Feed aggregator

EPA Announces $170 Million WIFIA Loan to Help Limit Water Shortages in San Diego County, California

EPA Air - Thu, 03/23/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $170 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to Poseidon Resources in San Diego County, California, to support its Carlsbad Desalination Plant Intake Modification and Wetlands Project, which will help provide sustainable access to drinking water and protect local coastal wetlands.

“Diversifying and stretching precious water supplies is essential in the water scarce West,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “Our WIFIA loan to Poseidon Resources in San Diego County will be used for both upgrading the drinking water desalination plant to help address water shortages, stretch precious water supplies, and protect critical marine habitats in the San Diego Bay.”

The Carlsbad Desalination Plant provides approximately 10% of the San Diego County region’s water supply. The plant was opened in 2015 as a public-private partnership with Poseidon Resources and the San Diego County Water Authority and currently requires significant upgrades to add a new intake facility to comply with the State of California’s oceanwater intake regulations and ensure the plant’s continued operation.

The $170 million WIFIA loan will also support the restoration of approximately 125 acres of coastal wetlands on the San Diego Bay to provide habitat for native plants and wildlife, including endangered species, migratory seabirds, and shorebirds.

“Poseidon Resources is excited about its partnership with the EPA as we embark on a modernization of the intake system at the Carlsbad Desalination Plant and creation of 125 acres of coastal wetlands,” said President of Poseidon Resources Sachin Chawla. “We appreciate the EPA’s financial support through a low-cost WIFIA loan.”

Poseidon Resources’ financing package is composed of $160 million in tax-exempt Private Activity Bonds from the State of California and $170 million in WIFIA’s low-cost credit support, and it’s saving San Diego County Water Authority and local ratepayers significantly compared to alternative financing approaches — with WIFIA financing alone saving ratepayers $54 million.


Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. The WIFIA program’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects.

The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs. With this WIFIA loan closing, EPA has announced 101 WIFIA loans that are providing $17 billion in credit assistance to help finance $37 billion for water infrastructure while creating 125,000 jobs and saving ratepayers over $5 billion.

EPA is currently accepting letters of interest for WIFIA and SWIFIA loans. In June, EPA announced the availability of $5.5 billion under the 2022 WIFIA Notice of Funding Availability and an additional $1 billion under the State Infrastructure Financing Authority WIFIA (SWIFIA) program. Together, this newly available funding will support more than $13 billion in water infrastructure projects while creating more than 40,000 jobs. Learn more about submitting a letter of interest for a WIFIA or SWIFIA loan.

EPA Announces Virtual Listening Session on PFAS Strategic Roadmap for Pacific Southwest

EPA Air - Thu, 03/23/2023 - 19:00

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an upcoming virtual listening session on EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap for communities in the Pacific Southwest region of our country, including the U.S. Pacific Island territories, on April 13, 2023, and is inviting members of the public to participate. This engagement session will provide information about EPA’s ongoing work under the PFAS Strategic Roadmap and what it means for communities in the Pacific Southwest. The session will also provide opportunities for communities to share feedback directly with EPA regional and program leaders to inform the actions described in the roadmap. In November 2022, EPA announced that it would hold a series of virtual regional community engagement sessions across the U.S.

EPA’s virtual regional community engagement session for the Pacific Southwest will be held via Zoom on April 13, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. PT. The public can register to participate in the community engagement session at: https://pfascommunityengagement.org/register/region9/

“The goal of this session is for us at EPA to share information about the latest actions EPA is taking to reduce PFAS exposure and contamination,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “We want to hear from communities in the Pacific Southwest about their specific concerns and challenges in addressing PFAS contamination and how we can work together to overcome them.”


In October 2021, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan announced the Agency’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap—laying out a whole-of-agency approach to addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, which are a category of manufactured chemicals that can cause serious health problems, including cancer, if people are exposed to them over a long period of time. The Roadmap sets timelines by which EPA plans to take specific actions and commits to bolder new policies to safeguard public health, protect the environment, and hold polluters accountable. The actions described in the PFAS Roadmap each represent important and meaningful steps to safeguard communities from PFAS contamination. Cumulatively, these actions will build upon one another and lead to more enduring and protective solutions.

In November 2022, EPA released “A Year of Progress Under EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap,” which underscores key actions taken by the agency during the first year of implementing the PFAS Roadmap. EPA continues to implement a whole-of-agency approach, advancing science, and following the law to safeguard public health, protect the environment, and hold polluters accountable. Concurrently with this one-year progress report, EPA announced that it will hold virtual community engagement events in each EPA region in 2023, which EPA’s Pacific Southwest region is announcing today.

These engagements align with recommendations from the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and EPA’s Roadmap commitment to engage directly with stakeholders. Recognizing the unique and pervasive impacts of PFAS on Tribal communities, EPA is also planning to hold a session specifically designed to hear from our Tribal partners.

More information on EPA’s efforts on PFAS is available at: www.epa.gov/pfas.

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

Statement by EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan on World Water Day

EPA Air - Wed, 03/22/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — In celebration of World Water Day, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan issued the following statement:

“This World Water Day, I encourage everyone to take a moment to consider how truly fundamental clean water is to the health of our communities and our environment. Clean water is vital for all life on earth. It supports healthy people, thriving communities and productive agriculture.

Today, in celebration of World Water Day, EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox is joining a U.S. delegation to the United Nations Water Conference — the first such conference in 50 years. Assistant Administrator Fox will highlight EPA’s role in accelerating progress toward United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 — ensuring access to water and sanitation for all.

