Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Ban HFCs

February 26, 2018

US Senators John Kennedy (R-La.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) have introduced a bill, the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, that would phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and facilitate the transition towards next generation coolants.  The legislation represents a bipartisan effort that brings together the manufacturing industry and environmental groups. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) joined Sens. Kennedy and Carper as original co-sponsors.

HFCs are used as coolants in refrigerators and air conditioners.  The hydrofluorocarbon industry employs 593,000 workers in the US and generates annual sales of $206 billion.  Because of changing global policy, countries are moving away from using hydrofluorocarbons.  The legislation will ensure that the EPA has the authority to ensure a smooth phasedown of the manufacturing of hydrofluorocarbons in the U.S. in order to support the next generation technologies.

Two US plants, Honeywell in Geismar and Mexichem Fluor Inc. in St. Gabriel, in Louisiana are impacted by the evolving technology.  This legislation will preserve jobs at these facilities.

"On the surface, this bill seems more complicated than high school chemistry, but really it’s pretty simple.  It’s about jobs.  And it’s about protecting the investment by Louisiana companies in new technologies and protecting Louisiana jobs,” said Sen. Kennedy.  “This bill gives a $206 billion US industry the clarity it needs to invest, transition and protect American jobs.  It’s not often that Democrats, Republicans, industry and environmental groups come together to agree on anything, but we are all in agreement on this one.”

“Our bipartisan AIM Act continues support for American development and manufacturing of next-generation HFC-alternatives, while also protecting our environment and helping the US meet its obligations under the amended Montreal Protocol – a true win-win,” said Senator Carper. “After more than a decade of work to support domestic manufacturing of HFC-alternative products, our efforts are clearly paying off with American companies leading the world in this growing industry. While we’ve been creating jobs right here at home, we’ve also been helping our country, and the world, phase down HFC products and limit their contribution to human-caused climate change. As other nations start making similar investments, now is not the time to pull on the reins and stymie the economic growth being created by American ingenuity.  I am proud to work with Senator Kennedy and my other bipartisan colleagues to continue to build on our successes and work across the aisle to provide a cleaner planet for the generations to come.”

“American manufacturers are leading the way in using new technologies to develop environmentally-friendly substitutes for hydrofluorocarbons,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This legislation helps workers in Louisiana and creates jobs here at home.”

“I am glad this bipartisan effort will take a real step towards addressing climate change,” said Senator Coons. “Phasing down hydrofluorocarbons will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but will also benefit US companies that have invested in developing environmentally friendly alternatives by providing market stability for their next generation products. This is proof that we don’t have to choose between protecting the environment and growing the economy, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure the bill is signed into law.”

“America’s manufacturing industry is an integral part of our economy and has long been a source of pride as well as quality, good-paying jobs,” said Senator Collins.  “This legislation will accelerate the phasedown of harmful pollutants with next-generation, environmentally safe coolant alternatives while boosting job growth, increasing innovation, and attracting future investments.”

“HFCs are a serious threat to our environment that the world must come together to take on,” said Merkley. “With this bipartisan proposal, we can bring a commonsense approach to phasing out HFCs and boost our efforts to avoid climate chaos.”

“The Louisiana Chemical Association commends Sen. Kennedy for his leadership and we look forward to working with him on this important legislation,” said Greg Bowser, President of the Louisiana Chemical Association. “Investments in manufacturing of the next-generation solutions have resulted in hundreds of long-term, sustainable jobs in Louisiana, as well as thousands of manufacturing jobs during the construction of these large-scale manufacturing plants.  I encourage leadership to take action on the phasedown of HFCs by passing the AIM Act, and support continued innovation in this growth sector.”

“We commend Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Cassidy for their leadership in introducing the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act,” said Rajeev Gautam, President and CEO, Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies.  “Honeywell strongly supports HFC phasedown as an essential initiative for American competitiveness.  Decisive action at the federal level is critical to supporting economic growth and job creation at home and the success of exporting U.S. innovation abroad.”

