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EPA Proposes Endangerment Finding for Lead Emissions from Aircraft Engines that Operate on Leaded Fuel

EPA Air - Fri, 10/07/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (October 7, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed determination that emissions of lead from aircraft that operate on leaded fuel cause or contribute to air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA reviews information on air pollutants and sources of air pollution to determine whether they threaten human health or welfare. This is referred to as an “endangerment finding” – a first step in using EPA’s authority to address this source of lead pollution.

“When it comes to our children the science is clear, exposure to lead can cause irreversible and life-long health effects,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Aircraft that use leaded fuel are the dominant source of lead emissions to air in the country. Today’s proposal is an important step forward as we work to reduce lead exposure and protect children’s health.”

While levels of airborne lead in the United States have declined 99 percent since 1980, aircraft that operate on leaded fuel are the largest remaining source of lead emissions into the air. The majority of aircraft that operate on leaded aviation gasoline are piston-engine aircraft. These are typically small aircraft that carry 2-10 passengers. Jet aircraft used for commercial transport do not operate on a fuel containing lead.

This proposed endangerment finding will undergo public notice and comment, and after evaluating comments on the proposal, EPA plans to issue any final endangerment finding in 2023. EPA is not proposing aircraft engine lead emission standards with this action. EPA’s consideration of endangerment is a first step toward application of EPA’s authority to address lead pollution. If the proposed finding is finalized, EPA would subsequently propose regulatory standards for lead emissions from aircraft engines.

Lead exposure can come from multiple sources, including leaded paint, contaminated soil, industrial emissions from battery recycling or metals processing, and the combustion of fuel or waste containing lead. Children’s exposure to lead can cause irreversible and life-long health effects. No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement. In adults, health impacts from lead exposure can include cardiovascular effects, increased blood pressure and incidence of hypertension, decreased kidney function, and reproductive issues.

The Biden-Harris Administration has taken major steps toward the safe replacement of leaded aviation gas. Earlier this year, the FAA and aviation and energy industries announced the Eliminate Aviation Gasoline Lead Emissions (EAGLE) initiative, an effort to transition piston-engine aircraft to unleaded fuel. Already, the FAA has approved the safe use of an unleaded fuel that can be used in a large number of piston-engine aircraft, along with other unleaded fuels for specific aircraft.

Learn more about EPA’s proposed endangerment finding here.

Additional information regarding FAA’s initiatives to transition safely away from the use of leaded fuels can be found here.

EPA Highlights Boston Harbor as a National Success Story to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act

EPA Air - Fri, 10/07/2022 - 19:00

BOSTON (Oct. 7, 2022)—Today at an event in East Boston, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox joined EPA Regional Administrator David Cash, Senator Ed Markey, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Mayor of Boston Michelle Wu, and others to feature Boston Harbor – the history of its cleanup and the investments for the future – as a national success story and part of the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act celebration tour.

"When Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972—with an overwhelming bipartisan majority—it charted a new path for America's waters. As a result, we have seen transformational progress over the last 50 years—waters that were once polluted are now fishable and swimmable," said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. "President Biden and Congress have laid the foundation for the next 50 years of progress by investing $50 billion in EPA's water programs through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law."

"The cleanup of Boston Harbor was transformational for the city of Boston," said EPA Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "Access to a swimmable and fishable harbor is now a vital part of our culture, and one we must protect and extend to every community – especially those who have been historically underserved."

Five decades of Clean Water Act implementation have reduced direct pollution discharges to our nation's waters and improved wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. This progress was built on strong partnerships between EPA and state, local, and Tribal governments, as well as community and environmental organizations, industry, and agriculture.

Boston Harbor was once one of the most polluted harbors in the country. Thanks to tireless efforts by federal, state and local officials as well as community and environmental organizations, it is now both fishable and swimmable. There is still work to be done to protect these resources, and ensure it is accessible and safe for Boston communities, including those who have historically faced environmental injustice. To that end, EPA is making historic investments in water infrastructure across the country through President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These investments are the foundation for the future of clean water in places like Boston and its surrounding communities.

"Thanks to billions of dollars in federal and state investments in partnership with our communities, the Boston Harbor has been transformed from one of the dirtiest harbors in the country to one of the cleanest," said U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. "The harbor is now a safe and beautiful destination for recreational and economic opportunities. We have much to celebrate, but also more work ahead to ensure the harbor remains accessible to all communities, particularly those that have shouldered the disproportionate burden of pollution and climate change impacts."

"The days of the Boston Harbor being used as a polluter's paradise are long over. Thanks to the last 50 years of the Clean Water Act, Boston Harbor is now one of the cleanest harbors in the United States," said U.S. Senator Edward Markey. "With climate change causing summers to be hotter and longer than ever before, it is vital that people have access to safe, clean waterways. I look forward to working with the EPA to continue to protect our waterways and expand access to historically underserved communities."

"Climate justice is a racial, health, and economic justice issue, and the Boston Harbor is a beautiful example of what happens when we make bold, intentional federal investments that make our communities safer and more resilient," said Congresswoman Pressley. "I'm proud to join the EPA, Senator Markey, Mayor Wu, and local leaders to celebrate the successful impact of the Clean Water Act on Boston and recommit ourselves to confronting the climate crisis head-on."

"The extensive cleanup of the Boston Harbor is a tremendous example of the dedication and commitment among federal, state, and local partners to improve water quality and providing environmental, public health, and economic benefits," said Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. "The Baker-Polito Administration has made it a priority to invest in clean water programs and projects across the Commonwealth so that we continue to protect special places like Boston Harbor and our many other water resources for residents and visitors to enjoy."

"As a coastal city, Boston is creating a resilient, climate-ready waterfront that advances priorities for open space, mobility, affordable housing, social and racial equity, and natural resource conservation," said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. "I'm proud to join our federal, state and local partners to mark the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act and recommit to advancing our climate goals by creating healthy and resilient communities."

EPA has been touring the country highlighting the tremendous impact of the Clean Water Act. The agency is also collaborating with its partners to chart a course for the next fifty years of progress for clean water. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has provided a historic investment in water infrastructure, including $12.7 billion through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs that were established by the 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act. This funding is a significant investment in the future of clean water in the country. And our investments in improved, resilient infrastructure will have positive impacts on our waterways for years to come.

What They Are Saying:

"The Boston Harbor cleanup of the 1980s and 1990s is a phenomenal example of how we can accomplish the unthinkable by working together," said Kathy Abbott, president and CEO of Boston Harbor Now. "Its impact on our lives, and the city and region, is a reminder that with that same spirit of partnership, we can tackle this century's climate crisis."

"We celebrate the Clean Water Act everyday as a small grassroots coastal stewardship organization in East Boston, but today we are truly enthusiastic to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the CWA alongside our local, state and federal partners," said Magdalena La Battaglia, Executive Director of Harbor Keepers. We spent many hours engaging with and empowering hundreds of local residents on the importance of fostering local coastal stewardship of the Boston Harbor, through shoreline clean-ups, waterfront advocacy and coastal educational initiatives. We could not have done that and more without the monumental task and success of the Clean Water Act's protection of our waterways for 50 years."

