Read the full story from the University of Illinois.
Rural sewage treatment lagoons remove most, but not all, of the pharmaceutical and personal care product and hormone contaminants from wastewater, suggests a new study lead by Wei Zheng, a senior research scientist at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and an adjunct faculty member in the department of natural resources and environmental sciences at Illinois.
My recent post on upcoming ISTC seminars contained an incorrect link. Register for the March 14, 2013 webinar, “Ecotoxicology of Antimicrobial Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products in Illinois Rivers and Streams”, at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/275190303. I’ve corrected the original post as well.
Read the full story from PBS Newshour.
In September 2010, scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency came to a startling conclusion: Even a small amount of a chemical compound commonly found in tap water may cause cancer.
The compound, hexavalent chromium, gained infamy in the Oscar-winning film Erin Brockovich, based on the David-vs.-Goliath legal duel between desert dwellers in Hinkley, Calif., and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. The film ends in Hollywood fashion, with the corporate polluter paying $333 million to people suffering from illnesses.
But in real life, the drama continues. More than 70 million Americans drink traces of chromium every day, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit research organization.
Read the full story in Sustainable Industries.
In 2012, green buildings sprouted up across Illinois like wild flowers (let’s say violets, since we’re talking about the Land of Lincoln.)
In fact, last year the state certified 156 LEED projects, representing 25 million square feet of real estate. In total, the state now has more than 700 LEED certified projects, representing more than 140 million square feet of real estate. That’s the equivalent of 30 Willis Towers.
The state’s leadership in green building – from the state house to city halls – has helped propel Illinois into the 5th spot on USGBC’s Top 10 LEED states – coming only behind DC, Virginia, Colorado and Massachusetts. Our annual ranking considered states based on the amount of 2012 LEED-certified space per capita.
Read the full story in Sustainable Industries.
Continuing the Obama Administration’s commitment to lead by example and cut waste, pollution, and costs in Federal operations, Federal agencies today released their 2012 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans. President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance in October 2009, setting aggressive targets for reducing waste and pollution in Federal operations by 2020. The Sustainability Plans build on three years of progress under the Executive Order and provide an overview of how agencies are saving taxpayer dollars, reducing carbon emissions, cutting waste, and saving energy.
This year, agency Sustainability Plans for the first time ever include Climate Change Adaptation Plans, outlining initiatives to reduce the vulnerability of Federal programs, assets, and investments to the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise or more frequent or severe extreme weather. Agency adaptation plans highlight actions to plan for and address these impacts in their programs and operations, and protect taxpayer investments.
The adaptation plans, which the President called for in his 2009 Executive Order, will be available for 60 days of public comment and will be updated by agencies as needed. The agency adaptation plans build on the Administration’s commitment to promoting climate change preparedness and resilience, including through launching the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force in 2009 to coordinate measures across the Federal Government and support local and regional adaptation efforts.
T12 fluorescent lamps will be phased out of production due to new federal energy standards. Switch out those T12 fixtures with high-performance T8 or T5 lamps and an electronic ballast – you could see savings of 33% or more on your electric bills each year!
Through May 31, 2013, completed T12 retrofit projects will receive a 5% incentive bonus. Get started on your project today and take advantage of these great incentives, including:
- T12 to high-performance T8: $0.25/watt reduced + 5% bonus
- T12 to T5 new fixture: $0.25/watt reduced + 5% bonus
For more information, visit http://www.actonenergy.com/for-my-business/explore-incentives/lighting-incentives/t12-lighting-phase-out
Read the full story in Sustainable Communities E-News.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided billions of dollars in financing to homeowners, businesses, and local governments to invest in energy-efficiency and renewable-energy technology through the Department of Energy’s State Energy Program. The influx of available capital into the residential energy-efficiency market was intended to remove the barriers to efficiency upgrades, including the upfront costs of retrofitting a home. The intent was also to foster long-term growth in energy-efficiency and renewable-energy technology through a scaled response supported by the private sector.
With most ARRA funds for energy-efficiency improvements expended, private financing and a trained workforce are fueling greater market penetration and providing promising signs for the future of the industry. Leaders from the California Rural Home Mortgage Finance Authority Homebuyers Fund (CHF) recently announced the continuation of the CHF Residential Energy Retrofit Program (formerly known as the Moderate Income Sustainable Technology Program) through a unique partnership that engages private investment, an investor-owned utility, and the public sector. Originally funded with $29 million in ARRA funds administered through the California Energy Commission in 2010, the latest version of the program is made possible through $20 million in loans from Sacramento-based Five Star Bank.