Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.
A flame retardant has been discovered in sediment of the Great Lakes for the first time, and researchers say it may be here to stay.
Researchers sampled sediment from lakes Michigan, Ontario and Superior to track organophosphate esters, a group of chemicals that are used as flame retardants. All three locations showed that the concentration of one of them—TCPP—has increased rapidly since 2000. It has replaced a more toxic flame retardant that was phased out.
Full research article: Dandan Cao, Jiehong Guo, Yawei Wang, Zhuona Li, Kang Liang, Margaret B. Corcoran, Soheil Hosseini, Solidea M. C. Bonina, Karl J. Rockne, Neil C. Sturchio, John P. Giesy, Jingfu Liu, An Li, and Guibin Jiang (2017). “Organophosphate Esters in Sediment of the Great Lakes.” Environmental Science & Technology 51 (3), 1441-1449.
Abstract: This is the first study on organophosphate ester (OPEs) flame retardants and plasticizers in the sediment of the Great Lakes. Concentrations of 14 OPEs were measured in three sediment cores and 88 Ponar surface grabs collected from Lakes Ontario, Michigan, and Superior of North America. The sum of these OPEs (Σ14OPEs) in Ponar grabs averaged 2.2, 4.7, and 16.6 ng g–1 dw in Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Ontario, respectively. Multiple linear regression analyses demonstrated statistically significant associations between logarithm concentrations of Σ14OPEs as well as selected congeners in surface grab samples and sediment organic carbon content as well as a newly developed urban distance factor. Temporal trends observed in dated sediment cores from Lake Michigan demonstrated that the recent increase in depositional flux to sediment is dominated by chlorinated OPEs, particularly tris(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate (TCPP), which has a doubling time of about 20 years. Downward diffusion within sediment may have caused vertical fractionation of OPEs over time. Two relatively hydrophilic OPEs including TCPP had much higher concentrations in sediment than estimated based on equilibria between water and sediment organic carbon. Approximately a quarter (17 tonnes) of the estimated total OPE burden (63 tonnes) in Lake Michigan resides in sediment, which may act as a secondary source releasing OPEs to the water column for years to come.
Applications due Sep 30, 2017.
For more information: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=289863. Click the Related Documents tab to download the full RFP.
The Coastal Program is a voluntary, incentive-based program that provides direct technical assistance and financial assistance in the form of cooperative agreements to coastal communities and landowners to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat on public and private lands. Coastal Program staff coordinate with project partners, stakeholders and other Service programs to identify geographic focus areas and develop habitat conservation priorities within these focus areas. Geographic focus areas are where the Coastal Program directs resources to conserve habitat for federal trust species. Project work plans are developed strategically, in coordination with partners, and with substantial involvement from Service field staff. Projects must advance our mission, promote biological diversity, and be based upon sound scientific biological principles. Program strategic plans inform the types of projects funded under this opportunity.
Applicants seeking funding under this program should review the program strategic plan and also contact the regional Coastal Program office prior to submitting an application for funding. Authorizing statues include Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, 16 U.S.C. 742a-c, 747e-742j; and Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1958, 16 U.S.C. 661 667(e).
Read the full story from ProPublica.
Ridding day care centers of fluorescent lightbulbs with toxic PCBs. Requiring a backup engineer on freight trains to avoid crashes. Restricting drones from flying over people.
Federal agencies were preparing these rules and dozens more when Donald Trump was elected. In one of his first acts, the president quietly froze them. That isn’t unusual. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama signed similar orders.
Unlike in previous administrations, however, this time the proposed rules are long shots to be finished and enacted. Because of “the very clear signals of an anti-regulatory mandate from the president,” they are less likely to be implemented than in prior eras, according to Sally Katzen, a New York University law professor and former deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget. Instead, they may vanish with little or no announcement or explanation. Already, they have disappeared from the main federal website that lists rules in the works.
Five federal agencies contacted by ProPublica said they are reviewing regulations but declined to address specifically the pending rules that were put on hold. A spokesman for the Health Resources and Services Administration said his agency is pursuing “efforts to reduce regulatory burden.” The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Read the full post at the Climate Law Blog.
Shortly after President Trump took office, the White House issued a memorandum imposing a freeze on new and pending regulations. The memorandum directed agencies to delay the effective date of rules that had already been published in the Federal Register and to withdraw regulations that had been submitted to the Office of the Federal Register but not yet published. The purpose of the freeze is to ensure that Trump and his appointees will have the opportunity to review these regulations before they are finalized and take effect.
One significant problem with the regulatory freeze is the lack of transparency with respect to the withdrawn rules. The delayed rules are relatively easy to identify because they were published in the Federal Register – as reported on our Climate Deregulation Tracker, they included energy efficiency and renewable fuel standards. But this is not the case for the withdrawn rules. These so called “ghost rules” were withdrawn from the rulemaking process without any public notice or explanation. Some of them had gone all the way through the rulemaking process – the proposed rule was published, public input was accepted, and the rule was finalized – before being withdrawn. Others were at the proposal stage, which meant that there was no prior proposal published in the Federal Register and no way for the public to view these rules before they were withdrawn.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program is challenging the academic community to find innovative ways to use TRI data to promote collaboration among communities, manufacturers, and government or between environmental programs.
