Day: November 12, 2013

GSA Seeks Green Building Technologies to Test

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The US government is seeking green building technologies that have the potential to improve economic and environmental performance in federal buildings.

The General Services Administration’s (GSA) Green Proving Ground program uses the GSA’s own real estate portfolio as a test bed to evaluate the viability of emerging technologies and practices to save energy and water, and reduce operational costs.

The GSA’s request for information online asks industry, commercial organizations, educational institutions and nonprofits to submit information on building technologies to test as part of the Green Proving Ground’s 2014 program. It’s seeking information on building technologies that can be donated or provided via testing agreements. Submissions will be accepted until Dec. 9 at 5pm EST.

Rural and Small Systems Guidebook to Sustainable Utility Management

The Guidebook is designed to introduce rural and small water and wastewater systems to the key areas of effectively managed systems. It provides background information on ten key management areas, as well as instruction and assistance on how to conduct a system assessment process based on the key management areas. It also includes information on how to prioritize areas for improvement, while developing measures of progress that can help small systems with performance improvement.

USGS: Energy & Minerals

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2013. https://www.scout.wisc.edu/

USGS: Energy & Minerals
http://www.usgs.gov/energy_minerals/

The Energy and Minerals Mission Area of the United States Geological Survey
(USGS) “conducts research and assessments on the location, quantity, and
quality of material and energy resources, including the economic and
environmental effects of resource extraction and use.” Visitors to the site
can click on thematic sections such as Energy Resources and Mineral
Resources. Each of these areas contains information about each program,
along with fact sheets, databases, and detailed geospatial maps. The
Program News area contains links to documents such as “Understanding the
Global Distribution of Nonfuel Mineral Resources” and a host of summary
documents on mineral commodities. Finally, the site is rounded out by the
Mineral Resources Products area. Here, visitors can look into hundreds of
statistical reports, bulletins, and data sets intended for scientists,
journalists, and members of the general public. [KMG]

 

USDA funds research to convert beetle-killed trees to bioenergy

Read the full story in Ethanol Producer Magazine.

The USDA has announced it has awarded nearly $10 million to a consortium of academic, industry and government organizations led by Colorado State University and their partners to research using insect-killed trees in the Rockies as a sustainable feedstock for bioenergy. The award, provided under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, is part of USDA’s effort to develop modern solutions for climate challenges in agriculture and natural resource management. AFRI is provided under the Farm Bill, and Secretary Vilsack highlighted the need for passage of a comprehensive, long-term Food, Farm and Jobs Bill to continue groundbreaking agricultural research across the nation.

Australian officials outlaw Katy Perry’s seed-embedded ‘Prism’ packaging

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

It looks like Australians eager to get their hands on an imported version of “Prism” — the latest chart-topping confection from American pop princess Katy Perry — and promptly bury the godforsaken thing under a thick layer of dirt in their backyards, will have to wait as the CD (remember those?) has been quarantined by government officials.

Like numerous consumer products (sneakers, pencils, coinage,comic booksfuneral invites, etc.), the paper packaging included with the deluxe version of “Prism” is embedded with wildflower seeds — or “seed prisms” — that allows fans, in Perry’s words “to spread the light” by planting it in the earth instead of chucking it in the trash. It’s a cutesy, clever, and not entirely uncommon concept but also one that presents a huge problem Down Under. The seedpaper itself has been deemed as a full-on “bio-security concern” by officials given that it could potentially wreak havoc on Australia’s delicate ecosystems which are extremely sensitive to the introduction of invasive species.