Mexichem Fluor, Inc. released the following statement: “Mexichem Fluor, Inc. supports the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM), which provides for EPA to adopt a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phasedown in accordance with the schedule in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.  This bill will help achieve the important and sustainable objectives of this international environmental agreement.”

“Because other nations are already forging ahead on the HFC phase-down, it is important for the United States to maintain its leadership in the development of climate-friendlier alternatives and for American industry to seize the global economic opportunity in the market for alternative chemicals and products.  Your bill is a critical step in that direction,” said David Doniger, Senior Strategic Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Charleston Hazardous Waste and DOT Hazardous Materials Training 

Register for Hazardous Waste Management and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Charleston, SC, on March 19-21 and save $100 or receive an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet with electronic versions of both handbooks. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

Jacksonville Hazardous Waste and DOT Hazardous Materials Training

Register for Hazardous Waste Management and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in Jacksonville, FL, on March 27-29 and save $100 or receive an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet with electronic versions of both handbooks. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

New Orleans Hazardous Waste and DOT Hazardous Materials Training 

Register for Hazardous Waste Management and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course in New Orleans, LA, on April 3-5 and save $100 or receive an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet with electronic versions of both handbooks. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 800-537-2372.

Court Stops Delay in BLM’s Waste Prevention Rule

A U.S. District Court has ruled against Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s attempt to delay the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Waste Prevention Rule. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and a coalition of conservation and tribal citizen groups had asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California for a preliminary injunction to prevent Zinke from delaying the rule.

Federal District Court Judge William Orrick granted the request, noting:

Plaintiffs have provided several reasons that the Suspension Rule is arbitrary and capricious, both for substantive reasons, as a result of the lack of a reasoned analysis, and procedural ones, due to the lack of meaningful notice and comment. They have demonstrated irreparable harm and that the balance of equities and public interest strongly favor issuing the preliminary injunction sought. Because I conclude that they have met their burden on each element, I GRANT Plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction enjoining enforcement of the Suspension Rule.” (Order, page 29)

“The court’s decision to block Secretary Zinke’s unlawful suspension ensures the Waste Prevention Rule remains in place, protecting tribes, ranchers and families across the West,” said EDF Lead Attorney Peter Zalzal. “The protections restored by this decision will help to prevent the waste of natural gas, reduce harmful methane, smog-forming and toxic pollution, and ensure communities and tribes have royalty money that can be used to construct roads and schools.”

The court rejected Zinke’s reasoning for the suspension, instead finding that, “it appears that BLM is simply casually ignoring all of its previous findings [in support of the Waste Prevention Rule] and arbitrarily changing course.” The court also recognized the harm that Zinke’s suspension would cause to the public, including “the waste of publicly owned natural gas, increased air pollution and associated health impacts, and exacerbated climate impacts.”

BLM’s Waste Prevention Rule requires oil and gas companies operating on federal and tribal lands to take common-sense measures to reduce preventable leaks and flaring of methane, the primary component of natural gas. The rule reduces emissions of methane, which is a potent driver of climate change, along with other unhealthy pollutants. Between 2009 and 2015, oil and gas companies wasted enough natural gas to supply more than 6.2 million homes for an entire year.

The Administration has tried repeatedly to suspend the Waste Prevention Rule. Their earlier efforts were rejected by both the courts and Congress. Then in December of 2017, Zinke issued a rule delaying implementation of the Waste Prevention Rule until January of 2019. EDF and its allies challenged Zinke’s delay. Declarations from a broad coalition of Western government officials, landowners, and tribal officials were filed in support of that request.

The states of California and New Mexico likewise challenged the delay and asked the court to stop Zinke’s unlawful action. The court granted that request and issued a preliminary injunction. The court also rejected requests to move the case to a court in Wyoming, which means the U.S. District Court in Northern California will now hear the case on the merits. The date for those arguments has not yet been set.

