Segway in EasyConnect II Inter-modal Commuting Test in San Francisco Area

Read the full post on Green Car Congress.

Segway is participating in a new alternative transportation program called EasyConnect II, a field test designed and coordinated by University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), to save fuel, reduce emissions, traffic and parking congestion in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Toyota Outlines 2010 Technology Plans; Plug-in Hybrids on the R&D Agenda

Read the full article on Green Car Congress.

Toyota Motor (TMC) today outlined a set of development initiatives for the next four-plus years designed to augment its portfolio of technologies supporting sustainable mobility.

White House Awards Government Agencies That Use Biodiesel

Read the full story at Wisconsin Ag Connection.

The White House presented the prestigious Closing the Circle Awards at a ceremony Monday, and three of the winners use a 20-percent biodiesel blend (B20) to help them achieve outstanding environmental track records. They are the Department of Defense, Naval Station Great Lakes; the Department of Energy Green Fleet Team; and the U.S. Postal Service.

Eighth International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant

The Eighth International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant will be held Sunday-Friday, Aug. 6-11, at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison.

The conference is expected to draw more than 1,000 scientists, academics and policy-makers from more than 44 countries, as well as representatives of industries and nongovernmental organizations involved in mercury issues.

A primary goal of the gathering is to distill current scientific knowledge about mercury in the environment into succinct, straightforward statements that will be directly relevant to government policy-makers, resource managers and others concerned about the sources and consequences of mercury pollution. Conference hosts include the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

A press conference will be held on Friday, Aug. 11, when a declaration will be released on the present scientific understanding of global mercury pollution. Throughout the week, each registered conferee will be allowed to vote to approve or reject individual statements regarding different aspects of mercury pollution. The resulting final declaration, a concise statement of scientific consensus, is expected to figure prominently in future discussions and debates around the world as governments, industries and citizens address the widespread problem of mercury in the environment.

The declaration, like the conference itself, will focus on four critical issues: health risks and toxicological effects of methylmercury; recovery of mercury-contaminated fisheries; societal consequences of mercury pollution; and source attribution of atmospheric mercury deposition.

Leading up to the release of the declaration will be more than 240 presentations and 800 poster sessions.

Reporters should visit for information about media registration (click the “media” tab in the left column). All registered reporters will receive advance information several weeks before the conference, including abstracts and a complete program. E-mail for help arranging interviews ahead of time or during the conference. Please note that specific content related to the abstracts and presentations at the Eighth International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant will remain strictly embargoed until the day of the scientific session.

The conference schedule includes:

– Monday, Aug. 7: Morning plenary: Source attribution of atmospheric mercury deposition. Key question: For any given location, can we ascertain with confidence the relative contributions of local, regional and global sources, and of natural versus anthropogenic emissions to mercury deposition?

Afternoon sessions of special interest: risks and benefits of eating seafood: mercury and omega-3 fatty acid status in geographically diverse populations; methylmercury exposure on reproduction and development: past, present and future; global mercury trade; role of mercury-containing products in reducing mercury in the environment; and successes and challenges in managing mercury within the Great Lakes region.

– Tuesday, Aug. 8: Plenary: Health risks and toxicological effects of methylmercury.

Key question: What is the evidence that humans, fish, wildlife, and other biota are being adversely affected by exposure to methylmercury?

Afternoon sessions of special interest: mercury in dental amalgam: health, environmental and management aspects; mercury contamination and native peoples: cultural, social, ecological and human health; and modeling mercury methylation and mercury cycling in the environment.

– Wednesday, Aug. 9: Plenary: Recovery of mercury-contaminated fisheries. Key question: How would methylmercury levels in fish respond to reduced anthropogenic emissions of mercury? Conference participants will attend field trips in the afternoon.

– Thursday, Aug. 10: Plenary: Societal consequences of mercury pollution. Key question: What are the socioeconomic and cultural costs of mercury pollution?

Afternoon sessions of special interest: mercury in artisanal (i.e., small-scale) gold mining: environment, health, policy and solutions; bioaccumulation and trophic transfer; and global-scale transport and deposition patterns of atmospheric mercury.

– Friday, Aug. 11: Press conference at 10 a.m. An advance copy of the declaration will be available for reporters early Friday morning.

Sessions of special interest: understanding and controlling mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants; Impacts of mining; response of fish mercury concentrations to point-source mercury loads; mercury methylation and cycling in estuarine and coastal waters.

A Greener Lake Erie

Ann Arbor, MI — Recent research shows that Lake Erie is becoming choked with organisms associated with phosphorus coming from the watershed or being excreted by invasive zebra mussels.

Combining the results of a seven year (1996-2002), lake-wide study of the base of Lake Erie’s food web with historical data, researchers from The Ohio State University, the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, the National Water Research Institute of Environment Canada, and Niagara University (New York) found that Lake Erie increasingly resembles the polluted lake known during late-1970’s and early-1980’s rather than the cleaner lake of the early-1990’s.

“The abundance of algae groups associated with high nutrient input is surprising given that so much money has been spent to clean up Lake Erie,” says Joe Conroy, a doctoral researcher at The Ohio State University. “Our results show that continued control of nutrients from the watershed and better understanding of how zebra mussels change the cycling of nutrients is needed.”

The Lake Erie Plankton Abundance Study, supported by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, is an important tool for determining how Lake Erie is changing as it receives more invasive species and as its drainage basin becomes more populated by people. Developing management strategies to improve water quality as the lake changes is the ultimate goal of the study.

Original Publication

Information Results of this study, “Temporal Trends in Lake Erie Plankton Biomass: Roles of External Phosphorus Loading and Dreissenid Mussels,” are reported by Joseph D. Conroy, Douglas D. Kane, David M. Dolan, William J. Edwards, Murray N. Charlton and David A. Culver in a special issue on the current status of Lake Erie in the Journal of Great Lakes Research, (Volume 31, sup2, pp. 89-110) published by the International Association for Great Lakes Research, 2005.


For more information about the study, contact Joe Conroy, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, 1315 Kinnear Road, Columbus, Ohio;; (614) 292-1003.

For information about the Journal of Great Lakes Research, contact Marlene Evans, Editor, National Water Research Institute, 11 Innovation Boulevard, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 3H5, Canada;; (608) 692-1076.


NIOSH Issues Two Health Hazard Evaluation Reports

Read the full story from Occupational Health & Safety.

NIOSH recently released two health hazard evaluation reports, responding to requests from employees/employee representatives to assess concerns at their worksites. One report deals with concerns relating to a firing range and the use of arsenic-containing insecticides and arsenic-treated lumber at a Florida park, and the other with an assessment of exposure to ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and dust at a site in Oregon.

Report: Asbestos Exposure Can Cause Cancer of The Larnyx

Read the full story at Occupational Health & Safety.

A new report from the Institute of Medicine, of the National Academies, finds sufficient scientific evidence for a causal link between asbestos exposure and cancer of the larynx.

The report, Asbestos: Selected Cancers, can be accessed at