"The Clean Water Act is a critical tool in the fight for clean water, however by itself no law is enough to guarantee environmental victories. If it were, every harbor in the nation would be as clean as Boston Harbor is today. Sadly, many are not," said Bruce Berman Director of Strategy & Communications at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. "The best protection we have is an unassailable and enduring consensus of thousands of people from every community and all walks of life who believe in the power of clean water to transform communities and improve people's lives. That's precisely what we have created here in the Bay State, where access to clean water is a core family value."

"Used for centuries as an open sewer, a clean Boston Harbor now stands as a testament to the transformative power of the Clean Water Act," said Brad Campbell, President of Conservation Law Foundation. "Waters that were once a public health nightmare are now the centerpiece of Boston's economic rebirth, but there is still more to do. The climate crisis is threatening to erase hard-earned progress, adding to the urgency and importance of the Biden Administration's recent steps to curb pollution in the rivers flowing into Boston Harbor."

"Every Friday each summer about 100 kids and teens in our program sail to a harbor island, jump off the boat & swim ashore. It wouldn't have been safe to do that 50 years ago - or even 30 years ago," said Alex DeFronzo, Executive Director of Piers Park Sailing Center. "The Clean Water Act and the Boston Harbor Cleanup are beautiful examples of repairing a past wrong and looking toward the future. With bold leadership, we can have a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. The historic investments in the EPA give me great hope for the future.

"We are proud to be part of this celebration," said MWRA Executive Director Fred Laskey. "The Deer Island Treatment Plant embodies the essence of the Clean Water Act. In one generation, this state-of-the-art facility has transformed the dirtiest harbor in the country into a regional jewel."

"Thanks to a cleaner Boston Harbor, once-vacant waterfront lands have now been transformed with housing; parks, open spaces, and a HarborWalk public access system; recreational and cultural facilities; and jobs such as in wind technology testing," said Vivien Li, President of The Boston Harbor Association from 1991-2015. "While the progress to date as a result of the Clean Water Act has been very impressive, there is still more to be done to ensure a clean, resilient, and accessible waterfront benefiting all people, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a critical piece in making that goal a reality."

EPA Region 7 Opens Application Period for 2022 Pollution Prevention Recognition Awards Program

EPA Air - Fri, 10/07/2022 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (OCT. 7 , 2022) – Applications are now being accepted for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 2022 Pollution Prevention (P2) Recognition Awards Program. The application deadline is Nov. 4, 2022.

P2 is a successful, non-regulatory approach to energy conservation, water conservation, reduction of toxic materials used, and money savings. This award program recognizes demonstrated leadership in innovative P2 practices, and is designed to encourage other entities to consider a P2 approach.

“Pollution prevention benefits the environment and creates healthier communities by decreasing waste and conserving our resources,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “Help us recognize local leadership and waste reduction efforts by nominating a worthy organization today.”

Businesses, industry, tribes, and nonprofits in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska are eligible to apply. 2021 awardees include the Iowa Waste Reduction Center, Kansas Dairy Ingredients, and Doherty Steel Inc. in Kansas.

This is an annual, voluntary, and non-monetary award program. Those interested in applying or nominating an organization to be considered for an award should submit a complete application describing the nominee’s P2 efforts, activities, cost savings, pounds of hazardous chemicals reduced, energy conserved, or gallons of water saved, as well as the replicability of their approach.

For information on how to apply, visit the P2 Awards page.

Background

The United States produces billions of pounds of pollution each year and spends billions of dollars per year controlling this pollution. Preventing pollution at the source, also known as P2 or source reduction, rather than managing waste after it is produced is an important part of advancing a sustainable economic and environmental infrastructure. P2 can lessen exposure to toxic chemicals, conserve natural resources, and reduce financial costs for businesses, particularly costs associated with waste management, disposal, and cleanup. These practices are essential for protecting health, improving environmental conditions in and around disadvantaged communities, and preserving natural resources like wetlands, groundwater sources, and other critical ecosystems.

EPA’s annual P2 Week was held Sept. 19-23, 2022. This annual recognition week celebrates the diverse and creative ways businesses, academic institutes, local governments, and other organizations are working to prevent pollution. In support of the Pollution Prevention Act and P2 Week, EPA congratulates entities for the progress they have made and encourages them to renew P2 efforts to save resources and enhance sustainability through innovation, furthering EPA’s mission to protect public health and the environment.

For more information on P2, visit EPA’s website.

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EPA aims to reduce lead exposure with free Lead-Safe Renovation Training for Billings-area contractors on October 17-18

EPA Air - Fri, 10/07/2022 - 19:00

BILLINGS – As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing environmental justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is targeting its Enhancing Lead-Safe Work Practices through Education and Outreach (ELSWPEO) initiative to raise awareness about childhood lead exposure and protect communities in Montana.  The next opportunity is scheduled for Billings, Montana, on October 17-18 with two free EPA Lead-Safe Certification for Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Training Courses offered to renovation contractors.  

 "EPA is committed to reducing lead exposure using all available programs, resources, and tools with our partners in Montana’s public health agencies and business community," said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. "This EPA training will reduce childhood lead exposure in communities across the Billings area by enhancing local expertise and capacity to deliver lead-safe work practices during renovation and repair work. This means safer homes, schools and buildings where lead-based paint is a concern."

 October is Children’s Health Month and the last week of October is Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. The agency is hosting a variety of events and outreach focused on reducing lead exposure. This includes efforts to increase consumer awareness and demand for lead-safe work practices and the pool of RRP-certified contractors in communities across the United States and its territories. 

 WHAT:

8-hour Initial Lead-Safe Renovator Certification Trainings for Billings-area contractors

 Note: The individual free training sessions will cover the same content, there is no need to sign up for both sessions. Sign-up soon because seats are limited, and this free training certification opportunity normally costs $275.

 Register:

Sign up for October 17: (www.bit.ly/BillingsRRPOct17)

Sign up for October 18: (www.bit.ly/BillingsRRPOct18)

 WHERE:

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 27 N 27th Street, Billings, Montana, 59101

 WHEN:

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

 Background

Many homes, apartments and child-care facilities built before 1978 contain lead-based paint. When disturbed, lead-based paint can release toxic lead dust and cause lead exposure, which is particularly harmful to children. While lead is dangerous to all children, lead exposure disproportionately impacts low-income families and their communities, making the free EPA trainings an important step toward achieving environmental justice. EPA conducts inspections and evaluates compliance with the RRP rule requirements to address to identify and address lead exposure risks that occur in communities across the nation.

 EPA is also hosting an online, one-hour presentation focused on an overview of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule on October 26. Register here.

 More details on the full suite of EPA National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week resources and activities.

 More on the National Enhancing Lead-Safe Work Practices through Education and Outreach (ELSWPEO) Initiative. 

EPA Recognizes Georgia WaterSense Partners Promoting Water Efficiency, Cost-Savings

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

ATLANTA (October 6, 2022) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented 34 awards to WaterSense partners today at the WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, to recognize their support of WaterSense and water efficiency in 2021. Together, WaterSense partners helped communities save a total of more than 6.4 trillion gallons of water and more than $135 billion on utility bills since 2006.