Separately, Zinke proposed to rescind many of the same protections that he previously sought to suspend. BLM will accept public comments on that proposal for 60 days.

You can find more information – including all legal documents – on EDF’s website.

Five Arrested for Illegal Hazardous Waste Disposal

A year-long Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) investigation has led to the arrest of three former employees and one current employee of the Panoche Water District (PWD), located in Firebaugh, California. A fourth former employee is expected to surrender Friday. The five individuals were charged in a felony complaint that included unlawful disposal and transportation of hazardous waste, embezzlement and conspiracy to misappropriate public funds.

DTSC found 86 drums of hazardous waste, varying in size from 35 to 55 gallons, illegally buried on the water district’s property. The drums contained chlorine, caustic soda, iron chloride and a mixture of used antifreeze, used solvents, and used oil.

Following that discovery, DTSC’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) also investigated the water district for possible financial crimes, first identified by the State Controller's Office. These activities included illegal employee loans and the use of district credit cards for sporting events, slot machine purchases, concerts, kitchen remodeling, residential landscaping and other purchases.

“These arrests send the strong message that violations of the state’s hazardous waste laws are taken seriously and will be pursued and prosecuted to the maximum extent possible in order to protect public health, the environment and public resources,” said DTSC Director Barbara A. Lee.

In a felony complaint filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, former PWD general manager Dennis Falaschi, former office manager Julie Cascia, former employees Dubby West and Jack Hurley, and one PWD current employee, Atomic Falaschi, were charged in a complaint that included unlawful disposal and transportation of hazardous waste, embezzlement and conspiracy to misappropriate more than $100,000 in public funds. During removal of the drums from the property, DTSC discovered that the liquid hazardous waste was leaking into the ground. The contamination is being remediated. According to the criminal complaint, other hazardous waste was sent to businesses not permitted to receive the waste, resulting in the felony charge of illegally transporting hazardous waste.

DTSC referred the criminal case to the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra “In California, those in public posts who abuse the public's trust for personal gain will be held accountable,” Becerra said. “The California Department of Justice will investigate and prosecute those who embezzle and misuse public funds. We will work with our law enforcement partners to get the job done.”

Northside Rock Fined $117,600 for Second Water Pollution Violation

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality fined Northside Rock Products, LLC $117,600 for discharging pollution into the East Fork of McKay Creek from the Peterson Quarry gravel mine in North Plains.

McKay Creek is a designated spawning area for salmon and steelhead. Northside Rock's mining activities polluted the creek and posed a hazard for fish eggs and other aquatic species during several months in 2017. This is the second penalty DEQ has assessed Northside Rock for the same violation. DEQ issued the first fine of $55,048 in July 2017. Pollution discharges continued.

In October and November 2017, a DEQ inspector and a state trooper observed opaque, milky brown runoff from the mine entering the creek. DEQ water samples showed the “turbidity,” or cloudiness, of the runoff was nearly 3,000 times more than the allowable level for industrial discharge under Oregon law.

DEQ ordered Northside Rock to immediately cease the pollution discharges in November 2017. Northside Rock reports it has sealed the pond that was releasing the polluted water.

EPA Listening Session in San Francisco on Proposed Repeal of Clean Power Plan

On March 28, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a notice indicating the Agency’s intent to review the Clean Power Plan, in accord with the President’s Energy Independence Executive Order. On October 16, 2017, EPA proposed to repeal the Clean Power Plan, proposing that it is not consistent with the Clean Air Act. EPA is now taking comment on that proposal and has extended the public comment period through April 26, 2018. Listening sessions are being held in San Francisco, California; Kansas City, Missouri; and Gillette, Wyoming.

