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.

We can provide power to everyone without a huge leap in emissions, study finds

Read the full story in Grist.

When we talk about international climate action, it’s often taken for granted that developing countries need room to pollute as they pull their citizens out of poverty. More than a billion people worldwide don’t have access to electricity, the argument goes, and getting them connected will require major development projects that will come hand-in-hand with significant new emissions.

But that might be a false assumption, according to a new paper in Nature Climate Change.

Energy Department Announces Up to $14 Million for Applying Landscape Design to Cellulosic Bioenergy

The Energy Department has announced up to $14 million to support landscape design approaches that maintain or enhance the environmental and socio-economic sustainability of cellulosic bioenergy through the improvement of feedstock production, logistics systems, and technology development. This supports the Department’s efforts to promote the commercialization of environmentally sustainable advanced bioenergy that reduces petroleum consumption and carbon emissions, as well as enhances national security.

Applying landscape design to bioenergy production systems is a promising approach for meeting multiple environmental, social, and economic objectives, such as maintaining or enhancing ecosystem health, as well as food/feed/fiber production, and profitability for landowners. This funding will support interdisciplinary research and development projects that use landscape design principles to incorporate cellulosic feedstock production and logistics into existing agricultural or forestry systems. Examples might include growing energy crops on marginal lands to improve both agricultural productivity and water quality, or utilizing agricultural residue in a way that enhances both profitability and soil quality.

Projects previously supported by the Department have shown the potential for improved sustainability by strategically placing bioenergy feedstock production within a landscape. This FOA will support activities that take the next steps by involving landowners and multi-disciplinary stakeholders in the landscape design process, establishing field research to quantify and improve sustainability metrics, and assessing logistic systems needed to provide high quality cellulosic feedstocks to conversion facilities for bioenergy.

Concept paper deadline is November 21, 2014. Full application deadline is January 12, 2015. For more information and application requirements, visit the Funding Opportunity Exchange website.

The Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. For more information on funding opportunities for advanced bioenergy technology projects, see EERE Bioenergy Technology Office’s financial opportunities.

Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Determination 29 for Significant New Alternatives Policy Program

Read the full Federal Register Notice.

This Determination of Acceptability expands the list of acceptable substitutes for ozone-depleting substances under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. This action lists as acceptable additional substitutes for use in the refrigeration and air conditioning, foam blowing, and fire suppression and explosion protection sectors.

DATES: This determination is effective on October 21, 2014.

Ebay, Kindle and Skype rule among the greenest apps

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Ebay, Skype and Kindle now have more in common than being three of the most widely used smartphone apps. They are also the best apps for promoting sustainable behavior, according to a recent study by the WSP Group, a U.K. environmental consultancy firm.

Final Rule: Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Adjustments to the Allowance System for Controlling HCFC Production, Import and Export 2015-2019

The EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, signed the following final rule on 10/16/14, and EPA is submitting it for publication in the Federal Register. While we have taken steps to ensure the accuracy of this Internet version of the rule, it is not the official version of the rule for purposes of regulatory requirements. Please refer to the official version in a forthcoming Federal Register publication, which will appear on the Government Printing Office’s FDsys website: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/home.action and on Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0263. Once the official version of this document is published in the Federal Register, this version will be removed from the Internet and replaced with a link to the official version.

Supply-chain fixes are the secret sauce for three NY companies

Read the full story in GreenBiz. Find all of the P2 Impact columns here.

Sustainable organizations can become preferred business partners, thanks to the demand for sustainable suppliers. Organizations that integrate sustainability into their operations likely will generate more revenue, retain and potentially create jobs, and reduce the risk of jeopardizing potential business.

Both of us work at the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, which assists companies in the state with their journey along the sustainability continuum. Through NYSP2I’s “Sustainable Supply Chain” program, manufacturers learn to identify opportunities to become leaders in their industry sector by recognizing their impacts, determining a strategic certification or label to pursue and educating stakeholders on making sustainable purchasing decisions.

NYSP2I has assisted several companies with identifying opportunities to meet customer demands while reducing environmental impacts. Three are discussed here: a food manufacturer; a start-up packaging company; and an established granite countertop manufacturer. Each had an obstacle to overcome in order to gain or retain customers.

Enhanced EPA Oversight Needed to Address Risks From Declining Clean Air Act Title V Revenues

Download the document.

Weaknesses in the EPA’s oversight of Title V revenues and expenditures jeopardize program implementation and, in turn, compliance with air regulations for many of the nation’s largest sources of air pollution.