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EPA Awards $495,000 to Reduce Diesel Emissions from Marine Engines in Massachusetts (11/13/2014)
BOSTON -- EPA has awarded $495,000 to fund two marine repower projects in the state of Massachusetts. CLF Ventures, Inc. has received $300,000 to repower the tugboat Navigator, and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) has been awarded $195,000 to repower two commercial lobster boats. The grants were awarded after a national competition for clean diesel projects, made possible by the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act. Diesel engines contribute significantly to air pollution. The fine particles in diesel exhaust pose serious health risks, including aggravated asthma and other respiratory symptoms. Children are especially vulnerable to these effects. The Northeast has some of the highest asthma rates in the nation, including a childhood asthma rate above 10 percent in all six New England states. The two projects awarded fall within areas of Suffolk and Bristol Counties in Mass., both identified by the EPA as having high levels of emissions from diesel engines.
 
EPA Calls for Nominations for 20th Annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (11/13/2014)
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its call for nominations for the 2015 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards for companies or institutions that have developed a new process or product that helps protect public health and the environment. "The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge is an opportunity for EPA to recognize green solutions and help solve critical environmental problems," said Jim Jones, EPA's Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. "Green chemistry is about designing products and processes that reduce energy, chemicals and water waste while cutting manufacturing costs, and sparking investments. Ultimately, these chemicals and products are safer for people's health and the environment. This year, EPA is excited to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the awards."
 
EPA Proposes to Remove 72 Chemicals from Approved Pesticide Inert Ingredient List (11/03/2014)
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public comment on a proposal to remove 72 chemicals from its list of substances approved for use as inert ingredients in pesticide products. "We are taking action to ensure that these ingredients are not added to any pesticide products unless they have been fully vetted by EPA," said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. "This is the first major step in our strategy to reduce risks from pesticides containing potentially hazardous inert ingredients."
 
EPA Adds BPA, 22 Other Chemicals to TSCA List (10/29/2014)
Twenty-three chemicals, including bisphenol A (BPA), seven phthalates and two flame retardants, have been added to the EPA's list of chemicals for assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Manufacturers of some of the newly added chemicals include Dow Chemical, DuPont, Eastman Chemical, Mexichem S.A.B de C.V., Momentive Performance Materials Holdings and Webb Chemical Service, Bloomberg BNA reports. The EPA also removed 15 chemicals and groups of chemicals from the TSCA Work Plan list, which now includes 90 chemicals and chemical groups.
 
TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments: 2014 Update (10/29/2014)
In October 2014, EPA issued the TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments: 2014 Update to reflect updated data submitted to EPA by the chemical industry on chemical releases and potential exposures. This is the first update to the TSCA Work Plan. The new data was submitted in 2012 under TSCA's Chemical Data Reporting or in 2011 as part of the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory reporting. These data were used to update the exposure rankings for the chemicals initially screened as part of the Work Plan. These data were also used to screen ten Action Plan chemicals and two additional chemicals identified by the Agency during EPA's assessment of flame retardants. The exposure ranking is part of the screening methodology used to develop the Work Plan in 2012 and is described in detail in the Work Plan Methods Document.
 
National Scale Assessment of Mercury Contamination in Streams (10/27/2014)
A new USGS report presents a comprehensive assessment of mercury contamination in streams across the United States. It highlights the importance of environmental processes, monitoring, and control strategies for understanding and reducing stream mercury levels. Methylmercury concentrations in fish exceed the human health criterion in about one in four U.S. streams. Mercury contamination of fish is the primary cause of fish consumption advisories, which currently exist in every state in the nation. Mercury can travel long distances in the atmosphere and be deposited in watersheds, thus contaminating fish even in areas with no obvious source of mercury pollution.
 
EPA Invites Communities to Apply for Assistance to Build Resilience, Pursue Revitalization (10/27/2014)
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today invited communities to apply for technical assistance to implement smart growth development approaches. EPA is offering this technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program to help communities across the country, including underserved communities, coastal communities, small cities and rural areas, adopt sustainable growth strategies. The program aims to increase resilience to natural disasters and strengthen the economy while protecting human health and the environment. The Building Blocks program provides quick, targeted technical assistance to communitiesusing tools with demonstrated results and widespread application. Communities may apply for assistance on one or more of the following topics: • Bikeshare planning • Equitable development • Infill development for distressed cities • Sustainable strategies for small cities and rural areas • Flood resilience for riverine and coastal communities
 
Tool Helps Manufacturers Use Safer Chemicals (10/22/2014)
The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute will offer a material health certificate, a tool for manufacturers across industries to avoid chemicals of high concern, shift to safer ones in their products and encourage product and supply chain transparency. The Material Health Certificate marks the first time the Institute has offered reporting of its methodology in only one category. Several companies are pursing the new certificate, including Owens Corning and ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas. Owens Corning, which produces residential and commercial building materials, glass-fiber reinforcements and engineered materials for composite systems, is in the process of pursuing the material health certificate on three product lines while having already earned Cradle to Cradle certification on a product line.
 

 

 

 

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