Category: Events

Webinar: PFAS Technical Support and Scientific Advancements

Aug 18, 2021 2-3 pm CDT
Register here.

The versatility of the family of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for use in many
industrial and manufacturing applications as well as consumer products has led to thousands of PFAS
compounds being used for decades. These substances are highly persistent, difficult to break down, and bioaccumulate in living organisms over time. There are significant scientific challenges to understanding their distribution in the environment. Foremost is the lack of accredited laboratory methods to measure the presence for all but a relatively few of the PFAS that are in use.

Research chemists in EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) have pioneered non-targeted
analytical methods (NTA) to identify the presence of a much larger number of PFAS compounds in environmental samples beyond the 30 or so that can be currently quantitated.

This webinar shares examples of EPA ORD projects conducted in collaboration with and designed by States and Tribes to use ORD’s expertise to identify and improve the understanding of what PFAS are present within various media in local areas of concern. Projects range from environmental sampling around manufacturing facilities to evaluation of the effectiveness of well and wastewater treatment.

Webinar: Chemical and biological approaches for plastics upcycling

Oct 14, 2021 noon-1 pm
Register here.

The accumulation of plastics waste in landfills and in the natural environment is creating a global pollution crisis. Moreover, current mechanical recycling approaches do not typically incentivize the reclamation of many waste plastics, and mechanical recycling is not universally applicable to all synthetic polymers. To that end, the research community is developing additional approaches that harness biological and chemical catalysis approaches to deconstruct plastics to processable intermediates and convert them into the same plastics or other products – namely chemical recycling. This talk will cover development efforts for selective approaches that use biological and chemical catalysis for plastics deconstruction and upcycling. Discussion and examples of techno-economic analysis and life-cycle assessment applied to chemical recycling scenarios will also be highlighted, both of which are essential tools to enable realistic solutions to this global pollution challenge.

About the speaker

Gregg Beckham is a Senior Research Fellow and Group Leader at NREL. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering at MIT in 2007. He currently leads and works with an interdisciplinary team of biologists, chemists, and engineers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on green processes and products using chemistry and biology, including in the areas of biomass conversion and plastics upcycling.

Webinar: Biosolids – Challenges and opportunities for the 21st century

Sep 30, 2021 noon-1pm
Register here.

As climate change mitigation, improved soil health, and a circular economy become key policy drivers the benefits of biosolids and their role in meeting policy objectives are gaining recognition. Obstacles remain however which must be met directly. This presentation will present an update on key legislation in California and how it impacts biosolids use there. Key US federal and European Union updates on biosolids issues will also be provided.

About the speaker

Greg serves as both the technical and programmatic contact for CASA members and conduit for emerging issues on the state and federal levels on all biosolids, renewable energy, recycled water, and related issues. He works closely with local, state and federal authorities as well as the private sector on biosolids management, climate change mitigation, energy optimization, and all management options. He is the lead conduit of information for emerging technologies and markets for biosolids management and renewable energy opportunities.

Prior to joining CASA, Greg served as the state biosolids coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He represented all states in the nation, by their election, to USEPA on all biosolids issues. He served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee which evaluated federal biosolids regulations and produced the 2002 report: Biosolids Applied to Land: Advancing Standards and Practices.

Prior to earning his engineering degree, Greg drove an 18 wheel tractor-tanker for 10 years, delivering liquid biosolids to agricultural fields for land application through direct injection. This affords him a holistic view of all sides of the biosolids program.

This seminar is a certified green event by the University of Illinois’ Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.

Webinar: Systems‐level strategies for development and integration of novel CO2 capture and utilization technologies

Sep 16, 2021 noon-1 pm CDT
Register here.

Carbon dioxide capture and utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) comprises both the large‐scale capture of CO2 (via direct capture from air, ocean, or point sources), functional utilization of concentrated CO2 for the production of value‐added products, and long term sequestration. A wide range of products ranging from low to high value can be generated from CO2 through CCU, but these products come at an energy price, and not all products will achieve net negative emissions (for example, conversion of fossil CO2 to liquid fuels). Selecting optimal combinations of capture, conversion technologies and target products or geologic sequestration, and then coupling these technologies with CO2 sources and the necessary energy infrastructure is an enormous challenge that has gone largely unaddressed. In this study, we develop system‐wide strategies for CCUS technologies that can offer negative emissions at meaningful scales. We apply techno‐economic analysis (TEA) and life cycle assessment (LCA) to help identify emerging negative emissions technologies that can be implemented to capture CO2 from various dilute sources (air, ocean, other biogenic sources), as well as to understand potential technological bottlenecks in capture, utilization, and sequestration of these streams. We focus on those that are emerging from research efforts within the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (e.g., use of electrochemical methods for CO2 conversion, novel CO2 sorbents, such as metal organic frameworks, MOFs, and sequestration in basalt formations).

