PFAS Strategic Roadmap: DOE Commitments to Action 2022-2025

The PFAS Strategic Roadmap: DOE Commitments to Action 2022-2025 establishes and details the goals, objectives and steps that the Department of Energy is taking to address PFAS. Specifically, DOE commits to:

  • Research current and past uses and known or potential releases of PFAS.
  • Investigate PFAS concentrations in DOE-supplied drinking water and in the environment at DOE sites. 
  • Proactively prevent PFAS from entering air, land, and water at levels that can adversely impact human health and the environment.
  • Clean up PFAS identified contamination to protect human health and ecological systems.
  • Leverage the expertise at DOE National Laboratories to enhance PFAS research.
  • Support inter-agency and cross-sector collaboration to identify and employ promising technologies.
  • Provide clear and credible information to our employees, local communities, and regulators.
  • Engage with stakeholders to help inform an effective Departmental PFAS strategy.

The Department is finalizing an initial assessment report that will summarize the results of a preliminary evaluation of known historic or current PFAS uses, PFAS occurrence in the environment, and regulatory and stakeholder interactions at DOE program sites.

EPA announces initial availability of $11 million for technical assistance centers to support underserved communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the availability of $11 million in initial grant funding to establish Environmental Justice (EJ) Thriving Community Technical Assistance Centers across the nation. The EPA funding is available under the first year of a partnership with the Department of Energy, with future phases of up to 10 multi-year awards for a maximum potential program value of $50 million.

The Centers will provide an unprecedented level of support to help ensure that federal resources are equitably distributed and meet the on-the-ground environmental justice challenges that communities have faced for generations.

“Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, EPA is making historic investments in our nation’s infrastructure, making it all the more crucial to support the communities that need the most help accessing this funding,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This grant funding will fill a critical gap to support underserved communities disproportionately harmed by pollution and break down barriers to federal resources.”

The Centers will provide technical assistance, training, and capacity-building support to communities with environmental justice concerns and their partners. They will also assist with navigating federal systems such as Grants.gov and SAM.gov, effectively managing and leveraging grant funding, and translation and interpretation services for limited English-speaking participants. The initial $11 million in grant funding is being provided by EPA.

The support provided will focus on building community-centered collaborations through meaningful engagement, guidance on accessing other forms of support and technical assistance across the federal government, and assistance with writing grant proposals. This program will coordinate with and complement the Department of Transportation’s Thriving Communities Initiative that provides technical assistance and capacity building resources to improve and foster thriving communities through transportation improvements. 

This opportunity is available to public and private universities and colleges; public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations; and collaborating tribal governments. Applications are due on October 4, 2022. Awards will be issued as cooperative agreements and EPA will be substantially involved in the operation of the centers. 

Meat has a big carbon footprint. The Inflation Reduction Act ignores it.

Read the full story at Vox.

The historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), signed into law by President Joe Biden today, will drastically reduce America’s carbon footprint over the next decade, chiefly through speeding the deployment of hundreds of gigawatts of clean energy. It’s the most ambitious climate legislation ever enacted in the US.

But the law will do little to cut emissions from agriculture, one of the most neglected sources of the greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide.

How do we measure community disaster resilience?

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

In a new study, retired Illinois State Water Survey engineer Sally McConkey and Eric R. Larson, a professor of natural resources and environmental sciences at the U. of I., examined the metrics used at a county scale for national assessments to determine whether communities are prepared to withstand and recover from natural disasters such as floods and fires. McConkey spoke to News Bureau life sciences editor Diana Yates about what they found.

Using CO2 to create carbon-negative chemicals

Read the full story at Azo Cleantech.

AZoCleantech speaks to Dr. Melis Duyar from the University of Surrey about their contribution to clean technology research. Duyar has worked with her team to develop materials and processes to capture carbon dioxide, perform a chemical transformation of the captured carbon dioxide with hydrogen, and release the final product, which would be a carbon negative chemical.

Researchers race to understand what lies beneath the Great Lakes

Read the full story at Bridge Michigan.

Scientists say we have more robust data about the surface of Mars than the floor of the Great Lakes. A new effort spearheaded by academics and government aims to map the entire Great Lakes lakebed. Experts say the data is crucial to understanding the lakes, particularly as climate change and other threats bring rapid changes.

Behemoths and B Corps: Multinationals’ role in the stakeholder economy

Read the full story at Sustainable Brands.

Several global brands have now achieved B Corp certification, leading some to criticize certifier B Lab for abandoning its original mission: Making business a force for good. But, as advocates point out, welcoming multinationals into the B Corp family is a logical step in scaling systemic change.

Gavan’s zero waste continuous extraction platform: ‘No part of the plant is left out’

Read the full story at Food Navigator USA.

Israeli start-up Gavan Technologies has developed a novel continuous extraction method that utilises the entire plant. FoodNavigator caught up with CEO Itai Cohen to learn more.

Zero Acre Farms unveils ‘cultured oil’ boasting high smoke point and ‘clean, neutral taste’

Read the full story from Food Navigator USA.

Bay area startup Zero Acre Farms – which is deploying microbial fermentation to produce oils and fats it claims can outperform rivals in the nutrition and sustainability stakes – has launched direct to consumer with a ‘cultured’ cooking oil boasting a 485˚F smoke point, ‘clean, neutral taste,’ ultra-high levels of healthy monounsaturated fat and under 3% linoleic acid (omega-6).

City-university partnerships are a win-win. Here’s how they can best work together to fight climate change and adopt new tech.

Read the full story at Business Insider.

When cities work together with local universities, they can achieve more than they could alone. Colleges have knowledge, expertise, and research capabilities to tackle issues like climate change. They also sometimes bring funding to the table, which can help when city budgets are stretched thin.

This article is part of a series focused on American cities building a better tomorrow called “Advancing Cities.”