, Dean of UNLV's Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering. We are proud to have our facultys work highlighted on the national stage and potentially be part of the solution to securing a sustainable water resource for the future. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Energy Department Announces Over $9 Million in Funding for 16 Indian and Alaska Native Community Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects
Tuesday, March 22, 2016-- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced funding for 24 American Indian and Alaska Native communities to deploy clean energy and energy efficiency projects. DOE plans to invest over $9 million in 16 facility- and community-scale energy projects in 24 tribal communities. As part of the Obama Administrations commitment to partner with Tribal Nations, these projects provide Indian Tribes and Alaska Native villages with clean energy solutions that will save communities money and reduce carbon pollution. DOEs funding is expected to be leveraged by nearly $16 million in cost sharing under the selected tribal energy projects, meaning the projects represent a potential total investment value exceeding $25 million. The Energy Department is committed to maximizing the development and deployment of energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives, said Christopher Deschene, Director of DOEs Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. By providing tribal communities and Alaska Native villages with knowledge, skills, and resources, we hope to help tribal communities harness their local indigenous renewable energy resources, reduce their energy costs, create jobs, and help implement successful strategic energy solutions. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

SunShot Prize Teams Meet First Milestone
Monday, March 21, 2016-- The Energy Department announced progress toward reducing the amount of time it takes to connect a residential solar installation to the grid. Three teams competing in the SunShot Prize: Race to 7-Day Solar met the first milestone of the competition, which aims to motivate local governments, communities, solar companies and electric utilities to collaborate towards improving the "going solar" experience from permit to plug-in for all Americans. Northern and Central California SunShot Alliance, The Connecticut Permit to Plug-in Team, and Sunrun each connected at least one megawatt of solar energy to the grid using tools theyre developing to streamline permitting, installation and interconnections processes so arrays can connect to the grid in under seven days. In some locations, it currently takes up to six months to connect to the grid. Reducing wait times will help to lower the soft costs of installing solar, which make up more than half of the price tag of going solar. The three teams each won a $25,000 Change Prize for their progress, along with points that will help them win the competition. The two teams that accumulate the most points will win two grand prizes totaling $4 million when the contest ends in March 2017. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Keep America Beautiful Launches 2016 Great American Cleanup
Monday, March 21, 2016-- Keep America Beautiful, the nation's leading nonprofit that envisions a country where every community is a green, clean and beautiful place to live, announced the launch of the 2016 Great American Cleanup. Entering its 18th year, the Great American Cleanup is the country's largest community improvement program. The campaign is led by more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates and hundreds of other partner organizations, with events formally kicking off around the first day of spring and continuing throughout the year. This year's Great American Cleanup theme, "Clean Your Block Party", encourages all volunteers and participants to take part in a public space Great American Cleanup event and bring the experience home by organizing a cleanup and beautification event on their own block, wherever they live. Keep America Beautiful's "Clean Your Block Party" toolkit, which includes ideas that can be used to conduct an event on any street in any community, is available online. Participants conducting Great American Cleanup "Clean Your Block Party" events are encouraged to share photos and stories about their experience using #cleanYOURblock on social media. Last year, the Great American Cleanup engaged more than 5.4 million volunteers and participants across the country to take action through high-impact events. Through the collective action of millions of volunteers, the Great American Cleanup has delivered, on average, $175 million in measurable benefits to tens of thousands of communities nationwide in the past five years. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Gray Awarded $810,135 Loan for Water Meter Upgrades
Sunday, March 20, 2016-- he city of Gray, Ga., was awarded a $810,135 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority executive committee. The loan will finance replacing approximately 1,825 water meters throughout the city with an automatic meter reading system. This project will help reduce water meter inaccuracies estimated between 10 and 25 percent and reduce the labor and expense associated with monthly meter readings. Gray will pay a 1.03 percent interest rate on the 20-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because its an eligible water conservation project, and includes principal forgiveness up to $324,054 if all funds are drawn. "GEFAs water and sewer programs assist local governments with improving their environmental infrastructure. As part of the Drinking Water program, cities and counties can also receive affordable financing for water conservation projects," said GEFA Executive Director Kevin Clark. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Small Business Vouchers Pilot: 33 Businesses Selected for Lab Collaboration, Round 2 Now Open
Wednesday, March 16, 2016-- Our national labs provide the United States with a key opportunity for competitive advantage in the global race to develop the clean energy technologies of today and tomorrow. The National Lab Impact Initiative is focused on helping American businesses leverage this unique competitive opportunity by building a more commercially aware and industrially relevant culture at the labs to help companies move technology to the marketplace faster. In support of that goal, the Offuce if Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy created the Lab Impact Initiatives Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot program. SBVs first round call for proposals was announced at the EERE Lab-Industry Day at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in September of last year. SBV is a collaborative effort between the national labs and EERE, created to give entrepreneurs greater access to the world-class resources and brilliant minds in our labs. These public-private partnerships are designed to help small businesses solve their most pressing technical challenges  and bring clean energy technologies to commercialization much faster. Last week, the EERE announced the 33 small businesses who have been awarded vouchers in the first round of the SBV pilot, representing $6.7 million in total investment by EERE in nine separate technology areas: advanced manufacturing, vehicles, solar, wind, water, geothermal, buildings, bioenergy, and fuel cells. Ninety-seven percent of the small businesses selected have 50 or fewer employees, with 88% having been in business for 15 or fewer years. They hail from 20 different states, with every region of the country represented. While some of these businesses have collaborated with a national laboratory before, 36% of the vouchers were awarded to companies that have never worked with a national laboratory before. The voucher requests represent various stages of development, from demonstration of lab feasibility to assistance with testing and scale-up. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

