Webinar: Water Security and Resiliency

Tue, Apr 25, 2017 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/287664509489298691

Presentation 1: Resiliency Framework and the Route to Resilience Tool (Presented by Jeffrey F. Fencil, EPA’s Office of Water). Maintaining and repairing aging drinking water infrastructure remains a significant challenge for the water sector. Utilities must be able to increase their readiness and resilience to potential all-hazard incidents, and adapt to future hazards that may impact their ability to provide safe and clean drinking water. The Resiliency Framework defines what it means to be a resilient drinking water/wastewater utility and provides a greater sense of cohesion among EPA’s water security products and services. The Route to Resilience (RtoR) Tool, features the framework and is specifically designed to help small- and medium-sized drinking water and wastewater utilities learn more about becoming resilient to all-hazards, such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and contamination incidents. This presentation will introduce the framework and provide an overview of the RtoR Tool.

Presentation 2: Using Hydraulic Modeling to Assess Resilience of Drinking Water Systems to Natural Disasters and Other Hazards (Presented by Dr. Regan Murray, EPA’s Office of Research and Development). Drinking water systems are subject to floods, power outages, extreme winter storms, contamination incidents and other hazards that can disrupt service to customers and damage critical infrastructure. This presentation will demonstrate a new hydraulic modeling tool—the Water Network Tool for Resilience (WNTR)—that will be available to the public later this year. WNTR will help water utilities investigate the resilience of their water systems to a wide range of hazardous scenarios and evaluate emergency response actions and long term resilience‐enhancing strategies. The software estimates potential damages from disaster scenarios; predicts how damage to infrastructure would occur over time; evaluates preparedness strategies; prioritizes response actions; and identifies worse case scenarios, efficient repair strategies, and best practices for maintenance and operations. An application to a small system will be presented.

Archives of previous webinars in the series are available here.

Identifying, Quantifying, and Mapping Food Residuals from Connecticut Businesses and Institutions: An Organics Recycling Planning Tool

From the web site.

The Connecticut DEEP has identified the need to capture institutional and commercial food scrap in order to increase recycling rates and to avoid the need for expanded waste incineration and disposal.

Toward this end, the Department funded a project in 2001 that identified, quantified, and mapped all of the large-scale commercial and institutional locations in Connecticut where potentially recyclable food scrap is generated, and matched those sources against the state’s transportation network and current composting infrastructure.

In the spring of 2012, this project was updated with the help of the EPA Region 1 using 2011 data.  An entrepreneur, composter, hauler or waste manager can not only see where food generators are located, but can use the information to line-up new accounts, select the right collection vehicles, design efficient transportation routes, and choose logical locations to site new organics recycling facilities.  Both the original and updated sets of maps, data, and reports are available on this webpage.

Explains the methods used to analyze, compare, add, combine, and organize the data as well as describes the sources for the data, its parameters, validation and mapping.

Updated Mapping of Food Residual Generation in Connecticut  (Final Report, Spring 2012, EPA Region 1)

An Excel spreadsheet containing an updated and expanded list of food scrap generators and permitted food residual recycling facilities.  It includes more generator types than the original database and contains over 3,300 individual businesses and institutions.  Data was acquired by EPA during 2011.  Individual generator data will not be updated on any regular schedule, however, a statewide update may occur periodically as resources allow. Locations of food residual composting and anaerobic digestion facilities will be added to the database and map as they receive appropriate permits from DEEP.

Excel Spreadsheet (3,060 KB; XLS) (Requires Microsoft Excel for full functionality, or download a free Microsoft Excel Viewer for view and print functions only)

GIS data for the food residual generators contained in the database is available on our GIS Data Download web page.  Find it under the “Recycling & Composting” category in the drop-down menu.

Interactive GIS Map
This is an interactive GIS map which is based on data from the afore-mentioned database. It contains layers for displaying generator types (i.e. grocers, prisons, schools, etc.), and displays information about each generator and food scrap recycling facility located on the map.  Using the map is self explanatory.  Choose features along the top of the map to display different layers, view the legend, change the base map or read details about the map data. This is a large file and may take a few seconds to load completely.  NOTE: This map is best viewed using the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browsers. It will not display well using Internet Explorer.  

Interactive GIS Map of Food Residual Generators and Permitted Food Residual Recycling Facilities in Connecticut


Innovative Honey Bee Phone App Helps Monitor Hive Health

From U.S. EPA’s Science Matters newsletter:

EPA kicked off a citizen science research project using the app HiveScience [iOS, Android]. The pilot program enables select beekeepers to submit hive health reports and honey samples to EPA for analysis. This data helps researchers investigate biomarkers of immunity found in honey, and relate that data to bee colony survival over the winter. Scientists at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and Bayer Crop Science are enthusiastic about this project because it provides an inexpensive, novel approach for beekeepers to assess the health of their hives with minimal effort. The project is launching a limited rollout with the Eastern Missouri Beekeeper Association, a regional group with a history of participation in honey bee-related citizen science projects. If successful, EPA may involve a larger audience later this fall.

