New Universal Waste Rule Delayed to Allow More Time for Comment

February 02, 2009

The comment period concerning this proposed rule is extended from February 2 to March 4, 2009.

Special Envoy for Climate Policy and Strategy Named

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has chosen Todd Stern as the United State’s chief climate negotiator and the new administration’s principal adviser on international climate policy and strategy. Stern coordinated climate policy from 1997 to 1999 under former President Bill Clinton and was a senior White House negotiator at the Kyoto climate talks.

“With the appointment today of a special envoy, we are sending an unequivocal message that the United States will be energetic, focused, strategic, and serious about addressing global climate change and the corollary issue of clean energy,” Clinton said at a State Department ceremony where Stern was named to the position. “As we take steps at home, we will also vigorously pursue negotiations, those sponsored by the United Nations and those at the subglobal, regional, and bilateral level, that can lead to binding international climate agreements.”

Stern has said the United States must play a leading role in global climate change negotiations. Approximately 190 countries are trying to craft a broader climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol. The new treaty, expected to culminate in Copenhagen this December, would strive to bind wealthy nations to emission targets.

“The time for denial, delay, and dispute is over. The time for the United States to take up its rightful place at the negotiating table is here,” Stern said. “We can only meet the climate challenge with a response that is genuinely global. We will need to engage in vigorous, dramatic diplomacy.”

Stern’s appointment came as President Obama announced his support of requiring auto makers to produce more fuel-efficient and less polluting cars as well as giving instructions for the EPA to reconsider California’s request to impose state-specific limits on carbon-dioxide emissions from vehicles.

EPA Seeks Additional Review and Extends Effective Date of Oil SPCC Requirements

Consistent with the Office of Management and Budget’s Jan. 21, 2009, memorandum regarding regulatory review, EPA is extending the effective date of the Dec. 5, 2008, Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) final rule by 60 days. EPA released a pre-publication version of the extension that will be published in the Federal Register in the near future.

 Through the December regulation, EPA sought to encourage greater compliance with the SPCC regulations by clarifying regulatory requirements, tailoring requirements to particular industry sectors, and streamlining certain requirements for facility owners or operators subject to the rule.

In addition to extending the effective date, EPA is also providing a 30-day public comment period for the Dec. 5, 2008, SPCC final rule. While the agency will accept public comment on all aspects of this rule, EPA is particularly interested in receiving comments on the requirements for produced water containers at oil production facilities and the criteria for identification of qualified oil production facilities eligible to self-certify their SPCC plans.

The agency is also reviewing the dates by which owners or operators of facilities must prepare or amend their SPCC plans and implement them. EPA intends to address these compliance dates in a separate notice.

Neither this extension, nor the Dec. 5, 2008, final rule remove any regulatory requirement for owners or operators of facilities in operation before Aug. 16, 2002, to maintain an SPCC plan in accordance with the SPCC regulations.

EPA Extends Comment Period and Announces Public Meeting Concerning Formaldehyde Emissions from Pressed Wood Products

EPA has granted an extension of the comment period and has announced a sixth public meeting concerning the topic of formaldehyde emissions from pressed wood products.  The comment period has been extended from February 2 to March 19.

So far, five public meetings have been held for EPA to obtain additional stakeholder input. An additional sixth public meeting has been scheduled for March 4, 2009, at 1 p.m. in New Orleans, La. See the January 30 Federal Register notice for more details about the meeting location.

Pros and Cons of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

With the issue of climate change in the forefront of environmental news these days, people are looking for ways to reduce energy use. Many people are turning to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to assist in this process because they use 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. If every American switched one incandescent bulb to a CFL, it would save more than $600 million in annual energy costs and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from 800,000 cars.

However, one concern is that CFLs contain a small amount of mercury. One Pennsylvania resident recently e-mailed EPA’s mid-Atlantic region to ask what she should do. “The problem with CFLs is that these bulbs contain mercury and they need to be disposed of properly but the box does not give any instructions,” she wrote. “Should we be more concerned with energy saving or mercury hazards?”

EPA’s electronics recycling specialist Dan Gallo, who responded to the question, says the benefits of lower energy consumption outweigh the disadvantages.

“Although CFLs do contain mercury, it is present in trace amounts—five milligrams—an amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen,” Gallo said. “It would take 100 CFLs to equal the amount of mercury contained in older thermometers, which is about 500 milligrams.”