Farm to School Programs Invest Nearly $800 Million in Local Economies
Tuesday, March 15, 2016-- Schools across the United States purchased $789 million in local foods from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food processors and manufacturers in school year 2013  2014, according to results from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School Census released today. That represents a 105 percent increase over the 2011-2012 school year when the first census was conducted, signifying the deepening commitment of schools nationwide to bring local food into the cafeteria and strengthen their local economies. "An investment in the health of America's students through farm to school programming is also an investment in the health of local economies," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Nearly half of schools report that they intend to buy even more local foods in future school years, indicating that farm to school programs will continue helping our children and our communities flourish." Schools report that farm to school programs can increase the number of students purchasing school breakfast and lunch, improve consumption of healthier foods at school, and reduce plate waste. The programs are often also heavily focused on nutrition education, helping teach children where their food comes from and exposing them to lessons about healthy eating. The census data show that school gardens, which can be both teaching tools and a sources of fresh produce, have nearly tripled over the past two years. -- (full text)
[USDA]

Nomination Period for 2016 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards Open
Thursday, February 25, 2016-- The Awards Nomination website is now open to accept nominations, and all final nominations must be submitted through the nomination site by April 21, 2016. To download this year's nomination criteria, visit the FEMP awards Web page. Also available is the recording of the FEMP Training First Thursday Update on the 2016 Awards submission process. Watch this one hour update to learn how to apply for this prestigious honor in 2016, including details on submission criteria, eligibility, and tips on how to prepare nomination narratives and deadlines. For more information on the Federal Energy and Water Management Awards, please contact FEMP_Communications@ee.doe.gov. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

Registration Now Open for 2016 Hydrogen Student Design Contest
Thursday, January 28, 2016-- Registration for the 2016 Student Design Contest is now open. The contest, run by the Hydrogen Education Foundation (HEF), is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and others. This effort is aligned with FCTOs activities to work with the public, academia, and energy associations to ensure that students and the workforce are equipped with the skills and training needed to lead the clean energy economy. The deadline to register is February 10, 2016. The theme of the 2016 Hydrogen Student Design Contest is Development of a Hydrogen Powered Micro-Grid to provide grid support during peak hours and full back-up power. The Contest will challenge undergraduate and graduate students to design a renewable hydrogen powered micro-grid capable of solely supporting a town or military base for approximately 2 days, and be able to handle at least 10% of peak demand while the macro-grid is active. The system should utilize local resources to produce and store hydrogen as well as provide hydrogen dispensing capabilities to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCEVs). The system should be optimized for as little environmental and economic impact as possible. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovations Technologies (BENEFIT) 2016
Wednesday, January 13, 2016-- The Building Technologies Office (BTO) has made significant updates to Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001383, Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovations Technologies (BENEFIT)  2016, including an increase in available funding from $8 million to $20 million. Please note the following modifications: -Total available Federal funding has increased from $8 million to $20 million. -The number of anticipated awards has increased to approximately 17-25. -The new deadline for Concept Papers is February 5, 2016. -The second webinar has been rescheduled to March 17, 2016. -Additional detail regarding buildings to grid interaction has been added for Topic Areas 1, 2 and 4. -The new deadline for full applications is April 19, 2016. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

Department of Energy Announces 12 New Projects to Accelerate Technologies that Improve the Efficiency and Reliability of the U.S. Electric Grid
Friday, December 11, 2015-- The Energy Departments Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) recently announced $33 million in funding for 12 innovative projects as part of ARPA-Es Network Optimized Distributed Energy Systems (NODES) program. NODES project teams will develop technologies that coordinate load and generation on the electric grid to create a virtual energy storage system. The teams will develop innovative hardware and software solutions to integrate and coordinate generation, transmission, and end-use energy systems at various points on the electric grid. These control systems will enable real-time coordination between distributed generation, such as rooftop and community solar assets and bulk power generation, while proactively shaping electric load. This will alleviate periods of costly peak demand, reduce wasted energy, and increase renewables penetration on the grid. The NODES program aims to create a new approach to management of the two-way flow of power to and from homes and businesses that consume and deliver electricity back to the grid. The resulting virtual energy storage will manage the intermittency of renewable energy, the lack of electricity production when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. The expected benefits of these technologies include improving grid efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions in power generation, and significant savings of system costs. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]