A listening session on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan will be held on February 28, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. PST, at the San Francisco, Main Public Library, on 30 Grove Street. Registration information and more details on the listening session, including how to access online livestreaming, are available at:

Written statements and supporting information submitted during the public comment period will be considered with the same weight as any oral comments and supporting information presented at the listening session. Comments should be identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355 and may be submitted by one of the methods listed here:

New Material May Improve Safety and Performance in Lithium Batteries 

Researchers are using neutrons to study a battery material that could offer a safer alternative to the flammable liquid component found in most types of lithium-ion batteries.

Rob Schmidt, a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and his collaborators are using neutrons at the lab’s High Flux Isotope Reactor to study a solid-core garnet material as a possible substitute for the flammable liquid cores often used in lithium-ion batteries.

Batteries contain a core material known as an electrolyte that allows ions to travel between the positive and negative ends of the cell to maintain a balanced charge. However, most of the liquid electrolytes used today in lithium-ion batteries are flammable. Schmidt is investigating a solid electrolyte material for potential use in the next generation of lithium-ion batteries for increased safety and reliability.

The team is using CG-1D’s high sensitivity to lithium to track the lithium ion progression across the electrolyte and to observe the conditions that lead to the formation of unwanted dendrites. Dendrites, thin lithium metal filaments that can form inside battery cells, degrade battery performance by creating unwanted variations in electrical current distributions.

“Lithium is a soft metal material, so a lithium dendrite is able to go through liquids pretty easily, which makes it easy for batteries to short out,” said Schmidt. “Lithium shouldn’t go through a stiff, ceramic-like material like the garnet material we’re studying, but it does. We want to know why and how it does that.”

Schmidt hypothesized that the first step to failure is too much ion current in one area, followed by the formation of dendrites in areas that have greater lithium ion current density. The dendrite could create an easier path for ionic charges to move along than the electrolyte. A partially formed dendrite concentrates ion current toward that easier pathway; once the dendrite fully forms between both electrodes, it creates an internal electrical short circuit.

“You really can’t see dendrites well by probing with x-rays, but with neutrons, you can see where lithium absorbs neutrons really, really well,” he said.

If neutrons can help the team to better understand how dendrites form, they may be able to inform the design of new and ultimately safer batteries.

Connecticut Air Permit Contact Sheet

Connecticut companies can obtain assistance in identifying the appropriate group or individual within the CT Bureau of Air Management's Engineering and Enforcement Division to contact for information concerning an issued permit or approval of registration using the new Air Permit Contact Sheet.

California’s Path to Clean Energy Future 

The California Energy Commission approved two reports that track the state’s path to a clean energy future, and also funded the continued operation and maintenance of 16 hydrogen refueling stations located strategically throughout California.

At a business meeting, the Energy Commission adopted the Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR), a key report that assesses and updates major energy trends and issues facing the state’s electricity, natural gas, and transportation fuel sectors. The report provides policy recommendations to conserve resources and protect the environment while maintaining energy reliability.

The IEPR release comes as California is taking ambitious steps to lower its greenhouse gas emissions. The report suggests that a downward trend in greenhouse gas emissions must be initiated in the next three years to avoid extreme climate change impacts. It also suggests that the state’s electric grid must evolve to support a low-carbon future that integrates solar and wind energy.

The Energy Commission also approved the California Energy Demand Forecast for 2018-2030. The report presents baseline forecasts of natural gas and electricity consumption and of peak demand for California and utility planning areas. The report includes estimates of additional achievable energy efficiency savings and photovoltaic adoption and provides options for managed electricity forecasts for resource planning.

The forecasts are used in a number of ways, including in planning proceedings for the California Independent System Operator’s transmission plans and the California Public Utilities Commission for integrated resource and distributed resource planning.

The Energy Commission approved more than $2 million for operating and maintaining 16 publicly accessible existing hydrogen refueling stations statewide, from San Diego to Truckee. The funds come from the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, which invests in advanced alternative and renewable fuels and vehicle technologies. Hydrogen stations are key to achieving Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.’s target to place 5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roads by 2030. The Governor’s Executive Order calls for 250,000 electric vehicle charging stations and 200 hydrogen fueling stations by 2025.

