EPA issues final list of contaminants for potential regulatory consideration in drinking water, significantly increases PFAS chemicals for review

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Final Fifth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 5), which will serve as the basis for EPA’s regulatory considerations over the next five-year cycle under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This update includes a substantial expansion of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), an important first step towards identifying additional PFAS that may require regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

“Following public engagement and robust scientific review, the final contaminant candidate list is the latest milestone in our regulatory efforts to ensure safe, clean drinking water for all communities,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “As EPA takes action to protect public health and the environment from PFAS, including proposing the first nationwide drinking water standards later this year, today’s final CCL 5 looks further forward to consider additional protective steps for these forever chemicals.”

A year ago, EPA published the PFAS Strategic Roadmap, outlining an Agency-wide approach to addressing PFAS in the environment. Today’s announcement strengthens EPA’s commitment to protect public health from impacts of PFAS and support the Agency’s decision-making for potential future regulations of PFAS.

In addition to a group of PFAS, the Final CCL 5 includes 66 individually listed chemicals, two additional chemical groups (cyanotoxins and disinfection byproducts (DBPs)), and 12 microbes.

In developing the Final CCL 5, EPA requested public nominations, providing an opportunity for people to make recommendations to the Agency about specific contaminants of concern that may disproportionally affect their local community. EPA further enhanced the CCL process based on comments received on this CCL and previous CCLs, including by prioritizing data most relevant to drinking water exposure, improving considerations of sensitive populations including children, and considering the recommendations included in the Review of the EPA’s Draft Fifth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 5) report from the Science Advisory Board. These improvements resulted in a Final CCL 5 that can better inform prioritization of contaminants for potential regulatory actions and/or research efforts.

More information on the final Fifth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 5).

A Glaring Absence: The Climate Crisis Is Virtually Nonexistent in Scripted Entertainment

Download the document from the USC Norman Lear Center Media Impact Project.

In 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that climate change is now accelerating faster than we can adapt to
it. Despite its long history of being politicized in the United States, research suggests a large majority of Americans are concerned about climate change, and this concern is increasing.

Entertainment narratives have the power to shape our understanding of the world around us and mobilize us to take action. Research has examined the prevalence and impact of a wide range of health and social issues in scripted entertainment (e.g., immigration, criminal justice, gun safety), but little is known about how often climate change is acknowledged, nor the extent
to which entertainment audiences are interested in these kinds of portrayals. To address this gap, the USC Norman Lear Center’s Media Impact Project (MIP) conducted a research project with support from Good Energy, a story consultancy for the age of climate change.

See also: Good Energy: A Playbook for Screenwriting in the Age of Climate Change

‘Water batteries’ could store solar and wind power for when it’s needed

Read the full story from NPR.

The San Diego County Water Authority has an unusual plan to use the city’s scenic San Vicente Reservoir to store solar power so it’s available after sunset. The project, and others like it, could help unlock America’s clean energy future.

Perhaps a decade from now, if all goes smoothly, large underground pipes will connect this lake to a new reservoir, a much smaller one, built in a nearby canyon about 1100 feet higher in elevation. When the sun is high in the sky, California’s abundant solar power will pump water into that upper reservoir.

It’s a way to store the electricity. When the sun goes down and solar power disappears, operators would open a valve and the force of 8 million tons of water, falling back downhill through those same pipes, would drive turbines capable of generating 500 megawatts of electricity for up to eight hours. That’s enough to power 130,000 typical homes.

The next frontier for climate action is the great indoors

Read the full story from Vox.

Millions of Americans are still reliant on gas combustion for their furnaces, water heaters, clothes dryers, fireplaces, stoves, and ovens, not realizing the pollution they create both indoors and outdoors because of it.

“Many of us are basically running mini fossil fuel plants,” said Leah Stokes, a political scientist at the University of California Santa Barbara and senior adviser to the climate advocacy group Evergreen Action.

There are over 200 million of these “mini fossil fuel plants” throughout the country — all heaters, clothes dryers, and stoves that run on oil and gas, according to research from Rewiring America. Replacing all of these isn’t an easy thing to imagine or do. But a growing number of advocates argue it’s past time to try.

Bunge and Olleco create ‘full-lifecycle’ oils business for sustainability and energy security

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

Plant-based oil producer Bunge is launching a joint venture alongside Olleco, the cooking oils collection division of ABP Food. The companies plan to collaborate to create a business model that encompasses the ‘full life-cycle’ of edible oils.

The Plastic Reality Project: Taking on plastic pollution at a global and local level

Read the full story from Food Navigator.

Environmental finance provider RePurpose Global has launched the Plastic Reality Project, a first of its kind initiative dedicated to ‘upskilling’ corporate leaders with ‘knowledge and experiences’ to help shape their plastic reduction efforts. Hot on the heels of a week-long expedition to India with business leaders from the likes of Coca Cola Co and Target, we caught up with rePurpose co-founder and Chief Advocacy Officer Peter Wang Hjemdahl to find out about the key learnings.

Oregon State, U.S. Dept. of Energy researchers take key step toward big gains in plastics recycling

Read the full story from Oregon State University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Researchers including an Oregon State University College of Engineering faculty member have taken a key step toward greatly expanding the range of plastics that can be recycled.

The findings, published today in Science, are important because plastic waste is a massive problem both globally and in the United States, where only about 5% of used plastic is recycled, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which led the study.

Loryma creates food spray adhesive to reduce food waste

Read the full story at Food Ingredients First.

Loryma launches Lory Starch Opal, a spray-on adhesive for seeds and other decorative food seasonings. The spray is made from pregelatinized wheat starch with a focus on solubility to ease its ability to be sprayed on.

The spray design makes for a hygienic application, as the typical methods of using brushes or immersion baths do not contact the dough. The product can be sprayed onto baked goods for boutique creators or used at high volumes for industrial production.

Wind wars: Wind turbines put green energy on the ballot in mid-Michigan

Read the full story at Bridge Michigan.

Wind and solar farms are expanding in Michigan to decrease reliance on carbon fuels. They are often sited on farms. Opponents fear wind turbines will lower property values or cause health problems. Michigan’s utility companies and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have ambitious wind and solar energy goals.

Oakland tests electric transit buses for resilience in vehicle-to-building pilot

Read the full story at Smart Cities Dive.

The city of Oakland, California, will be the site of a vehicle-to-building pilot analyzing how zero-emission transit buses can maintain critical loads during emergency conditions, project participants announced Tuesday.

Funded by the California Energy Commission, the “powerhouse green energy project team” involves the city, Oakland-based public transit agency AC Transit, the Center for Transportation and the Environment, The Mobility House, New Flyer, Schneider Electric, and the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, or WOEIP.