‘Recycling Is Like a Band-Aid on Gangrene’

“Recycling is like a Band-Aid on gangrene,” says Dr. Max Liboiron, director of the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR) in Newfoundland. “The only mode of attack is to deal with a heavy decrease in the production of plastics, as opposed to dealing with them after they’ve already been created.” Dr. Liboiron’s research on microplastics interrogates the scientific method with feminist and anti-colonialist methodology. Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/ind…

“Guts” was directed by Taylor Hess (https://www.taylormhess.com/) and Noah Hutton (http://www.noahhutton.com/). It is part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators, curated by The Atlantic.

Cities Confront the ‘Forever Chemicals’ Contaminating Drinking Water

Read the full story in Governing.

As the EPA and Congress debate PFAS regulations, local governments are taking action to protect people from toxic chemicals used in the production of practically everything.

2020-2021 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Phase I Solicitation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the release of its 2019-2020 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I Solicitation to develop innovative technologies that protect human health and the environment.

EPA is calling for small businesses to apply for Phase I awards up to $100,000 to demonstrate proof of concept in the following topic areas: clean and safe water, air quality, land, homeland security, sustainable materials management, and safer chemicals. See the full solicitation posted on FedConnect to learn more about these topic areas, view specific subtopics for each area, and access instructions on how to apply.

EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program. EPA’s SBIR funding supports both the economy and the environment by creating jobs and promoting small businesses to bring environmental technologies to market. Successful Phase I companies are eligible to apply for Phase II funding, which awards up to $400,000 for two years with a commercialization option of up to $100,000, to further develop and commercialize their technologies.

All applications must be submitted through FedConnect. For more information on eligibility, application processs, and the SBIR program, visit the EPA SBIR website at www.epa.gov/sbir.

Missed the June 6, 2019, informational webinar on how to apply for the 2019-2020 EPA SBIR Phase I Solicitation? View the presentation slides on EPA’s SBIR Website.

The EPA SBIR Program is part of EPA’s Sustainable and Healthy (SHC) research program.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has published final profiles for Tetrachloroethylene (Perc) and Trichloroethylene

The ATSDR toxicological profile succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for the hazardous substance described here. Each peer-reviewed profile identifies and reviews the key literature that describes a hazardous substance’s toxicologic properties. Other pertinent literature is also presented.

Comprehensive Online Energy Library Adds Features and Relaunches as “OurEnergyLibrary”

OurEnergyPolicy.org’s resource library—the most comprehensive online resource library for U.S. energy policy-relevant publications and materials—now has a new name, a new look, and improved search and sort capabilities. OurEnergyLibrary aggregates close to 5,000 publicly available reports, white papers, journal articles, and studies and is the only online database that aggregates publications across all U.S. energy policy topics.

OurEnergyLibrary is part of the Library of Congress’s E-Resource site and is also listed at WorldCat.org. Dozens of colleges currently utilize OurEnergyLibrary and refer students to it for course readings. These include Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of California Irvine, Dartmouth College, and Boston College. OurEnergyLibrary has also been cited by the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. It is a non-partisan, one-stop hub where anyone in government, media, academia, the private sector, non-profit, advocacy groups, and the public can search expertly indexed, cross-sectoral, energy policy resources.

“For anyone working on energy policy issues, the OurEnergyLibrary is extremely valuable,” said Bill Squadron, President of OurEnergyPolicy.org. “As part of OurEnergyPolicy.org’s mission to facilitate responsible energy policy dialogue, the nonpartisan OurEnergyLibrary makes resources from all viewpoints and all corners of the energy landscape widely accessible.”

OurEnergyLibrary provides a more defined focus than a simple Google search by limiting results to curated, professionally tagged publications, while excluding news articles, blog posts, and other extraneous content. It includes studies, reports, papers and other documents, and these resources are all free, publicly available, and produced by reputable organizations.

