Day: May 5, 2020

17 States Sue to Derail New Trump Clean Water Rule

Read the full story at Engineering News-Record.

A coalition of 17 states has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to strike down a new Trump administration regulation that significantly narrows the definition of what bodies of water are federally regulated.

The complaint, which attorneys general from California, New York, 15 other states and the District of Columbia filed on May 1 in federal district court in San Francisco, follows similar lawsuits brought by multiple environmental groups in three other district courts. They contend that the new rule violates the Administrative Procedure and Clean Water acts.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Predicted To Fall Nearly 8% — Largest Decrease Ever

Read the full story from NPR.

The COVID-19 pandemic is delivering the biggest shock to the global energy system in seven decades, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency.

‘We Had to Do Something’: Trying to Prevent Massive Food Waste

Read the full story in the New York Times.

While millions of Americans are worried about having enough to eat and lines at food banks grow, farmers have been plowing under vegetable fields, dumping milk and smashing eggs that cannot be sold because the coronavirus pandemic has shut down restaurants, hotels and schools.

Now, the destruction of fresh food on such a scale has prompted action by the Trump administration and state governments, as well as grass-roots efforts like a group of college students who are renting trucks to rescue unsold onions and eggs from farms. But they most likely won’t be enough to address the problem if businesses remain closed for months.

‘Not just weeds’: how rebel botanists are using graffiti to name forgotten flora

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Pavement chalking to draw attention to wild flowers and plants in urban areas has gone viral across Europe – but UK chalkers could face legal action

Covid-19 has shuttered scientific labs. It could put a generation of researchers at risk

Read the full story at STAT.

The global health emergency has shut down scientific research labs across the country in a crisis that has left some scientists scrambling to save their work — and has left others grieving the loss of experiments they had dedicated months or even years to carrying out. Many are grappling with an overwhelming sense of uncertainty about how they’ll continue their work.

Kroger buys and redirects dairy farmers’ surplus milk to Feeding America food banks

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

Kroger is purchasing 200,000 gallons of fluid milk from dairy farmers who have struggled to find new buyers to purchase their excess supply (much of which was originally destined for foodservice and schools before the pandemic hit). The milk will be redirected to Feeding America’s network of food banks across the country.

Green method could enable hospitals to produce hydrogen peroxide in house

Read the full story from the University of California-San Diego.

A team of researchers has developed a portable, more environmentally friendly method to produce hydrogen peroxide. It could enable hospitals to make their own supply of the disinfectant on demand and at lower cost.

New Jersey DEP launches online stay-at-home activities, learning tools, and virtual park visits

To celebrate Earth Day and its 50th birthday, the Department of Environmental Protection is introducing new online resources, including stay-at-home activities, virtual tours of state parks and distance-learning opportunities. The online resources were developed and curated to enable New Jerseyans to celebrate Earth Day while still staying at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The DEP was established on April 22, 1970 – America’s first official Earth Day, through a state law consolidating New Jersey’s environmental, resource protection and conservation agencies under the umbrella of one state agency.

The DEP50 website provides a special section providing online resources to help residents celebrate Earth Day in the safety of their homes.

It provides step-by-step instructions on creative crafts that help remind us of the importance of conserving resources, reusing materials and recycling. Crafts include a bird feeder made from an orange peel and peanut butter, bracelets fashioned from soda can pull-tabs, and a decorative flower made from a plastic bottle. These activities use items found readily around the home.

Families can also download and print coloring and activity books and enjoy photos and fun facts about New Jersey’s wildlife. Links are also provided to distance-learning opportunities such as webinars and online classes from Rutgers University, New Jersey Audubon, the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education and others.

“Although interactions with the natural world are limited for most environmental educators at this time, we are still able to honor the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by offering ANJEE’s Remote EE Hub to all New Jerseyans,” said Michael Chodroff, President of the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education.

Visitors can also check in on active peregrine falcon and bald eagle nests through the live webcams maintained by the Wildlife Conservation Foundation of New Jersey, as well as the group’s many other interesting wildlife video and educational offerings.

New Jersey’s Division of Parks and Forestry is also bringing New Jersey’s parks to visitors virtually.  Its popular #IHeartNJParks campaign now connects with the public through virtual access through its Facebook and Instagram pages (https://www.facebook.com/NewJerseyStateParks/ and https://www.instagram.com/newjerseystateparks). The campaign posts new content each day, including a special collection of park tours and projects, interviews with experts and never published historical photos.

In addition, through a series of stunning, even inspiring, videos, families can make virtual visits to popular parks and historic sites from High Point to Cape May Point. Visitors can:

  • Soar above the unique maritime forest that surrounds Barnegat Light, or Old Barney as the venerable lighthouse in Ocean County is affectionately known; enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Batsto Village, the historic heart of the Pine Barrens in Wharton State Forest.
  • Explore the eerie, concrete gun emplacements of historic Fort Mott along the Delaware River in Salem County; enjoy stunning views of the pristine beaches and dunes of Island Beach State Park in Ocean County.
  • Tour the wetlands and beaches of the ecological gem that is Cape May Point State Park; and soak in inspirational mountain views of High Point State Park in the extreme northwestern corner of the state in Sussex County.

For New Jersey DEP’s Earth Day resources, visit:

2020 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit goes virtual

The 2020 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit has transitioned to a virtual leadership symposium. It will be held online from June 8-11, 2020 and will include 4 days of timely webinars and peer exchanges with fellow industry stakeholders and experts. The event is free to attend.

Ohio issues recommendations for water supply flushing for reopening of buildings under statewide COVID-19 transition plan

In accordance with Ohio’s statewide transition plan announced April 27, 2020, and as buildings re-open that have had little to no water usage during the Stay at Home Order due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to flush water that has been stagnant in both cold- and hot-water distribution lines and fixtures. Low water usage can contribute to bacterial growth, including Legionella which can cause a serious type of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease. It can also cause other water quality issues with potential health risks due to the build-up of lead and copper in stagnant water that’s been collecting in older pipes and fixtures.

As buildings reopen, it is critical to drain, flush, and if necessary, based on a review of building conditions, disinfect the hot and cold-water systems to remove harmful contaminants. Devices that store water, such as drinking water fountains, water heaters, storage tanks, and any droplet or mist-forming devices such as cooling towers, humidifiers, showerheads, and certain medical and manufacturing devices and process equipment should also be flushed and disinfected in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations or industry best practices.

The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency have issued the Guidance for Premise Plumbing Water Service Restoration.

Please note that this guidance applies to the water systems of all types of buildings that are unoccupied or partially occupied during the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to office buildings, manufacturing facilities, medical offices (e.g., physician and dentist offices, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient centers, etc.), government facilities, and religious institutions. If you are a tenant of a building, we recommend that you share this information with the building owner, building manager, or management company and ask them to consider taking these precautions.

If you have questions, please contact:

Ohio Department of Health
Bureau of Environmental Health & Radiation Protection
614) 466-1390
BEH@odh.ohio.gov

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Division of Drinking and Ground Waters
Emerging Contaminants Section
(614) 644-2752

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