2017 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Awards Open for Nominations

The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable is accepting nominees for the 2017 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) Awards. The MVP2 awards are presented annually during National Pollution Prevention Week.  National Pollution Prevention Week is the third week of September, September 18th – 25th, 2017.

Awards are presented in seven categories, Project/Program, Best Multimedia, Champion, Ambassador, Volunteer, Educator and Student of the Year.

The MVP2 Project/Program, P2 Champion, and Best P2 Multimedia are open to all levels of government, industry, small business, non-profit, and academia.

The awards are designed to recognize outstanding and innovative P2 projects/programs. As in years past, awards are judged on the following five broad criteria: innovation, measurable results, transferability, commitment, and optimization of available project resources.

The deadline for applications has been extended to Friday September 8th, 2017

Information on past recipients and this year’s application are available at www.p2.org.

Southern Environmental Law Center Calls for Submissions for Phil Reed Environmental Writing Awards

The Southern Environmental Law Center is now accepting submissions for the 2018 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Awards. Nominations are welcome from anyone, including readers, authors, and publishers.

Presented each year during the Virginia Festival of the Book, the Reed Awards recognize outstanding writing on the southern environment in two categories: Book, for works of nonfiction (not self-published) and Journalism, for newspaper, magazine, and online writing published by a recognized institution (e.g. a news organization, university or nonprofit group).

  • All submissions must have been published between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017.
  • Submissions must relate to the natural environment in at least one of the following states: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee or Virginia.
  • Submissions are due October 1, 2017, at  SouthernEnvironment.org/submit.
  • Journalism entries must be at least 3,000 words.

There are three options for submitting entries: electronic copy, hard copy, or a website link where the submission is available for sale. Hard copy submissions will not be returned.

The Reed Award celebrates writers who achieve both literary excellence and extraordinary insight into the South’s natural heritage. Past winners exemplify the quality and diversity of contemporary environmental writing. They include:

    • Eminent biologist and Alabama native E.O. Wilson, the “father of biodiversity” and a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner;
    • Veteran environmental journalists Charles Seabrook, a longtime contributor to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and Ben Raines, an accomplished filmmaker as well as an award-winning reporter on the Gulf Coast;
    • Writer, poet, and NPR commentator Janisse Ray, author of the celebrated Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, a New York Times Notable Book and the winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award;
    • University of the South forest biologist David Haskell, a Guggenheim Fellow, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and winner of the National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature; and
    •  Author Deborah Cramer, visiting scholar at MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative, whose books on the sea have won awards from the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Academy of Sciences.

As in past years, the winners will be selected by a distinguished panel of judges that includes leading environmental writers, journalists, and advocates. The awards honor the late Phillip D. Reed, a distinguished attorney, a committed environmental activist, and a founding trustee of SELC.

Please contact Chris Reiter, Reed Award Coordinator, at creiter@selcva.org, or 434-977-4090 for any additional questions.

Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge

The Nutrient Sensor Action Challenge builds upon the 2014 Nutrient Sensor Challenge, which helped develop affordable, high-performing, continuous nutrient sensors and analyzers. The 2017 challenge calls for demonstrations showing:

1) the effective use of low-cost continuous sensors,

2) innovative partnerships to pilot the sensors and manage data, and

3) how collected information can be used in state and local decision-making

By building successful strategies for incorporating nutrient sensors into existing water monitoring efforts, the Challenge can help states and local communities overcome barriers to preventing and reducing nutrient pollution.

Stage 1 – closes September 20, 2017

In Stage 1, teams will submit action plans describing an approach for sensor deployment and use, and how they will meet challenge goals.

The plans will be judged and up to 5 winning applications will be selected. The top entries will be awarded cash prizes totaling $50,000 and invited to participate in Stage 2.

Stage 2 – Spring 2018

In Stage 2 of the Challenge, teams will deploy the sensors and collect data as they compete for a share in $100,000 in prizes.

2017 Champions of Toxics Use Reduction Recognized at State House

Read the full story from the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute.

State legislators joined the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) program to recognize 2017 Champions of Toxics Use Reduction at the Massachusetts State House. The annual event recognizes outstanding leaders who are making the Commonwealth a safer place to live and work. For details about the winners, visit the TURI web site.

EPA Announces Student Award Winners

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the winners of the 2016 President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA). The program recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects by K-12 youth. These students demonstrate the initiative, creativity, and applied problem-solving skills needed to tackle environmental problems and find sustainable solutions.

Fifteen projects are being recognized this year, from 13 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

“Today, we are pleased to honor these impressive young leaders, who demonstrate the impact that a few individuals can make to protect our environment,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These students are empowering their peers, educating their communities, and demonstrating the STEM skills needed for this country to thrive in the global economy.”

Each year the PEYA program honors environmental awareness projects developed by young individuals, school classes (kindergarten through high school), summer camps, public interest groups and youth organizations.

