Day: August 10, 2006

Back-to-School Waste Reduction Tips From Greening Schools

Via WMRC’s Greening Schools Resources:

This list of resources continues to grow. It is that time of the year when suggestions for waste reduction need to be circulated. If you are creating tips for school or classroom use, or you are circulating fact sheets from your centers, this is a valuable selection links to a variety of school waste reduction resources and programs from around the country.

Resources of the Week: Compliance Roundup

From ResourceShelf. Includes links to some environmental compliance resources, including U.S. EPA’s compliance web site and the Environmental Compliance Consortium.

Proposal to Cut Air Toxics Emissions from Degreasers

EPA is proposing options to reduce air toxics emissions by up to 70 percent from halogenated solvent cleaning operations. Halogenated solvents, also known as degreasers, are used to remove soils such as grease, oils, waxes, carbon deposits and tars from metal, plastic, fiberglass and other surfaces.

The proposal includes two options, both of which would result in increased health protection for the public and cost savings for the industry. The proposals would impose an annual cap on emissions of the solvents methylene chloride, perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene. The caps would provide affected facilities with the flexibility to reduce their emissions using any traditional methods available. Most degreasing operations already emit less than either proposed caps. The proposal would focus on facilities posing the highest risks by requiring them to reduce emissions and meet the cap.

EPA issued a national rule to limit emissions of air toxics from degreasing operations in 1994. This rule is one of 96 rules called maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards that require 174 industry sectors to eliminate 1.7 million tons of 187 air toxics. Congress listed these toxic air pollutants in the Clean Air Act. There are nearly 1,900 degreasing operations in the United States. EPA estimates that the 1994 standards prevent nationwide emissions of air toxics by 85,300 tons per year.

The proposal addresses the residual risk and the eight-year technology review provisions in the Clean Air Act. These provisions direct EPA to review existing control technology standards. EPA is to tighten those standards if needed to protect health or because of improvements in emissions reduction methods.

EPA will accept public comment on its proposal for 45 days following publication of the proposed action in the Federal Register.

More information about the proposal and for how to comment:

Rethinking School Lunch

Via Librarian’s Index to the Internet.

Collection of resources for developing school lunch programs “to address the crisis in childhood obesity, provide nutrition education, and teach ecological knowledge.” The “Rethinking School Lunch Guide” addresses food policy, curriculum integration, finances, facility design, waste management, and other school lunch topics. Site also includes “A Visual Guide to Integrated School Lunch Curriculum,” a model wellness policy guide, and a food policy essay series. From the Center for Ecoliteracy, a grantmaking foundation.

Toxin endangering tribes' way of life

Read the full story in the Detroit Free Press.

To the Anishnabe tribes of northern Michigan, fish are more than just food. They’re a link with past generations.

And that makes mercury contamination a particularly touchy matter. Tribal leaders walk a fine line between encouraging their citizens to retain traditions and cautioning them against the threat of mercury-tainted fish.

MATC, UW collaborate on biodiesel fuel reactor

Read the full press release from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Madison Area Technical College (MACT) has dedicated its new biodiesel reactor, built in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, to produce motor fuel blended from waste vegetable oil and methanol.

The project was conceived by MACT’s Consortium for Education in Renewable Technologies, funded by the National Science Foundation. For more information about the biodiesel reactor project, see the student web site.

Researchers Developing Fuel Cell That Generates Electricity From Wastewater

Read the full story in Water & Wastewater Products.

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have been working on a microbial fuel cell that generates electricity from wastewater. Advances in the design of this fuel cell in the last year have increased the power output by a factor of 10 and future designs, already in the minds of the researchers, hope to multiply that power output by 10 times again. If that goal can be achieved, the fuel cell could be scaled up for use in food and agricultural industries to generate electrical power, researchers said on Aug. 3.

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