Biden administration to curb toxic wastewater from coal plants with new rule

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday it will set stricter requirements for how coal-fired power plants dispose of wastewater full of arsenic, lead and mercury — a major source of toxic water pollution for rivers and streams near electric generators across the country, from Wyoming to Pennsylvania.

In a new rulemaking process kicked off Monday, President Biden’s team is aiming to undo one of the Trump administration’s major regulatory rollbacks. Last year, the Trump EPA watered down rules forcing many coal plants to treat wastewater with modern filtration methods and other technology before it reached waterways that provide drinking water for thousands of Americans.

Opinion: Research ‘should benefit society, not shareholders’

Read the full story at Research Information.

Publishers’ power in the research ecosystem must be tackled on a sector-wide basis, writes Silke Machold

Europe unveils plan to shift from fossil fuels, setting up potential trade spats

Read the full story in the New York Times.

The proposal would impose tariffs on some imports from countries with looser environmental rules. It would also mean the end of sales in the European Union of new gas- and diesel-powered cars in just 14 years.

EPA proposes recordkeeping requirements for PFAS, seeks comment

Read the full story from the American Coatings Association.

On June 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection agency posted its proposed Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements for Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA will use submitted information to inform assessments of new and existing chemicals, drinking water restrictions and other regulatory initiatives related to PFAS.

EPA will accept comments through Aug. 27, 2021. EPA also recommends filing comments about data collection requirements by July 28, 2021, to assure consideration by the Office of Management and Budget. EPA is proposing to require persons that manufacture (including import) or have manufactured these chemical substances in any year since Jan. 1, 2011, to electronically report information regarding PFAS uses, production volumes, disposal, exposures, and hazards. Reportable information is any responsive information that is known to or reasonably ascertainable by the company. Companies would also be required to make reasonable estimates of measurements, monitoring or other data when not available.

What does it take to make a car truly circular?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Creating a platform for all the players in the automotive supply chain that relies on field knowledge, partnerships, funding and creativity to develop the technologies and business models of the car of the future, as well as eliminate emissions from its use and production. This is the central goal of the Circular Cars Initiative (CCI), a collaboration between the private and public sectors to reinvent the field and prepare it for a climate scenario with an increment of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

‘Sustainability is a must-have rather than a differentiator’: Kerry points to rising wave of sustainably-minded consumers

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

Taste and nutrition company Kerry has conducted new research into consumer expectations around sustainability in the food and beverage sector. The ‘really surprising results’ are in: Consumers ‘positioned sustainability as a must-have rather than a differentiator’.

Waste not? Some states are sending less food to landfills

Read the full story at Stateline.

At least eight states, all in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic except California, have laws requiring some reprocessing of food waste, to keep it out of landfills and cut down on greenhouse gases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Too few companies advocate for climate-friendly policies despite lofty goals: report

Read the full story at Smart Cities Dive.

Of the United States’ top 100 companies, only 40% lobby lawmakers at the state and federal level for climate-friendly legislation despite setting lofty sustainability goals, according to a new report.

Seventy-six percent of companies have said publicly they believe in climate science and 92% have said they plan to make their operations greener with sustainability and emissions reduction goals, according to a report released Tuesday by sustainability nonprofit Ceres. Meanwhile, 20 of the companies have lobbied against climate-friendly policies in the last five years, according to Ceres, 17 of which had set emissions reduction targets of their own.

And of those surveyed, 51% see policies and legislation that look to address climate change as a short-term financial risk, even as 74% say they believe climate change will threaten their assets long-term. Ceres said the short-term concerns show that companies are still too focused on the near-term impacts and not on the “systemic impact of climate change.”

Boulder County launches innovative pilot to reduce packaging pollution

Read the news release at Waste360.

With support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Boulder County has launched a pilot program to decrease environmental impacts associated with food and beverage packaging. The Boulder County Food & Beverage Pollution-Reduced Packaging Pilot will support manufacturers as they transition to pollution-reduced and sustainable packaging formats.

Biden has a plan to remove some freeways. Will it make cities more healthy?

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

Mandela Parkway, a four-lane boulevard enhanced by a median with trees and a curving footpath, stretches along a 24-block section of West Oakland. It’s the fruit of a grassroots neighborhood campaign to block reconstruction of an elevated freeway leveled by the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 and reimagine the thoroughfare to replace it.

Since the parkway’s 2005 completion, 168 units of affordable housing have sprung up along its route. The air is measurably freer of pollutants than it was when the Cypress Freeway ran through the area.

federal report heralded the project as the type of socially minded renovation that can make appropriate, if partial, amends for the devastation wrought on low-income neighborhoods by the freeway-building boom of earlier decades.