Building the Cellulosic Ethanol Industry

Read the full story at

A new report issued by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) urges the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to change its piecemeal approach to commercializing ethanol from cellulose by developing a comprehensive strategy, namely that farmer ownership should be the federal focus in building the cellulosic ethanol industry. “The future of American agriculture may depend on this,” said David Morris, Vice President of ILSR and author of “Putting the Pieces Together: Commercializing Cellulosic Ethanol.”

Two art hazards links from Librarians' Index to the Internet

Detoxify Your Studio
Tips from an artist for less-toxic painting, including ideas for effectively using acrylic paint (in place of oil paints) and for creating a healthy workspace. Discusses cleaning, ventilation, and artist materials. Part of a collection of how-to articles for artists and musicians, from a nonprofit arts organization.
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Education: Art Hazards
Guidelines for the safe use of art and craft supplies in accordance with the California Education Code, which “prohibits schools from ordering or purchasing any product that contains toxic or carcinogenic substances for use in grades K-6.” Includes general guidance (such as avoiding inhalation hazards and solvent-based products) and a detailed list of prohibited products. From the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).
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Learn the ABC's of School Environmental Health

Children’s Health Month is every October, and this year’s theme is “Promoting Healthy School Environments.” EPA programs for schools can help improve the health, productivity and performance of 53 million children and 6 million staff in the nation’s 120,000 public and private schools, as well as save energy and money.

In celebration of Children’s Health Month, EPA is offering webcasts throughout October to raise awareness about protecting children from environmental risks, such as indoor air pollution, while they are in school.

Beginning Oct. 5, the webcasts will be available for parents, educators, facility managers, school administrators, architects, design engineers, school nurses, teachers, staff and healthcare practitioners.

“What better place to teach children the importance of a healthy environment than the place they do most of their learning — at school,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Working with our school partners, EPA is providing our future leaders a healthy, cleaner environment in which to learn and play.”

EPA is also releasing its annual Children’s Environmental Health Report that highlights the agency’s recent efforts to protect the health of children by addressing threats in the environments where they develop, grow and thrive. Improving school environments, addressing indoor and outdoor air quality, and reducing exposures to chemicals and pesticides are a few of the activities described in the report, “Children’s Environmental Health: 2006 Report; Environment, Health and a Focus on Children.”

The report also highlights the Healthy School Environments Assessment Tool (HealthySEAT), a software program that was developed by the EPA, to ensure a safe and healthy environment in schools. HealthySEAT provides a healthy environment by monitoring all of the school’s environmental health and safety issues.

Children are more susceptible to risks, because they are still developing; consume more air, water, and food in proportion to their body weight than adults; and increase their exposures during normal playing and learning activities.

Sign up for one or more of the webcasts and view the 2006 Children’s Environmental Health Report:

LB note: See also the Greening Schools web site for great information on greening both the school building and the curriculum. 

Big bucks for study of the very small

Read the full story in the Houston Chronicle.

The state of Texas committed $21.5 million on Wednesday to increase the state’s stake in the rapidly growing field of nanotechnology research.

The funds, added to $11.5 million from the semiconductor industry, will create a research center based at the University of Texas at Austin that will include six other universities.

Pathfinders in Corporate Energy Management

The latest issue of Energy Matters, the Best Practices quarterly of DOE’s Industrial Technologies Program, is now available online. This issue focuses on the many ways that companies are reducing energy and operating costs, and curbing emissions, through energy management programs.

Table of Contents

Companies Forge Individual Paths to Energy Management

To see if they were following similar paths, we wanted to know what the 10 companies described here have been doing to integrate energy management into their day-to-day operations; our findings might surprise you! More

Cementing Energy Management at California Portland

Making energy management a corporate strategy has allowed California Portland Cement Company to trim its energy bills by $3 million annually; here’s how they’re doing it. More

DOE Announces Second Round of Energy Savings Assessments

Because they identified potential energy cost savings amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, DOE is offering eligible U.S. manufacturing facilities another round of Energy Savings Assessments; find out what’s different about Round 2 and how to apply. More

Super Boiler Looks Promising for High Efficiency, Cost Savings

A new, energy-efficient “Super Boiler” system could reduce steam system operating costs in U.S. manufacturing plants by more than $10 billion per year, in all; this is just one reason why it’s so super! More

Quick PEP Software Helps Jump-Start Energy Savings

“Quick PEP,” a new software tool that provides a profile of your plant’s energy use and indicates how to trim your energy costs, could be just what you need. More

SoCalGas Pilot Program Boosts Industrial Energy Efficiency in Southern California

Find out what SoCalGas and its partners are doing to help industrial plant managers in California save energy and money in a customized pilot program modeled on DOE’s plant assessments. More

How Your Plant Can Weather a Hurricane

The devastating hurricanes of 2005 caused at least $5 billion in commercial losses; find out what your plant can do to try to minimize any future damages. More

Texas Technology Showcase Set for December 2006

To learn about the latest energy-efficient industrial technologies and energy management strategies, don’t miss the 2006 Texas Technology Showcase for industry, being held in Galveston on December 6 and 7. More

New Equipment Improves Process Heating Efficiency at Texas Chemical Plant

The Rohm and Haas plant in Deer Park, Texas, replaced a natural gas-fired furnace with new equipment that will boost process efficiency and save the plant an impressive $7 million per year in energy and operating costs. More

Wilmette links car fees to pollution

Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.

Trying to send a message that environmental protection begins at home, the Wilmette Village Board voted 6-1 Tuesday night to approve a discount on vehicle sticker fees for owners of low-pollution cars and trucks.

Global Warming a Moral Issue, Say Interfaith Panelists

Read the full story from World Watch.

Representatives from a variety of world faiths discussed the role of religion in addressing global warming and other pressing environmental challenges at a September 18–21 conference on climate stabilization in Washington, D.C. Sharing a panel on “Achieving Intergenerational and International Equity,” speakers from the Catholic, Episcopal, Evangelical, Islamic, Jewish, Mormon, and Presbyterian faiths described the progress their communities are making in tackling climate change.