Day: March 19, 2013

These Bacteria Eat Electricity And Make Fuel

Read the full story at FastCoExist.

The reason we’re hooked on oil, and its climate warming derivatives, is the astonishing amount of energy packed into every gallon of the stuff. Gasoline burns brighter compared to alternatives from ethanol to electricity whenever it’s stored in a tank or battery. But if we could make energy-dense liquids from electrons, the energetic sub-atomic particles driving an electrical current, we could begin weaning ourselves off fossil fuels, particularly in transportation.

Making the Case That Bikes Mean Business at the 2013 National Bike Summit

Read the full post and watch the video at Streetfilms.org.

How would you make the case to Congress to fund bike infrastructure? That was the question Streetfilms posed to attendees at this year’s National Bike Summit. Here’s a look at what they told us.

Call for Papers on Great Lakes Restoration Issues

Environmental Practice, the Journal of the National Association of Environmental Professionals, is seeking papers for possible publication.

Issue Topic:  Great Lakes Sustainability, featuring Guest Editor Dr. Susan Hedman, Great Lakes National Program Manager, USEPA

In light of the many difficult and complex challenges facing the Great Lakes ecosystem today, and given the current focus on its restoration and protection, this issue of Environmental Practice will be dedicated to exploring the challenges faced in Great Lakes restoration.  The Journal welcomes a variety of perspectives and submissions from scholars, practitioners, and students.  Manuscripts are particularly sought with a focus on public policy.

Deadline for submittals is May 15, 2013 to dcarro17@depaul.edu

For questions, please contact Dan Carroll, Managing Editor, at 773-325-2298
or Lead Editor Kelly Tzoumis at
kellytzoumis@gmail.com

Guidelines for publication can be found at:
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/

Climate Change to Become Core Part of Curriculum

Read the full story at SustainableBusiness.com.

As ALEC and Heartland race to push legislation in the states that mandates students be versed in “climate change denial,” they’ve got a new foe to work against.

National science standards for schools across the US are about to be released which integrate teaching climate change into public school curriculums.

Coordinated by the non-profit Achieve, these “Next Generation Science Standards” have been developed by 26 states, the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Starting in elementary school, students would learn the evidence behind human-caused climate change, and it would be incorporated into every kind of science class through high school.

Carbon Management and Analysis Platform (CarbonMAP)

Track, analyze and reduce your campus’s contribution to climate change with CarbonMAP, which features the new web-based Campus Carbon Calculator. The calculator will help you:

  • create a greenhouse gas baseline
  • benchmark your perfomance
  • set goals
  • and analyze your progress

Obama Energy Program Modeled on ‘Race to the Top’

Read the full story in Governing.

As part of his outline for greater energy efficiency across the United States, President Barack Obama last week proposed a competitive grant program for states, in a bid to cut energy waste and incentivize energy efficiency.

The $200 million program would be intentionally modeled on Race To The Top, the administration’s education reform initiative that has pumped more than $4 billion into states and school districts. Under that program, state and local officials submit applications that detail how they would achieve broad goals set by the White House, and the administration then selects winners to receive funding.

Under the president’s newly proposed program, one-time funding would pay for a variety of energy initiatives, including updating utility regulations to encourage energy-saving practices like combining heat and power supplies; improving the performance of the energy grid; and making data more available and more easily shareable for consumers and across systems.

States seeks input on draft guidance for assessing alternatives to toxic chemicals

The Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2), an association of state, local, and tribal governments, announces the availability of draft guidance on alternatives assessment and chemical risk reduction. The document is available for public review and comment through April 19, 2013.

“Over the past year, eight of IC2’s state members have been working together to develop a draft framework for alternatives assessment,” said Ken Zarker, Washington Department of Ecology and Vice-chair of the IC2.  “We are coordinating our efforts to make the most of limited resources. Seeking public input is the next important step forward.”

Alternatives assessment (AA) is a process that encourages companies to consider the potential harm that alternative chemicals could have on human health and the environment before they are used in products. The IC2 is seeking input on the draft guidance to leverage industry, government, and non-government AA experiences.

“States continue to provide leadership in an effort to advance sound chemical management strategies,” Zarker said. “I’m optimistic that this alternatives assessment guidance will be a win-win for businesses and consumers. States are interested in providing  economic opportunities  through green product innovation, while allowing for more informed chemical choices.”

“As more states consider incorporating alternatives analyses requirements in their laws and regulations, this effort by IC2 to gather input from all potentially-affected stakeholders is important,” said Maureen Gorsen, Partner at Alston and Bird, and supporting member of the IC2. “This is a brand new area of law, and it is critical that good guidance be established.”

The draft guidance is based on an alternatives assessment process pioneered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Design for the Environment Program. A function of the IC2 is to support health and environmental agencies with the development and implementation of programs to promote the use of safer chemicals and products. After gathering and responding to input on the draft guidance, the IC2 members will seek businesses to pilot its use.

The public may submit comments on the draft through Friday, April 19, 2013 at http://blog.purestrategies.com/ecology/Providing-Comments.  The IC2 and the Washington State Department of Ecology developed this special website to support public outreach for and commentary on the alternatives assessment guidance. The Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) provides staff and facilitation support for IC2.