The good news is that old CFL bulbs can be taken to Home Depot, IKEA, and Ace Hardware for recycling. Additionally, Wal-mart is piloting a CFL recycling program at its stores in the Richmond, Va. area.

“Using CFLs is a quick and easy way for Americans to save energy and money everyday, while they also protect the environment,” Gallo said.

If a CFL bulb accidentally breaks, proper clean-up is necessary. “The first thing you want to do is to get everyone out of the room, including pets,” Gallo said. “Open a window to air out the room for at least 15 minutes. If you broke the bulb on a hard surface, take a piece of stiff paper or cardboard and scoop up as much of the debris and residue as you can.”

Gallo advises that you use an old glove or sock to protect hands and then wipe up any remaining residue with a moist paper towel. “If you broke the bulb on a carpeted surface, you’ll want to use sticky tape to blot up any residue. Put everything in a plastic bag or a jar that can be sealed with a lid and dispose of it with the regular household trash.”

National Water Quality Inventory Report Available Online

 The report summarizes water quality assessments submitted by the states to EPA under Section 305(b) of the Clean Water Act. The report found that the states assessed 16% of the nation’s 3.5 million river and stream miles; 39% of its 41.7 million acres of lakes, ponds, and reservoirs; and 29% of its 87,791 estuary square miles.

The report found that 44% of assessed river and stream miles, 64% of assessed lake acres, and 30% of assessed estuary square miles were impaired for one or more of their designated uses. Leading causes of impairment included pathogens, mercury, nutrients, and organic enrichment/low dissolved oxygen. Top sources of impairment included atmospheric deposition, agriculture, hydrologic modifications, and unknown or unspecified sources.

 In addition to viewing the national summary and information by state at this website, users can click down to the individual waterbody level to find out more about water quality conditions.

EPA’s Office of Water Releases Report on Climate Change and Water

EPA’s Office of Water has released a report describing activities implemented in 2008 to respond to the challenges posed by a changing climate. The report is divided into three major sections:

  • A description of activities to implement the National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change, including the 44 key actions in the Strategy
  • A review of water-related climate change activities in EPA regions
  • A summary of EPA climate and water-related activities not specifically addressed in the Strategy


During 2008, the Office of Water made substantial progress implementing the National Water Program Strategy. Work on all except 3 of the 44 key actions has been initiated. For most of these actions, interim milestones and schedules have been accomplished and work is on schedule. Some highlights of successful implementation efforts include:

  • Publication of proposed regulations designed to assure that geologic sequestration of carbon does not pose a threat to underground sources of drinking water
  • Development of the “Climate Ready Estuaries Program”
  • Establishment of a Federal Interagency Workgroup on climate change and water matters


EPA and Florida DEP Working Together to Restore Florida’s Surface Waters

EPA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) are taking actions to protect and restore recreational water uses and aquatic life in Florida waters. Actions include EPA issuing a formal determination under the Clean Water Act that numeric nutrient water quality criteria are necessary in Florida, and Florida accelerating its efforts to adopt numeric nutrient criteria into state regulations. It is believed that numeric nutrient criteria will significantly improve Florida’s ability to address nutrient pollution in a timely and effective manner.

Excess nitrogen and phosphorus levels (nutrient pollution) in waterbodies can cause harm to aquatic ecosystems and threaten public health. Nutrient pollution can lead to water quality problems such as harmful algal blooms, low-oxygen dead zones in water bodies, and declines in wildlife and wildlife habitat. These effects also disrupt recreational activities and pose threats to public health.

. The actual number of miles and acres of waters impaired for nutrients is likely higher, and it is probable that as many waters that have yet to be assessed are also likely to be impaired.

Local governments in Florida have worked to improve wastewater treatment and stormwater management. In addition, many in the agricultural community have implemented best management practices for nutrient control.

The federal determination is intended to build upon the substantial investments that Florida has made in nutrient data collection, analysis, and stakeholder involvement, and is fully consistent with the state’s and EPA’s commitment to a stronger nutrient control program. The new numeric nutrient water quality standards will help Florida improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its water quality management tools, identify waters impaired because of nutrient pollution, establish Total Maximum Daily Loads and Basin Management Action Plans, and derive National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit limits.

EPA Begins Cleanup at Miller Plating in Indiana

EPA Region 5 has begun a $1 million cleanup of Miller Plating, a bankrupt electroplating facility in Evansville, Ind. The project is expected to take about four months to complete.

