Feed aggregator

EPA Launches New Initiative to Accelerate Lead Pipe Replacement in Pennsylvania to Protect Underserved Communities

EPA Air - Fri, 01/27/2023 - 19:00

PHILADELPHIA (January 27, 2023) – Today, EPA announced a major new initiative to accelerate progress toward the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of achieving 100% lead service line removal and replacement.  The “Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators” initiative was introduced during a White House convening with Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, alongside state and local leaders celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan. The new Accelerator will provide targeted technical assistance services to help underserved communities access funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and replace lead pipes that pose risks to the health of children and families. The initiative is a partnership with the Department of Labor, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin and will work with 40 communities across those states in 2023.

“The science is clear—there is no safe level of exposure to lead,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “EPA is committed to partnering with states and communities to protect children and families and ensure our nation's drinking water pipes are lead-free. Our Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators demonstrate our commitment to ensuring every community has access to safe, clean drinking water. By leveraging the historic investment made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are moving one step closer to achieving President Biden’s vision of 100% lead-free water systems for all.”

Through the Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) Accelerators, EPA will provide hands-on support to guide communities through the process of lead service line removals, from start to finish. This will include support in developing lead service line replacement plans, conducting inventories to identify lead pipes, increasing community outreach and education efforts, and supporting applications for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding. As a result, more communities will be able to access their fair share of federal funds to secure a lead-free future.

Partnership is core to the LSLR Accelerators initiative. EPA will collaborate each step of the way with Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin and applauds their leadership in seeking innovative new ways to accelerate lead pipe removal. The Accelerators initiative will support these states in more strategically deploying funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) for lead service line replacements while developing best practices and creative approaches that can serve as a roadmap for the rest of the country. As this program moves forward, EPA and the Department of Labor will collaborate to provide tools aimed at increasing job quality standards, equity, and resources to accelerate the development of the skilled water workforce needed to undertake these community and system-wide lead service line replacement programs.

“Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to clean air and pure water, but far too many communities here in Pennsylvania suffer from old and outdated lead pipes that endanger the health of our children and families,” said Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro. “My Administration is ready to work with President Biden, Vice President Harris, and our federal partners to make life-saving investments that will deliver clean drinking to families across the Commonwealth, especially in communities that have been left behind for too long. Working with our federal partners, we can rebuild our infrastructure, create good-paying jobs, and guarantee that constitutional right holds for all Pennsylvania, regardless of their zip code.”

“Too many people and families in Pennsylvania and across the Nation don’t have reliable access to safe drinking water. That’s unacceptable. But thanks to the infrastructure law, underserved communities in our state will be eligible to replace harmful lead pipes faster than we thought possible. I will keep working with the Biden-Harris Administration to ensure that all Pennsylvanians can access the clean drinking water they need to live healthy lives,” said U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA).

“This initiative is a home-run to provide clean drinking water to communities in Pennsylvania and throughout the region. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s unprecedented investment in water and sewer lines will help build on previous progress and ensure that all communities, including the most vulnerable and forgotten, have access to safe water systems,” said U.S. Senator John Fetterman (D-PA).

“EPA’s partnership with Pennsylvania will go a long way in helping thousands of small drinking water systems begin to address aging lead pipes and ultimately provide safe drinking water to their communities,” said EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz.  “This historic funding is going to improve lives and we’re eager to get started in the Commonwealth.”

The LSLR Accelerators initiative represents another step forward by the Biden-Harris Administration to achieve 100% lead free water systems. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invested an unprecedented $50 billion in the nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure, including $15 billion dedicated to lead service line replacement and $11.7 billion of general Drinking Water State Revolving Funds that can also be used for lead service line replacement. And in 2021, with the boost from these water infrastructure investments, the Biden-Harris Administration released its Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan. EPA is committed to this work and using every tool available— statutory authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act, technical assistance, funding for lead service line replacement, and more—to protect all Americans from lead in drinking water.

With the help of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, EPA is strengthening its technical assistance efforts in order to ensure every community gets its fair share of this historic investment. For more information about water technical assistance for communities and the Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators, please visit.  https://www.epa.gov/water-infrastructure/water-technical-assistance.

Additional Quotes:

“One intention of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was to modernize our region so that our communities are not just better connected but better protected — and I’m glad to see these historic investments being used to replace lead pipes in Pennsylvania,” U.S. Representative Madeleine Dean (D-PA, 4th) said. “Clean water is a right, and every community deserves access to clean and safe drinking water. I’m grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration and the EPA Mid-Atlantic Region for helping to create better environments for underserved communities in our commonwealth.”

“I’m proud to have voted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and its funding to address lead pollution in our water is one of the many reasons why I voted for this law,” said U.S. Representative Dwight Evans (D-PA, 3rd).

“It’s unacceptable that any Pennsylvanian still has to deal with lead-contaminated water pipes and faucets,” said U.S. Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA, 6th). “In my community, the cities of Reading and Coatesville have contended with this public health issue for decades, particularly in rental properties. I look forward to partnering with the EPA on their Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators initiative and collaborating with the Administration to deliver these vital federal resources from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to Pennsylvania’s Sixth Congressional District.”

"I'm thrilled to see funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law flowing into Pennsylvania to address lead contamination in our water supply," said U.S. Representative Mary G. Scanlon (D-PA, 5th). "Investing in the health of Pennsylvania’s children and families is one of my highest priorities, and I am proud to help our most underserved communities tap into the financial and operational assistance needed to identify and replace lead service lines."

“Drinking a glass of water from your own sink or giving your children a bath in your own home should not constitute a health risk, which is why it is urgent to deploy the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s investment in replacing lead pipes across the United States. The EPA’s collaborative Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators initiative will give communities across Pennsylvania the tools and resources they need to identify and replace dangerous lead service lines,” said U.S. Representative Susan Wild (D-PA, 7th)

EPA Launches New Initiative in Connecticut to Accelerate Lead Pipe Replacement to Protect Underserved Communities

EPA Air - Fri, 01/27/2023 - 19:00

CONNECTICUT (January 27, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will announce a major new initiative to accelerate progress toward the Biden-Harris Administration's goal of achieving 100% lead service line removal and replacement. The "Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators" initiative will be introduced during a White House convening with Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, alongside state and local leaders celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan. The new Accelerator will provide targeted technical assistance services to help underserved communities access funds from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and replace lead pipes that pose risks to the health of children and families. The initiative is a partnership with the Department of Labor, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin and will work with 40 communities across those states in 2023.

"The science is clear—there is no safe level of exposure to lead," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. "EPA is committed to partnering with states and communities to protect children and families and ensure our nation's drinking water pipes are lead-free. Our Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators demonstrate our commitment to ensuring every community has access to safe, clean drinking water. By leveraging the historic investment made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are moving one step closer to achieving President Biden's vision of 100% lead-free water systems for all."

"Protecting children and families by reducing lead exposure is a top priority for EPA under the Biden-Harris Administration, and when you turn on your tap you should never have to worry about what's in the water," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "Through EPA's Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerator, and through our partnership with the State of Connecticut, we can fast-track resources and assistance for Connecticut communities who need it most."

Through the Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) Accelerators, EPA will provide hands-on support to guide communities through the process of lead service line removals, from start to finish. This will include support in developing lead service line replacement plans, conducting inventories to identify lead pipes, increasing community outreach and education efforts, and supporting applications for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding. As a result, more communities will be able to access their fair share of federal funds to secure a lead-free future.

Partnership is core to the LSLR Accelerators initiative. EPA will collaborate each step of the way with Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin and applauds their leadership in seeking innovative new ways to accelerate lead pipe removal. The Accelerators initiative will support these states in more strategically deploying funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) for lead service line replacements while developing best practices and creative approaches that can serve as a roadmap for the rest of the country. As this program moves forward, EPA and the Department of Labor will collaborate to provide tools aimed at increasing job quality standards, equity, and resources to accelerate the development of the skilled water workforce needed to undertake these community and system-wide lead service line replacement programs.

"Connecticut is proud to be one of the four states involved with the Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators Community Initiative which is critical toward investing in safe drinking water and ultimately protecting the health of our communities," said Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. "The Lead Service Line Accelerators will address existing barriers and accelerate progress on these projects. Inviting input from our residents, providing educational resources, and engaging affected members of the community are necessary components in identifying and ultimately replacing these lead service lines."

"This initiative will help rid water of one of the most pernicious poisons— lead— that can do irreversible, crippling damage to children and families. People deserve clean, healthy water and these new pipes will make it possible. The federal legislation replacing lead service lines is a godsend for safe drinking water," said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.

"Too many families in Connecticut face serious health risks because their water flows through old lead pipes. Everyone needs access to clean, safe drinking water, and I'm glad to see funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law put these pipe replacement projects on a fast track," said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.

"Lead service removal is pivotal to keeping families and our communities safe," said U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro. "This initiative announced by the Biden-Harris Administration is welcome news, and puts us on a path to reduce lead exposure and enhance the safety of those most at-risk to lead poisoning. Too many families and children across Connecticut are still impacted by lead pipes, and we know this poses a serious long-term threat to children's health. With the help of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are now leveraging every tool to deliver clean drinking water and replace lead pipes."

"The Connecticut Congressional delegation worked together to secure a historic investment in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve our state's water infrastructure," said U.S. Representative John B. Larson. "The Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerator will ensure communities have the resources and assistance they need to safely remove and replace lead pipes, and make safe drinking water for all residents a reality."

