Day: February 9, 2018

These Farms Are Testing A Low-Tech Pesticide Alternative: Flowers

Read the full story in Fast Company.

To make sure more beneficial bugs come to their fields to feed on pests, farmers are planting them homes in the middle of their fields. (Extra bonus: It looks beautiful.)

Canadian solar companies sue Trump over tariffs

Read the full story in The Hill.

A handful of Canadian companies that make solar panels are suing the Trump administration over the 30-percent tariffs the president imposed last month on their products.

In their lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the United States Court of International Trade, the three companies say that since Canadian solar imports do not harm United States producers, the tariffs violate the Trade Act and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Absolut Bares It All in Humorous Transparency Campaign

Read the full story from Sustainable Brands.

Absolut is leading the way for transparency with a new campaign that proves that it really is ‘the vodka with nothing to hide.’ The Åhus, Sweden-based distiller has created a short film that takes viewers on a revealing journey to discover Absolut Vodka’s CO2 neutral distillation process and sustainable ethos.

Issuance of Guidance Memorandum, “Reclassification of Major Sources as Area Sources Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act”

Read the full Federal Register Notice.

On January 25, 2018, the EPA issued a guidance memorandum that addresses the question of when a major source subject to a maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standard under CAA section 112 may be reclassified as an area source, and thereby avoid being subject thereafter to major source MACT and other requirements applicable to major sources under CAA section 112. As is explained in the memorandum, the plain language of the definitions of “major source” in CAA section 112(a)(1) and of “area source” in CAA section 112(a)(2) compels the conclusion that a major source becomes an area source at such time that the source takes an enforceable limit on its potential to emit (PTE) hazardous air pollutants (HAP) below the major source thresholds (i.e., 10 tons per year (tpy) of any single HAP or 25 tpy of any combination of HAP). In such circumstances, a source that was previously classified as major, and which so limits its PTE, will no longer be subject either to the major source MACT or other major source requirements that were applicable to it as a major source under CAA section 112.

Talking Sustainability, Soup And Stout With Campbell’s Dave Stangis

Read the full story in Forbes.

Dave Stangis has dedicated over three decades of his career to steering sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts at two iconic American companies, Intel and Campbell Soup Company. As Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer at Campbell, Dave has built the company’s reputation for setting a high bar on sustainability and corporate responsibility in the food industry. Case in point: Campbell was recognized as a top corporate citizen by Corporate Responsibility Magazine for the eighth consecutive year.

Campbell set an ambitious goal to cut the environmental footprint of its product portfolio in half by 2020, which entails reducing energy use by 35 percent, recycling 95 percent of its global waste stream, and sourcing 40 percent of the company’s electricity from renewable or alternative energy sources.

I recently spoke with Dave to learn about his approach to setting big sustainability goals, the role of technology and innovation in building a more sustainable food system, and which kind of beer goes best with a bowl of soup.

No More Dunkin’ those Donuts in Foam Cups, Come 2020

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Dunkin’ Donuts plans to begin phasing out polystyrene foam cups beginning this spring, planning to have completely eliminated polystyrene cups from its global supply chain by 2020. While the majority of Dunkin’ Donuts’ international markets are currently using paper cups, the company will work to replace foam cups with a new, double-walled paper cup throughout its US stores as quickly as manufacturing capabilities can get up to speed. Dunkin’ Donuts has been searching for a suitable – and affordable – replacement for polystyrene cups since 2011.

EPA’s Scott Pruitt asks whether global warming ‘necessarily is a bad thing’

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt has repeatedly questioned the scientific consensus that rising levels of carbon dioxide from human-fueled activity are warming the planet.

He’s now taking a different tack: Even if climate change is occurring, as the vast majority of scientists say it is, a warmer atmosphere might not be so awful for humans, according to Pruitt.

Farm fumes are harming our health. Here’s what we can do about it.

Read the full story from the Food & Environment Reporting Network.

In the United States alone, air pollution kills about 115,000 people a year — more than three times the number of deaths caused by motor vehicles. Worldwide, some 7 million people died in 2012 alone from exposure to air pollution, according to the World Health Organization. The U.S. and other developed nations have taken major steps in recent decades to decrease pollution emissions from smokestacks and tailpipes. Yet a surprising source of harmful air pollution particles — emissions of ammonia from livestock manure and synthetic fertilizer application — continues to grow in parts of the U.S., Asia and Europe.

Decoding the Redwoods

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

As threats to California’s giant redwoods grow, the key to their salvation might be in their complex genetic code.

EPA Proposes Fees Rule, the Final of Four Framework Rules for EPA Chemical Safety Evaluations Under TSCA

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) met an important milestone and proposed a fees rule under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

“EPA has moved swiftly to implement the amended TSCA requirements. Our proposed TSCA fees rule ensures we have sufficient resources to review chemicals for safety with the highest scientific standards,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Under the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, the proposed fees on certain chemical manufacturers, including importers and processors, would provide a sustainable source of funding to defray resources that are available for implementation of new responsibilities under the amended law.

These fees, to be collected from certain chemical manufacturers and importers, including processors, would go toward developing risk evaluations for existing chemicals; collecting and reviewing toxicity and exposure data and other information; reviewing Confidential Business Information (CBI); and, making determinations in a timely and transparent manner with respect to the safety of new chemicals before they enter the marketplace.

EPA has finalized three important rules under the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act and is now taking action to move the fourth to completion. EPA is working diligently to implement the new law, the first major update to an environmental statute in 20 years, and get the most modern and safe chemicals to market quickly in order to provide regulatory certainty for manufacturers and confidence for American consumers.

The fees rule is the final of four framework rules under the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, incorporating input received at an August 11, 2016 public meeting. Under the proposed rule, affected businesses would begin incurring fees on October 1, 2018 and small businesses would receive a substantial 80 percent discount on their fees for new chemical submissions.

The 60-day comment period will open upon the forthcoming publication of the proposed fees rule in the Federal Register. A prepublication version of the proposed rule is available at https://www.epa.gov/assessing- and-managing-chemicals-under- tsca/frank-r-lautenberg- chemical-safety-21st-century- act-5.

Background

On June 22, 2017 – the one-year anniversary of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act – EPA met milestones for three framework TSCA rules: the Prioritization Process Rule, Risk Evaluation Process Rule, and Inventory Rule.

In addition to finalizing framework TSCA rules so the Agency can properly implement the law within the timeframes set by Congress, EPA has effectively addressed and eliminated the backlog. The current caseload is back at the baseline level.

  • The Prioritization Process Rule establishes a framework and criteria for identifying high-priority chemicals for EPA risk evaluations.
  • The Risk Evaluation Process Rule establishes a framework for evaluating high priority chemicals to determine whether or not they present an unreasonable risk to health and/or the environment. The rule ensures transparency and confidence in the risk evaluation process while retaining flexibility to allow for new scientific approaches as they are developed.
  • The Inventory Rule requires industry reporting of chemicals manufactured, imported, or processed in the U.S. over the past 10 years to identify which chemical substances on the TSCA Inventory are active in U.S. commerce. This will inform the chemicals EPA prioritizes for risk evaluations.

For more information on TSCA implementation, visit:  https://www.epa.gov/assessing- and-managing-chemicals-under- tsca/frank-r-lautenberg- chemical-safety-21st-century- act-5

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