The now-closed facility occupies about three acres of a seven-acre lot. The company ceased operations and declared bankruptcy in December 2007. In January 2008, EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) took steps to minimize potential spills, releases, and fire hazards. IDEM formally requested EPA assistance in removing hazards at the site in October. EPA’s Superfund program will pay for the cleanup.

The effort includes emptying and proper disposal of tens of thousands of gallons of plating fluids, acids, cyanides, and other hazardous materials. Most of these are stored in a variety of tanks, vats, drums, totes, pits, and process lines in the main building. A chemical storage warehouse and the facility’s wastewater treatment system will also be addressed. EPA will coordinate with local fire and environmental officials to monitor the site perimeter for airborne chemical releases throughout the project.

The business began operation as Miller Electroplating in 1916 in downtown Evansville. The company moved to the current address in 1965. In 2004, it was sold to a new owner that operated under the name Miller Plating & Metal Finish. Over the years, a number of different plating processes have been used at the site to make metal finishes for products ranging from auto parts to office supplies.

Residents with questions about the cleanup may call the EPA site command post at 812-423-5375.

EPA and Mexican Environmental Agencies Celebrate Cleanup of Former Abandoned Lead Smelter

The EPA has joined Mexico’s environmental ministry, SEMARNAT, to celebrate the cleanup of Metales y Derivados, a former Tijuana lead smelter that was abandoned with more than 42,000 tons of lead in open pits or buried in drums and sacks, which posed significant public health risks to the residents of nearby Otay Mesa. Joining EPA and SEMARNAT in the cleanup celebration were representatives from the state of Baja California; the federal enforcement agency, PROFEPA; members of the Colectivo Chilpancingo; Mexican elected officials; and grassroots environmental organizations, including the Environmental Health Coalition.

“The Metales y Derivados cleanup effort is a model of binational partnership,” said Laura Yoshii, EPA’s acting regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “We’re proud to be part of this joint effort with the Tijuana community and Mexican officials that has had a positive impact on the lives of the people living nearby.”

“The Environmental Health Coalition and our community action team in Tijuana, the Colectivo Chilpancingo Pro Justicia Ambiental, celebrate this historic accomplishment for the local community, for cross-border solidarity, and for the U.S. and Mexican governments who worked with the community to achieve the cleanup,” said Amelia Simpson, director of the Border Environmental Justice Campaign at Environmental Health Coalition.

Starting in the late 1980s, Metales y Derivados was a U.S.-owned lead smelting facility. In 1992, the facility was cited by Mexico’s PROFEPA for environmental non-compliance, and, in 1994, the site was abandoned by its owner. 

The Metales y Derivados property is now owned by the state of Baja California as a result of the cleanup and land-transfer agreement established in 2004 between the federal and state governments. Baja California is exploring reuse options, including the installation of solar panels to power local industry and a state environmental testing lab.

The Border 2012 U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program is a results-driven, bottoms-up binational program that works to protect the environment and public health in the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border region.

Shell Oil and Motiva Enterprises to Pay $2.1 Million for UST Leak in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has proposed a settlement agreement with Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises, LLP, regarding a portion of the Southeast Federal Center in Washington, D.C.

The DOJ alleges that Shell and Motiva are liable for damages and cleanup costs incurred in connection with benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene contamination found in and around soil and groundwater beneath a portion of the Southeast Federal Center. The DOJ also alleges that the contamination originated from leaking underground storage tanks (USTs) located at a former filling station adjacent to the contamination.

Under the settlement agreement, Shell and Motiva will pay $2.1 million to the United States and will monitor groundwater in accordance with a plan previously approved by the EPA. The DOJ will receive comments for a period of 30 days.

Major Tomato Producer Faces Record-High Penalty of $931,000 for Pesticide Violations at New Jersey Operations

The N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced that Ag-Mart Produce Inc., a corporate tomato grower, faces an unprecedented penalty of more than $931,000 for misusing pesticides and jeopardizing the health and safety of workers in its New Jersey farm fields and packing houses.

In its enforcement action, the DEP cites Ag-Mart Produce Inc. with hundreds of violations that include denying state environmental inspectors access to facilities, losing track of a highly toxic insecticide, failing to properly ventilate areas during pesticide use, failing to post important pesticide-safety information for workers, careless recordkeeping, and using forbidden mixtures of pesticides.

Ag-Mart Produce widely markets its tomatoes under the brand name “Santa Sweets” and employs 700 people throughout 17 farm locations in New Jersey. Ag-Mart also owns and operates other produce farms in North Carolina, Florida, and Mexico.

