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Posts Tagged ‘u.s. environmental protection agency’

EPA Names “Environmental Justice” Communities

A local means to improving health from a newly activist EPA.

by on Nov.17, 2009

Helping highlight the disproportionate environmental burdens placed on low-income people.

Highlighting "disproportionate" burdens on low-income people.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced today a national initiative to “address environmental justice challenges” in ten communities through its  Environmental Justice Showcase Communities program.

EPA has committed $1 million of your tax dollars to this effort during the next two years.

“These 10 communities will serve as models for the EPA’s committed environmental justice efforts, and help highlight the disproportionate environmental burdens placed on low-income and minority communities all across the nation,” said Lisa P. Jackson, EPA Administrator.

“By expanding the conversation on environmentalism, we can give a voice to vulnerable groups that haven’t always had a voice on these issues,” said Jackson.

Since 1994, EPA has provided more than $32 million in general funding to more than 1,100 community-based organizations.

EPA says that the selected communities will use “collaborative, community-based approaches to improve public health and the environment.”

EPA will provide $100,000 per project. These demonstration projects will test and share information on different approaches to increase EPA’s ability to achieve environmental results in communities.

The following locations will serve as Environmental Justice Showcase Communities:


If You Live Here, Then Stop Breathing

EPA lists areas violating daily air pollution requirements.

by on Oct.12, 2009


Particulate matter, which comes from factories, power plants and motor vehicles, can cause a number of serious health problems.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is designating 31 areas across the country as not meeting the daily standards for fine particle air pollution (PM 2.5), or particulate matter.

Particulate matter, which comes from power plants, factories and motor vehicles, can cause a number of serious health problems, including aggravated asthma, increased hospital admissions and emergency room visits, heart attacks and premature death.

Large areas of California, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Ohio, among others, are in violation of the standard. Click here for your state.

Particulate matters, or PM, are particles found in the air, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid drops. Particles remain in the air for long periods. Some particles are large or dark enough to be seen as soot or smoke, as in diesel truck exhaust. Others are so small that they can only be detected with an electron microscope.

Breathtaking News!

Breathtaking News!

Many man made and natural sources emit particulate matter directly or emit other pollutants that react in the atmosphere to form them. These solid and liquid particles come in a wide range of sizes.

Particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10) pose a health concern because they are inhaled and accumulate in the respiratory system. Particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) are “fine” particles, and are believed to pose the greatest health risks. Because of their small size (approximately 1/30th the average width of a human hair), fine particles can lodge deeply in your lungs.

EPA estimates that about one out of every three people in the United States is at a higher risk of experiencing PM2.5 related health problems. One group at high risk is active children because they often spend a lot of time playing outdoors and their bodies are still developing. In addition, oftentimes the elderly population is at risk. People of all ages who are active outdoors are at increased risk because, during physical activity, PM2.5 penetrates deeper into the parts of the lungs that are more vulnerable to injury.


EPA Sets First Greenhouse Gas Reporting System

U.S. Monitoring to begin in January 2010.

by on Sep.22, 2009

The combined EPA and NHTSA standards that make up this proposed National Program would apply to passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles, covering model years 2012 through 2016. They require these vehicles to meet an estimated combined average emissions level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, equivalent to 35.5 miles per gallon.

The combined EPA and NHTSA standards that make up a proposed national program apply to 2012-2016 passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles. They require an estimated combined average emissions level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, equivalent to 35.5 mpg.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will require large emitters of heat-trapping emissions to begin collecting greenhouse gas (GHG) data under a new reporting system.

This new program will cover approximately 85% of the nation’s GHG emissions and apply to roughly 10,000 facilities.

The gases covered by the proposed rule are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and other fluorinated gases including nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and hydrofluorinated ethers (HFE).

The final rule was signed by the Administrator on September 22, 2009.

“This is a major step forward in our effort to address the greenhouse gases polluting our skies,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “For the first time, we begin collecting data from the largest facilities in this country, ones that account for approximately 85% of the total U.S. emissions. The American public, and industry itself, will finally gain critically important knowledge, and with this information we can determine how best to reduce those emissions.”


Can Recycling and Land Reuse Practices Really Fight Climate Change?

New EPA report claims positive possibilities.

by on Sep.21, 2009


EPA also ruled earlier this year that greenhouse gases are a threat to public health and welfare.

Much progress can be made to reduce the nation’s greenhouse gases through recycling, waste reduction, smart growth, and by reusing formerly contaminated sites including “brownfields,” according to a report just issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA says, not without controversy,  that climate change is primarily the result of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and its effects will worsen over time in the absence of regulatory action. EPA also ruled earlier this year that greenhouse gases are a threat to public health and welfare.

“Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Materials and Land Management Practices” claims that 42% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are influenced by materials management policies. These include the impacts from extracting raw materials, food processing, and manufacturing, transporting, and disposing of products.

Green News!

Green News!

EPA says another 16% to 20% of emissions are associated with land management policies. That includes emissions from passenger transportation, construction, and from lost vegetation when greenfields are cleared for development. In addition, the equivalent of 13% of U.S. emissions is absorbed by soil and vegetation and can also be protected or enhanced through land management policies.


President’s Emerging Energy Plan Renews the Renewable Fuel Debate

A taxpayer subsidy to agribusiness could morph into another American War of Independence. But here come the lobbyists.

by on May.12, 2009

A New Jersey political background will help Jackson dealing with the mob of lobbyists.

A New Jersey political past will help Jackson with the mob of lobbyists.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is calling for a science-based review of the four renewable fuel categories that it announced earlier this month under its proposed Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2). For the first time, some renewable fuels must achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions compared to the gasoline and diesel fuels they displace. Also for the first time, all transportation fuels are covered, not just gasoline. EPA wants to determine if using bio fuels really do decrease greenhouse gas emissions when an analysis is conducted over the entire life of the fuels.

A political struggle is developing with corn-based ethanol producers and soy-based biomass diesel producers whose fuels likely will not meet the proposed tests. EPA has proposed some sort of grandfathering for existing production plants, but has limited the output to existing levels.

From an economic point of view, the current taxpayer subsidies for ethanol make no sense. Now the real possibility exists that some renewable fuels are unhealthy too. For producers and investors in these fuels, billions of dollars are at stake. A public hearing on June 9th will no doubt be lively.

The health issue is only the latest twist in the tortured road the EPA has been on over fuel economy and global warming standards. After a “thorough scientific review” ordered in 2007 by the U.S. Supreme Court, EPA issued a proposed finding in April that said greenhouse gases contribute to air pollution and may endanger public health or welfare. It is now moving ahead in several areas that will affect not only your future driving but the use of any machine that uses fuel.

The proposed RFS2 thresholds for the new fuel categories would be 20% less greenhouse gas emissions for renewable fuels produced from new facilities, 50% less for biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuels, and 60% less for cellulosic biofuels.    (more…)