"People throughout eastern Connecticut are seeing long-overdue infrastructure projects finally getting underway and completed thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure law we passed in late 2021," said U.S. Representative Joe Courtney. "The IIJA has brought about improved roads and bridges, major investments in our local economy like support for the new Train Station in Enfield and the new deepwater port in New London, and now it's going to help improve the health and wellbeing of residents throughout our state by helping us replace old lead service lines—an important but costly project that has long been out of reach for local municipal budgets. It wasn't long ago that the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers graded our state's wastewater infrastructure at a paltry D+, but with funding through the IIJA we've finally got the resources to change that. I'm proud to have voted for the bipartisan Infrastructure Law."

"It is unconscionable that all communities in our state do not have access to clean, safe drinking water. Every American deserves access to this basic right, and I am glad that the Administration and the EPA are using funding from Congress' Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to rectify that issue. Connecticut's partnership in this program will help pave the way to protect children across the country from lead-related health risks," said U.S. Representative Jim Himes.

"Every community deserves access to clean drinking water. This new initiative will expeditiously replace centuries-old lead pipes that continue to contaminate water in our most vulnerable cities. These critical upgrades and technical assistance will directly impact the health and safety of Connecticut families while promoting economic development in historically underserved areas. I applaud the administration for its commitment to delivering clean drinking water and fortifying our water infrastructure. I look forward to working with federal, state, and local leaders to make a lead-free future a reality," said U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes.

The LSLR Accelerators initiative represents another step forward by the Biden-Harris Administration to achieve 100% lead free water systems. President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invested an unprecedented $50 billion in the nation's water and wastewater infrastructure, including $15 billion dedicated to lead service line replacement and $11.7 billion of general Drinking Water State Revolving Funds that can also be used for lead service line replacement. And in 2021, with the boost from these water infrastructure investments, the Biden-Harris Administration released its Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan. EPA is committed to this work and using every tool available— statutory authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act, technical assistance, funding for lead service line replacement, and more—to protect all Americans from lead in drinking water.

With the help of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, EPA is strengthening its technical assistance efforts in order to ensure every community gets its fair share of this historic investment. For more information about water technical assistance for communities and the Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/water-infrastructure/water-technical-assistance.

Background

All communities deserve access to safe, clean, lead-free water. Yet too many families and children across America are still impacted by lead pipes. The science is clear that lead pipes pose serious health risks, particularly for children. However, many communities, particularly underserved communities and communities in rural and inner urban areas, lack necessary tools and resources to make rapid progress on lead service line replacement.

The primary source of lead in drinking water, when present, is pipes. Lead can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels and can accumulate in the body over time. In children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.

NJ Selected as One of Four States to Test New Program to Remove Lead Water Pipes in Underserved Communities

EPA Air - Fri, 01/27/2023 - 19:00

NEW YORK - Today, EPA announced a major new initiative to accelerate progress toward the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of 100% lead service line removal and replacement. EPA introduced the “Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators” initiative at a White House summit celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan and convened state and local leaders to discuss the program. New Jersey is among the first states to participate in the Accelerator initiative, an ambitious program aimed at providing targeted technical assistance services to underserved communities to replace lead pipes that endanger the health of children and families. This initiative is a partnership with the Department of Labor, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and will work with up to 40 communities across these states in 2023. The full list of communities that will benefit from this program will be announced in the coming weeks.

"New Jersey is a trailblazer in environmental stewardship by participating in this pilot program," said Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. "Far too many communities in the state and across the nation are still facing the challenge of replacing aging pipes, particularly in communities that have been historically underserved and overburdened. This program will provide crucial support and assistance to these communities and help to address this pressing issue."

“Access to safe, clean drinking water is a fundamental human right which is why replacing lead service lines and modernizing our nation’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure is a matter of public health, environmental safety, and racial and environmental justice,” said Sen. Menendez. “Towns and cities across New Jersey are home to some of the oldest water infrastructure in the nation, which is why I have fought to bring hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding back to the state for lead pipe replacements and drinking water improvements. I applaud the Biden-Harris administration for their commitment to 100% lead service line replacement nationwide and for including New Jersey in this four-state initiative that aims at providing assistance to underserved communities.” 

“Since the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, communities in New Jersey and across the nation have received historic levels of funding to replace lead service lines that pose a danger to the health and well-being of children and families,” said Sen. Booker. “With the launch of the new Service Line Replacement Accelerators initiative in New Jersey and three other states, underserved areas will receive targeted technical assistance as part of an ongoing and critical effort to make sure all Americans have access to safe, clean drinking water.”  

“Every person, school, and business in South Jersey deserves lead-free drinking water,” said Representative Norcross. “I’m proud to have supported the funding that is now delivering for New Jersey communities by providing clean drinking water and creating good-paying jobs in replacing lead pipes that pose health risks to children and families.”

“Lead-free drinking water shouldn’t be a luxury, it should be a basic right guaranteed to everyone. I am proud to have voted for the bipartisan infrastructure law that will fund projects like this one and so many more that will work towards repairing New Jersey’s crumbling infrastructure,” said Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03). “Many towns in my district know what it’s like being unable to trust the water coming into their home or business. That’s why I’m glad to see the EPA’s new initiative is taking the step forward that we need to make sure risk-free, safe, and healthy water is a reality for everyone in New Jersey. I look forward to keeping tabs on this project through to its conclusion because everyone deserves reliable, clean water.”

“Contaminated drinking water threatens the health and safety of our families, in our schools and in our homes — whether that’s elevated lead levels or forever chemicals like substances known as PFAS. For years now, I’ve been fighting to get clean drinking water for our families, to protect our local waters, and to claw more federal tax dollars back to Jersey from Washington. The EPA’s new ‘Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators’ initiative will help ensure Jersey’s most underserved communities receive the start-to-finish assistance they need to replace lead pipes and claw back investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that I helped shape and pass. With these federal tax dollars that we get back to North Jersey, we’re able to ease the burden on town and county budgets, help us lower taxes for our families, and, most importantly, protect our families,” said U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5).

“Every American has a fundamental right to safe, clean drinking water. That’s why I fought for funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to replace lead service lines quickly and equitably. No community should be left to face the health risks stemming from lead pipes any longer,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “I’m thrilled that EPA is providing much needed assistance to fast-track the removal and replacement of toxic lead pipes, and I commend Administrator Regan for working diligently to target those communities most impacted. This is another significant step toward ensuring that every family can trust the water coming out of the tap. I look forward to this resource expanding to help other communities in need.”

“I commend the Biden Administration for their steadfast efforts to ensure clean and safe drinking water for our residents. I have for years led federal efforts to replace lead pipes in our communities and I am thrilled to have partners in the White House as well as on the state and local levels here in New Jersey. Last week we announced $2.4 million in federal funds to replace lead pipes in Garfield. That funding combined with this announcement today shows that Democrats on all levels of government are committed to modernizing our infrastructure and guaranteeing clean water for all. This is tremendous news for the Garden State.” - U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. 

“I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration and EPA for this new initiative to help provide clean drinking water to underserved communities,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr.  “This issue is extremely important to me because underserved communities suffer the most from lead-contaminated water pipes.  I have worked diligently to provide resources to these communities to remove these dangerous pipes.  I helped secure $169 million to improve New Jersey’s water infrastructure in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help our state.  In addition, I worked to include $55 billion to replace lead-contaminated water pipes in New Jersey and nationwide.  Again, I am proud to support this initiative because all Americans deserve clean drinking water.”

“Old lead pipes threaten the health and safety of too many towns and families throughout my district and New Jersey. That’s why I am proud to have fought for the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides our state with the federal support it needs to improve our water infrastructure without putting a financial burden on our local municipalities,” said Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11). “I look forward to seeing this initiative come to fruition and supporting local communities.”

“I’m proud to have voted for measures that would mitigate the harmful effects of lead water pipes, address potential contaminants in our water, and ensure that everyone in our state has access to clean drinking water,” said Rep Watson Coleman. “This historic investment made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a crucial step toward building a sustainable, secure and healthy future for New Jersey."

“Our historically underserved communities know all too well the severe damage that lead exposure can inflict upon children and families,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “As a result of my Administration’s aggressive and ongoing lead pipe replacement efforts, we also know that no state in the country is better suited to continue serving as a national model for lead remediation than New Jersey. We are eager to continue working alongside our federal and regional partners to eradicate this grave public health threat once and for all.”
“In partnership with the Biden-Harris Administration, New Jersey is accelerating its efforts to better protect every resident from the risk of lead exposure by helping communities to identify lead pipes and access funding for their replacement," said Shawn M. LaTourette, New Jersey's Commissioner of Environmental Protection. "Thanks to the historic amount of investment made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, New Jersey will be home to a Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerator program that will empower communities large and small with the knowledge and resources necessary to get the lead out of our water and away from our kids. The Murphy Administration is proud to lead this new effort alongside several of our sister states and the incredible people of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its Office of Water."

Through the Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) Accelerators, EPA will provide hands-on support to guide communities through the process of lead service line removals, from start to finish. This will include support in developing lead service line replacement plans, conducting inventories to identify lead pipes, increasing community outreach and education efforts, and supporting applications for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding. As a result, more communities will be able to access their fair share of federal funds to secure a lead-free future.

Partnership is core to the LSLR Accelerators initiative. EPA will collaborate each step of the way with Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin and applauds their leadership in seeking innovative new ways to accelerate lead pipe removal. The Accelerators initiative will support these states in more strategically deploying funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) for lead service line replacements while developing best practices and creative approaches that can serve as a roadmap for the rest of the country. As this program moves forward, EPA and the Department of Labor will collaborate to provide tools aimed at increasing job quality standards, equity, and resources to accelerate the development of the skilled water workforce needed to undertake these community and system-wide lead service line replacement programs.

