News Archive

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2011

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Walmart's Zero Waste Program (03/30/2011)
n 2005, Walmarts then-CEO Lee Scott announced his goal to generate zero waste. Vonda Lockwood, now Walmarts Director for Store Innovations and Sustainability, remembers thinking that the zero waste goal was really going to complicate someones life. Shortly thereafter, she realized the newly complicated life was her own, when she was handed the task of developing Walmarts zero waste strategy in the U.S.

Austin Library Energy Savings (03/01/2011)
The John Henry Faulk Library and adjacent Austin History Center will be getting a new cooling system and energy-efficient motors and pumps that will save more than 113,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually or the equivalent amount of savings to

Dan Phillips: Creative houses from reclaimed stuff (01/19/2011)
This twenty minute TED talk gives compelling examples of reuse for building materials.

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2010

National Pollution Prevention Roundtable Announces Winners (09/27/2010)
The 2010 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) awards presented by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) celebrates the successes of innovators in the areas of pollution prevention and sustainability. The MVP2 awards are presented annually during National Pollution Prevention Week. National Pollution Prevention week is September 20  26, 2010.

Pollution Prevention Act Turns 20 (09/20/2010)
This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act. Just because this important act is no longer a child does not mean it no longer deserves our full and undivided atention. BI is remembered for having the endless discussions on definitions, the role of P2 in regulations, the importance of P2 accounting, and even debates on whether it should be called pollution prevention at all.

Doing more with less energy (09/03/2010)
Efficiency is often confused, detrimentally, with conservation. Conservation connotes making do with less  turning down the heat or driving a smaller car. Efficiency means getting more bang per buck. For example, Californias 35 years of efficiency standards for appliances have created refrigerators that use 75 percent less electricity than models from the 1970s. Yet todays refrigerators are larger, have more features and cost less in inflation-adjusted dollars

How to Conduct Internal Audits of Your Environmental Management System (08/16/2010)
Does your EMS sit in a box on a shelf and look pretty or does it have the stains, dings and scars of your favorite drill? ISO14001, the International Standard Organizations environmental management system standard is, in the end, only a toolbox for the C-suite to achieve the desired results of the business; be that cost containment, compliance perfection, or an improved public image. What varies from organization to organization is the use of ISOs tools.

Many donating hair to clean up Gulf Coast oil spill (05/11/2010)
A local woman is joining a grassroots movement to help clean up the Gulf Coast oil spill. She's doing it with the hair from her dogs and cats.

Michelle Gloss of South Bend will shave her pets and ship the hair south to be used in booms that will soak up the oil. She heard about the movement from a friend over the weekend.

CU-Boulder receives $2.4M for smart grid training programGrant part of federal economic stimulus plan (04/11/2010)
The University of Colorado has been chosen to receive $2.4 million in federal economic stimulus dollars to launch a new program educating students in smart grid technology. The grant is one of 54 announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Energy -- which together total $100 million -- to create smart grid workforce training programs across the country.

5 cheap ways to save 1,000 gallons of water (03/23/2010)
Water is humanity's most valuable resource. Want to green your usage? These ideas cost next to nothing and can each save 1,000 gallons a year 1) Reduce your current shower time by one minute. 2) Locate and repair silent toilet leaks 3) Water lawns on demand, not on schedule 4) Turn off the tap while you brush 5) Be smart about dishwashing

Southwestern University Signs Wind Power Purchase Agreement (01/19/2010)
In the very near future, coal and fossil fuel-sourced electricity will be gone with the wind for Southwestern University in Georgetown.

The college, which is the state's oldest higher education institution, signed an agreement Tuesday to purchase all of its power from 151 West Texas wind turbines. The City of Georgetown will purchase the wind through American Electric Power subsidiary AEP Energy Partners and sell power to the university for at least 18 years.

The school needs the equivalent of about 450 homes worth in energy. Georgetown Assistant City Manager Jim Briggs said pricing is comparable to the traditional electricity grid and is locked in for the life of the 18 year contract.

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2009

Prevent Stormwater Pollution (12/14/2009)
During rainfall events, runoff water can carry everything from plastic bags to pesticides from the streets to the streams. These stormwater pollutants are a major cause of contamination in our waterways.

Storm drains pick up and deposit the water from a rainfall directly into a local waterway. Any pollutants in this stormwater can affect fish and wildlife, recreational uses, and our water supply.

You can help safeguard the quality of our waterways by preventing pollution from entering your local stream, lake, or river through the following ways: Clean and maintain your car

  • Wash your car using a commercial car wash that recycles water. These facilities are equipped with proper wastewater disposal methods, and also conserve water.
  • Check your vehicles for leaks and repair quickly. Cars, boats, and machines can leak and spill if not regularly maintained. Clean up spilled fluids with an absorbent material like kitty litter or sand, and dont rinse the spills into a nearby storm drain.

Cabinet fills up with more than 200 lbs. drugs in five hours (12/10/2009)
The River Valley Operation Medicine Cabinet (OMC) collected 210 pounds of medicine during its initial five-hour blitz Saturday. Area residents brought approximately 50,000 prescription and over-the-counter pills, as well as liquids, to a location set up in front of the Pope County Health Department (PCHD).

How To Avoid Regulatory Pitfalls In Solar Energy Projects (12/07/2009)
Most people assume there are significant regulatory requirements for large utility scale projects to supply power to the grid. But even when a company is contemplating a smaller solar energy project to help power its facilities, there are many regulatory and permitting requirements that must not be overlooked in the planning of the project. Those requirements can create tremendous obstacles depending on the projects complexity, size and location. Below are some tips on how to avoid regulatory roadblocks when implementing a solar energy system.

EPA Announces Regional Administrator for Region 6 - Regional Agency Headquarters in Dallas (11/06/2009)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced President Barack Obama's selection of Dr. Alfredo "Al" Armendariz to be the Agency's Regional Administrator for EPA's region 6. This region encompasses Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and 66 Tribal Nations.

A Roadmap for a Renewable Energy Partnership (11/02/2009)
In working with the University of Iowa, Quaker Foods and Snacks has gained valuable insights into how to create and manage a partnership in the area of renewable energy. The collaboration has been instrumental in pioneering biomass renewable energy by converting oat hulls that result from the manufacturing process into energy that powers the university.

Food Recycling Law A Hit In San Francisco (10/23/2009)
Tossing food scraps in your garbage can is a crime - at least in San Francisco. A brand-new city law requires residents to discard food waste in a separate bin.

It's the first program of its kind in the nation, and so far, it's a mandate San Franciscans seem to relish. In fact, many residents and landlords began implementing the law before it took effect, using their city-provided food recycling bins to separate waste.

"Composting your food scraps is probably the single most effective thing you can do as a citizen in the United States today." - Jared Blumenfeld, city environmental officer for San Francisco

Ford Vehicles To (08/23/2009)
Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday its future electric cars will "talk" to power grids across the country, allowing car owners to control when they charge vehicles and for how long. The nation's second-largest automaker released details of a two-year collaboration with 10 utility companies and the Department of Energy on the design of a system it hopes will drive greater interest in alternative energy vehicles.

TCEQ Now Accepting Applications for the 2010 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards (08/13/2009)
Deadline to submit: October 16, 2009. Enter today at www.teea.org.

The Texas Environmental Excellence Awards, presented annually by the governor's office and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, mark the highest distinction of environmental honor in the state. The awards recognize outstanding contributions in 11 diverse categories including, for the second consecutive year, a Water Conservation category. The public may nominate an individual, community, company, or organization for an award.

If you have been a part of an environmental effort that is new, noteworthy, or something all Texans ought to hear about, apply online for a 2010 Texas Environmental Excellence Award at http://www.teea.org/apply.htm.

For questions or a sample of a winning application, call Dana Macomb at 512/239-4745 or e-mail awards@tceq.state.tx.us.

Study Reveals U.S. Could Reduce Energy Costs by $1.2 trillion (07/30/2009)
McKinsey & Company released a new research report that shows how the United States can save more than $1.2 trillion in energy costs, which is well above the $520 billion investment needed to implement energy-efficiency measures through 2020. According to the report, the U.S. could reduce annual non-transportation energy consumption by roughly 23 percent by 2020 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions annually by 1.1 gigatons.

Wal-Mart index to tout eco-friendly products (07/17/2009)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. outlined an ambitious, multiyear plan Thursday to develop a product scorecard aimed at eventually informing consumers about the environmental impact of the products they buy.

Company executives said they hope the sustainability index will move its suppliers and retail competitors toward business practices that have less impact on the environment and, in the process, cut costs. The company intends to share the results of its efforts with other retailers and manufacturers, officials said.

DFW International Airport Adds Green Energy Contracts (06/15/2009)
Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, the worlds third-busiest airport, has purchased a new electricity and green energy contract through World Energy Exchange, operated by World Energy Solutions in Worcester, Mass.

Through multiple online auctions, World Energy, an operator of online exchanges for energy and green commodities, helped DFW secure a term electricity contract for nearly 300,000,000 kWh annually, beating its prior rate while adding 20 percent renewable energy to its mix. Delivery begins March 1, 2010.

The "Great Convergence" of Clean Tech and Development (06/12/2009)
The "Great Convergence" between clean tech and development seeks to fuel growth through the incubation and rapid commercialization of new, sustainable technologies. That is the concensus of more than 100 of the worlds leading entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, change agents and financiers engaged in sustainable innovation and base-of-the-pyramid enterprise development, who gathered to accelerate the rate of change toward the great convergence in the world-the joining of clean technologies with the base of the pyramid.

UT Arlington Names First Sustainability Director (05/29/2009)
UT Arlington has named environmental lawyer Kathryn C. "K.C." Poulos, a commissioner for the Environmental and Energy Advisory Commission in Oak Park, Ill., as the University's first sustainability director. The appointment is part of UT Arlington's efforts to continue to be a leader in campus sustainability in North Texas and across the state.

Poulos, who begins Aug. 1, earned her law degree along with a certificate in environmental law from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1993. "As an environmental attorney, I have worked on matters that involved remediation of Superfund sites, changes in state regulations and monitoring air emission permits," she said.

For more about UT Arlington's sustainability efforts, go to www.uta.edu/sustainability.

Solar power from space (04/26/2009)
A California utility to receive energy from space, via a satellite that will collect solar energy and beam it back to Earth to be used for electricity. California energy utility PG&E has contracted with the private company Solaren to put solar panels in space -- and beam the power back to earth. Solaren hopes to start commercial operation by 2016, pulling 200 megawatts from orbit -- that's about half what an average coal fired power plant generates.

Texas Senate approves measure to create solar-energy incentive program (04/22/2009)
Legislation that would create a $100 million-a-year state program to encourage use of solar energy and require homebuilders in new subdivisions to offer solar energy to home buyers won approval from the Senate on Tuesday.

Wal-Mart to Double its Solar Power Use (04/22/2009)
Retailing giant Wal-Mart aims to double the amount of solar power it uses over the next 18 months. BP Solar will install panels on rooftops of 10 to 20 stores and distribution centers in California, according to USA Today. This follows the news from earlier this month that Wal-Mart installed solar at 18 Wal-Mart and Sams Club stores, along with two warehouses in California and Hawaii. The solar projects supply 20-30 percent of the electricity needed at the locations, according to the story.

Whole Foods Overhauls Energy Savings Program (04/22/2009)
Whole Foods Market is launching a major energy program that more than triples the number of stores with solar panels, extends its commitment to offset 100 percent of its use of non-renewable electricity with wind energy, and reduces energy use, which includes retrofitting existing stores with energy-efficient lighting, equipment and mechanical components.

A new Green Job machine? (04/16/2009)
With 10,000 jobs already created with coffee waste, there is now a potential to generate 50 million more worldwide.

The ZERI Foundation initiated a unique program in Colombia 15 years ago to convert coffee pulp (considered a waste) into mushrooms (a healthy, cholesterol and fat-free source of protein). An estimated 10,000 jobs have been created in Colombia thanks to this program. The Specialty Coffee Association of America is presenting its annual sustainability award to the ZERI Foundation in Atlanta on April 17, 2009.

Louisiana Environmental Leadership Program Applications (04/14/2009)
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting applications for its 2009 Environmental Leadership Awards for environmentally-conscious work that goes beyond state and federal regulatory requirements. The Louisiana Environmental Leadership Program is a voluntary program of DEQ in partnership with business and industry, federal, state and local government, academic and community organizations, to promote the improvement of Louisianas environment.
Environmentally beneficial activities, such as waste reduction and community environmental outreach, that go beyond regulatory requirements qualify for the 2009 Environmental Leadership Awards.

GE Wins Award for Best Sustainability Reporting (04/11/2009)
GE Corporation has earned the top sustainability reporting award at the 2009 Ceres Conference in San Francisco, California. The winners of the Ceres-Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) reporting awards also included Seventh Generation, Ball Corporation, Symantec, the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter

Lean and Green: Learning to Create Sustainability (04/02/2009)
How are we going to create a more sustainable world? Can organizations make a buck and still be conservationminded, collaborative sustainability activists? How can we make a difference in sustainability and why should we passionately care about these things?

Rubicon LLC Successfully Completes Goal for EPA Partnership Program (03/26/2009)
Rubicon LLC, a joint venture between Huntsman and Chemtura Corporation, located in Geismar, Louisiana, is being recognized by EPA for completion of their National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) goal and reducing the quantity of benzene and aniline incinerated at the facility by 1.2 million pounds.

NPEP is an EPA program that promotes the voluntary reduction of hazardous chemicals. Through work with EPA, both public and private organizations identify activities that will reduce the use of these chemicals, preventing their ability to be released into the environment and threaten public health. With over 220 partners across the country, the program continues to promote alternatives to hazardous chemical use, including recycling, substituting less hazardous alternatives, or reducing the quantities of these hazardous chemicals being used.

Rubicon joined the NPEP program in 2005 and committed to reduce waste benzene and aniline used in their polyurethane operations. Rubicon implemented a waste minimization program in 1995, and since 1997 has been able to reduce the amount of aniline incinerated at the facility by 48 percent. The project for NPEP enrollment involved system upgrades that resulted in 720,000 pounds of aniline reductions and 500,000 pounds of benzene reductions. The facility has been active in Louisiana's Environmental Leadership Program since 1998.

More and more top facilities are finding smart, simple ways to conduct business and care for the environment at the same time, said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Larry Starfield. It is even more inspiring when industry members not only stick with their commitments to the environment, but expand on them.

Stiumulus plan includes $7.22B for EPA programs (02/27/2009)
The $787 billion economic recovery plan signed by President Obama Feb. 17 includes $7.22 billion for projects and programs administered by the EPA. The Obama administration estimates the entire package will create 3 million to 4 million jobs with many protecting public health and the environment.

'Green' initiative lures Swedish firms (02/18/2009)
- A Swedish metal-cutting product debuted on a local tool and die maker's machine in Fayetteville last week as part of an effort to recruit "green" businesses from Sweden.

A company called Acticut International plans to move its three-person U.S. headquarters from Alpine, Utah, this year to Northwest Arkansas. The Falkenberg, Sweden-based business seeks to increase sales for a product that has no global competition, its inventor said recently.

Lisa White Wins TWUA Award (02/17/2009)
Texarkana Water Utilities has programs considered premier models throughout the country, thanks in large part to one award-winning employee.

Lisa White is the technical coordinator for TWU's environmental services division. In her 23 years there she has researched, developed and implemented programs that protect TWU's collection system, sewer lines and wastewater treatment plant.

Lowcost LEDs May Slash Household Electric Bills Within Five Years (02/04/2009)
A new way of making LEDs could see household lighting bills reduced by up to 75% within five years. Gallium Nitride (GaN), a man-made semiconductor used to make LEDs (light emitting diodes), emits brilliant light but uses very little electricity. Until now high production costs have made GaN lighting too expensive for wide spread use in homes and offices.

Moving Day Without All the Waste (01/25/2009)
BETWEEN graduating from college and moving in with his fiancée, Jim Mimlitsch moved nine times in 14 years. He hated moving, but accepted it as his fate and developed a habit of hoarding cardboard boxes. (Thomas Vinson-Peng of Zero Waste Quoted).

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2008

Eco-economics in Texas (12/04/2008)
The global economy within which Texas' businesses operate is shifting rapidly from a context of resource abundance to a context of resource constraint. In the economy of resource abundance, economic growth is enabled through continuous and accelerating resource consumption, while in an economy of resource constraint, growth is sought through continuous and accelerating resource performance improvements. This global shift presents a sea change in basic business strategies, as competitive advantage shifts away from traditional linear supply strategies

12 Steps To A Greener Supply Chain (12/03/2008)
The U.S. Department of Energys Annual Energy Review shows that industrial and transportation sectorsthose that coincide with supply chain activitiesaccount for 61 percent of U.S. carbon emissions. This indicates that a careful examination of energy use throughout the supply chain provides substantial opportunities for improvement.

Consumer Goods Industry Needs Green Sourcing To Avoid Potential 47% Earnings Hit (12/03/2008)
Companies in consumer goods sectors that do not implement strategies to mitigate the risks posed by environmental pressures could face a potential loss of 13 percent to 31 percent in earnings by 2013

Energy-Saving Windows A Legacy Of '70s Oil Crisis (10/15/2008)
You may have noticed that clear-glass buildings are springing up in cities across the United States. The reason dates back to some 1970s-era research designed to make windows more energy-efficient.

In fact, this line of research turns out to be one of the biggest success stories to come out of the last energy crisis  and there are lessons to be learned, as America once again ramps up its energy research.

Drinking Water After Hurricane Ike (09/29/2008)
After Hurricane Ike passed, Houston-area residents learned they could  at least for a time  do without many everyday mainstays: air conditioning, television, electric lights, refrigeration and home laundry. What no one can live without, even for a few days, is clean, drinkable water.

And yet, as of last week, there were some 250,000 Houston-area residents making do without a home source of running water, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The commission, which regulates more than 2,500 public water systems in the 10-county region that felt the brunt of Hurricane Ike, notes 600,000 with an unconfirmed water status also might have no running water.

Spartech Cuts Waste 54% (09/26/2008)
During 2007, Spartech Corporation prevented or recycling over 287 million pounds of waste, which represents a 54 percent increase over 2006 efforts.

Thirty-five of Spartechs plants have been recognized by the U.S. EPA and WasteWise for the waste reduction. Each year, WasteWise develops an individualized Climate Profile for partners that translates waste prevention and recycling figures into greenhouse gas emission reduction equivalencies.

Emissions Reductions Could Increase Company Value By 80% (09/23/2008)
Emissions reductions will create business opportunities and risks, and companies futures will depend on how well prepared they are for the move, according to a new report by the Carbon Trust, Climate Change: a business revolution? Forward thinking businesses could increase company value by up to 80 percent. Poorly positioned and laggard companies run the greatest risk of destroying value.

Overall, tackling climate change can have a significant impact on company value in six sectors worth a total of $7 trillion. The research also found that as much as 65 percent of company value was at risk in some sectors.

Plane carrying IBWC directors missing (09/19/2008)
Authorities searched Monday for a plane carrying the U.S. and Mexican heads of the International Water and Boundary Commission. Commissioners Carlos Marin, of the U.S. section, and Arturo Herrera, from Mexico, were flying to Presidio from El Paso to check out flooding along the Rio Grande but the plane did not land as scheduled, Presidio County Judge Jerry Agen said.

Austin businesses learn how to reduce pollution (09/18/2008)
Plant and safety managers and engineers at companies of all sizes learned ways to reduce waste and make their business practices greener Wednesday.

The pollution prevention workshop held at the Sheraton Austin Hotel helped businesses find ways to comply with the Texas Waste Reduction Act while saving money.

How to Calculate--and Reduce--Your Carbon Footprint (09/18/2008)
With global warming redefining the environmental, political and economic landscape these days, people everywhere are seeking a better understanding of how much their everyday decisions contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Online calculators can help you measure the size of your carbon footprint and provide recommendations for things you can do to reduce it. Learn how to calculate and reduce your carbon footprint, starting today.

Pollution Prevention Workshops - learn to save money by reducing waste (09/18/2008)
The University of Texas at Arlington is offering a pollution prevention (P2) planning workshop to help businesses save money by reducing waste, bringing economic benefits through environmental improvement. The course also will help companies comply with the Texas Waste Reduction Policy Act (WRPA).

Held in partnership with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the workshop will teach lean manufacturing techniques and other strategies that businesses have used to improve efficiency while decreasing or eliminating pollution. Experts in pollution prevention, environmental management systems (EMS), environmental regulations, lean manufacturing and energy efficiency conduct an interactive workshop with classroom exercises that allow businesses to immediately identify wastes in their process and evaluate money-saving options.

Green Manufacturing Can Help 'Move Business Forward' (09/17/2008)
LONDON, UK -- Manufacturers increasingly see green initiatives as a way to move business forward through cost savings, improved efficiency and reputation boost, according to a new survey.

Eyefortransport (EFT) turned to 300 North American executives overseeing manufacturing, operations and supply chains to gauge adoption and perception of green efforts. The results showed a majority see the price barrier to green manufacturing shrinking and a view that environmentally friendly practices can be successfully combined with traditional business practices.

Half of GM Plants to Be Landfill-Free By Late 2010 (09/17/2008)
General Motors plans to reduce, reuse, and recycle all waste from more than 80 manufacturing plants around the world by the end of 2010.

Whatever is left over will get transformed into energy as part of a massive drive to avoid sending any manufacturing remnants to landfills. Forty-three plants have reached landfill-free status, including 10 in the U.S. and 33 in Mexico, Korea, Germany, Poland, Canada, Austria, Hungary and France.

The move isn't just about saving the environment: Greener and leaner manufacturing operations lead to bigger bottom lines.

Manufacturers Poised for Energy Efficiency Opportunity (09/17/2008)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. manufacturers on the cusp of investing to boost capacity face a great opportunity to incorporate energy efficiency in their decision-making.

The industrial sector is close to reaching capacity at a time when shipping costs are making domestic production more attractive. This leaves the door open for manufacturers to shift energy use patterns toward efficiency when they make future capacity investments, according to a new report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Texas Manufacturer's Outlook Survey (09/09/2008)
Texas manufacturing activity remained soft in July, according to the 104 business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. Several indicators for current conditions improved but remained weak. Although positive, most measures of activity six months from now declined slightly from June levels.

Texas Computer Recycling Program Boots Up (09/03/2008)
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has opened a new statewide program website for recycling computer equipment, giving Texans a simple way to find the recycling options their computer manufacturers offer.

"The goal of the program is to give Texans an easy way to recycle the used computer equipment they have been storing in their closets and garages for years," said TCEQ Executive Director Mark Vickery. "The most effective way to reduce the environmental impact of computer equipment is to help ensure it is reused or recycled."

The Worst Muda (08/26/2008)
I've just returned from India where I attended the first Lean Summits, in Mumbai and Chennai, organized by the Lean Management Institute of India (www.leaninstitute.in). One of the souvenirs I collect on my visits to different countries is special reasons why lean is impossible in each country. And a number of Indian managers told me what I expected to hear. Some explained that managers there don't have the discipline to create a lean enterprise. Others solemnly told me that a lean logistics system would be quite impossible on India's chaotic and crowded roads. The media -- who everywhere seem to focus on bad news and impossibilities -- seemed to agree. Every interviewer started by asking me how undisciplined Indian managers using chaotic Indian infrastructure could hope to copy Toyota and other lean organizations.

TxDOT and TCEQ's "Drive Clean Across Texas" hybrid giveaway contest ends today (08/17/2008)
The "Drive Clean Across Texas" campaign encourages all Texans to sign up to win a brand-new Ford Escape Hybrid SUV. In light of sky-high gas prices, the benefit of owning a fuel-efficient hybrid is clear, plus driving a low-emission vehicle is one of the best steps drivers can take to reduce air pollution.

LCRA Accepting Pointers on Water Conservation (08/08/2008)
The group in charge of maintaining Central Texas' Highland Lakes and the miles of the Colorado River in this area is taking a survey about better ways to conserve water. The LCRA has held three brainstorming sessions on the issue, including one last night, where several dozen people gave suggestions. "Ground water, conservation, reusing wastewater treating effluent," said Tom Mason, General Manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority. "One group came up with the idea of bringing in water from Mars." Mason says efforts like the ads running on the radio featuring Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson are an added way they're trying to reach people with the message.

Medicine Gears Up for a Code Green Doctors, Hospitals Put Environment On Their Charts (07/30/2008)
Tossing out everything from plastic bandages and cotton swabs to hospital robes after a single use, the U.S. medical industry generates more than 2 million tons of waste per year, environmental advocates say. Some of that waste makes its way to incinerators and, when burned, releases dioxin, mercury and other toxins.

LCRA files to help build wind energy superhighway (07/27/2008)
The Lower Colorado River Authority is partnering with three other power transmission providers on a proposal to build new lines and facilities to bring wind power from West Texas to other parts of the state.

Coffee Grounds Perk Up Compost Pile With Nitrogen (07/24/2008)
Coffee grounds can be an excellent addition to a compost pile. The grounds are relatively rich in nitrogen, providing bacteria the energy they need to turn organic matter into compost.

U.S.-Canada carbon trading group eyes 2012 start (07/24/2008)
A coalition of U.S. states and Canadian provinces that have banded together to cut greenhouse gases will launch their carbon cap and trade system in 2012, according to a draft plan released on Wednesday.

EPA Blog - Open for Comments (07/23/2008)
Have you ever wanted to give the EPA a piece of your mind, or just tell the agency what you think about some environmental topic? Well, now you have the chance to do just that by adding your comments to the EPA blog: Greenversations. Every week, the EPA posts a new question and invites all comers to share their thoughts, and to read what others have to say on the subject.

Harvest the Sun  From Space (07/23/2008)
AS we face $4.50 a gallon gas, we also know that alternative energy sources  coal, oil shale, ethanol, wind and ground-based solar  are either of limited potential, very expensive, require huge energy storage systems or harm the environment. There is, however, one potential future energy source that is environmentally friendly, has essentially unlimited potential and can be cost competitive with any renewable source: space solar power. Science fiction? Actually, no  the technology already exists. A space solar power system would involve building large solar energy collectors in orbit around the Earth. These panels would collect far more energy than land-based units, which are hampered by weather, low angles of the sun in northern climes and, of course, the darkness of night.

The Byproducts of Biodiesel Production Are Valuable Organic Acids, Researchers Say (07/23/2008)
In a move that could possibly change the economics of biodiesel refining, chemical engineers at Rice University have come up with a set of techniques for converting sometimes problematic biofuels waste into chemicals that fetch a profit.

EPA's Collision Repair Campaign: an Air Toxics Initiative for auto body shops (07/20/2008)
At the Collision Repair Campaign (CRC) web site, you will find descriptions of exposures and health effects from chemicals found at collision repair shops; links to information about best practices; and tools for calculating cost savings that accompany reductions in emissions. Please visit the CRC web site for examples of technical support and training provided to date, and an extensive list of resources, including downloadable manuals and videos.

PPRC Job Opening: Executive Director (07/18/2008)
The Board of Directors of the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC at www.pprc.org), a Seattle-based non-profit with a staff of six, seeks a full-time Executive Director.

Value of global carbon trading is already nearly double last year's figure at £30bn (07/18/2008)
The value of carbon traded on the world's markets reached ¬38bn (£30bn) in the first half of this year, almost double the total for the whole of 2007.

Garbage Art: Plastic Bags Come to Life (07/12/2008)
Artist Joshua Allen Harris invites the viewer into a world where life and death cycles in time with the public transport system. TreeHugger meditation for a Saturday afternoon: what do you think about when you watch waste come to life, garbage art imitating nature, the unseen being seen?

One big drug test: Analyzing a city's sewage can put a number on its vices (07/04/2008)
Which city uses more cocaine: Los Angeles or London? Is heroin a big problem in San Diego? And has Ecstasy emerged in rural America? Environmental scientists are beginning to use an unsavory new tool -- raw sewage -- to paint an accurate portrait of drug abuse in communities. Like one big, citywide urinalysis, tests at municipal sewage plants in many areas of the United States and Europe, including Los Angeles County, have detected illicit drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana

University of Texas at Arlington GHG Report (07/02/2008)
The University of Texas at Arlington has released a draft report of its first carbon footprint analysis. The report has been prepared for the Presidents Sustainability Committee by an interdisciplinary student/faculty team through a summer course in the School of Urban and Public Affairs. It characterizes the universitys greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, forecasts emissions in 2010 and 2020, then proposes a framework for setting reduction targets and develops reduction scenarios based on those targets. The report, produced in a very short time frame, is being issued in draft form so that members of the committee and other interested parties can participate in reviewing it. Comments are invited.

Eco-savvy? Take quiz to find out (06/27/2008)
So you think you're pretty savvy about environmental issues? See how you compare to others.

Regulation Changes for Exports to EU (06/25/2008)
If you are exporting products or components anywhere in the 27-member European Union, or if you are supplying someone who is exporting to the EU, you need to be aware of the EUs new REACH regulations. REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals. The EU's REACH regulations were promulgated one year ago and their effects will be felt in the business community June 1 to November 30, 2008 during the simplified pre-registration period. The REACH regulations are detailed and complex and cover many products that have long been used safely in the market and might not intuitively be recognized as chemicals. The pre-registration period affords an opportunity for manufacturers to get registered under the new system and to minimize the potential for disruption to your business with Europe.

TCEQ URGES WATER CONSERVATION (06/25/2008)
Hot, dry conditions combined with lower than average rainfall have reduced flows in many of Texas major rivers. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reports these conditions are starting to have a significant impact on the Hill Country and South Texas areas. All temporary-use water rights to state surface water in the Hill Country have been suspended until further notice.

With gas prices soaring, Americans driving less (06/19/2008)
With gas prices holding at record levels above $4 a gallon, Americans are driving less and abandoning gas-guzzling vehicles, according to new government data.

City's Environmental Management System receives national recognition (06/12/2008)
City officials gathered to recognize the City of Dallas' Environmental Management System (EMS) for achieving certification to the International Organization for Standardization's ISO 14001:2004 standards. Dallas is the only city in the nation credited for implementing an EMS for such a broad scale of its operations.

Best Buy testing free e-waste recycling program (06/10/2008)
Under pressure to help dispose some of the electronic waste it helped create, Best Buy Co. is testing a free program that will offer consumers a convenient way to ensure millions of obsolescent TVs, old computers and other unwanted gadgets don't poison the nation's dumps.

G8 to Fight Oil Prices with Efficiency and Technology (06/10/2008)
Faced with record-high oil prices, the world's leading economies and oil consumers Sunday pledged greater investment in energy efficiency and green technologies to control their spiralling thirst for petroleum.

Mark Vickery Named TCEQ Executive Director (06/04/2008)
TCEQ COMMISSIONERS NAME MARK VICKERY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) voted unanimously today to appoint Mark Vickery as the executive director of the agency effective June 17, 2008. Vickery has served as the deputy executive director since May 1, 2004. He succeeds Glenn Shankle who is retiring from state government. Vickery previously served as deputy director for the office of permitting, remediation and registration, as well as for the office of compliance and enforcement.

Blow Hard: Wind to Supply 20% of U.S. Power? (05/15/2008)
The U.S. can follow Denmarks lead and get 20% of its electricity from wind by 2030, the Department of Energy said today. The only obstacles, according to the DOE report, are building the wind turbines, improving them, getting them in place, and getting their electricity to where its used. Piece of cake.

Oh and to meet that goal, every year between 2018 and 2030 the U.S needs to install as much wind power as it has cumulatively installed so far in its history. At least subsidies for wind power aren't a prerequisite, the report says.

15 Texas Plants Recognized for Energy Efficiency Efforts (04/28/2008)
The 15 sites combined saved 1.1 trillion Btus per year from their actions. Twelve sites were classified as "Savers", meaning they saved greater than 7.5 percent of the total energy or 75,000 million Btus; three sites were designated as "Champions", those plants that saved greater than 15 percent of their total energy or 250,000 million Btus.

City of Austin Plans Green District (04/28/2008)
Mellissa Martinez describes the Austin Green District in an interview.

Do Your Part at Work! (04/28/2008)
A full-time working Texan spends about 2,000 hours a year on the job; making the office the perfect place to start improving the environment. Take Care of Texas now has 20 new tips to help you Do Your Part at work. Everyone's first step to Take Care of Texas is to learn ways to make a personal commitment. Explore the office at http://www.takecareoftexas.org/at-work/ for simple steps to help improve air and water quality, conserve water and energy, and save a little money in the process.

City of Austin, Environmental Groups Launch "Central Texas Race to Zero Waste...Or Darn Close!" (04/23/2008)
Austin City Council Member Lee Leffingwell will join a coalition of environmental organizations, elected officials, local celebrities and residents in launching a contest aimed at encouraging Central Texans to find creative ways to reduce their trash.

As part of the "Central Texas Race To Zero Waste...Or Darn Close," local residents will log onto a website and track the ways they're reducing the amount of waste being sent to local landfills. Participants can enter their home, office, house of worship, or other community center.

Aviation first: Plane flies on hydrogen, fuel cells (04/04/2008)
Engineers from across Europe have successfully developed and flown a manned airplane powered by hydrogen and fuel cells  a first in history and a step towards cleaner and more energy-efficient aviation, Boeing announced Thursday.

How Green Is Your Collar? (04/04/2008)
Nearly 1,000 trade unionists, environmentalists, green businesspeople, political leaders and allies came together recently in Pittsburgh to explore these issues at the first annual conference on "Good Jobs, Green Jobs," sponsored by the Blue-Green Alliance of the United Steelworkers Union and the Sierra Club.

Slow Down a Little, Save a Lot of Gas (04/04/2008)
Speeding on the highway adds a surprising amount to your fuel costs. In a typical family sedan, every 10 miles per hour you drive over 60 is like the price of gasoline going up about 54 cents a gallon. Every 10 mph faster also reduces fuel economy by about 4 mpg, a figure that remains fairly constant regardless of vehicle size.

Excavating Companies are Going Green in Denton County (04/01/2008)
Excavating companies in Denton County are going green by upgrading their fleets to cleaner, more efficient diesel engines thanks to the Texas Emissions Reduction Program (TERP). TERP is providing an affordable way for businesses to replace older diesel equipment that they could not otherwise afford to upgrade.

Businesses interested in greening up their fleets still have time to apply for TERP grants. The application deadline is April 11, 2008. Individual application assistance is available at Community Help Desks in Arlington, Dallas, Denton and Fort Worth until April 10 to help last minute applicants with questions. For information visit www.terpgrants.org or for immediate assistance call (800) 919-8377.

Beyond Recycling: Getting to 'Zero Waste' (03/28/2008)
Recycling newspaper and plastic can only go so far toward achieving a "zero-waste" world, recycling activist Eric Lombardi says. The next step, he says, is getting industry and government to work together to make going greener more profitable.

'Green' bandwagon is getting a big push (03/27/2008)
The new group is about to launch the most ambitious U.S. marketing campaign ever on climate change, at a cost of more than $100 million a year for three years, to focus on the urgency of the problem and solutions.

Dallas Love Field pledges to cut more pollution (03/24/2008)
After cutting 4,000 pounds of harmful chemicals at its airport, Dallas Love Field is pledging to reduce 1,000 more as part of a national program run by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The airport plans to reduce 1,000 pounds of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, as part of the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) program. In addition, it is pledging to cut 50 pounds of mercury from light bulbs, thermometers, thermostats and other equipment under the NPEP Mercury Challenge campaign.

EPA Awards Over $100,000 to the City of Albuquerque (03/24/2008)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $113,322 to the City of Albuquerque. This grant will fund the city's 2008 continuing air pollution prevention and control program. The city expects to maintain national ambient air quality standards and reduce air toxics emissions.

Workshop offers free help on going green (02/27/2008)
Business owners looking to incorporate environmental management into their business plans can obtain some guidance at a free workshop hosted by the New Mexico Environment Department.

The NMED's Pollution Prevention Program will host a Green Zia application writing workshop on March 18 at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

To learn more and/or reserve a seat call Michelle Vattano of the NMED at (505) 827-0677.

Dallas launches comprehensive environmental issues Web site (02/18/2008)
Regional Administrator Richard Greene joined Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert to officially launch www.GreenDallas.net, a new Web site dedicated exclusively to green initiatives. Visitors to the site will find tips on how to save energy and water; recycle; clean the air; and have a green home and lawn. The site has information about air quality, water, energy, land use and green buildings. Officials are encouraging Dallas residents to make a commitment to go green and play an active role in building a greener City.

Nine Cities, Nine Ideas (02/12/2008)
Ann Arbor, Mich., and Beijing, China, have precious little in common. But the modest college town and sprawling national capital do share one trait: They're part of a world-wide movement by cities to rein in their runaway energy use.

Dentists filtering out mercury (02/11/2008)
Dentists throughout Wisconsin are being told they must end routine flushing of mercury to sewage treatment plants, where the toxic metal is released to the environment. Dentist Dennis W. Engel looks over the separator in the basement of his Mequon office that keeps tooth-filling material containing mercury out of the wastewater treatment system.

EPA Awards Over $50,000 to the University of Texas at Arlington (02/05/2008)
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $58,420 to the University of Texas at Arlington through the Southwest Network for Zero Waste. Funds from this grant will be used to develop a database tool for the pretreatment industry to search for pollution prevention opportunities for their plants. The project goals are to aid in compliance with regulatory requirements and to show operators how to go beyond compliance using pollution prevention.

Dallas and Houston make EPA list of top green power purchasers (02/01/2008)
Wind power has propelled the cities of Dallas and Houston onto EPA's national list of top green power purchasers.

"Texas leads the nation in wind power production, and Dallas and Houston are leading the way in showing other cities how green power can help protect the environment," said EPA Regional Administrator Richard Greene.

EPA Awards Over $50,000 to A Nurtured World Incorporated (01/30/2008)
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $53,300 to A Nurtured World Incorporated. The funds will be used to target significant environmental issues in the City of Dallas, including air pollution, water supply and water quality. Nurtured World will work with citizens, businesses and organizations to learn about their environmental impacts and identify ways to address them, and conduct site visit training for pollution prevention providers.

