Webinar: What still challenges us to detect microplastics and nanoplastics in the environment?

Nov 10, 2022, noon CST
Register here.

Microplastics have been identified in many aquatic environments and are considered as sources and transport vectors for toxic chemicals (e.g., heavy metals and POPs) or pathogenic microorganisms. In our research group, we have been investigating the colloidal properties and photochemical aging/weathering of microplastics as well as the release of potentially toxic substances from the weathered microplastics. In this presentation, I will briefly introduce my own microplastic research and primarily focus on the introduction of challenges of microplastics and nanoplastics detection and identification due to their small sizes and interferences from size-dependent and extrinsic factors such as surface contamination or coating by organic matters or additives. I will also give an overview of the latest research results utilizing various of novel technologies/techniques for separation from environmental media (e.g., water or soil) and characterization. I will also introduce a few recent studies that demonstrated the use of scanning probe microscope, AFM combined with IR/Raman, sequential pyrolysis (Pyr-GC/MS) and thermal desorption pyrolysis (TD-Pyr-GC/MS) for ultrafine plastics particle analysis.

Speaker: Wen Zhang is currently an associate professor of NJIT’s Newark College of Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with a second appointment in the Department of Chemical and Material Engineering. Wen is a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) registered in the States of New Jersey and Delaware. He is an American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES) Board Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE). Dr. Wen Zhang’s research focuses on colloidal interfaces and processes that are crucial for environmental and chemical engineering applications. His research embraces environmental behavior and interfacial processes for nanomaterials, microplastics and soft particles such as microbes and bubbles, catalytic/reactive membrane filtration systems for desalination, resource recovery and emerging contaminant removal, photocatalysis, microalgal removal and harvesting. His lastest research also expands from agricultural applications of nanobubbles to lithium recovery from spent lithium ion batteries.

Webinar: Powering up for battery EPR

Sep 14, 2022, 11:30 am CDT
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Single-use and rechargeable batteries power many products, including phones, toys, and tools. Global efforts to stabilize our climate have resulted in an increased use of electric vehicles, scooters, and bikes, as well as the batteries that power them. Lithium batteries, in particular, are proliferating – and explosions and fires at waste management facilities have increased accordingly. Extended producer responsibility (EPR) for batteries is an effective solution to prevent fires and environmental contamination, recover valuable minerals, reduce greenhouse gases, and create recycling jobs. During the webinar, we’ll discuss:

  • Successes and challenges related to the only single-use and rechargeable battery EPR law in the United States that also addresses battery-containing products, and how it compares to a long-standing battery EPR law in British Columbia, Canada.
  • Current practices and proposed revisions to the European Union Battery Directive.
  • PSI’s model battery EPR legislation and the emerging policy innovations based on best practices in the United States and beyond.

Webinar: Trick or Trash: Fostering Circular Economy Participation through Education

Sept. 15, 2022, noon-1 pm
Register here.

It is estimated that each year 600 million pounds of candy are consumed in the United States during the Halloween season. The materials used for candy packaging are notoriously difficult to recycle, with the vast majority ending up in landfills. That’s why Rubicon created Trick or Trash™, an educational program designed to help reduce the waste that accumulates every year around Halloween. Candy wrapper recycling boxes are provided free of charge to schools, universities, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations, providing communities with a fun and easy way to help make Halloween a bit more sustainable!

Each Trick or Trash box helps keep hundreds of candy wrappers out of landfills. But it is the recycling education tied to Trick or Trash—provided by teachers to their students, business owners to their staff and customers, and community leaders to their members—that inspires lifelong commitments to fostering the circular economy and a more sustainable world.

On this webcast you will hear from a panel of Trick or Trash partners that make this program a reality in all 50 states. Rubicon, g2 revolution, and the National Wildlife Federation will discuss their learnings from the front lines of sustainability education: from implementing a program at scale to collaborating across diverse networks and audiences to driving tangible behavior change. The panelists will share their unique insights into “what works” for sustainability education and their ideas for inspiring communities to contribute to and to advocate for a circular economy future.

Moderator:

  • Suz Okie, Director of Design Strategy & Senior Analyst, Circular Economy, GreenBiz Group

Speakers:

  • Katie Kinnear, Director of Engagement Strategy, Rubicon
  • Kristy Jones, Director, Higher Education Programs, National Wildlife Federation
  • Rachael Kroll, National Accounts Manager, g2 revolution LLC

If you can’t tune in live, please register and GreenBiz will email you a link to access the webcast recording and resources, available to you on-demand after the live webcast.

Co_Invest Climate

Sept. 7, 2022, Chicago, IL
More information and to register

Join Evergreen Climate Innovations (formerly Clean Energy Trust) for Co_Invest Climate, the Greater Midwest’s premier showcase for climate tech startups, on Wednesday, September 7th in Chicago.

This annual event showcases climate technology startups from around the Greater Midwest region and beyond and brings together a community of stakeholders invested in the future.

Throughout the course of the day, Evergreen will feature its recent investments, highlight portfolio company successes, present inspiring keynote speakers, and gather influential professionals across a variety of fields to spark ideas and new relationships.

This year, Evergreen will host the AWS Sustainable Cities Accelerator as part of the event. Hear from speakers including Dr. Julio Friedmann of Carbon Direct, Dr. Paula Gant of GTI Energy, and Sophie Purdom of Climate Tech VC.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management 25th Annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Tradeshow

September 21, 2022, Indianapolis, IN
More information and registration

The 25th Annual Pollution Prevention (P2) Conference and Tradeshow will be held on Thursday, September 21, 2022 at the Marriott North in Indianapolis, Indiana. The theme of this year’s conference is “Celebrating 25 Years of Pollution Prevention in Indiana: Honoring Our Past as We Journey to the Future.”

