Day: July 29, 2019

Will the Wave of PFAS Litigation Sweep Through California?

Read the full story at JDSupra.

In the last year, litigation involving per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has spiked across the nation. To date this litigation has been centered in eastern and mid-western states and the wave of litigation has yet to reach California. And while PFAS litigation is not new, increased testing and focus on PFAS by federal and many state regulators has increased the public’s awareness surrounding PFAS’ health risks, widespread use, and impacts to drinking water and groundwater. As outlined in Part One of this two-part series, California is stepping up regulatory action on PFAS. In this article—Part Two—we summarize trends in PFAS litigation outside California and discuss a likely on-coming wave of similar, but also unique PFAS litigation in California.

PFOS/PFOA Regulation: National Association of Water Companies’ Position Statement

Read the full story from JDSupra.

The National Association of Water Companies issued a July 11th statement on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) review in which it will determine whether to set a Safe Drinking Water Act maximum contaminant level (“MCL”) for Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (“PFOS”) and Perfluorooctane Acid (“PFOA”).

Plastic Manufacturing Facilities/Clean Water Act: Environmental Organizations Petition U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Seeking Revised Effluent Limitations Guidelines/Standards

Read the full story at JDSupra.

Approximately 270 environmental and community organizations submitted a July 23rd Petition to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) seeking the review and revision of certain Clean Water Act (“CWA”) Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards (“Standards”) applicable to facilities that convert natural gas liquids into plastics.

Refinery Explosions Raise New Warnings About Deadly Chemical

Read the full story from NPR.

In the predawn hours of June 21, explosions at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in South Philadelphia shook houses, sent fireballs into the air and woke up nearby residents.

“Three loud explosions, one after the other, boom, boom boom!” says David Masur, who lives about two miles from the plant and has two young kids. “It’s a little nerve-wracking.”

Masur watched as the refinery spewed black smoke above the city, easily visible from his home. But what he didn’t know at the time was just how close he and his family came to getting exposed to hydrogen fluoride, one of the deadliest chemicals used by refiners and other industrial manufacturers.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions knows that’s a possibility. Its worst-case disaster scenario includes 143,262 pounds of hydrogen fluoride released over 10 minutes, which could travel as a toxic cloud for more than 7 miles and impact more than a million people, including in schools, homes, hospitals, prisons, playgrounds, parks and a wildlife sanctuary.

Now, a database of harmful chemicals in everyday items

Read the full story from Hindustan Times.

Ingredients in your everyday items may have an adverse effect on your body.

Chennai-based Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc) has created an online database — Database of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and their Toxicity Profiles (DEDuCT) — of 686 endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), many of which are present in everyday items.

The database contains information on the environmental source of the EDCs, their adverse effects and chemical class.

Related research article: B.S. Karthikeyan, J. Ravichandran, K. Mohanraj, R.P. Vivek-Ananth & A. Samal (2019). “A curated knowledgebase on endocrine disrupting chemicals and their biological systems-level perturbations“. Science of the Total Environment, 692, pp. 281-296.

Lights Out? Not For This Michigan City — Episode 81 Of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Read the full story at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

In 2011, the neighborhoods of Highland Park, Mich. went dark. The utility company had repossessed streetlights to collect on the city’s debt. Unwilling to stand idly by, the people of Highland Park organized to light the streets themselves using off-grid, renewable energy.

In this episode of Local Energy Rules, host John Farrell speaks with Maria Thomas, Outreach and Organizing Coordinator for Soulardarity. The two discussed energy democracy, and Soulardarity’s work in Highland Park, live in Milwaukee at the RE-AMP annual meeting. Highland Park, home to the first Ford Model-T assembly line, is suffering from economic downturn. As industry departed, the Detroit suburb shrank – along with its tax base. This left the city indebted to the monopoly utility company, DTE energy. To collect on this debt, without any notice, the utility pulled more than a thousand streetlights from residential areas.

Japan partners with Wyoming Infrastructure Authority to test making concrete from coal emissions

Read the full story from Global Construction.

Japan and a team of American researchers based at the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority (WIA) are investigating ways of capturing carbon dioxide from coal plant emissions to make building materials such as concrete by advancing carbon recycling technology.

Innovative Sustainable Materials, Products, And Production Methods Are At The Forefront Of The Circular Economy

Read the full story at JDSupra.

Nature doesn’t need a landfill. The waste of one species becomes the food of another. Plants and animals die and nutrients return to the soil to spur the next cycle of growth. Waste is minimal—or nonexistent—in the life cycle of nature.

Due to her efficiency, nature serves as the primary inspiration for the concept of the “circular economy” which focuses on minimizing waste by relying on renewable resources and designing waste out of the system.

The Plastic Value Chain: From Single-Use to Reuse Models

Download the document.

Plastic, an integral part of our daily lives and regarded as a very convenient item, continuously reveals its downsides: huge amounts of plastics end up in the oceans each year, exposing both the environment and marine life to existential problems.

Rethinking the way we use plastics and how we can enable this material re-enter the circular economy becomes paramount and has to be addressed on a global level. Moreover, all stakeholders within the plastic value chain must be involved.

What counts for our climate: Carbon budgets untangled

Read the full story from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

The more CO2 we emit from burning coal and oil and gas, the more we heat our climate — this sounds simple, and it is. Different analyzes have come up with different estimates of how much CO2 humankind can still emit if we want to hold global warming to the internationally agreed 1.5 and well below 2 degrees Celsius limits, but a lack of clarity of the reasons causing these variations has created unnecessary confusion, a new study shows.

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