DOE asks companies to self-identify hydrogen projects in database effort

Read the full story at S&P Global/Platts.

After delays, the US Department of Energy has launched its first step towards creating a national database of hydrogen projects designed to help hydrogen companies attract federal dollars from within the infrastructure bill.

Originally announced in December, the H2 Matchmaker was designed by the DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Office to gather information on planned or existing hydrogen-related projects, then present that information on an interactive map. Users will be able to see what hydrogen activities are occurring around them, as well as contact information of their hydrogen neighbors.

Indiana students demand action on climate change. Lawmakers respond with hard ‘no.’

Read the full story in the Indianapolis Star.

It’s obvious to a lot of people. To the Indiana cities that are taking steps to cut their emissions. To the Hoosier farmers who are seeing reduced crop yields from wetter springs and hotter summers. To the high school students who are scared for what their future may look like, demanding Indiana leaders make a change. 

And yet, the state legislature seems to have blinders on when it comes to climate change, according to environmental experts and advocates. 

Brands, manufacturers unveil list of ‘problematic and unnecessary materials’

Read the full story at The Hill.

More than 100 companies, organizations and government entities joined forces to unveil a “Problematic and Unnecessary Materials List” on Tuesday in an effort to accelerate the transition toward a “circular economy” for plastic packaging in the U.S.

The companies and groups, all members of the U.S. Plastic Pact, identified 11 plastic packaging items that they consider not reusable, recyclable or compostable at scale, and that they expect to be eliminated by 2025, a news release from the partners said. 

‘Big shift’: Biden moves to rewrite the rules on climate threat

Read the full story at Politico.

Among other moves, regulators are likely to press banks to prepare for the fallout from a warming planet by stepping up scrutiny of fossil fuel financing.

ILLINOIS: Sugar Camp Energy sued for PFAS in firefighting foam

Read the full story from Environment News Service.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has filed a lawsuit against Sugar Camp Energy, LLC alleging that the company violated the Illinois Environmental Protection Act by causing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, PFAS, to be discharged into waters near one of its coal mines. PFAS are also known as forever chemicals for their persistence in the environment.

The lawsuit alleges that the pollution is the result of Sugar Camp using firefighting foam containing PFAS in an attempt to extinguish an underground fire that erupted at its mine facility in August 2021.

Filed in Franklin County Circuit Court earlier this month, the lawsuit includes allegations of water pollution, creating a water pollution hazard, and discharges in violation of the limitations of the company’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, NPDES, permit.

What’s on the Biden administration’s waste and recycling to-do list in 2022

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

One year in, the administration has started work on a range of climate and environmental justice initiatives. Catch up on what’s next from the EPA on the circular economy, PFAS, funding and more.

EPA requires reporting on releases and other waste management of certain PFAS, including PFBS

As part of the comprehensive Strategic Roadmap to confront the human health and environmental risks of PFAS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced yesterday the automatic addition of four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list.

TRI data are reported to EPA annually by facilities in certain industry sectors, including federal facilities, that manufacture, process, or otherwise use TRI-listed chemicals above certain quantities. The data include quantities of such chemicals that were released into the environment or otherwise managed as waste. Information collected through the TRI allows communities to learn how facilities in their area are managing listed chemicals. The data collected also help inform EPA’s efforts to better understand the listed substances.

“We will use every tool in our toolbox to protect our communities from PFAS pollution,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff. “Requiring companies to report on how these PFAS are being managed, recycled, or released is an important part of EPA’s comprehensive plan to fill critical data gaps for these chemicals and take meaningful action to safeguard communities from PFAS.”

The Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provides the framework for adding additional PFAS to the TRI each year. For TRI Reporting Year 2022 (reporting forms due by July 1, 2023), reporting is required for four additional PFAS.

Among other provisions, section 7321(c) of the NDAA identifies certain regulatory activities that automatically add PFAS or classes of PFAS to the TRI beginning January 1 the following year, and the agency’s finalization of a toxicity value is one of the triggering actions.

In April 2021, EPA finalized a toxicity value for perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) (Chemical Abstracts Service registry number (CASRN) 375-73-5) and potassium perfluorobutane sulfonate (CASRN 29420-49-3); therefore, these substances have been added to TRI. PFBS-based compounds are replacement chemicals for PFOS, a chemical that was voluntarily phased out by the primary U.S. manufacturer by 2002. PFBS has been identified in the environment and consumer products, including surface water, wastewater, drinking water, dust, carpeting and carpet cleaners, and floor wax.

EPA previously updated the Code of Federal Regulations with PFAS that were added to the TRI on January 1, 2021, pursuant to section 7321(c) of the NDAA and their being regulated by an existing significant new use rule (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (see 40 CFR 721.10536). EPA has since determined that one additional PFAS, CASRN 65104-45-2, is designated as “active” on the TSCA Inventory and is covered by the SNUR. Therefore, this substance has also been added to the TRI pursuant to the NDAA.

Additionally, under NDAA section 7321(e), EPA must review CBI claims before adding any PFAS to the TRI list whose identity is subject to a claim of protection from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(a). EPA previously identified one PFAS, CASRN 203743-03-7, for addition to the TRI list based on the NDAA’s provision to include certain PFAS upon the NDAA’s enactment (section 7321(b)(1)); however, due to a confidential business information (CBI) claim related to its identity this PFAS was not included on the TRI list until EPA completed its review of the CBI claim. This PFAS was included in updates to the confidential status of chemicals on the TSCA Inventory published by EPA in October 2021, and thus was added to the TRI list due to the CBI declassification.

As of January 1, 2022, facilities which are subject to reporting requirements for these chemicals should start tracking their activities involving these PFAS as required by Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. Reporting forms for these PFAS will be due to EPA by July 1, 2023, for calendar year 2022 data.

EPA continues to act on Administrator Regan’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap, announced in October 2021, a plan that delivers on the agency’s mission to protect public health and the environment and answers the call for action on these persistent and dangerous chemicals. In addition to continuing to add PFAS to the TRI, EPA also will soon announce a series of PFAS test orders that will require PFAS manufacturers to provide the agency with toxicity data and information on PFAS.

Weaving Indigenous knowledge into the scientific method

Read the full story in Nature.

Scientists and funders with close links to local communities outline how Western teams can collaborate fairly and effectively with those groups.

Guster, My Morning Jacket, other musicians unite to make concert tours more sustainable

Read the full story at PBS News Hour.

From gas-guzzling tour buses to concession stands loaded with single-use plastic water bottles, concert tours aren’t exactly easy on the environment. But now, a movement to make touring more climate-friendly is empowering musicians to not only talk about issues like climate change, but actually take action. Special Correspondent Tom Casciato reports on a non-profit working to turn the music industry green.

Towards carbon neutrality: New synthesis method yields superior membrane for carbon capture and storage

Read the full story from Shibaura Institute of Technology.

Scientists develop a new method of synthesizing a promising membrane with superior performance during carbon dioxide removal from industrial emissions.