Day: October 2, 2012

Exposure Science in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy

Download the free PDF. Hard copy is $47.00 from National Academies Press.

From the use of personal products to our consumption of food, water, and air, people are exposed to a wide array of agents each day–many with the potential to affect health. Exposure Science in the 21st Century: A Vision and A Strategy investigates the contact of humans or other organisms with those agents (that is, chemical, physical, and biologic stressors) and their fate in living systems. The concept of exposure science has been instrumental in helping us understand how stressors affect human and ecosystem health, and in efforts to prevent or reduce contact with harmful stressors. In this way exposure science has played an integral role in many areas of environmental health, and can help meet growing needs in environmental regulation, urban and ecosystem planning, and disaster management.

Exposure Science in the 21st Century: A Vision and A Strategy explains that there are increasing demands for exposure science information, for example to meet needs for data on the thousands of chemicals introduced into the market each year, and to better understand the health effects of prolonged low-level exposure to stressors. Recent advances in tools and technologies–including sensor systems, analytic methods, molecular technologies, computational tools, and bioinformatics–have provided the potential for more accurate and comprehensive exposure science data than ever before. This report also provides a roadmap to take advantage of the technologic innovations and strategic collaborations to move exposure science into the future.

Release 3.1 of AQUATOX now available

AQUATOX is a simulation model for aquatic systems. AQUATOX predicts the fate of various pollutants, such as nutrients and organic chemicals, and their effects on the ecosystem, including fish, invertebrates, and aquatic plants. This model is a valuable tool for ecologists, biologists, water quality modelers, and anyone involved in performing ecological risk assessments for aquatic ecosystems. Although incorporating constructs from classic ecosystem and chemodynamic models, AQUATOX was developed from the beginning as an applied model for use by environmental analysts.

Release 3.1 of AQUATOX is now available. Release 3.1 contains several enhancements over previous releases that improve the model’s interface and utility.  For example, the sediment diagenesis model has a “steady-state” mode that increases model speed dramatically.  Other categories of refinements include floating-plants refinements, bioaccumulation and toxicity modeling improvements, and improved sensitivity and uncertainty analyses.

10 Webcasts for Climate and Energy Staff: measure climate change health impacts, access sustainability tech help, and more

EPA Webcasts

October 4, 3:00-4:00 PM (EDT) – Free Technical Assistance Available through EPA’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program

EPA’s Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program provides short-term, targeted technical assistance to help communities implement smart growth development approaches, such as creating a green streets strategy, linking land use to water quality, or conducting a parking audit. Participants will learn about the types of assistance available from EPA and its four grantees, and how to apply. This webinar is being held in response to requests for a repeat of the webinar that was held on Sept. 21; the content will be essentially the same.

October 11, 2:00-3:30 PM (EDT) – Estimating the Health Impacts of Climate Change and Clean Energy Programs

State and local climate change and clean energy policies can improve air quality, reduce negative impacts on human health, and save lives. This webinar will cover three EPA tools that state and local governments can use to estimate and communicate the health and related economic benefits of actions that reduce air emissions:

Audience: Recommended for state and local air quality, energy, public health, sustainability, and transportation planning staff.

October 11, 1:00-2:30 PM (EDT) – Solar Energy for Water and Wastewater Utilities: Step-by-Step Project Implementation and Funding Approaches
EPA’s Office of Wastewater Management hosts this webinar on helping water utilities understand how they can use solar energy to increase their energy efficiency. The first part of this webinar will detail the process of implementing solar energy projects at water or wastewater utilities, the various types of solar technologies available, and where they can be used most appropriately. The webinar will also highlight innovative funding approaches, including those with no up-front capital requirements, that result in long-term energy cost savings and stability. Finally, this webinar will present the case study of a successful solar installation at a small wastewater utility in Grafton, Massachusetts.

ENERGY STAR Webcasts

ENERGY STAR offers free online training to help you improve the energy performance of your organization. To register for any of these trainings or to see other upcoming ENERGY STAR trainings, visit the ENERGY STAR Trainings page.

