Excessive Idling Can Cost You

January 28, 2008

 In 2007, EPA observed pervasive unnecessary idling by Capitol Waste Services, Inc’s refuse trucks at its lot in Revere, Mass.

This action is part of EPA's ongoing effort to reduce unnecessary engine idling. Idling wastes fuel, emits greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, and degrades air quality. EPA's enforcement effort is complemented by providing assistance to fleets and facilities to help them find alternatives to idling. Because an idling truck or bus can waste nearly a gallon of fuel per hour and incurs significantly more engine wear than driving, curbing excessive idling is a win-win situation for both fleet owners and the environment.

"The pollution from idling engines contributes to ozone smog, fine particle pollution, and climate change, all of which pose immediate- and long-term threats to human health," said EPA Regional Administrator Robert Varney. "Our enforcement of anti-idling regulations sends the message that excessive idling will not be tolerated."

Diesel engines emit pollutants that can cause or aggravate a variety of health conditions, such as asthma, other respiratory illnesses, and heart disease. Long-term exposure to diesel exhaust can also cause lung cancer. People with asthma or other respiratory/cardiac conditions, and children whose lungs are still developing, are particularly vulnerable. Capitol's lot in Revere is adjacent to a residential area.

Four New England states—Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island—have idling limits. Thus far, EPA has the authority to cooperatively enforce idling limits in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Attorney General Calls on FTC to Guard Against Fraud in the Carbon Offset Market

Citing the potential “to manipulate the system,” California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. has recommended that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sharpen its guidelines for businesses that sell carbon emission offset credits.

“The Federal Trade Commission must set clear guidelines for the sale of carbon offset credits,” Attorney General Brown said. “As more Americans try to offset their carbon emissions, the danger grows that some individuals will attempt to manipulate the system. Consumers must feel confident that they actually get what they pay for—real carbon reduction offsets.”

Ordinary activities, such as driving cars and running power plants, produce greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat from the sun, causing global temperatures to rise. Under a carbon offset program, consumers are able to purchase emissions credits—which reflect specific environmental projects that reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases elsewhere in the environment.

The national market for carbon offset credits is expected to reach $100 million annually within the next four years. Currently, the market for these offsets is volatile, largely unregulated, and has serious potential for fraud.

The FTC is responsible for ensuring that carbon offset projects are fairly and honestly marketed to consumers. Recently, the FTC requested comments, by Jan. 25, 2008, on the marketing of carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates.

In a letter sent to the FTC, Attorney General Brown and several other state attorneys general outlined potential problems with carbon offset markets and offered recommendations to the FTC aimed at protecting consumers. Other states joining today’s letter include: Vermont, Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Illinois, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.


  • Conduct research on consumers’ understanding of carbon offsets
  • Ensure that offset projects do not double-sell credits or claim credits for practices that are already required by law
  • Engage in aggressive education and outreach to ensure that consumers understand the nature of carbon offsets and the potential for fraud

The states also called for a clearer definition of what qualifies as a carbon offset. Currently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asserts that offset credits can be backed by projects that will go forward, regardless of whether emissions credits are sold. An alternative offset definition would only allow the sale of credits from projects that would not otherwise have gone forward.

The states also demanded that the FTC consider whether renewable energy certificates—proof that energy was generated by a renewable source—should count as a valid offset. The certificates may not qualify as offsets because renewable energy does not always displace traditional energy sources.

The states recommended that the FTC offer consumer tips on its website and place explicit details about offsets—including the name, location, and project owner—on all marketing material.


Bill Introduced to Reverse EPA Global Warming Waiver Decision

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, introduced legislation on January 24 that would direct the EPA to grant California a waiver under the Clean Air Act to cut global warming pollution from motor vehicles. Cosponsors of the bill include Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), John Kerry (D-MA), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Barack Obama (D-IL), and Roberts Menendez (D-NJ).

"Administrator Johnson's decision to deny the waiver was not supported by the facts, by the law, by the science, or by precedent,” Senator Boxer said. “I will use every available tool to ensure that California and the nation are able to reduce the pollution that causes global warming. One of those tools is legislation that essentially overturns Mr. Johnson's actions."