“By working to promote the value of water efficiency, our WaterSense partners helped people save water, energy, and money—all while protecting life’s most precious resource during times of drought,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “EPA appreciates WaterSense partners’ commitment to being good stewards of water.”

"These WaterSense partners understand that water is one of our most valued and precious resources, and we salute them for their efforts and accomplishments to educate consumers on cost-effective measures for conserving water," said Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. "Our awardees go above and beyond to improve water efficiency and this will help countless communities across the southeast."

“EPD is pleased to see the important water conservation efforts of these water leaders recognized. Their thoughtful stewardship plays a critical role in managing Georgia’s valuable water resources,” said Richard Dunn, Director, Georgia Environmental Protection Division. 

Award winners include utilities, manufacturers, builders, a retailer, and other organizations that promote and sell WaterSense labeled products, build WaterSense labeled homes, and operate WaterSense labeled certification programs. The awardees initiated a variety of new programs, outreach, and education activities to engage customers and promote water conservation with WaterSense.

2022 Sustained Excellence Award Winners

The Sustained Excellence Awards are the highest level of achievement for WaterSense. This year, WaterSense added three new WaterSense partners to this category. 

  • Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities (Georgia)

  • Citrus County Utilities (Florida)

  • City of Charlottesville (Virginia)

  • City of Plano (Texas)

  • City of Sacramento Dept of Water (California)—First-time winner

  • Cobb County Water System (Georgia)

  • Irvine Ranch Water District (California)—First-time winner

  • KB Home (California)

  • Kohler Co (Wisconsin)

  • Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District

  • Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership (California)

  • Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (California)—First-time winner

2022 Partner of the Year Awards

The Partner of the Year awards go to those WaterSense partners who have achieved success in all of the judging categories—strategic collaboration, education and outreach, and promoting WaterSense labeled products and programs.

  • Builder: Fulton Homes (Arizona)

  • Utility: Big Bear Lake Dept of Water and Power (California), City of Durham Water Management (North Carolina), Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Colorado), City of Fort Worth (Texas), Harris-Galveston Subsidence District (Texas), Houston Public Works (Texas), and City of Round Rock (Texas)

  • Manufacturer: Niagara® (Texas)

  • Promotional: Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership (California)

  • Retailer: The Home Depot (Georgia)

2022 Excellence Award Winners

Excellence awards recognize those WaterSense partners who have excelled in a specific area.  

  • Excellence in Education and Outreach - American Water (New Jersey), Department of Water, County of Kaua‘i (Hawaii), Tarrant (Texas) Regional Water District, and Walnut Valley (California) Water District

  • Excellence in Engagement and Outreach - The Toro Company (Minnesota)

  • Excellence in Outreach and Collaboration - Rancho California Water District

  • Excellence in Promoting the EPA Multifamily Water Score - Santa Clarita Valley (California) Water Agency

  • Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products - The Broward Water Partnership (Florida)

  • Excellence for Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products in the Marketplace - Smart Rain (Utah) and Sloan Valve Company (Illinois)

  • Excellence in WaterSense Promotion and Outreach - G3, Green Gardens Group (California)

Background

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping you save water. WaterSense seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering Americans a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, homes, and services. WaterSense labeled products are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models. The program was launched in 2006, and today there are more than 40,000 labeled toilets, faucets/faucet accessories, showerheads, irrigation controllers, and spray sprinkler bodies; and more than 5,700 labeled homes.

Learn more about the 2022 WaterSense Award winners.

EPA Recognizes North Carolina WaterSense Partners for Promoting Water Efficiency and Cost-Savings

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

ATLANTA (October 6, 2022) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented 34 awards to WaterSense partners today at the WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, to recognize their support of WaterSense and water efficiency in 2021. Together, WaterSense partners helped communities save a total of more than 6.4 trillion gallons of water and more than $135 billion on utility bills since 2006.

“By working to promote the value of water efficiency, our WaterSense partners helped people save water, energy, and money—all while protecting life’s most precious resource during times of drought,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “EPA appreciates WaterSense partners’ commitment to being good stewards of water.”

"These WaterSense partners understand that water is one of our most valued and precious resources, and we salute them for their efforts and accomplishments to educate consumers on cost-effective measures for conserving water," said Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. "Our awardees go above and beyond to improve water efficiency and this will help countless communities across the southeast."

Award winners include utilities, manufacturers, builders, a retailer, and other organizations that promote and sell WaterSense labeled products, build WaterSense labeled homes, and operate WaterSense labeled certification programs. The awardees initiated a variety of new programs, outreach, and education activities to engage customers and promote water conservation with WaterSense.

2022 Sustained Excellence Award Winners

The Sustained Excellence Awards are the highest level of achievement for WaterSense. This year, WaterSense added three new WaterSense partners to this category. 

  • Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities (Georgia)

  • Citrus County Utilities (Florida)

  • City of Charlottesville (Virginia)

  • City of Plano (Texas)

  • City of Sacramento Dept of Water (California)—First-time winner

  • Cobb County Water System (Georgia)

  • Irvine Ranch Water District (California)—First-time winner

  • KB Home (California)

  • Kohler Co (Wisconsin)

  • Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District

  • Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership (California)

  • Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (California)—First-time winner

2022 Partner of the Year Awards

The Partner of the Year awards go to those WaterSense partners who have achieved success in all of the judging categories—strategic collaboration, education and outreach, and promoting WaterSense labeled products and programs.

  • Builder: Fulton Homes (Arizona)

  • Utility: Big Bear Lake Dept of Water and Power (California), City of Durham Water Management (North Carolina), Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Colorado), City of Fort Worth (Texas), Harris-Galveston Subsidence District (Texas), Houston Public Works (Texas), and City of Round Rock (Texas)

  • Manufacturer: Niagara® (Texas)

  • Promotional: Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership (California)

  • Retailer: The Home Depot (Georgia)

2022 Excellence Award Winners

Excellence awards recognize those WaterSense partners who have excelled in a specific area.  

  • Excellence in Education and Outreach - American Water (New Jersey), Department of Water, County of Kaua‘i (Hawaii), Tarrant (Texas) Regional Water District, and Walnut Valley (California) Water District

  • Excellence in Engagement and Outreach - The Toro Company (Minnesota)

  • Excellence in Outreach and Collaboration - Rancho California Water District

  • Excellence in Promoting the EPA Multifamily Water Score - Santa Clarita Valley (California) Water Agency

  • Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products - The Broward Water Partnership (Florida)

  • Excellence for Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products in the Marketplace - Smart Rain (Utah) and Sloan Valve Company (Illinois)

  • Excellence in WaterSense Promotion and Outreach - G3, Green Gardens Group (California)

Background

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping you save water. WaterSense seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering Americans a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, homes, and services. WaterSense labeled products are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models. The program was launched in 2006, and today there are more than 40,000 labeled toilets, faucets/faucet accessories, showerheads, irrigation controllers, and spray sprinkler bodies; and more than 5,700 labeled homes.

Learn more about the 2022 WaterSense Award winners.

EPA recognizes the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District for efforts to promote water efficiency, cost savings

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

DENVER  — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recognized the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District as among 34 awardees across the nation recognized as WaterSense partners at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, for excellence in their support of water efficiency in 2021. Together, the partners helped communities save a total of more than 6.4 trillion gallons of water and more than $135 billion on utility bills since 2006.

The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District received its third WaterSense Partner of the Year Award for promoting efficiency across their service area. To make saving water more accessible, Northern Water donated nearly 200 WaterSense labeled showerheads to the non-profit Energy Resource Center for their retrofits of low-income housing.

“By working to promote the value of water efficiency, our WaterSense partners helped people save water, energy, and money—all while protecting life’s most precious resource during times of drought,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “EPA appreciates WaterSense partners’ commitment to being good stewards of water.”

“Congratulations to the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District on receiving their third WaterSense award,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Water is life in Colorado and as we navigate solutions to drought conditions, increasing access for more people to save water is crucial in preserving this important resource. Thank you to the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District and all those working to increase efficiency and conserve water.”

“The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District has been a consistent partner in finding new ways to help people save water,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker. “The District continues to develop innovative conservation strategies that offer examples for western communities confronting drought and climate-related challenges.”

Award winners include utilities, manufacturers, builders, a retailer, and other organizations that promote and sell WaterSense labeled products, build WaterSense labeled homes, and operate WaterSense labeled certification programs. The awardees initiated a variety of new programs, outreach, and education activities to engage customers and promote water conservation with WaterSense.

2022 Sustained Excellence Award Winners

The Sustained Excellence Awards are the highest level of achievement for WaterSense. This year, WaterSense added three new WaterSense partners to this category. 

  • Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities (Georgia)
  • Citrus County Utilities (Florida)
  • City of Charlottesville (Virginia)
  • City of Plano (Texas)
  • City of Sacramento Dept of Water (California)—First-time winner
  • Cobb County Water System (Georgia), KB Home (California)
  • Irvine Ranch Water District (California)—First-time winner
  • Kohler Co (Wisconsin)
  • Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District
  • Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership (California)
  • Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (California)—First-time winner

2022 Partner of the Year Awards

The Partner of the Year awards go to those WaterSense partners who have achieved success in all of the judging categories—strategic collaboration, education and outreach, and promoting WaterSense labeled products and programs.

  • Builder: Fulton Homes (Arizona)
  • Utility: Big Bear Lake Dept of Water and Power (California), City of Durham Water Management (North Carolina), Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Colorado), City of Fort Worth (Texas), Harris-Galveston Subsidence District (Texas), Houston Public Works (Texas), and City of Round Rock (Texas)
  • Manufacturer: Niagara Conservation Corp. (Texas)
  • Promotional: Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership (California)
  • Retailer: The Home Depot (Georgia)

2022 Excellence Award Winners

Excellence awards recognize those WaterSense partners who have excelled in a specific area.   

  • Excellence in Education and Outreach - American Water (New Jersey), Department of Water, County of Kauai (Hawaii), Tarrant (Texas) Regional Water District, and Walnut Valley (California) Water District
  • Excellence in Engagement and Outreach - The Toro Company (Minnesota)
  • Excellence in Outreach and Collaboration - Rancho California Water District
  • Excellence in Promoting the EPA Multifamily Water Score - Santa Clarita Valley (California) Water Agency
  • Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products - The Broward Water Partnership (Florida)
  • Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products in the Marketplace - Smart Rain (Utah) and Sloan Valve Company (Illinois)
  • Excellence in WaterSense Promotion and Outreach - G3, Green Gardens Group (California)

Background

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping you save water. WaterSense seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering Americans a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, homes, and services. WaterSense labeled products are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models. The program was launched in 2006, and today there are more than 40,000 labeled toilets, faucets/faucet accessories, showerheads, irrigation controllers, and spray sprinkler bodies; and more than 5,700 labeled homes.

Learn more about the 2022 WaterSense Award winners.

EPA Settles Clean Air Act Violations for Princeton, N.J. Facility

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

NEW YORK — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has lodged a settlement with the Stony Brook Regional Sewerage Authority (SBRSA) in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey that will resolve violations of Clean Air Act and New Jersey Air Pollution Control Act regulations at SBRSA’s wastewater treatment plant in Princeton, N.J. The settlement will be subject to a 30-day public comment period. 

Under the proposed settlement, SBRSA will bring the facility into compliance with federal and state laws that protect clean air by reducing pollution from sewage sludge incinerators. SBRSA will also pay a $335,750 civil penalty. The State of New Jersey joined the federal government as a co-plaintiff in this case.

“This settlement means cleaner air for communities in Mercer County with the Stony Brook Regional Sewerage Authority improving how it manages sewage sludge at its Princeton facility,” said Regional Administrator Lisa Garcia. “If not done properly, sewage sludge incineration can pose serious public health risks and this settlement will establish critical safeguards for how the Authority manages, monitors and reports this type of activity.”

“The proposed settlement is an important step in protecting the environment and public health in Mercer County, and ensuring that the Stony Brook Regional Sewerage Authority facility complies with state and federal laws,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette. “We thank Regional Administrator Garcia, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General for their efforts on this enforcement action. The DEP will continue to work with our partners at all levels to protect air for every community in New Jersey.”

The federal government and the state had alleged that beginning in 2016, SBRSA failed to develop required plans and operating parameters to comply with the sewage sludge incinerator requirements for the Princeton facility, which burns municipal sewage as a way to dispose of it. Sewage sludge can contain a range of pollutants like mercury, lead, and cadmium that can pose public health threats when the sludge is burned without appropriate safeguards.  

Under the settlement, SBRSA must take the following measures at the Princeton facility to bring it into compliance with federal and state clean air laws:

  • Develop plans to monitor the mercury concentration of sewage sludge as an enforceable operating limit;
  • Establish site-specific operating limits to control air emissions and monitor compliance with those limits, and apply for a modification of its existing air emissions permit to incorporate these limits;
  • Establish and maintain procedures to minimize and eliminate bypass events, which result in uncontrolled air emissions.  

During discussions with EPA and the state that led to this settlement, SBRSA took corrective actions to comply with the Clean Air Act sewage sludge incinerator requirements prior to lodging of the settlement. Those actions included installing an alternative power supply to minimize bypass events and changing its operating procedures to better anticipate bypass events.

This settlement is part of EPA’s multi-regional initiative to bring municipal sewage sludge incinerator facilities into compliance with Clean Air Act requirements.

For more information on Clean Air Act requirements for municipal sewage sludge incinerator facilities, visit: https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/sewage-sludge-incineration-units-ssi-new-source-performance

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EPA recognizes Charlottesville for water conservation efforts

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 6, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented a WaterSense Partner of the Year Award to Charlottsville, Virginia, today for its continuing efforts to educate residents about the importance of conserving water.

Charlottesville received its fifth Sustained Excellence Award for its “Fix a Leak Week” held in March when the city created a Home Scavenger Hunt to help customers get to know their water fixtures and how then can check for leaks. The city also created an outdoor scavenger hunt along a river walk with tips about finding and fixing leaks.

“EPA lifts a glass of tap water to toast the city of Charlottesville for its leadership,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “So, cheers to Charlottesville for helping residents and businesses save money and water by promoting WaterSense labeled products. Every drop of water saved matters.” 