October 3, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT) – Top Communication Strategies to Build Support for Your Energy Program

This month’s ENERGY STAR National Building Competition webinar will explore how ENERGY STAR partners are building top-down and bottom-up support for energy initiatives through effective communications. Key strategies include sharing energy goals and data; bringing together internal teams to exchange expertise and lessons learned; communicating through reports, creative materials, and events; and engaging occupants to take an active role and interest in saving energy through competitions and other initiatives.

October 16, 12:00-1:00 PM (EDT) – Beyond the Basics of Benchmarking: Advanced Features of Portfolio Manager

So you’ve benchmarked your building, now what? This session builds on the Basics of Benchmarking, highlighting more features you can use in EPA’s Portfolio Manager to help you understand your building’s energy performance, set goals, and share and report data.

In this session you will learn about:

  • Strategies for keeping your data up-to-date and accurate;
  • Metrics to use to assess your building’s energy performance; and
  • How to use Portfolio Manager to demonstrate energy efficiency improvements with the goal setting, reporting, and sharing features.

Additionally, there will be time during the session to get your specific questions answered.

October 18, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT) – How to Apply for ENERGY STAR Certification

You’ve benchmarked your building in EPA’s Portfolio Manager, you’ve worked hard to improve its energy efficiency to get the building’s score up to a 75, and now you want to get EPA recognition for this accomplishment. The ENERGY STAR Certification will distinguish your building as a superior energy performer.

October 24, 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT) – How to Launch an ENERGY STAR Energy Efficiency Competition

Time and time again, leading ENERGY STAR partners have found that a spirit of healthy competition and the opportunity for recognition are among the best drivers for participation in organization- or community-wide energy management. Any organization can run a competition, including trade associations, commercial businesses, manufacturing companies, local and state governments, schools, congregations, and more. Join ENERGY STAR for this hour-long presentation to learn about (1) the many benefits of energy efficiency competitions; (2) the basic steps you can take to plan and launch an energy efficiency competition; (3) common barriers and possible solutions; and (4) the resources made available by ENERGY STAR that can help you in this process, including the ENERGY STAR Guide to Energy Efficiency Competitions.

October 30, 2:00-3:15 PM (EDT) – Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR

Learn how public sector organizations are improving energy efficiency with innovative solutions to financial barriers. Attendees will learn about financing projects in the public and private sectors, the basics of performance contracting, and how EPA’s tools and resources can help you make the decision to improve your facilities now or later.

NALGEP (National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals)

October 3, 2:00-3:15 PM (EDT) – EPA’s Brownfields Area-wide Pilot Program: Lessons Learned and New Funding Opportunity

EPA’s Brownfields Area-wide Pilot Program is helping 23 pilot communities respond to local brownfields challenges, particularly where multiple brownfield sites are in close proximity; connected by infrastructure; and limit the overall economic, environmental, and social prosperity of their surroundings. The webinar, sponsored by NALGEP and the Brownfield Communities Network, will discuss lessons learned from the program, share pilot examples, and preview plans for the upcoming RFP for the next round of pilot grants.

ACEEE (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)

October 11, 4:00-5:00 PM (EDT) – Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM) and Home Energy Retrofit Programs

The ACEEE webinar will be co-hosted by staff from the One Change Foundation, who will be on hand to discuss details of their High Five philosophy for mounting CBSM campaigns in support of home energy retrofits. High Five is one of the approaches discussed in the recent ACEEE white paper,Reaching the “High-Hanging Fruit” through Behavior Change: How Community-Based Social Marketing Puts Energy Savings within Reach. This white paper, the first in a forthcoming series on social and behavioral insights and their application for energy efficiency programs, will be available for download on Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

From the State and Local Archives

Climate Change Adaptation for State and Local Governments

This three-part series is one of the most popular series we’ve ever hosted. You can listen to all of it online, in addition to the dozens of other webcasts we have archived on our website.

  • Part One: Climate Impacts and Risk Communication
  • Part Two: Adaptation Planning and Implementation
  • Part Three: Federal Resources and Support for Climate Change Adaptation

Resource Conservation and Recovery: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs

Download the document.