For the twenty-fifth year, the Indiana Partners for Pollution Prevention (Partners) is hosting a statewide pollution prevention conference and trade show. Conference topics range from new and innovative pollution prevention technologies to training on how pollution prevention (P2) can save companies money.

This year’s conference keynote speaker will be Robert B. Pojasek, Ph.D. [PDF].

The Partners Conference will also feature two concurrent breakout sessions and a trade show of exhibitors displaying their products and services to promote pollution prevention.

View the draft agenda and register for the conference.

Webinar: Energy Efficiency Programs for K-12 Public Schools

Aug 25, 2022, 11 am-noon CDT
Register here.

The UIC Energy Resources Center presents An overview of the strategies & benefits of energy efficiency for K-12 schools in the Midwest. K-12 schools today face many challenges ranging from rising energy costs to reduced annual operating budgets in the face of growing student populations. Energy efficiency is a potential cost-saving strategy that can redirect savings back to educating students in a safe and healthy learning environment.

EPA seeks input on latest pollution prevention grant opportunity funded by $100 million investment from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced two listening sessions to collect input on the development of a new grant opportunity made possible by the $100 million investment in the agency’s Pollution Prevention (P2) program from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The new grant opportunity will encourage products, purchasing, and/or supply chains that are safer, more sustainable, and environmentally preferable and advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s bold environmental agenda.

The P2 program also delivers on President Biden’s Justice40 commitments to deliver 40% of benefits from climate, clean energy and pollution reduction investments, including from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to underserved or overburdened communities.

“The products that we buy, use, and work with every day can have a real impact on our health and the environment like air and water pollution, waste disposal issues, and climate change,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention Jennie Romer. “This new grant opportunity would leverage our existing tools and programs to increase access to safer and more sustainable products, like products that conform to EPA’s recommended standards and ecolabels, especially in disadvantaged and other communities with environmental justice concerns.”

A listening session on Sept. 7 will seek input from tribes on this new grant opportunity. Another session on Sept. 8 is for all potential applicants and stakeholders. Eligible applicants include U.S. states, Tribes, territories, or entities of these governments such as colleges and universities. Eligible applicants may also partner with interested stakeholders. Matching funds will not be required for these grants, making this funding opportunity more accessible to underserved and overburdened communities. The funding cycle for the new grant opportunity announced today would run in the off years of the traditional P2 grants.  

EPA is interested in understanding how these grants can be most accessible and useful to applicants. EPA will also seek additional insight into how funded projects can increase supply and demand for safer, environmentally preferable products, such as those certified by EPA’s Safer Choice program or identified by EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program. Additionally, the agency is also interested in feedback on which projects would best support the grant’s goals, how to best encourage grantees to partner with other organizations to maximize project impact, how to best encourage projects that will benefit underserved communities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and which barriers exist to potential applicants and what can be done to minimize those barriers.

This new grant opportunity is in addition to the P2 grant opportunities announced earlier this year for states and Tribes to develop and provide businesses with information, training, and tools to help them adopt P2 practices. These included a new P2 grant opportunity of approximately $14 million funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which built upon the traditional P2 grants program that has been administered by the agency for over 25 years. EPA anticipates announcing the awardees for these opportunities in the coming months.

Register for the webinars using the following links:

Written feedback will also be accepted through Sept. 30 at EPP_SaferChoice_Grants@epa.gov.

Read more about P2 and the P2 Grant Program.

Webinar: Implementing Renewable Energy in Industrial Facilities

Aug 2, 2022, 10am CDT
Register here.

From solar to wind and geothermal to hydro, the world of renewable energy options can be hard to navigate. Through Better Plants, DOE has developed a guidance document on renewable energy for industry. Learn the basics of different renewable technologies, find out how you can obtain renewable power for your organization, and discover tools and resources that can help you evaluate renewable energy systems.

Webinar: EPA PFAS Strategic Roadmap: Research Tools and Resources

Aug 17, 2022, 2 pm CDT
Register here.

This webinar will provide a brief overview of EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap and ongoing efforts by EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) to address key PFAS research needs for environmental decision-making. ORD scientists will highlight two recently released data sources: EPA’s PFAS Thermal Treatment Database, which contains information on the treatability of PFAS via various thermal processes, and Systematic Evidence Maps for PFAS, which summarize available toxicity evidence for approximately 150 different PFAS. Recent updates to other PFAS resources will also be shared.   

Tribal Disaster Debris and Climate Resilience Planning Training

Register for the free, virtual, 3-part session tribal training on:

  • Tuesday, October 4, 2022 – 10am-12pm PT/1-3pm ET
  • Wednesday, October 12, 2022 – 10am-1pm PT/1-4pm ET
  • Thursday, October 20, 2022 – 10am-1pm PT/1-4pm ET

**attendance at all three training sessions is strongly encouraged**

During the trainings, participants will:

  • Learn strategies to build resilience to reduce disaster debris
  • Learn about the components of a disaster debris management plan and how to align with other climate resilience and hazard mitigation plans
  • Build confidence in responding to disaster debris issues on the ground

Tribal staff will have the opportunity to work in small groups with staff from other tribal and other governmental agencies to begin developing effective, sustainable disaster debris management plans before disasters strike. Direct technical assistance will be offered to up to 10 tribes following the training to help with writing and implementing effective climate resilient disaster debris management plans.

The training series is hosted by U.S. EPA. More information will be sent out in the coming months. Please contact Dolly Tong (tong.dolly@epa.gov) with any questions.