Recycling Alliance of Texas begins Executive Search (01/28/2008)
The Board of Directors of the Recycling Alliance of Texas would like to officially announce the search for an Executive Director who will lead the organization into the future building a strong, resource oriented member organization. A job description is available online click here Qualified candidates should submit a resume with three references to Greta Calvery, Board Secretary via email at GCalvery@wm.com before January 31, 2008.

Energy Savings at POTW's (01/22/2008)
Massachusetts' cities and towns spend approximately $150 million per year in electrical costs to treat 662 billion gallons of wastewater and drinking water. In Massachusetts, about 35-40 percent of a treatment plant's operating budget involves the purchase of energy to treat drinking water or wastewater. If the targeted energy reductions of this pilot are achieved and expanded throughout the entire municipal wastewater and water utility sector, the result would be a total annual reduction of approximately 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), 760,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and 250,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide (NOx).

Texas Clean School Bus Program a Success (01/22/2008)
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced today that response to the Texas Clean School Bus Program has been a resounding success. In less than three months, all of the grant money allocated for this fiscal year has been reserved by 39 Texas school districts. This money will be used by the districts to retrofit approximately 2,000 aging school buses with pollution-reduction devices. Engine retrofits can reduce emissions by as much as 90 percent.

Workshop - cutting oilfield pollution to boost profits (01/21/2008)
Oil and gas producers are familiar with oil spills. Now the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality hopes to teach them about air spills.
"A lot of people don't realize those VOCs (volatile organic compounds) -- primarily methane -- coming off those tanks or compressor stations are stable compounds and remain in the air nine to 15 years, so they do affect the Midland-Odessa air shed," said Jeff Voorhis, environmental management systems auditor with the commission.

TCEQ expands tax breaks companies with pollution control equipment (01/19/2008)
Companies will be able to seek a special tax break for portions of existing plants that have not previously qualified for the pollution control equipment abatement under rules finalized Wednesday by state environmental regulators.

Grants to Prevent Air Pollution from Heavy-Duty Vehicles (01/18/2008)
The TCEQ's Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) Program will soon kick off a new round of grants and rebates to upgrade or replace older heavy-duty vehicles and equipment, which can reduce harmful emissions.

TERP funds are available to individuals, businesses, nonprofits, school districts, and government agencies that own and operate heavy-duty vehicles or equipment in eligible areas: Dallas-Fort Worth, Tyler-Longview, Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Austin, and San Antonio.

Look for Clean Taxis in Texas (01/18/2008)
Many taxi companies are looking at ways to make their fleets more fuel efficient and hybridelectric vehicles are one option. By choosing hybrids, taxi companies can help contribute to clean air in the cities they serve and spend less money on fuel.

To help make hybrid taxis a reality for more Texas cities, the TCEQ's Green & Go Clean Taxi Partnership promotes their use in the state's larger cities. The TCEQ is working with local governments and other stakeholders to provide outreach and technical assistance to taxi companies and operators looking to improve fleet efficiency.

China bans free plastic bags (01/15/2008)
China is banning free plastic bags common at shops and supermarkets and ordering customers to be charged for any they use.

The rules, which take effect June 1, come as the country tries to tackle a significant source of pollution.

The Chinese use up to 3 billion plastic shopping bags a day. Often, the flimsy bags are used once and discarded, adding to waste in a country grappling with air and water pollution as a result of rapid economic transformation, officials said.

Austin one step closer to zero waste (01/10/2008)
Landfills, recycling drop-offs, and garbage collections -- these are just a few things consultants will research to make Austin waste-free by the year 2040.

"Zero waste means to stop the flow of waste coming at communities by designing waste out of the system and incentivizing new programs," Zero Waste consultant Gary Liss said.

City hopes to cut landfill waste to nothing
Plan being drafted sets goal of reducing, reusing, recycling and composting all trash by 2040.
(01/08/2008)
The City of Austin has launched an effort to try to dramatically reduce garbage and boost reuse and recycling within a generation.

The city is in the process of writing a zero-waste plan: a long-term strategy to reduce to zero the amount of garbage sent to landfills by reusing, recycling and composting materials instead.

Several cities, such as Seattle and San Francisco, and countries now have or are writing zero-waste plans. This will be Austin's first long-term solid waste plan since 1992.

Zero-waste plans tend to take a holistic view of trash reduction, focusing not just on recycling but on ways to prevent garbage from getting to landfills in the first place.

UK Commission Issues Roadmapping Guide to Sustainable Products (01/08/2008)
The UK's Commission on Sustainable Development has issued a 20-page primer outlining the opportunities for business and government in taking a products-focused approach to sustainability. The approach centers on a twelve-point checklist for business wishing to develop new products or assess existing ones. Product Roadmaps for Sustainability are intended to help society visualize how it wants products to evolve and how to support progress towards that goal. The guide further provides a tool called "Choice-editing" which is about eliminating the option to buy inferior quality products or components with a poor social or environmental record.

OSHA Announces New OTI Education Centers
New Centers Extend Safety and Health Training Opportunities Throughout U.S
(01/07/2008)
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today announced 8 new OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers and two renewals. Current OTI Education Centers offer training courses on OSHA standards and occupational safety and health issues. The additional OTI Education Centers, made up of non-profit organizations, will further increase OSHA's reach throughout the country to provide safety and health training.

The University of Texas at Arlington - Houston was selected as the Region VI OSHA center.

The new centers were selected through a national competition announced last July. Applicant organizations were evaluated based on occupational safety and health experience, continuing education training background, classroom and laboratory availability, and the ability to provide training throughout the region.

TOP

2007

Green funerals (12/30/2007)
Cynthia Beal wants to be an Oregon cherry tree after she dies. She has everything to make it happen -- a body, a burial site and a biodegradable coffin.

Austin Clean Tech Hub Expands: HelioVolt To Build Thin-Film Solar Factory (12/21/2007)
Austin, Texas will be the site of the first manufacturing facility for HelioVolt Corporation, a producer of thin film solar energy products. The site was announced this morning. HelioVolt is headquartered in Austin, home to several clean-tech companies.

Grants Available to Help Marinas Reduce Water Pollution (12/20/2007)
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality announced that federal funds are available to marina owners in Oklahoma to reduce potential water pollution resulting from inadequate handling of on board wastewater holding tanks.

Clean Vessel Act grant funds are available on a competitive basis to both the public and private sector, including all local governmental entities and private businesses that own and operate boating facilities that serve the general public. The grant reimburses recipients for up to 75 percent of the installed cost of pumpout and dump stations.

Grant applications must be received by December 26, 2007. To request a Clean Vessel Act application package, contact Robert Huber with DEQ at (405) 702-6100, email Robert.Huber@deq.state.ok.us or write to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Clean Vessel Act Grant Program, 707 N. Robinson, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73118.

New Mexico Environment Department Helps New Mexico Businesses Reduce Environmental Impacts While Saving Money (12/20/2007)
(Santa Fe, N.M.) New Mexico Environment Department's Pollution Prevention Program offers free waste assessments to business owners around the state who are looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint while at the same time saving money.

Those assessments can help businesses identify ways to conserve energy and water or create efficiency in their operations.

NMED's Pollution Prevention Program staff helped one business reduce its solid waste and disposal costs by 78 percent by suggesting that the business reuse its packaging. Staff also helped other businesses implement recycling plans that reduced garbage disposal costs and institute water conservation methods by installing drought resistant landscaping and mopping floors less frequently.

Program staff - along with other participants in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Pollution Prevention Roundtable in Albuquerque - recently conducted a waste assessment for the Acoma Sky City Casino Hotel. Hotel managers agreed to the waste assessment after members of the roundtable expressed their interest in conducting the assessment.

TCEQ Seeking Nominations for Pollution Prevention Advisory Committee Members (12/20/2007)
Are You Interested in Serving on the Pollution Prevention Advisory Committee?

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality seeks nominations to fill several positions on the Pollution Prevention Advisory Committee. The legislatively created advisory committee advises the commission on the state's policy and goals for pollution prevention and waste minimization.

The committee is composed of nine voting members who offer a balanced representation of environmental and public interest groups and the regulated community.

If you are interested in being considered by the commission to serve on this committee, or if you would like more information, visit www.tceq.state.tx.us/assistance/P2Recycle/ ppac/PollutionPreventionAdvisoryCommittee.html#contact.

You may also call Karley Eaves, Small Business and Environmental Assistance, at 512-239-0989 with questions about the Pollution Prevention Advisory Committee and the current nominations process.

Bush signs energy bill (12/19/2007)
President Bush on Wednesday signed into law an energy bill that will see an increase in the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks for the first time since 1975, boost production of ethanol and cut energy use in light bulbs and appliances.

The key component of the legislation requires the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks to be increased by 40% to an average 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

The bill will also raise yearly output of renewable motor fuels such as ethanol five-fold to 36 billion gallons by 2022.

The legislation also aims to improve the energy efficiency of lighting by about 30 % by phasing out traditional incandescent light bulbs between 2012 and 2014. Replacing them will be energy-efficient fluorescent and halogen bulbs that last 10 times longer and whose advocates claim pay for themselves within a year from the savings in electrical costs. The switchover to the more energy efficient bulbs is expected to save consumers about $13 billion a year by 2020.

2007 Top Energy-Saving Plants Announced
DOE Now Accepting Applications For 2008 Save Energy Now Assessments
(12/14/2007)
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is recognizing more than 170 U.S. manufacturers for participating in and implementing recommendations from Save Energy Now. Over 700 plants applied for and received assessments.

Industrial plants across the U.S. are improving energy efficiency and increasing productivity by participating in energy assessments offered through the Save Energy Now initiative.

Companies are being honored with 2007 Energy Champion Plant Recognition and Energy Saver Plant Recognition.

The DOE is now accepting online applications for the 2008 Save Energy Now energy assessments. DOE will make initial selections of applications for assessments starting in mid-September, 2007. Additional selections will be announced periodically until the target of 250 assessments is reached for the calendar year 2008.

Chemical Industry Awaits New Plant Site Security Rules (12/14/2007)
The chemical industry takes seriously the issue of maintaining an appropriate level of plant site security. Members of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) alone have invested more than $3.5 billion enhancing security at their facilities throughout the US. Trade associations such as the ACC, Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA), National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) and the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) have developed various security management practices for their members to implement and maintain security programs, with implementation often necessary for continued membership. As much as 90% of industry companies have security programs in place at this time.

The legislation passed by Congress grants DHS the authority to establish national performance standards for chemical plant site security and to visit U.S. chemical facilities to evaluate security systems and require corrective actions where appropriate. The department will also have the authority to shut down chemical plants that fail to comply with these standards. DHS must within six months issue an interim final rule establishing risk-based performance standards for security at chemical facilities. Vulnerability assessments and the development and implementation of site security plans must be included in the regulations. DHS will have this authority for three years.

Industry associations and companies potentially affected by the new regulations currently await expectantly the issuance by DHS of an advance notice of an interim final rule, which will be the first step in the rulemaking process. The notice is expected some time in December. The department must issue interim final regulations by April 4, 2007.

Energy Quick Start Website Launched (12/14/2007)
Visit the new Energy Quick Start Web site at www.energyquickstart.org. The site provides industry with a variety of resources to help manage energy costs and identify savings opportunities. Created by the Superior Energy Performance initiative, a collaboration of industry and government organizations, the web site provides technical documents, software tools, training, case studies, listings of experts, and calculators. It also includes guidance and tools to help manufacturers in developing an energy management plan, which is vital for sustained efficiency improvements.

In Eco-Friendly Factory, Low-Guilt Potato Chips (12/13/2007)
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. - Frito-Lay is embarking on an ambitious plan to change the way their factory operates, and in the process, create a new type of snack: the environmentally benign chip.

Its goal is to take the Casa Grande plant off the power grid, or nearly so, and run it almost entirely on renewable fuels and recycled water. Net zero, as the concept is called, has the backing of the highest levels of corporate executives at PepsiCo, the parent company of Frito-Lay.

There are benefits besides the potential energy savings. Like many other large corporations, PepsiCo is striving to establish its green credentials as consumers become more focused on climate change. There are marketing opportunities, too. The company, for example, intends to advertise that its popular SunChips snacks are made using solar energy.

From coast to coast, more companies are thinking about how much fossil fuel they use and ways to conserve energy. Venture capital money is also pouring into fledgling green technology.

Every Drop Counts: EPA Recognizes Water Efficiency Leaders (12/12/2007)
EPA is recognizing six winners of the 2007 Water Efficiency Leader(WEL) awards for their efforts in reducing, reusing and recycling water. Winners were chosen by a panel of national water experts and based on three criteria: leadership, innovation and water saved.

The WEL Awards help foster a nationwide ethic of water efficiency, which is critical to the growing U.S. economy and quality of life. Due to demographic shifts, increased demand, and aging water infrastructure, there is a national need for more efficient use of our water resources. EPA recognizes this need and has developed the WEL Awards in addition to other initiatives such as a product labeling under the WaterSense program and a national organization to foster water efficiency.

The Winners of the 2007 WEL Awards are:

Intel Corp., Ocotillo Campus (Chandler, Ariz.)
Frito-Lay (Plano, TX)
Lackland Air Force Base (Lackland, TX)
Santa Clara Valley Water District (San Jose, Calif.)
The Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC)
Allan Dietemann, Seattle Public Utilities (Seattle, Wash.)

Proposals Requested for DOE Solar America Cities 2008 (12/11/2007)
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to form strategic partnerships with U.S. cities as part of the Solar America Initiative (SAI). These Federal-city partnerships are intended to accelerate the adoption of solar technology across the nation by engaging city governments as significant users of electricity, key intermediaries to other end users within their jurisdiction, and regulatory entities.

Read a Labels Signal Words - How To (12/01/2007)
In most ways there are few government safeguards in place for us regarding the safety of commercial cleaning products, but signal words and "warning words" on product labels are one notable exception. They are placed there by order of the federal government and are primarily for helping you protect your familys health.

TCEQ grants will reduce school bus unhealthy emissions (11/30/2007)
Anyone ever in the vicinity of an idling school bus has probably been blasted by a dose of unhealthy emissions. Aware of the effects these emissions have on the general public, and particularly students, the legislature last session mandated the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality take steps to alleviate the problem, providing $7.5 million to accomplish the mission.

Quick Tips for Mistake Proofing (11/26/2007)
Have you ever heard of Poka-Yoke? Its a Japanese word for fool-proofing or mistake-proofing. It can make a dramatic difference in reducing costly variation in your organization. As human beings, our attention span is limited. That is true for CEOs and supervisors, as much as it is for frontline factory workers. The idea of Poka-Yoke is to respect the intelligence of the employee. By taking over repetitive tasks or actions that depend on vigilance or memory, Poka-Yoke can free a workers time and mind to pursue more creative and value-adding activities.

Ford CEO Says He's Green (11/15/2007)
Lana Pollack, executive director of the Michigan Environmental Council, likes William Clay Ford Jr. so much that she says she did a little jig on the sidewalk in front of the Ford Motor Co. headquarters after they met to exchange views.

"He's a real mensch," said Pollack, a former state legislator from Ann Arbor. "He not only cares a great deal about the environment but he's very knowledgeable. This is not a fashion statement with him. It's a reflection of his deepest values. So I expect good things from him. I wish him well."

Lovins described Ford as "head of the pack" among auto executives and "one of the top half-dozen corporate leaders in the country who want to make their companies green both ways," doing well by the environment while earning money.

Job Announcement: P2 Specialist (11/15/2007)
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is seeking a Pollution Prevention Technical Specialist to support the Waste Reduction Policy Act program.

Saving the green, both ways (11/15/2007)
Jim and Tatiana Grabinsky of Walden planned to go solar right from the start, working the solar array into their new Walden home plans and financing. Jim, an insurance field agent, spends a lot of time sitting in traffic, thinking about global warming.

Gov. Perry Appoints Shaw to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (11/11/2007)
Gov. Rick Perry today appointed Dr. Bryan W. Shaw of Bryan to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for a term to expire Aug. 31, 2013. The commission establishes, oversees and implements clean air, clean water and other environmental policies for the State of Texas.

Bryan Shaw is a nationally respected scientist with the experience and expertise to oversee our states environmental policies, Perry said. Under his leadership Texas will continue developing policies and making decisions based on solid science that protect our natural resources while helping to meet the challenges of a rapidly growing state.

Shaw is an associate professor in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department of Texas A&M University (TAMU) with many of his courses focused on air pollution engineering. The majority of his research at TAMU concentrates on air pollution, air pollution abatement, dispersion model development and emission factor development. Shaw is associate director of the Center for Agricultural Air Quality Engineering and Science, and formerly served as Acting Lead Scientist for Air Quality and Special Assistant to the Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Shaw is a member of several committees for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board including the Environmental Engineering Committee, Committee on Integrated Nitrogen, and Ad Hoc Panel for review of EPAs Risk and Technology Review Assessment Plan. Additionally, he is a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Air Quality Task Force.

He received a bachelors and masters degree in agricultural engineering from TAMU and a doctorate degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He replaces Kathleen White of Valentine whose term expired.

NBC's 'Green Week': Not Media Business as Usual (11/10/2007)
"Green Week" at NBC Universal, a seven-day revelry of environment-themed content spread across the company's various TV channels and other properties. The 150 hours of programming - integrated into everything from news and sports to soaps and entertainment - is certainly a first for a major media company.

Report: Green Practices Taking Root at College Campuses (11/05/2007)
Colleges across the United States and Canada are stepping up green practices and policies, with more than two out of three schools improving performance over the last year, according to the new College Sustainability Report Card 2008 released on Oct. 24. While schools are earning higher marks for green initiatives in campus operations, a majority of the wealthiest institutions continue to lag in applying sustainability practices to their endowment investments. The categories with the lowest overall grades were shareholder engagement with 66 percent "Fs" and endowment transparency with 58 percent "Fs." In contrast, failing grades averaged only 10 percent across the five campus categories of administration, climate change & energy, food & recycling, green building and transportation.

$1 trillion green market seen by 2030 (10/30/2007)
Global sales from clean energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal power and biofuels could grow to as much as $1 trillion a year by 2030, U.S. bank Morgan Stanley has estimated. Global population growth and soaring prices for fossil fuels are driving the market, along with dropping costs in clean energy and concern about energy security and climate change, the bank said in a research note issued on Wednesday.

Google Transit Now in Google Maps (10/26/2007)
oogle Operating System reports Google Transit data can now be found in Google Maps for select cities. If you plot driving directions between Norwalk, California and Orange County, California, you should see an option on the left for "Directions: Drive There - Take Public Transit." Clicking on "Take Public Transit" will plot Google Transit data within maps.

White Collar, Blue Collar& Green Collar? (10/22/2007)
We are all quite familiar with the colorful distinction of the different employment sectors. White collar employment includes salaried professionals and clerical workers. Blue collar employment involves manual labor. Now a third sector is emerging and is growing in both popularity and support: the green collar workers.

Texas Environmental Award Application Deadline Extended (10/10/2007)
By popular request, the 2008 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards (TEEA) has extended its application deadline to October 26, 2007. If youve been doing great things for the environment, dont miss your chance for well-deserved recognition. The application process is free, easy, and online. Presented annually by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards spotlight the state's highest achievements in environmental preservation and protection.

Learn about the benefits of winning at www.teea.org. View videos of last years winners, review the criteria, and then submit an online application.

Gary Miller named NPPR Chair (10/05/2007)
Gary Miller, Assistant Director of the Illinois Waste Management and Research Center, has been selected as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable. The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) is the largest membership organization in the United States devoted solely to Pollution Prevention (P2). The Roundtable provides a national forum for promoting the development, implementation, and evaluation of efforts to avoid, eliminate, or reduce pollution at the source. NPPR's members are comprised of the country's preeminent P2 experts from regional resource centers, state and local government programs, small business assistance networks, non-profit groups, industry associations and federal agencies.

Moscone Convention Center Plans Zero Waste, Biodegradable Catering (10/04/2007)
The Moscone Center, one of the busiest convention, trade and meeting facilities in the country, aims to produce zero waste food and beverage events and lead the industry in environmentally friendly practices, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday. SMG, the company that partners with the City and County of San Francisco to run the Moscone Center, said it replaced all disposable food and beverage products with biodegradable items.

Workhop suggests waste reduction plans (09/28/2007)
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality hosted the workshop to educate environmental, health and safety managers, plant managers and production personnel on strategies for decreasing wastes in their pollution prevention, or P2 plan, according to a commission press release. A pollution prevention plan required under the Waste Reduction Policy Act applies to facilities that generate small or large quantities of hazardous waste, according to the release.

As landfill grows, so does controversy (09/15/2007)
In a rural part of Hutto, Texas, early in the morning, dew covers the grass surrounding a landfill. All is quiet. Many people drive past the site without as much as a second glance. But hidden behind the landfills seemingly innocuous appearance, much like the waste it hides, is a controversy that has grown with the landfill the past four years. Williamson County has owned the Williamson County Landfill since its creation in 1981. Located in Hutto on Hwy. 1660, between Hwy. 29 and Hwy. 79, the landfill occupies 202 acres and is permitted a maximum height of 70 feet.

2008 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards Nominations Open (09/14/2007)
Each year for the last 15 years, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has recognized exceptional projects leading the way in waste reduction, pollution prevention, and natural resource conservation.

EPA gives NPDES inspection credentials to New Mexico Environment Department (09/11/2007)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued credentials to the New Mexico Environment Department to perform inspections on its behalf. The credentials are for inspections done under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program. The program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States.

Asarco begins $200,000 cleanup in southern New Mexico (08/19/2007)
Asarco Inc. has begun cleaning up soil contaminated with lead and arsenic on several properties in Anapra, near El Paso, Texas. The work is under the supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which agreed to do the work at the request of the New Mexico Environment Department.

Green Jobs Act passed in House (08/08/2007)
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that would help prepare workers for jobs in "green industries." The House approved the Green Jobs Act of 2007, House Resolution 2847, which would authorize as much as $125 million in funding to establish national and state job training programs, administered by the U.S. Labor Department. The program would train workers about designing and constructing energy efficient buildings, renewable electric power, energy efficient vehicles and biofuels development.

TCEQ helicopters hovering over oil, gas equipment (08/08/2007)
Beginning the second week in August, residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area may notice a white helicopter hovering over pipelines, oil and gas production facilities, and other industrial facilities. The whirly-birds are part of a study being conducted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Each aircraft is equipped with a specialized infrared camera called the HAWK that can image volatile organic compound emissions invisible to the eye.

Pollution Prevention Workshops in Texas (08/02/2007)
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will be conducting a series of pollution prevention workshops throughout the state. These workshops have helped facilities save money, lower their regulatory burden and increase efficiency.

  • Austin - September 26-27 University of Texas, Thompson Conference Center
  • Houston - October 18-19 Hilton University of Houston
  • Fort Worth - November 1-2 University of Texas at Arlington, Automation & Robotics Research Institute
  • Beaumont - November 15-16

Photos, video of explosions at Dallas gas facility (07/26/2007)
Justin Randall began to wonder if he had picked the wrong day to drive his convertible through downtown Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday, as debris rained down from an explosion at a facility that sells acetylene gas.

EPA reports on Oklahoma water sampling (07/19/2007)
Water samples collected by the Environmental Protection Agency after oily floodwaters inundated areas of Oklahoma earlier this month showed no adverse levels of hazardous chemicals. Working with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), EPA collected water samples on July 5, 2007, at three locations along the Verdigris River and at three locations in Lake Oologah. The sampling locations targeted drinking water intake locations. These water samples were tested for organic chemicals, pesticides, PCBs, metals and bacterial contaminants.

Solar Power Could Bring 123,000 Jobs to Texas by 2020 (07/11/2007)
Development of the solar energy industry in Texas would have a significant economic impact for consumers, the environment and workers, according to a new white paper released by the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.

U.S., Mexican, Canadian Environmental Leaders Promote Green Building and Pollution Tracking Tool for Citizens (07/08/2007)
Highlighting their shared commitment to environmental progress in North America, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson today joined his Mexican and Canadian counterparts to launch new collaborative environmental initiatives on green building and tracking pollution in North America.

EPA's New Go Green! Newsletter Helps Consumers Make a Difference (07/03/2007)
America is shifting to a "green culture" in which all 300 million citizens are embracing the fact that environmental responsibility is everyone's responsibility. As a step in that direction, citizen environmental partners can sign up to receive EPA's new consumer newsletter, Go Green!. EPA is launching this monthly, email newsletter to provide "what you can do" information on activities and events that everyone can use to make a difference just about anywhere - in homes, workplaces, schools and communities.

New ADEQ headquarters decked out with environmental features (07/03/2007)
Officials hope there's no doubt the new $23 million headquarters of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is friendly to the environment. Nicknamed the "Riverside Palace" by some employees, the department's new headquarters in North Little Rock is partially made of recycled materials, has solar heating for water and recyclable carpet, among other features.

Top 10 Ways to Improve Process Heating and Steam Systems (07/03/2007)
In 2006 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) conducted 200 expert Energy Savings Assessments (ESAs) of U.S. industrial steam and process heating systems. The ESAs were conducted at energy-intensive plants in such industries as aerospace, aluminum, chemicals, electronics, food processing, forest products, glass, metal casting, and steel. In each assessment, professionally trained ESA Energy Experts using DOE Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) software tools worked with in-plant staff to evaluate the plant's process heating or steam system and identify opportunities for savings. Potential annual energy cost savings for those 200 assessments totaled approximately $485 million. Implementing the energy-saving improvements recommended in the ESAs could trim the participating plants' yearly energy costs by an average of 7%. DOE has compiled tip sheets on the 10 most frequent ESA recommendations for improving process heating and steam systems.

Committee To Draft Drug Disposal Plan (07/02/2007)
BENTONVILLE -- An advisory committee charged with preventing drugs from being flushed down toilets and ending up in groundwater will draft a plan that lets Circle of Life hospice take back unused medication, committee co-chairman Jim Johnson said Thursday.

How safe is what's in this can? (07/02/2007)
How much is too much? Researchers continue to battle over the risks and benefits of tuna.

TCEQ to give out $4M in grants (06/24/2007)
Texas' top environmental regulatory agency said Friday it has $4 million in grant money to retrofit or replace rich-burn compressor engines -- most commonly used in the oil industry -- to reduce emissions of smog-producing nitrogen oxides.

Texas ranches war over wind turbines (06/23/2007)
After a century and a half as cordial neighbors, two of the nations biggest ranches find themselves feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys over wind energy and wildlife and whether the two can coexist.

Senate passes pro-renewables energy bill (06/22/2007)
The Senate passed an energy bill late Thursday that includes an increase in automobile fuel economy, new laws against energy price-gouging and a requirement for huge increases in the production of ethanol.

Search for water gets harder in Southwest (06/21/2007)
Like many towns in this part of the arid U.S. Southwest, Flagstaff faces a never-ending challenge in its search for water, and it is getting harder.

Is Bottled Water Better? (06/19/2007)
Bottled water manufacturers marketing campaigns capitalize on isolated instances of contaminated public drinking water supplies by encouraging the perception that their products are purer and safer than tap water. But the reality is that tap water is actually held to more stringent quality standards than bottled water, and some brands of bottled water are just tap water in disguise. Whats more, our increasing consumption of bottled watermore than 22 gallons per U.S. citizen in 2004 according to the Earth Policy Institutefuels an unsustainable industry that takes a heavy toll on the environment

Staples starts nationwide office technology recycling program (06/18/2007)
Staples, Inc., the world's largest office products company, has started a program making it easy to recycle used computers and other office technology at any Staples store nationwide. The company says it is the first national retailer to offer computer recycling in stores every day.

TCEQ approves permit for TXU coal plant (06/16/2007)
Environmental regulators today gave TXU Corporation the go-ahead to build a coal-fired power plant in Central Texas. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality overruled two arbitrators who questioned the utility's claim that the Oak Grove plant won't make area pollution worse.

NMED holds meetings, accepts public comment (06/13/2007)
The New Mexico Environment Department's Surface Water Quality Bureau is accepting public comment on a draft document dealing with the Rio Puerco and Rio San Jose watersheds near Cuba and Grants. The document deals with the proposed "total maximum daily load," a plan that establishes goals to meet water quality standards in bodies of water where pollutant limits are exceeded.

TEACHERS SOUGHT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE INSTITUTE PROGRAM (06/06/2007)
Lamar University's 12th annual Teaching Environmental Science Institute (TESI) will be held June 18-29 and scholarships are still available for the 10- day summer experience for K-12 in-service teachers. Only 20 spaces are available, so teachers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Coal plant opponents win one battle, lose another (05/23/2007)
Opponents of coal-fired power plants in Central Texas this week won a state legislative battle but lost a federal court fight. U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith Jr., of Waco, on Monday threw out a federal Clean Air Act lawsuit against Oak Grove, a lignite-burning power plant TXU has proposed for Robertson County. Smith said his court had no jurisdiction over the matter because the state has not yet issued the plants air permit. But environmental groups were cheering legislation the Texas Senate passed Tuesday that would affect the permitting process for power plants. It would require state regulators to consider the cumulative pollution impact of all existing and pending power plants within 124 miles before issuing an air permit for a new one.

Contamination of Rio Grande grew after Cerro Grande (05/22/2007)
Effects from the Cerro Grande Fire of May 2000 have increased the discharge of radioactive contaminants into the Rio Grande, according to a study released Friday by the state's Environment Department. In an announcement, Environment Secretary Ron Curry said the report was a call for action.

Austin Utilities Number 1 in Green Power (05/13/2007)
Which utilities are having the greatest success with their green power programs? The Department of Energy has compiled extensive data on utility green power programs and produced the following "Top Ten" lists of program characteristics and results: total sales of renewable energy to program participants; total number of customer participants; customer participation rates; and the lowest premium charged to support new renewables development.

US Wind Industry to Add 3000 MW in 2007 (05/11/2007)
The United States will boost its wind power capacity this year by about 25 percent, an industry group said on Thursday.

More than 3,000 megawatts of wind power turbines will be added in the United States -- enough to power about 825,000 households, the American Wind Power Association said. At the end of 2006, there were about 11,600 megawatts of US wind power, which was a 20 percent increase from 2005, the AWEA said.

Breakthrough Agreement Announced with Appliance Industry on Efficiency (05/10/2007)
Major home appliance manufacturers, their trade organization, and a nationwide coalition of energy and water efficiency supporters announced an historic agreement today that will establish new mandatory federal energy and water efficiency standards, recommendations for new ENERGY STAR levels, and manufacturer tax credits for the production of super-efficient clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and dehumidifiers.

New EPA Web Site Makes It Easier To Be Good Environmental Stewards (05/10/2007)
The new EPA Web site on stewardship programs, launched today, can help business, government and private citizens make intelligent choices on sustainable environmental benefits. Simple everyday decisions by organizations and individuals on such issues as recycling, reuse or choice of fuel support pollution prevention and environmental stewardship.

Researchers Find New Pharmaceuticals in Texas Waters (05/05/2007)
Baylor University researchers announced on May 1 they have found the residue of three new human medications in fish living in the Pecan Creek in North Texas. The pharmaceuticals, which have not been previously identified in fish, are: diphenhydramine, an over-the-counter antihistamine also commonly used as a sedative in nonprescription sleep aids and motion sickness; diltiazem, a drug for high blood pressure; and carbamazepine, a treatment for epilepsy and bipolar disorder. Residue of norfluoxetine, the active metabolite of the antidepressant fluoxetine, also was detected in this study, confirming results of a previous project by the researchers.

Tribal Needs Survey (05/05/2007)
The NPPR Tribal Workgroup consists of environmental professionals from tribal entities, local, state and federal agencies, academia, and not-for-profit organizations whose mission is to work collaboratively with tribes throughout the United States in reducing the environmental and health risks associated with the generation of waste in or on tribal lands. A geographically dispersed team, the group meets monthly via conference call. The Workgroups primary project to date has been to launch the Tribal Pollution Prevention Web Portal (www.tribalp2.org). We need your help to discern whether the web portal is meeting needs as we envisioned, and what other projects the Workgroup should consider to support tribal programming for pollution prevention (P2).

TCEQ Launches Take Care of Texas Campaign (05/04/2007)
Something as simple as turning off the lights when they're not in use can help reduce a household's impact on the environment. That's the message highlighted in Take Care of Texas, a new campaign launched by the TCEQ. The campaign provides important information to Texans about simple steps they can take in each area of their home to reduce their impact on the environment. Each of those steps will be highlighted in the Take Care of Texas Green Dream Home at this year's Environmental Trade Fair at the Austin Convention Center starting May 1.

2007 Texas Environmental Excellence Award Winners (05/03/2007)
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) recognized 12 projects across the state with Texas Environmental Excellence Awards, the state's highest environmental achievement. These awards honor individuals, businesses, and organizations with successful programs that conserve natural resources, reduce waste, and prevent pollution. TCEQ commissioners presented the awards at the annual banquet on Wednesday May 2, 2007, at the Austin Convention Center as part of the TCEQ Environmental Trade Fair and Conference. The winners are:

  • Agriculture - Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, El Paso
  • Civic/Nonprofit - Keep El Paso Beautiful
  • Education - Victoria Independent School District
  • Government - San Antonio River Basin Monitoring Network Partnership
  • Individual - Mr. Rick Norwood, Fort Hood
  • Individual - Ms. Sarah Metzger, Pasadena
  • Innovative Technology - Leak Survey, Inc., Early
  • Large Business/Nontechnical - Atlas Copco Drilling Solutions, Inc., Garland
  • Large Business/Technical - 3M Company, Brownwood
  • Small Business - Dan Fette Builders, Inc., Denton
  • Youth - Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Science & Spanish Club Network

434 water, sewer improvements for Angel Fire (04/27/2007)
Water issues flooded the Angel Fire Village Council agenda for the Wednesday, April 18, meeting. Of precedence is the water and sewer lines soon to be installed along N.M. 434 from village hall to the blinking light at the U.S. 64 intersection  not necessarily due to importance, but because of the 10 years the project has taken to get this far.

EPA's Earth Day Backgrounder (04/23/2007)
Earth Day, April 22, 2007, is an opportunity for all Americans to demonstrate that environmental responsibility is everyone's responsibility. There are a number of simple everyday choices that people can make to help protect the environment.

Earth Day 2007: Take Three for Texas (04/18/2007)
The TCEQ encourages all Texans to participate in Earth Day on April 22, 2007, by taking three for Texas! That is, take three free publications to help you reduce waste, conserve energy, and preserve our natural resources.

Landfill Trash Heap Would Block Doppler Radar (04/15/2007)
The safety of everyone in the Houston and Galveston region will be at risk if Blue Ridge Landfill expands, because the giant pile of refuse would block Doppler radar signals and prevent hurricane detection, three Houston TV stations claim.

The countdown begins to New Mexico ethanol decision (04/15/2007)
A contested ethanol plant moved one step closer to operation last week when a New Mexico Environment Department official recommended giving the plant the OK in a report.

Oil, Gas Industry Agrees to Work with EPA in Solving Environmental Problems (04/11/2007)
The oil and gas exploration and refining industry has become the 13th industry to join EPAs voluntary Sector Strategies Program that fosters collaboration among business, government, and non-government organizations. Through this program, EPA works with the diverse parties to improve the environmental impact of the major manufacturing and service sectors of the U.S. economy.

Lean Manufacturing, the Environment and the Bottom Line (04/08/2007)
Taking a break from a kaizen event, I had the rare opportunity to pick the brain of the sensei, a Japanese consultant who had been involved with lean manufacturing since before its arrival to the United States. Since I work for the Environmental Protection Agency, I asked him about the status of lean manufacturing in Japan, and in particular whether the focus of lean and efficient production had begun addressing environmental concerns. Through a few more questions and responses, his answer became clear.

DOE Energy Assessments (04/03/2007)
DOE announced they expect to close Round 2 of its Save Energy Now campaign on April 13. Save Energy Now is an effort to assist U.S. industry to identify potential energy and cost savings opportunities. Round 2 offers expanded assessments for plants, including system evaluation for pump, compressed air, fan, and motor systems (in addition to steam and process heating), and cost-shared opportunities. An additional 250 Energy Savings Assessments (ESA) will be offered in 2007.

Energy Efficiency Award Applications due May (04/03/2007)
ACEEE is proud to announce the opening of nominations for the 2007 Champion of Industrial Energy Efficiency Awards. Awarded at ACEEE's Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry conferences, these awards recognize leadership and accomplishment in the industrial energy efficiency field. Winners will be selected based on demonstrated excellence in the following categories: Research and Development (R&D);Energy Policy; Implementation and Deployment; or Industrial Leadership.

Lean manufacturing, the environment and the bottom line (04/03/2007)
Lean manufacturing usually helps the environment without really intending to. A Shingo Prize-winning study that EPA commissioned found that through Lean, many companies were saving money by taking steps that also benefited the environment, even when they were not consciously trying to do so. "Environmental" wastes, such as excess energy or water use, hazardous waste, or solid waste, present largely untapped opportunities to the lean practitioner. This is obvious if one steps back to consider the overall goals of lean manufacturing continually improving production efficiency.

Daimlerchrysler to Build Test Fleet of Electric Vans (03/31/2007)
DaimlerChrysler AG said on Tuesday it would begin testing a fleet of commercial vans capable of running on battery power alone over the course of the next year with the roll-out of its redesigned Dodge Sprinter.

Smart architect designs "dumb" building (03/28/2007)
It is not a sophisticated building, it is a throwback. It is the first office building in 50 years to be built in Seattle without air conditioning. It won't knock anyone over the head with high-tech turbines and acres of photovoltaics; It will just efficiently and simply use 30% less energy by doing things that architects have known about for hundreds of years.

Bush, Big Three Automakers Repeat Commitment to Alternative Fuels (03/26/2007)
President Bush is pushing to reduce gasoline consumption by 20 percent over the next 10 years, and is trying to cajole the CEOs of the "big three" U.S. auto companies to help the country get there.

Texas Lawmakers place global warming on the agenda (03/26/2007)
Lawmakers this session have filed more bills to assess the effects global warming will have on the state and to curb the pollution causing it than at any other time in legislative history, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis.

Troubled Waters (03/26/2007)
Too many people are dipping into the Rio Grande and pulling out too much water, according to a conservation group. But the people overseeing South Texas portion of the river say theyre doing everything they can to make sure theres enough water for everyone.

