Day: September 22, 2006

4th Ecological Construction Symposium '06– 'Re-Building a Sustainable Community'

Dates: October 13-15, 2006
Locations: e-co lab, 110 S. Race St. Suite 202 in the Bennett Building Downtown Urbana, IL, ph 217-344-1294
Urbana Civic Center 108 E. Water St., Urbana, IL

Over the past year intensified discussions about environmental impacts of human activities have prompted the question: How must we change our current societal practices to reestablish a sustainable system?

The Urbana Permaculture Project, School for Designing a Society and e-co lab invite you to join the discussion on ecological design and construction principles. Over the course of three days the 4th Ecological Construction Symposium 2006 will present and investigate different local design examples employing concepts based on creating an overall beneficial relationship with interrelated and surrounding aspects. These examples will span the fields of ecosystems and permaculture design, passive architecture and cradle to cradle, energy efficiency technologies, waste & water management, renewable energy technologies and societal design strategies. As an overall umbrella the architecture firm Farr Associates, Chicago, IL was asked to officially open the symposium on Friday evening with a keynote presentation on the planned green residential redevelopment of the Kerr Avenue site in Urbana (to be confirmed).

Our challenge is to shine light especially on the green construction field, its surrounding fields and its economic potential for the US building sector. We propose that the situation, based on the predicted increase of oil prices, offers an opportunity for local businesses to anticipate economic growth possibilities and jobs in a rising environmental market. By presenting local cutting edge projects our goal is to inspire others to explore the green business opportunities in their field. Together as a community, we can take responsibility for the environment locally as well as reducing global warming and enhancing economic well being for all.

Two Days of
1. “Presentations on leading sustainable Projects in the Community”
2. “Field Trips: Permaculture, Passive Architecture and Water & Waste Systems”
provide a wealth of topics and opportunities in which to advance ecological construction practices and ideas. Presenters and projects will include amongst others:

Patterns for Abundance: Design and consulting for permaculture, Bloomington, IN. Presenter; Peter Bane, experienced permaculture site designer and teacher. http://www.permacultureactivist.net/design/Designconsult.html

Urbana Permaculture Project: Non-profit Organization promoting and implementing permaculture for Urbana, IL. Presenter; Rob Scott, designer and edible gardener of multiple permaculture sites in Urbana, http://www.prairienet.org/upp/

School for Designing a Society: Non-profit Organization and School inviting to compose desirable interrelationships and environments, Urbana, IL. Presenters; Mark Enslin, composer and actor, Danielle Chynoweth, Urbana City Council Member , http://www.designingasociety.org.

Ecological Construction Laboratory : Non-profit Community Housing Development Organization promoting and implementing Passive Housing for Urbana, IL. Presenters; Katrin Klingenberg, designer and builder of passive houses in Urbana, David Stecher, building envelope analyst http://www.e-colab.org. The Fairview House Project is conducted in collaboration with IBACOS Pittsburgh, PA, one of the lead teams in the US Department of Energy’s Building America Program, conducting research towards zero energy houses and communities in the US. http://www.ibacos.com

New Prairie Construction, Inc.: Construction company, Urbana, IL, pioneering in straw bale construction. Presenter; Julie Vogel, builder of the straw bale residence in Urbana.

Tiny Greens, Specialty Sprouts and Green Island: Local sprout farm, Urbana, IL, and the Green Island Sustainable Community. Presenter; William Bagby, owner of the farm and founder of Green Island, will present on the development’s water & waste systems design.

Suggested Donation for Individuals and Non-Profits: $25 for Professionals: $100

For more information, contact e-co lab at http://www.e-colab.org/contact.htm.

Working Safely With Lead Workshop

A “Working Safely with Lead” Workshop will be held on October 17, 2006, 7 – 11:30 a.m. (free) at St. John’s Hospital Bunn Auditorium – 800 E. Carpenter Springfield, Illinois. Topics to be covered include:

  • The Effects of Lead Paint on Adults and Children
  • Information on Newly Enacted Illinois & Proposed USEPA Remodeling & Renovation Legislation
  • How Lead Risk Assessments can save you money

Illinois Public Act 094-0879 became law on June 20, 2006, and is in effect. Target audience: Contractors, Landlords, Realtors and Public Health Professionals.

Please e-mail, telephone or fax registration requests to: joann.lemaster@st-johns.org Phone (217) 544-6464, ext. 30095 Fax (217) 535-3893

This free event is offered by the Illinois Poison Center in recognition of National Poison Prevention Month.

ASLI's Choice – Award for the Best Book of 2006

What is your favourite book of 2006?

The Atmospheric Science Librarians International is seeking your nominations for the best book of 2006.  They are going to present ASLI’s Choice Award for the best book of 2006 in the fields of meteorology / climatology / atmospheric sciences in  San Antonio, Texas  during the AMS conference in January 2007.

The books will be judged on nine criteria: uniqueness, comprehensiveness, usefulness, quality, authoritativeness, organization, illustrations/diagrams, competition and references.  To qualify, the book has to have a 2006 copyright date and can be in any format and at any reading level:  college, research, general audience, children’s, reference.   Any language is accepted.

Readers are invited to nominate their choice and submit their nomination to the chair of the ASLI Awards Committee listed below, or to complete the form on the ASLI website:  http://www.lib.noaa.gov/asli/asli.html .  You may nominate as many works as you wish, but please complete a separate entry from for each work.   November 1, 2006 be the cut-off date for submissions.  The ASLI executive will have the difficult choice of doing the final selection from the titles pre-screened by the Awards Committee.

For more information please see BAMS, May 2006, p.  654

How do I submit my nomination?

