Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

Minnesota to publish new mercury rules

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency plans to publish the Notice of Adoption of the Mercury Air Emissions Reduction and Reporting Rules in the September 22, 2014 State Register. Information on these new rules is available on the MPCA’s Mercury Rules webpage at: http://www.pca.state.mn.us/iryp4a1

To access information about a particular rulemaking, visit the Public Rulemaking Docket.

Superabsorbing rings could lead to better cameras and solar cells

Read the full story from EnvironmetalResearchWeb.

Rings of excited atoms that harness a quantum effect to absorb light at an enhanced rate could be used in future technologies such as highly sensitive cameras, solar cells and systems for optical power transmission. That is the claim of researchers in Australia, Singapore and the UK, who have done calculations that show that the well-known quantum phenomenon of superradiance could be used to create a new type of optical absorber…

The research is described in Nature Communications and a preprint is available on arXiv.

2015 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry: Call for Papers

Deadline for submissions: October 17, 2014.

ACEEE is now accepting abstracts for the 2015 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry, “Energy Efficiency: Integrating Technology, Policy, and People.” Submit abstracts online or visit the Call for Papers Web page for more information about submission options and abstract details.

2015 Summer Study Panels

  1. Strategic Energy Management
  2. Sustainability
  3. Smart Manufacturing
  4. Beyond Best Practices
  5. Policy & Resource Planning
  6. Delivering Results

Visit the ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry website for more information.

Who’s Willing to Pay for Renewable Energy?

Read the full story at CityLab.

It’s easy for people to say they support renewable energy. But if their eagerness to be green meant spending more money, would they really?

More than 1,600 Americans were asked just that in the Atlantic Media/Siemens State of the City Poll—as well as a few other questions about energy use—and their responses show that there’s a significant divide when it comes to a willingness to pay higher costs for a more sustainable power supply. It turns out the most die-hard fans of kicking fossil fuels can be found, perhaps in no great surprise, among the youngest Americans, the most educated, and those who identify as Democrats.

Are energy-efficient workplaces healthier? Just Google it

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

When people talk about the business case for energy-efficient buildings achieved through comprehensive measures like deep energy retrofits, what usually comes to mind first is lower energy bills. However, an increasing number of organizations are recognizing the value beyond energy cost savings that energy-efficient buildings provide.

Take a minute to learn about pollution prevention

Read the full post at Lakeside News.

Laura Kammin, our pollution prevention specialist, has some exciting news. Let’s let her tell you about it:

If you only had a minute, what would you say?

Just one minute to explain what pharmaceutical waste is and how people can help reduce it. That was the challenge posed by our new pollution prevention team members Erin Knowles and Adrienne Gulley.

Challenge accepted! Here it is, the first installment of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Pollution Prevention Minute.

No Proof EPA Pollution Prevention Program Works as Claimed: Report

Read the full story from Bloomberg BNA.

The Environmental Protection Agency has no proof that a key pollution prevention program has cut U.S. use of hazardous materials as claimed, the agency’s inspector general said in a report.

The EPA Office of the Inspector General also has a podcast, podcast transcript, and at-a-glance report available on the OIG web site.