Toyota Thinking Green - Toyota Motor Sales Headquarters Announces Zero Waste to Landfill (03/25/2007)
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. announced today its Think Green! program, which achieves a high recycling rate and zero waste to landfill at TMS headquarters. Toyota's comprehensive Think Green! program sets an environmental benchmark for the automotive industry.

"Think Green! reduces the impact TMS headquarters has on our environment by creating resources from waste," said Bob Pitts, TMS group vice president of administrative services. "Toyota Motor Sales is committed to its Global Earth Charter and will continue to expand initiatives to protect our environment."

A world without waste (03/23/2007)
The 'zero waste' movement imagines a future where everything is a renewable resource. Sound impossible? From New Zealand to New England, it's already changing the way governments and companies do business.

The Year Without Toilet Paper (03/23/2007)
DINNER was the usual affair on Thursday night in Apartment 9F in an elegant prewar on Lower Fifth Avenue. There was shredded cabbage with fruit-scrap vinegar; mashed parsnips and yellow carrots with local butter and fresh thyme; a terrific frittata; then homemade yogurt with honey and thyme tea, eaten under the greenish flickering light cast by two beeswax candles and a fluorescent bulb.

Car guide ranks models by chemical makeup (03/22/2007)
Billing it as the first-ever consumer guide to toxic chemicals in cars, an advocacy group rated more than 200 models based on interior parts from steering wheels to armrests whose chemical components could break down over time.

Applied Sees Glass Solar Cell Demand Outgrowing Silicon (03/21/2007)
Demand for glass solar cells will grow at double that for those based on traditional silicon as cheaper price offsets a less-efficient design, the head of Applied Materials' solar unit said Friday. Glass-based cells, made by sandwiching ultra-thin layers of materials between two sheets of glass, accounted for only about 10 percent of the 1,800 megawatts of solar capacity installed last year.

EPA Proposes Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste (03/21/2007)
On March 15, 2007, the Agency issued a new proposal restructuring the 2003 Definition of Solid Waste proposal. The new proposal streamlines regulation of hazardous secondary materials to encourage beneficial recycling and help conserve resources. By removing unnecessary controls, recycling these materials will not only be safe, but also easier and more cost-efficient.

Can Silicon Valley Reinvent The Car? (03/20/2007)
A week or so ago, I took my first trip in a Tesla. It is one cool California ride: a smoldering, red convertible with two low-slung bucket seats. I could practically feel the road as we purred along Silicon Valley's scenic Highway 280, accelerating nimbly past BMWs and other ho-hum gas guzzlers. And we were quiet--almost as quiet as my desktop computer--because the Tesla runs on pure electric juice.

Environmentally friendly lawn good for yard and for the planet Ron Sullivan, Joe Eaton (03/20/2007)
No one is neutral about lawns. Some would say environmentally responsible lawn care is an oxymoron, like the pygmy mammoth. Some would advise conscientious lawn-owners to just rip the sucker out, plant a coastal prairie, create a xeriscape for succulents. But maybe your homeowners' association would disapprove of such extreme measures.

Gains in saving forests win battles, but not war: U.N. (03/16/2007)
The United States and much of Europe have reversed years of deforestation and are showing a net increase in wooded areas, while most developing countries continue to cut down their trees, a U.N. agency said Tuesday.

The end of garbage (03/16/2007)
Can you imagine a world of zero waste? Cities and towns across the world - and a surprising number of companies - have adopted that goal, says Fortune's Marc Gunther

H.S. Buddy Garcia Confirmed as TCEQ Commissioner (03/13/2007)
Today, the Texas Senate unanimously confirmed the appointment of H. S. Buddy Garcia of Austin to serve as a Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Prior to his appointment to the TCEQ, Garcia served as Texas Deputy Secretary of State. His term will expire August 31, 2011.

Texas regulators seek comment on TXU buyout (03/12/2007)
The Texas Public Utility Commission on Wednesday directed a hearing judge to seek comment on whether the proposed $32 billion buyout of TXU Corp. will have an impact on the company's plan to outsource transmission workers.

TXU cancellation of coal plants leaves gap in Texas energy future (03/12/2007)
Texas, as everyone knows, does everything big. Its giant oil and natural gas fields dominate the U.S. energy patch. It is now the country's largest wind power producer, with more than 2,000 turbines gathering some of the strongest American currents. It also gets the booby prize for being the biggest producer of greenhouse gases.

Daylight savings time early this year (03/11/2007)
In an effort to lower the nation's energy consumption, the federal government passed the 2005 Federal Energy Policy Act, which includes advancing Daylight Saving Time, beginning this year, from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March to encourage energy savings. The extra hour of daylight is expected to reduce the use of lights and small appliances, which can account for up to 25 percent of a typical homeowner's power consumption. Using less energy means saving money on customers' utility bills.

TCEQ needs more staff, stronger rules (03/10/2007)
After nearly 11 weeks, the blazing debris pile near Helotes appears close to being extinguished. It will be a welcome end to an episode that has seen many battles over turf and struggles over strategy between state environmental officials and local leaders.

TXU to try coal gasification process (03/10/2007)
A holding company formed to buy TXU Corp. says it has started the planning process for two coal gasification demonstration plants in Texas. Integrated gasification combined cycle plants, or IGCC, use a relatively new technology that is less polluting than traditional coal plants. The holding company, Texas Energy Future Holdings LP, was formed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. of New York and Fort Worth-based Texas Pacific Group to buy TXU Corp. TXU has until April 16 to consider offers from other potential buyers on the deal worth $45 billion, including the assumption of TXU debt. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2007.

HP to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Increase Energy Efficiency of Products (03/09/2007)
HP and World Wildlife Fund-US (WWF-US) today announced a joint initiative to reduce HPs greenhouse gas emissions from its operating facilities worldwide, educate and inspire others to adopt best practices, and use HP technology in conservation efforts around the world.

Lack of planning on water needs may someday leave E. Texas high, dry (03/06/2007)
Proposed legislation that could enable faraway cities like Dallas to more easily take East Texas water emphasizes the need for accurate future water planning, local officials are saying. "The idea is that areas of high growth can take water from areas that have surplus water," said environmental attorney John Stover, of Lufkin. "And the way you determine if it is surplus, is you look at the regional water plan." The group charged with culminating a regional long-term water plan for the Pineywoods is the Region I East Texas Water Planning Group. Earlier this year, the Texas Water Development Board approved the 2007 state water plan which included Region I's meticulous plan.

Post-Katrina dumping threatens Louisiana communities (03/02/2007)
Neighborhoods around New Orleans and elsewhere across Louisiana -- many in predominantly minority communities -- are facing toxic threats from dumpsites that have cropped up or expanded in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Press Release: TXU to Set New Direction (03/02/2007)
As a result of this transaction{the merger], the newly privatized company will deliver price cuts and price protection benefits to electric customers, strengthen environmental policies, make significant investments in alternative energy and institute corporate policies tied to climate stewardship.

TCEQ preparing to offer records on Internet (03/02/2007)
From Web cast meetings to e-agendas, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is keeping pace with open government in the 21st century.

Hail a Hybrid! (03/01/2007)
Hybrid taxis are on the road in New York City and San Francisco, and they're not alone. Here in Texas, San Antonio has a hybrid taxi of its own, and more are on the way to Austin, Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth. My customers love my hybrid, said Paul Lex, the first hybrid taxi driver in Texas. But his customers aren't the only ones who like the hybrid. Lex added, I'm saving over $100 per week on gas.

Energy giant's takeover leads to green makeover (02/27/2007)
At this time of year, radio stations and other media exhort us to "think green." Just ruminating about springtime might speed its arrival. Investors concerned about the environment were treated on Monday to a Wall Street version of this concept.

Environmental group Ceres warns of risk in TXU (02/25/2007)
The Ceres investor coalition on Sunday warned of investor risk from the coal strategy of TXU Corp. which sources say will receive a $32 billion buyout offer from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group The report by Ceres, an environmental group, says that TXU's investors will face a multitude of financial risks if the company moves forward with its plans to build 9,000 megawatts of pulverized coal-fired capacity.

Mega-deal may quash proposed coal-fired power plants (02/25/2007)
TXU Corp. will abandon its controversial plans to build three coal-fired power units in McLennan County and several others around the state under a proposed $45 billion buyout by a team of private equity firms, according to people involved in the negotiations. In a breathtaking reversal of its ambitious $10 billion coal power expansion in Texas, the energy giant will scrap plans to build eight of 11 coal units it had planned, including the Lake Creek plant and the two-unit Tradinghouse Creek plant in eastern McLennan County, those involved in the deal say. The city of Waco, joined by an array of environmental groups and Texas cities, have been fighting the plants in state administrative hearings over pollution concerns.

International workshop on green building opens in Mexico City (02/20/2007)
A public workshop featuring many of the architects, planners, policy makers and companies pioneering the development of green buildings in Mexico opened today.

Green buildings need more incentives in U.S. (02/18/2007)
When it opens next year, the 54-story Bank of America Tower in New York will be the most environmentally friendly office building in the United States. It will produce most of its energy at an on-site cogeneration plant. It will capture and reuse waste water and rainwater. And it uses recycled materials in its construction.

Gore plans to rock against warming (02/16/2007)
Al Gore, the former vice president and now hit documentary maker, on Thursday added rock promoter to his résumé, announcing plans for a 24-hour concert series on all seven continents to highlight, you guessed it, the dangers of global warming. With a powerhouse lineup of acts from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Snoop Dogg to Bon Jovi, what's being called "Live Earth" aims to gather more than 100 of the world's top musicians on July 7 and attract 2 billion viewers, most of them via television, radio and the Web.

Hillside gets a coat of green paint (02/15/2007)
Villagers in southwestern China are scratching their heads after an estimated more than $60,000 was spent to paint a barren hillside green. The forestry bureau of Fumin county, in Chinas southwest Yunnan province, paid $60,000 for a team of seven painters to spend 45 days daubing the disused quarry at Lihua village in green paint, the Beijing News said.

U.S. EPA trims the publics right to know (02/15/2007)
The U.S. EPAs Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which reports the amount of chemicals companies release to the air, land, and water, has been expanded over the years to cover more substances and more industries. Now, EPA has reduced the amount of information that will be made public in the popular database, allowing companies to use a short reporting form, which does not disclose the pounds of chemicals released. Critics say the cuts are an attempt by the Bush Administration to curtail citizens right to know about the activities of their industrial neighbors.

Editorial: TCEQ should listen to locals on mulch (02/14/2007)
A heated fight over how to handle the fiery mulch pile still burning near Helotes has been going on far too long. But the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality can still make this right by heeding local officials and not putting any more water on the 7-week-old fire.

Neighborhood's Porous Pavement Easily Absorbs Record Rainfall (02/14/2007)
Pringle Creek Community a 32 acre residential neighborhood in southeast Salem, Oregon is the nations first full-scale porous pavement project. In contrast to typical asphalt mixes which makes rainwater carry oil, grease, chemicals and other pollutants across ecosystems, porous pavement lets water soak into the soil eliminating the need for a conventional stormwater management system. The porous pavement system, fully 7,000 feet of green streets and 2,000 feet of green alleyways, absorbed the full brunt of Salems record 15 inches of rainfall in November 2006. It did so without flooding or clogged storm drains and is estimated to have returned 90% of the rainwater to the aquifer.

Texas Recycles Day ReportsStellar Results (02/14/2007)
Texas Recycles Day, the TCEQ's annual public recycling campaign that occurs each November, proved successful again in 2006. With the support of the TCEQ, Keep Texas Beautiful and its many affiliates offer opportunities for citizens across the state to participate by volunteering their time and holding events.

Wealth of Green Features Highlights New EPA Regional Office (02/14/2007)
In January, 900 employees and contractors of the Denver Regional Office of the US EPA moved into a new headquarters building in downtown Denver that has already become a hallmark of environmental sustainability. The LEED certification process for the building is still on-going however EPA anticipates that the building will be certified as the second Gold-rated new construction building in Colorado. Major sustainability attributes of the new building include: high efficiency and waterless plumbing fixtures, 100% wind energy purchase offsets, natural light in 85% of floor space, rooftop photovoltaic panels, a 20,000 square foot green roof, under-floor air distribution, and formaldehyde-free bamboo wall panels and bleacher steps (perhaps the first building in the world to have these). The building is sited a block from major transit hubs and its architecture connects it to the historic character of the 19th century commercial district in which it is located. Oregon Neighborhoods Porous Pavement Easily Absorbs Record Rainfall. Pringle Creek Community a 32 acre residential neighborhood in southeast Salem, Oregon is the nations first full-scale porous pavement project. In contrast to typical asphalt mixes which makes rainwater carry oil, grease, chemicals and other pollutants across ecosystems, porous pavement lets water soak into the soil eliminating the need for a conventional stormwater management system. The porous pavement system, fully 7,000 feet of green streets and 2,000 feet of green alleyways, absorbed the full brunt of Salems record 15 inches of rainfall in November 2006. It did so without flooding or clogged storm drains and is estimated to have returned 90% of the rainwater to the aquifer. (Sustainable Development Inc., December 11, 2006, http://www.pringlecreek.com/news/12_11_06.htm)

Merle Haggard explores green energy (02/09/2007)
Merle Haggard is burnishing his rebel image with talk of setting up an alternative energy business in his oil-rich hometown. The 69-year-old country music legend said he's considering buying a second home near his native Oildale and founding a "sensible" green energy project to help the United States kick its fossil-fuel habit, the Bakersfield Californian reported.

SAWS votes to cut the water supply for Helotes firefighting effort (02/07/2007)
San Antonio Water System's board of trustees on Tuesday voted unanimously to not approve a proposed contract with Oil Mop Inc. to augment the company's firefighting capabilities.

TCEQ holds hearing, gets public input on air quality (02/07/2007)
Proposed new environmental rules aimed at bringing two metropolitan areas of Texas into compliance with federal air quality rules could come with a hefty price tag in East Texas, according to those testifying Tuesday at a public hearing in Longview. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality conducted a hearing on the proposed rules in Longview, one of seven hearings being held statewide. The local gathering at the Longview Public Library drew more than 40 people. Four of those signed up to speak. The four represented the energy industry and heavy equipment providers.

TCEQ hunts for more large piles of mulch, debris (02/04/2007)
This week, the TCEQ stopped by for a visit and left seven citations behind. They said the piles of brush and tree limbs are just like those burning. Although the Hinojosa brush is not on fire, the owner was given notice that the piles are considered municipal solid waste. So the owner will have to get more permits and more insurance.

Mayors unite on the 'green' front (02/02/2007)
Earth-friendly buildings, cars help cities fight global warming and save money. Pittsburgh, once the gritty center of steel manufacturing, now boasts the first "green" convention center and one of the world's largest environmentally sustainable buildings: the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

On the banks of the Allegheny River, the building taps an underground aquifer for drinking water and recycles water used in its bathrooms. Roof skylights and glass walls produce diffused light and uniform temperatures to light and heat the building naturally. The center is a striking monument to Pittsburgh's efforts to transform itself.

Texas company pledges to replace and recycle lights containing mercury (02/02/2007)
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency marked the entry of Schirm USA, Inc. into its national partnership for pollution reduction. The company has pledged to complete mercury reduction measures at its Ennis, Texas, facility as part of the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities Program.

With each new partner that joins the effort to reduce pollution, we are changing the landscape of our environmental future, said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. Schirm USA, Inc. has taken its commitment to the environment beyond regulatory requirements, and we hope other Texas companies will be inspired to do the same.

Teresa Marks Appointed to Direct ADEQ (01/31/2007)
Gov. Mike Beebe shook up the leadership of the state utility regulatory agency Tuesday, naming Paul Suskie, the North Little Rock city attorney, to head the Arkansas Public Service Commission.

Beebe also named Teresa Marks as director of the state Department of Environmental Quality.

Suskie replaces PSC commissioner Randy Bynum, whose term had expired, and was designated by Beebe as chairman of the commission, replacing Sandra Huchstetter as PSC chief, Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said.

DeCample said he knew of no plan for Hochstetter, an appointee of former Gov. Mike Huckabee, to leave agency. Her term expires in 2011. The term of the third commissioner, Daryl Bassett, expires in 2009.

Industrial Ecology of Metals Forum launched (01/30/2007)
A free new tool has been launched to promote the application of industrial ecology and facilities research on material flows. The Industrial Ecology of Metals Forum maintains two web-based dynamic and interactive compendia of data: one containing the concentrations of metals found in various high-volume materials, and the other containing the flow rate information for high-volume materials

New Greenscaping Publication Available (01/30/2007)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) GreenScapes program is pleased to announce a new publication, GreenScaping: The Easy Way to a Greener, Healthier Yard. In this new brochure, GreenScapes shows homeowners how to plant right for their site, conserve water, reduce yard waste, and use pesticides wisely. GreenScapes encompasses a set of landscaping practices that can improve the health and appearance of homeowners lawns and gardens while protecting and preserving natural resources. This effort is designed to show homeowners that by taking care of their lawns and gardens properly, they can save money, time, and help the environment.

Mulch pile delay being questioned (01/29/2007)
State regulators noted nearly a year ago that the mountain of brush and mulch on Henry Zumwalt's property might be growing faster than the law allowed. But it wasn't until Friday, a month after the pile caught fire and started spewing smoke and ash into neighborhoods in and around Helotes, that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality hit Zumwalt with a slew of violations.

Bush's climate remarks weighed for shift (01/27/2007)
It was just a couple of dozen words out of more than 5,000, uttered so fast that many in the audience missed them at first. But President Bush's commitment to fight global warming in his State of the Union address this week has echoed around the world and provoked debate about whether he is shifting his view of climate change.

Perry names TCEQ commissioner (01/27/2007)
In an appointment closely watched by environmental and industry groups, Gov. Rick Perry named Capitol insider H.S. Buddy Garcia to the states environmental commission on Thursday. Garcia, an Austinite who is currently serving as Texas deputy secretary of state, has worked on water and low-sulfur fuel issues, according to a press release from the governors office.

TCEQ launches investigation in reponse to six-car pile-up near BASF refinery this month (01/27/2007)
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has launched an investigation in response to a six car pile-up that occurred on Jan. 15 near BASF refinery. On Monday, BASF officials will hold a press conference to show what measures have been done in to find a solution to the cooling towers steam issue that played a part in the multi-vehicle accident.

Louisiana industrial sites declared "Ready for Reuse" (01/26/2007)
(Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) issued "ready for reuse" determinations to two Louisiana facilities, CS Metals of Louisiana, LLC, and Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. The ready for reuse determinations verify that environmental conditions at the properties are protective of human health and the environment for their current and future commercial and industrial uses.

ENEL Reaps Benefits of Providing "Smart" Meters to 30 Million Customers (01/25/2007)
Time-of-use or "Smart" meters are catching on as a way to help utilities and customers monitor and cut excess electricity demand. Pacific Gas and Electric plans to install 9.3 million smart meters in California homes, while European and Canadian energy officials are promoting the meters on a wide scale as well. The lead belongs to ENEL, the Italian-based utility that is providing smart meters to almost all of its 30 million customers in Italy. ENEL not only uses the meters to manage demand but to improve response to customer requests or complaints, to detect and repair outages, and to cut labor costs on user calls. The ENEL meters are expected to pay for themselves within a few years and the company plans to install them in other countries where it operates such as Spain and Romania.

Santa Monica Formally Launches Bid to be First "Net Zero" City (01/22/2007)
Solar Santa Monica has initiated an effort to become the nation's first "net zero" energy city. Through energy efficiency, solar and other renewable energy, the city envisions generating clean energy that matches its total energy consumption. The city will offer residents packages that take advantage of pre-negotiated discounted energy efficient appliances, solar products, and simple financing. To save money, the city is pre-qualifying "preferred partners" to install efficiency upgrades along with streamlined purchasing, permitting, installation and financing. Santa Monica's 20-year plan is expected to eliminate electricity produced by coal and natural gas plants and all the resulting greenhouse gas emissions.

TCEQ signs off on Arroyo Colorado pollution plan (01/19/2007)
Hard work is finally paying off for a group of residents who have spent years developing a protection and cleanup plan for the Arroyo Colorado.

The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership completed a comprehensive plan to address pollution and low oxygen levels in the fragile tributary. The plan, which outlines several different strategies to reduce pollutants in the arroyo, increase habitat, create wetlands and improve water monitoring, was submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency this month, officials said.

2007 Western P2 Conference - Call for Papers (01/15/2007)
The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) and the Western Regional Pollution Prevention Network (WRPPN) proudly announce the 2007 Western U.S. Pollution Prevention Conference.

This unique, collaborative effort between Regions 9 and 10 will be held on October 23-25, 2007 at the Bahia Hotel in San Diego, California. This conference will highlight the traditions of both Region 9 and Region 10's roundtables: timely, practical information that the P2 technical assistance provider can use immediately, as well as a strong focus on issues of concern to local governments. The meeting will offer ample networking time and a scenic location. Breakout sessions will be held on historic sternwheeler boats moored by the hotel.

Congress to reconsider caps on carbon (01/13/2007)
Potential presidential rivals John McCain and Barack Obama are joining with newly independent Sen. Joe Lieberman on a plan they say would reduce annual global-warming gases by two-thirds by mid-century.

Their bill, announced Friday, is intended to cut the heat-trapping emissions by 2 percent a year. It is sure to produce a contentious debate on climate control in the new Democratic-run Congress and draw strong opposition from the White House and industry.

Wal-Mart trashes garbage (01/11/2007)
Wal-Mart and the city of San Francisco do not have much in common, but there is this -- both are working to achieve zero waste.

They aren't alone. The Australian territory of Canberra, a third of local governments in New Zealand, the cities of Oakland and Berkeley, a bunch of small towns in California

TCEQ Allows for More Info Before Reaching Biodiesel Verdict (01/09/2007)
Jefferson City, MO -- The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has recently agreed to a second waiver to allow additional scientific evidence to be explored on whether biodiesel will impact the integrity of the TxLED program.

The Lone Star State has a Texas Low Emission Diesel (TxLED) fuel program. Due to past concerns of a negligible increase in nitrogen oxide (NOx) in biodiesel, the TCEQ has proposed bans two times the past two years on biodiesel blends.

New TCEQ commissioner resigns (01/05/2007)
Austin Business Journal - December 20, 2006

Martin Hubert, one of three state environmental commissioners overseeing hearings on TXU Corp.'s controversial proposal to build several coal-fired power plants, has resigned.

Hubert, who was appointed to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Sept. 1, is leaving to become a deputy comptroller under newly elected State Comptroller Susan Combs.

Spaceship Earth Sculpture Collapses (01/05/2007)
A million-dollar stone sculpture, intended to remind future generations of the Earth's fragility, made its point a bit early just three months after its unveiling, it collapsed. The 175-ton "Spaceship Earth" lay in ruins at Kennesaw State University after mysteriously falling to pieces last week.

Study: Louisiana slipping slowly into gulf (01/03/2007)
A new report by scientists studying Louisiana's sinking coast says the land here is not just sinking, it's sliding ever so slowly into the Gulf of Mexico.

TOP

2006

Native American center links science and traditional knowledge (12/30/2006)
An upstate New York college has established a way to connect traditional ecological knowledge and Western scientific approaches to educate future leaders in environmental science.

The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) has established a Center for Native Peoples and the Environment that will focus on developing connections between the two diverse approaches for protecting and preserving the environment.

'The idea for the center comes from when we look at environmental problem-solving,' said Robin Kimmerer, an ESF botanist who is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. 'I think there is a real missing piece. Science can only take us so far.'

EPA Sharpens Focus on Ecological Benefits of Regulations (12/20/2006)
What benefits do people actually derive from clean air, water and land? EPA has taken a major step towards answering this question with the release today of its Ecological Benefits Assessment Strategic Plan (EBASP).

EPA has traditionally been able to quantify human health benefits more easily than total ecological benefits when making regulatory decisions. The EBASP will help fill this gap by enabling the agency to more comprehensively address the full economic value of environmental protection.

Sustainability gains status on US campuses (12/19/2006)
Somewhere in the curriculum, most colleges and universities include Henry David Thoreau. Now, many of them are trying to emulate him. Yes, sweeping the academic world is Walden Pond 101: the art of living in a sustainable manner. Think environmental and social responsibility.

One of the best examples of the ivory tower's effort to tread lightly on the land is at Arizona State University. Next month, ASU will inaugurate the nation's first School of Sustainability - whose classes will look at everything from water scarcity to urban air quality problems.

Dawn of the "solar salon" in US living rooms (12/18/2006)
In living roomos across the United States, bankers and hedge fund managers rub shoulders with philanthropists and solar panel installers. These "solar salons" are orchestrated by Travis Bradford, a former fund manager and corporate buyout specialist, in an effort to hasten what he calls the inevitable uptake of solar power.

Hybrid solar: coming soon? (12/16/2006)
Hybrid technologies are the new kid on the block. In addition to hybrid cars, emerging technologies combine hydrogen with wind, and solar with lighting. 25% of the electricity used in the U.S. powers indoor lights, and inefficient ones at that. Three quarters of the electricity drawn by incandescent lights is completely wasted, and worse than that, the heat they reflect increases the need to cool buildings by 10%. A hybrid solar lighting (HSL) project, with the potential to vastly increase lighting efficiencies, is on track to enter commercialization in early 2007.

Study: renewable energy could play expanded role in US energy future under right conditions (12/16/2006)
Renewable resources currently provide about 6 percent of all the energy used in the United States. However, renewable resources could produce 25 percent of the electricity and motor vehicle fuels used in the United States by 2025 at little or no additional cost if fossil fuel prices remain high enough and the cost of producing renewable energy continues falling in accord with historical trends, according to a RAND Corp. study issued on Nov. 13.

Federal government to establish energy efficiency standards for appliances (12/15/2006)
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reached an agreement under which it will set new standards to increase the energy efficiency of many types of domestic appliances, such as home ranges and ovens, air conditioners and dishwashers. According to DOE's own estimates, the standards covered by this agreement may reduce energy use by as much as 35 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) over an approximately 30-year period. By comparison, all U.S. households combined consumed 21 quadrillion BTUs of energy in 2004.

Wal-Mart to use preferred substances in chemical intensive products (12/14/2006)
Wal-Mart Stores says it plans to begin implementing its "Preferred Chemical Principles" to establish a clear set of preferred chemical characteristics for product ingredients. The first three of these priority chemicals are being announced at the Molecule-to-Molecule meeting, a two-day event hosted by the Chemical Intensive Product Network (CIP), a group designed to engage suppliers, NGO's, government, academics and other subject matter experts on issues and opportunities around product sustainability.

Alcoa develops 'Engineered Natural Systems' to reduce discharges (12/13/2006)
Alcoa says it is actively developing, evaluating, and implementing natural sustainable technologies to reduce the environmental footprint at its aluminum smelting, refining, and production facilities. The innovative technologies, called Engineered Natural Systems, use a variety of plants, soils, and microbes to reduce the volume of discharged stormwater and process water as well as the concentrations of pollutants in the discharged water.

Successful energy saving partnership benefits industry's bottom line (12/13/2006)
To ease the effects of variable energy prices and supplies, U.S. manufacturers are identifying ways to reduce energy and operating costs, lower utility bills, and ensure future savings. In the last year, industrial plants working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have uncovered more than $300 million in total potential annual savings through Energy Savings Assessments (ESAs) of industrial process heating and steam systems. Implementing measures could help these plants save 7% or more per year on energy bills. In 2007, DOE is offering new opportunities for manufacturers to take part in ESAs. In addition to process heating and steam systems, plants could be eligible for a no-cost assessment in compressed air, fan, and pumping systems.

Move to Bentonville, Change the World! (12/08/2006)
WANTED: One highly motivated, business-savvy, environmentally minded, entrepreneurial self-starter, looking to have a potentially worldchanging impact on how business gets done from a sustainability perspective. Must be willing to move to a small town in northwestern Arkansas. Inquire within.

Guide to Electric Power in Mexico Released (12/07/2006)
The Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and the Center for Energy Economics at The University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology today released the Guide to Electric Power in Mexico.
The guide was launched at the Border Energy Forum XIII in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Study Reveals Attitudes & Patterns of Green Building Among Top U.S. Companies (12/02/2006)
Is American corporate profitability tied to the proactive use of Green ideas and Green Building principles? Yes, according to findings from a new study "Green Perspective from Corporate America" commissioned by Siemens Building Technologies and Siemens USA. Among its findings, the study revealed that leading U.S. companies have begun to incorporate "Green" practices into their strategic business planning and view it as an emerging and important component of profitable future growth.

"This is the first time the leaders of corporate America have been polled on their opinions toward Green and Green building," said Bob Dixon, Vice President of Global Energy Services and Solutions for Siemens Building Technologies. "It is important because we now know leaders view green facilities as a significant component of any overall green strategy," he added.

Hot Supreme Court Battle Brewing (12/01/2006)
The Supreme Court wrestled today for the first time with the issue of global warming and whether 12 states can sue the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles.

The majority of the argument was spent, however, on the government's contention that the states cannot even bring suit against the administration because they haven't shown sufficient proof that they would benefit from the regulations they seek.

Offset and Away: This holiday season, fly and breathe free (12/01/2006)
For all eco-minded holiday travelers planning to jet off somewhere to celebrate, here's the bad news: Delivering yourself to your loved ones via airmail is one of the worst things you can do to the environment. But all is not lost -- here's the good news: Now there's a way to lighten your eco-impact.

While at first blush flying might seem to bear the rosy glow of mass transit, jet fuel emits dangerous global warming pollutants when burned, including CO2, NOx and contrails. In addition, "flying at high altitude has other atmospheric chemistry effects," says Mark Trexler, president of Trexler Climate + Energy Services in Portland, Ore. "That effectively doubles the global warming implications of just the fuel that you're burning." (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that aviation is responsible for 3.5 percent of human-caused global warming.)

Texas's big global warming battle (11/29/2006)
In this era of corporate environmentalism, big companies like General Electric, Wal-Mart and McDonald's have grown accustomed to working closely with save-the-earth groups like the World Resources Institute, Conservation International, even Greenpeace. And then there's TXU.

Gas prices are falling, just in time to save the economy from the weak housing market, says Fortune's Nelson Schwartz. (Read the column.)

The Texas utility company has made enemies of America's biggest environmental groups because of its ambitious $10-billion plan to build 11 coal-fired power plants in the next few years.

After Decades, A Solar Pioneer Sees Spark in Sales (11/27/2006)
Stanford R. Ovshinsky has spent 40 years -- and millions of dollars in backing from various partners -- pursuing his dream. He wanted to build a huge machine that would make giant sheets of material that can generate solar power. "I said we are going to make it by the mile," he recalls. "Nobody believed me, not even in my own company."

Today, Mr. Ovshinsky, 84 years old, finds himself running his factory at full capacity and overwhelmed with orders. His company, Energy Conversion Devices Inc., is the largest U.S.-owned maker of photovoltaic materials, which convert ...

Los Angeles College District to Take its Nine Campuses Off the Grid (11/03/2006)
The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) intends to become the first community college district in the nation to generate all of its own electricity. The initial plan is to install one megawatt of photovoltaic panels at each of its nine college campuses. This will be more than sufficient to meet current daytime loads. Future plans call for using excess solar electricity to convert water to hydrogen and oxygen and to use the hydrogen in the evening to power fuel cells for nighttime loads. In addition, the LACCD is creating a sustainable development curriculum that integrates classes, green building education and certificates along with solar learning kiosks on each campus.

Christian right, states, push environment in elections (11/01/2006)
When Washington state Senator Maria Cantwell invited former US vice president Al Gore to campaign with her last month, it wasn't to launch an attack on the Republicans for their faulty Iraq policy or the global war on terrorism.

Instead, the two appeared at an energy and environment forum in Seattle, promoting action on global warming and investing in renewable energy.

Arkansas' ENVY Award Announced (10/27/2006)
Five finalists for the Arkansas Environmental Stewardship Award, also known as the ENVY of Arkansas award, have been announced by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and will be recognized November 4 at the Arkansas Watershed Advisory Group (AWAG) annual conference in Fayetteville.

Few environmental crimes prosecuted (10/23/2006)
HOUSTON - Federal attorneys prosecuted zero environmental crimes in Houston in 2005, a number that environmentalists criticize as too low for one of the nation's most polluted cities.

The last time Houston's federal prosecutors obtained a conviction for an environmental crime was in 2004, when two farmers were fined $500 for illegal use of pesticides, the Houston Chronicle reported in its Sunday editions.

Houston's federal prosecutors rank 78th out of 94 offices nationwide in the percentage of environmental referrals to the Justice Department, according to the Transitional Records Access Clearing House. Fiscal year 2005 was the first since 1992 without federal prosecution of an environmental crime.

Recycling plastic foam considered (10/17/2006)
Arkansas - The Benton County Solid Waste District is embarking on a pilot program that uses a local inventor's product to recycle and reuse plastic foam products.

Sean Stephan of Bentonville demonstrated how his invention works Tuesday at the Benton County Solid Waste District facility near Centerton. The demonstration was simple. Stephan dropped chunks of plastic foam into a glass full of his chemical invention. Within minutes, the plastic foam disappeared.

Shell: We'll Address Russian Environment (10/16/2006)
The head of oil producer Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Monday that the company had addressed Russia's environmental concerns at its troubled $20 billion liquefied natural gas project on the eastern island of Sakhalin.

The case, which saw Russian regulators freeze a key environmental permit in September, has rattled investors who suspect the charges are being used to pressure the company to reshape the original 1990s deal to the Kremlin's benefit.

UT Recycling Increased (10/16/2006)
New efforts by the Campus Environmental Center allow the Recycling Task Force to expand its efforts by partnering with UT Facilities Services, increasing its staff from four to 31 since last semester.

Grassroots advertising from the Campus Environmental Center, which oversees the task force, increased volunteer recycling activity among students, said Natasha Raheja, an Asian cultures and languages and biology senior, and member of the Campus Environmental Center.

It's Esy Being Green (10/05/2006)
Environmental strategy is all the rage these days, as companies try to turn green to gold. General Electric "ecomagination" campaign represents the flagship effort. Wal-Mart Chief Executive Lee Scott sent shivers up the retail giant's supply chain with his promise to make his company the world's biggest seller of organic products. Smaller companies are also getting into the act. Coleman Natural Meat is finding a brisk market for its antibiotic-free cuts of beef.

Energy Saving Assessments Save 31 Trillion BTU/year (10/02/2006)
As of Sept.8 Energy Savings Teams from the Department of Energy (DOE) have completed 118 Energy Savings Assessments (ESA) for "Save Energy Now," part of DOE's "Save Energy Now" campaign. Working with plant staff, the teams have identified 31 trillion Btu/year in energy savings, translating to a potential cost savings of over $292 million/year. Throughout the remainder of 2006, Process Heating and Steam Energy Experts will continue to work with qualifying plants to identify energy savings opportunities. Fourteen plants report implementing energy savings worth more than $31 million a year within the first six months after the plant assessment. In addition, personnel at six of these plants have worked with the staff at other company plants to implement similar savings, resulting in nearly $3 million additional savings. You can read about the common projects identified during the assessments at

Branson commits $3 billion for initiatives to control global warming (09/27/2006)
The U.K. billionaire Richard Branson announced Thursday he will contribute the entire profit from his airline and rail businesses over the next 10 years for combating global warming. The amount is estimated to be around $3 billion.

Branson, who controls the Virgin Group, made the commitment at the meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, a summit organized by former U.S. president Bill Clinton to successfully tackle world problems. The commitment exceeds all the commitments made last year at the conference.

Scientists: Earth temperature reaches dangerous level (09/25/2006)
The Earth's temperature has reached its highest level in thousands of years, which has begun to affect plants and animals, according to a report published in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to the study that analyzed temperatures around the globe, researchers from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, found that the Earth has been warming at a rate of 0.36 degree Fahrenheit (0.2 degrees Celsius) per decade in the last 30 years

EPA BEGINS CLOSING LIBRARIES BEFORE CONGRESS ACTS ON PLAN (09/22/2006)
Washington, DC - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is moving ahead this summer to shut down libraries, end public access to research materials and box up unique collections on the assumption that Congress will not reverse President Bush's proposed budget reductions, according to agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). At the same time, EPA's own scientists are stepping up protests against closures on the grounds that it will make their work more difficult by impeding research, enforcement and emergency response capabilities.

In an August 15, 2006 document entitled EPA FY 2007 Library Plan, agency management indicates that it will begin immediately implementing President Bush's proposed budget cuts for the next fiscal year, which begins in October, without waiting for Congress to act. The memo describes what EPA terms deaccessioning procedures (defined as the removal of library materials from the physical collection) for its network of 26 technical libraries.

Mexico publishes its first national air emissions inventory (09/20/2006)
With support from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and partners in the United States, Mexico realized its first national inventory of atmospheric air emissions today.

The inventory presents detailed air emissions data for all 32 states and 2,443 municipalities in Mexico. Information is presented on six contaminants that contribute to smog and other air pollution (nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, ammonia and particulate matter) and groups them by state, municipality and emission source.

Everything You Wanted To Know About Solar Power and Were Afraid To Ask (09/18/2006)
Canadian manufacturer of solar cells and modules Photowatt (PHWT) filed to go public last week; its prospectus contains a great overview of the renewable energy industry, and trends in solar energy. Highlights from the filing can be viewed here. The excerpt below is from the company's F-1 filing:

NPPR Releases P2 Results Report (09/14/2006)
NPPR announces the release of the report "Pollution Prevention Produces Results." NPPR collected and analyzed data from regional, state, and local P2 programs for the years 2001-2003.

Community benefits when kids can walk or bicycle (08/30/2006)
It's the start of a new school year and kids across the United States are putting on their new clothes, strapping on their new book bags and setting out the door to walk the sidewalks to school. Well, not quite.

The new clothes and book bags may remain, but it's likely that kids will be climbing into family vehicles to make the drive to school, where their parents will line their cars up with other parents, inching toward the entrance. In neighborhoods across the country, walking and biking to school seems to be a thing of the past.

Protesters, Bell urge cleaner Texas air at governors conference (08/29/2006)
Protesters and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell rallied Friday, demanding that Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry follow the lead of other southwestern governors and enact stronger clean air laws.

