Meetings & webinars

Webinar: Planting the Seeds for Sustainable Chemistry

Thursday, September 4, 2014, 1-2 pm CDT
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What can be done to incorporate green chemistry in to all parts of the industry? Join us to learn about the Network of Early-Career Sustainable Scientist and Engineers (NESSE) and how they are working to build a community of confident and able early-career sustainable scientists; connected across disciplines, sharing knowledge and resources, forging collaborations, and finding solutions towards making research and its outcomes greener and more sustainable.


Webinar: Alternative Products: Release Agents for Parts Manufacturing, Concrete Stamping and Asphalt Manufacture and Application

Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 1-2 PM CDT
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(Hosted by WSPPN & NPPR as part of the Safer Chemistry Challenge Program Fall Webinar Series)

In some manufacturing operations, various substrates are used to manufacture parts which are molded into a particular form.  Mold release agents are used to prevent the fiberglass or plastic from sticking to the mold. Concrete and concrete overlay stamping involve stamping a pattern into concrete to give it the appearance of stone.  Release agents are used between the curing concrete and the mats with the pattern to be stamped to prevent the concrete from sticking to the mat. A release agent is also used in asphalt manufacturing plants and when asphalt is being applied to roads to prevent the asphalt from building up and sticking to equipment and tools.

EPA Region IX and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) sponsored a project conducted by the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance (IRTA), a nonprofit organization, to identify, develop, test and demonstrate low-VOC, low toxicity alternatives to the high VOC content materials used as release agents in these applications.

IRTA tested and demonstrated alternatives including water-based release agents, petroleum based lubricants, lubricants based on soy, and vegetable oil containing soy and canola oil recycled from restaurants.  IRTA analyzed and compared the cost of using the alternatives.  The project has been completed and the SCAQMD plans to develop regulations requiring the use of low-VOC alternatives over the next year or so.

Dr. Katy Wolf will present the findings of IRTA’s alternatives product research project and provide a comparison of alternative release agents.

Free Online TOXNET Class Offered This Fall

The National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) is offering an online, asynchronous class called “Discovering TOXNET” October 20 – November 14, 2014. Discover TOXNET and other NLM environmental health databases through videos, guided tutorials, and discovery exercises. The class is taught online in thirteen independent modules.

TOXNET is a web-based system of databases covering hazardous chemicals, environmental health, toxic releases, chemical nomenclature, poisoning, risk assessment and regulations, and occupational safety and health. The independent modules cover TOXLINE, ChemIDplus, TRI, TOXMAP, Hazardous Substances Data Bank, IRIS, Has-Map, LactMed, WISER, CHEMM, REMM, LiverTox and more. You’ll learn about the resources through videos, guided tutorials, and discovery exercises.

Who should take the class?

Health sciences librarians and health or environmental sciences professionals interested in unlocking the information in TOXNET and the other environmental health and toxicology resources.

How much time?

You will work on your own time over a period of 4 weeks to complete the modules that are of interest to you. There is one required module; the remaining modules are optional. The class is offered for variable MLA Continuing Education credit. Each module will be offered for 0.5 to 2.0 credit hours, for a total of up to 12 hours. Credit will not be awarded for partial completion of a module. Total credit awarded will be based on completed modules with a minimum of 1.0 credit hours.

What happens during the class?

This course is offered asynchronously through Moodle; you will work at your own pace. Each module consists of guided interactive online tutorials and/or tutorial videos as well as discovery exercises. Instructors will be available to answer questions and provide assistance throughout the course.

The modules are:

  1. Introduction to TOXNET: 0.5 hour (Required)
  2. TOXLINE: 1.0 hour
  3. ChemIDplus: 2.0 hours
  4. Integrated Risk Information System & Risk Assessment: 1.0 hour
  5. Hazardous Substances Databank: 1.5 hours
  6. Toxic Release Inventory: 1.0 hour
  7. TOXMAP: 1.5 hours
  8. Household Products Database: 0.5 hour
  9. LactMed: 0.5 hour
  10. Has-Map: 0.5 hour
  11. WISER & CHEMM: 1.0 hour
  12. REMM: 0.5 hour
  13. LiverTox: 0.5 hour

How do I register?

Space in the class is limited, so don’t delay! Register now at:

For questions, contact the NTC at;

2014 National Forum on Contaminants in Fish

The Forum will be held on September 22-24, 2014 in Alexandria, Virginia. The three-day event will bring together representatives from state and federal agencies, present a variety of perspectives and approach to assessing and communicating public health risk related to fish contaminants.

