Study: Anaerobic digestion could reduce microplastics in sludge

Read the full story from Waste Dive.

  • A new study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, has found that anaerobic digestion may reduce the amount of microplastics left in in sewage sludge, as reported in Recycling Portal.
  • The study looked at seven wastewater treatment plants in Ireland, which used one of three treatment processes: anaerobic digestion (AD), thermal drying or lime stabilization. The study found that lime stabilization resulted in “significantly higher abundances” of microplastics in even smaller particle sizes, suggesting that lime treatment sheared the plastic. Samples treated with AD, however, had a lower abundance of microplastics, suggesting that AD could be useful in removing microplastics from wastewater sludge.
  • While the findings are compelling, it is worth noting that the scope of the study is limited, because of the small sample size and lack of pre-treatment testing.

Scott Pruitt’s Crimes Against Nature

Read the full story in Rolling Stone.

While the rest of the Trump administration has been mired in scandal or incompetence (or both), and the media has been distracted by the Republican health care debacle and daily revelations about the Trump family’s involvement with the Russians, Pruitt has been quietly tearing down decades of environmental progress. “If there was ever an example of the fox guarding the henhouse, this is it,” says Michael Mann, a noted climate scientist at Penn State University. “We have a Koch-brothers-connected industry shill who is now in charge of climate and environmental policy for the entire country.”

Who Invests in Energy Efficiency and Why?

Read the full story from ACEEE.

This blog post is the second in a three-post series on understanding and increasing investments by businesses and individuals in energy efficiency. In the first post, we discussed current energy efficiency investments in the United States, which we estimate total about $60-115 billion per year. This number includes investments driven by policy, private market investments, and a mix of the two. In this post, we explore who invests in energy efficiency and why, focusing on mainstream businesses and consumers. The third and final post will build on the first two and discuss approaches that could increase efficiency investments in the future.

Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge

The Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge builds upon the 2014 Nutrient Sensor Challenge, which helped develop affordable, high-performing, continuous nutrient sensors and analyzers. The 2017 challenge calls for demonstrations showing:

1) the effective use of low-cost continuous sensors,

2) innovative partnerships to pilot the sensors and manage data, and

3) how collected information can be used in state and local decision-making

By building successful strategies for incorporating nutrient sensors into existing water monitoring efforts, the Challenge can help states and local communities overcome barriers to preventing and reducing nutrient pollution.

Stage 1 – closes September 20, 2017

In Stage 1, teams will submit action plans describing an approach for sensor deployment and use, and how they will meet challenge goals.

The plans will be judged and up to 5 winning applications will be selected. The top entries will be awarded cash prizes totaling $50,000 and invited to participate in Stage 2.

Stage 2 – Spring 2018

In Stage 2 of the Challenge, teams will deploy the sensors and collect data as they compete for a share in $100,000 in prizes.

Expanding Tribal Energy Development through Partnerships Webinar: Powering Your Community with Tribal Energy

Wed, Aug 30, 2017 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM CDT
Register at

Developing an energy project is multifaceted and involves many different parties including utilities, government agencies, developers, grid operators, and financing parties. In this webinar, speakers will address the steps to developing a one- to two-megawatt energy project located on property owned or controlled by a Tribe to serve the energy needs of the tribal community. Steps will include identifying a site or building structure(s) that is economically feasible; the environmental regulations impacting the project; the local, state and federal permits required to construct and operate the project; selling the electricity produced; leveraging government incentives; how the project will be connected to the grid, operated and maintained, and utilized to the fullest benefit of the tribe, among other considerations.

If you can not participate live, webinar recordings and slides can be found at:

CA: Effective July 1, 2017: Children’s Foam-Padded Sleeping Products with TDCPP or TCEP as a Priority Product

The proposal to list Children’s Foam-Padded Sleeping Products containing TDCPP or TCEP as a Priority Product went into effect on July 1, 2017. Manufacturer’s who make this product (see final regulations text for full description of the Priority Product) have sixty (60) days from the effective date of the Regulation to notify the Department that they are a Responsible Entity. To submit a Priority Product Notification, register on the Safer Consumer Products Information Management System, CalSAFER, and submit a notification.

A primary goal of DTSC’s Safer Consumer Products program is to reduce people’s exposure to toxic chemicals in consumer products. When we look at different products available in the marketplace, we think about how and where people are exposed to the chemicals in those products. We pay particular attention to chemicals that might harm infants and children. If research studies show that particular chemicals in a product could cause health problems, we can list that product as a Priority Product. Companies that make and sell the product will have to try to make the product safer for consumers.

After a thorough review of the research, DTSC determined that children may be at risk for adverse health effects if they use or are near children’s foam-padded sleeping products that contain the chemical flame retardants TDCPP or TCEP. We are proposing to list this Priority Product with the goal of reducing children’s exposure to these particular toxic chemicals.

Top EPA official resigns over direction of agency under Trump

Read the full story at The Hill.

A top Environmental Protection Agency official resigned Tuesday in protest of the direction the EPA has taken under President Trump.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Southerland ended her 30-year run at the agency with a scathing exit letter in which she claimed that “the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth.” She last worked as the director of science and technology in the Office of Water.