Day: October 6, 2014

EPA Invites Eligible Non-Profit Groups and Tribal Communities to Apply for 2015 Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice announces the opening of its Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2015 Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program. The EJSG Program provides funding for eligible applicants for projects that address local environmental and/or public health issues within an affected community.

The EJSG Program is designed to help eligible non-profit organizations and Tribal communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks at the local level.

EPA recognizes the critical role of helping communities with localized strategies to avoid, lessen, or delay the risks and impacts associated with our changing climate. As a result, this year’s EJSG Program will have a special emphasis on proposals supporting community-based preparedness and resilience efforts (community climate resiliency). In an effort to ensure that support reaches new areas, the Agency also is prioritizing funding to organizations that have not recently received an award under the EJSG Program.

The total estimated amount of funding available for awards under this solicitation for fiscal year 2015 is approximately $1.2 million. EPA anticipates awarding up to four grants per EPA region in amounts of up to $30,000 per award for a two-year project period. For more information regarding the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program and to view the RFA, please visit the EPA website.

To learn about community successes from previous small grants, check out EPA’s Emerging Tools for Local Problem-Solving, as well as these recent stories from the Agency’s EJ in Action blog:

Help NASA do #SkyScience

In celebration of Earth Science Week, October 12 -18, NASA invites you to look up at the sky and help scientists who study Earth’s clouds by participating in #SkyScience.

Clouds are an important part of Earth’s atmosphere, and NASA scientists are studying how they affect our weather and climate. Clouds cover about half of the planet at any one time, ranging from high, wispy cirrus to dark, rumbling thunderheads. By participating in #SkyScience you will help NASA learn more about the types of clouds where you live, work and play, and help all of us celebrate the beauty of Earth’s atmosphere, and the science behind it.

Visit for more information.

MSP Airport Building State’s Largest Solar Energy Site

Read the full story in Twin Cities Business.

A $25.4 million solar energy project now underway at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is being touted as the state’s largest and is expected to create more than 250 jobs.

Webinar: Sustainable Printing: Panel Discussion on Paper, Ink and Going Digital

Wed, Oct 22, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT
Register at

Sustainable printing is about more than just using recycled-content paper. It encompasses inks, printer settings, processes and much more in addition to paper—including doing away with printing altogether in some cases. Sports teams, venues, and leagues are embracing innovative ways to not only reduce paper waste, but to minimize the impact of the entire printing process. Deciding where to start and navigating all the options can be daunting, but our webinar panelists will shed light on more environmentally-friendly practices around printing, sharing valuable insights that Alliance members can implement right away.

For this webinar, we have assembled an all-star panel of experts on sustainable printing practices, including sports teams, industry partners, and NGO’s. We will learn about current sustainable printing practices in the sports industry, as well as future possibilities.


  • Allen Hershkowitz, Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council & Board of Directors, Green Sports Alliance (Moderator)
  • Ian Hanna, Director of Strategic Development, FSC International
  • Molly Ray, Environmental Solutions Manager | Office Depot, Inc.
  • Christina Reeves, Sustainability Consultant | Progressive Associates & Xcel Energy Center
  • Harlan Roberts, National Sales, bluemedia
  • Jeff Shaw, President | SEEDS Green Printing and Design
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Speaker TBD)

Questions? Email Membership Director David Muller at

Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center 2013-2014 annual report now available

Download the document.

The report highlights some of our client’s many success stories and demonstrates how the Center has helped facilities around the Commonwealth achieve cost savings and establish environmental sustainability as a component of sound business practices.

Can Biochar Couple with Algae to Deal with Desertification?

Meng, X. and Yuan, W. (2014) Can Biochar Couple with Algae to Deal with Desertification?. Journal of Sustainable Bioenergy Systems, 4, 194-198. doi: 10.4236/jsbs.2014.43018.