For more information and to register, visit

Upcoming webinars of interest

Webinar 2 of 3: Tracking in Action – Using the Tracking Network to Promote Health and Prevent Disease
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 1-2 PM CDT
Register here

The National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (Tracking Network) is operated by the Environmental Health Tracking Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The Tracking Network is a system of integrated health, exposure, and environmental hazard information and data obtained from a variety of national, state, and city sources. It presents what is known about where environmental hazards exist, where people are exposed to hazards, and how targeted action can protect health, reduce illness, and save lives. Data from the Tracking Network can be used in various public health specialties including chronic disease prevention.

This webinar is the second in the “Tracking in Action” webinar series facilitated by NACDD with CDC subject matter expertise.  In addition to increasing the awareness and use of the Tracking Network, the webinar series will feature new state success stories that highlight the role of grantee tracking programs and the impact of using the Tracking Network data in various capacities around the country.

Water: Strategies around Efficiency, Restoration and Drinking Water for Venues and Events
Wednesday, July 16, 2014, noon-1PM CDT
Register here

Among sports greening initiatives, efforts around water are often overshadowed by more visible efforts around recycling/composting, fan engagement, and energy efficiency and renewables. However, large swaths of North America have experienced record drought in the last several years, and water scarcity issues come into even greater focus as the summer heats up. While water issues (and prices) vary greatly by region, there are strategies that are broadly applicable to reduce consumption, waste, and monthly bills.

On this webinar, we will start with a “state of the state” assessment of fresh water in North America, and learn more about innovative ways to support restoration of depleted water sources. We will then hear two case studies: water conservation and efficiency efforts at a major NFL Stadium, and an innovative approach to drinking water—sans bottled water—at a large, temporary spectator sports event. We hope you can join us to learn more!


  1. Val Fishman – Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, Bonneville Environmental Foundation & Board of Directors, Green Sports Alliance: Welcoming remarks and presenter introductions; the state of freshwater in North America and tools to address it.
  2. Henry Rzemieniewski – Cleaning Operations Manager, MetLife Stadium: Water-saving strategies at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and New York Jets, and signatory of an MOU with the U.S. EPA to asses and reduce environmental impact.
  3. Jill Savery – Former Head of Sustainability, America’s Cup Event Authority: Providing clean drinking water for spectators without bottled water or single use plastic at a large, international sporting event.
  4. Discussion/Q&A

Questions? Please email Membership Director David Muller:

Waters of the U.S.: Clarifying Misconceptions
July 16, 2014, 2-3 PM CDT
Register here

Join us to hear officials set the record straight about the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands. This webinar will address some of the common concerns and misconceptions about the proposed rule, particularly for the agricultural community. EPA”s proposal will bring clarity and consistency to the process, cutting red tape and saving money.

To see facts about the proposal, visit

A Zero Waste community is not built by government alone
Thu, Jul 17, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM CDT
Register here

Getting to “Zero Waste or darn near” requires both the support of the local government and strong citizen engagement. It is not just a process of government planning, but rather a collaborative process where citizens push for a Zero Waste goal and help prioritize Zero Waste actions and strategies based on community needs. It is the partnership between these two “community-minded groups” that together makes immediate and long-term change possible.

Learn more about working with both groups to leverage change and navigate the best path forward for your community.

Greening Local Government: Purchasing and Office Practices
Thursday, July 17, 2014 2-3 PM CDT
Register here

Part 3 of our webinar series designed for local governments, highlighting case studies from communities working towards resource efficiency, energy conservation and economic savings.  As funding for the Greening Local Government project came from an EPA Region 8 grant, our case studies come from states in this geographic region. However, this 2014 Greening Local Government webinar series is free and open to local governments across the nation.

Visit our online guidebook:



EPA Provides Tool to Help Communities Become More Flood Resilient

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new tool today to help communities prepare for, deal with and recover from floods. The Flood Resilience Checklist offers strategies that communities can consider, such as conserving land in flood-prone areas; directing new development to safer areas; and using green infrastructure approaches, such as installing rain gardens, to manage stormwater.

“Flooding from major storms has cost lives and caused billions of dollars in damage,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “With climate change, storms are likely to become even more powerful in many regions of the country. Where and how communities build will have long-term impacts on their flood resilience, and on air and water quality and health and safety. This checklist will help flood-prone communities think through these issues and come up with the solutions that work best for them.”

