Day: November 30, 2016

EPA decides not to weaken car efficiency rules

Read the full story in The Hill.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) won’t weaken the car fuel efficiency standards it set in 2012, despite pleas from the auto industry.

The EPA proposed Wednesday a formal finding that the standards should remain in place and do not need to be revised for the model years 2022 to 2025.

Texas Tribune series on global and local efforts to conserve energy

One crisis, two futures: How Denmark and Texas answered an energy challenge
Facing the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, Denmark shifted from fossil fuels. Texas responded differently. Here’s a look at how things went for each.

This energy technology gets no respect at all — but it’s cutting carbon
Sometimes called the “Rodney Dangerfield” of the energy industry, the district energy concept has fueled Denmark’s shift from fossil fuels. Energy efficiency advocates want to encourage more district energy projects in Texas.

Webinar: Tribal Community-Based Social Marketing Training Guide

Wed, Jan 25, 2017 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CST
Register at

U.S. EPA Region 5 partnered with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to create a Tribal Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM) Training Guide. This training guide provides an overview of how to use the CBSM process to increase sustainable behaviors in tribal communities. CBSM combines marketing techniques with community engagement and has proven to be far more effective in leading to sustainable behaviors than information dissemination alone.

Learn more about CBSM, how to use the Tribal CBSM Training Guide, and how to receive peer mentoring to develop your own CBSM project through the EPA Tribal Waste Management Peer Matching Program.

What Happens When the Ice Disappears?

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

The world depends on snow and ice for everything from water to sun-reflection. But thanks to global warming, big parts of the Earth’s cryosphere have already disappeared.

ExxonMobil Vs. The World

Read the full commentary from NPR.

In the current issue of the New York Review of Books, David Kaiser and Lee Wasserman, the president and the director of the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF), respectively, explain why the organization decided to divest its holdings on fossil fuel companies.

Although the divesting decision is broad-ranging, they single out ExxonMobil for its “morally reprehensible conduct.”


9 Ways to Spot Bogus Data

Read the full story in Inc.

Good decisions should be “data-driven,” but that’s impossible when that data isn’t valid. I’ve worked around market research and survey data for most of my career and, based on my experience, I’ve come up with touchstones to tell whether a set of business data is worth using as input to decision-making.

To cull out bogus (and therefore) useless data from valid (and therefore potentially useful) data, ask the following nine questions. If the answer to any question is “yes” then the data is bogus:

FY 2017 Center of Excellence for Chemical Alternatives Assessment Request for Applications

U.S. EPA is soliciting applications from eligible recipients for a four-year cooperative agreement to create a new Center of Excellence for Chemical Alternatives Assessment to promote chemical safety and informed chemical substitution. EPA expects to award up to approximately $800,000.

The center would establish and deploy expertise to identify and evaluate the safety and functionality of chemical alternatives for products and processes. It would provide information and assistance to state, local, and tribal government agencies, industry, and others about safer chemicals or processes. This will minimize unintended, adverse consequences when making chemical substitution decisions.

The cooperative agreement will be issued and managed through EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. The amount of grant funding released each year is dependent upon congressional appropriation and the quality of applications received.

Quick facts

  • Eligibility: U.S. state and local governments, U.S. territories and possessions, federally recognized Indian tribal governments and intertribal consortia of federally recognized tribes, universities and colleges, and private and public nonprofit institutions.
  • Review of proposals: Only eligible applicants with applications that meet the threshold criteria in Section III of the Request for Applications (RFA) will be reviewed based upon the evaluation criterion provided in Section V.
  • Amount of award: EPA anticipates awarding approximately $800,000 under this competitive announcement. EPA intends to make one award to a U. S. organization or group, and the award is expected to be in the range of $800,000, issued over a four-year funding period.
  • Proposal due date: Applications are due by January 17, 2017, 11:59 pm, (ET). EPA will receive applications electronically through Please refer to Section IV for full information on the submission process. Applications must be submitted on time in order to be considered for funding.

Communities, groups receive grants to promote urban forests in Wisconsin

Read the full story from Wisconsin DNR.

Thirty-three communities, nonprofit groups, and counties will share $487,578.97 in 2017 state grant dollars to promote and sustain urban forest resources in Wisconsin.

Environmentalists Gird For Battle With A Trump Administration

Read the full story from NPR.

President-elect Donald Trump says environmental regulations are stifling the U.S. economy. He’s vowed to roll back some of those rules, and he’s also taken aim at the international climate agreement signed in Paris last year.

Now, environmentalists are getting ready to fight back. Some are soliciting donations by invoking an inevitable legal battle. And environmental attorneys are preparing their defense.

EPA Names First Chemicals for Review Under New TSCA Legislation

Today, EPA is announcing the first ten chemicals it will evaluate for potential risks to human health and the environment under TSCA reform.

“Under the new law, we now have the power to require safety reviews of all chemicals in the marketplace.” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator of the of Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “We can ensure the public that we will deliver on the promise to better protect public health and the environment.”

The first ten chemicals to be evaluated are:

  • 1,4-Dioxane
  • 1-Bromopropane
  • Asbestos
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster
  • Methylene Chloride
  • N-methylpyrrolidone
  • Pigment Violet 29
  • Tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene
  • Trichloroethylene

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, requires EPA to publish this list by December 19, 2016. These chemicals were drawn from EPA’s 2014 TSCA Work Plan, a list of 90 chemicals selected based on their potential for high hazard and exposure as well as other considerations.

When the list is published in the Federal Register it will trigger a statutory deadline to complete risk evaluations for these chemicals within three years.  This evaluation will determine whether the chemicals present an unreasonable risk to humans and the environment. If it is determined that a chemical presents an unreasonable risk, EPA must mitigate that risk within two years.

Under the newly amended law, EPA must release a scoping document within six months for each chemical. This will include the hazard(s), exposure(s), conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation(s) the agency plans to consider for the evaluation.

Additional chemicals will be designated for evaluation, and all of the remaining Work Plan chemicals will be reviewed for their potential hazard and exposure. For each risk evaluation that EPA completes, TSCA requires that EPA begin another. By the end of 2019, EPA must have at least 20 chemical risk valuations ongoing at any given time.

For more on the chemicals listed and additional information:

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