Student Government to purchase new, greener bicycle racks

Read the full story from Bowling Green State University.

Undergraduate Student Government is working with the Office of Campus Sustainability to purchase around 20 new bicycle racks…

…the bicycle racks will be purchased from Max-R, a company that manufactures products for a sustainable purpose. The bicycle racks will be made of recycled plastic and replace some older ones on campus, as well as placed in new locations.

Art exhibit encourages Purdue students to comment on energy plan

Read the full story in the Journal and Courier.

Students and environmental groups installed 6-foot-tall cardboard wind turbines Thursday across Purdue Memorial Mall.

The art exhibit, which continues today, is to encourage students to comment on Purdue’s Comprehensive Energy Master Plan. Last month officials asked for public comment on an energy plan that proposes cutting coal use and increasing reliance on natural gas for heating and cooling. The Sierra Club and Purdue’s Sierra Student Coalition want the campus to consider renewable energy options to meet future power needs.

How Sustainable is Your Valentine’s Day Candy?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

It’s easy to lose sight of sustainability issues on a day that’s so focused on material expressions of affection, but there are resources that gift-givers can use to measure the impacts of their Valentine’s Day presents — especially one of the most popular: chocolate.

Hershey Achieves Zero Waste at 4 Facilities

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

General Motors has nearly 80 landfill-free manufacturing facilities, Kraft has 36, and now the Hershey Company is building a portfolio of zero-waste-to-landfill sites.

As of this month, the company has four zero-waste facilities in Pennsylvania.

Three are chocolate plants: The site in Hazelton reached its zero-waste goal last week; the firm’s West Hershey factory became zero waste in 2011; and the Reese’s plant in Hershey achieved zero waste in 2010.

The Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction also attained zero waste status in 2010. The site is a visitors’ center, rather than a plant, but has several features whose waste is diverted from landfills. There’s a restaurant, a store, and an area where visitors can order up and help make customized candy bars.

EPA Finalizes Air Toxic Emissions Standards for Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Production Facilities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued strong final standards requiring facilities that produce polyvinyl chloride and copolymers (PVC) to reduce harmful air emissions, which will improve air quality and protect people’s health in communities where facilities are located. Exposure to toxic air pollutants, like those emitted from PVC facilities, can cause respiratory problems and other serious health issues, and can increase the risk of developing cancer. In particular, children are known to be more sensitive to the cancer risks posed by inhaling vinyl chloride, one of the known carcinogens emitted from PVC facilities.

The final standards are based on currently available technologies and will reduce emissions of air toxics, such as dioxin and vinyl chloride. Facilities will have the flexibility to choose the most practical and cost-effective control technology or technique to reduce the emissions. Facilities will be required to monitor emissions at certain points in the PVC production process to ensure that the standards are met.

Currently, there are 17 PVC production facilities throughout the United States, with a majority of these facilities located in Louisiana and Texas. All existing and any new PVC production facilities are covered by the final rule.

PVC production facilities manufacture PVC resins that are used to make a large number of commercial and industrial products at other manufacturing facilities. These products include latex paints, coatings, adhesives, clear plastics, rigid plastics, and flooring.

EPA had a 74-day public comment period and held two public hearings on the proposal before issuing the final rule.

More information on the final rule: