3M fails to overturn regulators’ shutdown of PFAS production in Belgium

Read the full story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

A Belgian court has rejected 3M’s plea to overturn a recent ban on PFAS chemical production at its plant near Antwerp.

Environmental regulators for the Flemish regional government in Belgium two weeks ago ordered 3M to halt production of PFAS. It appears to be the first time any regulator globally has taken such action over the controversial class of chemicals.

U.S. and China issue joint pledge to slow climate change

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The United States and China jolted the United Nations climate summit here with a surprise announcement Wednesday, pledging the two countries would work together to slow global warming during this decade and ensure that the Glasgow talks result in meaningful progress.

COP architects furious at lack of climate justice at pivotal summit

Read the full story in Nature.

Scientists who worked on the original UN climate convention doubt that COP26 will deliver for low income countries.

From leaky windows to building codes, this is how the infrastructure bill will tackle buildings

Read the full story in Fast Company.

The bill contains $5 billion for programs addressing energy efficiency in buildings—but still doesn’t go far enough.

Plugging into ocean waves with a flexible, seaweed-like generator

Read the full story from the American Chemical Society.

Ocean waves can be powerful, containing enough energy to push around sand, pebbles and even boulders during storms. These waves, as well as smaller, more gentle ones, could be tapped as a source of renewable energy. Now, researchers have developed flexible power generators that mimic the way seaweed sways to efficiently convert surface and underwater waves into electricity to power marine-based devices.

New $90M PNNL center to focus on solving clean energy’s biggest puzzles

Read the full story in the Tri-City Herald.

Energy storage is just one piece of the clean energy puzzle that researchers will address in the new Energy Sciences Center (ESC) being dedicated at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory this week.

The danger of lead paint hazards in two HUD programs

Read the full post from the Government Accountability Office.

Lead exposure poses significant health risks—particularly to young children—because it can damage their still-developing brains and nervous systems. Prior to a 1978 ban on the use of lead in paint, lead paint was commonly used in homes. And despite this regulation and efforts to remove lead paint, there are concerns that it can still be found in federally funded housing as well as locations with higher rates of those living in poverty.

In recognition of Lead Poisoning Awareness Week, today’s WatchBlog post explores our work on the dangers of lead poisoning in two Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs—Project-Based Rental Assistance and the Housing Choice Voucher program. These programs provide rental subsidies to property owners and renters, respectively, to keep housing affordable for tenants living in poverty.  

Urban wastes used as fertilizers contain higher PFAS than livestock manure

Read the full story from the American Chemical Society.

Because of their useful surfactant properties, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been massively produced for non-stick coatings, water-repellant fabrics and firefighting foams. However, scientists have detected these highly stable ‘forever chemicals’ throughout the environment, prompting toxicity concerns. Now, researchers have characterized PFAS in contemporary and historical organic waste products applied to agricultural fields in France, finding the highest amounts in urban samples, with compounds changing over time.

The #BrandAudit2021 Report

Download the document and view the data.

Over 99% of plastic is made from fossil fuels. To truly “turn off the tap” on plastic pollution, corporations must stop producing so much plastic and keep fossil fuels in the ground.

That’s why the #breakfreefromplastic (BFFP) movement is challenging the corporations fueling both plastic pollution and the climate crisis to Reveal, Reduce, and Redesign their products now. BRANDED Volume IV: Holding Corporations Accountable for the Plastic & Climate Crisis exposes the world’s worst corporate plastic polluters that continue to produce plastic despite its harmful impact on the climate, our environment, and our future.

A Delaware vertical farm sees itself as the future of urban agriculture. Can it succeed?

Read the full story at Smart Cities Dive.

Second Chances Farm wants to employ formerly incarcerated people and make agriculture more sustainable, but it faces substantial challenges from the get-go.