“Ag-Mart has repeatedly shown a stunning disregard of laws and regulations intended to protect the workers who harvest their tomatoes, the people who consume them, and New Jersey’s environment,” DEP Commissioner Mark Mauriello said. “Ag-Mart’s pesticide violations are the most serious DEP inspectors have ever uncovered. We have imposed a record-high penalty not only to hold Ag-Mart accountable for their failure, but to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

PCB Export Violations Will Cost Global Shipping and Global Marketing System More Than $500,000 in TSCA Penalties

EPA has settled an administrative complaint against Global Shipping LLC and Global Marketing Systems, Inc. for alleged illegal distribution and export of a PCB-containing ship called the Oceanic. The companies will pay a total of $518,500 to resolve the two Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) violations. Global Marketing Systems, Inc. will pay a penalty of $32,500 and Global Shipping LLC will pay a penalty of $486,000.

Global Shipping LLC purchased and held the Oceanic, a cruise ship formerly named the SS Independence, for the purpose of export beginning on or about July 24, 2007, and continuing until the vessel left the United States on or about Feb. 8, 2008. 

On or about Feb. 8, 2008, the ship was towed out of the territorial waters of the United States. EPA alleged that Global Shipping LLC and its affiliated company Global Marketing Systems, Inc. worked together to export the Oceanic for disposal outside the United States, a violation of federal law. The EPA was not informed by Global of their intention to export the ship for disposal.

After EPA initiated its enforcement action, Global submitted a new application to the Maritime Administration seeking approval to sell the vessel but changing the purpose of export from disposal to continued use of the vessel to accommodate labor workers in the Arabian Gulf area.

 Vessels built before 1979, such as the Oceanic, may contain PCBs in various materials including cables, electrical equipment such as capacitors and transformers, gaskets and watertight seal material, and painted surfaces.

More than 1.5 billion pounds of PCBs were manufactured in the United States before the EPA banned the production of this chemical class. PCBs were commonly used in paints, industrial equipment, plastics, and rubber products. EPA banned this class of chemicals after tests showed that PCBs cause cancer in animals and adversely affect the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems in humans.

Unlawful Possession and Dealing in Hazardous Wastes Could Lead to Felony Charges and $375,000 in Fines

A two-year investigation by the N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation’s Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI) has uncovered the improper handling and dumping of lead-laced garnet by a New York businessman named William Zomro who owns Adirondack Precision Powders in Whitesboro, N.Y. Zomro has been indicted by a grand jury on two felony charges including first-degree unlawful possession of hazardous wastes and first-degree unlawful dealing in hazardous wastes.

The charges relate to Zomro’s operation of a waste garnet recycling business in Whitesboro, N.Y. The business venture failed and Zomro abandoned approximately 200,000 pounds of spent garnet, a quantity of which contained high levels of lead—making it a hazardous waste. When DEC ordered him to properly dispose of the material, Zomro instead illegally unloaded some of the garnet at farms located in Deerfield and Richfield Springs, N.Y., according to BECI investigators. Zomro then attempted to deceive the state by claiming he had sold the business and was no longer responsible for the contaminated waste remaining on-site.

Investigators later determined that Zomro still owned the company but merely changed its name. Eventually, the waste garnet was cleaned up at the business site in Whitesboro and at the farms—at a cost exceeding $50,000.

BECI and investigators from the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department arrested Zomro on January 20. He was arraigned before an Oneida County Judge and was released on his own recognizance. If convicted of the charges, Zomro could face a prison term and fines totaling $375,000.

Five Star Mining Fined $75,000 for Filling in Wetlands

EPA Region 5 has signed a consent agreement and final order with Five Star Mining, Inc. of Petersburg, Ind., for filling in about seven acres of forested wetlands without a permit. The company has agreed to pay a $75,000 penalty and apply for an after-the-fact wetlands permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

EPA alleged that for several days around June 1, 2005, the mining company deposited about 4,200 cubic yards of dredged material from earthmovers and bulldozers into forested wetlands next to Conger Creek, which flows into the White River.

Under the Clean Water Act, a permit is needed before discharging pollutants into or filling in waters of the United States, including wetlands. Wetlands play a valuable role in the environment by filtering pollutants, reducing soil erosion, controlling flooding, and providing habitat to animals and aquatic life.

