EPA Releases the 2018 Plan for Chemical Risk Evaluations under TSCA

As required under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act,  EPA has released the annual plan for chemical risk evaluations. The annual plan identifies the next steps for the first 10 chemical reviews currently underway and describes EPA’s work in 2018 to prepare for future risk evaluations.

Austin Looks to [Re]Verse its Waste Intake

Read the full story at Waste360.

As part of Austin’s goal to reach zero waste as a community by 2040, the city has developed a social innovation program to help turn valuable raw materials that are currently leaving local businesses, nonprofits and institutions as waste into the foundation of new social enterprises.

Named the [Re]Verse Pitch Competition and launched in 2015, this competition gives local businesses and institutions the chance to partner with entrepreneurs to develop innovative reuse solutions for their byproducts. Going into its third effort in 2018, [Re]Verse Pitch has received the Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

Electronics recycling in Champaign County, Illinois

For details on upcoming electronics recycling events in Champaign County, visit the online registration page. You can also email recycling@champaignil.gov or call 217.403.4780 with any questions.

The City of Champaign has information about year-round recycling options here. Page down to Electronics and click the arrow.

White House seeks 72 percent cut to clean energy research, underscoring administration’s preference for fossil fuels

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, slashing them by 72 percent overall in fiscal 2019, according to draft budget documents obtained by The Washington Post.

Waste Management Phoenix Open aims to again be world’s largest ‘zero waste’ event

Read the full story in Waste Dive.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open, which opened this week and kicks off Feb. 1 with the first round of a golf tournament, bills itself as the largest “zero waste” event in the world. The event has received third-party verification of its waste diversion from UL since 2013, according to a press release. Material is either donated or reused, used as feedstock for waste-to-energy, composted or recycled.

A Meshnet Will Help This Inuit Town Monitor the Effects of Climate Change

Read the full story at Motherboard.

An app called eNuk is being configured to run on the network and help residents in northern Canada swap information about their changing environment.

Most of the EPA’s pollution estimates are unreliable. So why is everyone still using them?

Read the full story from the Center for Public Integrity. See also the Reddit AMA from the reporter who wrote the story.

The EPA’s emission factors have major implications for our health and climate. But, according to the EPA’s own ratings, the factors are largely unreliable and rarely updated


EPA Publishes Annual Toxics Release Inventory Report and Analysis

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2016 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis. The publicly available database shows that industrial facilities continue to reduce the releases of TRI chemicals through pollution reduction activities.

The National Analysis increases the transparency of the TRI Program and promotes user engagement and exploration of the annual TRI data. This year, the interactive website includes expanded access to tribal information, a closer look at off-site transfers of TRI chemicals, highlights of the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector’s pollution prevention achievements, and a discussion of the TRI Program’s role as a model in the international community.

The database includes easily accessible tools to learn more about the practices implemented to both manage waste and reduce pollution at nearly 22,000 facilities that submitted TRI data for calendar year 2016. EPA encourages facilities to learn from their counterpart’s best practices and adopt additional methods for reducing pollution.


In 2016, 87% – of the nearly 28 billion pounds of chemical waste – was not released into the environment due to the use of preferred waste management practices such as recycling, energy recovery, and treatment. These industrial facilities also reported implementing 5,900 new source reduction activities that eliminated or reduced the creation of chemical waste.

Coal- and oil-powered electric utilities and paper manufacturing facilities reported the greatest reductions, but nearly every sector reduced its air releases. Since 2006, air releases of TRI-listed chemicals fell 58% (at industrial facilities submitting data to the program).

Hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, toluene, and mercury were among chemicals with significantly reduced air releases. This trend is helping protect millions of families and children from these harmful pollutants. During the ten-year period, combined hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid air releases declined more than 573 million pounds, and mercury and mercury compounds declined more than 89,000 pounds at TRI-covered facilities.

Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), facilities must report their annual releases of TRI chemicals for the prior calendar year to EPA by July 1. EPA, states, and tribes receive TRI data from facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste management. The Pollution Prevention Act also requires facilities to submit information on pollution prevention and other waste management activities of TRI chemicals.

To access the 2016 TRI National Analysis, including local data and analyses, visit www.epa.gov/trinationalanalysis

Information on facility efforts to reduce TRI chemical releases is available at www.epa.gov/tri/p2

Corralling xenon gas out of waste streams

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

From space propulsion to lighting to surgical anesthesia, the applications and needs for xenon gas are growing. And the good news is that researchers are advancing the science to more easily remove xenon from waste streams and collect the low amounts of it found in the atmosphere.

Wildlife cooperatives boost conservation and habitat

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

Wildlife cooperatives are bringing landowners together to improve habitat and other land conservation efforts.