The bill directs the EPA Administrator to grant California's request for the waiver, which will allow California to implement its greenhouse gas emissions standards for motor vehicles. The waiver will also permit other states to adopt California's emissions standards.

Fourteen other states have adopted California's standards or are in the process of adopting them. Another four are moving toward adopting the California standards. All together, those 19 states represent more than 152,000,000 Americans—a majority of the U.S. population.

Rhode Island Offers Businesses Recycling Assistance

In an effort to increase recycling in the business sector, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management announced that it has reinvigorated a commercial recycling program to help businesses comply with the state's mandatory recycling law and to help preserve landfill capacity.

 The letters include personalized user identification and PIN numbers that allow private access to the system. DEM will use the data to gauge the current level of recycling, to identify what is working well and where improvements are needed, and to track recycling progress. Key information will be incorporated into the second phase: a joint DEM and RI Resource Recovery Corporation sector-by-sector education and compliance assistance program set to begin in late spring.

Rhode Island businesses generate approximately 60% of the waste buried in the state's Central Landfill, or about 700,000 tons a year. Despite a law requiring businesses to recycle and businesses with more than 50 employees to implement recycling plans and report progress annually to DEM, the commercial recycling rate is estimated to be less than 3%.

The planning and reporting process implemented in the past proved to be resource intensive for businesses. Recycling cost and convenience issues also prevented businesses from fully complying with program requirements. The revised program, with its automated reporting system, as well as a business assistance component, aims to address those issues.

To give businesses time to adjust and come into compliance, DEM will not be enforcing the mandatory recycling regulations until February 2009. Companies not currently recycling are encouraged to contact DEM's commercial recycling coordinator, Alyson Silva, at 222-2797, Ext. 7134,  for assistance in setting up a recycling program.


EPA Wants Public to Take Action Against Radon Risks

Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that travels up from underground sources of uranium in the earth's crust. Radon can seep into homes undetected through foundation cracks and can reach harmful levels if trapped indoors.

EPA estimates that 1 in 15 homes will have a radon level of 4 pCi/L of air or more, a level the agency considers high. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking.

In existing homes, families can begin protecting themselves by buying an easy-to-use radon test kit to determine if a high level exists; if so, a high level might be lowered simply with a straight-forward radon venting system installed by a contractor. In new homes, builders can easily and economically include radon-resistant features during construction, and home buyers should ask for these. EPA also recommends that home buyers ask their builder to test for radon gas before they move in.

"In our national drive to reduce greenhouse gases by making our homes greener, we shouldn't forget that they can't truly be green without being safe places for people to live," said Marcus Peacock, EPA's deputy administrator. "It's remarkably easy to protect our loved ones by testing for radon and building new homes with radon-resistant features that allow everyone to breathe freely and safely."

As part of an effort called Radon Leaders Saving Lives, EPA is working with state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, and radon professionals across the country to educate consumers about ways to reduce radon in existing and new homes. Moreover, everyone can be a radon leader and help save a life by telling a friend or neighbor about preventing lung cancer from breathing radon.

Tamarack Resort Pays $185,000 Penalty to Settle Storm Water Violations

The Tamarack Resort, located approximately 100 miles north of Boise, Idaho, has agreed to pay the United States a $185,000 penalty to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act arising from storm water violations discovered on the resort’s property in 2005 and 2006, the Justice Department and EPA announced.

This agreement also calls for Tamarack to restrict its winter construction schedule this year and upgrade its “Best Management Practices” for future winter construction seasons.

In addition to inspections by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, EPA inspected Tamarack three times over the past two years: April 21, 2005; Oct. 13, 2005; and April 20, 2006. Violations of the Construction Storm Water General Permit were noted at all the inspections. The complaint alleges that numerous storm water violations occurred at the Resort’s 800-acre construction site, near the shore of Cascade Lake in Idaho’s West Mountains.

"We expect all industries to comply with the Clean Water Act," said Ronald J. Tenpas, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "This settlement will ensure that future construction at this site will comply with applicable federal laws."