Charlottesville was among 34 communities nationwide receiving WaterSense awards at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, to recognize their support of WaterSense and water efficiency in 2021. Together, WaterSense partners helped Americans save a total of more than 6.4 trillion gallons of water and more than $135 billion on utility bills since 2006.

“By working to promote the value of water efficiency, our WaterSense partners helped people save water, energy, and money—all while protecting life’s most precious resource during times of drought,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “EPA appreciates WaterSense partners’ commitment to being good stewards of water.”

Award winners include utilities, manufacturers, builders, a retailer, and other organizations that promote and sell WaterSense labeled products, build WaterSense labeled homes, and operate WaterSense labeled certification programs. The awardees initiated a variety of new programs, outreach, and education activities to engage customers and promote water conservation with WaterSense.

The EPA website provides more details on WaterSense and here is a complete list of the 2022 WaterSense Award winners

EPA Recognizes WaterSense Partners Promoting Water Efficiency, Cost-Savings

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented 34 awards to WaterSense partners today at the WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, to recognize their support of WaterSense and water efficiency in 2021. Together, WaterSense partners helped communities save a total of more than 6.4 trillion gallons of water and more than $135 billion on utility bills since 2006.

“By working to promote the value of water efficiency, our WaterSense partners helped people save water, energy, and money—all while protecting life’s most precious resource during times of drought,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “EPA appreciates WaterSense partners’ commitment to being good stewards of water.”

Award winners include utilities, manufacturers, builders, a retailer, and other organizations that promote and sell WaterSense labeled products, build WaterSense labeled homes, and operate WaterSense labeled certification programs. The awardees initiated a variety of new programs, outreach, and education activities to engage customers and promote water conservation with WaterSense.

2022 Sustained Excellence Award Winners

The Sustained Excellence Awards are the highest level of achievement for WaterSense. This year, WaterSense added three new WaterSense partners to this category. 

  • Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities (Georgia)
  • Citrus County Utilities (Florida)
  • City of Charlottesville (Virginia)
  • City of Plano (Texas)
  • City of Sacramento Dept of Water (California)—First-time winner
  • Cobb County Water System (Georgia)
  • Irvine Ranch Water District (California)—First-time winner
  • KB Home (California)
  • Kohler Co (Wisconsin)
  • Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District
  • Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership (California)
  • Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (California)—First-time winner

2022 Partner of the Year Awards

The Partner of the Year awards go to those WaterSense partners who have achieved success in all of the judging categories—strategic collaboration, education and outreach, and promoting WaterSense labeled products and programs.

  • Builder: Fulton Homes (Arizona)
  • Utility: Big Bear Lake Dept of Water and Power (California), City of Durham Water Management (North Carolina), Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Colorado), City of Fort Worth (Texas), Harris-Galveston Subsidence District (Texas), Houston Public Works (Texas), and City of Round Rock (Texas)
  • Manufacturer: Niagara® (Texas)
  • Promotional: Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership (California)
  • Retailer: The Home Depot (Georgia)

2022 Excellence Award Winners

Excellence awards recognize those WaterSense partners who have excelled in a specific area.  

  • Excellence in Education and Outreach - American Water (New Jersey), Department of Water, County of Kaua‘i (Hawaii), Tarrant (Texas) Regional Water District, and Walnut Valley (California) Water District
  • Excellence in Engagement and Outreach - The Toro Company (Minnesota)
  • Excellence in Outreach and Collaboration - Rancho California Water District
  • Excellence in Promoting the EPA Multifamily Water Score - Santa Clarita Valley (California) Water Agency
  • Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products - The Broward Water Partnership (Florida)
  • Excellence for Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products in the Marketplace - Smart Rain (Utah) and Sloan Valve Company (Illinois)
  • Excellence in WaterSense Promotion and Outreach - G3, Green Gardens Group (California)

Background

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping you save water. WaterSense seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering Americans a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, homes, and services. WaterSense labeled products are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models. The program was launched in 2006, and today there are more than 40,000 labeled toilets, faucets/faucet accessories, showerheads, irrigation controllers, and spray sprinkler bodies; and more than 5,700 labeled homes.

Learn more about the 2022 WaterSense Award winners.

EPA Recognizes WaterSense Partners Promoting Water Efficiency, Cost-Savings, including New Jersey American Water

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

NEW YORK — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented 34 awards to WaterSense partners today at the WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, to recognize their support of WaterSense and water efficiency in 2021. Together, WaterSense partners helped communities save a total of more than 6.4 trillion gallons of water and more than $135 billion on utility bills since 2006. New Jersey American Water won a 2022 Excellence Award for its work in education and outreach.

“By working to promote the value of water efficiency, our WaterSense partners helped people save water, energy, and money—all while protecting life’s most precious resource during times of drought,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “EPA appreciates WaterSense partners’ commitment to being good stewards of water.”

“New Jersey American Water’s well-earned national recognition for Excellence in Education and Outreach testifies to our state’s emphasis on water conservation efforts, efforts to which we must all contribute,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “Faced by the potential for impending drought and persistent affordability stressors, all New Jerseyans – and all Americans – require accessible and accurate information to make choices that are both environmentally conscious and financially savvy. The savings enabled by New Jersey American Water and its fellow award recipients will benefit not just our environment, but our residents’ finances as well.”

Award winners include utilities, manufacturers, builders, a retailer, and other organizations that promote and sell WaterSense labeled products, build WaterSense labeled homes, and operate WaterSense labeled certification programs. The awardees initiated a variety of new programs, outreach, and education activities to engage customers and promote water conservation with WaterSense.

2022 Sustained Excellence Award Winners

The Sustained Excellence Awards are the highest level of achievement for WaterSense. This year, WaterSense added three new WaterSense partners to this category. 

  • Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities (Georgia)
  • Citrus County Utilities (Florida)
  • City of Charlottesville (Virginia)
  • City of Plano (Texas)
  • City of Sacramento Dept of Water (California)—First-time winner
  • Cobb County Water System (Georgia), KB Home (California)
  • Irvine Ranch Water District (California)—First-time winner
  • Kohler Co (Wisconsin)
  • Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District
  • Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership (California)
  • Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (California)—First-time winner

2022 Partner of the Year Awards

The Partner of the Year awards go to those WaterSense partners who have achieved success in all of the judging categories—strategic collaboration, education and outreach, and promoting WaterSense labeled products and programs.

  • Builder: Fulton Homes (Arizona)
  • Utility: Big Bear Lake Dept of Water and Power (California), City of Durham Water Management (North Carolina), Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Colorado), City of Fort Worth (Texas), Harris-Galveston Subsidence District (Texas), Houston Public Works (Texas), and City of Round Rock (Texas)
  • Manufacturer: Niagara Conservation Corp. (Texas)
  • Promotional: Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership (California)
  • Retailer: The Home Depot (Georgia)

2022 Excellence Award Winners

Excellence awards recognize those WaterSense partners who have excelled in a specific area.   

  • Excellence in Education and Outreach - American Water (New Jersey), Department of Water, County of Kauai (Hawaii), Tarrant (Texas) Regional Water District, and Walnut Valley (California) Water District
  • Excellence in Engagement and Outreach - The Toro Company (Minnesota)
  • Excellence in Outreach and Collaboration - Rancho California Water District
  • Excellence in Promoting the EPA Multifamily Water Score - Santa Clarita Valley (California) Water Agency
  • Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products - The Broward Water Partnership (Florida)
  • Excellence for Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products in the Marketplace - Smart Rain (Utah) and Sloan Valve Company (Illinois)
  • Excellence in WaterSense Promotion and Outreach - G3, Green Gardens Group (California)

Background

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping you save water. WaterSense seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering Americans a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, homes, and services. WaterSense labeled products are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models. The program was launched in 2006, and today there are more than 40,000 labeled toilets, faucets/faucet accessories, showerheads, irrigation controllers, and spray sprinkler bodies; and more than 5,700 labeled homes.

Learn more about the 2022 WaterSense Award winners.

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EPA Recognizes Florida WaterSense Partners for Promoting Water Efficiency and Cost-Savings

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

ATLANTA (October 6, 2022) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented 34 awards to WaterSense partners today at the WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada, to recognize their support of WaterSense and water efficiency in 2021. Together, WaterSense partners helped communities save a total of more than 6.4 trillion gallons of water and more than $135 billion on utility bills since 2006.

“By working to promote the value of water efficiency, our WaterSense partners helped people save water, energy, and money—all while protecting life’s most precious resource during times of drought,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “EPA appreciates WaterSense partners’ commitment to being good stewards of water.”

“These WaterSense partners understand that water is one of our most valued and precious resources, and we salute them for their efforts and accomplishments to educate consumers on cost-effective measures for conserving water,” said Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman.  “Our awardees go above and beyond to improve water efficiency and this will help countless communities across the southeast.”

Award winners include utilities, manufacturers, builders, a retailer, and other organizations that promote and sell WaterSense labeled products, build WaterSense labeled homes, and operate WaterSense labeled certification programs. The awardees initiated a variety of new programs, outreach, and education activities to engage customers and promote water conservation with WaterSense.

2022 Sustained Excellence Award Winners

The Sustained Excellence Awards are the highest level of achievement for WaterSense. This year, WaterSense added three new WaterSense partners to this category. 

  • Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities (Georgia)
  • Citrus County Utilities (Florida)
  • City of Charlottesville (Virginia)
  • City of Plano (Texas)
  • City of Sacramento Dept of Water (California)—First-time winner
  • Cobb County Water System (Georgia), KB Home (California)
  • Irvine Ranch Water District (California)—First-time winner
  • Kohler Co (Wisconsin)
  • Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District
  • Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership (California)
  • Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (California)—First-time winner

2022 Partner of the Year Awards

The Partner of the Year awards go to those WaterSense partners who have achieved success in all of the judging categories—strategic collaboration, education and outreach, and promoting WaterSense labeled products and programs.

  • Builder: Fulton Homes (Arizona)
  • Utility: Big Bear Lake Dept of Water and Power (California), City of Durham Water Management (North Carolina), Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Colorado), City of Fort Worth (Texas), Harris-Galveston Subsidence District (Texas), Houston Public Works (Texas), and City of Round Rock (Texas)
  • Manufacturer: Niagara Conservation Corp. (Texas)
  • Promotional: Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership (California)
  • Retailer: The Home Depot (Georgia)

2022 Excellence Award Winners

Excellence awards recognize those WaterSense partners who have excelled in a specific area.  

  • Excellence in Education and Outreach - American Water (New Jersey), Department of Water, County of Kauai (Hawaii), Tarrant (Texas) Regional Water District, and Walnut Valley (California) Water District
  • Excellence in Engagement and Outreach - The Toro Company (Minnesota)
  • Excellence in Outreach and Collaboration - Rancho California Water District
  • Excellence in Promoting the EPA Multifamily Water Score - Santa Clarita Valley (California) Water Agency
  • Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products - The Broward Water Partnership (Florida)
  • Excellence for Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products in the Marketplace - Smart Rain (Utah) and Sloan Valve Company (Illinois)
  • Excellence in WaterSense Promotion and Outreach - G3, Green Gardens Group (California)

Background

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, is both a label for water-efficient products and a resource for helping you save water. WaterSense seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering Americans a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, homes, and services. WaterSense labeled products are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models. The program was launched in 2006, and today there are more than 40,000 labeled toilets, faucets/faucet accessories, showerheads, irrigation controllers, and spray sprinkler bodies; and more than 5,700 labeled homes.

Learn more about the 2022 WaterSense Award winners.

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Nationwide EPA Initiative Aims to Reduce Lead Exposure in Portsmouth Communities

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 6, 2022) – As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing environmental justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is targeting its Enhancing Lead-Safe Work Practices through Education and Outreach (ELSWPEO) initiative to raise awareness about childhood lead exposure and protect environmentally overburdened communities.  The next Mid-Atlantic ELSWPEO opportunity is scheduled for Portsmouth, Virginia. The initiative will kick-off in October, in celebration of Children’s Health Month and National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.

Many homes, apartments and child-care facilities built before 1978 contain lead-based paint. When disturbed, lead-based paint can release toxic lead dust and cause lead exposure, which is particularly harmful to children. While lead is dangerous to all children, lead exposure disproportionately impacts low-income families and their communities, making the free trainings offered by ELSWPEO an important step toward achieving environmental justice. 

“This Program’s goal is to reduce harm to kids from exposure to lead in underrepresented and underserved communities whose populations are disproportionately affected by lead exposure,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “By enhancing lead-safe work practices through education and outreach this EPA training initiative focuses on reducing childhood lead exposure where it is needed most.”

This year’s EPA Mid-Atlantic ELSWPEO activities will center around Portsmouth, Virginia, from October to December, and will include:

  • On Oct. 26 and 27, EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region will provide: Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) training for local officials’ awareness; training sessions to local permitting officials; housing authority inspectors; and Virginia building and code officials in partnership with the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association.
  • On Nov. 14, from 10 am – 5:45 pm, EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region will be offering a free RRP Renovator training in Portsmouth, VA in English for contractors to become RRP certified.
  • There will be two in-person Lead Awareness Curriculum sessions with EPA HQ, EPA Region 3, ATSDR Region 3, and partners from the Virginia Department of Health Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in Portsmouth, Virginia, at the City of Portsmouth Social Services Department:

-On Nov. 30, from 5-7 p.m., EPA will provide an “Understanding Lead” session for the public.

-On Dec. 1, from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., EPA will hold a “Train-the-Trainer” session on the Lead Awareness Curriculum for community leaders and educators.

Through this two-pronged approach, ELSWEPO is designed to increase consumer demand for lead-safe work practices, and for RRP-certified contractors in selected, underserved communities across the United States and its territories.

