Day: January 21, 2020

Comprehensive PFAS Bill Passed by House of Representatives

Read the full story from EHS Daily Advisor.

By a vote of 247 to 159, the House passed the PFAS Action Act of 2019 (H.R. 535). The bill would amend five environmental statutes—the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund), Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Clean Air Act (CAA), and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)—by requiring that the EPA take actions to regulate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and particularly perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), the two most commonly studied PFAS.

Some of the actions described in the H.R. 535’s 18 sections are included in the EPA’s 2019 PFAS Action Plan. But the leading sponsors of the bill say the Agency has been too slow in implementing that plan, and congressional action is needed. The bill passed with bipartisan support—24 Republicans joined 223 Democrats in voting Yea—and was sent to the Senate.

Your Hot Take on Climate Models Is Just Another Political Opinion and That’s Okay

Read the full post at Medium.

Climate and Energy Twitter just went another five rounds on emissions scenarios in major climate assessment reports like the IPCC and U.S. National Climate Assessment. I wanted to put together some thoughts to encourage people to focus on what they actually disagree about, stop spreading incendiary misinformation, and stop treating scientists like the elected officials and CEOs who are actually the most responsible for determining our climate future.

Here’s what’s up and here’s why you should understand why so many people are talking past each other in these debates (and why so many of us who actually work in climate policy mute these repetitive conversations). First, we’ll cover a little bit of the work I do, what climate models and energy forecasts we’re talking about, how to spot bad faith arguments in this area, and FINALLY, how to be awesome and constructive in this debate.

Period underwear may contain troubling chemicals—but the real problem is much bigger

Read the full story in Popular Science.

If you’re someone who menstruates, you might reasonably assume that the products you use to deal with your period aren’t actively bad for your health. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case; a number of studies have found surprising chemicals (not all of which are necessarily harmful, but many of which have not been studied in relation to vaginal health) in pads, tampons, and cups.

The latest menstrual product to come under scrutiny is period underwear. On January 7, journalist Jessian Choy reported in Sierra that a nuclear scientist had found a group of chemicals called PFAS in several pairs of Thinx period underwear she mailed to him for testing.

Renewable energy is growing fast in the U.S., but fossil fuels still dominate

Read the full story from the Pew Research Center.

Most Americans (77%) say it’s more important for the United States to develop alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind power, than to produce more coal, oil and other fossil fuels, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Which raises the question: How does the U.S. meet its vast energy needs, and how, if at all, has that changed?

Local Clean Energy Self-Scoring Tool, Version 4.0

Download the tool.

This updated version of the Local Clean Energy Self-Scoring Tool lets you score any community’s energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts using the metrics from ACEEE’s 2019 City Clean Energy Scorecard. The brief user guide shows you how to use the application to evaluate community-wide initiatives, government operations, and buildings, utility, and transportation policies. You can also compare your community’s scores against average city scores from the 2019 City Scorecard. By cataloging strengths and identifying areas for improvement, the Self-Scoring Tool can help you create a clean energy roadmap for your community that is designed to serve all residents.

Low-CO2 food labeling will be the next ‘low fat’ craze

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Meat substitute Quorn is about to start labeling the carbon footprint of its foods. This could change the way we shop forever.

Flood-risk model being made public in boon to US homeowners

Read the full story in the New York Post.

A climate research organization will offer access to a risk model that predicts the probability of flooding for homes across the United States, giving the public a look at the data institutional investors use to gauge risk.

First Street Foundation on Tuesday launched Flood Lab, a research partnership that provides eight universities with its model that maps previous instances of flooding as well as future risks. Using the dataset, Wharton, MIT and John Hopkins University among others will quantify the impacts of flooding on the US economy.

How can a systems approach to research protect India’s street dwellers at risk from air pollution?

Read the full story from the University of Birmingham.

Researchers are working across disciplines to help resolve the health, social and economic problems associated with air pollution.

It’s official: Data visualization has gone mainstream

Read the full story at Fast Company.

When the United States president is showing a Sharpie-doctored chart, you know data visualization isn’t hovering at the margins anymore.

How can agrobiodiversity help to safeguard food security in the face of climate change?

Read the full story from the University of Birmingham.

Research is helping mitigate the escalating challenges of crop production in testing agro-environments.

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