After Outcry, USDA Stops Using ‘Cyanide Bombs’ In Idaho — For Now

Read the full story from NPR.

About a month after an anti-predator device spit sodium cyanide in the face of an unsuspecting boy and killed his dog, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced it is ending its use of the M-44 mechanisms in Idaho indefinitely.

Food policy expert says new labels should reduce food waste

Read the full story at Phys.org.

Pop quiz: What’s the difference between “best by,” “sell by” or “expires on”?

If you’re not sure, you aren’t alone. Americans toss out $165 billion worth of each year, often out of safety concerns fueled by confusion about the meaning of the more than 10 different date labels used on packages.

Grocery manufacturers and retailers are finally taking pity. Recently, the Food Marketing Institute and Grocery Manufacturers Association announced they would voluntarily streamline date labels and begin using two standard phrases: “best if used by” for quality and “use by” for highly perishable items like meat, fish and cheese that can be dangerous to eat if they are too old.

Food manufacturers will begin phasing in the change now, with widespread adoption expected by summer 2018.

Food policy experts from across the University of California praised the new guidelines, calling them a positive step that could help consumers and the environment.

California’s manufacturing and recycling economy

Read the full story in the Orange County Register.

When “manufacturing” is mentioned, you likely picture a factory with products rolling off an assembly line. But there are many off-site functions that are not as obvious as a large plant in an industrial park. One of these is recycling; manufacturers are the biggest consumers of material recycled from end-of-life products and industrial scrap. In 2014, more than 135 million metric tons of outdated or obsolete scrap was transformed into raw materials, which were used to produce new products in the United States.

New EPA Gas Emissions Rules Present Many Questions

Read the full story at Waste360.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and Emissions Guidelines last summer. The changes have raised multiple industry concerns and confusion.

There are now several coexisting rules and uncertainty about which one applies when, for whom. Further complicating the scenario, some states are developing their own rules, requiring EPA approval. Despite unanswered questions, and much work ahead in many jurisdictions, affected parties are expected to move forward to comply immediately.

Meanwhile, an industry group has challenged the EPA in court over some of their concerns.

From moo to goo: Cooperating microbes convert methane to alternative fuel source

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Oil and gas wells and even cattle release methane gas into the atmosphere, and researchers are working on ways to not only capture this gas but also convert it into something useful and less-polluting.

Now scientists at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a new system to convert methane into a deep green, energy-rich, gelatin-like substance that can be used as the basis for biofuels and other bioproducts, specialty chemicals — and even feed for cows that create the gas in the first place.

“We take a waste product that is normally an expense and upgrade it to microbial biomass which can be used to make fuel, fertilizer, animal feed, chemicals and other products,” said Hans Bernstein, corresponding author of a recent paper in Bioresource Technology.

‘Where The Water Goes’ Is Effortlessly Engaging — And Also Scary

Read the full review from NPR.

Water availability is a primary environmental concern of our age. It was a determining factor in development of the American West, from the forced displacement of Native American nations to the establishment of the Colorado River Compact across seven states and Mexico. That “Law of the River” has shaped the policy and practicalities of the West, and Where the Water Goes traces all 1,400 miles of it, trying to understand how fragile a web we’ve woven.

Storm Lake Times Pulitzer winner: ‘They give you 15 grand. That’s worth it.’

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The Pulitzer Prizes are committed to rewarding works of original and important journalism. Monday they credited this line, from the Storm Lake Times of Iowa: “It scares the bejeebers out of taxpayers, especially in defendant counties,” wrote Art Cullen in one of the pieces that secured the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Cullen is editor of his 3,000-circulation newspaper, and as such, he can write “bejeebers” whenever he pleases: “The style guides is whatever we come up with. We have no style or class,” Cullen told the Erik Wemple Blog.

Whatever term you choose, Cullen and his small newspaper have scared something out of the powers that be in a few counties of northern Iowa. Since the founding of the Storm Lake Times in 1990, says Cullen, he and his brother John have been obsessed with how Iowa has changed its mode of agriculture. Gone are the cattle and grazing pastures, he says — they’ve been herded into feed lots. Meantime, the landscape has been gobbled up by expanses of corn and soybeans. With the changeover has come nitrate pollution. One of the first stories that the newspaper did, he recalls, reported how its coverage area had become “the hottest spot in Iowa for nitrate pollution.”