Campus Food Waste Crusaders

Read the full post from Sustainable America. If you’re in Illinois, be sure to check out ISTC’s Green Lunchroom Challenge to reduce food waste in your K-12 school. Read ISTC’s blog post for more information.

The amount of food waste generated on college campuses might not cross every student’s mind as they rush through the cafeteria before class. But if they looked into it, they would learn that 22 million pounds of edible food is thrown away at college campuses each year. Two inspiring organizations are working to change that.

Campus Kitchens Project and Food Recovery Network have been mobilizing an army of students around the country who are working to raise awareness about the food waste problem and get food that would be wasted to people in need in their communities. We reported on these groups a few years ago, but their recent accomplishments deserve an update.

Video: The Clean Power Plan Explained by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

On August 3, President Obama and EPA announced the Clean Power Plan – a historic and important step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants that takes real action on climate change. Shaped by years of unprecedented outreach and public engagement, the final Clean Power Plan is fair, flexible and designed to strengthen the fast-growing trend toward cleaner and lower-polluting American energy. With strong but achievable standards for power plants, and customized goals for states to cut the carbon pollution that is driving climate change, the Clean Power Plan provides national consistency, accountability and a level playing field while reflecting each state’s energy mix. It also shows the world that the United States is committed to leading global efforts to address climate change.

What to do about the antidepressants, antibiotics and other drugs in our water

Read the full post at Ensia.

There’s no way around it, the headlines are disturbing. And they come, not from tabloids or click-bait blogs, but from papers published in scientific journals. They describe fish and birds responding with altered behavior and reproductive systems to antidepressants, diabetes medication, and other psychoactive or hormonally active drugs at concentrations found in the environment. They report on opiods, amphetamines and other pharmaceuticals found in treated drinking water; antibiotics in groundwater capable of altering naturally occurring bacterial communities; and over-the-counter and prescription drugs found in water leaching from municipal landfills. And these are just some of many recent studies examining the countless pharmaceuticals that are now being found just about everywhere scientists have looked for them in the environment.

Minnesota enacts new agricultural buffer zone rules

Listen to the full story from Minnesota Public Radio.

Minnesota is rolling out new, stricter standards for buffer zones strips of vegetation that keep some pollutants from washing off farm fields into waterways.

Tom Weber checks in with John Jaschke on how these new standards will be implemented and enforced. They discuss how the DNR is creating resources for landowners such as a mapping project to determine what kinds of buffers are required.

Green the Church National Summit, August 19-21, 2015, Chicago IL

The National Green the Church Summit will include three days of worship, discussion, and action. Join forces with folks from different denominations around the country who are committed to serving as good caretakers of our Earth.

To register or view the agenda, visit http://www.greenforall.org/events.

EPA Statement on Colorado Data from Gold King Mine Release

To assess the impacts of the release at the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, water quality samples were collected at numerous intervals beginning on Aug. 5, 2015.  Samples were taken prior to the plume’s arrival to establish a baseline for water quality comparisons. Each surface water sample was analyzed for 24 metals, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.

Analysis now shows that water quality for the Animas River from the Silverton, Colo. area to the Durango municipal water intake has returned to pre-event water quality levels. These results are based on validated sampling data collected from Aug. 5 to Aug. 9, 2015.

EPA has shared this data with state, local and tribal officials in Colorado to assist them in their decisions regarding the on-going use of water resources. EPA plans to continue to monitor, analyze and share data for downstream river segments as it becomes available.

For more information, visit http://www2.epa.gov/goldkingmine/epa-statement-colorado-data-gold-king-mine-release.

For more information on EPA’s response, visit http://www2.epa.gov/goldkingmine/roles-epa-and-other-responders-after-2015-gold-king-mine-release.

Video: Net Zero Heroes – Saving Energy and Money at Wastewater Treatment Plants

Learn how wastewater treatment plants are saving and generating energy to help communities become more sustainable, protect against climate change, and save money. Wastewater treatment plants have always been on the front lines of protecting public health and the environment, now they’re Net Zero Heroes, leading the way to a more sustainable future.