Several dozen chanting demonstrators, some with signs that read "Support Alternative Energy" and "No More Dirty Coal," gathered outside the Capitol as Perry met inside with governors from U.S. and Mexico border states.

One Year After Katrina, Nearly 4,000 Evacuees Remain in Arkansas (08/28/2006)
This week marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and many people who fled the Gulf Coast still remain in Arkansas. Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency say nearly 4,000 hurricane evacuees are still in Arkansas, and that's down from a high of 15,000 evacuees, shortly after the Category 3 hurricane hit.

Thousands of refugees fled to Arkansas as Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, first filling hotels and then flying in to Fort Chaffee in western Arkansas before being processed and teken to camps statewide. Even more arrived after Hurricane Rita struck the Louisiana and Texas coasts in September.

UT recieves $2.9 million for indoor environmental quality program (08/27/2006)
A $2.9 million multidisciplinary graduate program at The University of Texas at Austin aimed at improving indoor environments has been funded by the National Science Foundation.

The novel five-year grant is intended to develop a pioneering generation of leaders in the study of indoor environmental quality, and will be led by Environmental Engineering Professor Richard Corsi. The new program is designed to spearhead the expansion of a field that has been given little attention in the United States. The effort is spurred on by studies suggesting the average American now spends 18 hours indoors for every hour spent outdoors, often exposed to higher concentrations of harmful substances than exist outside.

Climate and Global Change at the National Academies (08/25/2006)
The August newsletter was released including updates on climate and related global change activities that have been done throughout the National Academies. The update provides news including reports about enhanced GIS systems, upcoming meetings, and ongoing events.

Hurricane Katrina one year later (08/23/2006)
Debra Maneau thought she had dodged the worst Hurricane Katrina could dish out. But her whole life changed with a loud boom that started a hellish journey ending in Texas City.

People talk about surviving a hurricane. That was no hurricane. What happened to New Orleans, that was a flood. A flood that should never have happened, said Maneau, who lived in the Treme area of the Seventh Ward of New Orleans.

The green machine (Fortune Magazine Wal-Mart) (08/22/2006)
"Doesn't it feel good to have this kind of commitment made by the company that you are part of? Don't you feel proud?"

The 800 Wal-Mart Stores employees gathered in the home office for an all-day meeting were used to this kind of rah-rah talk. Top executives from Fortune 500 companies regularly trek to Bentonville, Ark., to pay homage to one of the world's most powerful companies and to shout out the Wal-Mart (Charts) cheer.

"We will not be measured by our aspirations," say Scott. "We will be measured by our actions."

This farm located near Fresno grows organic goods - and hopes to sell through Wal-Mart.

H2O Line (08/21/2006)
The City of Grand Prarie, Texas has released this months newsletter with stories on federal incentives for pollution prevention, Texas wind power, and workshops.

TCEQ ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR 2007 TEXAS ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS (08/21/2006)
Nominations are now open for the 2007 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards (TEEA), the state's highest environmental achievement. Administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the awards annually pay tribute to projects across the state that significantly reduce waste, prevent pollution, and conserve natural resources.

Now in its fourteenth year, the TEEA recognize proven initiative and innovation in environmental programs conducted by individuals and communities as well as companies and organizations. Past recipients submitted winning projects that have significantly reduced water consumption, energy use, or waste, and/or contributed to improved air quality in Texas through measurable efforts that outperform and do more than merely achieve regulatory compliance.

The TCEQ is proud to recognize these efforts because they represent environmental stewardship of the most fundamental, grassroots kind, said Kathleen Hartnett White, chairman of the TCEQ. "Every year we are consistently gratified to see the high quality of the projects in the applications we receive."

How Good Is Organic Milk? (08/17/2006)
Milk is the most popular organic product on the market, commanding up to twice the price of regular milk. Yet the idyllic vision many people have of organic dairy farms and organic milk's environmental benefits is often not the reality.

An increasing amount of milk that is certified organic under current USDA standards is produced by cows that spend most of their lives in crowded feedlots. These factory farms generate tons of manure that pollute the air and water, posing risks to the environment, farm workers, and nearby residents. What's worse, some of the country's largest organic milk producers are fighting to weaken USDA standards.

Sweden aims for oil-free economy (08/17/2006)
Sweden has a head start on many countries in its use of renewables Sweden says it aims to completely wean itself off oil within 15 years - without building new nuclear plants. The attempt is being planned by a committee of industrialists, academics, car manufacturers, farmers and others.

The country aims to replace all fossil fuels with renewables before climate change damages economies and growing oil scarcity leads to price rises.

According to the Guardian newspaper, a Swedish minister said oil dependency could be broken by 2020.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is worried that oil supplies are peaking, shortly to dwindle, and that high oil prices could cause global economic recession.

"Our dependency on oil should be broken by 2020," said Mona Sahlin, Sweden's minister of sustainable development.

Task force to study zero energy homes (08/13/2006)
The Austin City Council passed a resolution Thursday establishing a task force aimed at taking the first step at making "zero-energy capable" homes a reality in Austin by 2015. But the real challenge for the task force is to establish energy policies that would decrease the energy consumed by single family homes by 60 percent, said Richard Morgan, director of Austin Energy's Green Building Program.

"It makes zero-energy capable homes financially feasible," Morgan said.

"Zero-energy capable" homes use a combination of a solar photovoltaic system and energy from the city's electrical grid.

"Over the course of the year the amount produced by the home will equal the amount it takes from the grid," Morgan said

Mild Hybrids Spice Competition (08/12/2006)
A mild diesel hybrid test vehicle being developed by Ricardo could become cost-effective in the near future. According to a review on EngineerLive, the mild hybrid, in which the engine always contributes to propulsion, can offer better returns than full hybrids, which shut off the engine at low speeds.

CEC SEEKS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (07/29/2006)
The Citizens' Environmental Coalition, a coalition of more than 100 environmental organizations in the Houston region, seeks a dynamic and self-motivated Executive Director. The coalition has been an important presence in Houston's environmental community for 36 years and acts as an information clearinghouse for issues important to the health and quality of life the community. CEC also encourages collaboration through its management of the Houston Environmental Center, its coordination of Houston Earth Day events, and its annual Synergy Awards.

Our member groups are non-profit, advocacy, and educational organizations that engage in a broad range of environmental activities. Our role is to provide a support structure for collaboration to share resources, knowledge, and expertise, encouraging and assisting our groups in their mission.

Car-sharing program starts its engines with 8 vehicles in October (07/26/2006)
The nonprofit organization Austin CarShare will launch a car-sharing program in October that allows members to rent a vehicle as needed throughout the city.

It costs $4 per hour and 44 cents per mile, in addition to a $10 monthly membership fees, a $25 application fee and a $300 refundable security deposit, all of which cover the prices of gas, parking, insurance and maintenance, said ACS chair Elliott McFadden said.

Texas vies for zero-emissions coal plant (07/26/2006)
Texas and Illinois will compete for the world's first near-zero-emissions coal power plant, a $1 billion project headed by the U.S. Department of Energy and a consortium of 10 energy companies from the United States, China and Australia.

The Energy Department and the consortium announced Tuesday that two sites from each state will vie for the project known as FutureGen, a plant designed to turn coal into a hydrogen-rich gas to produce electricity for about 275,000 single-family homes.

The project dates to 2003 when President Bush announced the need for FutureGen to address global warming and touted technologies that would capture carbon dioxide for other uses. Those include fertilizers or liquefying the gas to inject it into old oil wells and push remaining oil or natural gas to the surface.

Easy Energy Conservation (07/23/2006)
When it comes to environmental concerns, few are more central to the question of a cleaner world than the issue of energy consumption. Because dirty fossil fuels like oil and coal provide 75% of the energy the world uses, global energy demand is largely responsible for everything from air and water pollution to global warming and acid rain.

Color Your Home Green (07/18/2006)
Since you already devote a lot of thought to choosing the right color and finish of paint, stain, or varnish, don't forget to consider the product's environmental impact at the same time.

The most significant ingredients in this regard are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nine percent of the airborne pollutants that form ground-level ozone smog come from the VOCs in paint. The EPA advises caution when using products that contain VOCs because exposure to these compounds can cause eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment.

Do-it-yourselfers turn diner grease into biodiesel fuel (07/18/2006)
MAGNA, UTAH - Americans store their cars, tools, even fertilizer in garages. But a refinery?

In his two-car garage, Kevin Newman is pouring used French fry oil from local restaurants into a pair of General Electric household water heaters - his version of the giant petroleum cracking towers found at an oil company refinery. He deftly moves hoses around, scrubs the impurities from the oil, performs chemical tests, and, voilà, a week later, he is filling-up his pickup truck with biodiesel. He figures his home refinery saves him and his business, which has six trucks, about $1.75 a gallon.

Community Green Drinks Chapter Explores Energy and Environmental Concerns (07/17/2006)
Tucson Green Drinks is one of over a hundred and twenty worldwide chapters of Green Drinks International. Green Drinks is an organization supporting the development of networks of people who meet regularly over dinner and drinks to discuss energy conservation and other environmental concerns. The International movement began in England but has quickly spread worldwide. The Tucson Chapter has had to move its meeting space twice to accommodate the growing numbers interested in the networking opportunity and fellowship. Participants include a local architect, the curator of the local zoo, environmental science graduate students, local government representatives and a variety of other environmental professionals. see http://greendrinks.org/ for green drinks organizations in your area.

Shift Into Green (07/11/2006)
You're ready to kick carbon to the curb, but you're not sure which kind of car will work best for you. With oil prices spiking, temperatures rising, and the public crying for relief, automakers are scrambling to offer consumers alternatives to pollution-spewing gas-guzzlers. Here are the specs on the best available technologies flex-fuel, diesel, and hybrid.

Three carbon-cutting car technologies compared...

An Interview with Ann Goode, Director, EPA Pollution Prevention Division (07/10/2006)
By Cindy McComas, Gary Miller and Bob Iverson, February 22, 2006 Chicago, USEPA Region 5

Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you and begin to learn more about your efforts. I look at this as the beginning of an on-going, synergistic relationship. My door is open to the P2 community and I am only a phone call away. I hope to meet as many people and with as many programs as possible. Right now USEPA is in a strategic planning process. My goal is to determine priorities for the Pollution Prevention Division (PPD), work with our key partners, and set near-term goals by this summer.

Scarce fresh water an investment boon (07/05/2006)
Companies tapping growing demand see great returns flowing to shareholders

Jean-Marie Messier lost billions of euros turning the world's biggest water company into entertainment conglomerate Vivendi Universal SA. He should have stuck with water.

The lack of usable water worldwide has made it more valuable than oil. The Bloomberg World Water Index of 11 utilities returned 35 per cent annually since 2003, compared with 29 per cent for oil and gas stocks and 10 per cent for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

How to Cool a Planet (Maybe) (06/27/2006)
In the past few decades, a handful of scientists have come up with big, futuristic ways to fight global warming: Build sunshades in orbit to cool the planet. Tinker with clouds to make them reflect more sunlight back into space. Trick oceans into soaking up more heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

Anyone Can Buy Green Energy (06/25/2006)
Most of our nation's electricity is generated from dirty fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas that contribute to global warming and air and water pollution. Solar, wind, and other forms of renewable energy are a cleaner and more sustainable alternative that you can tap into no matter where you live by purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs).

What the Heck Is a REC?

Renewable energy generation creates two distinct products: electricity and the environmental attributes associated with the generation of that electricity, such as zero toxic pollution and global warming emissions. Because these attributes have value to people who want cleaner energy, they can be sold in the form of RECs (also known as tradable renewable certificates or green tags). One REC represents the environmental attributes of one kilowatt-hour (kWh) of renewable electricity.

Prince Charles gives forth on nanotech (06/20/2006)
The Prince of Wales has called for greater consideration of the social, environmental and ethical implications of nanotechnology. He says that at this early stage of research, risk assesment must keep pace with commercial development.

Texas bill may reward solar power use (06/20/2006)
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, and Austin city officials unveiled a new state bill to address the growing concern of energy prices that Americans feel every time they reach for the gas pump and pay their bills.
"The answer comes up every morning," Smith said, as he signaled to the sun rising over city hall Monday.
The Solar Utilization Now bill includes federal grants to states for solar energy demonstration projects conducted by local utilities. If the bill passes, the federal government would offer $50 million in grants each year, beginning in 2007, until it reaches a cap of $300 million in 2011. The grants ultimately cut the cost in half, with state governments expected to cover 10 percent of the cost for solar panels and the federal government paying for 40 percent, Smith said.

Torrential rain hits Houston area (06/20/2006)
HOUSTON - Heavy rains closed highways and caused widespread flooding Monday in Houston and southwest Louisiana, where 120 residents were evacuated from a nursing home.
Perry made available 50 Texas Army National Guard trucks with crews, four helicopters with flight crews, 30 rescue boats, one airboat from the General Land Office, seven swiftwater rescue teams and a civil support team from the 6th Army National Guard unit. A HazMat strike team from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and GLO was also activated.

CEC UNVEILS NEW WEB SITE DESIGN (06/17/2006)
The Citizens' Environmental Coalition's redesigned website is now live at . The site, last redone in 1998, features a new design and new technology. One very visible change is that the events calendar is more readable and events for the current day appear on the home page. David Crossley, Charles Irvine, Sara McMullan, and David Gresham collaborated in the new design.

Advisory group named to CEC study on green building (06/16/2006)
Montreal- The Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) today announced the 20-member advisory group that will guide its study into the challenges and opportunities for green building in North America.

Designing buildings in an environmentally conscious manner can address the consumption of energy and resources and generation of waste in commercial and residential buildings. In the United States, buildings consume an estimated 65 percent of all electricity generated, 40 percent of raw materials and generate about 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions; and yet green building represents only a small fraction of new construction in North America.

Major U.S. Insurer Adopts Policy on Climate Change (06/15/2006)
American International Group, Inc. has become the nation's first major insurer to adopt a policy on climate change. AIG put up the policy on its website with no publicity. Examples of specific actions and initiatives include: private equity investments in greenhouse gas mitigation, participation in the greenhouse gas trading of EU compliance instruments, adding carbon credits to the Dow Jones-AIG Commodity Index, bundling of insurance products for developers of renewable energy, and reduction of the firm's own carbon footprint. AIG had $2.1 billion in insured losses from hurricanes in 2005.

Mexico stands at a crossroads on energy (06/13/2006)
MEXICO CITY - In the midst of Mexico's biggest oil boom since the 1970s, the nation's top two presidential candidates are debating whether to turn outward and open oil to private investors or inward by exporting less crude and giving Mexicans subsidized gasoline

Study: Polar bears may turn to cannibalism (06/13/2006)
Polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea may be turning to cannibalism because longer seasons without ice keep them from getting to their natural food, a new study by American and Canadian scientists has found.

UT Dallas Report shows Opportunities from Global Warming (06/12/2006)
Mitigating global warming may provide a major opportunity for investment and job growth in the United States, but any such potential is endangered if the public and policy makers remain mired in either panic or a sense of resignation about climate change, according to a new report published by Dr. Lloyd Jeff Dumas, professor of economics and public policy at The University of Texas at Dallas.

Ripe for the Picking: Have We Exhausted the Low-Hanging Fruit in the Industrial Sector? (06/10/2006)
This April 2006 study analyzes data from the U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) program database to determine whether the abundant, low-cost efficiency opportunities available to industrial facilities in the '70s still exist today. The short answer is "yes" according to the report, which estimates that implementing cost-effective energy efficiency measures today could save up to 18% of U.S. industrial electricity use.

Stemco to reduce use of hazardous plant chemicals (06/09/2006)
Longview manufacturer Stemco will eliminate the use of two hazardous chemicals at its plant through a new process it has developed to make leather seals.

Stemco will eliminate 36,000 pounds of toluene and 18,000 pounds of methyl ethyl ketone from the waste it generates annually. The company also has joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Partnership for Environmental Priorities, a voluntary program in which companies pledge to reduce the use or release of 31 priority chemicals beyond the requirements of environmental regulations.

EPA Strategic Plan Comments Sought by July 17 (06/06/2006)
EPA submitted the Agency's 2003-2008 Strategic Plan to Congress and OMB September 30, 2003, as required under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. Our Strategic Plan is built around five goals, centered on the themes of air and global climate change, water, land, communities and ecosystems, and compliance and environmental stewardship. These themes reflect EPA's mission, to protect human health and the natural environment. In addition, the Plan discusses strategies the Agency is applying across all five goals, in areas such as science, human capital, innovation, information, homeland security, partnerships, and economic and policy analysis.

Position Available: Ocean Conservancy (06/06/2006)
The Ocean Conservancy's fish conservation program seeks to end overfishing through research, education, regulation, incentives, legislation, and litigation. As part of this effort, The Ocean Conservancy is developing incentive-based solutions that reward fishers for achievement of conservation goals. Taking advantage of both regulatory and market-based approaches, incentives might include increased access to healthy stocks or greater regulatory flexibility in return for measurable progress on conservation goals. At this time, The Ocean Conservancy's fish conservation program is giving particular emphasis to the Gulf of Mexico region.
To apply contact: jobs@oceanconservancy.org

Sewage Plant for Clean Heating (06/06/2006)
Sapporo City in Hokkaido will utilize heat pump technology to recover heat from warm, treated wastewater from a sewage disposal plant in Nishi Ward.

Biodiesel Heats Up in EU and SF (06/05/2006)
Europe needs biodiesel and not ethanol, according to an oil exec quoted by Reuters. Since they drive on the opposite side of the road, it is somehow fitting that Europeans also prefer diesel to gasoline.
The motor fuel split in the EU is about 50/50, but diesel is expected to soon overtake gas. Oil man Jacques Blondy says the country is wasting time investing in ethanol since biodiesel is in short supply, which will prohibit the region from meetings its goal of 5.75 percent renewable fuels by 2010. He calls the ethanol policy agriculturally driven -- doesn't that sound familiar?

Efficiency and Innovation in U.S. Manufacturing Energy Use (06/01/2006)
This report features 17 case studies, including one featuring Frito-Lay, whose energy efficiency upgrades are returning 30% on investment annually.

TCEQ Fines BP Products North America, Inc. $336,566 (05/31/2006)
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today approved penalties totaling $926,275 against 71 regulated entities for violations of state environmental regulations.
Agreed orders were issued for the following enforcement categories: one agricultural, 20 air quality, one Edwards Aquifer, one industrial hazardous waste, three industrial waste discharge, three multi-media, two municipal solid waste, six municipal waste discharge, 19 petroleum storage tank, six public water system, and two water quality. There were default orders issued for the following categories: one municipal solid waste, one petroleum storage tank and two public water system. The commissioners approved two petroleum storage tank orders following contested case hearings. In addition, one field citation was issued for a petroleum storage tank violation.
Included in the total fine figure is a penalty of $336,566 against BP Products North America, Inc. in Galveston County for air violations. The agreed order resulted from 27 violations found during investigations in 2004 and 2005. Violations include: exceeding emissions limits, failure to report emission events, failure to install monitoring equipment, and failure to submit complete reports.

Drought Already has made its Mark on 2006 Texas Summer (05/30/2006)
The term of art is "flash drought." That's how meteorologists describe a dry spell that quickly turns bad. It can occur when a drought-prone area goes just a few weeks without rain. Temperatures escalate, and subsurface moisture levels drop. Suddenly, a seemingly harmless dry spell turns critical: lake levels are falling and crops begin dying.

$500,000 Loan for Additional Water Rights for Ranchos de Taos (05/29/2006)
(Santa Fe, NM) - New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Secretary Ron Curry will formally execute a $500,000 funding agreement with the El Valle de los Ranchos Water and Sanitation District of Ranchos de Taos that will be used to acquire the water rights necessary to develop the water system infrastructure to residents in the district who do not currently have water service.

What to Expect from an Ecotour (05/29/2006)
The Internet has given people an opportunity to learn more about exotic locales around the world, and many entrepreneurs are more than happy to help people visit these remote destinations. Unfortunately, adventure-seeking travelers can have a negative impact on local ecosystems and communities, in the form of natural resource depletion, soil erosion, air and water pollution, habitat loss, decreased biodiversity, and heightened vulnerability to forest fires.
A growing awareness of these problems has fueled a more sustainable approach to travel: ecotourism. Ecotours are typically geared toward destinations with abundant flora and fauna and a rich cultural heritage, but unlike typical sightseeing tours, these packages emphasize interaction with local peoples, volunteerism, personal growth, and education.

Clean Texas Program Changing (05/25/2006)
The Clean Texas, Cleaner World program is changing its name to just Clean Texas but that's not the only change in store for the program. The TCEQ is updating the Clean Texas program to encourage greater participation and to support all entities that wish to improve their environmental performance. Organizations can now join the program at its new Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum membership levels.
Because the new structure of the program is still being finalized, current members don't need to upgrade just yet. Current members need only change their membership status at their regularly scheduled renewal date. They can still expect the same benefits and rewards for participation. Members can stay informed by visiting www.cleantexas.org for announcements about benefits as the program moves forward.

'Don't Mess with Texas' up for ad award (05/22/2006)
Willie Nelson has said it. Ashley Judd has said it. Now the whole country might be saying it, as the "Don't Mess with Texas" campaign runs for Advertising Week's Favorite Slogan Award.

Created by Austin advertising agency GSD&M Advertising back in 1986, the "Don't Mess with Texas" campaign celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and stands to earn a major honor at the nation's top advertising event. Advertising Week, held in September in New York City, is a gathering of the nation's top advertising agencies and a valuable showcase for the slogan and the company behind it.

Pollution Prevention Awards-Applications Accepted (05/22/2006)
The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) announces the application period for the Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) Awards. The application deadline is June 16, 2006 (post marked).
Since 1997, NPPR has been recognizing outstanding P2 efforts throughout the country. The attached map indicates the states of the past winners.
The 2006 MVP2 Awards will attempt to recognize at least one program/project from each of the following types of organization: Local government; State government; Federal government; Tribal; Not-for-profit; and private industry.

Plug-in Hybrids May Save Ford (05/21/2006)
Bill Ford said his company is considering a plug-in hybrid, which would be a brilliant PR move.
Whichever company launches a plug-in hybrid will win accolades from consumers long suspicious that Detroit was conspiring with Big Oil to keep Americans addicted to a crude lifestyle.

But Ford could become an instant hero with the enviro crowd by partnering with a renewable energy company to address concerns about shifting pollution from city streets to coal-powered electric plants. When you purchase a plug-in hybrid, Ford should give $100 worth of electricity when they switch to a clean utility such as Green Mountain Energy.

World's Largest Solar Plant Takes Off in Portugal (05/20/2006)
GE Energy Financial Services announced the world's biggest single solar power plant is to be built in Serpa, Portugal in one of Europe's sunniest areas. The 11 MW plant will be designed, operated, and maintained by PowerLight, a U.S. company that makes photovoltaic systems. The installation will produce enough electricity to power more than 8,000 homes and will save more than 30,000 tons a year in greenhouse gas emissions. The plant is scheduled to be in full operation by January 2007. It is GE Energy's first solar power project in Europe and brings the company's renewable energy portfolio around the world to almost $1 billion.

Roberts Center Rates BASF, Praxair and Dow High on Sustainability (05/19/2006)
Of the 30 companies in the chemicals sector whose environmental and sustainability reporting was analyzed by the Roberts Environmental Center in 2006, the largest, BASF (Germany), clearly had the best environmental and sustainability reporting based on the Center's Pacific Sustainability Index (PSI) with a grade of A+. The next best reports, with grades of A and A- were Praxair (US), a 10th the size, Dow Chemical, nearly as large as BASF, and Asahi Kasehi (Japan), half its size. In the B range were DuPont (US), Lyondell Chemical (US), Nalco (US), Bayer (Germany), and PolyOne (US) making a sweep for German and American companies. In our previous sector reporting it is unusual for so many American firms to be near the top.

What to Expect from an Ecotour (05/18/2006)
The Internet has given people an opportunity to learn more about exotic locales around the world, and many entrepreneurs are more than happy to help people visit these remote destinations. Unfortunately, adventure-seeking travelers can have a negative impact on local ecosystems and communities, in the form of natural resource depletion, soil erosion, air and water pollution, habitat loss, decreased biodiversity, and heightened vulnerability to forest fires.

Lean and Green (05/15/2006)
Earlier this year, when the government announced new eating guidelines that for the first time addressed weight loss, I was at the edge of my seat: Like two thirds of Americans, I need to slim down. But following the federal Food Pyramid, last revised in 1992, had kept me from losing weight and no wonder, when it encouraged fat-free foods like jellybeans. At least I wasn't alone: The Harvard School of Public Health says federal guidelines that painted fat (not sugar, portion size or lack of exercise) as the nutritional villain "may have contributed to the current epidemics of obesity and diabetes as people replaced fats with fast-burning carbohydrates."

Drinking Water - Screening for Potential Contaminants (05/08/2006)
Turn on the kitchen tap and out comes crystal-clear water. It looks clean, but is it?
To answer that question, the TCEQ and its local utility partners run an extensive program to not only deliver drinking water to where it is needed but also to ensure that the contents are safe.
About 6,700 public water systems around the state operate under rules established by the TCEQ, which in turn has to satisfy federal drinking water requirements.

EU on Atrazine (05/03/2006)
The European Union has banned the herbicide Atrazine, effective next year, after finding it contaminated a number of drinking water supplies. The weed killer first came under scrutiny for its effects on frogs, and more recently has been linked to adverse affects on human health.
Some 70 million pounds of Atrazine are used in the US each year, mostly on cornfields. After studying Atrazine, the Environmental Protection Agency decided not to ban it in the US, but says its research into the chemical continues.
Joining me now is Tyrone Hayes, a professor at UC Berkeley who's done pivotal research on Atrazine. And he's just back from Europe, we caught up with him at the airport. Professor Hayes, welcome to Living on Earth.

Household Waste Collections in Texas (05/03/2006)

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is offering rural Texans the opportunity to dispose of properly rinsed plastic pesticide containers, used motor oil, oil filters, and lead acid batteries free of charge. Cleanups are scheduled in:

Trashed tires an environmental hazard (05/03/2006)
Scattered along back roads, piled high near fences, tossed into alleyways the Texas-Mexico border is overrun with discarded tires.
Cities throughout the Valley, as well as across the border, are struggling to keep illegal tire dumping under control. And officials and experts say the tires aren't just an inconvenience or any eyesore they're potential health and environmental hazards.
Not only are they a nuisance, but they could be (harboring) diseases, said Laura Robinson, zoonosis control veterinarian for Texas Department of State Health Services Region 11, which includes the Valley. Tires can be breeding sites for mosquitoes & and the mosquitoes could be vectors for dengue (fever) or the West Nile virus.

Citing Security, Plants Use Safer Chemicals (04/25/2006)
WASHINGTON, - At least 225 industrial plants in this country have switched to using less dangerous chemicals since the 2001 terrorist attacks, lowering the risk that people nearby would be injured or killed by toxic plumes, a new study has found.
Safety concerns prompted Buddy Andrews to stop storing chlorine gas at his pool company in Scottsdale, Ariz. Blue Water Pool Chemical, the company owned by Mr. Andrews, now uses a solid form of chlorine, above, and a liquid one.
While these plants represent only a tiny fraction of the estimated 14,000 nationwide that store or use large quantities of extremely hazardous substances, environmentalists nonetheless cite their efforts as proof that companies and utilities can and should make the switch.

WorldWatch Releases 2005 State of the Environment Report (04/23/2006)
The dramatic rise of China and India presents one of the gravest threats - and greatest opportunities - facing the world today, says the WorldWatch Institute in its State of the World 2005 report. The choices these countries make in the next few years will lead the world either towards a future of growing ecological and political instability - or down a development path based on efficient technologies and better stewardship of resources.
"Rising demand for energy, food, and raw materials by 2.5 billion Chinese and Indians is already having ripple effects worldwide," says Worldwatch President Christopher Flavin.

Are Energy Vampires in Your Home? (04/21/2006)
When you walk through your home at night with the lights off, chances are your path will still be lit by the eerie glow of "standby" lights and digital displays on various appliances and electronic devices. Because these devices are ready to operate or receive signals at all times, they act like vampires silently sucking away energy even when they are turned "off."

Think your home is Earth-friendly? (04/16/2006)
Government and business deserve their share of the blame for harming the planet. But have you considered your own contributions? Your home may be the source of twice as many greenhouse gas emissions as your car. In fact, you probably have a gas guzzler in the garage. And you may have your own "toxic spill" to clean up - under the counter. Chemicals meant to shine sinks and add foam to shampoos and conditioners could be making you and the planet sick.
A 12-week course in Salt Lake City shows you how to keep it clean and green.

EPA awards Exxon Mobil (04/15/2006)
The federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy presented the Exxon Mobil Baytown Complex a 2006 Energy Star Combined Heat and Power Award to recognize the complex's use of cogeneration facilities.
Combined heat and power, also known as CHP or cogeneration, is a means of generating both power and thermal energy from a single fuel source. The award recognizes projects that reduce emissions and use at least 5 percent less fuel than state-of-the-art comparable heat-and-power generation.

Automakers Pimp Hybrids to Please (04/06/2006)
Hybrid vehicles are set to go from green to mean in 2006, with a fleet of new models that tout power, performance and luxury alongside fuel efficiency. U.S. drivers will see at least four new hybrid models this year from Toyota, Saturn, Nissan and Lexus, and older models from Honda are also getting an upgrade. While all offer better-than-average fuel efficiency, they also aim to please mainstream car buyers with more traditional features, such as higher horsepower and faster acceleration. The move comes as some car makers throw increasing weight behind hybrids amid signs of consumer caution. Despite the awards and industry attention, hybrids today account for less than 2 percent of total vehicle sales in the United States. Still, Toyota, which sold 350,000 Camry sedans last year in the United States, hopes that nearly 10 percent of all Camrys sold this year will be hybrids.

ADEQ Brings Arkansas Material Exchange Directory to Arkansas (04/05/2006)
Businesses and other organizations around the state will have easy access to the exchange of unused and unwanted materials through the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ's Arkansas Material Exchange Directory (ARMAX). ARMAX is a data base that connects businesses, non-profit groups and governmental entities that have materials which may be in storage or are being sent to a landfill with others who can utilize such materials.

Rural Renewable Energy Funds Available (04/05/2006)
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) announces the availability of funds for fiscal year (FY) 2006 to purchase renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements for agriculture producers and rural small businesses in eligible rural areas. The amount available for competitive grants is $11.385 million. Approximately $176.5 million in guaranteed loan authority is also available. For renewable energy systems, the minimum grant request is $2,500 and the maximum is $500,000. For energy efficiency improvements, the minimum acceptable grant request is $1,500 and the maximum is $250,000. The maximum amount of a guaranteed loan made to a borrower will be $10 million. For FY 2006, the guarantee fee amount is 1.0% (one percent) of the guaranteed portion of the loan and the annual renewal fee is 0.125% (one-eighth of one percent) of the guaranteed portion of the loan.

UT Sustainability Signature Course (03/29/2006)
task force chaired by President Bill Powers examined the core curriculum last year and issued sweeping recommendations. The proposals, especially one to create a freshman college to oversee the core curriculum, have sparked an intense debate across campus as UT reviews its core curriculum for the first time in 25 years. Engineering Dean Ben Streetman called the proposed University College "a complete disaster" last month. Supporters include some of the University's top professors and its president. The Powers report recommends two mandatory Signature Courses taken during the freshman and sophomore years.

$188 Million In Loan Guarantees for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects (03/26/2006)
LAS VEGAS, Feb. 22, 2006 - Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced today the availability of $176.5 million in loan guarantees and almost $11.4 million in grants to support investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements by agricultural producers and small businesses. Johanns also highlighted that Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman today announced $160 million in cost-shared funding over three years to construct up to three biorefineries in the United States.

TCEQ assigns experts to help Lorena (03/23/2006)
In Texas, Lorena council members met with a representative from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality at the council's Tuesday meeting to discuss how the environmental enforcement agency will help the city update its wastewater treatment system after numerous violations. Lorena City Manager John Moran said the commission assigned a local government assistance team to the city earlier this month to help evaluate regulatory issues at the city's wastewater treatment plant. City officials learned how that project would work at Tuesday's meeting.

Forum Says Governments Must Improve Water (03/22/2006)
MEXICO CITY - Governments, not private companies, should take the lead in improving public access to safe drinking water, representatives of 148 countries said Wednesday at the end of a forum on how to tackle the world's water crisis. The seven-day forum focused much of its attention on the developing world's growing reliance on bottled water bought from private companies. Worldwide, the industry is now worth about $100 billion per year. Anti-corporate forces and other critics say governments should instead be improving tap water supplies.

Court deals blow to EPA's relaxed rule on air emissions (03/20/2006)
The US Environmental Protection Agency will probably have to go back to the drawing board now that a US appeals court has said aging power plants and other industrial sites must meet the same federal pollution standards as new plants. Friday's decision represents a repudiation of EPA policy under the Bush administration, which sought to exempt plants that predated the 1970 Clean Air Act from compliance with the tougher air-emission standards. It was cheered by environmentalists - especially those who live and work near such power plants.

Texas-Oklahoma Fires Just The Start (03/16/2006)
The Texas and Oklahoma wildfires are just the beginning of what meteorologists predict will be a spring with an unusually high number of wildfires. Most of danger lies in the Southwest, much of the Plains and parts of the South, the National Weather Service warned, adding that severe drought and above-normal temperatures across the region are expected to persist.

Heifer International Green World Headquarters Opening This Week (03/15/2006)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. ---- Former President Bill Clinton will inaugurate Heifer International's new $17.5-million world headquarters building with a speech on Hope for One World during a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 16, in front of the new green building at Heifer's new address at 1 World Avenue in Little Rock, Ark. The event is free and open to the public. In the event of inclement weather, the Dedication Ceremony will proceed as planned, with indoor facilities available for simulcast viewing and umbrellas and parkas welcome for outdoor seating. Clinton, who in the past has spoken eloquently about growing up in Hope, Ark., as a metaphor for his own goals and ambitions, will speak about hope for the world through Heifer's work helping poor people around the world achieve self-reliance. Clinton, whose support for Heifer goes back to his days as governor of Arkansas, also was the keynote speaker at Heifer's Oct. 29, 2003, groundbreaking.

Louisiana Prevention of Termite Spread Through Mulch (03/09/2006)
Efforts are under way to prevent the spread of Formosan subterranean termites in mulch from New Orleans and Louisiana following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It is true that there is a lot of cellulose debris (wood, paper and their products) in Louisiana following these two hurricanes. Yes, Formosan subterranean termites are found in the parishes affected by the hurricanes and will get in mulch. However, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) in Louisiana imposed a quarantine for the Formosan subterranean termite on October 3, 2005, in Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes (the parishes affected by the hurricanes).

Drought Affects Ok Drinking Water (03/07/2006)
Public water systems that use reservoirs or streams as the raw water supply for a community may be experiencing problems due to lack of rain. When water levels are very low, iron and manganese, which are normally found toward the bottom of a water body, can be picked up by the water pumping system. Iron and manganese are naturally occurring elements. While neither poses a health hazard in drinking water, these elements can cause water to look dirty or make clothes turn reddish brown when washed due to interaction with bleach products.

NMED Secretary Appointed to EPA Good Neighbor Environmental Board (03/07/2006)
(Santa Fe, NM) New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Secretary Ron Curry was recently named to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Good Neighbor Environmental Board, an independent federal advisory committee on environmental sustainability along the U.S.-Mexico border region. The Good Neighbor Environmental Board advises the president and Congress on a wide range of issues related to environmental and infrastructure needs within the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Cleaner Air On The Horizon With New Joint Efforts By Public, Private Sectors (02/28/2006)
A consortium with a mission to significantly reduce air pollution in a large part of the central United States was announced today by EPA and the Central States Air Resources Agencies. The Blue Skyways Collaborative, consisting of federal, state and local government agencies; nonprofits; and industry, met for the first time this week in Kansas City, Kan. It will use public/private partnerships to improve the quality of life in America's Heartland.

Development vs. the Environment: A River Runs Through It (02/28/2006)
When an 88-year-old woman offers to blow herself up to shut down a factory, you can be pretty sure you have let a controversy get out of control.

The senior citizen and her fellow residents of Gualeguaychu, Argentina, are outraged that a Finnish paper mill is being built just across the Uruguay River in the town of Fray Bentos. They see the new plant as a blight on the landscape and an environmental hazard that will cause irreparable damage to the river, which serves as the natural border between the two countries.

Grandfather of P2 Dies at age 86 (02/28/2006)
Ling originally came to the United States from China hoping he could learn how to build railroads for his native country. His best-known contribution to industry, though, is a pollution prevention program he launched at 3M Co. during a 24-year career there. The St. Paul resident died Wednesday after a battle with lung cancer. He was 86.

Test Starts for 100% Renewable Energy Microgrid using a Private Transmission Line (02/28/2006)
A test to demonstrate a new decentralized energy supply system using a private transmission line (5 kilometers in length) has started in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture, it was announced on October 17, 2005 by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), an independent administrative agency. In this test, a total of 710 kilowatts of electricity generated by gas engines, photovoltaics and wind turbines, is being supplied to city hall, elementary and junior high schools and other buildings in the city.

Bush Blames Cuts at Energy Lab on Mix-Up (02/22/2006)
GOLDEN, Colo. - President Bush on Tuesday acknowledged that Washington has sent "mixed signals" to one of the nation's premiere labs studying renewable energies by first laying off, then reinstating, 32 workers just before his visit. The president blamed the conflicting message on an appropriations mix-up in funding the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is developing the very renewable energy technologies the president is promoting

Bush: U.S. to see energy breakthrough (02/21/2006)
By Deb Reichmann The Associated Press: Saying the nation is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that would "startle" most Americans, President Bush on Monday outlined his energy proposals to help wean the country off foreign oil. Less than half the crude oil used by refineries is produced in the United States, Bush said during the first stop on a two-day trip to talk about energy. Some foreign suppliers have "unstable" governments, creating a national security issue, and we're held hostage for energy by foreign nations that may not like us," Bush said.