Registration Details:

Understanding Lead: Register online at https://PortsmouthUnderstandingLead.eventbrite.com

Train-the-Trainer: Register online at https://PortsmouthTrainTheTrainer.eventbrite.com

RRP Renovator Training: Register online at https://public-health-safety.com/product/rrpi-2022-111422-lead-renovation-repair-painting-8-hour-initial-10-am-start-portsmouth-va-free/ or by phone at 312-491-0081

For more details, see https://www.epa.gov/lead/local-training-and-outreach

Seaport Refining to Pay $127,000 Penalty Under Settlement with EPA Tied to Refinery in Redwood City

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

San Francisco – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Seaport Refining & Environmental, LLC, the owner and operator of a petroleum refinery in Redwood City, California, over claims of violations of the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The refinery, which receives and processes waste fuel including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, is located near Redwood Creek and First Slough, which flow to the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Seaport Refining produces approximately 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste per month.

As a result of EPA’s findings, the company will pay $127,192 in civil penalties and implement compliance tasks, including developing an air emission monitoring plan, submitting quarterly air emission monitoring results, and inspecting and repairing the facility’s tanks.

“It is paramount that oil processing facilities, including refineries like the Seaport Refining facility in Redwood City, properly handle hazardous substances,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “When companies do not effectively manage a dangerous substance, in accordance with the law, the local community and workers are endangered. EPA will not hesitate to levy significant penalties.”

U.S. law requires the safe management of hazardous waste to protect public health and the environment and to prevent the need for costly and extensive cleanups. This settlement is part of a national EPA initiative aimed at reducing hazardous air emissions at hazardous waste facilities.

The settlement also addresses violation of the Clean Water Act’s Oil Pollution Prevention Regulations. These aim to prevent oil from reaching navigable waters and adjoining shorelines and to ensure containment of oil discharges in the event of a spill. Specific prevention measures called for in the regulations include developing and implementing spill prevention plans, training staff, and installing physical controls to contain and clean up oil spills.

Visit EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Laws and Regulations and Clean Water Act Hazardous Substances Spill Prevention websites for more information.

For more information on reporting possible violations of environmental laws and regulations visit EPA’s enforcement reporting website.

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter.

Baltimore County Police cited by EPA for hazardous waste violations at firing range in Timonium, Md.

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 6, 2022) – The Baltimore County Police Department will pay a $15,800 penalty for hazardous waste violations associated with the improper management of lead-contaminated soil at an outdoor firing range in Timonium, Maryland, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today. 

The outdoor firing range is used by county police officers for firing practice of primarily handguns, which use bullets made of lead and a copper alloy. The soil at the firing range is considered hazardous waste due to lead concentrations from bullets, and it must be handled and disposed of in accordance with EPA regulations.

Exposure to high levels of lead may cause serious health problems. Lead is toxic and exposure to lead can affect almost every organ and system in your body. Children six years old and younger are most susceptible to the effects of lead, but it can also be harmful to adults. EPA efforts to reduce lead exposure have contributed to blood lead levels in U.S. children steadily dropping over the past four decades, but lead exposure persists in communities throughout the country.

EPA cited the police department for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the federal law governing the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA is designed to protect public health and the environment, and avoid long and extensive cleanups, by requiring the safe, environmentally sound storage and disposal of hazardous waste.

Alleged violations included: operation of a hazardous waste management facility without a permit, failure to provide hazardous waste management training to staff, failure to provide hazardous waste responsibilities in written job descriptions, and failure to have a hazardous waste contingency plan.

The EPA website has more information about EPA’s hazardous waste program .

EPA Announces $5 million for Louisiana in Brownfields Funding

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS (October 6, 2022) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that four Louisiana agencies will receive a total of $5 million in Brownfield grant funding. The announcement was made at an event in Thibodaux, Louisiana, this week. The agencies being awarded include the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the City/Parish of Baton Rouge, the South Central Planning and Development Commission and the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission.

"Due to the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA can count on many effective partners in Louisiana that understand the value of redevelopment investments for disadvantaged communities,” said Region 6 Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “The BIL continues to be an achievement that prioritizes public health in our communities. With this funding, Brownfields programs will now be able to address specific sites that have prevented economic growth for years. EPA remains grateful for our Louisiana partners’ cooperation and for their longstanding mission of protecting human health.” 

“It is a historic day for southeast Louisiana as we celebrate $5 million in federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to clean up brownfield sites across our communities,” said Congressman Troy Carter. “Together, these investments will transform unusable and unsafe properties into thriving, clean, and exciting areas that can be used to help grow jobs and build community. This is yet another example of Congress and the Biden Administration’s dedication to deliver results and improve daily life for the American people. I am so proud to have advocated for and supported the Infrastructure Law until it finally became a reality.”

The City of Baton Rouge and the Parish of East Baton Rouge will receive a community wide grant for $500,000. These funds will be used to conduct 10 Phase I and 12 Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to develop three cleanup plans and support community outreach activities. The priority areas for this grant are the Mid-City neighborhood, the Plank Road Corridor, and the Scotlandville neighborhood.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality will receive $2,000,000 to conduct 50 Phase I and 30 Phase II environmental site assessments. Additionally, focus will be placed on developing 25 cleanup plans and support community outreach activities. The target areas for this grant are the City of Pineville, the Shreveport Common neighborhood in the City of Shreveport, and the City of Eunice’s downtown district.

The South Central Planning and Development Commission will receive $2 million for its Revolving Loan Fund Program. The SCPDC will use these funds to encourage and support the assessment, cleanup-up, and appropriate redevelopment of properties for sustainable use within the SCPDC target area. The funds will also help local residents with community and economic development.

The New Orleans Regional Planning Commission will receive $500,000 to conduct 15 Phase I and four Phase II environmental site assessments. Funds will also be distributed to develop five cleanup plans, one reuse plan, and one area-wide plan, and to support community outreach activities. The target area for this grant is the St. Bernard Parish Commercial Corridor, which is the commercial backbone for local communities.  

Since its inception in 1995, the Environmental Protection Agency’s investments in brownfield sites have leveraged more than $35 billion in cleanup and redevelopment. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. To date, this funding has led to more than 183,000 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment and more than 9,500 properties have been made ready for reuse.  Please visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program website for additional information.

Connect with the Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 on Facebook, Twitter, or visit our homepage.

EPA Releases 20 Climate Adaptation Implementation Plans from National Offices, Regions to Increase Resilience to Impacts of Climate Change

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released 20 Climate Adaptation Implementation Plans that were developed by its major offices, including national program offices and all 10 regional offices. These Implementation Plans reaffirm the strong commitments made in EPA’s 2021 Climate Adaptation Action Plan to address the devastating impacts of climate change on communities across the nation, while advancing environmental justice and equity. They provide details on the specific actions each office will take to protect human health and the environment and to increase the resilience of the entire nation as we face increasingly harmful impacts of climate change.

President Biden has set the most ambitious climate change mitigation and adaptation goals in U.S. history, and EPA plays a central role in delivering on those commitments. With the 20 new Implementation Plans, EPA will continue to use its authorities and resources to help communities prepare for the serious climate impacts that are already underway.

“Traveling across the country, I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impacts that climate change is having on millions of Americans. We need to take actions to ensure a safe, resilient, and equitable future,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “The Biden-Harris Administration is confronting the climate crisis through a whole-of-government approach. The release of the Implementation Plans today marks significant progress in EPA’s efforts to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect human health and the environment.”

