Day: February 14, 2019

U.S. EPA releases PFAS Action Plan

EPA’s PFAS Action Plan outlines concrete steps the agency is taking to address PFAS and to protect public health.

EPA’s Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Action Plan:

  • Demonstrates the agency’s critical national leadership by providing both short-term solutions and long-term strategies to address this important issue.
  • Provides a multi-media, multi-program, national research, and risk communication plan to address this emerging environmental challenge.
  • Responds to the extensive public input the agency has received over the past year during the PFAS National Leadership Summit, multiple community engagements, and through the public docket.

Download the full plan and the fact sheet.

How Danone, Kashi and Land O’Lakes are backing sustainable farming

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Less than 1 percent of United States farms had an organic certification in 2017, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Due to its environmental and health benefits, organic agriculture is one sustainable agriculture method many farmers are hoping to adopt.

Yet farmers seeking to tap into the organic market often face prohibitive costs when transitioning their conventional production methods to organic ones. This includes long turnover times for certification and the substantial costs of equipment and seeds.

According to articles from Public Radio International and others, the demand for United States organic products has outgrown the supply. High levels of imports make up the difference. This is true despite a 7 percent increase in the number of certified organic farms from 2016 to 2017, according to USDA data.

In response, private companies are working to play a major role to help finance the upfront costs, ensure a steady buyer or provide additional support programs. Their goal is to increase the number of organic farms.

The profession of corporate sustainability gets specific

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Corporate sustainability programs are turning out to be, well, sustainable. That won’t surprise readers of the biennial GreenBiz Group State of the Profession report. This year, we asked nearly 4,000 GreenBiz Intelligence Panel members whether their programs would continue on their current trajectory if the organization’s sustainability leader and CEO both left. Only 17 percent said their programs would not continue, while 58 percent said they would carry on and 25 percent didn’t know.

A ‘mass invasion’ of polar bears is terrorizing an island town. Climate change is to blame.

Read the full story at the Washington Post.

Fences have risen around kindergartens. Special vehicles transport military personnel to their work sites. Residents of the island settlement are afraid to leave their homes.

Novaya Zemlya is a Russian archipelago stretching into the Arctic Ocean. It once played host to Soviet nuclear tests, including the largest man-made explosion, when the “king of bombs” detonated in 1961, releasing 50 megatons of power and deepening an arms race that threatened to turn the Cold War hot.

Today, the barren landscape is under siege — from dozens of polar bears locked in their very own sort of hot war. Marine ecologists have long been warning of the peril posed by global warming for the vulnerable species. In the far reaches of Russia, the situation has become traumatic for humans, too.

Officials in the Arkhangelsk region, where the archipelago lies, declared a state of emergency Saturday because of the marauding mammals. Polar bears are typically born on land but live mostly on sea ice, where they hunt and feed on seals. But as Arctic ice thins, an occurrence linked to the acceleration of climate change, the animals move ashore, ravenous. They scavenge, sometimes coming into contact with human populations.

A better way to make acrylics

Read the full story at Science Daily.

Acrylics are an incredibly diverse and useful family of chemicals used in all kinds of products, from diapers to nail polish. Now, a team of researchers describe a new process for making them. The new method would increase energy efficiency and reduce toxic byproducts.

Regenerative agriculture can make farmers stewards of the land again

Read the full story at The Conversation.

For years, “sustainable” has been the buzzword in conversations about agriculture. If farmers and ranchers could slow or stop further damage to land and water, the thinking went, that was good enough. I thought that way too, until I started writing my new book, “One Size Fits None: A Farm Girl’s Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture.”

Bike-friendly cities should be designed for everyone, not just for wealthy white cyclists

Read the full story at The Conversation.

Designing for bikes has become a hallmark of forward-looking modern cities worldwide. Bike-friendly city ratings abound, and advocates promote cycling as a way to reduce problems ranging from air pollution to traffic deaths.

But urban cycling investments tend to focus on the needs of wealthy riders and neglect lower-income residents and people of color. This happens even though the single biggest group of Americans who bike to work live in households that earn less than US$10,000 yearly, and studies in lower-income neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Boston have found that the majority of bicyclists were non-white.

Emissions from the U.S. electric power sector projected to remain mostly flat through 2050

Read the full story from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

EIA’s recently released Annual Energy Outlook 2019 projects that the U.S. electric power sector emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and carbon dioxide (CO2) will remain mostly flat through 2050, assuming no changes to current laws and regulations.

Global Search Seeks Alternatives to Single-use Plastics

Read the full story from Waste360.

Registration is now open for the Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge, a partnership between National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures.

How2Recycle Adds Mattel as New Member

Read the full story at Waste360.

Mattel products, including Hot Wheels, Matchbox and Barbie, will carry the How2Recycle label starting in 2019.

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