Abstract: In order to improve man-made biological soil crusts (BSCs) for desertification control and develop value-added utilization of bioenergy byproducts, preliminary experiments were carried out to understand the effect of biochar addition on algae growth in sand. Microcoleus vaginatus was chosen as the model algae and cultivated in sand with various contents of biochar (0%, 2%, 5%, 8%, and 10% weight of sand) that were made by rice hull gasification. Results showed that when the content of biochar in sand was 2%, both algal biomass (indicated by chlorophyll-a content) and the fixed sand weight in the BSC were significantly higher than that of the control (without biochar addition) and other treatments (with >2% biochar additions). Results from this pioneering research indicate that appropriate amount of biochar addition could increase BSC formation in sand under dry conditions and can potentially enhance sand fixation in deserts for desertification control.

Wheat growth and yield responses to biochar addition under Mediterranean climate conditions

Manuel Olmo, José Antonio Alburquerque, Vidal Barrón, María Carmen del Campillo, Antonio Gallardo, Mariano Fuentes,
Rafael Villar (2014). ” Wheat growth and yield responses to biochar addition under Mediterranean climate conditions.” Biology and Fertility of Soils Online ahead of print. DOI:

Abstract: The effects of the addition of a slow pyrolysis biochar (produced from olive-tree prunings) to a vertisol were studied in a field experiment during one wheat (Triticum durum L.) growing season. The biochar addition did not significantly affect soil parameters such as pH, dissolved organic C and N, ammonium, nitrate or microbial biomass N. By contrast, biochar addition decreased soil compaction and increased the soil water-retention capacity and nutrient content (total N and the available contents of P, K, Mg, Cu and Zn). These favourable changes led to an increase in fine root proliferation (increasing specific root length and reducing root tissue density) and promoted crop development. As a result, the plants in biochar-treated plots showed higher relative growth and net assimilation rates, aboveground biomass and yield than those in control plots. Neither grain quality nor nutrient content were significantly affected by biochar addition. Our results suggest that the use of biochar as a soil amendment in agricultural soils can improve soil physical properties and increase fertility, favouring crop development under semiarid Mediterranean conditions.

Study: Biochar alters water flow to improve sand and clay

Read the full story from Rice University.

As more gardeners and farmers add ground charcoal, or biochar, to soil to both boost crop yields and counter global climate change, a new study by researchers at Rice University and Colorado College could help settle the debate about one of biochar’s biggest benefits — the seemingly contradictory ability to make clay soils drain faster and sandy soils drain slower.

The study, available online this week in the journal PLOS ONE, offers the first detailed explanation for the hydrological mystery.

SERDP and ESTCP Kick Off Webinar Series

SERDP and ESTCP are proud to launch a new webinar series to promote the transfer of innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solutions developed using SERDP and ESTCP funding. The series is geared for Department of Defense and Department of Energy practitioners, the regulatory community, and environmental researchers. The goal is to provide cutting-edge and practical information that is easily accessible at no cost.

The webinars will be held approximately every two weeks on Thursdays from 12:00 to 1:30 PM ET. Each webinar will feature distinguished speakers from one of SERDP and ESTCP’s five program areas:

  1. Energy and Water
  2. Environmental Restoration
  3. Munitions Response
  4. Resource Conservation and Climate Change
  5. Weapons Systems and Platforms

The first webinar of this series will be held on October 30, 2014 on vapor intrusion at contaminated sites and will feature key results from three Environmental Restoration projects. Vapor intrusion webinar presenters include Dr. Paul Johnson (Arizona State University) and Dr. Thomas McHugh (GSI Environmental). Future webinar topics include waste-to-energy technologies, management of contaminated sediments, acoustic methods for underwater munitions, solar technologies, lead-free electronics and many others.

For information on how to register for the vapor intrusion mitigation webinar or to view the dates and topics of other webinars in the series, please see

Sustainability in football (that’s soccer for you U.S. readers): greening the game

Read the full story in The Guardian.

From organic pitches and recycled turf to footstep power and energy efficient lighting, new technology is taking football closer to its sustainability goals.

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