CWA Analytical Methods for Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS)

In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense, EPA is developing analytical methods to test for PFAS in wastewater as well as surface water, groundwater, leachate, soil, sediment, biosolids, and fish tissue. Forty PFAS are currently the subject of analytical method development.

Method development includes single- and multi-laboratory testing. Following single-laboratory validation, which demonstrates proof of concept, a multi-laboratory validation will be conducted to further determine method viability. EPA anticipates that multi-laboratory validation for this method will be finalized in 2021.

The heavy toll of the Black Belt’s wastewater crisis

Read the full story in the New Yorker.

Many rural households in America don’t have access to safe sewage systems. In Alabama, entrenched poverty and unusual geology have created a public-health disaster.

Penn pledges $100 million to the School District of Philadelphia

Read the full story from the University of Pennsylvania.

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, School Board President Joyce Wilkerson, and Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia William R. Hite Jr., today announced that Penn will contribute $100 million to the School District of Philadelphia, representing an unprecedented commitment to the City and its public schoolchildren. This is the largest private contribution to the School District in its history.

Penn’s $100 million contribution to the School District—$10 million annually for 10 years—will be used to remediate environmental hazards, including asbestos and lead, in our public school buildings. This funding will have an immediate impact, supplementing the ongoing efforts of the City and District, and enabling them to dramatically accelerate and expand their response to environmental concerns in our public schools.

Bowdoin Steps Forward on Renewable Energy Plan

Read the full story from Bowdoin College.

Two large energy projects Bowdoin has been pursuing this year will get the College to its goal of offsetting 100 percent of its electricity with Maine-based renewable energy.

Case Study: University Air-Travel Offset Policy

Download the document.

California State University East Bay (CSUEB) established a University Air-Travel
Offset Policy (the policy) to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from university-funded air travel. The policy went into effect on July 1, 2020. CSUEB now charges a $9 carbon fee for every air-travel round trip funded by the university or affiliate. The monies are deposited into the university’s Climate Action Plan Fund. The Campus Sustainability Committee will invest the funds in on-campus projects that reduce GHGs.

The University Air-Travel Offset Policy aims to help CSUEB meet goals laid out in its Climate
Action Plan (CAP). The CAP requires that all state-funded travel be carbon neutral or 100%
offset by 2022, and that CSUEB achieve campus carbon neutrality by 2040.

A glimmer of hope on vertebrate biodiversity

Read the full story at Cosmos.

It’s been estimated that half to two-thirds of the world’s vertebrate populations, from birds and marine animals to elephants, frogs and snakes, have declined over the past five decades.

But the true picture is somewhat more hopeful, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. These “catastrophic” numbers are driven by a small fraction of populations in extreme decline.

What could an upcycled food certification standard look like?

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

The Upcycled Food Association has published its first ever draft certification standard. It is also in the process of developing a food label for certified products, the UFA’s COO revealed.

Building resilient supply chains

Read the full story at MIT Technology Review.

In turbulent times, digital infrastructure provides insight into potential supply chain breakpoints and the agility to navigate them effectively.

1,4-Dioxane: Another forever chemical plagues drinking-water utilities

Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.

Highly miscible in water, the likely carcinogen is challenging to remove.

Regenerative Design: Beyond Sustainability Toward Circularity in the Built Environment

Read the full story at Sustainable Brands.

In order to achieve 2030 sustainability goals, company leaders must think beyond “sustainability,” and challenge built environment teams to strive for net-positive impacts, net-zero energy and zero waste.