Day: April 7, 2016

Plants acclimate to increased temperatures over time

Read the full story from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment.

Plants may be more adaptable to a warming world than previously believed.

A new study led by Peter Reich, an Institute on the Environment fellow and forest resources professor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, sought to understand how much carbon dioxide plants will give off in the face of increasing global temperatures. The study was published last week in Nature.

EPA chief: Climate change study backs up agency’s carbon regulations

Read the full story in The Hill.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that a new study on the effects of climate change on public health reinforces the need for the Obama administration’s work on greenhouse gas emissions.

Good News for our Health at Home: Safety Sells

Read the full post on the EPA Blog.

Last spring, EPA unveiled a new label to help consumers make informed choices about the products they use at home.

Today, hundreds of products with the Safer Choice label are on store shelves at major retailers in all 50 states. We’re starting with household cleaners and laundry detergents, and will soon expand the label to a wider range of other cleaners, car and yard-care products, and do-it-yourself items like coatings and adhesives.

Why sustainability reporting is a key tool for savvy managers

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Responding to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) can be a lengthy process. Addressing the breadth of economic, social and environmental issues covered requires the participation of subject matter experts from across your organization.

For some companies, the investment of time and resources may have their leadership team asking, “Is it worth it?”

The salad days of winter

Read the full story from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment.

We all appreciate the salad days of summer, when northern locavores can relish the abundance of produce at farmers markets and grocers. During winter, however, northerners largely have to content themselves with lettuce imported from California and cabbage from Texas. But thanks to an Institute on the Environment-sponsored project that promotes the adoption of passive solar greenhouses, Minnesotans may soon enjoy locally sourced greens year-round and, at the same time, build resiliency into and enhance the economy of the local food system.

How Colorado Is Turning Food Waste Into Electricity

Read the full post at NPR’s The Salt.

Americans throw away about a third of our available food.

But what some see as trash, others are seeing as a business opportunity. A new facility known as the Heartland Biogas Project is taking wasted food from Colorado’s most populous areas and turning it into electricity. Through a technology known as anaerobic digestion, spoiled milk, old pet food and vats of grease combine with helpful bacteria in massive tanks to generate gas.

The Lie, the Witch-hunt and the War on Climate Change

Read the full post from EarthDesk.

After a brief relaxation of hostilities, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration are again at odds over the committee’s demand for internal agency emails.

Racketeering suit targets Gov. Snyder in Flint water crisis

Read the full story in the Detroit Free Press.

Hundreds of residents of Flint, Michigan, filed a racketeering lawsuit Wednesday targeting Gov. Rick Snyder and other state and local officials over lead contamination of the city’s drinking water.

Read the state’s response here (warning: video autoplays).

Rural Communities Encouraged to Apply for USDA Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Take Advantage of Historically Low Interest Rates

USDA has announced that interest rates have fallen to historic lows for USDA water and waste disposal loans and encourage rural towns and cities to apply for funding assistance.

The following rates are available through June 30, 2016:

  • Market: 2.875%
  • Intermediate: 2.25%
  • Poverty: 1.75%

Applications may be submitted by most state and local governmental entities, private non-profits, and federally-recognized tribes who are unable to obtain commercial credit at reasonable rates.

Applicants are encouraged to use Rural Development’s new online application tool RD Apply.

The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides funding to construct clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in rural areas with a population of 10,000 or less.

Find a Community Programs Specialist nearest you at

FY 2016 and FY 2017 Request for Proposals for the Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program

Source Reduction Assistance (SRA) awards support pollution prevention through source reduction and resource conservation work.  In FY 2016 and FY 2017 nine out of the ten EPA Regional Pollution Prevention Program Offices are announcing a two-year grant competition cycle to support two-year SRA agreements. Region 1 is not participating in this announcement. The Regions anticipate awarding approximately $2.2 million in federal grant funding ($1.1 million in FY 2016 and $1.1 million in FY 2017) to support SRA agreements offered as grants and/or cooperative agreements. EPA will not issue a funding announcement in FY 2017. Proposals are due Monday, June 6.

SRA awards will be issued to fund projects that support one or more of the P2 Program’s National Emphasis Areas – 1) Climate Change Mitigation/Prevention of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2) Food Manufacturing and Processing and 3) State or Community Approaches to Hazardous Materials Source Reduction. These areas will promote national environmental themes and strategies reflected within EPA’s P2 Program. As authorized under the statutory authorities for this grant program, proposals must carry out project activities using one or more of the following methods – surveys, studies, research, investigation, experimentation, education, training and/or demonstrations. For more information, please refer to the Request for Proposals.

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