According to Elin D. Miller, EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle, Wash., this was a case where a developer made a serious mistake and harmed the environment.

“It's critically important that all land developers, like Tamarack Resort, pay close attention to storm water management during construction,” said Miller. “If too large a land area is opened up at one time, construction runoff is uncontrollable and nearby streams and lakes can be damaged.”

Violations documented at the site included failure to obtain timely coverage under the EPA Storm Water Construction General Permit; discharging concrete truck wash water to a wetland; discharging turbid water to nearby creeks and Cascade lake; failure to maintain “Best Management Practices” properly; and failure to update storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP).

Under the terms of the agreement, Tamarack Resort has 30 days after entry of the decree to remit the penalty to the U.S. Treasury. 

Michigan DEQ Resolves Violations With the City of Lansing

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Director Steven E. Chester announced that it has entered into an Administrative Consent Order with the City of Lansing to resolve water resources protection violations that include discharges of sediment to Sycamore Creek, resulting from construction activity at the Sycamore Golf Course dating back to 2005.

"Proper soil erosion and sedimentation controls on construction sites are critical components of keeping Michigan's waters safe," said Director Chester. "We look forward to working with the City of Lansing to ensure these mistakes are not repeated."

The Consent Order was entered into between the DEQ and the city to resolve the violations at the Sycamore Golf Course construction site. The Consent Order requires Lansing to pay a civil fine in the amount of $22,000 and to reimburse the DEQ for enforcement costs of the investigation. As part of the compliance program contained in the Consent Order, the city implemented improved soil erosion and sedimentation control measures and fully stabilized the construction site.

MPCA Enforcement Actions Total Just Under $650,000 in Fourth Quarter of 2007; Nearly $1.8 Million Throughout the Year

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) concluded 67 enforcement cases totaling $644,692 in penalties during the fourth quarter of 2007. The cases occurred at facilities in 36 counties throughout Minnesota.

For all of 2007, MPCA enforcement staff concluded 219 cases with a total penalty amount of $1.78 million. Those cases occurred at facilities in 64 of Minnesota's 87 counties.

For questions on specific enforcement cases, please contact Stephen Mikkelson, Information Officer, at 218-855-5001, or toll-free at 1-800-657-3864.

Hollinee Glass Fibers Fined for Air Violations

Hol Holdings, LLC, has agreed to pay $62,000 to settle violations of Ohio's air pollution laws. Hol Holdings of Chicago, Ill., operated Hollinee Glass Fibers, 9702 Ironpoint Road in Shawnee (Perry County).

Hollinee Glass Fibers manufactures woven fiberglass mats used for various end products by the reinforced plastic products industry. Hollinee was sold by Hol Holdings, LLC, to Superior Shawnee Composites, LLC, on Sept. 1, 2006. The facility has three air emissions units used in the glass fiber forming operation.

The major violations included:

  • Failing to maintain daily and monthly logs as required in the company's air permit
  • Failing to document and report deviations from emission limits on several occasions during 2002 and 2003
  • Operating in exceedence of Ohio limits for organic emissions during 851 days after receiving their permit
  • Failing to maintain automated hourly records of a wet scrubber (air pollution control equipment) used in the glass operation
  • Failing to submit semiannual reports to address violations in a timely manner
  • Failing to perform weekly monitoring and recordkeeping of visible particulate emissions
  • Failing to apply for and obtain permit-to-install modifications for equipment
  • Exceeding allowable particulate emission limits

Ohio EPA, Rossford Glassmaker Settle Violations

Pilkington North America, a glassmaker in Rossford, Ohio, will pay a $60,000 civil penalty for violating its air pollution permit. The company also has agreed to analyze its emissions and raw materials to prevent future violations.

The company has an air pollution control permit for a float glass melting furnace. The permit limits particulate, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide emissions and includes limits on production rates to keep emissions within limits. The permit also has hourly limits on particulate emissions and sulfuric acid mist.

Toledo's Division of Environmental Services cited the company in December 2005 for exceeding its production limit. Pilkington acknowledged the violation and reported several similar violations. The company outlined a plan to address the problems and conducted several stack tests to determine the cause of the excess emissions.

