Day: April 10, 2020

EPA to Maintain WaterSense Program Specifications

After a review of WaterSense specifications as directed by America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that the agency will not make updates or changes to the program specifications.

“Today’s action is yet another example of the Trump Administration following through on its promise to uphold consumer choice for the American people,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By maintaining the existing WaterSense specifications, EPA is ensuring responsible conservation of our Nation’s water supply without adding unnecessary specifications or creating undue burdens on the economy.”

Additionally, EPA is announcing next steps in the agency’s ongoing process of assessing and improving its WaterSense program. EPA will be engaging with WaterSense stakeholders and the public to ensure that WaterSense products continue to help protect our nation’s water supplies while saving consumers money and performing as well as or better than regular models.

EPA is issuing a federal register notice determining that, after a review of WaterSense specifications as directed by AWIA, the agency will not make updates or changes to the product specifications. Additionally, the federal register notice provides next steps in the agency’s ongoing process of assessing and improving its WaterSense program.

BACKGROUND

On October 24, 2018, AWIA formally authorized the EPA’s WaterSense program. The law required EPA to “consider for review and revise, if necessary, any WaterSense performance criteria adopted before January 1, 2012.”

EPA initiated its specification review process in December 2018 when it released the WaterSense Notice of Specification Review, which provided the agency’s initial considerations and criteria for potentially revising the relevant specifications.

NASA created a game that lets you help map the ocean’s coral reefs

Read the full story at CNET.

A new iOS game from NASA asks players to identify the coral in 3D images of the ocean floor. Doing so will help train AI to do it automatically.

Great Lakes get extra funds for cleanups, invasive species

Read the full story from PBS News Hour.

Additional funds provided by Congress for Great Lakes environmental improvements will be used to hasten cleanups of highly toxic sites and step up work on other longstanding forms of pollution, federal officials said Thursday.

Immune-system cells of fish are ingesting plastic…and then dying

Read the full story from William & Mary.

It’s become an all-too-common variety of news story: Dead whales whose digestive systems are clogged with plastic. Increasing numbers of seabirds eating plastic, often with dire consequences. Ditto with turtles and fish.

Plastic ingestion by aquatic life is well documented. Less well known is the damage plastic does to the immune systems of fish.

Webinar: 50 Years of Environmental Justice

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 1-2 PM CDT
Register here

Catherine Flowers, a past WasteWater Education Board member, is a Franklin Center for the Humanities Practitioner in Residence. Based in Montgomery, Alabama, she is a fierce advocate for the underserved and largely ignored working poor. See https://centerforearthethics.org/team/catherine-flowers/

In this lecture, as part of our Earth Month series of public outreach events, Catherine will reflect on the disparity of progress made in the past 50 years of the environmental movement.

Catherine is also an internationally recognized advocate for the human right to water and sanitation as expressed in the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. She is a Professor of Practice at Duke University.

Filtration Engineers Offer Advice on Do-It-Yourself Face Masks

Read the full story from Georgia Tech.

The continuing shortage of face masks and new recommendations on their use by the general public have led many individuals and organizations to make their own masks using available materials. While homemade protection as simple as scarves and bandanas can be helpful, there are ways to optimize the benefit of do-it-yourself personal protective equipment (PPE).

$2.5 million grant will support online tool that helps students grasp science concepts

Read the full story from the University of Kansas.

Researchers at the University of Kansas and CAST, a nonprofit and founders of the universal design for learning framework, have won a grant to improve a tool that has proven effective at helping students, especially those with disabilities, grasp science concepts by making it more teacher-friendly and sustainable to use in classrooms.

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, selected KU and CAST for a five-year, $2.5 million grant to implement CORGI 2020, which will boost student academic outcomes in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) fields.

Coronavirus case studies: How FruPro is fighting food waste

Read the full story from Verdict (UK).

Startup FruPro has released a not-for-profit platform to combat food waste during the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak that could potentially help feed half a million people in just 2 days with food previously destined for the bin.

Labatt to start making hand sanitizer in fight against COVID-19

Read the full story at Canadian Grocer.

Beer maker says it is donating 50,000 bottles to Food Banks Canada and restaurant partners.

2020 Mercury Inventory Report

Download the document.

On March 30, 2020, EPA published the first in a series of triennial reports on the supply, use, and trade of mercury in the United States, supported by Agency’s mercury inventory reporting rule (an initial inventory report was published in 2017, prior to the rule that established reporting requirements). Based on the information collected under the mercury inventory reporting rule, the 2020 Mercury Inventory Report identifies any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury and recommends actions to achieve further reductions in mercury use.

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