Author: Laura B.

Laura L. Barnes is a librarian at the Prairie Research Institute Library, embedded at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. She founded and writes for Environmental News Bits.

Proceedings Now Available for EPA’s June 26 Heat Island Webcast

On June 26, 2014, EPA’s Heat Island Reduction Program hosted a webcast entitled Keeping Your Cool: How Communities Across the Country are Reducing the Heat Island Effect. The webcast provided an overview of the heat island effect, its impacts, and the strategies that communities can take to reduce urban temperatures, and showcased the actions that the cities of Los Angeles, Louisville, and Tucson are taking now to reduce their heat islands.
The presentation files, audio recordings, and transcripts are now available. The recordings and transcripts also include all questions posed to the speakers during and after the webcast, along with their answers.

Sustainability Certification for Biofuels

Read the full post from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Poorly developed biofuels pose severe environmental risks. Procurement officials and risk managers should use only the most stringent and protective certification standards available. Yet assessing how different certification systems rank across the product life cycle is a complex undertaking. That is why NRDC evaluated the performances of several of the major sustainability systems. The report looks at systems developed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), the Council on Sustainable Biomass Production (CSBP), the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC), the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS), Bonsucro, and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

See the fact sheet for high-level results and the full report for a more detailed analysis with all evaluation criteria and indicators broken out.

San Jose’s New High-Tech Water Purification Plant to Expand Recycled Water Use

Read the full story in FutureStructure.

When the San Francisco 49ers’ stadium opens next month in Santa Clara, almost all of it will be new except for one thing: the water used to irrigate the field and flush the toilets.

Impact of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Coral Communities Is Deeper and Broader than Predicted

Read the full story from Penn State University.

A new discovery of two additional coral communities showing signs of damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill expands the impact footprint of the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The discovery was made by a team led by Charles Fisher, professor of biology at Penn State University. A paper describing this work and additional impacts of human activity on corals in the Gulf of Mexico will be published during the last week of July 2014 in the online Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.