Pilkington concluded that the type of dolomite rock used as the raw material in the glass-making process was the primary cause of the high particulate emissions. The company has secured a different supply of dolomite and believes that will resolve the emissions issues.

The agreement requires Pilkington to conduct emissions testing during each production run of different types of glass and obtain a corresponding sample of the dolomite used in each run for the next 12 months, as well as to conduct annual stack tests thereafter. Pilkington also must test the dolomite biweekly and track which type of the raw material enables the company to stay at or below permitted emission limits.

As required by the agreement, the company also has requested a modification to its permit-to-install that includes a sampling and analysis plan for testing stacks and the raw material. The company will pay $48,000 to Ohio EPA's Environmental Education Fund and air pollution control programs. The remaining $12,000 will go to Ohio EPA's Clean Diesel School Bus Fund Retrofit program.

Ohio EPA, Upper Sandusky Company Settle Violations

Diamond Manufacturing Inc. will pay a $54,000 civil penalty for violating its air pollution permit at its facility located at 300 Commerce Way, Upper Sandusky.

The company produces hinged doors for semi-trailers and delivery trucks. Air emissions from the facility consist of particulate material from the wood shop and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants from paint coating lines and cleaning materials.

The company obtained a permit to install the air pollution sources in 2001. Diamond was required to keep precise records of emissions calculations and regularly report to Ohio EPA. Since beginning operations in November 2001, the company failed to keep proper records and did not file reports on time.

In addition, the company exceeded organic compound limits in its coatings, failed to apply for a permit-to-operate within 90 days of beginning operations in November 2001, failed to apply for a permit-to-install the woodworking operation, and did not perform additional calculations or submit additional information requested by Ohio EPA.

Diamond has resolved the violations by submitting the required reports and applying for an operating permit. The company also applied for and received a modified permit to resolve issues with emissions from the coating line.

The company will pay $43,200 to Ohio EPA's Environmental Education Fund and air pollution control programs. The remaining $10,800 will go to Ohio EPA's Clean Diesel School Bus Fund Retrofit Program.

Pennsylvania DEP Fines Pocono Medical Center $100,000 for Illegal Medical Waste Disposal

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has fined the Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg, Monroe County, $100,000 for illegally disposing and managing infectious and chemotherapeutic waste in 2006.

“The medical center was not following procedures for separating its medical waste from its normal solid waste,” said DEP Northeast Regional Director Michael Bedrin. “They shipped it to two regional landfills, where it was found and removed for proper disposal.”

The illegally disposed waste was discovered in Lackawanna County’s Keystone Landfill and the Grand Central Landfill in Northampton County in April 2006 after DEP began investigating the waste sent to those facilities.

The department also determined that Pocono Medical Center failed to properly label containers of infectious waste and failed to ensure that an employee involved with packaging infectious waste wore protective overalls and gloves.

A notice of violation was sent to the medical center on Aug. 1, 2006, which documented the illegal disposal and the improper procedures at the center. According to the notice, Pocono Medical Center was to submit a plan and implementation schedule addressing the violations.

DEP worked with the medical center to address the problems, and the most recent inspection of the facility in June 2007 determined that it had taken measures to correct and prevent the violations.

“We feel this fine reflects the seriousness of the violations, in which people, waste haulers and landfill employees could have been at risk of contact with this medical waste,” said Bedrin. “The medical center has implemented internal procedures required by DEP to prevent this from happening again.”

Governors Decry EPA’s Waiver Denial in Joint Letter to Administrator

Pennsylvania has joined California and 12 other states in criticizing EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson for his actions last month in denying a measure that would protect the public and environmental health above a federal government program.

Governor Edward G. Rendell, as well as the chief executives of other states who have either adopted, or planned to adopt, a California regulation that would impose stricter greenhouse gas emission standards on automobiles, sent a letter to Johnson criticizing his agency’s denial of the waiver needed by California to implement the program.

Pennsylvania has adopted the stricter California emission rules but cannot realize greenhouse gas reductions from the rules unless California is permitted to enforce that portion of its clean vehicle program.