Complete the form at:  www.lib.noaa.gov/asli/asli.html

Or email  maria.latyszewskyj@ec.gc.ca

or send to:
M. Latyszewskyj
Environment Canada Library, Downsview
4905 Dufferin Street
Toronto, ON
Canada M2N 3C7

What is the closing date?   Nov. 1, 2006

How do I know who has won? 
Winner will be posted to the ASLI listserv and to the ASLI website after the announcement in January 2007 in San Antonio, Texas.

Members of the ASLI Choice committee:

Maria A. Latyszewskyj – Chair
Environment Canada Library, Downsview
Maria.latyszewskyj@ec.gc.ca

Amy Butros
Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library
abutros@ucsd.edu

Doria Grimes
NOAA Central Library
Doria.grimes@noaa.gov

Judie Triplehorn
Geophysical Institute Library
gilibrary@gi.alaska.edu

Gates, Rockefeller Foundations Form Alliance to Spur 'Green Revolution' in Africa

Read the full press release.

The Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City have formed an alliance to foster a new “green revolution” in Africa that will dramatically increase the productivity of small farms, moving tens of millions of people out of poverty and significantly reducing hunger.

Environmental Politics and Strategy

In the September issue of EP, Richard MacLean examines which of the scenarios from his 2001 article tracked true and the relevance of environmental strategic planning today.

Study Finds Environmental Toxin Causes Heritable Adult-Onset Diseases

Read the full article in Environmental Protection.

A disease you are suffering today could be a result of your great-grandmother being exposed to an environmental toxin during pregnancy — and you may already have passed it along to your children.

Researchers at Washington State University (WSU) found that exposure to an environmental toxin during embryonic development can cause an animal, and almost all of its descendents, to develop adult-onset illnesses such as cancer and kidney disease. Their discovery suggests that toxins may have played a role in the rapid increase in localized geographic areas of diseases that were previously thought to be caused primarily by genetic mutations.

The articles were published in Endocrinology as rapid electronic publications on September 14, 2006.

Mercury Lamp Drum-Top Crusher Study

USEPA has posted a study of mercury lamp drum-top crushing (DTC) devices. The devices reduce the volume of waste lamps and improve storage and handling associated with fluorescent lamp recycling. The study provides the most current information on the performance of DTC devices, with respect to operator exposure to mercury emissions from the units.

The study evaluated four different devices. The data collected in the course of the study indicate that none of the DTC devices evaluated completely controlled mercury emissions during lamp processing operations, even with optimal operation. Use of a poorly designed device could result in mercury exposures nearly an order of magnitude above the OSHA permissible exposure limits. Fundamental design changes to reduce the reliance on fallible components would be needed to improve the ruggedness of DTC devices. [Thanks to Phil Kaplan for the information]

Proposed Rule – Alternatives for the Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning Sector

EPA is proposing to expand the list of choices car manufacturers have when choosing non ozone-depleting refrigerants for use in vehicle air conditioning systems.

Today’s action proposes to list HFC-152a and CO2 as acceptable alternatives for ozone depleting substances (ODS) in new motor vehicle air conditioning systems under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. When used with proper risk mitigation measures, HFC-152a and CO2 can reduce the environmental impact of motor vehicle air conditioners.

The automotive industry, if they choose to adopt these technologies, would be required to comply with the conditions necessary to deploy HFC-152a and CO2 systems in a safe manner. Car manufacturers, component manufacturers and the motor vehicle air conditioning service industry have been actively engaged in the development of this rulemaking and are developing prototype systems with the use conditions defined in this proposal.

EPA will accept public comment on its proposal for 30-days following publication of the proposal in the Federal Register.

For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/regulations.html.

EPA plans to close labs, drop scientists and reduce oversight

Read the full article in the Kansas City Star.

The Environmental Protection Agency intends to close labs, cut its cadre of upper-level scientists and reduce regulatory oversight, according to an internal agency document.

In a memo dated June 8, a top agency official outlined “a set of proposed disinvestments, innovations, efficiencies and consolidations” for the upcoming 2008 fiscal budget.

EPA Seeks Better Use of Millions of Tons of Wasted Sand

EPA is today releasing a guide to help states get more productive use out of millions of tons of sand discarded by the foundry industry.

The State Toolkit for Developing Beneficial Reuse Programs for Foundry Sand is designed to significantly increase the volume of sand that is reused from foundry operations, saving landfill capacity and protecting natural resources.

Foundry products are found in virtually every sector of the U.S. economy, including transportation, construction, agricultural equipment, and military weapon systems.

Each year, foundries, also known as metal casters, use about 100 million tons of sand to create molds for cast metal, but then dispose of about 10 million tons. Most of the disposed sand is not hazardous and could be reused in a variety of ways, including roadbeds, construction fill, and cement manufacturing. However, barriers in state programs and the market result in only about   one million tons (10 percent) being reused to benefit society. For example, State barriers include the time required for approval of reuse requests, overly strict requirements for testing by-products proposed for reuse, and insufficient outreach on how to apply for the beneficial use activity.

While the Toolkit can help states promote beneficial reuse of foundry sand, it is also helpful to states when starting or revising programs aimed at a much wider range of industrial byproducts, such as coal combustion by-products and construction and demolition debris.

The Toolkit was released today by EPA before the American Foundry Society at their 18th Environmental Health and Safety Conference in Nashville.

For a copy of the Toolkit and more information about beneficial reuse of foundry sand, visit: http://www.epa.gov/sectors/metalcasting/foundry.html.

The Toolkit was developed through the Sector Strategies program (http://www.epa.gov/sectors) in EPA’s Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation, in partnership with the foundry industry and EPA’s Resource Conservation Challenge, which is focusing on foundry sands as one of three industrial byproducts that present strong reuse opportunities (The other two are coal combustion by-products and construction and demolition debris).

For more information about the Resource Conservation Challenge, visit http://www.epa.gov/rcc/.

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