States Go First: How States Can Save Consumers Money, Reduce Energy and Water Waste, and Protect the Environment with New Appliance Standards

Download the document.

National appliance standards cover products ranging from refrigerators to commercial air conditioners to electric motors. Most of today’s national standards started out at the state level. Even when state standards do not become national ones, adoption by just a few states can be enough to affect national markets. This report examines the opportunity for states to again take the lead in advancing appliance standards to save energy and water, lower utility bills for consumers and businesses, and reduce air pollutant emissions. We provide recommendations for state standards for 21 products and state-by-state estimates of potential savings.

Key Takeaways from the NYC Food Waste Fair

Read the full story at Waste360.

More than 1,200 attendees and nearly 80 exhibitors gathered together at the NYC Food Waste Fair yesterday in Brooklyn, N.Y., to discuss the issue of food waste and share innovative and effective food waste reduction solutions.

At the event, attendees were able to participate in a number of workshops offered in three tracks: prevention, recovery and recycling. The prevention track workshops focused on managing food as you are using it so you can prevent waste from occurring, the recovery track workshops explained how you can save your unwanted food scraps to be sent to others in need and the recycling track workshops offered information about turning your food energy into healthy soil or energy.

In addition to the wide variety of workshops offered, the fair included four panel discussions and a sustainable cooking demonstration and discussion with well-known chefs.

New book: Headwinds of Opportunity: A Compass for Sustainable Innovation

My former colleague at ISTC, Tim Lindsey, has a new book out which may be of interest to ENB readers. Headwinds of Opportunity A Compass for Sustainable Innovation approaches sustainability as an innovation.

The book is informed by the principles of diffusion of innovation and includes case studies that show how companies can use these principles to increase their efficiency.

How a union bottle line worker revolutionized recycling for MillerCoors breweries

Read the full story in the New York Daily News.

It all started with a long look at the company trash.

The year was 1997 and MillerCoors Trenton Brewery technician Kelly Harris had just read a sustainability report from his company that said the organization wanted to reduce what it put in landfills by 15% over the next five years.

“I looked at what was in the dumpster on the way to the compactor and then to the landfill, and realized pretty much everything in there was recyclable,” said Harris, 51.

“I knew we could do better — but we needed a plan.”

Pruitt says EPA will create ‘top-10’ list for Superfund cleanup

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt vowed Tuesday to cut through bureaucratic red tape that has slowed the cleanup of toxic Superfund sites and follow a task force’s recommendations to act more boldly in holding companies responsible for past contamination…

But many critics question his ability to turn around the issues, including regulatory delays and litigation, that have meant lagging progress. The administrator has defended a White House budget proposal that would cut his agency’s funding by 34 percent for fiscal 2018 and would reduce funding for Superfund sites by $330 million annually.

New EPA Tool Helps Communities Access More Than $10 Billion in Water Infrastructure Financing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching the Water Finance Clearinghouse, a web‐based portal to help communities make informed financing decisions for their drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure needs. The Clearinghouse provides communities with a searchable database with more than $10 billion in water funding sources and over 550 resources to support local water infrastructure projects. It consolidates and expands upon existing EPA-supported databases to create a one-stop-shop for all community water finance needs. The Water Finance Clearinghouse was developed by EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center, an information and assistance center that provides financing information to help local decision makers make informed decisions for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure to reach their public health and environmental goals.
“Every day, Americans depend on water infrastructure to ensure that their drinking water is safe and that local waterways stay clean,” said EPA’s Office of Water’s Deputy Assistant Administrator D. Lee Forsgren. “Investing in water infrastructure sustains local economies by creating jobs, protecting public health, and increasing quality of life. EPA’s Clearinghouse is a vital portal that helps connect communities with the information and tools they need to finance much needed water infrastructure improvement projects.”

Many communities around the country have aging or inadequate water infrastructure: each year approximately 240,000 main breaks occur while elsewhere billions of gallons of raw sewage are discharged into local surface waters from aging conveyance systems. Communities increasingly need efficient access to up-to-date water finance information to rehabilitate or replace their water infrastructure. EPA’s new Water Finance Clearinghouse meets this need.

The Water Finance Clearinghouse gives local decision makers an opportunity to search for available funding sources for water infrastructure as well as resources (such as reports, webpages, and webinars) on financing mechanisms and approaches that can help communities access capital to meet their water infrastructure needs. State, federal, local, and foundation funding sources and resources on public-private partnerships, asset management practices, revenue models, and affordability approaches are included in the Clearinghouse.

The Water Finance Clearinghouse is updated in real-time, following a crowdsourcing model. States, federal agencies, and other water sector stakeholders have the ability to suggest edits and new resources or funding options at any time through the Contributor Portal. Stakeholders can use this interactive feature to manage how their programs and initiatives are displayed in the Clearinghouse.

EPA webinars on how to use the Clearinghouse are scheduled for:

  • July 27
  • July 31
  • August 3
  • August 14
  • August 18
  • August 24
  • August 31

All webinars will be held 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern. You can register for a webinar at:

More information on the Clearinghouse: A Global Science Gateway to Public Access Resources and Research Data

Read the full story from OSTI. is a global science gateway that offers federated searching across over 100 scientific and technical databases from more than 70 countries.  The WorldWideScience Alliance, a strategic partnership of national and international libraries and data and information centers from around the world, provides the governance structure for  OSTI serves as the Operating Agent for the Alliance, whose members are committed to eliminating barriers associated with finding and sharing scientific and technical information, including public access resources and scientific research data.

EWG’s Tap Water Database

Since 2010, water utilities’ testing has found pollutants in Americans’ tap water, according to an EWG drinking water quality analysis of 30 million state water records. Use the Tap Water Database to see the drinking water quality analysis for your community.

States sue EPA over chemical safety rule delay

Read the full story in The Hill.

Eleven states have sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its June decision to delay implementation of a chemical safety rule.

The state attorneys general, led by New York’s Eric Schneiderman (D), argue the rule is important for “protecting our workers, first-responders and communities from chemical accidents” and should be allowed to take effect as planned by the Obama administration’s EPA.

Q&A: Clean energy pioneer sees potential in using food waste for renewable energy

Read the full story in Midwest Energy News.

Jigar Shah spoke recently with Midwest Energy News about the potential for using food waste as a feedstock for anaerobic digesters, as well as other clean energy trends he sees in the region and nationally.