The letter was delivered the same day Governor Rendell testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on why implementing the California rule is so important to Pennsylvania.

$2 Million Penalty for Importing Motorcycles That Didn’t Meet California Standards

Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, and South Seas Cycle Exchange of Honolulu, Hawaii, will pay $2 million to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to settle a 2005 lawsuit over the importation of approximately 400 motorcycles that failed to meet California emissions standards.

ARB's long-running investigation, which began in 2002, found that Yamaha USA, headquartered in Cypress, Calif., imported more than 400 illegal motorcycles, registered them to Yamaha, USA in California, obtained state license plates, and then eventually sold some of them to state residents. In most cases, these were popular 1999–2002 models that were in great demand and difficult to purchase in California. One dealer imported more than 200 and sold all of them to California residents.

"This settlement should send a powerful message to those who try and make an end-run around our air quality regulations," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "We have the nation's toughest emissions standards for a reason—because too many parts of California still fail to meet federal health levels for air quality. These motorcycles could well have contributed to Southern California's already fouled air."

While other dealers involved in the case settled earlier with the ARB, both Yamaha USA and South Seas Cycle Exchange refused until recently. Under the terms of the agreement, Yamaha USA will pay approximately $1.2 million to the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which supports pollution-related research. The company will also pay $500,000 to fund a project to test the impact of ethanol-fuel blends on emissions from off-road gasoline engines, and $300,000 to the Office of the Attorney General for attorneys' fees.

In addition to the financial penalties, Yamaha and South Seas Cycle Exchange started a vehicle purchase program in December to buy back and destroy or remove any motorcycles that have been identified as not having been certified for use or registration in California. Motorcycles that do not meet California's stringent emission requirements create higher amounts of smog-forming pollutants, which can then exacerbate respiratory ailments and negatively affect other health conditions.

$3,300 Penalty for Violating Hazardous Waste Requirements

Southbridge Recycling & Disposal Park, Inc., which operates a construction and demolition debris processing facility at 165 Barefoot Road in Southbridge, Mass., will pay a $3,300 penalty to the Commonwealth for violating Hazardous Waste Management regulations.

During an inspection conducted in 2006, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) personnel determined that the company had generated hazardous waste in excess of its registered status, failed to label a hazardous waste container, and failed to make adequate arrangements with municipal and state officials in case of a hazardous waste emergency.

In a recently finalized consent order, the company agreed to maintain compliance with all applicable regulations and pay the $3,300 administrative penalty.

"Facilities such as this one are vital to the Commonwealth and provide a much-needed service.  However, proper operation within the guidelines of applicable regulations must occur," said Lee Dillard Adams, deputy director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester.

Environmental Excellence Program Recognizes Domtar

The Domtar Paper Company/Marlboro Paper Mill has been recognized for its environmental performance with renewal membership in the South Carolina Environmental Excellence Program (SCEEP), the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control announced.

“Domtar Paper uses its environmental management system to manage its environmental programs as well as to foster continual improvement in its environmental performance,” said Robert W. King Jr., DHEC’s deputy commissioner for Environmental Quality Control. “By using biomass products for energy needs, conserving water, and maintaining zero mill-production wastes going to its on-site landfill, Domtar has demonstrated support for DHEC and SCEEP's goal of improving South Carolina’s environment.”

King said SCEEP is a voluntary initiative designed to recognize and reward South Carolina facilities that have demonstrated environmental performance through pollution prevention, energy and resource conservation, and the use of an environmental management system. DHEC has supported the program since its creation in 1997.

Bennettsville's Domtar Paper, formerly Weyerhaeuser, was first approved for the program in May 2004.
For more information, please contact Christine Steagall at 803-896-8986, 

Home Builders Introduce “Certified Green Professionals”

A new professional designation program from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will soon provide home buyers with additional assurance that the builder or remodeler they’ve chosen is authentically “green.”

The Certified Green Professional™ designation will be unveiled Thursday, February 14, during Green Day at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla. Application information will be available at the show.