The LSLR Accelerators initiative represents another step forward by the Biden-Harris’s commitment to achieve 100% lead free water systems. In November 2021 President Biden signed the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invested an unprecedented $50 billion in the nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure, including $15 billion dedicated to lead service line replacement and $11.7 billion of general Drinking Water SRF funding that can also be used for lead service line replacement. In December 2021, the Biden-Harris Administration released its Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan. EPA is committed to using every tool available— statutory authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act, technical assistance, funding for lead service line replacement, and more—to protect all Americans from lead in drinking water.

With the help of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, EPA is boosting its technical assistance efforts in order to ensure every community gets its fair share of this historic investment. For more information about water technical assistance for communities and the Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators, please visit.  https://www.epa.gov/water-infrastructure/water-technical-assistance.

Background

All communities deserve access to safe, clean, lead-free water. Yet too many families and children across America are still impacted by lead pipes. The science is clear that lead pipes pose serious health risks, particularly for children. However, many communities, particularly underserved communities and communities in rural and inner urban areas, lack necessary tools and resources to make rapid progress on lead service line replacement.

The primary source of lead in drinking water, when present, is pipes. Lead can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels and can accumulate in the body over time. In children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.

23-007

EPA Takes Key Step to Stop Unsafe PFAS from Reentering Commerce

EPA Air - Fri, 01/27/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON (Jan. 27, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule that would prevent companies from starting or resuming the manufacture, processing or use of an estimated 300 per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that have not been made or used for many years without a complete EPA review and risk determination. In the past, these chemicals, known as “inactive PFAS,” may have been used in many industries in a variety of ways, including as binding agents, surfactants, in the production of sealants and gaskets, and may also have been released into the environment. Without this proposed rule, companies could resume uses of these PFAS absent notification to and review by EPA. The proposal reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to address the impacts of these forever chemicals, and is a key action in EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap.

“This proposal is part of EPA’s comprehensive strategy to stop PFAS from entering our air, land and water and harming our health and the planet,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff. “The rule would put needed protections in place where none currently exist to ensure that EPA can slam the door shut on all unsafe uses of these 300 PFAS.”

When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was first passed in 1976, thousands of chemicals were grandfathered in under the statute and allowed to remain in commerce without additional EPA review. Before TSCA was amended in 2016, EPA completed formal reviews on only about 20% of new chemicals and had no authority to address new chemicals about which the Agency lacked sufficient information, which is part of the reason why many chemicals, including PFAS, were allowed into commerce without a complete review.

Under the new law, the Agency must formally review the safety of all of new chemicals before they are allowed into commerce. Today’s proposed Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) would ensure that modern, robust reviews happen before any of these old chemicals could be used again.

TSCA also requires EPA to compile, keep current and publish a list of each chemical that is manufactured (including imported) or processed in the United States for uses under TSCA, known as the TSCA Inventory. TSCA also requires EPA to designate each chemical on the TSCA Inventory as either “active” or “inactive” in commerce. An “inactive” designation means that a chemical substance has not been manufactured (including imported) or processed in the United States since June 21, 2006.

The proposed SNUR would apply to all PFAS that are designated as “inactive” on the TSCA Inventory and which are not already subject to a SNUR. The proposal would first require companies to notify EPA before they could use any of these 300 chemicals. The Agency would then be required to conduct a robust review of health and safety information under the modernized 2016 law to determine if their use may present unreasonable risk to human health or the environment and put any necessary restrictions in place before the use could restart.

EPA will accept public comments on the proposed rule for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register via docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2022-0876 at www.regulations.gov.

Read and comment on the proposed rule.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funds $23 Million of Water Infrastructure Projects in Puerto Rico

EPA Air - Fri, 01/27/2023 - 19:00

PUERTO RICO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced approval of $23 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fund Puerto Rico water infrastructure projects in Caguas, Coamo, Jayuya, Naranjito and Orocovis. EPA has formally approved work plans that will allow the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources to proceed with the projects under this historic investment.

“When water infrastructure fails, it threatens people’s health and the environment. This Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investment will improve the lives of Puerto Rico communities facing major water challenges,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a unique and historic opportunity to correct longstanding environmental and economic injustices across America. This funding will create jobs while upgrading the island’s aging water infrastructure.”

The Secretary for the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Anais Vega Rodríguez, stated, “This historic EPA grant is an important additional step to improve the quality of our waters by allowing the management of a series of polluting sources and renewing deteriorated infrastructure.  Likewise, projects like these are truly essential for environmental protection and contribute to the socioeconomic development of the impacted regions. The close collaboration between EPA and the DNER to solve specific problems will continue with another series of projects during the next years.”

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program provides low-cost financing, in some cases at zero percent interest, for local projects. To allow for the program to support more water quality and infrastructure improvement projects, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides additional capitalization grants to each state for the recipient’s program. Puerto Rico will receive $23,214,000 to use on the planning, design, and construction of eligible water quality improvement and protection projects in the five targeted municipalities. After consultation, EPA and the government of Puerto Rico have identified specific projects which are vital to protect and improve water quality, aquatic life, recreation, and natural habitat. Specifically, the EPA approved projects are for the design and construction of sanitary sewer systems in four municipalities (Coamo, Jayuya, Naranjito and Orocovis and), eliminating many private septic systems and sewer discharge around the Island. A fifth project will eliminate a Caguas wastewater treatment facility that will turn into a wastewater pump station, thereby eliminating a major discharge point.

President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law on November 15, 2021. The law’s investment in the water sector is nothing short of transformational. It includes $50 billion to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen the nation’s drinking water and wastewater systems—the single largest investment in clean water that the federal government has ever made. A significant portion of water infrastructure dollars will flow through the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, which represent a partnership between the Agency, states, tribes, territories, and local communities. Under this funding, Puerto Rico will receive $78,404,000 in total in fiscal year 2022. The $23,214,000 is a portion of this total. More projects will be announced in the future and EPA is committed to maximizing the impact of these funds in addressing urgent water challenges facing communities.

To access more information, visit Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Resources for Clean Water.

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter and visit our Facebook.

23-008

Ley bipartidista de infraestructura financia $23 millones en proyectos de infraestructura de agua en Puerto Rico

EPA Air - Fri, 01/27/2023 - 19:00

PUERTO RICO – Hoy, la Agencia de Protección Ambiental de Estados Unidos (EPA, por sus siglas en inglés) anunció la aprobación de una inversión de $23 millones de la Ley Bipartidista de Infraestructura para financiar proyectos de infraestructura de agua en Puerto Rico en Caguas, Coamo, Jayuya, Naranjito y Orocovis. La EPA ha aprobado formalmente los planes de trabajo que permitirán al Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales de Puerto Rico proceder con los proyectos conforme a esta inversión histórica.

“Cuando falla la infraestructura hídrica, amenaza la salud y el medioambiente de las personas. Esta inversión de la Ley Bipartidista de Infraestructura mejorará las vidas de las comunidades de Puerto Rico que enfrentan grandes retos relacionados con el agua,” dijo la Administradora Regional de la EPA, Lisa F. García. “La Ley Bipartidista de Infraestructura es una oportunidad única e histórica para corregir injusticias ambientales y económicas de larga data en todo Estados Unidos. Estos fondos crearán empleos y a la vez mejorarán la infraestructura de agua envejecida de la isla.”

Secretaria del Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales, Anais Rodríguez Vega, señaló, “Esta histórica donación de la EPA es un importante paso adicional para mejorar la calidad de nuestras aguas al permitir el manejo de una serie de fuentes contaminantes y la renovación de infraestructura deteriorada. Asimismo, proyectos como estos son verdaderamente esenciales para la protección del medio ambiente y contribuyen al desarrollo socioeconómico de las regiones impactadas. La colaboración cercana entre la EPA y el DRNA para resolver problemas específicos continuará con otra serie de proyectos durante los próximos años.”

El programa del Fondo Rotatorio Estatal de Agua Limpia proporciona financiamiento de bajo costo, en algunos casos a un interés del cero por ciento, para proyectos locales. A fin de permitir que el programa apoye más proyectos de mejora de la calidad del agua y la infraestructura, la Ley Bipartidista de Infraestructura proporciona subvenciones de capitalización adicionales a cada estado para el programa del beneficiario. Puerto Rico recibirá $23,214,000 para usar en la planificación, diseño y construcción de proyectos elegibles de mejora y protección de la calidad del agua en los cinco municipios seleccionados. Después de consultar, la EPA y el gobierno de Puerto Rico han identificado proyectos específicos que son vitales para proteger y mejorar la calidad del agua, la vida acuática, la recreación y el hábitat natural. Específicamente, los proyectos aprobados por la EPA son para el diseño y la construcción de sistemas de alcantarillado sanitario en cuatro municipios (Coamo, Jayuya, Naranjito y Orocovis), eliminando muchos sistemas sépticos privados y descarga de alcantarillado alrededor de la isla. Un quinto proyecto eliminará una planta de tratamiento de aguas residuales de Caguas que se convertirá en una estación de bombeo de aguas residuales, eliminando así un importante punto de descarga.

El presidente Biden firmó la Ley Bipartidista de Infraestructura el 15 de noviembre de 2021. La inversión de la ley en el sector del agua es nada menos que transformadora. Incluye $50 mil millones para la Agencia de Protección Ambiental (EPA) a fin de fortalecer los sistemas de agua potable y aguas residuales del país, la mayor inversión en agua limpia que el gobierno federal haya realizado. Una parte significativa de los dólares de infraestructura de agua se canalizará a través de los Fondos Rotatorios Estatales de Agua Limpia y Agua Potable, que representan una asociación entre la Agencia, los estados, las tribus, los territorios y las comunidades locales. Con este financiamiento, Puerto Rico recibirá un total de $78,404,000 en el año fiscal 2022. Los $23,214,000 son una parte de este total. Se anunciarán más proyectos en el futuro y la EPA se compromete a maximizar el impacto de estos fondos para abordar los desafíos urgentes del agua que enfrentan las comunidades.