EPA Administrator Sued for Federal Records Law Violations

Scott Pruitt and the EPA were sued for violating federal records laws by systematically failing to create and maintain documents of essential EPA activities, according to a federal lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). In addition to Pruitt and the EPA’s apparent violation of the Federal Records Act (FRA), the suit also alleges further violations by Archivist of the United States David Ferriero and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for failing to properly enforce the law.

The FRA is a collection of statutes that governs the creation, management and disposal of federal records to ensure Americans have a detailed record of their government’s actions. Among other things, the FRA ensures the “[a]ccurate and complete documentation of the policies and transactions of the Federal Government.”

“It appears EPA Administrator Pruitt has operated in secrecy to avoid creating an adequate record of his and the EPA’s actions,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “We should not have to sue him to force him to follow the law and allow the public a window into what he is doing about the many critical issues before the EPA, but he has given us no other choice.”

Pruitt and other EPA political appointees have reportedly told EPA staff not to create a written record about substantive matters, including major changes to a water quality rule. Pruitt has also reportedly prohibited staff from bringing cellular phones into meetings and directed staff not to take notes to avoid the creation of any record of his questions and directions, and he uses phones other than his own to deal with important EPA-related matters so the calls do not show up in his call logs.

“Under Scott Pruitt, the EPA has assumed a bunker mentality where paper trails are religiously avoided unless penned in invisible ink,” stated PEER Staff Counsel Adam Carlesco. “By law, the American public has a right to know the basis for public health and anti-pollution decision-making that affects their lives.”

The FRA also requires the archivist to address violations of federal records law. Despite CREW’s request highlighting Pruitt’s possible FRA violations, Ferriero and NARA have not appeared to take any action.

Seven Montana Waterbodies Have Improved Quality 

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has released its draft report for water quality conditions in Montana for 2015-2017. Called the 2018 Water Quality Integrated Report, it contains information on status and trends of water quality in Montana, as well as a list of waterbodies that don’t support full beneficial use and require a plan for water quality improvement.

The 2018 report notes seven waterbodies previously reported with water quality concerns that now meet applicable water quality standards. These successes can be credited to land management activities such as forest practices, grazing practices or stream restoration projects. All of Montana’s surface waters have water quality goals for things such as aquatic life, which may be harmed by pollutants such as metals, sediment, nutrients and high temperatures. When a waterbody is determined to have an excessive amount of a pollutant, it is identified as needing a restoration plan for restoring and protecting the waterbody’s beneficial uses and is placed on a list of waters not fully supporting beneficial uses – referred to as the 303(d) list.

“These restoration plans define what is needed for a waterbody to meet water quality standards for a given pollutant, for example, copper,” said Water Quality Division Administrator Tim Davis. “If a waterbody has levels of copper that harm aquatic life, a plan is developed to define the reduction of copper entering the waterbody needed from all sources to attain a level that does not harm aquatic life.”

Montana has approximately 58,200 miles of perennial rivers and streams and 730,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs greater than 5 acres. The State of Montana has jurisdiction of about 54,800 miles and 641,200 acres, respectively. The tribes and federal government have jurisdiction over the remaining waters.

The Integrated Report is required under the federal Clean Water Act and DEQ must submit it to the Environmental Protection Agency every two years. The 305(b) portion is the status and trends of Montana’s waters, including an assessment of existing water quality conditions and an overview of the state’s water pollution control efforts. The 303(d) list includes the waterbodies that are not fully supporting one or more beneficial uses and need a restoration plan.

DEQ is seeking comment on the report through April 21, 2018. Comments should be submitted electronically or mailed to:

Integrated Report Coordinator

Department of Environmental Quality

P.O. Box 200901

Helena, MT 59620-0901

HazMat and Hazcom Video 

PHMSA and OSHA  jointly produced and rolled out a YouTube video and poster that provide clarity on the differing agency labeling requirements to communicate the dangers of hazardous materials in transportation (DOT) and in the workplace (OSHA).