Central states, EPA Announce Joint Plan to Reduce Air Pollution (02/20/2006)
Feb. 17 -- Federal environmental officials have announced a plan with nine central states to reduce emissions and improve air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Central States Air Resources Agencies have formed the Blue Skyways Collaborative, which includes federal, state and local governments, nonprofit groups, and members of industry. Participating states include Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. Private partners from Canada and Mexico also are participating. The EPA plans to commit $9 million to finance collaborate projects beginning this year. The projects will prevent an estimated 2,300 tons of diesel soot from polluting the air in the central states by adding clean diesel technology to 10,000 diesel engines in the region, according to the EPA.

Texas Country Cleanups Announced (02/20/2006)
The TCEQ offers rural Texans a place to bring used oil, oil filters, batteries, and properly rinsed pesticide containers. These one-day collections are free to the public. Clean ups will be in Boerne 2/20, Jourdanton 2/22, Karnes City 2/23, and Seguin 2/24.

What is your Carbon Footprint? (02/19/2006)
Many of our daily activities affect the environment, but few people have stopped to consider the most important: their personal contribution to global warming. The fossil fuels we burn to satisfy our transportation and energy needs generate carbon dioxide (CO2), the heat-trapping gas primarily responsible for climate change. In fact, the average American generates 20 tons of CO2 every year about the same amount as three new cars! Several online calculators are available to help you determine your own annual production of CO2, or carbon footprint (see Related Links). These calculations take into account specific lifestyle choices that add CO2 to the atmosphere or, in some cases, reduce CO2 because of climate-friendly actions you may already be taking. As the following strategies suggest, it's not difficult to shrink your carbon footprint.

Electric Super Car Tops 180 MPH (02/14/2006)
Would you believe an emission free car that can blows away almost every vehicle the road? That's the claim from Hybrid Technologies, which says it will soon start selling the Lithium Carbon Fiber Super Car. The vehicle uses lithium batteries and will reach 180 mph, and go 0 to 60 mph in just over 3 seconds, according to the Hybrid Technologies, which is building the car in partnership with exotic sports car maker Mullen Motors.

Winter Olympics Get Green Seal of Approval (02/13/2006)
As the 2006 Winter Olympics kicks off tonight in Turin, Italy, behind the scenes environmentalists are applauding the green credentials of the Games. Just as years of training will pay off for the more than 2,500 athletes from 85 different nations competing in 15 different disciplines, the Games will be the culmination of an extensive environmental program aimed at making the event environmentally friendly and sustainable in ways that will benefit the entire region for years to come

Environmentalists Pressure Perry to Reverse Power Plant Order (02/08/2006)
Texas environmental groups joined forces Tuesday to call on Gov. Rick Perry to reverse an executive order issued last fall. The order would fast-track the permit approval process for seven new coal-burning power plants, including one the groups claim would be the dirtiest in the nation. "Is this the best we can do? The worst in the nation?" said Karen Hadden, executive director of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development, or SEED, Coalition.

Bush speech can fuel alternative energy, many proponents say (01/31/2006)
Bush speech can fuel alternative energy, many proponents say RAY HAGAR RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL Posted: 1/31/2006 Reader comments Online State of the Union survey advertisement President George W. Bush delivers his State of the Union Address tonight at 6 p.m. on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, PBS and C-Span television. Most networks will use two hours for the speech and various commentary afterward. The speech will be streamed live online at, among other sites, www.c-span.org, and broadcast on many radio stations. Mark Flatter, 44, of Truckee is a big proponent of alternative energy sources. For the past three years, he has mixed discarded vegetable oil and canola oil from a downtown Truckee restaurant to help power his truck. He filters it, blends it with diesel fuel and off he goes in his Ford pickup. "I see no difference in performance," Flatter said, comparing his concoction to regular diesel.

Six Injured in N.C. Chemical Plant Blast (01/31/2006)
MORGANTON, N.C. — An explosion at a chemical plant left six people injured Tuesday and nearby residents were urged to stay indoors until officials determined the type of chemicals involved in the blast. At least two of the injured were taken to a hospital after the explosion at the Synthron Inc. plant shortly after 11:30 a.m., officials said. Firefighters were on the scene and police urged residents to stay inside. Authorities called residents near the plant to tell them to close their windows and turn off their ventilation and heating systems while hazardous materials crews figure out what chemicals were possibly in the air, said Lisa Propst, a communications manager for Burke County emergency services.

Bush Speech to Outline Energy Alternatives (01/30/2006)
WASHINGTON - Trying to calm anxieties about soaring energy costs, President Bush is using his State of the Union address this week to focus on a package of energy proposals aimed at bringing fuel-saving technologies out of the lab and into use. In Bush's vision, drivers will stop at hydrogen stations and fill their fuel-cell cars with the pollution-free fuel. Or they would power their engines with ethanol made from trash or corn. More Americans would run their lights at home on solar power.

Home Solar Power Introduced to Green Power Market (01/30/2006)
A project to promote the environmental value of home-generated electricity using photovoltaic (PV) systems, called the PV-Green project, was launched in March 2005 by the PV Owner Network, Japan (PV-Net). Having noted that most households with PV systems consume about half of the electricity generated, the network decided to issue green power certificates for this power in order to focus on the environmental value of personal consumption of PV-generated electricity. The network is the first in the world to market green power certificates for home PV generation.

Travelers Auto Insurance Offers Discount to Hybrid Owners. (01/27/2006)
Travelers, the fourth largest property and casualty insurer in the United States, is now giving a ten percent discount on auto insurance to owners of hybrid-electric vehicles. It is the first auto insurer in the U.S. to implement such a discount nationwide. The program, called The Gas Station Revelation by Travelers executive Greg Toczydlowski, is intended to reward hybrid owners who research indicates fall into a low-risk category historically given lower premiums. The research shows that hybrid owners generally stay within speed limits, use their cars to commute between home and work, and are typically married, between the ages of 41 and 60, with both genders represented equally. Hybrid sales have doubled every year since 1999, making it a growing submarket for insurers. As of August there were over 325,000 registered hybrids in the United States.

Austin Mayor, Energy Leaders, Begin National Hybrid Campaign (01/25/2006)
Austin Mayor Will Wynn is in Washington, D.C., this week to help launch a national campaign aimed at encouraging auto makers to mass produce plug-in hybrid vehicles. Wynn, along with a group of leaders in the energy field, announced the national campaign at a press conference Tuesday. The movement's leadership hopes to gain strength through a grass-roots venture of petitions, commitments by businesses showing their willingness to purchase plug-in hybrids in bulk and pledges from public utility companies to support the purchase of these types of vehicles through tax incentives and rebates.

Two-wheeled New Yorkers Rely on Ingenuity (01/25/2006)
Traffic flattens many romantic views of New York. If our streets flow and pulse, why do braking cars grate our nerves from the Palisades down to Coney Island? And a related question: why is it so hard to get around on a bike? While future planning adjustments would rectify both weaknesses, bikers remain in a precarious mess. We can begin to see how as we approach the city's great bridges. The Brooklyn Bridge, like many monumental sites around New York, serves thousands of citizens' practical purposes. Commuters and runners use it as an extended street. Tourists sometimes need a prompt to walk across it, not just stare at it. It connects downtown Brooklyn's plazas and boulevards to Lower Manhattan as a veiny network of little river-seeking streets. It's a gracious rush to flow between these hubs over a stretch of harbor views--that is, until your bike clangs into motorists, barriers, and manic bike messengers. And that's where sensible planning would help.

Still time to Submit Oklahoma Trash Poster for State Contest (01/24/2006)
“Just Say Neigh to Litter” is the slogan on one of the winners in the 2005 Trash Poster Contest. Deadline for entries in the 2006 contest is February 1 and students in Kindergarten through the 12th grade are encouraged to showcase their creative talent by entering. In 2005 more than 13,675 entries were received in the statewide Trash Poster competition. The annual contest is a partnership of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (KOB), the Department of Education and the Cherokee Nation.

Greentips - Green Carpeting (and Rugs) (01/23/2006)
According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, carpet covers about 70 percent of the floors in U.S. homes and workplaces. This may not be surprising considering that carpet is relatively inexpensive, helps reduce noise, and is easy on the feet, but few people realize the environmental impact it can have over its lifetime. Carpet and rug manufacturing consumes large quantities of energy and water, and involves chemicals (especially in the dyeing process) that contribute to air and water pollution. Furthermore, the synthetic fibers used in most carpets are made from petroleum—a non-renewable fossil fuel—and take an extremely long time to biodegrade. That’s a significant concern when approximately 3.5 billion pounds of carpet are added to landfills every year.

TCEQ CLEAN AIR HEARING FEB. 6, LOngview (01/21/2006)
People can comment on proposed tougher guidelines for clean air during a public hearing next month in Longview. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will hold a hearing - one of seven across the state - at 2 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Longview Public Library, 222 W. Cotton St.

Recovery and Relief Efforts Continue in Biloxi (01/20/2006)
BILOXI, Miss. ­- On Division Street, the evidence of Hurricane Katrina is still obvious. Equipment and debris are still piled on sides of streets, trash is still caught in overhanging branches of trees. Many shells of homes and businesses are still standing, though they've been gutted to halt the growth of black mold. Nearby, their owners wait for insurance agents or government officials to visit and give them news about the status of their compensation or business loans, for which they applied following the storm

Ex-EPA Chiefs Blame Bush in Global Warming (01/18/2006)
WASHINGTON - Six former heads of the Environmental Protection Agency — five Republicans and one Democrat — accused the Bush administration Wednesday of neglecting global warming and other environmental problems. "I don't think there's a commitment in this administration," said Bill Ruckelshaus, who was EPA's first administrator when the agency opened its doors in 1970 under President Nixon and headed it again under President Reagan in the 1980s. Russell Train, who succeeded Ruckelshaus in the Nixon and Ford administrations, said slowing the growth of "greenhouse" gases isn't enough.

A World Without Waste Radio Series Airs (01/17/2006)
A new four-part series, made by the ABC and the BBC, tracks the international drive by governments, scientists, environmentalists and communities towards zero waste. The series visits four different countries in the Asia-Pacific region; Japan, China, the Philippines and the USA, to look at how waste is being disposed of: to meet the people, to describe the technology, to examine the scientific thinking and to ponder the ideas behind it all.

Can Environment Regulation Be Good For Business? (01/17/2006)
Yes it can according to a recent article by AMR Research analyst Eric Karofsky. He contends that the innovation processes that companies must develop to comply with environmental laws, both stateside and global, translate into a competitive edge.

Industrial Production Posts Solid Gain (01/17/2006)
WASHINGTON - The nation's industrial output posted a solid increase in December as recovery in production of Gulf Coast oil and gas wells offset a slump in auto manufacturing. The Federal Reserve reported that production at the nation's factories, mines and utilities rose by 0.6 percent last month following gains of 0.8 percent in November and 1 percent in October.

Renewable energy quota set for power companies (01/17/2006)
China has set a quota on renewable energy use for large domestic power companies in its efforts to diversify energy sources and clean up the environment, the China Daily reported. Chinese power companies with an installed capacity of over 5 gigawatts must ensure 5 percent of their power generators are fueled by renewable energy sources by 2010. That proportion will rise to 10 percent by 2020, the report quoted Zhang Guobao, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planning agency, as saying. Renewable energy sources include non-fossil fuels such as wind and solar power.

Who Can Conquer China's Mountains of Garbage? (01/17/2006)
Use as thermal energy, compost, recycle China is looking to catch up to Western standards in dealing with its immense waste disposal problem. The environment trade fair IFAT China provides foreign companies with the chance to present their technologies and services in a country willing to make investment in Shanghai from June 27 to 30, 2006. China has become a significant economic power with current growth rates of approx. nine percent annually. However, this rapid economic development is connected with the continually escalating use of natural resources and increasing pollution. For example, household waste in Chinese cities will increase from about 190 million tons in 2004 to 480 million tons annually over the next 25 years according to an estimate by the German Federal Agency for Foreign Trade (bfai).

Exxon cuts ties to global warming skeptics (01/12/2006)
Oil major Exxon Mobil Corp. is engaging in industry talks on possible U.S. greenhouse gas emissions regulations and has stopped funding groups skeptical of global warming claims  moves that some say could indicate a change in stance from the long-time foe of limits on heat-trapping gases.

Exxon, along with representatives from about 20 other companies, is participating in talks sponsored by Resources for the Future, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit. The think tank said it expected the talks would generate a report in the fall with recommendations to legislators on how to regulate greenhouse emissions.

How Clean is Lean? (01/11/2006)
Today the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a new report, Survey of Emissions Models for Distributed Combined Heat and Power Systems. The report reviews existing models attempts to quantify or describe the emissions effects of combined heat and power (CHP) systems. The models surveyed vary in design, scope, and detail, but they all commonly seek to capture the functions of an energy economy and use knowledge of economic interactions to simulate the effects of economic and policy changes.

ADEQ suspends gravel mining permits (01/10/2006)
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality temporarily suspended five in-stream gravel mining permits on Crooked Creek due to the creek's listing as an impaired stream.

The action, which was announced late Tuesday, is not enforcement and is not based on any violations by the mining operators, but is based on the creek's listing as an impaired stream. The directive applies only to in-stream mining operations at three sites operated by Mountain Home Concrete and two locations operated by Guy King and Sons.

CEC releases Tarahumara Factual Record (01/09/2006)
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) today released a factual record on Mexico's alleged failure to effectively enforce its environmental law by denying access to environmental justice to indigenous peoples of the Sierra Tarahumara, in the state of Chihuahua. The SEM-00-006 (Tarahumara) submission was filed with the CEC Secretariat on 9 June 2000, by the Comisión de Solidaridad y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos A.C. On 22 April 2003, in Council Resolution 03-04, the CEC Council voted unanimously to instruct the CEC Secretariat to prepare a factual record with respect to the submission. A factual record provides information regarding asserted failures to effectively enforce environmental law in North America that may assist submitters, the Parties to the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and other interested members of the public in taking any action they deem appropriate in regard to the matters addressed

Contractors to Put Out Big Compost Fire (01/09/2006)
A major move was made by state officials Monday to tackle a large compost fire that has burned for two weeks in Helotes. The state will bring in a private company to attack the fire, officials said.

Trucker tech that cuts emissions set to expand (01/09/2006)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - An environmentally friendly truck stop system that lets long-haul truckers turn off their engines while they rest and let everyone else breathe easier is set to expand to more states. Praised by truckers and the Environmental Protection Agency alike, the IdleAire Technologies Corp. system delivers heat, air conditioning, telephone, TV and the Internet through a window-mounted touch-screen panel at the end of a big yellow hose not unlike an old drive-in movie hookup.

Euro Rules Force Cleaner Gadgets (01/07/2006)
Device makers across the globe are retooling factories and tweaking hardware designs to meet a looming European deadline aimed at reducing lead and other toxic materials in electronic gear. New environmental rules (.pdf) adopted by the European Commission are scheduled to take effect July 1, and require makers of virtually all electronic products to limit the use of brominated flame retardants polybrominated biphenyl and polybrominated diphenyl ether as well as cutting use of four heavy metals: lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium. Known as RoHS (for "the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment"), the rules aim primarily to make disposal or recycling of electronics safer and easier. The regulations affect only products sold in the European Union. But they are expected to have a worldwide impact, since companies are not expected to create two versions of their products for sale in different markets. As a result, Europe could wind up calling the shots on environmental standards for U.S.-based high-tech companies that face fewer such restrictions at home.

Energy Inefficient (01/06/2006)
For Europeans facing the prospect of double-digit price increases for their heating bills yet again, the row between Russia and Ukraine over the cost of natural gas is a salutary wake-up call. The halting of gas supplies to Ukraine and the concomitant cuts in output in mainland Europe - as much as 50% in one day - exposed the EU's over-dependence on Russia and the Kremlin-controlled company Gazprom.

Europe, US uneasy after Russia cuts Ukraine gas supply (01/01/2006)
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States said Russia's halting of gas supplies to Ukraine raised questions about use of energy as a political weapon, and European countries voiced concern their supplies could be hit at the height of winter. Russia, taking over the G8 chairmanship for the first time this month aiming to promote itself as a reliable energy source, cut its neighbor's gas supplies on Sunday. Moscow said it had no choice but to act after Kiev refused to sign a new contract that would have jacked up prices fourfold, ending the preferential treatment of Soviet days.

Fire Burns Several Homes in Oklahoma City (01/01/2006)
OKLAHOMA CITY - A rash of wildfires raged Sunday across Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, including one that burned several homes in northeastern Oklahoma City. Several city residents were evacuated but no injuries were reported, Fire Maj. Brian Stanaland said. Television images showed at least one large structure engulfed in flames. At least a dozen wildfires continued to burn across Oklahoma Sunday evening, urged on by winds up to 50 mph and hot, dry weather. A large blaze near Guthrie threatened several homes, said Michelann Ooten, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

University of Texas Leads Effort to Build Power Plant of the Future (08/03/2005)
July 18, 2005 AUSTIN, Texas—The Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the state of Texas to help prepare the state’s bid for FutureGen, a $1 billion federal program to develop the power plant of the future. FutureGen is a research initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy to build the cleanest fossil fuel-based power plant in the world. The prototype will produce electricity with near zero emissions, capture carbon dioxide for use in enhanced oil recovery and capture hydrogen gas for use in the refining, chemical and transportation fuel industries.

TOP

2005

Most of Europe set to miss Kyoto goals (12/28/2005)
LONDON (AFP) - Most of Europe, which has criticized the United States over its stance on global warming, looks set to miss a set of goals to cut greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol. The findings by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), revealed Tuesday, will make embarrassing reading for European governments that have berated Washington for its refusal to ratify the United Nations pact. Of 15 countries in Europe signed up to Kyoto, only Britain and Sweden were on target to meet their commitments on reducing harmful gas emissions by 2012, said the IPPR, Britain's leading progressive think tank. In contrast, 10 nations -- including Ireland, Italy and Spain -- would fail to do so unless they took urgent action, it said.

Grass Fires Char Homes in Oklahoma, Texas (12/27/2005)
MUSTANG, Okla. - Fires fueled by dry brush and driven by gusty wind damaged several homes in Oklahoma and Texas on Tuesday. Several firefighters and residents suffered minor injuries, authorities said. In Oklahoma, the biggest fire burned at least 400 acres in a rural area near the town of Mustang, southwest of Oklahoma City. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said dozens of fires, mostly in north and central parts of his state, prompted him to deploy firefighters and issue a disaster declaration.

Natural Gas Prices Decline 10 Percent (12/27/2005)
NEW YORK - Natural gas futures plunged 10 percent Tuesday, settling at their lowest level in three and a half months amid forecasts calling for mild U.S. weather over the next week. It was the third straight decline for natural gas prices, which have fallen 23 percent since Wednesday, and the selloff triggered a decline in other energy futures. The drop in energy prices knocked down the shares of integrated oil and gas companies and independent petroleum producers.

Minimize the Environmental Impacts of What You Buy (12/20/2005)
Interested in testing an Internet tool that helps users buy environmentally friendly products? Clean Texas, Cleaner World needs your help. The TCEQ program has teamed up with a Harvard University professor to create an online tool that will measure the environmental impacts of the products you purchase. When completed, the tool will allow you to prioritize your environmental purchasing and get the biggest, positive environmental bang for your buck. The tool will be made available in the public domain and will be downloadable and FREE to users worldwide. If you are interested in testing how this tool can help your business, contact Mike Lindner at 512/239-3045 (or e-mail mlindner@tceq.state.tx.us).

Wal-Mart is target of criminal probe over waste (12/20/2005)
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT - news) on Tuesday said federal prosecutors were investigating whether it had improperly transported returned goods, ranging from hair spray to charcoal, that are deemed hazardous waste.

How safe is tuna? (12/17/2005)
In the fall of 1970, a chemistry professor in upstate New York reached into his pantry, grabbed a can of tuna and, on a hunch, tested it for mercury. What he found stunned him: levels of the toxic metal far above U.S. safety limits. Embarrassed regulators immediately did their own testing, which confirmed the professor's results. Tainted tuna soon captured national headlines and became a cultural reference point, from the butt of Johnny Carson jokes to the lyrics of a Marvin Gaye hit: "Fish full of mercury/Oh mercy, mercy me."

Low-Impact Holiday Shopping (12/16/2005)
The Union of Concerned Scientists has a list of nature friendly holiday ideas.

Financial Times Announces Sustainable Banking Awards (12/15/2005)
The Financial Times, in association with the International Finance Corporation, has launched the annual FT Sustainable Banking Awards. The awards will be open to banks active in both developed and emerging markets. They will acknowledge leadership and innovation in sustainable banking and help stimulate debate over how banks can create social and environmental value without sacrificing profitability. The new program will be the first truly global awards program that recognizes major advances in this area. The five categories for awards in 2006 are: Sustainable Bank of the Year; Emerging Markets Sustainable Bank of the Year; Sustainable Bankers of the Year; Sustainable Deal of the Year; and Sustainable Energy Finance Deal of the Year. The FT will also organize a series of lectures on sustainable banking at top business schools and universities.

Rot in Peace, a slide-show essay (12/15/2005)
A week after 9/11, Inigo Thomas examined the appeal of ruins. Follow a trip along the West's Outlaw Trail through ghost towns and saloons

CO2 use found in oil project (12/08/2005)
The U.S. Department of Energy gave the green light this week to FutureGen, a prototype for a new type of coal power plant that will produce electricity with almost no gas emissions. On Tuesday the DOE signed an agreement with the FutureGen Industrial Alliance, an international consortium created to oversee the construction of the plant. The project will cost nearly $1 billion to complete and will be finished by 2012, the DOE said.

Galveston Bay Foundation Seeks Outreach Coordinator (12/08/2005)
The Outreach and Membership Coordinator will be primarily responsible for membership activities and the growth of the volunteer program. The position requires highly motivated, hard working individual who can coordinate with a diverse group of professional staff and volunteers. Responsibilities include participation in projects where volunteers are present, including some weekends. For more information please e-mail...bstokes@galvbay.org.

Ionic Air Cleaners; Ineffective, Possibly Harmful (12/08/2005)
Devices that make particles electrically charged to remove them from circulating air don’t do much good and can generate substantial amounts of ozone, according to a study of five commercially available air cleaners tested by a University of Texas at Austin architectural engineer. “We should be careful about what we are willing to call an air cleaner,” said Dr. Jeffrey Siegel. “If it’s not that effective and it creates chemicals that are harmful to people without removing them, then the technology in the devices needs improving.” Siegel presented the research findings at the 10th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate held Sept. 4-9 in Beijing, China. The findings are the most comprehensive review of this type of air-purification device to date, and were peer-reviewed before publication in papers that form the proceedings of the meeting.

Dying to breathe (12/02/2005)
A satellite photo of Beijing taken by United States space agency NASA earlier this month showed the capital and the area to its south covered in thick, grey sludge. On that day - November 4 - the air pollution index recorded its worst reading in six months, mainland media reported. Suspended particulate levels reached a dangerous 300 micrograms per cubic meter.

Fuel's paradise? (12/02/2005)
Scientist says device disproves quantum theory but opponents claim the idea is result of wrong maths. It seems too good to be true: a new source of near-limitless power that costs virtually nothing, uses tiny amounts of water as its fuel and produces next to no waste. If that does not sound radical enough, how about this: the principle behind the source turns modern physics on its head. Randell Mills, a Harvard University medic who also studied electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, claims to have built a prototype power source that generates up to 1,000 times more heat than conventional fuel. Independent scientists claim to have verified the experiments and Dr Mills says that his company, Blacklight Power, has tens of millions of dollars in investment lined up to bring the idea to market. And he claims to be just months away from unveiling his creation. The problem is that according to the rules of quantum mechanics, the physics that governs the behaviour of atoms, the idea is theoretically impossible. "Physicists are quite conservative. It's not easy to convince them to change a theory that is accepted for 50 to 60 years. I don't think [Mills's] theory should be supported," said Jan Naudts, a theoretical physicist at the University of Antwerp.

Hormones may change sex of fish (12/01/2005)
WILMINGTON — Hormones released into the discharge waters of our sewage treatment plants may have the capability of turning male fish into females. It is a problem that was recently discussed last week at a Water, Sewer, Streets and Alleys committee meeting. Ken Jeffries, superintendent of water and sewers, warned officials of a potentially new problem with high estrogen levels detected in the waters of the lagoon that discharges treated waste waters into the Kankakee River. Bob Mosher, spokesman for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's Division of Water Pollution Control Standards Section, said the issue Jeffries was discussing is generally known as "endocrine disruptors."

Melting Arctic ice risks Canada-US territorial dispute (12/01/2005)
MONTREAL (AFP) - Global warming is melting the Arctic ice so fast that a new sea route is opening up between the Atlantic and the Pacific -- and with it the risk of a territorial dispute between Canada and the United States. Temperatures around the North Pole are rising twice as fast as in the rest of the planet, according to UN and Canadian government experts. By 2050, they warn, ships will be able to sail around northern Canada for most of the summer.

New Jersey Becomes First State to Require Chemical Plant Security Measures (12/01/2005)
Acting Governor Richard J. Codey today announced that New Jersey is the first state in the nation to require enforceable plant security practices for its 140 chemical facilities to provide the public and workers greater protection from potential terrorist acts. The new requirements continue facility-by-facility security assessments to evaluate potential security threats and vulnerabilities and likely consequences of a chemical release. Of the 140 facilities that must comply with the standards, 43 are subject to the state's Toxic Catastrophe Prevention Act (TCPA) program. As part of the new requirements, these 43 facilities must review the potential for adopting inherently safer technology as part of their assessment.

Driving Green 'n Clean (11/30/2005)
This past summer, the TCEQ had a proud first when the agency added a hybrid Chevrolet Silverado to its fleet—the first to do so in the state of Texas. The new Silverado is just one of several new hybridelectric models that auto manufacturers have released to the market over the last couple of years, allowing the agency to replace a number of older fleet vehicles with hybrid alternatives over the next several months. By adding hybrid-electric vehicles to the agency fleet, the TCEQ and other state agencies, including the Texas Department of Transportation, hope to reduce combined fleet emissions while also improving overall fleet efficiency.

Carnegie Mellon Funds New Sustainable Engineering Center (11/29/2005)
PITTSBURGH, Pa., Nov. 28, 2005 - A collaborative research team led by Carnegie Mellon University's Cliff Davidson, David Allen of The University of Texas at Austin, and Brad Allenby of Arizona State University are hoping to revolutionize the way engineering education is taught by creating a new Center for Sustainable Engineering. The center, supported by $1.7 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and $350,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is designed to help future engineers better manage increased stress on the world's limited resources.

Weatherizing Pays Dividends All Year (11/26/2005)
In last month's issue of Greentips we described how an energy audit can help determine where your home is losing energy. Most people only think of addressing these problems when winter is approaching, but weatherizing your home is a good way to save money and energy all year long. In fact, the efficiency gained by weatherizing can offset the up-front cost of weatherizing materials in just one year. The two primary routes by which heat escapes your home in winter—and enters during the summer—are openings in and around walls, windows, and doors, and poorly insulated surfaces

China Sends Team to Probe Toxic Spill (11/25/2005)
HARBIN, China - China's leaders sent a team Friday to investigate a chemical plant accident that poisoned a major river, saying officials responsible will be punished as the 3.8 million residents of this northeastern city went a third frigid day without running water. Hundreds of villagers were being evacuated near Harbin on the Songhua River as toxic benzene flowed past, while a Russian city downstream braced for its arrival. In China's southwest, some 6,000 people reportedly were evacuated following a second chemical plant explosion, raising fears of a new poisoning disaster.

Recharge! Reuse! Recycle Your Battery (11/25/2005)
With the holiday season coming up there will no doubt be many devices that need batteries. You can safely dispose of alkaline batteries in the trash. But some types of batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel, which can contaminate the environment when disposed of improperly. When incinerated, certain metals might be released into the air or can concentrate in the ash produced by the combustion process. These types of batteries should be taken to a household hazardous waste facility for safe disposal.

Turkey Fuel? Factory to Turn Guts Into Crude Oil (11/24/2005)
As Americans prepare to gobble down 45 million turkeys on Thursday, a factory in Carthage, Missouri, is turning the feathers and innards of the feted bird into a clean-burning fuel oil. Changing World Technologies (CWT), a New York environmental technology company that is behind the project, also has plans to turn the organic waste from chickens, cows, hogs, onions, and Parmesan cheese into light crude oil—and those are just the some of CWT's proposed ventures.

P2Rx Survey Released (11/23/2005)
A survey of regional and national P2Rx centers was released. Hundreds of participants from dozens of states provided feedback on the effectiveness and usefullness of their regional P2Rx center.

Compost: Nature's Way of Recycling! (11/20/2005)
In Texas, more than 20 million tons of compostable organic materials like yard trimmings, wood chips, food waste, and paper go into landfills every year. When these materials decompose, methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) is released. In urban areas of Texas, as much as half of the water supply is used for landscape and garden watering. Using compost and mulch helps the soil absorb and retain moisture, which can reduce watering requirements by fifty percent and reduce runoff into lakes and streams. Mulch and compost also insulate grasses and other plants against extreme heat and cold, and slowly release nutrients that promote plant growth and resistance to pests and diseases.

Energy bargain blowing in wind (11/18/2005)
Xcel's regular electrical customers, facing higher rates, now will pay more than wind-power buyers. By Steve Raabe Denver Post Staff Writer Customers of Xcel Energy's Windsource wind-energy program soon will have more to brag about than their environmental ethic. Namely, lower bills. The 29,000 Colorado Windsource participants who now pay as much as $6 more a month for "green power" soon will pay up to $10 less than their neighbors who use conventionally generated electricity. (The Denver Post, October 12, 2005)

Ford to Buy Carbon Offsets for Energy Used in Manufacturing Hybrids (11/15/2005)
Ford Motor Company has announced its intent to increase production capacity for its hybrid vehicles by 250,000 over the next five years. Ford will go further than other manufacturers of hybrids by buying carbon offsets - from projects such as wind energy farms and sequestration - so that the manufacturing of its hybrid vehicles make no contribution to global warming. The carbon credits are likely to cost $10-20 per vehicle. (Financial Times, September 22, 2005)

Conservation Intern Sought - Lower Mississippi Program (11/10/2005)
(Austin, TX) National Wildlife Federation is seeking a a motivated individual to join their team for a 48-week, full-time paid internship to begin November 2005 in Austin, Texas. to educate and catalyze grassroots action by assisting the Aquatic Habitats Specialist and the Regional Representative in researching, monitoring, and reporting on LMRB topics. She/he will generate public relations/outreach materials and manage LMRB informational resources. The Conservation Intern will also assist with document preparation and will complete special projects as assigned by the staff. He/She will create technical graphs, maps, or charts. Other intern duties may include logistical support for meetings and grassroots outreach as well as assisting with various administrative needs. The Lower Mississippi Conservation Intern must be available to work a 40-hour weekly schedule. This position offers a $320 weekly stipend plus core benefits.

Footprinting Goes 'Mainstream!' (11/10/2005)
Global Footprint Network and the Ecological Footprint were featured on a new TV series called 30 Days. Producer Morgan Spurlock modeled 30 Days (aired on FX, the Fox Affiliate) after his film Super Size Me. In the TV series, Americans spend 30 days living in someone else's shoes. In a recent episode entitled "Off the Grid," an average New Jersey couple (with a typically large American Ecological Footprint) are challenged to live in an eco-village for a month.

Household Hazardous Waste Assistance Programs (11/10/2005)
Some household tasks may require the use of products containing hazardous components. Such products may include paints, cleaners, stains and varnishes, car batteries, motor oil, and pesticides. The used or leftover contents of such consumer products are known as household hazardous waste (HHW). According to TCEQ’s HHW program coordinator, the average American household generates 15 pounds of household hazardous waste each year. Our homes contain an average of three to eight gallons of hazardous materials in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and basements. When improperly disposed of, household hazardous waste can create a potential risk to people and the environment.

Texas Environmental Excellence Awards Deadline Extended (11/10/2005)
There’s still time to honor an environmental project from your Texas town. The Texas Environmental Excellence Awards application deadline has been extended to November 14, 2005. Enter your project today by following the link below.

Green Awards Nominations Sought in Oklahoma (11/08/2005)
The Environmental Institute at Oklahoma State University is seeking nominations for its Green Awards for Sustainability. The two Green Awards for Sustainability are given to private sector individuals or organizations that best encourage or demonstrate successful implementation of sustainability practices in Oklahoma and that serve as models and inspiration for others to do the same. Sustainability practices seek to improve social welfare by converting natural and human capital to economic and social capital in such a way as to sustain this conversion indefinitely. This requires careful understanding of the interactions between human and natural systems and implementation of measures designed to make this interaction more sustainable. This award will be given only once to the same individual or organization.

New Arkansas Enviromental Award (11/07/2005)
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s (ADEQ) first Arkansas Environmental Stewardship Award will be presented to one of five finalists Tuesday, November 8, at the Arkansas Environmental Federation’s annual fall conference in Hot Springs. ADEQ Director Marcus C. Devine will present the award in a ceremony at 8:30 a.m. in the Hot Springs Convention Center. Nicknamed “The ENVY,” the award was established to recognize the work of individuals, businesses, industries, farms, or government agencies which significantly helped the Arkansas environment. The five finalists for the award are: • Baxter Healthcare Corp. of Mountain Home, for waste minimization and recycling activities; • Dassault Falcon Jet of Little Rock, for waste minimization and pollution prevention programs; • Gene Lichliter of Hot Springs Village for his work on an anti-litter summit meeting earlier this year; • Little Rock Wastewater Utility, for several public outreach activities; and • The “Nature Calling” mulch production program of the Village Wastewater Co. at Bella Vista. The establishment of the annual award was announced in September. ADEQ employees and programs are not eligible for the award.

Builders' Network Launches Zero Utility Cost Housing (11/05/2005)
Japan Area Home Builders' Network (JAHB Net), a network of about 600 builders and construction companies in Japan (headquartered at Aqura Home), issued a release on April 20, 2005 describing a standardized house that achieves zero utility costs through combining a photovoltaic (PV) power generation system with all electric appliances.

University of Nebraska Internships (11/05/2005)
The University of Nebraska is offering a Part-time, temporary position in their Partners in Pollution (P3) Program Environmental Specialist. The position will: Assist in providing environmental/technical assistance to Nebraska businesses. Perform applied research, write technical assistance reports, assist with waste assessments, and supervise/train student interns. Significant contact with industrial clients and project partners (including WasteCap). The Environmental Specialist will assist the P3 faculty and Program Coordinator in providing technical assistance to Nebraska businesses using undergraduate student interns. The Partners in Pollution Prevention program has completed its ninth year. The P3 web site is at:

EPA Green Power Partnership Tops 3 Billion Kilowatts, Enough to Power 300,000 Homes (10/31/2005)
(Washington) EPA's Green Power Partnership has grown to 600 partner organizations purchasing more than 3 billion kilowatt hours (KWh) of green power annually, enough to power 300,000 American homes each year. This voluntary program includes Fortune 500 companies, universities, and local, state, and federal agencies. "President Bush has asked the nation to diversify our energy supply by promoting alternative and renewable energy sources, and once again, EPA's partners are leading the effort," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

Unexpected Downside of Wind Power (10/28/2005)
By Will Wade- Wired Magazine- Thousands of aging turbines stud the brown rolling hills of the Altamont Pass on I-580 east of San Francisco Bay, a testament to one of the nation's oldest and best-known experiments in green energy. Next month, hundreds of those blades will spin to a stop, in what appears to be a wind-energy first: Facing legal threats from environmentalists, the operators of the Altamont wind farm have agreed to shut down half of their windmills for two months starting Nov. 1; in January, they will be restarted and the other half will be shut down for two months. Though the Altamont Pass is known for its strong winds, it also lies on an important bird-migration route, and its grass-covered hills provide food for several types of raptors. "It's the worst possible place to put a wind farm," said Jeff Miller, a wildlife advocate at the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity. "It's responsible for an astronomical level of bird kills."

Assistant Director Postition Kentucky P2 Center (10/25/2005)
The Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) is seeking a managerial position responsible for developing, marketing, and evaluation of technical assistance programs of the . This position will provide direction and guidance to self-directed teams responsible for technical assistance programs and administrative services of the center to ensure programs efficiently and effectively provide high quality and innovative services while staying within budgetary limits. The position will assist units with developing and monitoring performance metrics in order to meet center goals and document accomplishments as well as areas of improvement. This position will coordinate activities of the pollution prevention applied research for the center in order to provide service or information to stakeholders. In addition, this position is responsible for the preparation and submission of center grant and budget funding proposals and requests. This position will help establish and implement center policies and procedures, conferring with board members, Executive Director, and staff as necessary. This position regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment in the performance of duties and reports to the centers Executive Director. Requires a Master's degree and six years of related experience working in an environmental, engineering, or similar technical assistance program with a thorough knowledge of pollution prevention. Additional experience may be used on a one-to-one basis to offset the educational requirements. Candidate must have proven knowledge of principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, and coordination of people and resources. Candidate must have skills and knowledge of principles and processes for providing outstanding customer service that includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. Salary commensurate with experience.

Greentips: Stop Paying for Wasted Energy (10/25/2005)
The typical American family spends close to $1,500 a year on utility bills, and as much as half of that expense could be unnecessary if a home is not energy-efficient. An inefficient home not only puts needless strain on your wallet, but on the environment as well, since the fossil fuel-generated electricity consumed by a single house puts more heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars.

Law Lets Developers Ignore Growth Controls (10/25/2005)
An obscure Texas law written for developers has cost San Antonio millions of dollars, stripped parts of the scenic Hill Country of trees and blocked attempts to protect the region's water supply. Losing Ground From that point on, the project is "vested" and frozen in a time warp of more lenient city codes.

South Texas Plant Slowly Restarting After Explosion (10/17/2005)
(POINT COMFORT, TX) - Officials with a South Texas plastics plant that exploded last week have begun to bring units not affected by the blast back online but they said Tuesday that the process will be slow. "A plant as complex and large as the one in Point Comfort, you don't just flip a switch to start it up again," said Rob Thibault, a spokesman for Formosa Plastics Corp., which owns the facility. "A phased start up has to take place."

