Current issue of MnTAP Source now available

The latest issue of MnTAP Source is now available. The current issue includes case studies in which MnTAP has partnered with Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, Minnesota Department of Commerce, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to work with Minnesota municipal wastewater treatment facilities to identify significant energy efficiency (E2) projects.

The complete table of contents appears below:

  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Project: Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Generation – pg 1
  • Opportunities: What’s New – pg 2
    • Tune Up Your Food Processing Act!
    • Cleaning the Air in North Minneapolis
    • MnTAP’s Website Got a Makeover!
  • Safer Products:  – pg 3
    • Cleaner Brake Cleaners in Duluth, MN
    • Foundry Sand Silica Alternatives
  • Wastewater Energy Efficiency – pg 4
    • Large Energy Savings Found in Saint Peter and New Prague WWTPs
  • Energy Efficiency Impacts the Bottom Line & Climate Health – pg 5
    • Staff Snapshot: A.J. Van den Berghe
    • Operating Sustainably at Pine River
  • Results – pg 6
    • Applying E3 to Fiber Reinforced Plastics
    • Good Advice from 2003 – Tight as a Drum
    • Minnesota Materials Exchange
  • Symposium – pg 7
    • 2017 Interns Identify Over $1,514,000 in Savings
  • How can we help you? – pg 8

You can read past issues of the newsletter here.

Textile industry needs ‘major rethink’ to cut down on waste

Read the full story in the Vancouver Sun.

The textile industry is the next dirty frontier when it comes to the need to recycle and reduce the amount of clothing that finds its way into landfills and oceans, a Zero Waste conference sponsored by Metro Vancouver heard Wednesday.

Fiscal Year 2018 Environmental Literacy Grants (ELG)

The NOAA Office of Education has issued a competitive funding opportunity for projects designed to support the education of the public and/or K-12 students so they are knowledgeable of the ways in which their community can become more resilient to extreme weather events and/or other environmental hazards, and become involved in achieving that resilience. Successful projects will relate to NOAA’s mission and build the environmental literacy necessary for community resilience to the weather and other environmental hazards that are associated with a community’s location. Eligible applicants are limited to institutions of higher education; K-12 public and independent schools and school systems, other nonprofits, including informal education institutions such as museums, zoos, and aquariums; state and local government agencies; and Indian tribal governments in the United States. Proposed projects should be between two and five years in duration and have total budget requests of $250,000 to $500,000 for all years of the project. Please note that we do not anticipate issuing a solicitation for applications next year. Rather, applications from the 2018 competition that do not receive funding in fiscal year 2018 may be held over for possible funding from fiscal year 2019 funds.

The deadline for pre-applications to this funding opportunity is 11:59 pm EST on December 19, 2017. The deadline for full applications is 11:59 pm EDT on April 6, 2018. More information available at http://www.noaa.gov/office-education/elp/grants/apply

 

O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism

The O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism is accepting applications for its 2017-18 class of O’Brien Fellows. The deadline to apply is Jan. 26, 2018.

Environmental reporters around the country have made great use of the yearlong O’Brien Fellowship, examining Arizona’s water woesthreats to the Great LakesChina’s carbon emissions, the dangers of diacetyl and climate change.

This is a reporting fellowship. If you are looking for a sabbatical, this is not the program for you. O’Brien Fellows will return to their newsrooms after an academic year with a world-class project and a paid Marquette student intern for summer immediately following the fellowship. Once selected each fellow must agree to:

  • Spend the academic year working out of an office in the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Engage with Marquette students and faculty in the pursuit of his/her fellowship project.
  • Participate in a conference spotlighting the work of the fellowship project – an event the college will produce and host after the fellowship period.

Applicants must have at least five years professional experience and produce journalism regularly as an employee or freelancer. Applicants may work as journalists for news or editorial departments of newspaper, wire services, radio, television, websites, online publications or magazines of general public interest. There are no academic prerequisites.

Applications from international journalists are welcome, but they must meet the same qualifications as journalists based in the United States. However, due to the competiveness of the O’Brien Fellowship award, international applicants must demonstrate extensive experience reporting and telling stories from countries other than their own.

Stipend and benefits

  • A stipend totaling $65,000, with health insurance and benefits if the fellow’s employer does not provide them, or if he or she works as an independent journalist.
  • A residency allowance based on family requirements for fellows moving to the Milwaukee metropolitan area: $4,000 for a single, married or partnered fellow, $6,000 for a fellow with one child, $7,000 for a fellow with two children, $8,000 for a fellow with three or more children.
  • A moving allowance between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on family size and distance. (Fellows from the Milwaukee metropolitan area are not eligible for a moving allowance.)
  • A travel allowance up to $4,000 depending on the nature of the project.
  • Up to $4,000 technology, research and equipment allowance for project-related expenses.
  • Fellows and their spouses are eligible during the fellowship for tuition remission (up to seven credits) for courses offered by Marquette University.

Questions? Please call:

Dave Umhoefer
O’Brien Fellowship interim director
Phone: (414) 288-5959
Email: david.umhoefer@marquette.edu

Funding opportunity: Environmental Exposures and Health: Exploration of Non-Traditional Settings

R01 Research Project Grant applications due February 5, 2018. More information at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-18-142.html

R21 Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant applications due February 15, 2018. More information at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-18-160.html

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to encourage interdisciplinary research aimed at promoting health, preventing and limiting symptoms and disease, and reducing health disparities across the lifespan for those living or spending time in non-traditional settings (i.e. playgrounds and nursing homes).  These settings result in exposure to environmental pollutants and toxins that result in health risks, symptoms, and other health conditions/diseases; including lower respiratory disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, and complex environmental exposures that may be exacerbated by non-chemical stressors encountered in community settings, physiological function of organs and systems of the fetus/child/adolescence, and lower respiratory disease.  Risk identification and symptom management include prevention and behavior changes and actions to maintain health and prevent disease with an emphasis on the individual, family, and community which will advance nursing science.  For purposes of this FOA, non-traditional settings include, but are not limited to, places such as community centers; pre-school and non-traditional school environments (e.g., churches, daycare, home-based schools, dormitories, alternative schools, and playgrounds); child and older adult foster care facilities; older adult day care facilities; half-way homes; and  assisted living and long-term care facilities.

 

Western Wildfires Undermining Progress on Air Pollution

Read the full report from Climate Central.

Smoke pollution is leading to serious public health impacts as large wildfires across the American West become more frequent and destructive. These fires are undermining progress made during recent decades in reducing pollution from tailpipes, power plants, and other industrial sources. The increasing frequency and area burned by large fires is linked to human-caused climate change as well as other environmental changes.

Climate Central analyzed air quality trends from 2000 through 2016 in two large California air basins that are heavily affected by smoke pollution. The analysis focused on particulate matter (PM2.5), a dangerous air pollutant. We found that while the air is getting cleaner overall in recent years, it’s getting dirtier during the fire season —  a season that research has shown is growing longer in the western United States.

Breathing Fire

Read the full story from Climate Central.

Scientists say climate change, degraded ecosystems and the fickleness of the weather have been amplifying fires in forests, grasslands and neighborhoods throughout the West. Nine times more western forestland is burning in large fires each year on average now than 30 years ago, according to calculations by two leading scientists.