Both agencies are responsible for enforcing distinct and separate safety standards regarding the appropriate labeling of chemical hazards through PHMSA's Hazardous Materials Regulations and OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard 2012.

Tips for Safe Wood Burning 

The groundhog has come and gone, but New Englanders know that cold seasonal weather will continue for several weeks. Many of us try to reduce high heating costs by burning wood, a cost-saving and renewable source of energy.

Despite the positive effect on our pocketbooks and the aesthetic enjoyment of having a fire in the hearth, there are some less desirable trade-offs associated with using fireplace inserts, wood stoves, or outdoor boilers (also called hydronic heaters). Older wood heaters generally are more inefficient and emit more pollutants into the air than EPA-certified wood heaters or sources that burn oil or natural gas. By following some wood-burning tips, you can help ensure that wood is burned safely and efficiently while protecting the health of your family and neighbors and lowering the risk of a chimney fire.

Wood smoke is made up of a mixture of fine particles and toxic gases that can harm your health. Fine particle pollution isn't healthy to breathe indoors or out, especially for children, older adults and those with heart disease, lung disease or asthma. Exposure to wood smoke increases susceptibility to respiratory infections and, in people with heart disease, has been linked to heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and stroke.

EPA has tips for New England homeowners who heat their homes with wood heaters:

  • If you have an older wood heater, consider upgrading to an EPA-certified heater (wood or pellet stove, fireplace insert, or hydronic heater) or gas heater.
  • Split and season softwood outdoors for at least 6 months and hardwood for 12 months before burning it. To ensure efficient burning, keep your firewood dry, ideally in a wood shed.
  • Never burn painted or pressure-treated wood, ocean driftwood, wood that contains glue (e.g., plywood), household garbage, trash, cardboard, plastics or foam. All of these products emit toxic fumes when burned.
  • Have a certified professional service your wood heater or fireplace annually.
  • Start fires only with newspaper and dry kindling.
  • Do not let a fire smolder.
  • Make sure your house has adequate insulation and weather stripping to reduce your heating needs.


By using a newer EPA-certified wood heater, and following the tips above, you can ensure that your home is efficiently heated and that you have taken steps to reduce the risk of exposing your family and neighbors to harmful air pollution.

Submit Applications for 15th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is now accepting applications for the 2018 Environmental Excellence Awards program. This year marks the 15th anniversary of New York's Environmental Excellence Awards that recognize businesses, institutions, governments, and organizations for their outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and economic viability.

To date, New York has honored 86 committed organizations that are leading by example and inspiring others within their industry and community.

"Through Governor Andrew Cuomo's leadership, New York State is an international environmental leader, advancing new and exciting programs to reduce energy use, sustain and protect our irreplaceable natural resources, and help communities tackle climate change," said DEC Commissioner Seggos. "DEC's Environmental Excellence Awards showcase the individuals, organizations, and businesses that are key to implementing these priorities and setting the example for others across the state and the country."

DEC is encouraging organizations that are implementing innovative approaches and technologies, advancing sustainable practices, generating economic growth, harnessing the power of creative partnerships, and achieving extraordinary outcomes to apply. Competitive applications will focus on projects or programs resulting in significant environmental benefits by:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Helping adapt to our changing climate
  • Reducing food waste or encouraging recycling and composting programs
  • Developing green tech solutions
  • Implementing initiatives to green businesses, farms, schools, recreational, sports, health care and hospitality facilities
  • Supporting clean energy and green infrastructure projects
  • Developing creative natural resource/habitat protection or restoration efforts
  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Implementing sustainable education and training programs
  • Improving manufacturing processes
  • Supporting creative urban forestry or farming practices, including programs to advance farm to table efforts.