This year’s PEYA winners conducted a wide range of activities, such as:

  • developing a biodegradable plastic using local agricultural waste product;
  • designing an efficient, environmentally friendly mosquito trap using solar power and compost by-product;
  • saving approximately 2,000 tadpoles to raise adult frogs and toads;
  • implementing a hydroponics and aquaculture project in a high school;
  • repurposing over 25,000 books;
  • creating an environmental news YouTube channel;
  • organizing recycling programs to benefit disaster victims and underserved community members;
  • reclaiming and repurposing over 4,000 discarded pencils within their school;
  • promoting food waste reduction;
  • creating a small, portable tool to prevent air strikes of migratory birds;
  • engaging their community in a program to save a threatened bird, the Western Snowy Plover;
  • testing grey water to encourage water conservation;
  • promoting bee health;
  • uniting their schools to address local environmental issues.

The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States has joined with EPA to recognize young people for protecting our nation’s air, water, land and ecology. It is one of the most important ways EPA and the Administration demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation’s youth.

For information on environmental education at EPA, visit:
https://www.epa.gov/education.

EPA Honors Winners of the 2017 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn potential environmental issues into business opportunities, spurring innovation and economic development.

“We congratulate those who bring innovative solutions that will help solve problems and help American businesses,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These innovations encourage smart and safe practices, while cutting manufacturing costs and sparking investments. Ultimately, these manufacturing processes and products spur economic growth and are safer for health and the environment.”

The Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners will be honored on June 12 at a ceremony in Washington, DC. The winners and their innovative technologies are:

  • Professor Eric Schelter, University of Pennsylvania, for developing a simple, fast, and low-cost technology to help recycle mixtures of rare earth elements. Reducing the costs to recover these materials creates economic opportunity by turning a waste stream, currently only recycled at a rate of 1%, into a potential revenue stream. About 17,000 metric tons of rare earth oxides are used in the U.S. annually in materials such as wind turbines, catalysts, lighting phosphors, electric motors, batteries, cell phones, and many others. Mining, refining, and purification of rare earths are extraordinarily energy and waste intensive and carry a significant environmental burden.
  • Dow Chemical Company, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, in partnership with Papierfabrik August Koehler SE, Germany, for developing a thermal printing paper that eliminates the need for chemicals used to create an image, such as bisphenol A (BPA) or bisphenol S (BPS). Thermal paper is used broadly throughout the world for cash register receipts, tickets, tags, and labels. This technology reduces costs by creating records that do not fade, even under severe sunlight, allowing the original document to be preserved for long term storage. The paper is compatible with thermal printers currently in commercial use around the world.
  • Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey, for successfully applying green chemistry design principles to Letermovir, an antiviral drug candidate, that is currently in phase III clinical trials. The improvements to the way the drug is made, including use of a better chemical catalyst, increases the overall yield by more than 60%, reduces raw material costs by 93%, and reduces water usage by 90%.
  • Amgen Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, in partnership with Bachem, Switzerland, for improving the process used to manufacture the active ingredient in ParsabivTM, a drug for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism in adult patients with chronic kidney disease. This improved peptide manufacturing process reduces chemical solvent use by 71%, manufacturing operating time by 56%, and manufacturing cost by 76%. These innovations could increase profits and eliminate 1,440 cubic meters of waste or more, including over 750 cubic meters of aqueous waste annually.
  • UniEnergy Technologies, LLC (UET), Mukilteo, Washington, in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), for an advanced vanadium redox flow battery, originally developed at the PNNL and commercialized by UET. The battery, when used by utility, commercial and industrial customers, allows cities and businesses more access to stored energy. It also lasts longer and works in a broad temperature range with one-fifth the footprint of previous flow battery technologies. The electrolyte is water-based and does not degrade, and the batteries are non-flammable and recyclable, thus helping meet the increasing demand of electrical energy storage in the electrical power market, from generation, transmission, and distribution to the end users of electricity.

During the 22 years of the program, EPA has received more than 1600 nominations and presented awards to 114 technologies that spur economic growth, reduce costs, and decrease waste. The agency estimates winning technologies are responsible for annually reducing the use or generation of more than 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals, saving 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminating 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent releases to air.

An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute formally judged the 2017 submissions from among scores of nominated technologies and made recommendations to EPA for the 2017 winners. The 2017 awards event will be held in conjunction with the 21st Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference.

More information: www.epa.gov/greenchemistry

CDC’s Tracking Network Enviro Health App Challenge Still Accepting Submissions

You may already know that CDC is crowd sourcing innovators to use the Tracking Network and its API (Application Program Interface) to create easy-to-use software applications that will track environmental and/or health data indicators, monitor trends, provide access to data, educate the public, identify at-risk populations, and/or expose potential health hazards through the Enviro Health App Challenge. What you may not realize is the submission deadline is drawing near. CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Program is still accepting submissions for the app challenge until June 23, 2017.

Successful challenge submissions are eligible for the following prize awards: