Reclassification of Major Sources as Area Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Proposed Revisions to Clean Air Act Section 112 Regulations

Read the full story at JD Supra.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) is proposing provisions to the General Provisions of the Clean Air Act National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (“NESHAP”).

RCRA’s Definition of Solid Waste – The DC Circuit Brings Clarity to a Core Element of RCRA

Read the full story at JD Supra.

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has upheld the Transfer-Based Exclusion in EPA’s final rule Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste, 73 Fed. Reg. 64,668, 64,669 (Oct. 30, 2008). The decision will allow certain material transferred from a waste generator to a third-party reclaimer to be treated as legitimately recycled, rather than “discarded” and therefore subject to full regulation as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 6901-6992k (“RCRA”). Under this ruling, generators and third-party recyclers who transfer certain hazardous secondary materials for reuse will not have to comply with RCRA’s most stringent and costly handling requirements. This alert provides an overview of the D.C. Circuit’s decision and practical implications for businesses.

The EPA blames six Asian nations that the U.S. exports plastics to for ocean pollution

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

The Trump administration pointed at China, Indonesia, and others as the main source of trash in our oceans, but the U.S. and other wealthy nations contribute to the problem.

Everyday Enviro with Elise – Low-waste travel and avoiding hotel consumables

Read the full story from Planet Ark.

I am on a trip as I write this and, as we all know, travelling comes with significant waste free challenges.  Some of the areas we have visited are certainly not as conscious of limiting single use plastics as at home (readily offering plastic carry bags, most of the fruit is wrapped in plastic, sometimes layers of plastic, plastic straws abound, etc).  I am trying very hard to avoid it – I came equiped with carry bags, keepcups, water bottles, straws and cutlery  – and I’m not doing too badly. 

This is the first extended trip I have taken since I have seriously and consciously began my low-waste efforts nearly two years ago, which means it is the first time I have stayed in hotels. And what an assault to the low waste senses it has been.

The family turning bottle caps into prosthetic limbs for children in need

Read the full story from Planet Ark.

When Tim Miller turned to collecting recyclables to raise money to deal with his own medical issues, he soon ran into the problem of non-recyclable bottle caps. What the Miller family did to deal with this issue will help many more people than Tim.

The family did some research and found a Victorian charity organisation called Envision that turned plastic bottle lids into mobility aids for child amputees.

‘Planting green’ cover-crop strategy may help farmers deal with wet springs

Read the full story from Penn State.

Allowing cover crops to grow two weeks longer in the spring and planting corn and soybean crops into them before termination is a strategy that may help no-till farmers deal with wet springs, according to researchers.

Analysis finds US ecosystems shifting hundreds of miles north

Read the full story from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Researchers used 50 years of data on bird distributions and concluded that ecosystems have shifted northward by hundreds of miles. The data suggests that climate change and other phenomena are at play.

Environmentally friendly control of common disease infecting fish and amphibians

Read the full story from Forschungsverbund Berlin.

Aquatic organisms in marine systems and freshwaters are threatened by fungal and fungal-like diseases globally. These pathogens are especially dreaded in aquaculture. But they also pose a threat to biodiversity of amphibians. There are few approved chemical means for combating these pathogens, and many have unwanted side-effects. Scientists now propose alternative biological concepts to control fungal disease in a more environmentally friendly way.

Recycling plastic: Vinyl polymer broken down to aspirin components

Read the full story from Shinshu University.

Not a day goes by without news of microplastics in our oceans. There are not many efficient methods of recycling plastics without compromising quality. A beacon of hope was recently lit when researchers discovered acid hydrolysis of a vinyl polymer breaks down into salicylic acid and acetic acid, precursors to dehydroaspirin which in theory can be made into vinyl polymers again.

Can smartphone apps help solve the world’s food waste problem?

Read the full story at Ensia.

Mobile applications fighting food waste sprout like weeds as awareness spreads. But how effective are they?