Para acceder a más información, visite Recursos de la Ley Bipartidista de Infrastructura para Agua Limpia.

Siga a la Región 2 de la EPA en Twitter y visite nuestra página en Facebook.

23-008-S

EPA Launches New Initiative to Accelerate Lead Pipe Replacement to Protect Underserved Communities

EPA Air - Fri, 01/27/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, EPA will announce a major new initiative to accelerate progress toward the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of achieving 100% lead service line removal and replacement.  The “Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators” initiative will be introduced during a White House convening with Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, alongside state and local leaders celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan. The new Accelerator will provide targeted technical assistance services to help underserved communities access funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and replace lead pipes that pose risks to the health of children and families. The initiative is a partnership with the Department of Labor, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin and will work with 40 communities across those states in 2023.

“The science is clear—there is no safe level of exposure to lead,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “EPA is committed to partnering with states and communities to protect children and families and ensure our nation's drinking water pipes are lead-free. Our Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators demonstrate our commitment to ensuring every community has access to safe, clean drinking water. By leveraging the historic investment made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are moving one step closer to achieving President Biden’s vision of 100% lead-free water systems for all.”

Through the Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) Accelerators, EPA will provide hands-on support to guide communities through the process of lead service line removals, from start to finish. This will include support in developing lead service line replacement plans, conducting inventories to identify lead pipes, increasing community outreach and education efforts, and supporting applications for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding. As a result, more communities will be able to access their fair share of federal funds to secure a lead-free future.

Partnership is core to the LSLR Accelerators initiative. EPA will collaborate each step of the way with Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Wisconsin and applauds their leadership in seeking innovative new ways to accelerate lead pipe removal. The Accelerators initiative will support these states in more strategically deploying funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) for lead service line replacements while developing best practices and creative approaches that can serve as a roadmap for the rest of the country. As this program moves forward, EPA and the Department of Labor will collaborate to provide tools aimed at increasing job quality standards, equity, and resources to accelerate the development of the skilled water workforce needed to undertake these community and system-wide lead service line replacement programs.

“Connecticut is proud to be one of the four states involved with the Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators Community Initiative which is critical toward investing in safe drinking water and ultimately protecting the health of our communities,” said Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. “The Lead Service Line Accelerators will address existing barriers and accelerate progress on these projects. Inviting input from our residents, providing educational resources, and engaging affected members of the community are necessary components in identifying and ultimately replacing these lead service lines.”

“Our historically underserved communities know all too well the severe damage that lead exposure can inflict upon children and families,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. “As a result of my Administration’s aggressive and ongoing lead pipe replacement efforts, we also know that no state in the country is better suited to continue serving as a national model for lead remediation than New Jersey. We are eager to continue working alongside our federal and regional partners to eradicate this grave public health threat once and for all.”

“Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to clean air and pure water, but far too many communities here in Pennsylvania suffer from old and outdated lead pipes that endanger the health of our children and families,” said Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro. “My Administration is ready to work with President Biden, Vice President Harris, and our federal partners to make life-saving investments that will deliver clean drinking water to families across the Commonwealth, especially in communities that have been left behind for too long. Working with our federal partners, we can rebuild our infrastructure, create good-paying jobs, and guarantee that constitutional right holds for all Pennsylvania, regardless of their zip code.”

“Every Wisconsinite deserves access to safe, clean drinking water. We’ve been working to address the lead crisis and other water quality issues affecting our state since Day One of my administration—from declaring 2019 the Year of Clean Drinking Water to our ongoing work with the EPA to replace lead service lines across our state,” said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. “The Biden Administration and the EPA have been critical partners in these efforts. I look forward to continuing our work together to ensure Wisconsinites can trust the water coming from their taps.”

The LSLR Accelerators initiative represents another step forward by the Biden-Harris Administration to achieve 100% lead free water systems. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invested an unprecedented $50 billion in the nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure, including $15 billion dedicated to lead service line replacement and $11.7 billion of general Drinking Water State Revolving Funds that can also be used for lead service line replacement. And in 2021, with the boost from these water infrastructure investments, the Biden-Harris Administration released its Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan. EPA is committed to this work and using every tool available— statutory authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act, technical assistance, funding for lead service line replacement, and more—to protect all Americans from lead in drinking water.

With the help of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, EPA is strengthening its technical assistance efforts in order to ensure every community gets its fair share of this historic investment. Learn more about water technical assistance for communities and the Lead Service Line Replacement Accelerators.

Background
All communities deserve access to safe, clean, lead-free water. Yet too many families and children across America are still impacted by lead pipes. The science is clear that lead pipes pose serious health risks, particularly for children. However, many communities, particularly underserved communities and communities in rural and inner urban areas, lack necessary tools and resources to make rapid progress on lead service line replacement.

The primary source of lead in drinking water, when present, is pipes. Lead can be harmful to human health even at low exposure levels and can accumulate in the body over time. In children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.

EPA Recognizes Chicopee, MA Industrial Pretreatment Program for Outstanding Service

EPA Air - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (Jan. 26, 2023) – The City of Chicopee's Industrial Pretreatment Program staff, led by Laurie Goff, was honored for exceptional work inspecting, permitting, and sampling industrial users that discharge industrial waste into the collection system.

"Every time we flush or wash ourselves, our kids, clothes, cars, dishes and dogs, we create wastewater," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David Cash. "All facilities that capture our wastewater and ensure it is safely treated for reuse and release are to be applauded, and I am proud to acknowledge and thank Ms. Goff, and staff for their outstanding contributions to help protect public health and water quality for so many years."

The EPA Regional Industrial Pretreatment Program Excellence Award was established to recognize and honor employees of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for their commitment to improving water quality through outstanding oversight of its industrial users discharging to the municipal sewer system. 

EPA Recognizes Suffield, Connecticut Wastewater Facility Operator for Outstanding Service

EPA Air - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (Jan. 26, 2023) – Jamie Kreller, of Suffield, Connecticut., was recently honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) New England Office for his work maintaining the Suffield Water Pollution Control Facility.

The EPA Regional Wastewater Awards Program recognizes personnel in the wastewater field who have provided invaluable public service managing and operating wastewater treatment facilities throughout New England. Wastewater operators and staff work diligently to protect public health and the environment, often with limited resources.

"Every time we flush or wash ourselves, our kids, clothes, cars, dishes and dogs, we create wastewater," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David Cash. "All facilities that capture our wastewater and ensure it is safely treated for reuse and release are to be applauded, and I am proud to acknowledge and thank Mr. Kreller for his outstanding contributions to help protect public health and water quality for so many years."

Mr. Kreller, who is the Superintendent of the Suffield Water Pollution Control Facility, received a 2022 Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year Award for his outstanding work over the years in operating and maintaining the facility. Mr. Kreller was one of only three individuals across New England to receive this award.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP) was instrumental in Kreller's nomination.

EPA reaches proposed $5.4 million settlement with Dow for Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River & Bay Superfund site in Midland, Michigan

EPA Air - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 19:00

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed $5.4 million settlement with The Dow Chemical Co. to recover costs for EPA’s cleanup work at the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River & Bay Superfund site in Midland, Michigan. EPA began a 30-day public comment period today.

In 1897, the 1,900-acre Dow facility began producing various chemicals along the Tittabawassee River. Most of the plant is located on the east side of the river and south of the city of Midland. At various times, the Midland Plant produced more than 1,000 different organic and inorganic chemicals. Historical operations at Dow’s Midland Plant caused the release of toxic chemicals known as dioxins into the Tittabawassee River which moved downstream and mixed with sediment in the Saginaw River and Bay. 

The costs recovered by the proposed settlement are associated with EPA performing sampling work at the site, negotiating time critical and non-time critical removal orders with Dow prior to 2010, as well as negotiating the 2010 Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent for the remedial investigation, feasibility study, and remedial design at the site.

Public comments on the proposed settlement will be accepted online until Feb. 26.

Comments can be submitted here.

More information can be found on EPA’s website.

EPA awards $26M in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds to protect, improve water quality in Idaho 

EPA Air - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 19:00

SEATTLE (Jan. 26, 2023) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality $26,730,000 to protect and improve water quality and infrastructure across the state.  

Idaho’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund received $17,992,000 and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund received $8,738,000. All the funding is a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  

“Once again, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is providing a once-in-a-generation funding opportunity that allows EPA and our partners to improve water quality and infrastructure. We’re laying the groundwork today for future decades of clean water for the people of Idaho,” said EPA Region 10 Administrator Casey Sixkiller.   

“The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality appreciates the ongoing support from EPA to protect and improve water quality and infrastructure across our state, and we welcome any assistance that helps make these services more accessible and affordable for our communities," said Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Director Jess Byrne

The funds were awarded Dec. 28, and are intended to provide low interest financing to plan, design and construct water quality improvement and protection projects, drinking water treatment projects and the infrastructure needed to protect human health.   

Examples of projects in Idaho utilizing previous State Revolving Funds include: 

  • City of New Meadows ($2,845,500) to replace the failing storage tank, install a new well pump and pump house, and construct a new booster pump station.  
  • Cabinet Mountain Water District ($5,000,000) for improvements to three new water storage reservoirs, two new booster pump stations, a new well facility and distribution system upgrades. 
  • City of Challis ($3,000,000) to drill a new well and construct a well house, booster station and transmission lines.  

