Webinar: PFAS Technical Support and Scientific Advancements

Aug 18, 2021 2-3 pm CDT
Register here.

The versatility of the family of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for use in many
industrial and manufacturing applications as well as consumer products has led to thousands of PFAS
compounds being used for decades. These substances are highly persistent, difficult to break down, and bioaccumulate in living organisms over time. There are significant scientific challenges to understanding their distribution in the environment. Foremost is the lack of accredited laboratory methods to measure the presence for all but a relatively few of the PFAS that are in use.

Research chemists in EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) have pioneered non-targeted
analytical methods (NTA) to identify the presence of a much larger number of PFAS compounds in environmental samples beyond the 30 or so that can be currently quantitated.

This webinar shares examples of EPA ORD projects conducted in collaboration with and designed by States and Tribes to use ORD’s expertise to identify and improve the understanding of what PFAS are present within various media in local areas of concern. Projects range from environmental sampling around manufacturing facilities to evaluation of the effectiveness of well and wastewater treatment.

All you need to know about Tokyo 2020 sustainability

Read the full story from the International Olympic Committee.

From the hydrogen-powered cauldron to medals made from recycled mobile phones, from gender balance to the first official Pride House, the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 are blazing a trail for the future. Here’s everything you need to know about how Tokyo 2020 is helping build a better, more sustainable world through sport.

Instead of braving the river, these endangered salmon take the highway

Read the full story at Phys.org.

Billions of dollars have been spent over the last four decades to save Snake River salmon by restoring streams, relocating sea lions and other predators, building hatcheries and helping fish get past dams. But those efforts increasingly look futile.

As heat waves become more common and river temperatures rise, few fish complete the treacherous journey from the Pacific Ocean through eight dams to their spawning grounds in southern Idaho—a 900-mile trip up the Columbia and Snake rivers and their tributaries.

Hoping to avert disaster amid record July heat, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration authorized an emergency plan to help the sockeye skip the final 300 miles of their migration.

Test Your Well Water Act introduced

Read the full story in Water Quality Products.

The tool aims to promote transparency and modernize access to EPA resources in an effort to educate Americans about their drinking water.

France passes climate law, but critics say it falls short

Read the full story in the New York Times.

The law bans some short flights, requires more vegetarian school meals and curbs wasteful plastic packaging. But activists say it’s not enough.

Webinar: Chemical and biological approaches for plastics upcycling

Oct 14, 2021 noon-1 pm
Register here.

The accumulation of plastics waste in landfills and in the natural environment is creating a global pollution crisis. Moreover, current mechanical recycling approaches do not typically incentivize the reclamation of many waste plastics, and mechanical recycling is not universally applicable to all synthetic polymers. To that end, the research community is developing additional approaches that harness biological and chemical catalysis approaches to deconstruct plastics to processable intermediates and convert them into the same plastics or other products – namely chemical recycling. This talk will cover development efforts for selective approaches that use biological and chemical catalysis for plastics deconstruction and upcycling. Discussion and examples of techno-economic analysis and life-cycle assessment applied to chemical recycling scenarios will also be highlighted, both of which are essential tools to enable realistic solutions to this global pollution challenge.

About the speaker

Gregg Beckham is a Senior Research Fellow and Group Leader at NREL. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering at MIT in 2007. He currently leads and works with an interdisciplinary team of biologists, chemists, and engineers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on green processes and products using chemistry and biology, including in the areas of biomass conversion and plastics upcycling.

People dumped their pets into lakes, officials say. Now football-size goldfish are taking over.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The invasion begins innocently enough: A goldfish paddles the secluded waters of an at-home aquarium, minding its own business, disturbing no native habitats.

The real trouble comes later, when the human who put it there decides it’s time for a change. Not wanting to hurt the fish, but not wanting to keep it either, the pet’s owner decides to release it into a local lake, pond or waterway. That decision, experts say, is well-meaning but misguided — and potentially harmful.

Officials in Burnsville, a city about 15 miles south of Minneapolis, demonstrated why late last week, when they shared photographs of several massive goldfish that were recovered from a local lake. The discarded pets can swell and wreak havoc, the city warned.

Google’s new cloud computing tool helps you pick the greenest data centers

Read the full story at ZDNet.

In another bid to make cloud computing eco-friendlier, Google has created a new tool to push customers who are picking their next cloud region towards choosing infrastructure that is more sustainable.

When users browse through their options to manage cloud resources, Google will flag regions that have the lowest carbon impact highlighted with a leaf symbol and a “Lowest CO2” label.

Webinar: Biosolids – Challenges and opportunities for the 21st century

Sep 30, 2021 noon-1pm
Register here.

As climate change mitigation, improved soil health, and a circular economy become key policy drivers the benefits of biosolids and their role in meeting policy objectives are gaining recognition. Obstacles remain however which must be met directly. This presentation will present an update on key legislation in California and how it impacts biosolids use there. Key US federal and European Union updates on biosolids issues will also be provided.

About the speaker

Greg serves as both the technical and programmatic contact for CASA members and conduit for emerging issues on the state and federal levels on all biosolids, renewable energy, recycled water, and related issues. He works closely with local, state and federal authorities as well as the private sector on biosolids management, climate change mitigation, energy optimization, and all management options. He is the lead conduit of information for emerging technologies and markets for biosolids management and renewable energy opportunities.

Prior to joining CASA, Greg served as the state biosolids coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He represented all states in the nation, by their election, to USEPA on all biosolids issues. He served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee which evaluated federal biosolids regulations and produced the 2002 report: Biosolids Applied to Land: Advancing Standards and Practices.

Prior to earning his engineering degree, Greg drove an 18 wheel tractor-tanker for 10 years, delivering liquid biosolids to agricultural fields for land application through direct injection. This affords him a holistic view of all sides of the biosolids program.

This seminar is a certified green event by the University of Illinois’ Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.

What’s needed to close the climate finance gap

Read the full story from GreenBiz.

At the close of the G7 Summit earlier in June, the leadership of the Group of Seven departed Cornwall with a clear mandate to “build back better.” Specifically, wealthy nations are attempting to navigate both the ongoing turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-present reality of the climate crisis. In doing so, they must confront certain core aspects of these crises, and the approaches that they take set an important precedent for the COP26 summit in November.

Here is a deeper look at $100 billion that wealthy nations have promised to less-developed economies. As we explain, the challenge has not only been getting wealthy nations to commit their share to this sum, but also in delivering this aid so that it can be effective.