For the 2017 TRI University Challenge, EPA is looking to academic institutions to help build a diverse portfolio of practical and replicable projects that benefit communities, the environment, TRI-covered industrial facilities, academic institutions, and the TRI Program. This year, we’ll be prioritizing proposals that use chemical pollution release and pollution prevention data to promote collaboration, but students and professors may submit any project ideas that increase the knowledge, use, and understanding of TRI data and other related information. Example project ideas include:
- Develop specific products that can be used by industry and community stakeholders to increase awareness and use of North American chemical release and pollution prevention data from TRI and from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s Taking Stock Online, and develop a plan for distribution of the products;
- Produce a replicable strategy and tools (e.g., Good Neighbor Agreements) for engaging community members and local reporting facilities in a productive dialogue;
- Demonstrate the benefits of multi-stakeholder collaboration for reducing the use and releases of toxic chemicals as measured by chemical pollution data;
- Bring together data from TRI and other data sources to show trends in environmental or human health outcomes in communities, either within the U.S. or across North America; and
- Identify pollution prevention successes achieved by facilities, and develop strategies for sharing such successes with communities and other facilities
Institutions whose project proposals are selected will serve as 2017 TRI University Challenge partners. Partners will receive direct non-monetary support from EPA TRI staff experts and, depending on the outcome of their project, may receive national recognition for their project as well as speaking opportunities at conferences and events.
Want to join us?
- Begin developing a proposal! Start thinking about a project that fits the challenge and develop your proposal materials. Submit your proposal to Caitlin Briere by midnight on April 21, 2017.
- Learn more! Visit the TRI University Challenge webpage to learn more about the challenge and past participants.
- Spread the word! Distribute this announcement to your colleagues in the academic community who might be interested in joining the TRI University Challenge.
- Don’t miss an update! Sign-up to receive emails about the TRI University Challenge in your mailbox.
Need more information? Please contact Caitlin Briere, the TRI University Challenge lead.
Application Deadline: April 10, 2017
ACEEE is proud to announce that we are accepting applications for Linda Latham Scholarships to attend our 2017 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry in Denver, Colorado from August 15 -18, 2017. The scholarship was established in memory of Linda Latham who served as ACEEE’s Chief Operating Officer until her untimely death in September 2011. Linda, who helped found the US government’s ENERGY STAR® program, believed that students bring talent and creativity to the field of energy efficiency especially if we provide a venue to inspire and educate them.
Applicants must be an undergraduate or graduate student in an accredited college or university whose course work is related to energy/energy efficiency, climate change, environmental science, or a related field of study, and who is considering a career in energy/ energy efficiency. “Latham Scholars” will be exposed to new ideas and opportunities as they interact with energy efficiency experts from around the world. In turn, Summer Study attendees will be able to meet these exceptional students — a reciprocal opportunity for all!
For the 2017 Summer Study, scholars will receive a full conference registration and housing. A few travel stipends of up to $500 may be available; however, given limited funding, such requests could reduce chances of selection.
How To Apply
Applicants can either complete the online application, or complete this form and email to email@example.com. Applications must be submitted with required attachments including a copy of the applicant’s Student ID and proof of student status (unofficial transcript/enrollment for current semester). No applications will be accepted after the April 10, 2017 deadline. An ACEEE committee will review applications and select the winners, who will be notified beginning April 21, 2017.
Please visit the 2017 Summer Study Industry website for more information and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Read the full story in Environmental Leader.
Cargill, Hershey’s, Mars, Mondelez International, and Nestlé are among the latest multi-nationals to target sustainable supply chain initiatives. These companies, along with seven other major cocoa and chocolate companies, have committed to work with each other, alongside governments and NGOs, to end deforestation and forest degradation in the global cocoa supply chain. They will initially focus on Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the world’s leading producers of cocoa.
Deforestation represents a significant risk to these companies: as much as $906 billion total annual turnover could be at risk because of deforestation, according to a CDP study based on data disclosed by 187 companies last year.
Read the full story at ASME.
A 13th institute is the newest addition to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) five-year-old Manufacturing USA program whose goal is to improve U.S. manufacturing competitiveness by developing innovative advanced manufacturing technologies while also incorporating energy-reduction and sustainability principles.
The newest institute, Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE for short), is focused on key industrial platform technologies that will dramatically reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with industrial-scale materials production. According to DOE, REMADE could reduce energy usage in the U.S. manufacturing sector by up to 6%, saving billions in energy costs.
Read the full story from Environmental Leader.
Water-related impacts costs companies $14 billion in 2016, according to CDP. These financial impacts come from drought, flooding, tightening environmental regulation and the cost of cleaning up water pollution and fines.
But what does this mean specific to your company and its operations’ water risks, now and in the future?
The Water Risk Monetizer, a publicly available financial modeling tool, can help your corporation figure it out. It enables businesses to factor current and future water risks into decision making, and now also incorporates water quality into its site-specific risk analysis to provide a more comprehensive risk assessment.
Read the full story at Machine Design.
The New Horizon Aviation Program’s charter is to strengthen the aviation industry over the next 20 years by introducing new technologies, as well as find ways to improve on efficiency and reduce pollution.