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law presents the largest-ever funding opportunity for investing in water infrastructure. More than $50 billion is allocated to EPA toward repairing the nation’s essential water infrastructure, which helps communities access clean, safe and reliable drinking water, collect and treat wastewater to protect public health, clean up pollution and safeguard vital waterways.  

EPA Recognizes Rhode Island Wastewater Treatment Entities for Excellence

EPA Air - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (Jan. 26, 2023) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) New England Office recently awarded three 2022 Regional Wastewater Treatment Awards to Rhode Island wastewater facilities and individuals to recognize them for their commitment to improving water quality.

The EPA Regional Wastewater Awards Program recognizes personnel in the wastewater field who have provided invaluable public service managing and operating wastewater treatment facilities throughout New England.

"Every time we flush or wash ourselves, our kids, clothes, cars, dishes and dogs, we create wastewater," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David Cash. "All facilities that capture our wastewater and ensure it is safely treated for reuse and release are to be applauded, and I am proud to acknowledge and thank these entities and individuals for outstanding contributions to help protect public health and water quality for so many years."

2022 Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year Award

Edward Davies of Quonset Point

Mr. Davies, who is the Superintendent of the Quonset Development Corporation Wastewater Treatment Facility, was recognized for his outstanding work over the years operating and maintaining the facility. Mr. Davies was one of only three individuals across New England to receive this award. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) was instrumental in Davies' nomination.

The EPA Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year Award was established to recognize and honor the employees of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for their commitment to improving water quality with outstanding plant operations and maintenance. Wastewater operators and staff work diligently to protect public health and the environment, often with limited resources.

2022 Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award

East Greenwich Wastewater Treatment Facility

The East Greenwich Wastewater Treatment Facility, led by Superintendent Shawn T. O'Neill, was recognized for exceptional work in operating and maintaining the wastewater treatment plant during the past year. The facility was one of only two facilities across New England to receive this award. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) was instrumental in the facility's nomination.

The EPA Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award was established to recognize and honor the employees of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for their commitment to improving water quality with outstanding plant operations and maintenance. Especially with the smaller facilities, conscientious operators and staff continue to perform exceptionally with limited resources.

2022 Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year Award

Adam Federau of Westerly

Mr. Federau, who is the Project Manager of the Westerly Wastewater Treatment Facility, was recognized for his outstanding work at the treatment plant. Mr. Federau was one of only three individuals across New England to receive this award. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) was instrumental in Federau's nomination.

The EPA Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year Award was established to recognize and honor the employees of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for their commitment to improving water quality with outstanding plant operations and maintenance. Wastewater operators and staff work diligently to protect public health and the environment, often with limited resources.

City of Westminster to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency for local businesses through HVAC system upgrades

EPA Air - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 19:00

DENVER – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the City of Westminster, Colorado (City) as a recipient of $180,000 in EPA Source Reduction Assistance grant funding to implement pollution prevention practices. The City will use the funding to provide energy assessments and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system upgrades to owners of local commercial buildings, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving building energy performance.

“Climate change continues to be the challenge of our lifetime, and it takes work at the local, state, and national level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change,” said EPA Regional Administrator, KC Becker. “This grant will provide energy and cost savings to businesses in Westminster, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and the data collected from this project will provide valuable information for other organizations and government agencies considering energy efficiency projects. We commend the City of Westminster for working with local building owners to prevent pollution at the source and congratulate the City on this award.”

"The City of Westminster is excited to receive the EPA Region 8’s Source Reduction Assistance-Pollution Prevention Grant,” said Jody Andrews, Deputy City Manager for the City of Westminster. “Through these funds, the City is proud to launch a new program that will provide technical and financial assistance to large commercial property owners to adopt high-efficiency HVAC and energy systems and reduce their energy-use. This project will help Westminster businesses save money on new, efficient equipment and reduce their utility bills while supporting the City’s mission to foster economic resilience for our community.”

A ductless mini-split heat pump, one example of the types of energy efficient equipment anticipated to be installed through the City of Westminster’s project. (Photo Credit: Boulder County)

With the grant funds, the City will provide technical and financial analysis tools and corresponding assistance services to commercial building owners in Westminster. The project will exclusively focus services on approximately 115 large commercial buildings located in Westminster who, in accordance with the State of Colorado’s Building Performance Colorado (BPC) program, are required to report annual building energy use data through the EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.

Through the project, the City will:

  • Provide free information on energy performance improvement opportunities and technical assistance to all owners of commercial buildings 50,000 square feet or larger in size;
  • Provide customized reports showing cost-benefit analyses for energy efficiency equipment replacement scenarios to owners of the 50 lowest performing/least efficient large commercial buildings;
  • Provide partial rebates to building owners who install energy efficient equipment;
  • Host educational energy efficiency workforce development training sessions for HVAC contractors that service Westminster and the surrounding region; and
  • Create case studies that highlight the energy efficiency/HVAC upgrades completed by building owners through the project, and present information to regional and state partners and governments.

The City estimates the project will generate:

  • $25,000,000 total lifetime cost savings (average savings of $500,000/building)
  • 120,000,000 Kilowatt Hours (kWh) total lifetime energy unit savings (average savings of 2,400,000 kWh/building)
  • 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) total lifetime GHG emissions reduced (average emissions reduced of 2,000 MTCO2e/building)

EPA’s Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program supports research, experiments, surveys, demonstration projects, education and training related to source reduction approaches which is also known as “pollution prevention” or “P2.” Pollution prevention practices reduce the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant entering a waste stream or otherwise released into the environment prior to recycling of discarded material, treatment, or disposal. P2 reduces the hazards to public health and the environment associated with the release of those substances, pollutants, or contaminants.

For these grants, EPA prioritized funding for projects that are designed to achieve measurable reductions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, projects that result in reduced generation and use of hazardous materials, projects that address reducing use of natural resources such as energy or water, and projects that support environmental justice for underserved communities.


Learn more about P2 and the SRA and P2 grant programs.

Learn more about the City of Westminster’s Sustainability Program.

New Hampshire Wastewater Treatment Entities Recognized by EPA for Excellence in Service to their Communities

EPA Air - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON (Jan. 26, 2023)The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) New England Office recently awarded four 2022 Regional Wastewater Treatment Awards to New Hampshire wastewater facilities and individuals to recognize them for their commitment to improving water quality.

The EPA Regional Wastewater Awards Program recognizes personnel in the wastewater field who have provided invaluable public service managing and operating wastewater treatment facilities throughout New England.

"Every time we flush or wash ourselves, our kids, clothes, cars, dishes and dogs, we create wastewater," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David Cash. "All facilities that capture our wastewater and ensure it is safely treated for reuse and release are to be applauded, and I am proud to acknowledge and thank these entities and individuals for outstanding contributions to help protect public health and water quality for so many years."

2022 Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award

Sunapee Wastewater Treatment Facility

The Sunapee Wastewater Treatment Facility, led by Superintendent David Bailey, was recognized for exceptional work in maintaining and operating the wastewater treatment plant during the past year. The facility was one of only two facilities across New England to receive this award. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) was instrumental in the facility's nomination.

The EPA Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Excellence Award was established to recognize and honor the employees of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for their commitment to improving water quality with outstanding plant operations and maintenance. Especially with the smaller facilities, conscientious operators and staff continue to perform exceptionally with limited resources.

2022 Regional Industrial Pretreatment Program Excellence Award

City of Manchester Industrial Pretreatment Program

The City of Manchester's Pretreatment Program staff, led by Christopher Crowley, was honored for exceptional work inspecting, permitting, and sampling industrial users that discharge industrial waste into the collection system.

The EPA Regional Industrial Pretreatment Program Excellence Award was established to recognize and honor employees of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for their commitment to improving water quality through outstanding oversight of its industrial users discharging to the municipal sewer system.

2022 Regional Wastewater Trainer of the Year Award

Anthony Drouin of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES)

Mr. Drouin is a Supervisor of the Residual Management Section at NH DES. Over the past year, Anthony has trained wastewater operators all over New Hampshire on a variety of industry-specific topics, such as PFAS and biosolids sampling. NHDES was instrumental in Drouin's nomination.

2022 Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year Award

David Lovely of Portsmouth

Mr. Lovely, who is the Chief Operator of the Pease Wastewater Treatment Facility, was recognized for his outstanding work over the years. Mr. Lovely was one of only three individuals across New England to receive this award. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) was instrumental in Lovely's nomination.

The EPA Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator of the Year Award was established to recognize and honor the employees of publicly owned wastewater treatment plants for their commitment to improving water quality with outstanding plant operations and maintenance. Wastewater operators and staff work diligently to protect public health and the environment, often with limited resources.

EAN Holdings, Operator of Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Hilo, to Pay $132K to Resolve Claim of Drinking Water Violations

EPA Air - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 19:00

SAN FRANCISCO  – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a settlement with EAN Holdings, LLC, the operator of Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Truck in Hilo, Hawaii, to resolve a claim of violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Since February 2017, EAN has operated illegal, pollution-causing large capacity cesspools (LCC) serving its check-in site for car and truck rentals. Use of an LCC is a violation of federal regulations.

“Large capacity cesspools have been banned throughout Hawaii since 2005,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “EPA will continue to use our enforcement authority to close unlawful cesspools, as they pose a serious risk of contaminating Hawaii’s precious groundwater and coastal resources.”

