As the EPA pursues PFAS standards, industry and residents are at odds over state regulation

Read the full story from Wisconsin Public Radio.

Wisconsin residents affected by PFAS contamination say the Biden administration’s recently announced strategy to address harmful forever chemicals doesn’t go far enough and highlights the need for state standards. But industry officials argue state regulators should wait for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set federal drinking water regulations.

EPA proposes regulating ‘forever chemicals’ under hazardous waste law

Read the full story from Reuters. See also EPA eyes new rules for PFAS in waste from E&E News.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced it is preparing a rule that would list some so-called “forever chemicals” as hazardous substances that must be eliminated from industrial waste before it is discarded.

Under the plan, four compounds that are part of the wider family of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, could be added to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s (RCRA) list of “hazardous constituents” to “ensure they are subject to corrective action requirements.”

The chemicals are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) and GenX.

The State of Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere Based on Global Observations through 2020

Download the document from the World Meteorological Organization.

The latest analysis of observations from the WMO GAW in situ observational network shows that globally averaged surface mole fractions(1) for CO2, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) reached new highs in 2020, with CO2 at 413.2 ± 0.2 ppm(2), CH4 at 1889 ± 2 ppb(3) and N2O at 333.2 ± 0.1 ppb. These values constitute, respectively, 149%, 262% and 123% of pre-industrial (before 1750) levels. The increase in CO2 from 2019 to 2020 was slightly lower than that observed from 2018 to 2019, but higher than the average annual growth rate over the last decade. This is despite the approximately 5.6% drop in fossil fuel CO2 emissions in 2020 due to restrictions related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. For CH4, the increase from 2019 to 2020 was higher than that observed from 2018 to 2019 and also higher than the average annual growth rate over the last decade. For N2O, the increase from 2019 to 2020 was higher than that observed from 2018 to 2019 and also higher than the average annual growth rate over the past 10 years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI) [8] shows that from 1990 to 2020, radiative forcing by longlived greenhouse gases (LLGHGs) increased by 47%, with CO2 accounting for about 80% of this increase.

The G20 Peoples’ Climate Vote 2021

Download the document.

The actions that G20 governments take to tackle the climate crisis will be critical to the future of the planet. In the run-up to the G20 Summit in Rome, and ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the UN Development Programme and the University of Oxford are publishing the G20 Peoples’ Climate Vote, a large G20 survey of public opinion on climate change.

The G20 Peoples’ Climate Vote polled over 689,000 people across 18 of the G20 countries from October 2020 until June 2021. This includes over 302,000 young people under the age of 18. It leverages, an innovative survey methodology using mobile gaming networks.

In some countries, it is the first time that the voices of young people – who in many countries will be voting age in just a few years –are heard on climate change. This means the survey has significant value as a predictor of where public opinion is headed on climate policy. It also indicates where stronger efforts to educate the public may be required.

Air pollution in St. Louis helps fuel coronavirus spread, especially in communities of color

Read the full story from St. Louis Public Radio.

The coronavirus spreads faster in areas with poor air quality, according to new research from Washington University.

Researchers analyzed data on environmental, socioeconomic and health factors from a dozen U.S. cities, including St. Louis. They found that long-term exposure to microscopic air pollution and population density were both linked to faster coronavirus transmission — especially among communities of color.

Agricultural runoff contributes to global warming – New study helps us figure out how and what we can do about it

Read the full story from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas, with 300 times the warming ability of carbon dioxide. Due to fertilizer runoff from farm fields, an increasing load of nitrogen is washing into rivers and streams, where nitrogen-breathing microbes break some of the fertilizer down into N2O, which the river releases into the atmosphere as it tumbles toward the ocean. But, until now, scientists haven’t had a clear picture of how the process works, what fraction of the runoff winds up as N2O or what steps might be taken to mitigate N2O emissions.

The mutable boundaries of a worst-case climate world

Read the full story at Green Law.

In a worst-case climate world, climate change will redraw our maps, rewire our minds, and revolutionize our politics. For the sake of simplicity in this short blog, we can imagine key shifts along the axis of the physical, psychological, and the political.

Coca-Cola HBC commits to net zero emissions across entire value chain by 2040

Read the full story at Beverage Daily.

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company will switch to 100% renewable electricity, increase rPET use and invest €250m ($289m) in emissions reduction initiatives as part of its pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2040.

High-schoolers tracked a wolf pack for years. The feds killed eight of the pups, conservationists say.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Students at Timberline High School in Boise, Idaho, have been studying a group of wolves — known as the Timberline wolf pack — in a nearby national forest since 2003. But sometime in the spring, biologists who track the pack noticed its den was empty, which was unusual, said wolf conservationist Suzanne Asha Stone.

After conservationists obtained a wolf “mortality list” from the state’s Department of Fish and Game, they realized pups in the Boise National Forest’s Timberline pack were killed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services branch, Stone told The Washington Post.

Winds of change: Improvements for wind energy production

Read the full story from the American Institute of Physics.

In recent years, much progress has been made in the wind energy industry as the cost of development has declined significantly with emerging technologies and incentive policies. Nevertheless, wind farms can be made more efficient. Researchers now examine diurnal and seasonal patterns of wind speeds and their impact on the adequacy of energy production. The results helped them develop a seasonal adequacy assessment procedure.

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