Stand Up and Be Recognized Texas Environmental Excellence Awards (10/16/2005)
People who live by their principles don’t do it for the accolades. They do it because it’s the right thing to do. In Texas, environmental stewardship and public recognition don’t always go hand in hand. That’s why the Texas Envi- ronmental Excellence Awards (TEEA) program was created–to honor the natural instinct of Texans who go above and beyond to preserve our state’s natural resource

Have A 'Green' Halloween, Says Environmental Defense (10/15/2005)
As Halloween approaches, Environmental Defense reminds ghosts and goblins not to say "boo" to wise environmental choices. Following are several ideas for trick-or-treaters and treat-givers to add more green to the orange and black holiday. "Whether they are dressed as Harry Potter or SpongeBob SquarePants, children should carry canvas bags or pillow cases to tote treats instead of disposable bags. Using durable bags is a great idea any time of year, especially at Halloween when disposable bags can tear and lead to unhappy trick-or-treaters," said Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense executive director.

Vision: Rebuild (10/15/2005)
By Haya El Nasser, USA TODAY Turn Biloxi and Gulfport into Mississippi's Monte Carlo, the European gambling paradise on the French Riviera. Make mobile homes look less like mobile homes by adding front porches. Downsize big-box stores and hide their mega-parking lots from public view by putting them behind the stores.

Bush admin seeks to weaken utility-emission rules (10/14/2005)
WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The Bush administration on Thursday proposed changing environmental rules to give U.S. coal-fired power plants more leeway to expand aging facilities without installing expensive equipment to cut air pollution. Utility industry officials applauded the plan, but it drew fire from environmental groups and some states, who said it would make the air dirtier and give energy companies a benefit they failed to get in congressional legislation last week.

Smart-growth experts focus on Gulf Coast (10/14/2005)
Geraldine Cushenberry saw the destruction of Hurricane Katrina firsthand.She remained in her apartment near New Orleans when Katrina crashed through the region half a month ago. The hurricane's high winds mowed down homes, businesses and half of Cushenberry's apartment complex when it crossed her hometown of Harvey, La."You see things like this on TV, but you never see them in real life," she said. "We were trying to get out -- the power lines were down and all across the streets, and we actually had to drive through it. We saw looting and everything going on."

Towns Unique System Recycles Organic Waste, Issues Local Currency (10/14/2005)
A nonprofit organization known as the Ogawa-town Foodo Application Center ("Foodo" for short) is conducts nonprofit environmental conservation projects under contract for local businesses and the local government. Its aim is to establish a sustainable society by recycling local resources and reducing impacts on the natural and social environment.

Restarting a refinery requires it to house workers (10/12/2005)
By Thaddeus Herrick, The Wall Street Journal PORT ARTHUR, Texas -- Before hurricane Rita struck Valero Corp.'s sprawling refinery here, Vernon Primeaux went by the unassuming title of area maintenance superintendent. Today, as the nation's largest refiner works to restart one of its largest plants, he is known as the mayor of Valeroville. With surrounding Gulf Coast towns still lacking potable water and electricity, Valero is housing and feeding some 1,700 employees and contractors at its refinery, all of them working to bring back production of gasoline, jet fuel and heating oil. As the official responsible for logistics, Mr. Primeaux might as well be running a small town.

Concerned About Energy Costs? New Tool Available (10/11/2005)
Texas Industries of the Future at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University have developed a step-by-step assessment manual that will assist you to identify and screen potential projects at your plant. The manual comes with a calculator which allows you to estimate energy, cost and emissions reductions from potential projects at your plant, based on data you input. The 16 projects included in the manual and calculator cover compressed air, combustion and steam, motors, lighting, and chiller projects.

Gasoline surge leads to pedal power (10/10/2005)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A spike in gasoline prices is fueling what could be the biggest year for U.S. bicycle sales since the Arab oil embargoes more than three decades ago, a leading bike association says. "For bicycles, high gasoline prices are a good thing," said Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong, a national coalition of bicycle suppliers and retailers. U.S. gasoline prices struck an all-time record above $3 a gallon after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, shutting several oil refineries, though prices have eased slightly since then, according to government surveys.

Greentip - Housecleaning Made Cleaner (10/10/2005)
Could your housecleaning actually be dirtying the environment? Here are some tips on choosing household cleansers that will help keep your home both clean and “green.” Avoid harmful ingredients. Though they might not bear a warning label, many household cleansers contain ingredients that pose problems for the environment and public health.

House narrowly approves bill to help US refineries (10/07/2005)
WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) - In a cliffhanger vote held open by Republican leaders until they won, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by two votes on Friday a bill clearing the way for U.S. oil refineries to expand. The legislation, written by Republican Joe Barton of Texas, barely won approval despite dropping a White House-backed provision that would have gutted clean air rules to help refineries and coal-powered utilities. In the first major House vote since Texan Tom DeLay was forced to step down as majority leader, Republicans won, 212-210, in a roll call that ran more than 40 minutes, far beyond the allotted five minutes.

Spain Tops Germany in Wind (10/05/2005)
Spain has jumped into the world lead in development of wind energy, passing former leader Germany in 2004. Spains goal of 13,000 MW of installed wind generating capacity by 2010 has now been increased to 20,000 MW by 2011. When this level is reached, wind energy will be providing 15% of Spains national electricity. As wind penetration moves toward 15% it will be crucial for the country to integrate such a large amount of an intermittent power source successfully and predictably into the electrical grid. To prepare for this, Spain is developing a strategic grid framework in partnership with a transmission operators, utilities, wind developers, and regional governments. More than 500 companies are involved in the Spanish wind industry, with 150 factories manufacturing turbines and components, and employing 30,000 people. Employment in the wind industry is expected to reach 60,000 as Spain reaches its 2011 target.

Natural Area Preservation Association Seeks Land Stewardship Director (10/03/2005)
Natural Area Preservation Association (NAPA), a land trust organization which owns and manages private nature preserves throughout Texas, is seeking a Land Stewardship Director. Specific responsibilities will include: 1) manage upkeep of 32 NAPA preserves; 2) recruit, train, and coordinate volunteers to monitor more than 40 conservation easements; 3) control invasive species and replant native species; 4) maintain strong working relationships with landowners, neighbors and local communities; 5) manage volunteers and work crews to restore habitats on NAPA's preserves; 6) prepare baseline documentation for conservation easements and land management plans for preserves; 7) organize and lead educational activities on NAPA properties; and 8) assist with grant writing for stewardship activities.

What is your water IQ (10/01/2005)
Do Texans know where their drinking water comes from? Do they care about conserving water? The answer to the latter is yes, they do care. But a statewide survey indicates that many people know little about their water before it comes out of the tap. In a random survey of 1,228 Texans, 98 percent said they believe water conservation is important, but only 28 percent "definitely" knew the natural source for their drinking water. Those findings stem from market research commissioned by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to explore the public's awareness and attitudes on water issues. The survey results might be used to develop a statewide education campaign on water policy and conservation efforts.

Catching Our Breath (09/30/2005)
Pollution experts study regional air quality to prompt improvements in the air we share No city keeps its air to itself. Plumes of air peppered with ozone, with tiny soot particles from diesel engines and with other contaminants are known to travel hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of miles. As a result, dirty air from Houston or Horseshoe Bay, Texas, can trade places with that in Hammond or Harrisonburg, La., and vice versa. That knowledge has led federal and state government agencies to begin pursuing multi-city air studies. They want to understand how air from elsewhere will affect their ability to prepare for more stringent air-quality requirements from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as it grows more aware of how harmful bad air can be.

National Hunting and Fishing Day events rescheduled (09/29/2005)
BATON ROUGE (AP) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has rescheduled National Hunting and Fishing Day events statewide until October 22. The 21st annual Hunting and Fishing Day events hosted by LDWF were originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 24 in Minden, Monroe, Woodworth and Baton Rouge but were later cancelled due to Hurricane Rita. Events rescheduled for October 22 will feature all activities originally planned

Storms Revive Energy Debate (09/29/2005)
It's been just seven weeks since President Bush finally was able to sign a comprehensive energy bill. It had taken five years and a lot of compromising. But in the wake of back-to-back hurricanes that battered the Gulf Coast, damaged oil refineries, and boosted already-high gas prices, lawmakers and special interests are scrambling to amend - if not rewrite - US energy policy.

Bush calls for energy conservation as scope of damage from Rita widens (09/27/2005)
President Bush yesterday urged Americans to cut back on car trips amid warnings that the energy disruption from Hurricane Rita could be worse than initially thought. Although Rita spared massive refineries and chemical complexes in the Houston area, the first reports about damage to offshore production of crude oil and natural gas were grim.

Texas Governor, Executive Director Offer Regulatory Response to Hurrican Rita (09/27/2005)
By Proclamation, the Governor of the State of Texas declared that Hurricane Rita poses of imminent disaster along the Texas coast beginning September 20, 2005. By the Proclamation, all rules and regulations that may inhibit or prevent prompt response to this threat are suspended for the duration of the incident. No additional approval from TCEQ is necessary for activities directly related to disaster prevention or response. Regulated entities should keep records of all activites which they believe are covered by the Proclamation.

Activist on Rita's Environmental Fallout (09/26/2005)
As Congress investigates the initial slow response to Katrina, environmental activists are worried that the subsequent recovery effort has been too hurried, and that environmental regulations are being railroaded in the haste to rebuild. One person who's witnessed the disaster first-hand is environmental writer and Mississippi Sierra Club volunteer Becky Gillette, who joins us on the line from Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Cleanup in New Orleans a delicate balancing act (09/26/2005)
To make New Orleans safe and healthy for people, the nation's best environmental minds must do something they have never done before. They must simultaneously rescue and re-create a city. John Borne, a resident of hard-hit St. Bernard Parish, sorted through his father's dresser looking for items to salvage from his parents' home Monday, when residents were allowed back in certain areas for the first time. The engineering tasks are straightforward enough, and each has been done many times in different places: cleaning up polluted neighborhoods, repairing water and sewer systems, finding and fixing hazardous chemical leaks, and building a levee system to protect people and nature.

EPA Proposes Biennial Reporting for the Toxics Release Inventory (09/26/2005)
EPA is proposing a rule to expand the use of a shortened reporting form (Form A certification statement) for some facilities. The proposal is expected to save 165,000 hours per year, while still ensuring full Form R (long form) reporting on over 99 percent of toxic releases and other waste management activities. The proposal also provides new incentives to facilities to emit less in order to be able to use the shorter form. This proposed action comes after an extensive evaluation by EPA, its stakeholders and reporting facilities to address the concerns expressed about TRI reporting burden. "Since TRI began in 1986, EPA has learned a great deal about the power that public information has to influence corporate behavior and empower communities, and we also have found new ways to use technology to reduce costs for everyone involved, improve data quality and speed the release of the information collected," said Kimberly T. Nelson, assistant administrator for the Office of Environmental Information and Chief Information Officer for EPA. "Today's proposal would provide burden reduction for approximately 1/3 of TRI reporters while still requiring facilities to report on all chemicals that they report on today."

One Tray at a Time How to green your company (09/25/2005)
By Joel Makower --- How to green your company's cafeteria? That's probably not a question you hear much around your company's cafeteria, but you might soon. A growing number of companies are thinking about the environmental impacts of the food they serve. And along the way, the oft-maligned institutional food is giving way to cuisine that won't bite the land that feeds you. Company cafeterias and restaurants have not, to date, been a hotbed of environmental activism. A few have set up modest recycling or composting programs, or initiated some basic energy- or water-conservation measures. But food represents, arguably, their biggest environmental footprint, when you consider the petrochemical, water, and energy inputs of conventional agriculture; the groundwater contamination and worker health and safety impacts of most modern farming; the energy used for processing; and the vast distances food typically travels -- anywhere from 1,300 to 2,000 miles from farm to fork.

Arizona DEQ plans Web site for recyclable materials exchange (09/22/2005)
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has awarded a $32,300 recycling contract to help establish a Web-based material exchange system designed to help reduce waste and divert usable materials from landfills. Similar to eBay, the Arizona Resources Exchange (AZReX) allows users to post materials for exchange or search the site for items they need.

EPA, LaDEQ put Together Household Chemical Pickup Plan (09/22/2005)
The one-stop-shopping chemical free-for-all that used to be the cabinet under the bathroom and kitchen sinks is now just one more thing area residents have to clean up as they return home in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality are organizing the curbside pickup of household hazardous wastes and large appliances.

Kids (09/22/2005)
A new website has been launched to address environmental issues and encourage an awareness of innovative approaches to these problems.

Murphy Oil USA Faces Second Hurricane After Oil Spilled from Katrina (09/22/2005)
Murphy Oil’s refinery in Meraux, Louisiana flooded during Hurricane Katrina causing a major oil leak. Nick Pelletier reports that the new Gulf Coast hurricane is causing even more concern. The storm surge from Katrina moved one holding tank off of its foundation. When it settled the wall buckled and oil began leaking. Murphy Oil Treasurer Kevin Fitzgerald says the leak was stopped as soon as it was discovered. “People are still out there recovering the oil and dike area and the like.

RITA: Land office releases information (09/22/2005)
As Hurricane Rita approaches landfall, the Texas General Land Office stands ready to respond. As steward of the Texas coast, the GLO has a wide range of responsibilities in the region, including beach and dune protection, coastal property surveying, and oil spill prevention and response. The Land Office’s response even extends to the protection of historical documents.

Air Pollution: The Long-Distance Traveler? (09/20/2005)
Ozone continues to be the No. 1 air quality issue for many urban areas in Texas. Regional haze has become a concern at national parks. Both must be addressed under the federal Clean Air Act. The state has made progress in reducing ozone levels, and is beginning to plan control strategies to deal with regional haze. But ongoing research suggests the need to take a closer look at this question: How often do pollutants found in Texas flow from one region of the state to another, from other states, or even from outside the United States?

EPA Response to Katrina Update (09/18/2005)
Informations on EPA's resoponse efforts are available on the EPA website. This information includes status of drinking water, wastewater treatement, debris assessment and collection, air monitoring and other reports. According to the September 18 update there are a total of 2123 drinking water facilities in the affected area that served approximately 6.9 million people. As of 9/17, EPA has determined that 207 are operating on a boil water notice.

Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises Win With Social and Environmental Performance (09/18/2005)
A pan-Europe campaign is underway to raise awareness about corporate social responsibility (CSR) among small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The campaign has brought to light numerous examples of European SMEs that already see their social and environmental performance as part of their route to business success. The campaign has been implemented by the European Association of Craft SMEs and EUROCHAMBRES. Dozens of events in member states saw over 150 different SMEs from across Europe present their own CSR practices and experiences. The initiative also resulted in a CSR-for-SMEs toolkit to help enterprises enhance their CSR activities.

UTMB Campus Goes Green (09/17/2005)
Recycle it, swap it, or reprocess it—that's the mindset at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston. Rather than see an item discarded, someone on campus probably will have an idea for using it again. This leave-no-trash-behind attitude is a result of a dedicated effort to extend environmental stewardship to every aspect of university operations. Not only recycling, but pollution prevention and energy conservation are important aspects of campus life.

Hurricane Katrina affected 1,223 water systems-EPA (09/15/2005)
Reuters) - Some 1,223 drinking water systems in three states have been affected by Hurricane Katrina, and some systems need more fuel to run generators to stay operating, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday. The agency has issued boil-water notices to many of the systems. Louisiana has 683 drinking water systems affected, with 468 in Mississippi and 72 in Alabama, according to the EPA.

Fetid Water No Risk to Lake Pontchartrain (09/14/2005)
The health of Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain is not at stake despite 2 million gallons of fetid floodwaters being pumped per minute into the vast inland body of water, experts said yesterday. The Army Corps of Engineers is pumping the contaminated floodwater into the lake, and its technicians are not adding chlorine or other disinfectants. "You can't chlorinate the water going into the lake," said Edward Bouwer, a professor of environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University, "because that would create other problems" that could possibly damage the lake's health and alter its ecosystem, he said.

In New Orleans the Next Wave is Likely to be Mosquitoes (09/14/2005)
Breeding in standing water throughout the Gulf Coast, voracious mosquitoes will soon inundate some areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina, landing at a rate of up to 200 a minute on exposed arms and legs. A few will carry West Nile virus or other diseases, experts say, but most simply will be a maddening nuisance to relief workers and evacuees sleeping outdoors or in damaged homes. In inland areas, away from the worst storm damage, the problem could be just as bad.

Austin Energy Leads Green Power Sales (09/13/2005)
For the third year in a row, Austin Energy's green power program was the #1 program in the nation in sales. Data compiled by the Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) shows that Austin Energy's GreenChoice Program led all utility-sponsored green power programs with sales of more than 334 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). This was 72 million kWh better than second place Portland General, almost double the sales of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and more than four times the green power sold by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - which has four times as many customers. Austin Energy customers are also paying less for green power. GreenChoice had the second lowest premium in the nation at one-half cent per kWh. This means a typical Austin household using 1,000 kWh of power a month pays about $5.00 more per month for green power than does a non-subscriber. The majority of the top 10 lowest premium programs charge between three-quarters of a cent to a one-cent premium.

New Orleans is soaking in a toxic, stagnant stew of chemicals, sewage and lead (09/13/2005)
Raw sewage, traces of weed killers and toxic lead taint the floodwaters inundating New Orleans, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The results of the tests, which analyzed water for more than 100 chemical and biological contaminants in six residential areas of the city, confirm warnings issued by federal authorities last week not to drink or wade in the stagnant water.

CEC receives submission on environmental pollution in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico (09/12/2005)
Montreal, 8/09/2005 – On 30 August, the Academia Sonorense de Derechos Humanos, AC and Domingo Gutiérrez Mendívil (the Submitters) filed a submission with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) of North America asserting that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce a number of provisions and official standards of Mexican environmental law on air pollution prevention, monitoring, enforcement and control in the city of Hermosillo, Sonora.

Trash Cans or Zero Waste Bins? (09/10/2005)
The Boulder, Colorado Farmers Market has replaced its trash cans with Zero Waste Stations. Boulder’s recycling leader, Eco-Cycle, arranged with farm and food vendors at the Market to find alternatives for the items that previously generated trash – plates, cups, bowls, straws and cup lids. Signs at each food vendor’s booth assure the public that all items are compostable or recyclable and direct them to nearby Zero Waste Stations where discards can be sorted and deposited. The preferred products at the Farmers Market these days are made from wheat, sugar cane, corn and other natural starches that are now being used to replace plastic or plastic-coated paper in table and service wear. Eco-Cycle intends to create a local cycle that turns organic discards such as these into products that can help enrich depleted soils that in turn can help grow more healthy organic garden produce.

China Mulls Raising Renewable Energy Commitment (09/08/2005)
BEIJING - China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, may boost its long-term commitment to renewable energy use by 50 percent, a top policy maker said on Monday. Beijing currently aims to get one-tenth of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, and this year passed a law forcing power suppliers to buy more electricity from plants that do not burn fossil fuels.

Few choices to rid New Orleans of poisoned water (09/08/2005)
BATON ROUGE, La., Sept 6 (Reuters) - The potentially toxic brew of chemicals and human waste in the New Orleans floodwaters will have to be pumped into the Mississippi River or Lake Pontchartrain, raising the specter of an environmental disaster on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, experts say. The dire need to rid the drowned city of water could trigger fish kills and poison the delicate wetlands near New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico at the mouth of the Mississippi. State and federal agencies have just begun water quality testing but environmental experts say the vile, stagnant chemical soup that sits in the streets of the city known as The Big Easy will contain traces of everything imaginable. "Go home and identify all the chemicals in your house. It's a very long list," said Ivor van Heerden, head of a Louisiana State University center that studies the public health impacts of hurricanes.

Flood water 10 times over toxic limit (09/08/2005)
Environmental experts warned last night that the putrid floodwaters swamping New Orleans were 10 times more toxic than safety levels, posing a serious danger not just to die-hard residents refusing to leave, but to rescuers as well. The disclosure from the first tests conducted by the US government into conditions in New Orleans added a growing urgency to an order for thou sands of inhabitants remaining in the wretched city to leave or face forced evacuation.

Q&A: Contaminated Waters in New Orleans (09/08/2005)
NPR.org, September 7, 2005 · New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has ordered that any residents still in New Orleans be forcibly removed, citing the risks of toxic floodwaters in the inundated city. NPR Environmental Reporter Elizabeth Shogren and Health Editor Joe Neel provide an update on the environmental and health risks posed by

Sewage in Floodwaters Carries Disease (09/08/2005)
WASHINGTON - Sewage and chemicals are mixed into a potentially toxic bathtub soaking New Orleans, posing the threat of disease for residents forced to wade in Hurricane Katrina's floodwaters. "Probably the more immediate health risk to the people is that whatever was in the sewer is in the water," said John Pardue, director of the Louisiana Water Resources Research Institute at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. "Whatever bacterial or viral diseases that people put into the system before the flooding is now in the water."

The Wetlands, Louisiana's Storm Buffer (09/06/2005)
We will bring the people of New Orleans food and water. We will help them rebuild their homes, their lives and their livelihoods. The tourists will come back, the price of gas will go down, but then what? What Louisiana needs is marsh. Since Hurricane Katrina smashed into the Gulf Coast, sweeping up structures and sloshing Lake Ponchartrain into New Orleans, I have been thinking about Rodney Guilbeaux (pronounced Gill-bow).

"Farm-to-School" Programs Expand Organics Use in Cafeterias (09/05/2005)
The movement to connect the nation's school cafeterias with fresh produce from local farms has accelerated. The movement, known as farm-to-school, began in 1996 in two California and Florida schools. Soon after, the USDA launched nine different pilot programs around the country to train parents, farmers, and food service providers on how to create farm-to-school programs in their own communities. Today, more than 400 school districts in 23 states use regional fresh produce at school lunches, reaching an estimated 750,000 children. Farm-to-school programs have been found to increase farmers' incomes by an average 15 percent as produce is purchased locally rather than from multinational corporations. Kids and farmers are both vulnerable populations; this is a way to meet the needs of both, says Marion Kalb of the Community Foods Security Coalition.

City of Dallas Recieves Half million for reducing energy demand (09/05/2005)
TAC presented the City of Dallas with an incentive payment of more than $525,000, rewarding the city for reducing electricity demand. The energy reduction is the result of a $9 million performance contract TAC completed for the city that included the design and construction of energy conservation-related projects at six city facilities. The cost of the projects will be repaid with the realized energy savings, which TAC guarantees to exceed $1.2 million annually. The city earned the incentive payment through participation in TXU Electric Delivery's Commercial and Industrial Retrofit Program. Facilities that received energy related improvements include Dallas City Hall, the Central Public Library, the city-owned parking garage in the downtown Arts District, a community recreation center, a branch library and a satellite municipal center.

Katrina environmental issues "almost unimaginable" (09/05/2005)
BATON ROUGE, La., Sept 6 (Reuters) - Hurricane Katrina left behind a landscape of oil spills, leaking gas lines, damaged sewage plants and tainted water, Louisiana's top environment official said on Tuesday. In the state's first major assessment of the environmental havoc in southern Louisiana, Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Mike McDaniel said large quantities of hazardous materials in damaged industrial plants, the danger of explosions and fires and water pollution were his main concerns eight days after the storm struck.

Cow manure may offer relief for energy consumers (09/03/2005)
For years researchers have studied it as a fertilizer, but now they're exploring it as an alternative fuel source. The Panda Group of Dallas plans to power a 120 (m) million-dollar ethanol plant opening next year with cow manure and other waste. The company says using biomass will save the equivalent of one-thousand barrels of oil per day.

EPA temporarily waives fuel standards to head off gas price hike after Katrina (09/03/2005)
The US Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday temporarily waived certain regulatory fuel standards [text] required under the Clean Air Act [text] in an attempt to head off any shortages and rising prices [AP report] caused by Hurricane Katrina. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson [official profile] initially waived the standards for four states directly impacted by the hurricane, but then extended it to the entire country. The waiver covers standards for volatility and sulfur, which limit air pollution caused by fuel evaporation and emissions. Johnson said relaxing the standards was necessary to ensure that fuel remained available throughout the country, particular for relief and rescue efforts in the areas affected by Katrina. The EPA has more [news release].

EPA Resources in Response to Hurricane Katrina (09/02/2005)
The National Environmental Compliance Assistance Clearinghouse has compiled an initial short list of EPA web resources for citizens, businesses and assistance providers, dealing with the environmental aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. See link below for the list:

New Orleans Facing Environmental Disaster (09/02/2005)
As Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on Monday, experts said it could turn one of America's most charming cities into a vast cesspool tainted with toxic chemicals, human waste and even coffins released by floodwaters from the city's legendary cemeteries. Experts have warned for years that the levees and pumps that usually keep New Orleans dry have no chance against a direct hit by a Category 5 storm.

Arkansas DEQ Sponsoring Recycling of E-Scrap (09/01/2005)
Arkansas consumers will have a chance to rid themselves of broken or outmoded computers, monitors, cell phones and other forms of electronic waste, protect the environment and do it all at no cost to themselves, thanks to a pilot program that will begin in the next few days. UNICOR and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality are announcing "Project Green-Fed," an e-scrap recycling program for all Arkansas residents that will be provided at zero-cost to the consumer. "Project Green-Fed" is a simple, safe and convenient one-year pilot project that will provide a cost-effective, environmentally sound e-scrap recycling program covering the entire state. The program meets the federal Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for material management.

At Clean Plants, It's Waste Not (09/01/2005)
Each week, hundreds of new cars1 roll out of the Subaru factory in Lafayette, Indiana. What doesn't come out of the plant is garbage. When the garbage truck rolls up to the curb in front of your house each week, it hauls away more trash than is generated by the manufacturing processes at the factory. The factory is the first auto assembly plant in North America to become completely waste-free: Last year, 100 percent of the waste steel, plastic and other materials coming out of the plant were reused or recycled. Paint sludge that used to be thrown away, for example, is now dried to a powder and shipped to a plastics manufacturer, ending up eventually as parking lot bumpers and guardrails. What can't be reused -- about 3 percent of the plant's trash -- is shipped off to Indianapolis and incinerated to generate electricity.

Clean Marinas Make Waves (09/01/2005)
Fifty-one marinas are flying the banner of the Clean Texas Marina Program in recognition of the high standards they meet in pollution control. The facilities have made the protection of Texas waterways part of their daily business practices. Another 37 marinas are working to become certified as Clean Texas members. It's all part of a voluntary program co-sponsored by the Texas Sea Grant Program, the TCEQ, and several other partners.

Emissions-Free Truck Stops (09/01/2005)
Ask any long-haul truck driver, and he'll tell you that the cab of his 18-wheeler tractor-trailer is both office and sleeping quarters. Truckers, for the most part, stay close to their rigs while making long-distance freight deliveries. When they pull over for a break, the drivers usually leave the diesel engines running to keep the cabs cool or warm.

Solar Austin Coordinator needed (09/01/2005)
Part-time, 20 -25 hours/week, $20 an hour, with potential to become full time. Solar Austin wants to build on Austin's reputation as a progressive, green city to become a leader in the development and use of renewable energy. By elevating our civic commitment to include renewable energy, we can create local jobs, contribute to cleaner air and achieve a cost-effective, sustainable energy future. We are looking for the right person to coordinate activities toward meeting the goals and objectives of the Solar Austin campaign.

Colorados Plan To Reduce Energy Usage and Costs For State Agency Buildings (08/29/2005)
The Governor’s Office of Energy Management and Conservation (OEMC) and Pollution Prevention Advisory Board (PPAB) working in cooperation with the Department of Human Services Business Enterprise Program for the Blind (BEP), announced a project to reduce state agency energy usage and costs. The PPAB provided grant funding to purchase USA Technologies’ VendingMiser energy control devices, which reduce energy consumption on cold beverage machines. OEMC and the BEP vendors, which administer the state vending machine programs, are coordinating the installation of over 200 VendingMisers. The project is expected to save approximately $15,600 per year for taxpayers.

9 States in Plan to Cut Emissions by Power Plants (08/24/2005)
Officials in New York and eight other Northeastern states have come to a preliminary agreement to freeze power plant emissions at their current levels and then reduce them by 10 percent by 2020, according to a confidential draft proposal. The cooperative action, the first of its kind in the nation, came after the Bush administration decided not to regulate the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Once a final agreement is reached, the legislatures of the nine states will have to enact it, which is considered likely. Enforcement of emission controls could potentially result in higher energy prices in the nine states, which officials hope can be offset by subsidies and support for the development of new technology that would be paid for with the proceeds from the sale of emission allowances to the utility companies.

Oregan Urban Planning Checks Obesity (08/24/2005)
According to a study released Tuesday by the Washington, D.C.-based Trust for America's Health, the percentage of overweight Oregonians held steady at 21 percent last year, a sharp contrast to Alabama, where the rate of obesity increased 1.5 percentage points to 27.7 percent. What makes Oregon different is its emphasis on urban design, which encourages outdoor activities like biking to work, the study's authors said.

Berkeley Project Uses Low-Cost UV-Tube for Developing Country Water Treatment (08/23/2005)
Students and researchers at the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley are working on an ultraviolet tube (UV-Tube) project to improve water quality in developing areas where other water treatment methods are not applied consistently. The UV-Tube incorporates a germicidal bulb suspended over water in a horizontal tube or covered trough. Water enters one end through an inlet and flows beneath the germicidal bulb to the outlet. The UV-Tube does not require water pressure to operate and may be connected directly to a faucet of filled with a funnel. A variety of tube materials are being tested to determine how well they hold up under high-energy UV-C light. To date, tests show that the UV-Tube provides an effective, affordable option compared to purchasing bottled water, boiling, or a commercial UV system.

Healthcare Green Tide on the Rise (08/22/2005)
For many years, environmental management in health care simply meant ensuring compliance with regulations about waste disposal, wastewater discharge and toxic chemical management. Few within health care facilities stopped to consider where waste comes from, the link between toxic materials and occupational safety, and ways to avoid pollution. Recently, many environmental and facilities professionals have begun to realize that this approach unnecessarily limits their successes. This growing trend toward bigger-picture thinking has entailed a shift in approach. The updated approach increasingly involves collaboration with maintenance and engineering departments and occupational safety staff, and it requires dialogue with clinicians, lab staff, and hospitality and housekeeping departments, among others.

Ideas for Green Weddings (08/20/2005)
Jolene Rae Harrington has produced Its a Nice Day for A Green Wedding, a quick on-line set of ideas for more sustainable wedding ceremonies and events. The U.S. wedding industry is a $70 billion a year economic force and Harrington aims to give advice on how couples can direct their share of this industry into areas with reduced environmental and social impact. Suggestions are given on topics as wide ranging as selection of formal wear, fabric cleaning, an eco-aware gift registry, selection of venues, floral considerations, food, transportation, and even green getaways. As Harrington writes, not only is a green celebration a promise to care for each other throughout your lives, it's also a public commitment to nurturing the planet.

Environmental damage seen from shuttle (08/19/2005)
Commander Eileen Collins said astronauts on shuttle Discovery had seen widespread environmental destruction on Earth and warned on Thursday that greater care was needed to protect natural resources. Her comments came as NASA pondered whether to send astronauts out on an extra space walk to repair additional heat-protection damage on the first shuttle mission since the 2003 Columbia disaster.

Product Stewardship Institute seeks Development and Communications Associate (08/19/2005)
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) seeks an enterprising individual who thrives in a fast-paced, small organization. PSI is conducting cutting-edge work on product stewardship and sustainability, and seeks someone who has the energy, expertise, and creativity to develop with the organization. Salary: $30,000 - $35,000 For More information contact: Scott Cassel, Executive Director, at scott@productstewardship.us.

Pollution Prevention Engineer Postition Available (08/17/2005)
Opportunity for an engineer to help businesses and institutions develop resource conservation and waste reduction programs that result in sustainable business practices and bottom-line benefits. Will provide technical assistance in the areas of environmental management systems, water, energy, air, and solid and hazardous waste via onsite assessments and facilitation of environmental teams. Will participate in outreach activities including presentations, preparation of technical and newsletter articles, and maintenance of office website. Bachelor of Science in engineering and minimum of three years experience are required. Masters in engineering, environmental studies or business administration is a plus. Ideal candidate will be self-directed, have strong oral and written communication skills, and have experience in the following areas: manufacturing, ISO 14001, water efficiency, energy efficiency, and/or waste reduction. Excellent benefits package. EOE. Non-merit position. Salary is $42,000+ depending on qualifications. Submit resume with salary history by September 15th to: Technical Assistance Program Manager - P2 Georgia Department of Natural Resources 7 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Suite 450 Atlanta, GA 30334-9004

International Green Purchasing Network Launched (08/15/2005)
The International Green Purchasing Network (IGPN) was established on April 25, 2005 by the Green Purchasing Network, Japan and other related organizations in and outside the country. The basis for the new international network was the Sendai Declaration on Green Purchasing, adopted at the First International Conference on Green Purchasing held in Sendai City, Japan in 2004. The IGPN aims to contribute to creating a sustainable society by promoting global Green Purchasing activities and the development of environmentally preferable products and services. Green Purchasing refers to purchasing products and services that help reduce environmental impacts

Saying 'So Long' to E-Waste (08/14/2005)
From cellphones to iPods, from PDAs to PCs, Americans love the latest gadget. Yet this profusion of innovation also creates a problem: obsolete electronic devices, many with toxic parts, are stacking up in closets and basements, and eventually end up in a dump. In all, Americans own about 2 billion electronic gizmos, or 25 per household. This "e-waste" is only about 2 percent by weight of the nation's municipal solid-waste stream, yet it is one of the fastest growing segments. It's especially troublesome because circuit boards, cathode ray tubes, and flat-panel displays contain toxic metals such as mercury, cadmium, or lead that are considered harmful if they leach into local groundwater.

Green Building Internships Available (08/10/2005)
The Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems is actively soliciting applications for Fall job and internship positions. Full and part-time candidates should send cover letter and resume to: Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems Building a Sustainable World Since 1975 8604 FM 969 € Austin, Texas 78724 Ph: 512-928-4786 Fax: 512-926-4418 center@cmpbs.org www.cmpbs.org If sending an email put ATTN: JOB/INTERNSHIP in the subject heading. Be sure to include potential start date in your application. Housing and modest stipends are available for the right people. Qualified applicants may be involved with projects including: -Organization and preparation for the 30th Anniversary Celebration -Maintaining and improving existing green buildings -Constructing new sustainable structures -Graphic design -Modeling -Clerical / Administrative

Customers willing to foot the bill for renewable energy (08/08/2005)
Customers willing to foot the bill for renewable energy When it comes to requiring power providers to generate more renewable energy, most Arizonans say "send me the bill." A newly-released Rocky Mountain Poll conducted in Arizona during sweaty, hot July found that 61 percent of residents favor the concept of requiring electric companies to generate more power through more solar and wind means, and more than half (57 percent) are willing to pay $25 more a month to see it happen

Green Foods (We're Not Just Talking Vegetables) (08/05/2005)
Summer is the season of picnics and outdoor parties. The emphasis is on fun in the sun, but your little outing or big event can also do its part for the environment if your menu planning takes into account the fact that commercial agriculture significantly contributes to air and water pollution and habitat degradation. In addition, the overuse of pesticides in large-scale farming and antibiotics in animal agriculture produces pests and diseases that are difficult to control. In this article, the Union of Concerned Scientist recomends you buy local, choose the right fish, and serve less meat.

EPA Awards IAQ Contract to Environmental Education Foundation (08/04/2005)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a contract to the Environmental Education Foundation (EEF) to form a coalition of major players in the building design/construction and property management industry, including insurance and financial institutions. The purpose of the contract according to David Mudarri, Ph.D., Indoor Environments Division of the Environmental Protection Agency, "[is] to promote EPA's indoor air quality guidance and encourage its use as the basis for managing indoor environmental quality risks."

Ivory Bill's Doubters Convinced by Tapes (08/04/2005)
Audio recordings of the ivory-billed woodpecker's distinctive double-rap have convinced doubting researchers that the large bird once thought extinct is still living in an east Arkansas swamp. Last month, a group of ornithologists had questioned the rediscovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker, last sighted in 1944. They said blurry videotape of a bird in flight wasn't enough evidence. So a Cornell University researcher who was part of the team that announced the bird's rediscovery last spring says his group sent the doubters more evidence.

Oil prices hit 61 dollars after BP refinery blast (08/04/2005)
World oil prices jumped to 61 dollars a barrel after an explosion at a BP refinery in Texas fuelled concerns about energy supplies toward the end of the year. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September, reached 61 dollars for the first time since July 13 before closing at 60.57 dollars a barrel, up 63 cents from Thursday's close. In London, the price of Brent North Sea crude oil for delivery in September advanced 61 cents to 59.37 dollars a barrel.

Project WILD Seeks Manager (08/04/2005)
The Council for Environmental Education (CEE) seeks an experienced and highly motivated Project WILD Manager to administer one of the nation's premier and most widely used conservation and environmental education programs. A key function of the position will be to assist the Director of Project WILD in oversight and implementation of new and ongoing Project WILD initiatives, including program development and evaluation, primary and secondary education programs, curriculum development and publishing, urban and non-formal education programs, and service-learning programs.

CONFERENCE ATTENDEES FIND FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH (08/03/2005)
It’s no secret that humans have long sought the fountain of youth. From Ponce de Leon to Joan Rivers, humans have a rich history of ideas and strategies for sustaining the zest of life. Medical communities promote moderation as the key to prolonged health; dentists promote routine, quality care as the key to sustained dental hygiene. The Oklahoma Sustainability Network also promotes moderation and routine care as the key to optimal environmental health. Attendees of the 2004 Oklahoma Sustainable Network conference discovered strategies for sustaining livelihood through environmental moderation and routine care - the once unrecognized fountain of youth.

Keep Texas Beautiful Seeks Administrative Coordinator (08/03/2005)
Keep Texas Beautiful, a nonprofit organization, is seeking an Administrative Coordinator. The person will oversee and coordinate logistics for teacher trainings, environmental education forums, and training seminars. Also responsible for data entry, mailings, and answering phones. The candidate must be flexible and detail-oriented and possess high-level customer service skills. Applicant must be skilled in Word, Excel, database applications, and Outlook. College degree in Education, Business Administration or Communication preferred. Nonprofit and training experience also preferred. Job pays: $2,300-2,900 per month. Send resumes with cover letter by fax to 512.478.2640 or admin@ktb.org by August 15, 2005 at 5:00 p.m.