EPA is authorized to issue compliance orders and/or assess penalties to violators of the Safe Drinking Water Act’s underground injection control regulations. EPA engaged with EAN in September 2021 to seek information on the method of wastewater disposal at the Hilo property and discovered that EAN was operating two illegal large capacity cesspools at the site. As a result, EAN agreed to pay a $132,402 penalty and properly close the unlawful LCCs by October 30, 2023.

Cesspools collect and release untreated raw sewage into the ground, where disease-causing pathogens and harmful chemicals can contaminate groundwater, streams, and the ocean.

Since the 2005 federal ban, more than 3,750 large capacity cesspools in Hawaii have been closed; however, hundreds remain in operation. Cesspools are used more widely in Hawaii than any other state and pose a unique challenge as groundwater provides 95 percent of all water supply for the islands.

To encourage regulated entities to voluntarily discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously close these pollution-causing systems, EPA provides penalty mitigation and other incentives for companies that proactively find and close LCCs on their property. Information on how to self-disclose potential large-capacity cesspool violations is available here. 

You can view the public notice of this settlement here.

Learn more about the federal ban and definition of a large-capacity cesspool.

Learn more about cesspools in Hawai’i.

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

PathStone Corporation to Receive $500,000 for Job Training in Puerto Rico

EPA Air - Wed, 01/25/2023 - 19:00

PUERTO RICO  - PathStone Corporation is one of among 29 organizations receiving $14.3 million across the country through EPA’s Brownfields Job Training Program to recruit, train and place workers for community revitalization and cleanup projects at brownfield sites. The organization will get a $500,000 grant for job training funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding triples the amount normally granted by EPA for Brownfields job training, ensuring stronger environmental benefits and more economic opportunities in overburdened and underserved areas.

EPA Region 2 Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia highlighted the work on a visit today in Juncos, Puerto Rico. Other participants included Manuel Cidre, Secretary Department of Economic Development and Commerce; Anais Vega Rodríguez, Secretary Department of Natural and Environmental Resources; Hon. Alfredo Alejandro Carrión, Mayor of Juncos, Brenda Soto Colón, Senior Vice President, PathStone, Mr. Alberto Grau, General Manager DANA Puerto Rico and Magaly Méndez from the office of the Housing and Urban Developement.

Figure 1 EPA and Puerto Rico government officials pose standing with representatives from PathStone under a white tent. Figure 2 EPA Regional Administrator Lisa Garcia visits a job training facility and stands with other tour participants listening to a representative talking about the facility.

“President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is supercharging EPA’s Brownfields Program, which is transforming blighted sites, protecting public health, and creating economic opportunities in more overburdened communities than ever before,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. “The investments announced will not only support the cleanup of some of our nation’s most polluted areas, but they will also equip a new generation of workers to take on the significant environmental challenges that plague overburdened neighborhoods, and jumpstart sustainable, long-term careers in the communities that need these jobs the most.”

“With this unprecedented amount of funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can provide people the tools and skills they need to find long-term employment,” said EPA Region 2 Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “This funding will provide under- and unemployed people in Puerto Rico critical training so they can reimagine and revitalize their neighborhoods and bring environmental justice to their communities, which have been so often overlooked.”

PathStone Corporation, a Rochester, New York-based organization, will use the funding to train up to 120 students in Puerto Rico and place at least 80 in environmental jobs. The program will target students from the rural municipalities of Caguas, Guaynabo, Humacao, Juncos, and Las Piedras and the City of San Juan. The training program includes 334 hours of instruction in 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training, Pesticide Safety Worker Protection Standard, AED and CPR Training, among many others. Students who complete the training will earn up to nine state and one federal certification. This is PathStone Corporation’s fifth grant under the EPA Brownfields Job Program, totaling over $1.2 million in funding.

"The mission of building family and self-sufficiency can only be achieved by empowering individuals to make a change in their lives,” said Brenda Lee Soto Colón, senior vice president of Direct Services at PathStone Corporation. “Having the opportunity to continue our partnership with EPA in order to provide training and employment opportunities in the environmental industry is key to the change we want to see in the lives of those we serve. Our goal is to assist participants with improving their education and employability skills. We are appreciative of this new opportunity." 

President Biden’s leadership and bipartisan Congressional action have delivered the single-largest investment in U.S. brownfields infrastructure ever through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which invests more than $1.5 billion over five years through EPA’s highly successful Brownfields Program. This historic investment enables EPA to fund more communities, states, and Tribes, and provides the opportunity for grantees to build and enhance the environmental curriculum in job training programs that support job creation and community revitalization.

The Brownfields Job Training Program also advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to disadvantaged communities. Based on data from the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool, approximately 97 percent of the communities selected to receive funding as part of today’s announcement have proposed projects in historically underserved areas.

Individuals completing a job training program funded by the EPA often overcome a variety of barriers to employment. Many trainees are from historically underserved neighborhoods or reside in areas that are overburdened by pollution.

Graduates of Brownfields Job Training programs learn valuable, sought-after skills and have the opportunity to earn a variety of certifications, ensuring employment opportunities result not just in temporary contractual work, but in long-term environmental careers. This includes certifications in:

  • Lead and asbestos abatement,
  • Hazardous waste operations and emergency response,
  • Mold remediation,
  • Environmental sampling and analysis, and
  • Other environmental health and safety training

Background:

Brownfields Job Training (JT) grants allow nonprofits, local governments, and other organizations to recruit, train, and place unemployed and under-employed residents of areas affected by the presence of brownfield sites. Through the JT Program, graduates develop the skills needed to secure full-time, sustainable employment in various aspects of hazardous and solid waste management and within the larger environmental field, including sustainable cleanup and reuse, and chemical safety. These green jobs reduce environmental contamination and build more sustainable futures for communities.

Since 1998, the EPA has awarded 371 Brownfields Job Training grants. With these grants, more than 20,341 individuals have completed trainings and over 15,168 individuals have been placed in careers related to land remediation and environmental health and safety.

For more information on the selected Brownfields Job Training grant recipients, including past grant recipients, please visit the Brownfields Grant Fact Sheet Search

For more information on this, and other types of Brownfields Program grants, please visit the Brownfields Job Training Grants webpage.

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.

23-006

PathStone Corporation recibirá $500,000 para capacitación laboral en Puerto Rico

EPA Air - Wed, 01/25/2023 - 19:00

PUERTO RICO - PathStone Corporation es una de las 29 organizaciones que recibirán $14.3 millones en todos los Estados Unidos a través del Programa de Capacitación Laboral sobre terrenos abandonados o contaminados (“Brownfields”) de la EPA para reclutar, capacitar e integrar a trabajadores para proyectos de revitalización y limpieza. La organización recibirá una subvención de $500,000 para capacitación laboral financiada a través de la Ley de Infraestructura Bipartidista del presidente Biden. Este financiamiento triplica la cantidad normalmente otorgada por la EPA para la capacitación laboral sobre terrenos “brownfields”, garantizando beneficios ambientales más fuertes y más oportunidades económicas en áreas impactadas y desatendidas.

La Administradora Regional de la Región 2 de la EPA, Lisa F. García, realzo el trabajo en una visita realizada hoy en Juncos, Puerto Rico. Otros participantes hoy fueron Manuel Cidre, Secretario del Departamento de Desarrollo Económico y Comercio de Puerto Rico; Anais Rodríguez Vega, Secretaria Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales; Honorable Alfredo Alejandro Carrión, Alcalde de Juncos, Brenda Soto Colón, Vicepresidenta, PathStone, Sr. Alberto Grau, Gerente General DANA Puerto Rico y Magaly Méndez de la oficina del Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano.

Ilustración 1 Funcionarios de la EPA y del gobierno de Puerto Rico posan de pie con representantes de PathStone bajo una carpa blanca. Ilustración 2 La administradora regional de la EPA, Lisa García, visita un centro de capacitación laboral y se para con otros participantes del recorrido escuchando a un representante hablar sobre el centro.

"La Ley de Infraestructura Bipartidista del presidente Biden está apoyando significativamente al Programa de “Brownfields” de la EPA, que está transformando terrenos deteriorados, protegiendo la salud pública y creando oportunidades económicas en comunidades,” dijo la subadministradora de la EPA, Janet McCabe.  "Las inversiones anunciadas no solo apoyarán la limpieza de algunas de las áreas más contaminadas en los Estados Unidos, sino que también equiparán a una nueva generación de trabajadores para enfrentar los importantes desafíos ambientales que afectan las comunidades desventajadas e impulsar carreras sostenibles a largo plazo en las áreas donde más se necesitan estos trabajos.”

"Con esta cantidad sin precedentes de fondos a través de la Ley de Infraestructura Bipartidista, podemos proporcionar a las personas las herramientas y habilidades que necesitan para encontrar empleo a largo plazo", dijo la Administradora Regional de la Región 2 de la EPA, Lisa F. García.  "Estos fondos proporcionarán a las personas subempleadas y desempleadas en Puerto Rico capacitación crítica para que puedan reimaginar y revitalizar sus vecindarios y llevar justicia ambiental a sus comunidades, que tan a menudo se han pasado por alto."

PathStone Corporation, una organización con sede en Rochester, Nueva York, utilizará los fondos para capacitar hasta 120 estudiantes en Puerto Rico y establecer al menos 80 en empleos ambientales. El programa estará dirigido a estudiantes de los municipios rurales de Caguas, Guaynabo, Humacao, Juncos y Las Piedras y la ciudad de San Juan. El programa de capacitación incluye 334 horas de instrucción en 40 horas de capacitación en Operaciones de Desechos Peligrosos y Respuesta a Emergencias (HAZWOPER), Estándar de Protección de Trabajadores de Seguridad de Pesticidas, DEA y Capacitación en RCP, entre muchos otros. Los estudiantes que completen la capacitación obtendrán hasta nueve certificaciones estatales y una federal. Esta es la quinta subvención de PathStone Corporation bajo el Programa de Trabajo de terrenos “Brownfields” de la EPA, por un total de más de $ 1,2 millones en fondos.

