ALA adding sustainability as a core value of librarianship

Read the full story from the American Library Association.

Libraries play an important and unique role in promoting community awareness about resilience, climate change and a sustainable future. They are also leading by example by taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint.

Now the American Library Association (ALA) is supporting the library community by showing its commitment to assisting in the development of sustainable libraries with the addition of sustainability as a core value of librarianship.  

North Kent sewer could take Wolverine PFAS cleanup water

Read the full story at MLive.

Wolverine World Wide hopes to send filtered groundwater through the North Kent Sewer Authority system as part of the company’s plan to clean up toxic PFAS contamination at its former tannery site in Rockford.

North Kent officials say they expect to decide this summer whether to accept groundwater from the tannery, which Wolverine is promising to rid of contaminants before sending to the wastewater plant.

Wolverine wants to begin extracting groundwater by this fall.

Scott Schoolcraft, North Kent Sewer Authority director, said the system board wants to ensure Wolverine’s proposed cleanup plan completely removes any PFAS compounds and other contaminants like mercury and lead before accepting the discharge.

Transforming waste heat into clean energy

Read the full story from the University of Texas Austin.

Through a mechanism known as the Spin Hall effect, it has been shown that a voltage can be generated by harnessing differences in spin populations on a metal contact attached to a ferromagnetic material. Researchers used supercomputers to identify various forms of cobalt oxide combined with nickel and zinc that show promise for thermoelectric generation by taking advance of the Spin Hall effect.

The booming business of wetlands just got a speedy new tool with help from ODU researchers

Read the full story in the Virginian-Pilot.

The key to building wetlands, unsurprisingly, is the water. A builder must know how much water flows in and out, the paths it takes and where it will go.

Calculating that “water budget” can take months or years.

But now, after more than a decade and about $1.6 million, researchers from Old Dominion University, Virginia Tech and the University of Kentucky have developed a way to do those calculations from a computer, many within minutes.

New Interactive Mapping Tool, Reports Help Understand Coastal Resilience

Read the full story from NOAA.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, supported by funding from NOAA, released multiple reports and an online mapping tool focused on assessing resilience along the coastline of the contiguous United States.

The reports and tool summarize available data to help understand areas where habitat conservation could provide protection to human communities and infrastructure vulnerable to coastal storms, sea-level rise and flooding events.

A highlight of the assessments is the Coastal Resilience Evaluation and Siting Tool (CREST). It allows planners, stakeholders, and the public to visualize the assessment results. Users can view national-level data from five coastal regions assessed, and additional locally-specific data in eight targeted watersheds for a more comprehensive look at resilience in those areas.

Coral Reef Barriers Provide Flood Protection for More Than 18,000 People and $1.8 Billion Worth of Coastal Infrastructure and Economic Activity Annually

Read the full story from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Today, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released the findings of a new, in-depth study titled “Rigorously Valuing the Role of U.S. Coral Reefs in Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction,” – funded in part by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Office of Insular Affairs – demonstrating annual benefits of coral reefs including a flood-protection barrier for more than 18,000 coastal citizens and $1.8 billion worth of coastal infrastructure in the United States and its trust territories. The study will help managers take effective actions to reduce the risk to, and increase the resiliency of, U.S. mainland and U.S. insular area coastal communities to flooding and other hazards.

The righteousness of the youth-led climate justice movement

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

I’ve been wondering for years when it would finally happen: an uprising by the world’s youth against grownup inaction on climate change. As a child of the Vietnam era, a time when politics, arts, culture and almost everything else was infused with antiwar fervor, I’ve been amazed, and often disheartened, that today’s young people haven’t similarly been out in force to protest the theft of their climate future.

It’s finally happening, although it’s not exactly what I was expecting. It’s better.

With no upfront costs, this innovative financing tool makes energy efficiency affordable to all

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

For customers of the Roanoke Electric Cooperative in rural North Carolina, high energy costs are much more than a pesky bill or a grudging expense. “We’re one of the poorest areas of the nation,” says Curtis Wynn, the cooperative’s president and CEO. “We have a lot of low-income individuals who are our members and, quite frankly, a major portion of their monthly budgets are consumed by paying their electricity bills.”

Wynn says he has seen monthly bills reach nearly $700. But high rates aren’t to blame. It’s often the homes themselves that are the problem. Drafty windows, leaky ducts and poor insulation are common, and that means that much of the heating and cooling it takes to keep them comfortable slips outside, leading customers to use much more energy than they should have to — an estimated 10 to 20 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The simple solution to this problem is an energy efficiency upgrade — patching leaks in ductwork, sealing the frames of windows, laying insulation in attics, replacing old heat pumps. The costs can range from a few hundred dollars to about $8,000, but these interventions can result in energy savings over time that more than offset the expense. It’s a pragmatic investment that lowers costs in the long run.


DNR declines to re-issue permit for controversial frac sand mine; case likely to be decided in court

Read the full story in the Wisconsin State Journal.

After a nearly yearlong review, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has declined to reinstate a wetland permit for a controversial Monroe County frac sand operation.

In a decision signed Tuesday, DNR Secretary Preston Cole closed his department’s review without taking any action on a decision by Administrative Law Judge Eric Defort to revoke a permit allowing Meteor Timber to fill 16.25 acres of wetlands.

Your Renewable Energy Technology is Growing Old—What’s Next?

Read the full story from NREL.

Every technology eventually runs into the end of its life. Photovoltaic (PV) panels and lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries become less effective and need to be replaced. Researchers at NREL are making strides toward ensuring old technology can be more easily recycled.