Galveston Bay Area Seeks Education Manager (08/02/2005)
The Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) seeks to hire a full-time Manager of Educational Programs to create, implement, and manage educational programs, projects, and events to which GBF is the host organization and/or vested partner. Bob Stokes President, Galveston Bay Foundation bstokes@galvbay.org

No AC? That's cool (07/28/2005)
These Austinites live without central air. On purpose Austinite Jim MacKay insists he's no different from you or me. "I don't know that I've had physiological Spider-Man changes. I sweat. I'm hot. It's not that," he says. But to many people, a genetic abnormality is the only thing that could explain how MacKay lives in a home without air conditioning. In July. In Texas. By choice

Porous Pavement Promises to Cut Runoff to Sewer System (07/28/2005)
A 4 block paving project in North Portland, Oregon, is designed to use porous (or pervious) pavement that will allow some or all of the stormwater that falls on it to go through the street and directly into the ground. The project is expected to reduce combined sewer overflows, reduce basement sewer backups, a create a system closer to the natural process in which stormwater is absorbed, filtered and cleaned before recharging groundwater. Pervious concrete and pervious asphalt will be used on different segments of the project.

Energy bill includes $8.5B for companies (07/26/2005)
A wide-ranging energy bill expected to move through Congress this week includes more than $8.5 billion in tax incentives and billions of dollars more in loan guarantees and other subsidies for the electricity, coal, nuclear, natural gas and oil industries. The White House said Wednesday that President Bush intends to sign the bill soon. Efficiency and conservation programs would get about $1.3 billion of the more than $14.1 billion in total tax breaks over 10 years, according to lawmakers who have been briefed on the legislation worked out in negotiations between the House and Senate. About $3 billion in tax breaks would go for renewable energy source, mostly to subsidize wind energy

Texas Leg Increases Renewable Energy Goal (07/23/2005)
The Texas House of Representatives approved an increase in the state's renewable energy goal Thursday and called for upgraded transmission lines to remote West Texas wind farms. "We have generation capacity in West Texas that is sitting idle," said Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, who sponsored the bill. "We need to fix this now." According to the State Energy Conservation Office, Texas has the second-highest wind energy potential in the nation, and incentive programs have resulted in the state exceeding its goals for energy production.

60% More Light in LEDs for the Same Power (07/15/2005)
Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have developed prototype light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that put out 30-60% more lumens-per-Watt (lm/W) than commercial white LEDs. Using a scattered photon extraction technique, phosphors are moved away from a light-emitting semiconductor where the extra photons can escape as visible light instead of being absorbed. The USDOE predicts that solid state lighting by the year 2025 could displace incandescent and fluorescent lamps, lowering national energy consumption for lighting by 29%.

Household Energy Reduction Promoted (07/15/2005)
The Bush administration announced a new partnership aimed at reducing household energy costs by 10 percent over the next decade while improving our nation's air. The Partnership for Home Energy Efficiency will provide energy saving solutions for households across the country and support research and implementation of a new generation of energy efficiency technologies. The Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide Americans, including homebuilders, with the latest home energy savings information on a Web portal, http://www.energysavers.gov.

AWARE-PDA Prototype Aims to Inform Consumer Purchases (07/14/2005)
A student group at the University of Michigan has developed the AWARE-PDA prototype to provide consumers with quick and simple access to customizable information about the social and environmental characteristics of products and their producers at the point of purchase (i.e. on the store shelf). The PDA prototype contains a data base of product and producer information (fair trade, animal testing, genetic engineering, human rights, eutrophic compounds, etc.) which is displayed on the PDA screen when the bar code from a product is scanned. Consumers can then decide whether the sustainability attributes of a product are acceptable before purchase. The student group won an EPA award to develop the prototype.

UT team to launch (07/13/2005)
The 2005 North American Solar Challenge begins the first leg of its race this Sunday. Dozens of solar-powered cars built by teams of engineering students from colleges across the U.S. and Canada will begin their route on a 2,500-mile course to Canada. The race, which takes place biennially, begins and ends in different cities each time. This year's race begins in Austin at the University, on the corner of Congress Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at 9 a.m. The race will conclude at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada July 27.

Carbon Dioxide for Sale (07/08/2005)
The Case: In 1988, the Basin Electric Power Cooperative of Bismarck, ND, bought a troubled chemical plant that converted coal into synthetic natural gas. The gamble paid off, and the story of Basin's success is altering the business of power and the politics of pollution. On september 14, 2000, the Dakota Gasification Company moved beyond survival. The company's one-of-a-kind chemical plant in Beulah, ND--an industrial beast that converts 18,000 tons of lignite coal into 170 million cubic feet of synthetic natural gas per day (enough to heat 2,500 homes for a year)--had been written off 15 years earlier as a government-financed boondoggle, a misbegotten product of crisis-driven U.S. energy policies. But the determined subsidiary of a rural utility defied its critics. That September day, the company took a dirty by-product--carbon dioxide--and made it a financial asset by turning on a new CO2 pipeline. Not only would the move secure the plant's viability, but it would also help clean up the environmental reputation of coal power.

Carbon Sequestration (07/01/2005)
The United Kingdom is funding a pilot project that will capture carbon dioxide from power plants and send it to be stored at the bottom of the North Sea. Carbon sequestration is one of a number of technologies the British government is exploring in its efforts to curb global warming. BBC environment correspondent Richard Black tells host Steve Curwood that both industry and environmental groups see potential in this plan to capture carbon. (audio and transcript versions available)

Climate Risk Investment Leaders Announce Call for Action (06/30/2005)
The Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) has issued a ten point Action Plan that calls on investors, fund managers and financial advisors, companies and government to respond affirmatively and definitively to climate risk. . Climate risk includes financial, fiduciary, and liability risk ensuing from climate change. INCR was established to promote better understanding of the risks of climate change among institutional investors. It encourages companies in which its members invest to address any material risks and opportunities to their businesses associated with climate change and a shift to a lower carbon economy. Commitments flowing from the Action Plan include an effort to deploy $1 billion of capital to help catalyze the adoption of clean technology, the development of a model climate risk policy for investors specifically addressing shareholder resolutions, proxy voting and corporate dialogue, and the development of a “Corporate Governance Scorecard on Climate Risk” for the 100 largest emitters of greenhouse gases and the distribution of this scorecard throughout the investor community by the end of 2005. (Investor Network on Climate Risk, 2005

INDUSTRY TAKING STEPS TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS (06/30/2005)
WASHINGTON, June 8, 2005 – Top industry leaders, including the chief executive officer (CEO) of Cinergy Corp., testified before the House Science Committee today on the voluntary efforts their companies are taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The witnesses told the Committee that their investments are not only achieving environmental gains, but are also providing their companies an economic benefit through reduced energy consumption and minimized waste. Moreover, the witnesses said, their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions today will give their companies a competitive advantage if mandatory emission caps are adopted in the future.

Scientists Studying Gulf's 'Dead Zone' (06/30/2005)
Through mid-July, scientists from NOAA's National Coast Data Development Center and the agency's Fisheries Service at Stennis Space Center will look at data about dissolved oxygen from the "dead zone" areas in the Gulf of Mexico. The scientists believe the zone forms in June and stretches 5,000-square-miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River toward the Texas coast. The condition, known as hypoxia, occurs when the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water is too low to support most marine life. The scientists say the trend has increased dramatically since studies first began in the early 1980s.

Senate OKs Energy Bill; House Fight Looms (06/29/2005)
WASHINGTON -- The Senate approved an energy bill Tuesday that was more favorable to conservation, wind farms and ethanol and less kind to oil and gas producers than legislation passed by the House. Whether the sharp differences can be resolved may depend on how much pressure President Bush can bring to bear. The president urged the lawmakers to resolve their differences quickly and send him a bill before August.

The Future of Pollution Prevention (06/27/2005)
This newsletter marks the final segment of a two-part series dedicated to the pressing issue of the Future of P2. Our feature article this time is written by Kenneth Zarker, a P2 veteran who also happens to be the Chair of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR), the largest nonprofit member organization dedicated to source reduction and sustainable production. This article expounds on the term Sustainable Consumption and Production and suggests valuable next steps in moving the P2 community in that direction.

Natural Evolution Receives a Okahoma DEQ Gold Star (06/22/2005)
In 2004 Natural Evolution (www.naturalevolution.com) of Tulsa became the first applicant for the Oklahoma Star Incentive program (OKStar). The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality developed the OKStar program to recognize facilities that achieve and maintain compliance and go beyond the regulations to protect the environment and promote employee safety. In addition, by meeting the program’s high standards of environmental responsibility, organizations demonstrate to the public that they are committed to compliance with environmental law, and have voluntarily implemented a thorough waste prevention and pollution prevention plan

EPA Publishes Primer on Healthcare Compliance (06/21/2005)
In response to compliance problems at many of the nation’s over 6,000 hospitals EPA Regional Offices in the Northeast and elsewhere are actively inspecting and encouraging self-auditing at healthcare facilities. To help healthcare workers and regulatory staff understand how environmental laws apply to healthcare facilities, EPA recently published a plain language primer on the healthcare industry, the Profile of the Healthcare Industry. This compliance assistance guide is designed to give government staff and operators of healthcare facilities a general understanding of the major environmental issues associated with this industry and the steps that can be taken to improve environmental performance. While focusing on pollutant sources that would be part of a large medical center, the topics covered also apply broadly to many other smaller facilities such as: dentists’ and physicians’ offices, laboratories, home health services, nursing and residential care facilities and veterinary services. The Profile contains chapters on: industry background and trends, pollutant releases, applicable regulations, pollution prevention opportunities, compliance history, voluntary initiatives and resources for additional research. (Contact: Seth Heminway (202) 564-7017)

Drive Clean Across Texas Campaign Offers Free Teaching Materials (06/12/2005)
Drive Clean Across Texas, the nation’s first statewide public outreach and education campaign, is raising awareness and changing attitudes about air pollution. The awardwinning campaign is sponsored jointly by the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Federal Highway Administration. The campaign’s goal is to inspire changes in driving behavior that will help clean up our Texas air. Although there are many sources of air pollution, one of the major contributors is vehicle emissions from our cars and trucks.

Irish Methane Credit Company Lists on the London Stock Exchange (06/10/2005)
AgCert, an Irish company that sells methane greenhouse gas credits, will soon list on the London Stock Exchange. The company taps methane produced by farm slurry pits and then sells the resulting credits to heavy industry. It operates 18 methane-tapping operations at livestock farms, mainly in the Americas, with another 200 plants under construction. AgCert began by tapping gas from pig slurry but has since expanded into dairy farms. AgCert is currently valued at about 300 million Euros.

First truck with radioactive waste arrives in West Texas (06/09/2005)
ANDREWS, Texas - The first of an expected 2,000 shipments of Cold War-era radioactive waste from Ohio arrived at a West Texas storage facility early Wednesday. Two steel canisters, each holding about 20,000 pounds of a mixture of radioactive waste combined with fly ash and concrete, were on the first truck, which left a shuttered uranium processing plant in southwest Ohio about noon Monday. The truck arrived at the storage facility about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday and entered the site's grounds a short time later, said Len Wilson, a spokesman for Waste Control Specialists, which is storing the waste at its site about 30 miles west of Andrews near the Texas-New Mexico border. "The containers were still totally decontaminated as they were when they left Ohio," he said. Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists won a $7.5 million contract from Fernald in late April, two months after state officials granted the company a license amendment that expanded the site's storage capacity to 1.5 million cubic feet - nearly five times its current size. That expansion made the site eligible to accept the Ohio waste. The Sierra Club has requested a hearing to contest the license change. A hearing before an administrative judge in Austin is set for July 11. Waste Control Specialists also seeks a license to dispose of the Ohio waste. Without the license, the waste can remain at the Texas site for only two years.

World Marks Green Day; Big City Mayors Sign Pacts (06/09/2005)
SAN FRANCISCO - Big city mayors from around the world signed a series of pacts on Sunday to improve the conditions of urban centers, capping a five-day UN World Environment conference in San Francisco, the city where the United Nations was founded in 1945.

New Zealand Public First in the World to Pay Direct Carbon Tax (06/07/2005)
Countries in Europe and elsewhere have carbon-reduction energy taxes in place which are weighted against energy producers, but New Zealand is believed to be the first to ask the public to pay directly for the costs of reducing global warming. New Zealanders will pay and extra NZ$2.90 a week for electricity, gasoline and natural gas when the new taxes take effect. A government spokesman said that if we can curb our growth in greenhouse gas emissions now, we will be better placed to make a smooth transition to more challenging commitments after 2012.

Cola Replaces Chemicals as a Cheap Pesticide for Indian Cotton Farmers (06/05/2005)
Reports out of India late last year noted that hundreds of farmers are spraying their cotton and chili fields with Coca Cola as an alternative to chemicals. Farmers report the cola sprays as invaluable because they are safe to handle, do not need diluting, and are cheap. By using Coca Cola, Pepsi, Thums Up and other local soft drinks they can avoid paying hefty fees to international chemical companies for their patented pesticides. A farmer from Andra Pradesh observed that the pests began to die after the soft drink was sprayed on my cotton.

Protecting the environment: Amalgam waste best management practices (06/01/2005)
The May 17 issue of American Dental Association News features a brochure, Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste. Dentists, by adhering to the BMPs, can voluntarily take reasonable steps to reduce amalgam in wastewater discharge and make dental offices more environmentally friendly. "BMPs are the right thing to do," wrote ADA President Eugene Sekiguchi and Executive Director James B. Bramson in a Feb. 20 letter to constituent dental societies. "ALL dentists should follow BMPs for this very simple reason."

Greening the Portfolio (05/10/2005)
To introduce wind energy to customers and explain how it is produced, TXU Corp. sponsored an "educational tour" by hauling a giant wind turbine blade around the state on a special trailer. At schools and public events, representatives showed off the 120-foot long blade, weighing 14,000 pounds. The blade is longer than an NBA basketball court, they explained, and some wind turbines stand taller than the Statue of Liberty.

Renewable energy searches for a secure niche in the marketplace (05/05/2005)
Texas is staking its turf in "green power." That's the marketing term for electricity that is all or partly generated from environmentally friendly energy sources--wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and low-impact hydroelectric power. These energy sources produce electricity without creating the pollution associated with conventional power generation from fossil fuels or nuclear power. Not only is green power relatively free of pollution, it is renewable--thanks to energy derived directly or indirectly from the sun.

Fires Down South Send Smoke to Central Texas (05/03/2005)
AUSTIN, TX Austin air these days seems to be a veritable smorgasbord of irritants. There's tree pollen, mold, car exhaust . . . and as KUT's Michael May reports, there's yet another pollutant on the way.

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Rediscovered in Arkansas (05/03/2005)
A group of wildlife scientists believe the ivory-billed woodpecker is not extinct. They say they have made seven firm sightings of the bird in central Arkansas. The landmark find caps a search that began more than 60 years ago, after biologists said North America’s largest woodpecker had become extinct in the United States.

Native American Company's Wild Grasses Help Restore Damaged Western Landscapes (05/02/2005)
Curtis & Curtis, located in Clovis, NM, has grown from a small grass seed company to a multi-million dollar organization that now deals exclusively in native grasses. The company is co-owned by Blake and Tye Curtis, descended from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. Their firm, now a major supplier of seed used in land reclamation, re-vegetation and conservation programs, seeks and harvests wildflower and native grass seeds. As wild plants tend to be heartier than cultivated native plants, there is a significant movement towards using native products collected in the wild for planting at disturbed sites. The company’s native plants and wild seeds have been used to restore natural cover in areas disturbed by strip mining, highway and pipeline reconstruction, drilling activity, and wind turbine installations.

Major European Fashion Brands Adopt Paper Fiber (05/01/2005)
A new trend of using paper fiber for fabrics has been spreading among prestigious fashion brands in Europe. The new fiber was developed by Oji Fiber Co., an affiliate of Japan's Oji Paper Co. It, is made from Manila hemp pulp and known by the brand name "OJO+."

Modular Sewage Treatment (04/30/2005)
A Swiss company has pioneered the development of a new type of agitation and aerating technology that promises to transform traditional methods of wastewater treatment. The technology uses a special stirring body, an OLOID, based on a combined three dimensional and pulsating motion. Engines based on this OLOID design operate simultaneously as agitators, mixers, and surface aerators, resulting in a most sparing energy consumption while achieving optimum biological, physical and chemical degradation of wastewater. The technology lends itself particularly well to compact designs with sizes of 5 up to 450 population equivalents. State-of-the–art OLOID process engineering provides comparable degradation results with organic carbon and nitrogen that, as a rule, have heretofore only been achieved by large sewage treatment plants.

Beijing issues pollution warning as skies turn yellow (04/28/2005)
BEIJING (AFP) - People in Beijing were warned to stay indoors as the Chinese capital was shrouded in yellow smog with pollution reaching dangerous levels. "Under these polluted conditions, we propose that the majority of citizens reduce their time outdoors and avoid breathing this seriously polluted air," the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau said in a warning posted on its website. Beijing's air quality has been at the lowest level for the past two days with the air "seriously polluted," the bureau said. Experts said the capital was experiencing a heat inversion, where warmer air in the atmosphere was keeping the colder ground air in place, making it difficult for the pollution to disperse, the bureau said.

Texas Environmental Excellence Award Winners Announced (04/27/2005)
Governor Rick Perry and the TCEQ are pleased to announce the winners of the 13th annual Texas Environmental Excellence Awards (TEEA). Since 1993, the state has honored its most outstanding environmental projects at an awards ceremony held during the TCEQ's annual trade fair. This year’s winners—in categories ranging from individual and youth to business, education, and nonprofit will be recognized at a banquet on May 3, 2005, at the Austin Hilton Hotel (located across from the Austin Convention Center). 2005 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards Winners are: Innovative Technology: IdleAire Technologies Corporation Large Business/Technical: Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, Friona Large Business/Nontechnical: H-E-B Grocery Company Small Business: EnvirGLAS Products Inc., Plano Government: University of Texas Medical Branch, Agriculture: Tom Green County Water Control and Improvement District No.1, San Angelo Civic/Nonprofit: Clear Creek Environmental Foundation, League City Education: City of Laredo Youth: Highland Lakes Elementary School, Marble Independent School District, Granite Shoals Individual: Hannah Marie Greer, Van Alstyne

Fourth 'R' for Earth Day - reduce, reuse, recycle ... repair (04/25/2005)
In 2004, the Norwegian Nobel committee made a revolutionary decision. In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to an environmentalist for the first time, the committee broadened the concept of peace. The message the committee sent was this: If we want a peaceful world, we have to manage our environment responsibly and sustainably. We also have to share natural resources equitably at local, national, and global levels. Since winning that prize, I have traveled to many parts of the world sharing the groundbreaking message of the Nobel committee. Friday, the 35th celebration of Earth Day provides us the opportunity to rededicate ourselves to doing all we can in our daily lives to protect and nurture the Earth.

Backyard Biodiversity (04/23/2005)
The space around our homes provides us with places to play and relax. To local wildlife, however, expanses of lush, green grass might as well be asphalt. Lawns provide animals with no shade, shelter, or food, and the runoff from fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns can contaminate wildlife habitats. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that approximately 20 million acres of land in the United States are dedicated to lawns—more than is used for any single crop.

Please Don't Feed the Storm Drain (04/22/2005)
A TCEQ education campaign, aims to reduce water pollution by educating Texans about specific steps they can take to prevent it. The campaign called, "Please Don't Feed the Storm Drain", provides a variety of educational materials and resources to local governments and the general public. Nonpoint source (or runoff) pollution results from rainwater carrying contaminants such as pet waste, used motor oil, fertilizers, and other household chemicals into storm drains or waterways. This pollution can harm aquatic life, contaminate drinking water sources, and affect recreational uses. “Texans can help improve the quality of our state’s waterways, said Brenda Wendler, TCEQ Program Specialist. We're asking citizens to pick up pet waste and put it in the trash. We’re asking them to take used motor oil to a recycling facility, not to leave it on the ground. And, we’re asking them to dispose of antifreeze, paints, and other toxic household products properly rather than allowing them to end up feeding a storm drain. Texans can call 1-800-CLEANUP or visit www.cleanup.org to find facilities in their area that accept oil and other household hazardous wastes.

EPA Cites 3M, Motorola, Pfizer Facilities, Others, for Environmental Progress Beyond Current Regulatory Requirements (04/19/2005)
EPA presented national awards in Chicago on Tuesday for exemplary environmental outreach and performance to nine members of its National Environmental Performance Track program. EPA also welcomed 73 new Performance Track members and honored the program's first three Corporate Leaders. "By definition, Performance Track members are among the nation's top environmental performers, and we are pleased to welcome the 73 new members to the program," said Stephanie Daigle, EPA acting associate administrator for Policy, Economics and Innovation. "The facilities and companies that we will recognize at this event demonstrated truly outstanding environmental results over the last two years."

Rainwater Garden Retrofit Cuts Stormwater Runoff 82 Percent (04/10/2005)
To protect Minnesota's Crystal Lake from phosphorous and large volumes of stormwater draining into it from surrounding impervious services, the Metropolitan Council and the City of Burnsville have created a prototypic rainwater garden system to filter street runoff. One neighborhood was retrofitted with 17 rainwater gardens while an identical neighborhood just a block away was left untouched as a control for the project. Eighty-five percent of eligible residents on the retrofitted street agreed to participate in the project by planting the rainwater gardens and performing minor maintenance on them. This far exceeded the anticipated 30% buy-in by residents. Preliminary data indicates that, in comparison with the control street with no rainwater gardens, the study street contributes about 82 percent less stormwater to Crystal Lake. The project is a finalist in the pubic sector Environmental Innovation Awards under the Minnesota Environmental Initiative.

EPA Cancels Controversial Pesticide Study (04/09/2005)
The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday canceled a controversial study using children to measure the effect of pesticides after Democrats said they would block Senate confirmation of the agency's new head. Stephen Johnson, as EPA's acting administrator, ordered an end to the planned study, a reversal from the agency's position just a day earlier when it said it would await the advice of outside scientific experts. The aim of the study, Johnson said, was to fill data gaps on children's exposure to household pesticides and chemicals. He suspended it last November after ethical questions were raised by scientists within EPA and by environmentalists.

Keep the Power in Your Rechargeable Batteries (04/06/2005)
There is no doubt that many new portable electronic devices were received during the holiday season. Many of these devices use rechargeable batteries. Here are a few tips from the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation that will help your devices working longer:

Used Computers and Electronics Are a Rapidly Growing Challenge (04/01/2005)
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Plug-In To eCycling campaign, more than 3 million tons of used electronics or electronic resources, are discarded in landfills annually. Electronic resources include computers, printers, televisions, mobile phones, VCRs, cameras, audio equipment, and other electronics. Televisions and computers can contain an average of four pounds of lead, as well as other toxins like chromium, cadmium, mercury, nickel, zinc, and flame retardants. If improperly handled, the toxic materials in electronics and computers can be released into the environment through incinerator ash or landfill leachate.

U.N. Study: Earth's Health Deteriorating (03/30/2005)
LONDON - Growing populations and expanding economic activity have strained the planet's ecosystems over the past half century, a trend that threatens international efforts to combat poverty and disease, a U.N.-sponsored study of the Earth's health warned on Wednesday. The four-year, $24 million study — the largest-ever to show how people are changing their environment — found that humans had depleted 60 percent of the world's grasslands, forests, farmlands, rivers and lakes. Unless nations adopt more eco-friendly policies, increased human demands for food, clean water and fuels could speed the disappearance of forests, fish and fresh water reserves and lead to more frequent disease outbreaks over the next 50 years, it said.

Hybrid Locomotive Gains Traction (03/29/2005)
Hybrid cars, trucks and buses have already hit the road. Now, make way for the Green Goat, the world's biggest hybrid. It's a 2,000-horsepower locomotive that radically reduces fuel consumption and emissions of pollutants. The Green Goat is a diesel-electric hybrid in which the normal massive diesel locomotive engine is replaced by a 290-horsepower inline 6-cylinder diesel truck engine and a 600-volt battery bank. The batteries supply the power needed to drive the electric traction motors on the wheels of this 280,000-pound "goat."

BP: Texas Plant 'Safe,' Death Toll at 15 (03/24/2005)
BP Chief Executive John Browne said the company's Texas City, Texas, refinery "a very safe plant" on Thursday as the death toll in Wednesday's explosion there climbed to 15. It was the third fatal accident at the mammoth plant in the 12 months. A worker died in a fall last May, and two were killed and one injured in September when scalding hot water burst from a pipe. A large explosion and fire also occurred last March 30, although no deaths or serious injuries were reported.

Consortium Links Human and Ecosystem Health. (03/24/2005)
Conservation Medicine is an emerging field that focuses on the intersection of environment, human and non-human hosts, and pathogens. At its core, conservation medicine champions the integration of techniques and the partnering of scientists from diverse disciplines. The Consortium for Conservation Medicine is a collaborative institution linking Harvard Medical Schools Center for Health and the Global Environment, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicines Center for Conservation Medicine, the Wildlife Trust, and the USGSs National Wildlife Health Center. Conservation medicine practitioners from these institutions form multidisciplinary teams to tackle the complex, global, and poorly understood environmental causes of health problems. The Consortiums research focuses on seven themes: emerging infectious diseases, pathogen pollution, environmental security and zoonoses, diseases of highly endangered species, landscape scale disease ecology, marine emerging infectious diseases, and the health implications of climate change.

North American Congregations First to Use Eco-Palms (03/24/2005)
On Sunday, March 20th, twenty-two Episcopalian, Unitarian, and Lutheran churches became the first congregations in North America to use environmentally sustainable palm fronds for their Palm Sunday services. The Minnesota, North Dakota, and Massachusetts churches bought the fronds from communities in Guatemala and Mexico who are involved in efforts to certify their palm production as sustainable. Under a pilot project coordinated by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation 5,000 chamaedorea palm fronds were purchased and delivered this past week to participating churches. Historically, most of the 30 million palm fronds used on Palm Sunday come from over-harvesting in Mexico and Guatemala.

The Dangers of Modern Art (03/18/2005)
According to a recent article published by the Union of Concerned Scientis, some art supplies contain ingredients that are harmful to both humans and the environment. These include naturally occurring heavy metals such as lead, cobalt, cadmium, and manganese, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as turpentine, xylene, acetone, and toluene.

New Technology Uses CO2 to Make Plastic from Orange Peels (03/15/2005)
ITHACA, N.Y., Jan. 31, 2005 - Using just the oil from orange peel and CO2, researchers at Cornell University have found a way to make a high quality, versatile plastic in an environmentally friendly way. This would also offer one small solution to the growing global problem of how to control and reduce increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere. Plastics are polymers, and are made up of a long chain of carbon-based molecules, usually made from petroleum. Limonene is a carbon-based compound that makes up around 95% of the oil found in orange peel, often used to give household cleaners a citrus smell.

Higher levels of mercury seen polluting region (03/13/2005)
Mercury contamination is more pervasive in New England than researchers previously believed, according to a study being released today that indicates the toxic substance appears to be polluting the environment in ways that scientists previously did not think possible. The four-year study in Northeastern United States and eastern Canada also indicates significant levels of mercury in forest songbirds and other animals that researchers did not suspect were ingesting mercury.

Water and Peace - Environment and Diplomacy (03/13/2005)
Before coming to The University of Texas at Austin, Palestinian Ibn Khaldoun* had never met an Israeli who wasn’t wearing a military uniform. Ongoing political tensions between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government have limited contact between Gaza residents and Israeli communities, located only miles away across the border. Despite the divisions, both Khaldoun and his Israeli neighbors rely on the Gaza aquifer for water, and it is clearly in the interests of both sides to protect this vital resource. As part of an effort to improve the management of this and other resources in the region, Khaldoun was one of 13 Israeli and Palestinian water professionals who traveled to Texas to take part in a month-long citizen exchange hosted by the university and funded by the U.S. Department of State.

Carbon Emissions Trading is New Weapon to Battle Global Warming (03/12/2005)
February 10, 2005 — By Brad Foss, Associated Press Environmentalists always said there would be a price to pay for all the carbon dioxide being spewed into the atmosphere. Well, now there is. While prized resources such as oil, gold and wheat have been traded for decades, there is a budding market for one of the industrialized world's abundant but unwanted byproducts: carbon dioxide, a gas produced when fossil fuels are burned and which many scientists believe causes global warming. If it succeeds, the new market for carbon emissions will reward businesses that minimize their output of this "greenhouse" gas. It will also benefit the environment and thereby prove, advocates say, that making green and being green are compatible goals. "It's a sign of things to come," said Luis Martinez, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council in New York.

Vermont cows help power 330 homes (03/12/2005)
MONTPELIER, Vt. - The 1,500 cows at Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport are producing more than just milk. They’re generating electricity. The methane gas from their manure is being used to produce electricity for Vermont’s largest utility. “This is the first time anywhere in the country that a farm-based generation has been offered to customers as a renewable choice,” Central Vermont Public Service Corp. spokesman Steve Costello said Friday.

U.S. Senators introduce legislation go help curb electronic waste (03/11/2005)
U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jim Talent (R-Mo.) introduced legislation on March 3 that would give consumers and industry tax incentives to safely dispose of old or outdated personal or office electronics, which contain a number of hazardous toxins including lead, mercury and cadmium. Harmful e-waste is a large and growing problem in the United States, with some experts estimating that more than 150 million tons of electronic equipment were disposed of in 2004 alone. The Electronic Waste Recycling and Promotion and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 would provide incentives to create the first-ever nationwide electronic waste recycling infrastructure, making it more convenient and cost-effective for American consumers to recycle computers, computer monitors, laptop computers and televisions. The proposed legislation also directs the EPA to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of various e-waste recycling programs to recommend a national program.

ChevronTexaco CEO Says Era of Cheap Oil Ending (03/10/2005)
HOUSTON - Roaring demand for energy from Asia coupled with difficulties in accessing oil reserves has resulted in a new energy equation where the days of cheap oil and even cheaper natural gas are numbered, the head of ChevronTexaco Corp. said on Tuesday. Oil prices have shot up dramatically in the past year thanks to tight supplies and rising demand, prompting a growing crowd within the energy industry to ponder whether sky-high oil prices are here to stay. "The time when we could count on cheap oil and even cheaper natural gas is clearly ending," Dave O'Reilly, chief executive of ChevronTexaco, told a Cambridge Energy Research Associates energy conference.

Bush Elevates Acting E.P.A. Chief to Top Job on Full-Time Basis (03/07/2005)
President Bush today nominated Stephen L. Johnson, a career veteran of the Environmental Protection Agency and its acting administrator, to become the agency's next full-time chief. Mr. Johnson, a scientist who has worked for the E.P.A. for 24 years and became its acting head on Jan. 26, will lead the agency that enforces United States environmental laws and regulations. He first needs to be confirmed by the Senate. "His immediate task is to work with congress to pass my Clear Skies initiative," Mr. Bush said in an announcement at the White House, adding that he wanted the Senate to expedite Mr. Johnson's confirmation.

EPA Seeking Nominations for Presidents Environmental Youth Award (03/07/2005)
Since 1971, EPA has sponsored the President’s Environmental Youth Awards. The program recognizes young people across America for projects which demonstrate their commitment to the environment. Young people in all 50 states and the U.S. territories are invited to participate in the program. Projects submitted in the past have covered a wide range of subject areas including recycling programs in schools and communities; construction of nature preserves; major tree planting programs; videos, skits, and newsletters created by students that focused on environmental issues; and environmental science projects. To be eligible to compete, a student or students, sponsored by an adult, must submit to their local EPA regional office evidence of a completed project as defined in the President's Environmental Youth Award application, as well as a completed application by July 31, 2005. Ineterested applicants should contact Patty Senna, Region 6 Coordinator, 1-800-886-6063 or senna.patty@epa.gov

New UK Cars to Get Climate Eco-Labels (03/05/2005)
Makers of all 42 vehicle brands in the United Kingdom have signed up for a voluntary labeling program that will show how much carbon dioxide a vehicle emits and relates that figure to the vehicle tax that must be paid by the purchaser. The program was developed by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership established by the Blair government in 2003 to help find ways of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from road transport. The new label has color-coded arrows graduating from green to red, aligning carbon dioxide emissions to the excise duty that must be paid. The higher the emissions, the higher the excise duty. Importantly, the new labels allow consumers to compare at a glance how a vehicles rating compares with other models. The new color-coded CO2 label system is to be rolled out across new car showrooms in the UK this summer. (Environment News Service, February 14, 2005)

Renewable Energy Standard Analyzed for Texas, New Mexico (03/04/2005)
A new Union of Concerned Scientist analysis found that under a national 20 percent Renewable Energy Standard Texas would increase its total homegrown renewable power to more than 25,900 megawatts (MW) by 2020. The majority of this development would be powered by Texas’ strong wind and bioenergy resources. This level of renewable development would provide the equivalent of nearly 23 percent of electricity sales in the state and reduce the use of imported coal. Texas has the technical potential to generate nearly 8 times its current electricity needs from renewable energy. According to the report enewable energy development would create new highpaying jobs and other economic benefits in New Mexico. By 2020, the 20 percent standard would create 4,760 new jobs in manufacturing, construction, operation, maintenance, and other industries.

Administrator Leavitt Signs First Performance Track Rule (02/25/2005)
EPA is making changes to its regulatory programs by offering various incentives to facilities that voluntarily participate in the Performance Track program. Performance Track members' history of strong compliance, commitment to measurable improvement, and effectiveness in environmental management distinguishes them from other regulated facilities, and EPA believes they should be eligible for special benefits. In recognition of these efforts, EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt signed the first Performance Track Rule on April 14, 2004. This new rule grants member facilities increased procedural flexibility and reduced administrative burden.

Pollution putting Texans at risk, environmental groups say (02/23/2005)
Texans are facing significant health risks from diesel pollution, according to a report released Tuesday by environmental groups. Tom Smith, director of the Texas office of the non-profit public interest group Public Citizen, said diesel emissions contribute to approximately 800 deaths in Texas and send thousands of people to the hospital with asthma or heart attacks each year. Texas ranks fifth in the nation for health risks from diesel pollution, according to the study conducted by non-profit organization Clean Air Task Force. Texas' Beaumont-Port Arthur region, meanwhile, represents the worst diesel pollution area, per capita, in the United States.

Antioxidants in Organic Foods Outperform Conventional by 30% (02/19/2005)
. The Organic Center's Dr. Charles Benbrook has just compiled a report showing that, on average, antioxidant levels were about 30% higher in organic food compared to conventional food grown under the same conditions. The report is based on data from 15 quantitative comparisons of antioxidant levels in organic versus conventional fruits and vegetables. Several studies found levels of specific vitamins, favonoids or antioxidants in organic foods to be two or three times the level found in matched samples of conventionally-grown food. Practices in conventional food growing and processing known to remove antioxidants include the use of the chemical hexane in the extraction of oils from crops, the use of high temperature and high pressure processing technologies, and even the removal by consumers of the antioxidant-containing outer layers of fruits and vegetables to help reduce levels of pesticide residues. (The Organic Center)

Berkeley Scientist Uses Coal Ash to Develop Low-Cost Arsenic Drinking Water Filter. (02/17/2005)
A Lawrence Berkeley Lab scientist, Ashok Gadgil, is developing a cheap and effective way to provide safe drinking water to 60 million Bangladeshis who face arsenic poisoning from their underground water supplies. Gadgil has created arsenic filters from coal ash, the fine gray powder that piles up at the bottom of furnaces wherever coal is used to generate steam or electricity. He proposes filling teabag-sized pouches with the powder and distributing them throughout the countryside, one per family per day. He coats the ash with ferric hydroxide which reacts with arsenic and forces the element to precipitate onto the ash particles. Tests with water containing a toxic 2,400 parts per billion (ppb) saw the filter lower the arsenic content to 10 ppb. Gadgil estimates the technique will cost about 30 cents per person per year. (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Research News

Kyoto Protocol goes into effect today (02/16/2005)
AFP , TOKYO Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005,Page 1 The landmark Kyoto Protocol, which hopes to slow down global warming, goes into effect today with most of the industrialized world committed to slashing gas emissions, but the US, China, India and Australia holding out. The treaty, which comes into force at 5am Greenwich Mean Time, seeks for the industrial world as a whole to slash its greenhouse gas emission by 5.2 percent by 2012, with targets set according to each country's pollution level. A total of 141 countries have signed the treaty including 30 industrialized countries, but not the US or Australia, which say that Kyoto's burden to their economies would be too great.

Zero Energy Home Development Moves Forward in Austin (02/16/2005)
The Zero Energy Homes (ZEH) development planned for East Austin's Montopolis neighborhood is moving forward. The Green Building Program recently held a design competition for Program members interested in designing homes for the ZEH development. We had a handful of excellent submittals; each project was required to meet criteria from the GBP Single Family Residential Rating and the Montopolis Neighborhood Guidelines. Our panel of judges then assigned scores to each design in three broad categories - Energy, Affordability, and Community. The first place award went to LZT Architect and the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, who submitted a joint proposal. Second place was a tie between Z Works Design/Build Inc and Barley + Pfeiffer Architects. 9Design received the Honorable Mention. All the submittals were excellent and the GBP intends to pursue use of the winning plans after some final revisions.

Red is the New Green: Organic Roses Make Valentine's Day an Environmental Affair (02/10/2005)
RIOBAMBA, Ecuador — In the Ecuadorian highlands, near the Equatorial center of the world, Dr. Hernan Chiriboga gently pushes aside rows of chamomile, garlic and chili peppers and inspects his prize crop -- organically grown red roses. With a mere eight acres of mostly roses, Biogarden La Pampa is the world's first commercial-scale organic rose operation. Together with a handful of small to large-scale environmental growers in Colombia, South Africa, the Netherlands and California, Chiriboga's roses discover love and lovers via Internet eco-florist OrganicBouquet.com. "Our organically cultivated roses take care of the soil and the environment," said Chiriboga, who until recently served as president of Expoflores, Ecuador's flower exporters association.