"La misión de construir familia y autosuficiencia solo se puede lograr empoderando a las personas para que hagan un cambio en sus vidas", dijo Brenda Lee Soto Colón, vicepresidenta senior de Servicios Directos de PathStone Corporation.  "Tener la oportunidad de continuar nuestra asociación con la EPA para proporcionar oportunidades de capacitación y empleo en la industria ambiental es clave para el cambio que queremos ver en las vidas de aquellos a quienes servimos. Nuestro objetivo es ayudar a los participantes a mejorar sus habilidades educativas y de empleabilidad. Estamos agradecidos por esta nueva oportunidad".

El liderazgo del presidente Biden y la acción bipartidista del Congreso han generado la mayor inversión en infraestructura de terrenos "Brownfields” de los Estados Unidos a través de la Ley de Infraestructura Bipartidista, que invierte más de $1,500 millones en cinco años a través del exitoso Programa de terrenos "Brownfields” de la EPA. Esta inversión histórica permite a la EPA financiar más comunidades, estados y tribus, y brinda la oportunidad a los concesionarios de construir y mejorar el currículo ambiental en programas de capacitación laboral que apoyan la creación de empleos y la revitalización de la comunidad.

El Programa de Capacitación Laboral sobre terrenos "Brownfields” también promueve la Iniciativa Justice40 del presidente Biden, que tiene como objetivo otorgar al menos el 40 por ciento de los beneficios de ciertos programas gubernamentales a las comunidades menos favorecidas. Con base en los datos de la Herramienta de Evaluación de Justicia Climática y Económica, aproximadamente el 97 por ciento de las comunidades seleccionadas para recibir fondos como parte del anuncio de hoy han propuesto proyectos en áreas históricamente desatendidas.

Las personas que completan un programa de capacitación laboral financiado por la EPA a menudo superan una variedad de barreras para el empleo. Muchos aprendices provienen de vecindarios históricamente desatendidos o residen en áreas sobrecargadas por la contaminación.

Los graduados de los programas de capacitación laboral sobre terrenos baldíos aprenden habilidades valiosas y buscadas y tienen la oportunidad de obtener una variedad de certificaciones, asegurando que las oportunidades de empleo resulten no solo en trabajo contractual temporal, sino en carreras ambientales a largo plazo. Esto incluye certificaciones en:

  • Reducción del plomo y del amianto,
  • Operaciones de residuos peligrosos y respuesta a emergencias,
  • Remediación de moho,
  • Muestreo y análisis ambiental, y
  • Otra formación en materia de salud y seguridad ambiental

Antecedentes:

Las subvenciones del Programa de Capacitación Laboral en terrenos "Brownfields” permiten a las organizaciones sin fines de lucro, gobiernos locales y otras organizaciones reclutar, capacitar y colocar a residentes desempleados y subempleados de áreas afectadas por la presencia de terrenos abandonados. A través del Programa de Capacitación Laboral, los graduados desarrollan las habilidades necesarias para asegurar un empleo sostenible a tiempo completo en diversos aspectos de la gestión de residuos peligrosos y sólidos y dentro del campo ambiental más amplio, incluida la limpieza y reutilización sostenibles y la seguridad química. Estos empleos verdes reducen la contaminación ambiental y construyen futuros más sostenibles para las comunidades.

Desde 1998, la EPA ha otorgado 371 subvenciones de capacitación laboral sobre terrenos "Brownfields”. Con estas subvenciones, más de 20,341 personas han terminado capacitaciones y más de 15,168 personas han sido asignadas en carreras relacionadas con la remediación de tierras y la salud y seguridad ambiental.

Para obtener más información sobre los beneficiarios seleccionados de la subvención de capacitación laboral sobre terrenos "Brownfields”, incluidos los beneficiarios de subvenciones anteriores, visite la Búsqueda de la hoja informativa de subvenciones sobre terrenos baldíos

Para obtener más información sobre esta y otros tipos de subvenciones del Programa de terrenos baldíos, visite la página web de Subvenciones de capacitación laboral sobre terrenos baldíos.

23-006-SP

La EPA alienta a los residentes de las regiones de las Montañas Rocosas y las Grandes Llanuras a “probar su hogar” y reducir los niveles de radón en el hogar

EPA Air - Wed, 01/25/2023 - 19:00

DENVER - Enero es el Mes Nacional de Acción contra el Radón y la Agencia de Protección Ambiental de Estados Unidos (EPA, por sus siglas en inglés) está trabajando con nuestros socios para correr la voz sobre los riesgos para la salud que presenta el radón en los hogares, la importancia de las pruebas y las medidas que los propietarios pueden tomar para reducir el riesgo en los estados de las Montañas Rocosas y las Grandes Llanuras de Colorado, Montana, Dakota del Norte, Dakota del Sur, Utah y Wyoming.

El radón es un carcinógeno conocido y se estima que causa más de 20,000 muertes por cáncer de pulmón cada año en los EE. UU. De hecho, el gas incoloro e inodoro es la principal causa de cáncer de pulmón en los no fumadores. La buena noticia es que los riesgos e impactos en la salud se pueden prevenir: es fácil probar y reducir los niveles de radón en su hogar, y salvar vidas.  

El llamado a la acción de este año: “¡Probar su hogar!”  - es especialmente importante para los residentes de nuestra región, ya que hay grandes porciones de estos estados que están en riesgo de altos niveles de radón en interiores, los cuales pueden causar cáncer de pulmón. La mejor manera de protegerse contra el radón es realizar una prueba simple y de bajo costo en su hogar. La EPA recomienda que los propietarios tomen medidas para reducir los niveles de radón cuando excedan el nivel de acción de 4.0 picocurios por litro (o 4pCi/L).

Mapa de las zonas de radón en los Estados Unidos

“Comprender los niveles de radón en su hogar es uno de los pasos más importantes que puede tomar para protegerlo a usted y a su familia”, explicó el administrador regional de la EPA, KC Becker. “Aconsejo tomarse el tiempo de probar su hogar este invierno, para poder estar seguro de que el tiempo de calidad que pasa al interior con amigos y seres queridos no solo sea cómodo, sino seguro”.

¿Quieres saber más detalles? ¡La información y los recursos a continuación pueden ayudar!

Lo que puede hacer

  • Conocer lo básico – Visite el sitio web de radón de la EPA para ver una amplia gama de información, incluso publicaciones gratuitas sobre el radón.
  • Probar su hogar– La EPA y el Cirujano General de los EE. UU. recomiendan que todos los hogares estadounidenses sean sometidos a pruebas de radón. Conozca más detalles sobre probar su hogar, incluyendo cómo obtener un kit de prueba fácil de usar.
  • Reparar su hogar si es necesario – Si los resultados de sus pruebas son elevados, la EPA recomienda contratar a un especialista certificado en mitigación de radón para instalar un sistema de mitigación que evite que el radón ingrese a su hogar. Lea acerca de las maneras de reducir el radón en su hogar en la “Guía de reducción del radón para el consumidor.”
  • Correr la voz – Consulte Recursos de redes sociales aquí y comparta infografías en las redes sociales y en su comunidad para ayudar a correr la voz sobre la importancia de las pruebas de radón. Informe a su familia y amigos sobre el riesgo para la salud del radón.
  • ¿Está construyendo una casa nueva? Hágala resistente al radón. Lea más sobre las construcciones nuevas resistentes al radón, "Building Radon Out: A Step-by-Step Guide to Build Radon-Resistant Homes [Construir para eliminar el radón: Una guía paso a paso para construir hogares resistentes al radón].”

INFORMACIÓN ESTADO POR ESTADO para la Región 8 de la EPA

Datos rápidos sobre el radón en COLORADO

  • La mitad de todos los hogares en Colorado tienen altos niveles de radón.
  • Vivir en una casa con el nivel promedio de radón de Colorado (6.4pCi/L) es como someterse a 200 radiografías del tórax cada año.
  • Aproximadamente 500 personas en Colorado mueren cada año de cáncer de pulmón causado por la exposición al radón. 
  • Colorado tiene un programa de asistencia para la mitigación del radón para familias de bajos ingresos (LIRMA, por sus siglas en inglés) que puede pagar la mitigación del radón si se cumplen los requisitos de elegibilidad: www.coloradoradon.info

Expertos en radón de COLORADO

  • Chrystine Kelley: Gerente del Programa de Radón, Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado, (303) 692-3442, chrys.kelley@state.co.us  
  • Patty Dooley-Strappelli: Salud Pública del Condado de Boulder,  www.radonawarecolorado.org, (303) 441-1560, pdooley-strappelli@bouldercounty.org 
  • Heidi Nafman Onda: Sobreviviente de cáncer de pulmón inducido por radón, defensora de la concienciación acerca del radón, (303) 594-4787, nafonda@comcast.net 
  • Sally A. Madden: Sobreviviente de cáncer de pulmón inducido por radón, defensora de la concienciación acerca del radón, (303) 807-6438, smadden@wlgore.com  

Datos rápidos sobre el radón en MONTANA

  • Casi la mitad de todos los hogares en Montana tienen altos niveles de radón. 