These plans are being released as EPA works to implement the largest investment in the nation’s history to tackle the climate crisis – President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. Under these laws, the Agency is making historic investments to strengthen our nation’s resilience to climate change, while reducing harmful air pollution, rebuilding critical community infrastructure, advancing environmental justice, and saving families money on their energy bills.

Building on this progress, the 20 Implementation Plans shared today provide a roadmap for the specific actions the agency will take in the years ahead to ensure it continues to protect human health and the environment even as the climate changes, and to partner with states, tribes, territories, local governments, and communities of all sizes to strengthen their ability to anticipate, prepare for, adapt to, and recover from the impacts of climate change. The plans include over 400 commitments to ensure clean air, water, land, and chemical safety even as the climate changes. They also identify strategies that deliver co-benefits for mitigation of greenhouse gases and other pollution, public health, economic growth, national security, equity, and environmental justice—all central to building a more resilient future.

The Implementation Plans recognize that climate disruption often hits already overburdened communities and people the hardest. The plans also consider the disproportionate impacts on those who are already overburdened and underserved in our society, including low-income communities and communities of color, children, the elderly, tribes, and indigenous people. EPA is already engaging and will continue to engage with underserved and vulnerable communities to ensure actions taken follow the principles of environmental justice and equity.

Read the 20 Climate Adaptation Implementation Plans that were developed by EPA’s major offices.

Read more information on EPA’s 2021 Climate Adaptation Action Plan.

Read President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.

EPA Celebrates Children’s Health Month, Announces Grant to Study Farm Worker Family Health in El Paso

EPA Air - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS (Oct. 6 2022) – Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a grant to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso to assess the impacts of pesticide use and its health effects on migrant farmworkers and their children along the US/Mexico Border. The study is part of the collaboration between EPA and the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU). The announcement kicks off Children’s Health Month, recognized each October.

This year EPA is spotlighting the historic resources advancing protection of children’s environmental health. EPA is committed to protecting children at all stages and in all communities.

“Protecting the health of our children and the environment where they live, learn and play is central to EPA’s mission, especially when it comes to children in overburdened and underserved areas,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “As we mark Children’s Health Month, I’m honored to highlight EPA’s work to protect children’s health and the historic level of funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, that will bolster these efforts to deliver clean air, clean water and healthy lands for our children.” 

“EPA is excited to continue developing our partnership with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso to improve children’s environmental health outcomes,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “Understanding and evaluating the impacts of pesticide use is a high priority, and we have so much more to learn in this area. We look forward to seeing the results of the study and congratulate Texas Tech and the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit on this grant.”

EPA understands that early exposures to pollution can affect health later in life. At EPA, the Office of Children’s Health Protection works across Agency programs to identify and address health disparities so that all children, no matter their zip code, race, or income, can be protected equally under the law. EPA’s Children’s Health Policy and Strategic Plan ensures that the Agency considers environmental impacts at all stages, starting from maternal health, infancy, adolescence, and into early adulthood.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, EPA has advanced programs to protect children’s health with the support of historic funding from the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA expects to take further protective actions with support from the Inflation Reduction Act, including providing grants and technical assistance to improve indoor air quality in schools.

EPA initiatives to protect children’s health include:

  • EPA’s Clean Bus Program will invest $5 billion over the next 5 years to replace existing diesel school buses with zero-emission and low-emission models resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants that are harmful to children’s health.
  • Distribution of $2 million from the American Rescue Plan to communities to address disproportionate environmental or public health harms and risks to children in underserved communities.
  • EPA announced winners of the Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge, a competition focused on innovative communication strategies to warn people, including children, of the risks of extreme heat and provide solutions on how to keep safe during the hottest days.
  • EPA published revised factsheets on climate change to explain its impacts on maternal and children’s health.
  • EPA commissioned a National Academy of Science Workshop focused on children’s environmental health and future priorities that can be viewed online.
  • The Agency revamped the Children’s Health Month webpage with useful children’s environmental health resources and tools for those who wish to get involved this October.

Visit EPA’s Children’s Health webpage to learn more about the Agency’s work to protect children’s environmental health.

Connect with the Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 on Facebook, Twitter, or visit our homepage.

EPA Awards $3.2M Research Grant to Iowa State University

EPA Air - Wed, 10/05/2022 - 19:00

LENEXA, KAN. (OCT. 5, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $3.2 million research grant to Iowa State University to fund research that will support national efforts to reduce technological and institutional barriers for expanded water reuse.

“As we celebrate the Clean Water Act’s 50th Anniversary this month, we are proud to announce a research grant that will expand water reuse adoption efforts in Iowa,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “We’re looking forward to seeing the research performed by Iowa State University resulting in expanded water reuse and an increase in water quality and availability in underserved communities.”

This grant will enable university researchers to integrate technological, institutional, and regulatory decision-making processes to accelerate water reuse adoption by addressing issues in water quality and availability in small, rural communities.

The Water Research Foundation in Denver also received a grant through the Water Innovation, Science and Engagement to Advance Water Reuse Research Funding Opportunity. The total funding for these research grants is $6.4 million.

“Safe and reliable water is critical to protecting public health, and innovative solutions for reusing water can improve water availability and access across the nation,” said Chris Frey, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “These research projects will help advance water reuse applications so communities, local and state governments, and tribes can provide alternatives to existing water resources.”

Water reuse is the practice of reclaiming water from a variety of sources, treating it, and reusing it for beneficial purposes. It can provide alternative supplies for potable and non-potable uses to enhance water security, sustainability, and resilience.These research grants will help accelerate water innovation, information availability, and engagement. The funding will advance clean and safe water reuse goals, promote a better understanding of the nation’s water and wastewater treatment and infrastructure, and enhance the availability and efficient use of water resources through water reuse.

Learn more about the projects. Learn more about EPA research grants.

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EPA Awards $6.4M for Research to Support National Water Reuse Efforts

EPA Air - Wed, 10/05/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced research grants totaling $6.4 million to Iowa State University and the Water Research Foundation for research to support national efforts to reduce technological and institutional barriers for expanded water reuse. 

“Safe and reliable water is critical to protecting public health, and innovative solutions for reusing water can improve water availability and access across the nation,” said Chris Frey, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “These research projects will help advance water reuse applications so communities, local and state governments, and Tribes can provide alternatives to existing water resources.”

Water reuse is the practice of reclaiming water from a variety of sources, treating it, and reusing it for beneficial purposes. It can provide alternative supplies for potable and non-potable uses to enhance water security, sustainability, and resilience. These research grants will help accelerate water innovation, information availability, and engagement. The funding will advance clean and safe water reuse goals, promote a better understanding of the nation’s water and wastewater treatment and infrastructure, and enhance the availability and efficient use of water resources through water reuse.

The following institutions are receiving awards:

  • Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, to integrate technological, institutional and regulatory decision-making processes to accelerate water reuse adoption by addressing issues in water quality and availability in small, underserved communities.
  • The Water Research Foundation, Denver, Colo., to quantify water reuse potential across the nation while aiming to reduce biological and chemical health risk and provide stakeholders with user-friendly tools and materials to advance water reuse in communities both technologically and organizationally.

Learn more information about the projects.

Learn more about EPA research grants.

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