The checklist is part of a new report, Planning for Flood Recovery and Long-Term Resilience in Vermont: Smart Growth Approaches for Disaster-Resilient Communities. The report is a product of EPA’s year-long Smart Growth Implementation Assistance project in Vermont where EPA worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state agencies, including the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, to help communities recover from Tropical Storm Irene. Although the project focused on Vermont, the policy options and checklist in the report can help any community seeking to become more flood resilient.

As part of the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance project, FEMA and EPA also supported the development of Vermont State Agency Policy Options, a report that provides more detailed suggestions for how Vermont state agencies can coordinate their efforts to plan for, respond to, and recover from floods.

EPA will host a webinar on lessons learned from the Vermont project on Wednesday, August 13. The webinar will feature speakers from FEMA, the state of Vermont, and the Mad River Valley Planning District.

Webinar: Creating a Culture of Sustainability: Planting the Seed

July 29, 2014 11 am-noon CDT
Register here.

GreenerU recognizes that cultivating a culture of sustainability is not always the easiest thing to do. Tackling these issues with incoming students at the start of every academic year plants the seeds early on. Our speakers will discuss different ways to make this happen.

By joining our webinar, you will learn about different techniques used by Boston University and Babson College that will help you address sustainability at:

  • Move-in
  • Orientation
  • Freshman seminar classes
  • Start of semester events

Webinar: Reuse Opportunities at Capped Superfund Sites

July 16, 2014, 1-3 PM CDT
Register here

Former landfills, abandoned dumps and other contaminated sites throughout the United States were once thought to be of limited or no value. Today, these sites are being transformed into viable commercial and industrial developments, recreational areas and wildlife areas. With forethought, coordination with regulatory agencies, and effective planning, communities and site stakeholders can return sites to productive use without jeopardizing the effectiveness of a remedial cap put into place to protect human health and the environment. Reuse can provide long-term benefits for the local community, the local government, site owners and even for EPA through continued site stewardship after remedial efforts are complete. This webinar will share examples and lessons learned from the effective assessment and successful reuse of capped sites.

Call for submissions: Michigan Journal of Sustainability Special Edition on Climate Adaptation in the United States

The Michigan Journal of Sustainability is seeking high-quality work for inclusion in a special edition of our online, open-access, peer-reviewed Journal focused on strategies being taken, research underway, or promising practices to help different sectors and scales of society prepare for and build resilience to climate change. This Journal emphasizes the translation of academic sustainability research into formats that are useful and usable to practitioners and policy makers. As such, we invite abstracts that bridge the science-policy divide as it pertains to helping society adapt to existing and projected future impacts from disasters, climate variability, and long-term climate change. This special edition of our Journal is slated for release online in early 2015.

For this special edition, the Michigan Journal of Sustainability will accept timely, innovative, and informative articles translating scholarly research on efforts to prepare society and social-ecological systems more broadly, for climate change. Due to the crosscutting nature of the climate adaptation field, we strongly encourage articles that explore multi-disciplinary collaborations and articles that attempt to bridge sectoral or disciplinary divides.

Manuscripts for consideration in this special issue are due November 3, 2014 and should be submitted online at

View the complete call for papers at

Webinar: GreenScreen Assessments of the Antimicrobials Triclosan and Triclocarban

Date and time: July 15, 2014, 2-3 pm CDT
Register at

2014 Phone Seminar Series on Green Chemistry co-hosted by the Great Lakes Green Chemistry Network and Michigan Green Chemistry Clearinghouse, presents a webinar by:

Beverley Thorpe
Consulting Co-Director and Co-founder
Clean Production Action

Triclosan and Triclocarban are widely used as antibacterial/antimicrobial agents in many products including cosmetics, personal care consumer products, textiles and food contact materials. GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals, a recognized tool for comparative chemical hazard assessment, was used to assess the environmental and human health profile of both of these chemicals.  GreenScreen® classifies triclosan as a GreenScreen Benchmark 1 (chemical of high concern) and triclocarban as a GreenScreen Benchmark 2 (chemical that should be replaced with safer substitutes).  These results will add new support for the growing movement to restrict triclosan as well as demonstrate the value of comprehensive chemical hazard screening for informed substitution to both regulators and businesses.

Beverley Thorpe is Consulting Co-Director, and co-founder, of Clean Production Action and she has worked to advance safer chemicals policy for over 25 years. Her current focus is the promotion of Green Chemistry within government policy, company practices and advocacy campaigns and she continues to train, teach and publish materials that advance clean production strategies.  She is a regular guest lecturer o company best practice in chemicals policy at Lund University, Sweden and is a current board member of the Story of Stuff in the U.S. and Greenpeace Canada.