“We know green is the future of building. With the Certified Green Professional designation, we’re helping our qualified members demonstrate to their clients that the future is here,” said NAHB President Brian Catalde, a Southern California home builder.

Builders, remodelers, and other industry professionals must have at least two years of building industry experience and be involved in the construction of at least one home in the past 24 months to apply for the Certified Green Professional designation, Catalde explained.

The designation is based on the “Green Building for Building Professionals” course, a two-day training and education session that more than 700 builders have already completed since the course was piloted two years ago. Candidates must also complete a University of Housing management course, agree to continuing education requirements, and adhere to a code of ethics.

Applicants can take the course work during special preconference education sessions before the International Builders’ Show opens on February 13. The business management and Green Building for Building Professionals classes are also offered at other NAHB conferences and by local home building associations throughout the country. The first class of Certified Green Professionals will receive their designations at the 10th annual NAHB National Green Building Conference, May 11–13, in New Orleans.

NAHB will celebrate Green Day at the International Builders’ Show as a way to highlight the new designation, the NAHB National Green Building Program, and a host of special seminars, speakers, and education opportunities.


American Advancement of Science Meeting to Focus on Climate Change and Other Environmental Topics

Climate change issues head the agenda of the American Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Boston February 14–18, with more than a dozen sessions. Among the topics are ocean acidification, effects on microbial activity, biological adaptation, and our predictive abilities. Other sessions cover energy issues, such as coal gasification, biofuels, food supply impacts, nuclear waste, fusion energy, deep-sea coral ecology, delta restoration, cities in desert settings, drug-producing crops, emerging chemical contaminants, and pathogens in food.

Several sessions address the science-communications-media nexus, covering topics such as the validity of scientific information, conflicts between science and religion, the latest on evolution, and media coverage of climate change.

Meeting organizers expect about 10,000 participants to attend more than 170 symposia and other events.

The Clorox Company Introduces Natural Cleaning Products; Establishes Alliance With the Sierra Club


"Green Works is a breakthrough product for Clorox and for consumers who want to clean naturally but don't want to compromise on performance," said Don Knauss, chairman and CEO of The Clorox Company. "During the past several years, Clorox has been developing a formula that would clean better and possess the highest levels of natural ingredients. We achieved this with Green Works."

Green Works is at least 99% natural and made from ingredients derived from coconuts and lemon oil. The products are formulated to be biodegradable, non-allergenic, packaged in bottles that can be recycled, and not tested on animals. The Green Works line includes five natural cleaning products for use in the home, kitchen, and bathroom:

  • Green Works Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Green Works Natural Glass & Surface Cleaner
  • Green Works Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Green Works Natural Dilutable Cleaner
  • Green Works Natural Bathroom Cleaner

Natural products represent less than 1% of the total cleaning category. According to Green Works Brand Manager Matt Kohler, category growth has been limited largely because of consumers' concerns over product performance and price. "Many natural cleaners are double the price of traditional brands, but in the end do not clean well."

According to the company’s research, 43.8% of consumers said they want to use more natural household cleaning products, but the products need to get the job done. In lab and blind consumer in-home testing, Green Works products performed as well as, or better than, leading conventional cleaners.

As the first natural cleaner with national distribution, Green Works will move natural cleaning into the mainstream. Its affordability also enables consumers to take a step toward living a more natural lifestyle without paying a significant premium price.

"For generations, The Clorox Company has been committed to making products that improve consumers' everyday lives," said Knauss. "The addition of Green Works to our brand portfolio means more cleaning choices for consumers on neighborhood store shelves."

Green Works is the first line of natural cleaners developed by a major consumer products company. To commemorate this launch, Clorox announced an alliance with the Sierra Club.

"One of the Sierra Club's primary goals is to foster vibrant, healthy communities with clean water and air that are free from pollution," said Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope. "Products like Green Works help to achieve this goal in the home. We're looking forward to working with Clorox and the Green Works team to promote a line of natural cleaning products for consumers who are moving toward a greener lifestyle."

In April, Green Works labeling will feature the Sierra Club's logo—just in time for Earth Day—marking the brand's commitment to supporting the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States.