The library adds new materials every week to include the most recent energy resources. New items in OurEnergyLibrary are featured weekly in the OurEnergyPolicy.org This Week in Energy newsletter.

Resources included in OurEnergyLibrary are published by federal and state government, think tanks, research organizations, trade associations, and other reputable entities across the energy sector, including the following:

  • Government: Congressional Research Service, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Intergovernmental Organizations: International Energy Agency, International Renewable Energy Agency
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Center for Strategic and International Studies, Bipartisan Policy Center, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, R Street Institute, Brookings Institution, Heritage Foundation, The Atlantic Council, World Resources Institute, Resources for the Future, The Electric Power Research Institute, The American Wind Energy Association, The American Gas Association, National Academies of Sciences
  • Private Companies: Wood Mackenzie, The Brattle Group, Deloitte, BP
  • Regional Organizations: PJM Interconnection, California Energy Commission

OurEnergyLibrary seeks to maintain a comprehensive database and accepts submissions. To add energy policy-relevant publications that  are not already listed in the OurEnergyLibrary, please contact Helen Thompson (202-662-8715,hthompson@ourenergypolicy.org).

Lawmakers revive bill to restrict e-scrap exports

Read the full story at E-Scrap News.

Federal legislators have reintroduced legislation banning exports of untested, non-working electronics, a move that could significantly alter the way that many e-scrap companies handle material.

The Secure E-Waste Export and Recycling Act (SEERA) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week by legislators in California and New York as H.R. 3559.

The bill would allow exports of tested and functional devices as well as some materials recovered from e-scrap through processing, such as commodities destined for smelters. It would also continue to allow the export of recalled devices that are sent to foreign markets to be repaired.

Any other end-of-life device exports would become illegal under the federal act, according to a press release published by the Coalition for American Electronics Recycling (CAER), a group of e-scrap industry stakeholders who support the proposal.

EPA’s Final Power Plant Greenhouse Gas Rule Shifts Emissions Regulation to States

Read the full story in the National Law Journal.

The EPA announced its final rule for power plant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, culminating often rancorous discussion and litigation over the EPA’s authority to regulate GHG emissions from existing coal-fired electricity generating sources. Under the new Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, the states, not the federal government, are now responsible for driving down GHG emissions from power plants. Specifically, the EPA now requires unit-specific standards of performance to be developed by the states using its new emission guideline that details the “best system of emission reduction.”

EPA Publishes Proposed PBT Chemicals Rule under TSCA

Read the full story from the National Law Review.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released on June 21, 2019, a proposed rule intended to reduce exposures to certain chemicals that are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT). EPA identified five chemicals pursuant to Section 6(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE); phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)), also known as tris(4-isopropylphenyl) phosphate; 2,4,6-tris(tert-butyl)phenol (2,4,6-TTBP); hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD); and pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP). The proposed rule would restrict or prohibit manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce for many uses of all of the chemicals except HCBD, for which EPA is proposing no regulatory action. For the other four chemicals, the proposed rule includes recordkeeping requirements, as well as additional downstream notification requirements for PIP (3:1). Publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register will begin a 60-day comment period.

Contaminants of Emerging Concern Literature Review Table

Download the document.

This table provides a review of the current contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) literature base. This resource provides an overview of the different categories of CECs (e.g., pharmaceuticals, microplastics, pesticides, etc.), examples of chemicals found within those categories, where various CECs have been detected, and the health effects found in both environmental and lab-controlled studies. This information is supported by an extensive list of peer reviewed publications.

Air quality casts pall over Michigan national parks

Read the full story in The Mining Journal.

Summer vacation season is upon us, with camping, hiking and other outdoor activities. For some of us, that means visiting remote locations in the Great Lakes region, such as Isle Royale National Park, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Still others set their GPS for historic locales such River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe and Keweenaw National Historic Park in the western Upper Peninsula.

Wherever you’re heading, there are air pollution problems, according to a new report by the National Parks Conservation Association, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.