Day: October 10, 2014

Icann: environmentalists to control use of .eco internet domain name

Read the full story in The Guardian.

The .eco domain name will be controlled by the environmental community following a decision by internet regulators.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) this week granted control of the domain name to a coalition of about 50 environmental groups, assembled by a Canadian company. Green NGOs have fought to control the domain because they feared it would be hijacked by corporations to give their commercial activities an unwarranted environmental tinge.

Jacob Malthouse, co-founder of Big Room Inc, the Canadian company that led the effort, said Icann’s decision was a victory against greenwashing.

Oil Companies Quietly Prepare For a Future of Carbon Pricing

Read the full story in Yale Environment360.

The major oil companies in the U.S. have not had to pay a price for the contribution their products make to climate change. But internal accounting by the companies, along with a host of other signs, suggest that may soon change — though the implications of a price on carbon are far from clear.

Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTER)

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2014.

Established in 1980 and funded primarily by the National Science Foundation (NSF), The Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTER) is committed to providing “scientific expertise, research platforms, and long-term datasets necessary to document and analyze environmental change.” The site is arranged for four broad types of users: Researchers, Educators & Students, Media Professionals, and Decision Makers. Information for researchers includes a link to the LTER data portal (a separate site, https://portal.lternet.edu/nis/home.jsp ) and instructions on how to write a data plan for an NSF grant.

Similarly, the Educators & Students area links to the LTER Education Digital Library, also a separate site (http://educationlibrary.lternet.edu/ ), with a searchable collection of lesson plans.  “Analyzing the Data: It’s time to tell the story about Buds, Leaves and Global Warming” is a wonderful 2-class period project for students in grades 6-8 or 9-12 to measure how the timing of fall’s colored leaves is changing. Press releases make up the majority of the Media Professionals section, while the area for decision makers is populated with LTER Key Research Findings. These are presented as short reports with citations and are designed to be easily built into the talking points of a public presentation. [DS]

Why Americans need to ante up for water

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Squeezed by drought, U.S. consumers and western farmers have begun to pay more for water. But the increases do not come close to addressing the fundamental price paradox in a nation that uses more water than any other in the world while generally paying less for it. And some of the largest water users in the East, including agricultural, energy and mining companies, often pay nothing for water at all.

How Ford aims to drive down its energy costs by $7 million a year

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Ford will invest more than $25 million in LED lighting at its global manufacturing facilities — cutting annual energy use equivalent to running over 6,000 average-sized homes a year.

ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry Call for Papers Deadline Extended

The deadline to submit abstracts for the 2015 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry, “Energy Efficiency: Integrating Technology, Policy, and People,” has been extended to October 31.

Submit abstracts online or visit the Call for Papers Web page for more information about submission options and abstract details.

The Program Committee is looking for creative work in the any of the following panels:

  1. Strategic Energy Management
  2. Sustainability
  3. Smart Manufacturing
  4. Beyond Best Practices
  5. Policy & Resource Planning
  6. Delivering Results

Visit the ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry Web page for more information.

Great Lakes Restoration Success through Science — U.S. Geological Survey Accomplishments 2010 through 2013

Download the document.

The Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario) are the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth and serve as an important source of drinking water, transportation, power, and recreational opportunities for the United States and Canada. They also support an abundant commercial and recreational fishery, are crucial for agriculture, and are essential to the economic vitality of the region. The Great Lakes support a wealth of biological diversity, including over 200 globally rare plants and animals and more than 40 species that are found nowhere else in the world. However, more than a century of environmental degradation has taken a substantial toll on the Great Lakes. To stimulate and promote the goal of a healthy Great Lakes region, President Obama and Congress created the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in 2009. The GLRI is an interagency collaboration that seeks to address the most significant environmental problems in the Great Lakes ecosystem. The GLRI is composed of five focus areas that address these issues:

  • Cleaning up toxic substances and Areas of Concern,
  • Preventing and controlling invasive species,
  • Promoting nearshore health,
  • Protecting and restoring habitat and wildlife,
  • Tracking progress and working with partners.

As of August 2013, the GLRI had funded more than 1,500 projects and programs of the highest priority to meet immediate cleanup, restoration, and protection needs. These projects use scientific analyses as the basis for identifying the restoration needs and priorities for the GLRI. Results from the science, monitoring, and other on-the-ground actions by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provide the scientific information needed to help guide the Great Lakes restoration efforts. This document highlights a selection of USGS projects for each of the five focus areas through 2013, demonstrating the importance of science for restoration success. Additional information for these and other USGS projects that are important for Great Lakes restoration is available at http://cida.usgs.gov/glri/glri-catalog/.

California: Historic Drought Is Background For Proposition 1 Water Bond Vote

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers are hoping California’s worsening drought persuades voters to approve borrowing billions of dollars for new water projects, treatment systems and conservation measures.