SC Johnson's Greenlist Remove 61-Plus Million Pounds of VOCs

Generations of families that recognize Windex® glass cleaner for its distinctive blue color may be surprised to learn that the product’s manufacturer says that the product is actually green. 

Beginning this month, consumers will get this message when they go to the shelf. The Greenlist logo will appear on the packaging of Windex glass cleaner. The logo is designed to help consumers quickly identify that SC Johnson products are made with a commitment to a more positive health and environmental profile. The company also plans to include the logo on additional SC Johnson products.  

Since devising the Greenlist process in 2001, SC Johnson reformulations have removed more than 61 million pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the environmental footprint of the company's products—the equivalent produced by approximately 656,000 cars in a year.

"The Greenlist process is about making good products even better," said Kelly Semrau, vice president of Global Public Affairs and Communication for SC Johnson. "So when a consumer picks up that blue bottle of Windex glass cleaner or any one of our innovative products, they know the company that made it cares as much about the well-being of the environment as they do."

Some examples of how the Greenlist process has removed VOCs:

  • SC Johnson cut 1.8 million pounds of VOCs from Windex glass cleaner, while giving it 30% more cleaning power.
  • The company reformulated Pledge Multi-Surface cleaner globally to increase biodegradability and reduce VOCs, while at the same time increasing cleaning power by 30%.
  • -Fantastik Orange Action offers an effective grease-cutting formula that is solvent free with no VOCs.

How the Greenlist process works
SC Johnson developed the patented Greenlist process, a raw-material rating system, to transform the way the company measures, tracks, and advances its products to further the company's longstanding commitment to environmental responsibility. SC Johnson uses the Greenlist process to continually improve its products and minimize the impact they have on the environment and human health.

The Greenlist process provides ratings for more than 95% of the raw materials used in the company's products. This computerized, global system enables SC Johnson scientists around the world to continuously improve the environmental and human health profile of the company's products while maintaining and improving the high performance of the company's products.

SC Johnson developed the Greenlist process according to rigorous scientific best practice. It was created with input from recognized experts such as the United Kingdom's Forum For the Future and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with additional help from suppliers, university scientists, and other organizations.

SC Johnson's innovative Greenlist process has been recognized with two Presidential awards. In 2006, SC Johnson received the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award and the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership for its work on the Greenlist process.

Proposed Greenhouse Gas Legislation Will Not Hinder U.S. Economic Growth

Proposed legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will have little impact on America's future economic growth, according to a new report conducted by researchers at RTI International and Harvard University for the EPA. The EPA Analysis of the Low Carbon Economy Act of 2007 report analyzes expected future economic adjustments associated with the proposed Low Carbon Economy Act of 2007, Senate Bill S. 1766.

This bill, proposed by Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Arlen Specter, would substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by placing a cap on emissions from most parts of the economy.
The bill includes both a trading system for emissions allowances and a technology accelerator payment system, or TAP, in order to encourage cost-effective reductions and reduce any future uncertainties faced by businesses and households.

The RTI analysis shows that enacting the bill would result in forecasted growth for U.S. Gross Domestic Product over the next 40 years of 2.69% annually, compared with 2.72% without the bill. Similar changes are estimated for growth in household consumption, and energy prices are expected to be modestly affected.

Technological advancements such as carbon capture and storage from electricity generation are an important component of meeting the targets outlined in the bill. "Issues affecting the necessary economic adjustments include things such as the availability of these new technologies and the extent of international actions to reduce greenhouse gases in both developed and developing countries," Ross said. "As written, the bill encourages development of advanced technologies to lower emissions. It is also important to note that the analysis focuses on costs of reducing emissions and does not consider economic benefits associated with preventing changes in climate."

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Trivia Question of the Week

Does the type of car the presidential candidates drive tell you anything about their green credentials?  See if you can match the candidate with their cars:

Candidates: McCain, Obama, Clinton, Romney, Edwards, Giuliani, and Paul

Cars: Ford Escape Hybrid, Buick, Mustang Convertible, Cadillac CTS, Chevy Tahoe (flex fuel), Mercury Mariner Hybrid, and which candidate doesn’t drive?