“Gardening Rafts” Tested for Nutrient Removal in Reservoir. (02/08/2005)
The Oita Prefecture in Japan is employing floating raft gardens in an effort to improve the quality of water in the Kitagawa Dam reservoir. The rafts are planted with vegetables which are intended to absorb nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous from the reservoir water. An excess of these nutrients can cause eutrophication and generate unnatural blooms of blue-green algae. Kankun, a Chinese vegetable, is grown on the rafts in summer and other seasonal vegetables such as greens and daikon radish are grown in winter. Kankun has a hollow stem and roots that grow over a meter long, enabling them to reach deeper into the water for nutrient absorption. (Japan for Sustainability, October, 17, 2004, )

ZERI Certification Training Course (02/08/2005)
The 2005 Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives (ZERI) Certification Training will be March 10-13, April 16-19 and June 9-12 at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. This intense three part training teaches a systems-based approach to economic and social development that views waste as resource that allows communities and businesses to do more with what Nature produces rather than forcing Nature to produce more (i.e., depleting natural resources or genetic manipulation).

Bhutan Becomes the World’s First Non-Smoking Nation. (02/05/2005)
The Kingdom of Bhutan has recently become the world’s first nonsmoking nation. As of December 17, 2004, it has been illegal to smoke in public or sell tobacco. Violaters face a fine that exceeds two months’ salary. Bhutan’s ban appears to be sticking and with little public outcry. Foreigners can still smoke and import tobacco but if caught selling it to Bhutanese they will be charged with smuggling. Bhutanese officials say that by banning tobacco they hope to set an example for the rest of the world. Ireland recently banned smoking in public places, though the sale of tobacco remains legal. (Slate Magazine, January 20, 2005, )

California PUC Requires Utilities to Account for Carbon Emissions in Supply Choices. (01/31/2005)
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) now requires the states electric utilities to account for the future cost of reducing carbon emissions in choosing energy sources. The Commission thus effectively requires utilities to invest in conservation, improving energy efficiency, and developing renewable energy sources before relying on fossil sources of energy. The CPUC will require utilities to account for carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions when considering purchases from fossil fuel plants and the CPUC considers cleaner sources more cost-effective if they prevent carbon emissions at a cost of less than $8-25 per ton. (Union of Concerned Scientists News Release, December 17, 2004, )

Feb. 15 Deadline for H2E Awards Application Approaching (01/30/2005)
H2E's annual Recognition and Awards Program celebrates Partners and Champions for their environmental achievements. Applicants must be a Partner or Champion in order to apply for an award. Award winners are recognized at the annual H2E Awards Ceremony and Workshops, the annual conferences of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES), and other ceremonies across the country. The achievements of award recipients are the subject of case studies that are widely distributed both inside and outside the H2E community. To Apply:

Old Oil Field Used to Sequester Carbon Dioxide. (01/24/2005)
Old Oil Field Used to Sequester Carbon Dioxide. Scientists have found a purpose for long disused underground oil reservoirs near the town of Dayton, Texas. A team from the University of Texas (UT) has successfully pumped 1,600 tons of carbon dioxide into the briny waters of the South Liberty oil field, more than 5,000 feet underground. Australian researchers assisted in the project. CO2 has long been used to enhance the recovery of petroleum and the industry has experience in shipping the gas long distances for this purpose. Much of the expertise and at lest a limited transportation network already exists. UT scientists note that the amount of carbon dioxide storage capacity along the coast regions of the Gulf of Mexico amounts to about 300 billion tons. (Wired News, November 27, 2004,

New Jersey Commits $745 Million to Clean Energy. (01/20/2005)
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has approved $745 million in funding to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in the state. The funds, which will be allocated over the next four years, come from electric and gas customers who pay a "Societal Benefits Charge" mandated by state law in 1999. The current charge to the average household customer is $9/year for electricity and $7/year for natural gas. The state's Clean Energy Program allocates funding on a 75 percent/25 percent ratio between energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. ( New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Press Release, December 22, 2004)

Performance Track State and Regional Conference (01/18/2005)
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will join EPA in hosting the 6th Annual Performance Track State and Regional Conference in Austin, TX. The conference is scheduled for March 1-2, 2005 at the Driskill Hotel. The agenda will provide opportunities for learning and sharing information on issues such as state laws helping/hindering performance-based programs; tailoring performance measurement models to state efforts; building capacity and value for EMSs; and performance-based approaches for small businesses. EPA headquarters and regional staff as well as state representatives will attend the conference. Other interested parties, including members of Performance Track and the states' performance-based programs, also are encouraged to participate. This conference will provide a unique opportunity for Performance Track members to learn and interact on issues of interest with their state representatives as well as Performance Track staff. For additional information, contact Eileen McGovern (mcgovern.eileen@epa.gov) or visit the State Conference website below.

TOP

2004

Bush to Deliver Keynote at Energy Efficiency Forum (06/13/2005)
WASHINGTON, June 13 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time when the federal energy bill is being debated, oil prices are near record highs and concerns are being raised about electricity reliability and greenhouse gas emissions, President George W. Bush will address the importance of energy issues to the nation's future at the 16th annual Energy Efficiency Forum, June 15 in Washington, D.C.

Allstate Connects Safety, Pollution Prevention, and Quality (12/17/2004)
Source: GreenBiz.com NORTHBROOK, Ill., Dec. 10, 2004 - Oil, antifreeze, and paint. An auto body repair facility can create more than 200 gallons of potentially hazardous waste each year. Where do these by-products of the body shop business go? Allstate, the nation's second largest auto insurer, is asking the more than 3,200 auto body repair facilities across the country that participate in its direct repair program to complete an autobody-specific environmental and safety-training program. Specifically, the company is encouraging its direct repair facilities to complete the nonprofit Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair's Safety and Pollution Prevention (S/P2) training. S/P2 is an online training program that focuses on safety and environmental issues specific to the repair industry, including proper material handling and disposal.

Study: Recycling Cost Overstated (12/09/2004)
By Stephen Leahy | Wired Magazine 02:00 AM Sep. 13, 2004 PT Over the past nine years, Nova Scotia has emerged as a world leader in recycling, sending only about half its garbage to landfills or incinerators. While recycling programs cost more than dumping trash into a big hole, a new study finds that the sparsely populated Canadian province is actually saving money by reducing its waste. When all the costs and benefits of those programs are measured, and depending on what factors are taken into account, the report (.pdf) says that Nova Scotia saves anywhere from $25 million to $125 million Report at: http://www.gpiatlantic.org/publications/summaries/solidwastesumm.pdf)

Emissions Reduction & Energy Leadership Summit 2004 (12/06/2004)
The Emissions Reduction & Energy Leadership Summit 2004, co-hosted by the Metropolitan Partnership for Energy and Texas A&M’s Energy Systems Lab, will be held in downtown San Antonio at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, December 14-17, 2004. AIA, CEU Education Credits available.

Pollution concerns drive officials to think hybrid (12/05/2004)
BY AUSTIN GELDER ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE Ecologically minded state leaders are hoping to steer Arkansas toward cleaner air with a push to replace government vehicles with fuel-efficient hybrid cars. Phasing in hybrids to Arkansas’ public fleets has been slow going so far, with only a handful of the gasoline-andelectricity-powered vehicles on the road for government business. That’s partly because the Department of Finance and Administration doesn’t yet have hybrids on its procurement list, a roster of goods that can be had for government use at reduced prices. But Joe Giddis, director of the state procurement office, said he still thinks he can find good deals on the cutting-edge vehicles if he can buy in bulk. "The more you buy, the better price you get," Giddis told members of the Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission on Friday morning. "That’s always been the problem with this program. It’s always been onesies or twosies." But Audree Miller, a member of the pollution prevention steering committee of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, thinks more government agencies will soon be enticed by the lower fuel and maintenance costs and higher resale values of hybrid cars. While hybrids cost an average of $4,000 more than their traditionally powered equivalents, the reduced costs of gasoline and maintenance add up to a net savings, she said.

UK Firm Nears Commercial Benchmark for Hydrogen From Solar (12/04/2004)
Hydrogen Solar Ltd. announced recently that the firm's Tandem Cell (photovoltaic) is now able to directly convert more than 8% of sunlight energy directly into pure hydrogen fuel. Novel metal-oxide coatings produce high photocurrent densities and create a highly efficient means of converting light and water into hydrogen fuel from one single unit. At the benchmark 10% performance level recognized by the industry for commercially viable production, a 7m x 7m Tandem Cell unit on a garage roof is capable of producing enough hydrogen from sunlight to run a Mercedes A-Class vehicle 11,000 miles a year in Los Angeles light conditions. (Hydrogen Solar Ltd, August 10, 2004, )

Campaigns, demonstrations mark anniversary of Bhopal gas disaster (12/03/2004)
17.58 IST 03rd Dec 2004 By IndiaExpress Bureau Fresh campaigns, including rallies and demonstrations against multinational companies, were staged in Bhopal today to mark the 20th anniversary of Bhopal gas disaster. While organisations fighting for victims of the tragedy formulated plans to mount pressure on the government to dispose of hazardous chemicals polluting water near the closed Union Carbide factory, a congregation of representatives from 47 organisations chalked out action against MNCs, specifically targeting the soft drink manufacturers.

Powell River Becomes Canada's First Genetically Egineered-Free Zone. (12/02/2004)
A coalition of local groups has succeeded in having the Powell River Regional District in British Columbia, Canada declared a genetically engineered (GE) free crop zone. It is the first such GE-free crop zone in the nation. Being a GE-free crop zone means that the area is free of propagating, cultivating, or raising GE organisms by people, firms or corporations. At the same time, new local enterprises such as seed companies and permaculture have sprung up and are offering workshops and training opportunities. Powell River received the provincial agricultural achievement of the year award for its designation as a GE-free crop zone. (Organic Consumers Association, November 9, 2004, )

Fuji Xerox Resource Recycling System Turns First Profit (12/01/2004)
The Fuji Xerox Co. of Japan made a profit from its resource recycling system for the first time in FY 2003, calculated in environmental accounting terms. Under Fuji's process, returned products are dismantled and selected parts are returned to the production line. Parts that cannot be reused are thoroughly broken down and the process used can recover even minute particles of metal, rubber and glass that were previously thought to be difficult to recycle. The process helps Fuji achieve its corporate goal of "zero waste" not only at its production plants but also in products collected form its customers. (Japan for Sustainability Information Center, September 14-20, 2004, )

NAFTA Says Mexico Should Maintain Moratorium on GE Corn (11/30/2004)
. A North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) commission has urged Mexico to maintain its existing moratorium on commercial planting of bioengineered corn. The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation's report urges additional research to weigh the benefits of GE crops against the risk that they will migrate and possibly overwhelm native crops. Mexico is the center of corn diversity in North America. (North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation Report: Maize and Biodiversity, November 9, 2004, )

Revolution Cleaners Launches CO2-Based Dry Cleaning in Colorado (11/29/2004)
A new Denver company, Revolution Cleaners, now uses a liquid carbon-dioxide-based cleaning process that eliminates the use of chemicals such as perchloroethylene. Customers pay the same price as for chemical cleaning and avoid the residual chemicals on their clothes from conventional cleaning. The new cleaning machine is twice the cost of standard equipment but saves the company money over the long run since it uses less electricity. (The Rocky Mountain News, October 30, 2004)

Pumpkin and Zucchini Pull DDT and Other POPs From Contaminated Soil. (11/28/2004)
Scientists at the Royal Military College of Canada have shown that a pumpkin plant can remove significant amounts of DDT and other pollutants from contaminated soil. Of the five plant varieties tested, pumpkin plants extracted the most DDT and their close relative - the zucchini - came in second. The scientists took soil from a site in the western Arctic that had been exposed to DDT between 1947 and 1950 and then grew selected plants in the soil. Both plants have a large, above-ground biomass, a physiology that enables them to accumulate larger amounts of DDT. The plants concentrate DDT but the plant matter still needs to be sent to a more conventional location for secure disposal. The plant serves as an alternative, biological extraction mechanism. (Outside Online, October 28, 2004, )

Thanksgiving's Hidden Costs (11/26/2004)
By Christopher D. Cook, AlterNet Posted on November 23, 2004, Printed on November 26, 2004 Picture yourself in the supermarket, loading up your cart on a last-minute Thanksgiving shopping spree. You're exhausted - you just want to get home, and your senses are pummeled by the brightly packaged bounty all around you. You are at once awakened and overwhelmed. What will you pick from this vast garden? It's an astounding global selection that appears - at first glance - to be fairly affordable (assuming you've got a little money). Shiny, freshly waxed fruits and vegetables beckon from overflowing bins, hardly a bruise or nonconforming shape in sight. Broccoli, oranges, bananas, asparagus, melons and pineapples are piled high in the middle of winter. Crops hailing from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Chile, Argentina, every productive corner of America and elsewhere, display the terrific powers of industrial agriculture, seemingly boundless international trade, and rapid long distance transport of perishable foods.

Consumer advocates propose energy plan Idea focuses on renewable energy sources for Texas (11/25/2004)
A consumer advocacy group proposed an alternative state energy plan using renewable resources Tuesday, countering one the Texas Energy Planning Council is expected to submit to Gov. Rick Perry by the end of the year. Perry created the council in 2003 to promote renewable energy sources and find ways to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. (The Daily Texan, Nov. 24, 2004)

UL Announces New Restricted Substances Compliance Solutions -RSCS- Designed to help organizations meet strict 2006 European Union directives (11/23/2004)
NORTHBROOK, ILLINOIS, Nov. 17 -/E-Wire/Business Wire/-- Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) today announced a new program to help organizations meet the European Union's strict Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive for electronics manufacturers scheduled to go into effect July of 2006.

Japanese Firm Produces Hydrogen From Bread Waste (11/20/2004)
. A partnership between Sapporo Breweries, Shimadzu Corp. and Hiroshima University has succeeded in producing hydrogen from bread waste. The process involves storing selected bacteria in a tank under stable conditions and then using the bacteria to break down organic matter and produce hydrogen as a byproduct. The process can be integrated into a food-waste-based methane system as the leftovers can be used to produce methane as well. The hydrogen produced in this process is free of sulfur and ideal for use in fuel cells. (Fuel Cell Today, October 7, 2004, )

Pioneer Develops Next-Generation Disc Made From Corn. (11/16/2004)
Pioneer Corporation in Japan has developed a next-generation disc made of corn. The blu-ray optical disk, which can be written once and stores 25 gigabytes of data, is 87% natural polymer derived from corn. It biodegrades in a landfill and emits no toxins if incinerated. While the disc can theoretically be eaten, it is coated by a 0.1 mm thick layer of resin and it is too hard for even the strongest teeth. (Daily Times, May 11, 2004, )

Refinery and Chemical Workers Are Not Ready for an Attack, Says Survey (11/16/2004)
Workers at U.S. refineries, chemical plants, and paper mills that might be attractive terrorist targets are not adequately trained to prevent or respond to attacks, according a survey released this week.

Study Finds Sustainability a 'High Priority' for Employees (11/16/2004)
The most recent Steelcase Workplace Index Survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation provides a glimpse at environmental perceptions in the workplace. This survey of over 675 office workers in the US revealed that issues surrounding environmental sustainability are of great importance to workers and companies alike.

EPA should focus on material reuse, recycling, Thomas Dunne says (11/13/2004)
Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 9 -- After almost 30 years of a "command-and-control" system of regulating solid waste disposal, the federal government needs a dramatic policy makeover, a senior U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official said Nov. 8. The EPA has to become a different kind of agency, focusing primarily on material reuse and recycling rather than regulation, said Thomas P. Dunne, acting assistant administrator for the EPA´s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response at the 2004 Byproducts Beneficial Use Summit in Kansas City. "I´m convinced this country must make a sharp and profound change in policy direction," he said. "Things have got to change."

Proposed 300 KW-Capacity Community Wind Project Would Benefit Low-Income People (11/13/2004)
A unique wind energy venture is beginning to swirl in south-central Washington. Luna Point Community Wind Project in Klickitat County would be Washington's first community-based wind energy facility. It reportedly would be the nation's first in which low-income citizens would directly benefit from wind-generated revenues, in the form of energy bill assistance. And, it would make energy-productive use of an area that hosted demonstration wind turbines in the 1980s.

US EPA - $200 Billion could be saved through economic incentives (11/10/2004)
The US Environmental Protection Agency estimated in a 1999 study that it could save almost $50 billion per year, exactly one-quarter of the $200 billion spent annually on environmental management, by increasing the use of economic incentives in environmental regulation. Such staggering cost saving are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reaping the many potential benefits of this clever form of government regulation.

Watts from Wastewater: New Device Produces Power While Treating Sewage (11/10/2004)
A new technology is being developed that can turn raw sewage into raw power. The device, called a microbial fuel cell, not only treats wastewater, but also provides a clean energy source with the potential for enormous financial savings, according to scientists at Pennsylvania State University.

Transpired Solar Collection System Earns DOE Kudos (11/08/2004)
Solar heaters that perform like solar panels but look like conventional metal walls are saving money and reducing energy costs for builders across North America. The new approach to solar heating, the transpired solar collector system, has been called "the most reliable, best performing, and lowest cost solar heating system for commercial and industrial buildings available on the market today," by the US Department of Energy. The concept involves metal cladding, with thousands of tiny perforations mounted 6 to 12 inches out from a south facing wall. As the sun shines, a ventilation fan draws the warmed air from the boundary layer on the surface of the wall through the perforations into an air cavity where it is distributed throughout the building by the conventional ventilation system. (Environmental Design and Construction, October 2004)

123Inkjets Buys and Resells Remanufactured Personal Computer Printer Cartridges. (11/02/2004)
An estimated 375 million ink jet cartridges are thrown away every year. Now Inkjets123 takes back a wide variety of these for remanufacture and resale. At the company's website, customers can learn how to return empties to 123Inkjets for rebate. A minimum of 5 cartridges per return is required. According to the company, ink cartridges cost more to destroy than to manufacture, making the remanufacture effort worthwhile. Customers can check the company's website for a list of cartridges acceptable for rebate as well as which remanufactured products are available for purchase at a reduced rate compared to new cartridges. The firm supplies a pre-paid envelope for use in returning the spent cartridges. (123Inkjets, 2004)

Engineers Without Borders-USA Now Serving 35 Countries with 75 Projects. (11/01/2004)
Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA) is now serving 35 countries with 75 projects, and the numbers continue to grow. Its mission is to help disadvantaged communities improve their quality of life through the implementation of environmentally and economically sustainable engineering projects while developing internationally responsible engineering students. EWB-USA now has over 80 student and professional chapters around the country. A volunteer-based organization for much of its first four years, EWB-USA is now seeking broader foundation and private donor assistance to help meet the growing demand for its student and professional chapter-led projects.

Trappist Monks Move into Organic Farms, Forest Preservation, and Coffins Making. (10/31/2004)
Trappist monks at an abbey south of Dubuque Iowa own nearly three thousand acres of cropland and woodland. Some 600 acres of oats, soybeans, alfalfa, and corn are now certified organic. The organic soybeans are sold as far away as Japan. The community's woodlands of oak, hickory, European larch, walnut, red pine and birch are being managed under a woodland stewardship plan. The land is also now an official wildlife refuge. Woodland trees are sustainably harvested to make coffins that are sold by the Trappists. For Trappists, there is beauty in death and the all wood caskets "don't hide what happens to the body at death or interfere with the natural process of returning to the earth," according to Bill Freeman, full-time forester for the Trappist community. (National Catholic Reporter, October 22, 2004)

EPA Inspector General Reports Slow Progress for Pretreatment Program (10/26/2004)
According to a report issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Inspector General, the pretreatment program under the Clean Water Act has stalled since the mid-1990s. Since then, there has not been a significant change in the volume of toxic pollutants transferred from industries to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). Early gains made by the pretreatment program are threatened by 2 factors: dischargers have not enhanced their pretreatment systems since being developed to meet EPA's initial program requirements and EPA has issued effluent guidelines at a declining rate since 1990. The report calls for "more visible leadership from Headquarters, improved programmatic information, and the adoption of results-based performance measures." EPA's Office of Water reviewed a draft of the report and responded that their initiative, Permitting for Environmental Results (PER), is "the most comprehensive assessment of the NPDES Program in its 30-year history" and will address many of the concerns and recommendations in the report. Each chapter includes a response from the Office of Water and the inspector general's comments.

Carbon Trading in Europe Triples After Russia Signals Readiness for Kyoto Approval (10/23/2004)
. At the end of September, Russia signaled that it was prepared, finally, to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Since then, the amount of carbon dioxide being traded in Europe has almost tripled. About 670,000 tons of carbon emissions were traded in the first week of October, compared with the record one million tons in September. Earlier this year, fewer than 50,000 tons a month were traded. "We're seeing dramatic increases," according to an analyst at Point Carbon, a consultancy in London. "This is impressive for a market that didn't exist a short time ago." The trade in carbon emissions has emerged from efforts to reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere and thus slow global climate change. Barclay's Louis Redshaw said that carbon emissions trading was becoming an essential part of general commodities trading. (The Financial Times, October 12, 2004 )

EMISSIONS REDUCTION AND ENERGY LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2004 , DECEMBER 14-17, 2004 (10/20/2004)
MPE and Texas A&M's Energy System Laboratory will host this event which will bring a national wide audience to the San Antonio area. The 2nd annual San Antonio Energy Leadership will be incorporated with the ESL's Emissions Reduction Conference. The summit will include a workshop, panel discussions and exhibits. Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the Marriott Riverwalk. For more information contact the MPE Offices or visit the summit website at

Environment Department to Honor “Green” Businesses with Awards (10/20/2004)
(Santa Fe, NM) —The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) honored six New Mexico businesses and organizations for preventing pollution with its Green Zia Awards on Wednesday September 29. Environment Secretary Ron Curry presented the awards, administered by NMED’s Office of Pollution Prevention. “Businesses that improve environmentally can decrease waste and improve profits,” said NMED Secretary Ron Curry. “Helping reduce waste is not only good for our state’s environment, it is also good for business and the economy of New Mexico.” The following organizations were honored Wednesday for helping to prevent pollution. In doing so, many of them have gone beyond regulatory requirements. Achievement Recognitions Alamogordo Public Schools Cannon Air Force Base Kirtland Air Force Base NASA White Sands Test Facility Commitment Recognitions Vista Corrugated, a Georgia-Pacific Company High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility “The environmental efforts of these six organizations in the last year have saved them a combined $1,673,000 while recycling 62,292 tons of material, saving two million gallons of water, and keeping 184,330 pounds of carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere,” said Secretary Curry. “Preventing pollution is good for business and good for New Mexico.” For further information contact Jon Goldstein, Communications Director, NMED at (505) 827-0314.

Environment Department to Honor “Green” Businesses with Awards (10/20/2004)
(Santa Fe, NM) —The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) honored six New Mexico businesses and organizations for preventing pollution with its Green Zia Awards on Wednesday September 29. Environment Secretary Ron Curry presented the awards, administered by NMED’s Office of Pollution Prevention. “Businesses that improve environmentally can decrease waste and improve profits,” said NMED Secretary Ron Curry. “Helping reduce waste is not only good for our state’s environment, it is also good for business and the economy of New Mexico.” The following organizations were honored Wednesday for helping to prevent pollution. In doing so, many of them have gone beyond regulatory requirements. Achievement Recognitions Alamogordo Public Schools Cannon Air Force Base Kirtland Air Force Base NASA White Sands Test Facility Commitment Recognitions Vista Corrugated, a Georgia-Pacific Company High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility “The environmental efforts of these six organizations in the last year have saved them a combined $1,673,000 while recycling 62,292 tons of material, saving two million gallons of water, and keeping 184,330 pounds of carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere,” said Secretary Curry. “Preventing pollution is good for business and good for New Mexico.” For further information contact Jon Goldstein, Communications Director, NMED at (505) 827-0314.

Texas Seeks Contenders for State's Highest Environmental Honor (10/18/2004)
Applications are now being accepted for the 2005 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards, the state's highest achievement in environmental preservation and protection. The entry deadline is November 5, 2004. Presented annually by Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the 2005 awards will recognize outstanding, innovative environmental programs in 10 diverse categories: Agriculture, Civic/Nonprofit, Education, Government, Small Business, Large Business/Nontechnical, Large Business/Technical, Innovative Technology, Individual and Youth. The state of Texas has recognized more than 100 environmental projects since the TCEQ initiated the awards program in 1993. Presented every spring to individuals, organizations, schools and businesses, the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards honor successful environmental efforts to preserve and protect the Texas environment. For more information on past winners or to apply online, visit www.teea.org

Oklahoma DEQ hosts Free Workshop October 27-28 (10/15/2004)
Oklahoma DEQ will be hosting a Tools for Improving Environmental Performance Workshop that teaches businesses how to improve their environmental performance. Paricipants will learn how to identify inefficiencies in their processes that lead to pollution and decrease profits. For more information contact: Dianne Wilkins, Oklahoma DEQ at(405) 702-9128 Email: Dianne.Wilkins@deq.state.ok.us

Texas Recycles Every Day...Not Just November 15th (10/15/2004)
November 15 is Texas Recycles Day (TRD). Through this program, Keep Texas Beautiful, Inc. (KTB) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), aim to raise public awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of recycling. Practicing the Four Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle, rebuy- not only decreases the amount of garbage thrown away each year, but it also conserves natural resources and saves energy. see complete story...

United States and Mexico Tackle Cross-Boundary Air and Water Issues (10/08/2004)
(Tijuana, Mexico - June 24, 2004) United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Mike Leavitt and Secretary of Mexico's Federal Agency of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) Alberto Cardenas Jimenez today announced binational efforts to improve air and water quality along the U.S. - Mexico border. As part of the Border 2012 Program, the United States and Mexico signed a binational air monitoring agreement and EPA committed up to $13 million (USD) toward the cleanup of a wastewater treatment plant in Mexicali, Mexico. "The Border 2012 program reaches across borders to improve the environment that the United States and Mexico share,” said Leavitt, who was joined by other EPA and Mexican government officials at the signing ceremony. "Together, we can make the air cleaner and water safer for millions of Mexicans and Americans." As part of today's agreement, state and local institutions in both countries will increase their participation in air-monitoring issues. EPA and Mexico's SEMARNAT support air-monitoring stations that help determine the causes, severity, and trends of air pollution across the California-Mexico border.

Environmental Compliance Workshop, Grand Prarie, Tx October 26 (10/02/2004)
The Grand Prarie, Tx, quarterly Environmental Compliance Workshop will be conducted by staff of the city Water Quality and Environmental Services on Tuesday, October 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Topics include Pretreatment Excellence and Pollution Prevention Awards, 100% attendance recognition, and Grand Prairie Pollution Prevention success stories. The October meeting will be held at the Grand Prairie Memorial Library located at 901 Conover, Grand Prarie, Tx and includes a continental breakfast. If you and your staff are interested in attending this meeting or have any questions, please contact Cindy Mendez at 972-237-8225.

Teleconference: Greener Cleaners & Disinfectants October 8th (10/01/2004)
The topic of H2E’s September teleconference is “Greener Cleaners & Disinfectants.” Sign up today! Each month H2E hosts a free, informative teleconference for H2E Partners and Champions to help health care facilities meet H2E goals. Topics for these presentations cover the many environmental challenges faced by today's health care facilities. Teleconferences are held on the second Friday of each month, at 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. For more information and to register, see

Build San Antonio Green Orientation - November 5, 2004 (09/21/2004)
3-5pm, AACOG Board Room, 8700 Tesoro. Contact Kim Kapavic at the Builders Association to register: 696-3800.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2004 NOCHE VERDE: GREEN BUILDING (09/21/2004)
Texas Public Radio promotes a night of green building to promote the Renewable Energy Roundup. Come hear experts discuss the five elements of green building: Materials, Site Development, Water Conservation, Energy Conservation and Health. This free event from 6-9pm at the Southwest School of Art & Craft is open to the public. Noche Verde will focus on speakers and exhibitors presenting incentives for green building offered by representatives from agencies such as SAWS, City Public Service and Fannie Mae, and cutting-edge green products and services. Organic snacks will be served. Texas Public Radio members will receive tickets to the Renewable Energy Roundup September 24-25, at the Marketplatz in the middle of Fredericksburg. For more information, please c! ontact MPE or Texas Public Radio.

SEPTEMBER 24-26THE RENEWABLE ENERGY ROUNDUP & GREEN LIVING FAIR (09/21/2004)
This event boasts the highest visitor attendance and exhibitors of any event in the Southern United States. The following areas while! highlighted: Renewable Energy, Green/Sustainable Building & Living, Sustainable/Organic Gardening and Farming, Water Use & Reuse. Market Square, downtown Fredericksburg, Texas. For more information contact Kathryn Houser at (512) 326-3391 or toll free at 877-3ROUNDUP, or visit the website:

TEXAS RECYCLING & SUSTAINABILITY SUMMIT, SEPTEMBER 26-29, 2004 (09/21/2004)
The Crowne Plaza Riverwalk, San Antonio, Texas (formerly the Adams Mark). For more information see website:

BORDER ENERGY FORUM XI, OCTOBER 21-22, 2004 (09/20/2004)
The Border Energy Forum brings together leaders from business and industry, government, educational institutions, and environmental organizations to develop strategies that are innovative and creative but well grounded in economic reality. It has gained a strong reputation as a neutral ground to discuss energy-related challenges common to both sides of the border. The goal is to develop cutting-edge strategies well grounded in today's business reality. Tijuana, Baja California. For more information visit:

GREEN BUILDING/HYBRID SOURCE EXPO & WORKSHOP, OCTOBER 1-2, 2004 (09/20/2004)
Aiming for energy independence at home and on the road is the goal of the Fifth Green Building/Hybrid Source Expo & Workshop October 1 and 2 in the Gallery Exhibit Hall of the H. B. Gonzalas Convention Center, on Alamo and Market Streets, in San Antonio, Texas. Certified by the American Institute of Architects, the event will feature exhibits and demonstrations of the latest green products, energy systems and hybrid technology with sixteen (16) free AIA-Certified continuing education classes. Products will be equated with energy-saving dollars and corresponding LEED credits. Hours are Friday, October 1, 2pm to 7pm; Saturday, October 2, 10am to 7pm. Admission is $5; Seniors, $3. For information: (210) 212.8031. Endorsed by City Public Service, Prime Time Newspapers and County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson.

Multi-State Working Group to Meet in Oklahoma City October 6-7, 2004 (09/20/2004)
Regional meetings are part of the MSWG strategy to help leaders in business, government and non-government organizations produce environmental results, sustainable communities and value organizations. This is one of three meetings held each year.

TEXAS URBAN HEAT ISLAND WORKSHOP, OCTOBER 4, 2004 (09/20/2004)
The morning will be more traditional panel discussions and other educational programs. These will include presentations by experts in the field of urban heat islands and heat island mitigation, discussing the science and current research on heat islands and potential opportunities for cooling communities. The morning sessions will also include presentations by the three host jurisdictions about actions being put into place in their communities. The afternoon sessions will be more discussion oriented and allow participants to discuss with the experts various options and opportunities for heat island mitigation in their communities and what local and state agencies could do to minimize the heat island effect in Texas communities. Alamodome, San ! Antonio, Texas. 8:00AM to 4:00PM.For more information please v! isit the workshop webpage at http://www.hotcities.org/Workshops/SanAntonio.htm.

Pollution Prevention (P2) Workshop - Austin October 21-22, 2004: (09/15/2004)
The P2 Workshop will focus on how to get the most out your P2 Plan (a requirement for most facilities in Texas). We will also walk you through the steps of how to have a performance-based TCEQ Environmental Management System (EMS). The workshop will give you strategies on how to improve efficiency while decreasing or eliminating pollution. This workshop is very interactive with a number of group exercises and a final presentation presented by our attendees.

World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) - Austin - September 22-24, 2004: (09/15/2004)
The WEEC will showcase the very latest in performance-enhancing technologies for all types of buildings and facilities, including: green building design and retrofit; LEED certification and building commissioning; indoor air quality; lighting efficiency, HVAC systems and controls, integrated building automation and energy management, water conservation; energy efficient roofing systems and more. For more information about the conference and exposition: The WEEC will showcase the very latest in performance-enhancing technologies for all types of buildings and facilities, including: green building design and retrofit; LEED certification and building commissioning; indoor air quality; lighting efficiency, HVAC systems and controls, integrated building automation and energy management, water conservation; energy efficient roofing systems and more. For more information about the conference and exposition: http://www.energycongress.com/ http://www.facilitycongress.com/ http://www.facilitycongress.com/

Heifer International Hosts Conference on Ending Hunger - Little Rock October 22-23, 2004 (09/14/2004)
Heifer International will be hosting a conference in Little Rock, Arkansas to help individuals create a more just and sustainable earth. They will highlight efforts to make families across the globe self-sufficient. The conference will show how spending choices and daily routines can be changed to help change the world. Participants will learn to: Buy Locally, Build More Sustainably, Support Fair Trade, Shrink Their Ecological Footprint, and Become Hope in Action. Contact Penni Ingle at 501-907-2987 or at penni.ingle@heifer.org to register or receive more information.

New Five-Step ENERGY STAR Campaign (09/13/2004)
EPA is beginning a new ENERGY STAR public awareness campaign is part of EPA's ongoing commitment to educate the public about the benefits of energy efficiency and preventing air pollution. The campaign is based on five simple things everyone can do in their home to make it more energy efficient: 1. Change five Lights. Replace your five most frequently used lights or the bulbs in them with ones that have the ENERGY STAR label from EPA. 2. Look for ENERGY STAR labeled Products. Available in more than 40 product categories, including lighting and home appliances. 3. Heat and cool smartly. Have your heating and cooling equipment serviced annually and remember to replace air filters regularly. Use a programmable thermostat, and when it's time to replace old equipment, choose an ENERGY STAR labeled model. 4. Seal up your home. Seal air leaks, add insulation and choose ENERGY STAR labeled windows. 5. Tell family and friends. We're asking you to help spread the word that energy efficiency is good for your home and the environment while reducing your monthly energy bills.

P2 Roundtable to Meet Before Water Advisory Group Conference (09/02/2004)
The Region 6 Pollution Prevention Roundtable will meet Tuesday September 7-8, 2004 at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock Arkansas. The meeting is being timed to coincide with the Arkansas Water Advisory Group meeting. For more information contact: Thomas Vinson-Peng at tvinson@mail.utexas.edu. The 2004 Arkansas Watershed Advisory Group (AWAG) Watershed Conference: "Clean Water - Stronger Communities" has been designed to provide information and education to environmental professionals and any citizen who is interested in learning more about the watershed planning process. This year's conference will focus on Tools and Resources for Effective Watershed Management and will be held September 9th - 11th, 2004 at the Peabody Hotel in the beautiful River Market District in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.

National P2 Week September 20-26 (08/26/2004)
The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable has declared September 20-26, 2004 as Pollution Prevention Week. The week is an opportunity for individuals, businesses, and government to emphasize and highlight their pollution prevent and sustainability activities and achievements, expand current pollution prevention efforts, and commit to new actions. see also p2.org

EPA Web Site Showcases International Innovative Environmental Solutions (08/18/2004)
A new EPA Web site offers environmental policies and best practices from countries around the world including Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Australia. The online global library provides links to journals, databases, guidelines, programs and case studies involving innovations in air, toxics, waste and water issues, as well as multi-media approaches, such as Environmental Management Systems, sustainable transport, smart growth and industrial ecology. It provides examples of state and local partnerships with other countries and regions that have resulted in creative environmental solutions in the United States such as: constructed wetlands to treat wastewater; green buildings and renewable energy to address climate and air pollution; industrial ecology to support pollution prevention and brownfields revitalization; a list of fellowships for group and individual exchanges; and a number of resources on evaluating international initiatives. The library will help state and local governments, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, as well as other countries learn from these experiments. For more information, visit the website:

EPA Adds Corporate Level Recognition to Performance Track (08/17/2004)
For the first time, EPA is recognizing corporations for environmental leadership under the National Environmental Performance Track program. The new designation will recognize companies that have shown their commitment to Performance Track through multiple facility memberships and have demonstrated environmental excellence such as reducing water, energy and solid waste use. The benefits of joining may include linking the Performance Track Web site to each company's environmental Web site and recognition of their environmental efforts. To qualify, at least five of the company’s facilities must be Performance Track members, and 25 percent of the company’s operations must be Performance Track members and/or members of similar performance-based state programs. Selected companies designated as Performance Track Corporate Leaders will commit to improve their environmental performance and that of their suppliers and/or customers, and increase their level of membership in the current program to at least 50 percent of their U.S. operations within five years of designation. Companies that meet these criteria will be asked to nominate themselves by Aug. 13, 2004. From this list of companies, EPA intends to ask up to three that appear to be the strongest candidates to apply, with applications due by Oct. 29, 2004. EPA will then designate the initial Performance Track Corporate Leaders and notify them of their selection in the fall. For more on Performance Track

Prozac in British Drinking Water (08/17/2004)
The Guardian Unlimited has reported that the [British] Environment Agency has revealed that Prozac is building up both in river systems and groundwater used for drinking supplies. The government's chief environment watchdog recently held a series of meetings with the pharmaceutical industry to discuss any repercussions for human health or the ecosystem.

TCEQ Awards $8.3 Million for NTRD Grants (08/04/2004)
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) today announced the award of $8.3 million in pollution reduction grants under the New Technology Research and Development (NTRD) program, an innovative program created by the Texas Legislature to provide financial incentives to encourage and support research, development and commercialization of technologies to reduce pollution in Texas. For more information see. www.terpgrants.org

RESNET CONFERENCE, FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 2, 2005 (01/01/2004)
The RESNET Conference is the premier national forum on home energy ratings, re! sidential energy efficiency financing, and building performance business development. The 2005 RESNET Conference will bring together the national experts on home energy ratings, energy mortgages, and high performance homes from across the nation to share the latest information on successful program delivery and to shape business development strategies for the 21st Century. Special networking events will allow attendees to greet old friends and meet new business contacts. Plaza San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas. For more information visit the conference website:

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