The $7.5 billion water package to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot as Proposition 1 includes $2.7 billion for new reservoirs along with billions more for recycling water, conservation and groundwater cleanup. It also calls for shoring up levees in the Sacrament-San Joaquin Delta to lessen chances of a catastrophic flood.

Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontier & Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) – 2015 Solicitation

Summary

The Emerging Technologies (ET) Program of the Building Technologies Office (BTO) supports applied research and development for technologies and systems that contribute to building energy consumption. BTO’s goal is to deliver 50% primary energy savings in the year 2030, relative to the baseline energy consumption projected by the 2010 Annual Energy Outlook.

The ET Program is helping to meet this goal by enabling cost-effective, energy-efficient technologies to be developed and introduced into the marketplace. The ET Program maintains support for the national laboratories in five core areas: Solid-State Lighting, HVAC (includes water heating and appliances), Sensors & Controls, Windows & Envelope, and Modeling & Tools.

This FOA combines an early-stage research and development topic (Innovations) with a later-stage research and development topic (Frontiers) that complement the core funding provided to the national labs and allow all interested parties, including corporations, universities, and non-profits as well as the national labs, to contribute to advancement in two of these core technological areas: Non-vapor compression HVAC technologies and advanced vapor compression HVAC technologies. These topics are combined into this single, relatively large FOA in order to reduce administrative costs and to ensure that only the best applications are supported.

Applications for this funding opportunity are open under the following topics:

Innovations

Non-vapor Compression HVAC Technologies – This topic includes developing approaches and technologies for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) that replace vapor compression technologies, which are currently the dominant HVAC technologies due to their scalability, relatively compact size, high reliability, and other attributes. However, vapor compression technologies make use of conventional refrigerants. This research topic seeks to explore long-term non-vapor compression solutions that result in HVAC equipment that does not use refrigerants. Solutions for both natural gas and for electric HVAC equipment are of interest.

Frontiers

Advanced Vapor Compression HVAC Technologies – Regional HVAC solutions offer significant energy saving potential for new construction and the existing building stock. Today’s vapor compression equipment has limited cooling control. This topic seeks to develop equipment optimized for specific environments and that can provide dramatic improvements in energy efficiency with modest increases to equipment costs. Because the building stock increases by only a few percent annually, concepts which are applicable only to new construction will have limited energy savings potential. Therefore, concepts that are applicable to both new construction and retrofits of existing buildings are particularly encouraged.

Informational webinars

Please join BTO’s Emerging Technologies Program for either of two upcoming webinars for an overview of the BENEFIT Funding Opportunity. Register soon, space is limited.

October 15, 2014, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET

December 1, 2014, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET

How to Apply

This funding opportunity is open to individuals, corporations, universities, non-profits, as well as national labs. The final funding amount is subject to congressional appropriations.

Deadlines

  • Concept Paper Submission Deadline: 11/10/2014 5:00 PM ET
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: 1/12/2015 5:00 PM ET

More information

Questions?

EPA Increases Access to Chemical Information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted additional data and added new functions to ChemView, EPA’s publicly-accessible, one-stop online tool to find information for chemicals regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

“In the absence of TSCA reform, EPA is moving ahead to improve access to chemical health and safety information, and increase the dialogue to help the public choose safer ingredients used in everyday products,” said James Jones, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The additional data along with a customer satisfaction survey will make chemical information more readily available for decision-makers and consumers.”

The enhanced data functions include: improving the display and content for the Chemical Data Reporting information, adding a new link that displays the pollution prevention information generated as part of the Toxics Release Inventory program, and launching an administrative tool that will save EPA resources by streamlining the loading of future information.

The updated database now includes the following new information: 244 consent orders, an additional 1,205 Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) for new and existing chemicals, 16 additional chemicals with test rule data, and updates to the Safer Chemicals Ingredient List. This is the first time EPA has posted consent orders and new chemical SNURs to ChemView. With these additions, ChemView now contains information on almost 10,000 chemicals.

EPA is also encouraging people to complete a ten minute customer satisfaction survey to help guide future improvements to ChemView. This survey asks about how people use ChemView, the usefulness of the tool, how it can be optimized to help advance chemical safety, and suggestions for additional content and functionality. EPA will use the information from the survey to continuously improve ChemView.

ChemView was launched in 2013 to increase the availability of information on chemicals as part of a commitment to strengthen the existing chemicals program and improve access to and usefulness of chemical data and information. The tool displays key health and safety information and uses data in a format that allows quick understanding, with links to more detailed information. Searches can be conducted by chemical name or Chemical Abstracts Service number, use, hazard effect, or regulatory action and has the flexibility to create tailored views of the information on individual chemicals.

By increasing health and safety information and identifying safer chemical ingredients, manufacturers and retailers will have the information to better differentiate their products by using safer ingredients.

To complete the survey, or to view and search ChemView, visit: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/chemview/index.html

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