Judge Fines Behnke Lubricants $55,000 for Pesticide Violations

An administrative law judge has decided in favor of EPA Region 5 by assessing a $55,055 penalty against Behnke Lubricants Inc., of Menomonee Falls, Wis., for violations of federal pesticide rules. According to the judge’s decision, Behnke sold or distributed five unregistered pesticides. The products, JAX Poly-Guard FG-2, JAX Halo-Guard FG-2, JAX Poly-Guard FG-LT, JAX Halo-Guard FG-LT, and JAX Magna-Plate 74, were distributed by Behnke with claims that the lubricants provide antimicrobial protection against listeria, E. coli, salmonella, and other organisms.

The company’s labeling, advertising, and marketing claims for the lubricants—which are used to grease equipment in food processing plants—included public health pesticide claims. Wisconsin Department of Agriculture inspectors cooperated with EPA in the investigation.

“In light of recent outbreaks of salmonella and E. coli in food supplies, it is imperative that products claiming to control these organisms be registered with EPA,” said Margaret Guerriero, director of the region’s Land and Chemicals Division. “Only then can we be certain a product is effective and will not cause harm to the environment or people.”

EPA registers all pesticides and pesticide products under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Pesticides include disinfectants and antimicrobial and antibacterial products.

CAFO in Oregon Pays $8,000 for CWA Violations

John Bezates has agreed to pay an $8,000 penalty to settle Clean Water Act (CWA) discharge violations at his Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in Ontario, Ore.

During an inspection of Bezates Feedlot operations in January 2008, EPA and Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) inspectors documented animal wastes flowing from confinement pens into the Jacobsen Gulch Creek, a tributary to the Snake River. This discharge violated a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued to Bezates by the State of Oregon. This was Bezates’ first known violation of the CWA, and he has since corrected the discharge problem with the help of ODA.

Underwriters Laboratory Offers New Validation Service Called “UL Environment Inc.”


This new effort builds on UL’s century-plus of trusted leadership and expertise in product safety testing and certification.

As industry sustainability standards evolve, UL will take on a new testing and certification role. This new certification will apply to green products and the processes and materials used to create them. The result is expected to be greater product acceptance for manufacturers and a healthier planet.

Manufacturers may submit their products for UL testing and environmental claims validation. The goal of the validation service is to enhance and support the credibility of sustainability claims as well as help to give manufacturers who choose UL validation a competitive edge.

Best Buy to Launch Electronics Recycling Program in All U.S. Stores on February 15

 Greener Together emphasizes making smarter decisions about technology in order to consume less energy in the process. Through its Greener Together program, Best Buy helps customers choose electronics and appliances wisely and use them more efficiently, in addition to helping in the process of recycling, reusing, or trading in products at the end of their life. The company is working together with employees, manufacturers, and partners to reduce its own carbon footprint, while providing consumers with an increasing number of energy-efficient and recyclable options, from components to packaging.

On February 15, Best Buy Co., Inc., will bring its electronics recycling program to all of its 1,006 stores nationwide. The program will expand sometime in fiscal 2010 to Puerto Rico stores. The program is the latest addition to the comprehensive programs offered by Best Buy to help consumers find easy ways to recycle, reuse, or trade in products at the end of the product life.

Beginning February 15, consumers will be able to bring up to two units per day, per household, for recycling to any U.S. Best Buy store. Best Buy will accept most consumer electronics, including televisions and monitors up to 32-inches, computer CPUs and notebooks, small electronics, VCR and DVD players, and phones, as well as accessories such as keyboards, mice, and remotes.

A $10 recycling fee per unit will be charged for items with screens, such as televisions, laptop computers, and monitors. The consumer will instantly receive a $10 Best Buy gift card in exchange for the recycling fee. (This fee does not apply for units recycled in California stores and does not apply for any of Best Buy’s Exclusive-Branded products, such as Insignia, Dynex, and VPR Matrix.)

The following items cannot be accepted through this program:

  • Televisions or monitor screens greater than 32-inches
  • Console televisions
  • Items containing Freon, including air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and mini-refrigerators (consumers are encouraged to contact their state/county solid waste department for recycling options)
  • Microwaves
  • Appliances (customers are invited instead to use Best Buy’s appliance haul-away and pick-up programs)

The program is the latest addition to the electronics and appliance recycling options Best Buy offers to consumers nationwide:

  • Recycling kiosks: Located at the front of every store, drop off ink cartridges, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, CDs, DVDs, and PDA/smart phones for free recycling
  • Appliance and television haul-away: Best Buy will remove an old or obsolete appliance or television free of charge from a consumers’ home when a new product is purchased and delivered by Best Buy Home Delivery or Geek Squad Home Theater Installation Service.
  • Appliance and television pick-up: For $100, Best Buy will arrange a home visit to remove up to two appliance units and/or televisions for recycling, with $20 for each additional unit.