About the speaker

Dr. Hanna Breunig is a Research Scientist and Deputy Leader in the Sustainable Energy and Environmental Systems Department at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She holds a secondary joint appointment in the Climate and Ecosystem Science Division. Hanna specializes in systems analysis of early stage energy, water, and waste technologies. These include waste‐to‐energy/resource systems, circular economy, bioenergy, brine management, and gas (H2, CO2, CH4) capture, utilization, and storage
technologies. She holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley.

Webinar: Agriculture Impacts in the Illinois Climate Assessment

Aug 3, 2021 10-11 am CDT
Register here.

The climate in Illinois is changing rapidly. Illinois is already warmer and wetter than it was a century ago, and climate change will continue to drive rapid changes across the state. A new report from The Nature Conservancy – the first-ever comprehensive climate assessment for Illinois – details these changes, projects how temperature, precipitation, and extreme weather are expected to change, and explores how the state’s agriculture sector is likely to be affected by climate change.  

In this webinar, leading climate experts and Illinois scientists will discuss the results of the new report. Learn how predicted changes could affect Illinois agriculture & producers, including impacts to hydrology and public health.

Sharing key takeaways from the assessment will be:  Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford; Jim Angel, former Illinois State Climatologist and co-author of the climate report; and Elena Grossman, Research Specialist, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health.

Webinar: Agriculture Impacts in the Illinois Climate Assessment

Aug 3, 2021 10-11 am
Register here.

The climate in Illinois is changing rapidly. Illinois is already warmer and wetter than it was a century ago, and climate change will continue to drive rapid changes across the state. A new report from The Nature Conservancy – the first-ever comprehensive climate assessment for Illinois – details these changes, projects how temperature, precipitation, and extreme weather are expected to change, and explores how the state’s agriculture sector is likely to be affected by climate change.  

In this webinar, leading climate experts and Illinois scientists will discuss the results of the new report. Learn how predicted changes could affect Illinois agriculture & producers, including impacts to hydrology and public health.

Sharing key takeaways from the assessment will be:  Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford; Jim Angel, former Illinois State Climatologist and co-author of the climate report; and Elena Grossman, Research Specialist, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health.

EPA launches stewardship program to reduce PFAS in the marketplace

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a stewardship program to encourage the voluntary withdrawal of previously granted low volume exemptions (LVEs) for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Historically, some new PFAS have been allowed to enter the market through LVEs. The goal of the PFAS LVE Stewardship Program is to stop the ongoing manufacture of PFAS under previously approved LVEs which have not gone through the full pre-manufacture review process under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA will also hold a webinar on July 29, 2021 to provide an overview of the program.

There are approximately 600 PFAS with currently granted LVEs. Through this program, EPA intends to work with trade associations, non-governmental organizations, and companies to encourage voluntary withdrawal of the LVEs. This new program is based on a 2016 outreach effort which resulted in companies withdrawing more than half of the 82 long-chain PFAS LVEs that were targeted for voluntary withdrawal at the time.

To participate in the program, companies with previously granted PFAS LVEs may choose to voluntarily withdraw their LVEs and certify that they will no longer manufacture or import that PFAS. Alternatively, companies may choose to voluntarily withdraw their LVE following submission and review of a pre-manufacture notice, which will provide for a robust safety review and the imposition of appropriate and enforceable protections for human health and the environment. EPA will provide recognition of program participants on its website.

The establishment of the PFAS LVE Stewardship Program follows an announcement in April that new LVE submissions for PFAS would likely be denied since a sufficiently robust safety review is unlikely to be possible in the 30 days the law allows given the potential hazards associated with various subclasses of PFAS and the need to consider their potential persistence in the environment.

Webinar: Ethics, Compliance and Risk: Creating a Shared ESG Vision

Jul 20, 2021, noon-1 pm CDT
Register here.

Sustainability has long been a practice for many forward-thinking businesses. But a renewed focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues from investors, employees, customers and regulators has driven corporate ethics and compliance (E&C) groups to become more involved in sustainability and ESG programs.

This challenges ESG leaders to find alignment across teams, educate new practitioners on sustainability best practices, and ultimately develop a shared vision of ESG goals and progress. 

How can you best navigate this new paradigm?

Join representatives from NAVEX Global, Applied Materials and PwC to hear firsthand experiences and guidance around the growing relationship between E&C and sustainability and ESG teams.