This guide describes how local governments can work with residents, private companies, and other groups to decrease waste generation and divert more waste from landfills and combustion. It is designed to be used by local government agencies, mayors, city or county councils, and local and regional waste managers.

After years of pondering, FTC releases marketers’ Green Guides

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

It’s been a long time coming, but after nearly five years of deliberations, the Federal Trade Commission today issued revised “Green Guides” aimed at helping marketers ensure that the claims they make about the environmental attributes of their products are truthful and non-deceptive.

The document released today is an update to guidelines first introduced in 1992 and updated in 1996 and 1998. The draft of this update was released almost two years ago to the day. Now, 14 years later, the FTC has refreshed them for the 21st century, including updates to the existing guides as well as new sections on the use of carbon offsets, environmental certifications and seals, and renewable energy and renewable materials claims.

‘Message in a Bottle’ project to to preserve memories, promote recycling at UW-Green Bay

Read the full story from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

UW-Green Bay’s sustainability team is hoping the campus community gets — and gives — their “Message in a Bottle” during an awareness campaign Sept. 17-21.

The campaign involves the new Student Services plaza/roof deck, currently under construction. The plaza project will include a number of large, deep planters — some are so deep that the plants going in them don’t require them all that much soil to thrive. Rather than paying more for soil, UW-Green Bay’s sustainability and facilities management teams will reuse capped plastic bottles collected from recycling bins on campus. The bottles will add the needed volume and won’t decay for a staggering 450 years or so (maybe longer) — which serves as a reminder of what happens (or more accurately, doesn’t happen) when bottles end up in the landfill, rather than the recycling bin.

U of W Going Pesticide-Free by the Spring

Read the full story from the University of Winnipeg.

By spring 2013, the University of Winnipeg will be pesticide-free, making it the first campus in Manitoba to do so.

The elimination of cosmetic pesticides is consistent with the university’s Campus Sustainability Policy and Healthy Campus Initiative, which is currently in development.

Webinar: How to Save Energy Costs for Small Grocery and Convenience Stores

October 9, 2012, 2 pm CDT, 1 pm MDT
Register at http://nbdc.unomaha.edu/greenbusiness/grocerystore.cfm

Veterans of the grocery industry share their experience and knowledge of sustainable practices that reduce waste, save money and increase business bottom line. You will learn:

  • Best practices
  • Potential savings
  • Lessons learned from experience implementing efficiency measures
  • What metrics to track
  • Where to find resources to fund improvements

Illinois Water Resources Center 2013-2014 Call for Proposals

The Illinois Water Resources Center requests proposals to fund promising research projects that address Illinois water resources. For 2013, IWRC is particularly interested in research that would benefit from seed funding and will support students.

Requests for up to $10,000 will be considered. No indirect costs are required, but a match of 2 non-federal dollars for every federal dollar must be provided.

Three page proposals are due October 26.

For more information, please visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/iwrc/scientists_proposals.html

For questions, contact Lisa Merrifield at lmorrisn@illinois.edu

Webinar: Turning Energy Data into Dollars

October 9, 2012, 1 pm ET
Register at http://www.greenbiz.com/event/2012/10/09/turn-energy-data-dollars

Capturing disparate and hard-to-access energy data is a challenge faced by many organizations. Finding and uploading current and historical data and chasing down reports from facility managers is a time-consuming headache. Even when the data is available, many organizations rely on spreadsheets or other low-tech solutions to make sense of it all. The result is lots of data but no centralized means to identify and manage projects that can achieve energy cost savings and resource efficiency targets.

In this free, one-hour webcast, you will learn how to streamline access to the energy data you need to gain insight. Among the things you’ll learn:

  • How to analyze and act on energy data and create a proactive strategy for energy and resource efficiency at a portfolio and enterprise-wide level
  • How collaborative, transparent tracking and reporting creates a bridge between energy and sustainability professionals and the strategic and operational parts of the enterprise
  • How one consumer-facing, highly distributed enterprise is leveraging energy data to dramatically improve its efficiency, prioritize projects, improve its processes and enhance relationships with customers