A DEC Webinar: "Lead by Example! Be A NYS Environmental Excellence Award Winner" on Wednesday March 7, from 10:00 AM to 11:30AM will provide details about the awards program and how to submit a competitive application. Participants will also hear from previous award recipients about the importance and benefits of receiving statewide recognition and leading by example.

Completed applications for the 2018 awards must be submitted by Friday, April 13, 2018. Award winners will be honored at a 15th anniversary event in November. At that time, winners will have an opportunity to present and display information about their award-winning project or program.

Benefits of receiving an award include visibility as a sector leader and advancing an organization's mission through networking and marketing opportunities.

Since the program began in 2004, award winners have had positive impacts on New York's economy and have contributed to impressive improvements of New York's environment such as:

  • reducing or eliminating more than 174,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas emissions;
  • producing at least 1.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity from solar installations and saving 214 million kilowatt hours of electricity;
  • reducing the use of petroleum products by more than 12 million gallons;
  • reducing water consumption by more than 90 million gallons;
  • capturing at least 46 million gallons of stormwater;
  • diverting nearly 350,000 tons of waste from landfills, including more than two tons of pharmaceutical waste and six tons of batteries annually;
  • composting nearly 224,000 tons of organic material;
  • preserving thousands of acres of open space, planting thousands of trees, protecting sensitive and critical habitats and improving the health of lakes, ponds and other water resources;
  • engaging millions of adults and students in sustainable practices at home, work, and school while recreating or attending a sporting event; and
  • generating more than $2.5 million in revenue from transforming waste into opportunities by diverting reusable materials from the landfill.


New Director of DNREC Division of Energy & Climate

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced that Andrea Kreiner is DNREC’s new director of the Division of Energy & Climate.

For more than 13 years, Kreiner has owned and operated a sustainability-focused consulting business that provides services to government, universities, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations. She previously served as a policy advisor for Governor Ruth Ann Minner. Kreiner also is a Sustainability and Society adjunct instructor at Delaware Technical Community College, and a former DNREC employee who worked in the area of pollution prevention for more than 10 years.

Director Kreiner received her Master of Science degree in resource economics from the University of Rhode Island, and earned, with distinction, a Bachelor of Science degree in applied economics and business management specializing in energy economics from Cornell University. She has more than 25 years of experience in the environmental field and has written numerous publications.

Environmental News Links 

Air Pollutants in Your Medicine Cabinet

Everyday Chemicals Surpass Cars as Source of Urban Air Pollution

Energy Efficiency Saves Lives, Avoids Huge Health Costs

NY Spurs Community Solar by Upping Project Size Threshold

Cruz Rallies Refinery Workers for Ethanol Mandate Change

Trump’s Plan for Energy Start Sparks Industry Uproar

CREW and PEER Sue Pruitt and EPA Over Federal Records Law Violations

Being Raised in Greener Neighborhoods May Have Beneficial Effects on Brain Development

Scientists Take Steps Toward Safer Batteries by Trimming Lithium Branches

What Fell on Alabama? A Detailed Look at 84 Million Pounds of Toxic Releases

Four Ways Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Puts Americans at Risk

California District Court Vacates EPA Final Rule to Delay Compliance with Formaldehyde Emission Standards

New Prop 65 Warning Will be Placed on Boats in California

EPA’s Enforcement Drops to Unprecedented Lows

EPA and Scott Pruitt Sued by Groups Alleging Agency Violated Federal Records Laws

EPA Finds Black Communities Disproportionately Hit by Pollution

Norwalk Considers Fracking Ban as State Grapples with Issue

Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonalds are Phasing Out Foam Cups

Exxon Lawsuit Against States and Environmental Groups Over Climate Change Claims

Trivia Question

What city had the greatest release of toxic chemicals in 2016?

a. Houston, TX

b. Gary, IN

c. Baton Rouge, LA

c. Kotzebue, AK


Answer:  c (756 million pounds of TRI toxic chemicals)