Among the things you’ll learn:

  • How ESG intersects with risk, ethics and compliance
  • How corporate teams are making ESG work across the business
  • How companies can efficiently act on ESG plans and mitigate risk

Moderator:

  • Joel Makower, Chairman & Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group

Speakers:

  • Karen Alonardo, VP ESG Solutions, NAVEX Global
  • Chris Librie, Director of ESG, Applied Materials
  • Sunita Suryanarayan, Partner, Risk & Regulatory, PwC

Webinar: Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for Communities

July 8, 2021 1pm CDT
Register here.

Did you know it’s easier than ever to find out about toxic chemical releases from industrial and federal facilities in and near U.S. communities? You can use the TRI Search and TRI Search Plus tools, accessible at the bottom of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) homepage.

Join EPA for an overview of the TRI Program and the data EPA collects under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know (EPCRA), a demonstration of the newest TRI tools, a case study about TRI use in North Charleston, South Carolina, and a discussion between participants and TRI Program staff.

  • 2:00-2:45 pm: EPA Presentation
  • 2:45-3:30 pm: Questions and Answers Session

Don’t forget to bring your questions for a Q&A session following the presentation!

More about TRI Search and Search Plus

EPA recently redesigned these user-friendly tools to include simpler interfaces, additional search options, enhanced mapping capability, charts, graphs, tables, and print-friendly features for producing colorful handouts that are particularly useful for highlighting environmental concerns in environmental justice communities.

Online conference: Defining the Delta: Supply Chain Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies

Jul 22, 2021
Keynote: $25 (free for SPLC members); Concurrent workshops: $50 ($25 for SPLC members)
More information and to register

The Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC) is convening global sustainability and procurement leaders to discuss the challenge of curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in extended supply chains. As organizations scramble to find adequate tools and strategy for the immense task ahead, SPLC is forging a path, bringing sustainable procurement and supply chain leaders together to move the conversation forward with the virtual event Defining the Delta – Supply Chain GHG Reduction Strategies.

The Problem: The volume of most organizations’ greenhouse gas emissions related to supply chain far outstrips their operational emissions. Yet purchasers’ insight into and control over supply chain emissions varies widely. The current tools and strategies proposed to pursue emissions reductions in extended supply chains may not yet be equal to the monumental task of driving change through these complex and geographically distributed systems.

The Solution: To face this mounting challenge, SPLC is convening leaders in sustainable procurement and supply chain management to share best practices, and consider how to collaborate on strategy development to drive progress on radically reduced emissions. Join the critically important discussion of how procurement and sustainability professionals can effectively identify Scope 3 baselines, support suppliers in operational changes to reduce emissions, and accurately account for reductions as they occur. 

Key Questions to be Addressed

  • How can indirect purchasers compel accurate reporting from suppliers over whom they have very little control or leverage?
  • How can purchasers collaborate to obtain meaningful data from shared suppliers and ensure reduction and mitigation measures are not double counted?
  • How can GHG accounting move beyond broad-based economic models to more specific information that supports localized supplier engagement and action?
  • How can purchasers protect against harm, and support benefit, to frontline communities impacted by the climate crisis and/or by supplier GHG reduction strategies?
  • Is single-sector or materials-based accounting the only way to effectively address suppliers’ production-phase emissions?

Keynote

Bill Weihl, Founder and Executive Director, ClimateVoice, Previously Google Green Energy Czar and Facebook Sustainability Director

Panel Participants

Anand Narasimhan – General Manager, Cloud Supply Chain Sustainability, Microsoft, focuses on innovations across the supply chain in support of Microsoft’s commitment to a sustainable, carbon negative future.

Cynthia Cummis – Director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation in WRI’s Business Center, co-founder of the Science Based Targets initiative, leading work with businesses to reduce GHG emissions, and GHG Protocol’s suite of corporate GHG accounting and reporting standards.

Patrick Flynn – VP, Sustainability, Salesforce defines and leads the execution of Salesforce’s climate strategy to create a more sustainable and equitable future for all

Workshops*

  1. Getting Started on Supply Chain GHG reductions: Basic Issues/Strategy Development Orientation (WRI/SBTi)
  2. Evaluating and Purchasing Offsets – how to ensure real climate benefit in a complex marketplace Led by Anastasia O’Rourke, Managing Director, Yale Carbon Containment Lab
  3. Leadership convening: Facilitated Deep Dive discussion intended to identify and begin to address fundamental challenges to Scope 3 supply chain accounting, in service of developing replicable, broad-based rules and principles for consistent, comparable measurement of reductions, and avoiding double counting. (Invitation-only)

*All workshops are eligible for continuing education credits towards recertification for ISM certification programs.

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