Deadline to Submit Environmental Award Nominations in EPA Region 9 is February 8

EPA is encouraging residents in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands to nominate a friend, peer, or organization for this year’s EPA
Environmental Awards program. The deadline to submit nominations is February 8.

The program seeks to recognize individuals and groups outside the U.S. EPA who have made significant contributions to improve the environment in the year 2008. Anyone can be nominated, such as scientists, teachers, journalists, community activists, young people, organizations, business representatives, public officials, and others committed to protecting public health and preserving our natural surroundings.

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Promotion of innovative ideas, techniques, and/or technologies
  • Ability to address an environmental problem or need
  • Accomplishment of stated goals
  • Ability of the program/activity to be replicated or widely shared
  • Collaboration with others
  • Clarity and effectiveness of the presentation
  • Long-term benefits for the environment


An EPA panel will review all of the applications and select this year’s winners, who will be notified by mid-March. Winners will then be recognized at a ceremony to be held in San Francisco in mid-April. 

EPA’s Green Power Partnership

EPA’s Green Power Partnership () is a voluntary program that supports the organizational procurement of green power by offering expert advice, technical support, tools, and resources. Green power is electricity produced from a subset of renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and low-impact hydro.

GPP works with a wide variety of leading organizations—from Fortune 500 companies to local, state, and federal governments, and a growing number of colleges and universities. Partnering with GPP can help your organization lower the transaction costs of buying green power, reduce its carbon footprint, and communicate its leadership to key stakeholders. Buying green power is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your organization’s environmental performance.

The GPP highlights the annual green power purchases of leading organizations within the United States and across individual industry sectors. These green power purchases help reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and support the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide.

Steps to becoming an EPA Green Power Partner include:


GPP has recently released the updated lists of partners and the rankings of the companies participating in the program. 

McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry Introduces New Ingredient Certification

 The ingredient certification allows suppliers to position themselves as ready to meet the increasing Cradle-to-Cradle demands of designers, developers, and companies seeking product and material choices that serve to eliminate the concept of waste.

“The Cradle-to-Cradle Approved Ingredient certification makes it easier at the design stage to create ecologically intelligent products by choosing materials that meet key sustainability criteria for material health and material reutilization,” said Jay Bolus, vice president of Technical Operations for MBDC. “We invite material manufacturers to gain this designation and let their customers know about this as they qualify.”

The Cradle-to-Cradle Approved Ingredient designation is the second certification program developed by MBDC, which initially set out to identify end-products that meet a series of environmental criteria with four levels of attainment, each requiring a higher achievement: Basic, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Certification benchmarks the product’s ecological impact against an internationally recognized assessment process providing companies with a new marketing and selling tool, as well as a way to demonstrate tangible performance and realize continuous improvement over time.

MBDC’s ingredient certification is open to all manufacturers that make chemicals, materials, or substances used in finished goods. Material assessments are conducted by an in-house team of scientists and project managers.

Good Neighbor Environmental Board Will Meet March 10–11

The meeting will be March 10–11 in Arlington, Va.

The Good Neighbor Environmental Board is responsible for providing advice to the President and Congress on environmental and infrastructure issues and needs within the states contiguous to Mexico in order to improve the quality of life of persons residing on the U.S. side of the border.

The board includes representatives from U.S. government agencies; the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas; and tribal and private organizations with expertise on environmental and infrastructure issues along the U.S./Mexico Border.

The purpose of the meeting is to hear from representatives of various groups on possible themes for the board’s next report. The meeting will include a planning session, a business meeting, and a public comment session. A copy of the meeting agenda will be posted on the Board’s website.

Public Meetings to Discuss Closed-Circuit Escape Respirators Have Been Postponed

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has announced that the public meetings to discuss closed-circuit escape respirators have been postponed. The meetings were scheduled for Feb. 3, 2009, in Adelphi, Md., and Feb. 10, 2009, in Denver, Colo. The new dates will be announced in the Federal Register and through a LIST SERV message.

Environmental News Links

Trivia Question of the Week

How much shade-free space do you need to install a 10 kW Photovoltaic (PV) solar-power system?
a. 50 sq. ft.
b. 100 sq. ft.
c. 1000 sq. ft.
d. 10,000 sq. ft.