Expertos en radón de MONTANA

  • Michael L. Gustafson: Defensor de Pequeñas Empresas de Montana, Coordinador de Radón, Departamento de Calidad Ambiental de Montana, (406) 444-6592, Michael.Gustafson@mt.gov 
  • Paul Tschida: Profesional de Recursos Energéticos, Departamento de Calidad Ambiental de Montana, (406) 444-6464, ptschida@mt.gov   

Datos rápidos sobre el radón en DAKOTA DEL NORTE

  • La EPA enumera todos los condados de Dakota del Norte como Zona 1, el mayor potencial de niveles elevados de radón. 
  • 63 por ciento de los hogares en Dakota del Norte tienen un radón elevado por encima del nivel de acción de la EPA de 4.0 picocurios por litro (pCi/L). 

Expertos en radón de DAKOTA DEL NORTE

  • Justin Otto: Gerente del Programa de Radón, Departamento de Calidad Ambiental de Dakota del Norte, (701) 328-5246, jotto@nd.gov  
  • Gary G Schwartz: Profesor, Facultad de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud de la Universidad de Dakota del Norte, (701) 777-6598, gary.schwartz@und.edu    

Datos rápidos sobre el radón en DAKOTA DEL SUR

  • Vivir en una casa con el nivel promedio de radón de Dakota del Sur (9.6 pCi/L) es como someterse a 300 radiografías de tórax cada año.

Expertos en radón de DAKOTA DEL SUR

  • Duncan Jakubowski: Coordinador de Radón, Departamento de Agricultura y Recursos Naturales de Dakota del Sur, Duncan.Jakubowski@state.sd.us  

Datos rápidos sobre el radón en UTAH

  • 1 de cada 3 hogares probados en Utah tienen niveles elevados de radón. 
  • Utah tiene la tasa más baja de tabaquismo en la nación, pero el cáncer de pulmón es la principal causa de muerte por cáncer en el estado. 

Expertos en radón de UTAH

Datos rápidos sobre el radón en WYOMING

  • El nivel promedio de radón en Wyoming es de 5.1 pCi/L, que es más alto que el nivel de acción de la EPA de 4 pCi/L. 
  • De los 99 municipios de Wyoming, 18 han adoptado medidas de control de radón en su código de construcción. 
  • En promedio, 1,397 hogares de Wyoming son sometidos a prueba cada año para detectar radón y 118 hogares son mitigados cada año. 
  • Los kits de prueba de radón están disponibles de forma gratuita hasta agotar existencias para los residentes de Wyoming en health.wyo.gov/radon.

Expertos en radón de WYOMING

  • Randi Norton-Herrington: Coordinador de Difusión y Redes Sociales, Programa de Cáncer de Wyoming, Departamento de Salud; (307) 777-6015; randi.norton@wyo.gov 

EPA and DOJ Extend Comment Period for Proposed Lower Passaic River Cleanup Agreement in New Jersey

EPA Air - Wed, 01/25/2023 - 19:00

NEW YORK - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have extended the public comment period on a proposed consent decree to March 22, 2023. The agreement involves 85 potentially responsible parties who will be required to pay a total of $150 million to support the cleanup and resolve their liability for discharging hazardous substances into the Lower Passaic River, which is part of the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site in Newark, New Jersey.

EPA and DOJ alleged that these 85 parties are responsible for releases of hazardous substances into the Lower Passaic River, contaminating the 17-mile tidal stretch, including the lower 8.3 miles. The proposed consent decree seeks to hold the parties accountable for their share of the total cost of cleaning up this stretch of the river.

On behalf of EPA, DOJ lodged the consent decree with the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. If and when the settlement becomes final, EPA expects to use the settlement funds to support ongoing efforts to clean up the site, specifically the lower 8.3 miles and the upper 9 miles which make up the entire 17-mile Lower Passaic River Study Area. In addition to the proposed consent decree, EPA has reached several related agreements, including one whereby many parties investigated the 17-mile Lower Passaic River, another whereby Occidental Chemical Corporation, a potentially responsible party, is designing the cleanup chosen for the lower 8.3 miles, and several cost recovery agreements that resulted in payments to EPA of millions of dollars.

This consent decree is subject to a 90-day public comment period that began in December 2022 and ends on March 22, 2023 and is available for public review on the Justice Department website. The original comment period was scheduled to close on February 5, 2023.

After the close of the comment period, DOJ and EPA will evaluate any comments received and prepare a response to the comments. If the government still considers the settlement appropriate, it will seek approval of the consent decree by the court.

For additional information and site background, visit Diamond Alkali Superfund Profile Page.

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter and visit our Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website.

23-005

EPA Region 6 Releases 2022 Year in Review

EPA Air - Wed, 01/25/2023 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS – (January 25, 2023) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 released the 2022 Year in Review outlining major accomplishments and environmental progress over the past fiscal year.

“The first year of my tenure is complete and I am proud that EPA Region 6 continues to show accomplishments in regulatory action to protect communities and public health,” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “Our accomplishments range from increasing our presence in the most impacted communities to developing a new air monitoring system for inspections to issuing Region 6’s first ever RCRA 3008 consent agreement for the Denka facility. I am honored to serve alongside the dedicated staff of Region 6 as we continue the hard work of delivering better protection and improved outcomes for residents in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.”

2022 EPA accomplishments include:

  • Dr. Nance traveled extensively in the Region, visiting communities, cleanup sites, and important infrastructure. She met with communities 29 times in FY2022, in-person and virtually, to establish trust and identify next steps.
     
  • Region 6 is following up on the Administrator’s tour, taking on each site in turn, knowing it can take years to resolve each one. You can read about these actions on the Journey to Justice website, but we’d like to highlight two of them in this report.
     
  • In St. John the Baptist Parish, we used our authority to require the Denka Performance Elastomers facility to install fenceline monitors to identify sources of emissions onsite, allowing the EPA and communities to better understand air pollutants in a quick, reliable way. Data is posted regularly to our St. John the Baptist Parish website. We also issued a RCRA 3008 Consent Agreement requiring the Denka facility to improve its handling and disposal of chloroprene, the first ever such order in Region 6.
     
  • At the Union Pacific Railroad Houston Wood Preserving Works site in Houston’s Fifth Ward, we met regularly with the city, the state, non-profit organizations, and community groups to develop a feasible solution for the site. For the first time, we have been at the table with these stakeholders making decisions about sampling and next steps.
     
  • Region 6 managed more than $546 million in funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the American Rescue Plan. In addition to grants to other states, Region 6 distributed more than $105 million in BIL funding to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, Oklahoma Water Resources Board for water infrastructure improvements.
     
  • In Region 6, 47 school districts were selected to receive more than $130 million in BIL rebate funds to purchase approximately 350 electric and low-emission school busses in the Clean School Bus program’s first round of funding.
     
  • Region 6 received Clean School Bus applications from more than 240 school districts. Ninety percent of these applications and all of the selectees came from priority school districts comprised of high-need, rural and tribal school districts.
     
  • Region 6 also embedded environmental justice and/or climate change principles into our decision-making on the Colfax, SPOT, Matagorda, and Corpus Christi projects.
     
  • To help identify EJ impact areas, we created a regional map that revealed more than 11,000 EJ census blocks in R6, which is 44% all Region 6 census blocks. This map is being used to orient staff to the geographic extent of environmental justice problems in Region 6, and as an overlay for further analysis of impacts on EJ communities.
     
  • To improve our relationships with states, Dr. Nance participated in 28 meetings with Region 6 state officials, including monthly one-on-one meetings with the five state environmental heads, three Environmental Council of the States events, delivery of keynote addresses at events attended by state officials, press events with state officials, and collaborations with other agencies on project delivery.
     
  • We also strengthened relationships across the board by hosting a successful National Brownfields Conference in Oklahoma City, and providing access to grants that help maximize economic, environmental and social performance to more than 2,000 attendees from across the country. We added a first-ever environmental justice caucus for community leaders to provide feedback and insights to EPA staff and managers as well as the first all-tribe meet and greet.
     
  • Region 6 strengthened relationships with tribes by participating in multiple formal SAFETEA sessions, National Tribal Operations Committee and Regional Tribal Operations Committee sessions, and formal consultations with tribes. Dr. Nance visited several tribes in person and toured their lands. Region 6 staff participated in many other meetings with tribes.
     
  • EPA is in the process of updating the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) under the Clean Air Act to reflect our increased understanding of risk from ethylene oxide (EtO) and technologies available to reduce this risk. We reached out to affected communities in Region 6 with four public meetings to explain EtO risk to residents in Ardmore, Oklahoma; Athens, Texas; Laredo, Texas; and Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Dr. Nance attended the Laredo meeting to hear community concerns first-hand. Region 6 feedback prompted the Agency to revise the format of the meetings and improve the way ethylene oxide risk was communicated in these public meetings nationwide.
     
  • Region 6 influenced EPA’s national Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage policy. We developed an innovative safe siting methodology for CCUS and a "whole of government" plan to evaluate CCUS impacts on communities. We worked with EPA’s Region 9 and the Department of Energy to deliver virtual CCUS sessions with community groups.
     
  • Region 6 developed a new model for air monitoring called the Pollution Accountability Team, or PAT. The PAT model involves mobile monitoring vehicles traveling in the vicinity of selected facilities, a monitoring airplane flying over the facilities, and certified inspectors with handheld instruments entering the facilities as needed to take verifiable readings.
     
  • In our field tests, the path of the mobile monitoring vehicle was determined in collaboration with local community experts. The resulting data was posted on our website and discussed with the community. In many cases, the data have triggered formal enforcement actions, such as the Notice of Potential Violation and Opportunity to Confer letter to Sasol Chemicals USA, LLC – a facility that uses natural gas and by-products from refinery operations to produce specialty chemicals. The PAT model is now ready for future enforcement at other sites and in other regions.

To read the full report, please visit our webpage.

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

Syndicate content