All across this country, millions of Americans lack access to clean water, and this is simply unacceptable. But, thanks to President Biden’s leadership, we are making the single-largest investment in water infrastructure in the history of our country. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides EPA with more than $50 billion to revitalize our country’s drinking, wastewater, and stormwater systems.

At EPA we work every single day to ensure that all people — regardless of the color of their skin, the community they live in or the money in their pocket — have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and the opportunity to lead a healthy life.

Through projects like closing rural America’s wastewater access gap, accelerating lead service line replacements, securing a sustainable water future for Tribes, and advancing climate adaptation, we are ensuring that communities across this country — particularly those that have been overburdened and underserved — have the critical resources they need to address their most pervasive and longstanding water challenges.”

Learn more about our technical assistance for communities.

United States and Commonwealth of Massachusetts Announce Settlement with City of Holyoke to Reduce Sewage in Connecticut River

EPA Air - Wed, 03/22/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – EPA, The Justice Department, and The Commonwealth of Massachusetts have entered into a consent decree with the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts, to resolve the Clean Water Act and Massachusetts state law. The proposed consent decree calls for Holyoke to take further remedial action to reduce ongoing sewage discharges into the Connecticut River from the city’s sewer collection and stormwater systems.

As detailed in the consent decree, Holyoke discharges pollutants from combined sewer overflow (CSO) into the Connecticut River in violation of its federal and state wastewater discharge permits. A combined sewer system collects rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater into one pipe. Under normal conditions, it transports all of the wastewater to a sewage treatment plant for treatment, before discharging to a waterbody. However, during periods of heavy rain the wastewater volume can exceed the carrying capacity of the sewer system or the treatment facility, resulting in the discharge of untreated wastewater to the Connecticut River. CSO discharges contain raw sewage and are a major water pollution concern.

In full cooperation with federal and state environmental agencies, the city has taken steps in recent years to address these unlawful discharges, including finalizing a long-term overflow control plan, separating sewers and eliminating overflows in the Jackson Street area. The consent decree will require the city to undertake further sewer separation work that will eliminate or reduce additional CSO discharges, as well as requiring a $50,000 penalty for past permit violations resulting in illegal discharges to the Connecticut River.

The city will also conduct sampling of its storm sewer discharges, work to remove illicit connections, and take other actions to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff. The total cost to comply with the proposed consent decree is estimated at approximately $27 million.

“Under the terms of today’s settlement, the City of Holyoke will take additional steps to reduce the amount of untreated sewage discharged during heavy rain events,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The result of this work will be cleaner, safer water for communities that make use of the Connecticut River.”

“Today’s settlement will significantly reduce pollution in the Connecticut River and improve water quality for the Holyoke community,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The Justice Department will continue pursuing environmental justice in communities burdened by pollution in rivers and streams to support the health and safety of all communities.”

“This settlement is good news for Holyoke citizens, and for the health and enjoyment of the Connecticut River and downstream communities. As Holyoke includes historically disadvantaged communities, this settlement is especially important for ensuring that all citizens can enjoy a clean and healthy environment,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. “EPA is committed to continuing to work with the city to ensure that residents who live along the Connecticut River have clean and safe water. The timing of this is fortunate, as funding assistance available in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law may help defray costs borne by local ratepayers.”

“Fiercely protecting our environment is a civil and human rights issue and ensuring that every community has clean water is a vital part of that work. This consent decree better protects the residents of Holyoke and every single community that lives along and enjoys the Connecticut River,” said U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins for the District of Massachusetts. “We will continue to require with the full force of the federal government that every community is healthy and safe.”

“We are grateful to have worked with our federal partners on this settlement that will improve the water quality of the Connecticut River, and thus the overall health of Holyoke and its residents,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell. “My office is committed to fighting environmental injustices like this as part of our ongoing efforts to create healthier, safer communities across the Commonwealth.”

“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is pleased to enter this settlement agreement with the City of Holyoke to further the city’s work toward the elimination of contaminated discharges to the Connecticut River,” said Commissioner Bonnie Heiple of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. “CSO discharges are a legacy problem of early infrastructure that can be expensive to redesign and upgrade. Properly addressing those discharges will improve the health of the river’s ecosystem and the better protect those who use and recreate in the river.”

This settlement is part of EPA’s continuing efforts to keep raw sewage and contaminated stormwater out of our nation’s waters. Raw sewage overflows and inadequately controlled stormwater discharges from municipal sewer systems introduce a variety of harmful pollutants, including disease causing organisms, metals and nutrients that threaten our communities’ water quality and can contribute to disease outbreaks, beach and shellfish bed closings, flooding, stream scouring, fishing advisories and basement backups of sewage.

The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. Once it is published in the Federal Register, a copy of the consent decree will be available on the Justice Department website.

EPA Announces Clean Air Act Violations for Permian Basin Company

EPA Air - Wed, 03/22/2023 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS (March 22nd, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a Consent Agreement and Final Order to Chisholm Energy Operating, LLC for emissions from storage tanks that the EPA identified using a helicopter equipped with a special infrared camera that detects hydrocarbon leaks, and for construction of facilities prior to permit approval. Chisholm performed corrective actions at eight of the company’s oil and gas facilities in the Permian Basin in New Mexico, resulting in an estimated reduction of 1715 tons of volatile organic compounds emissions. Volatile organic compounds emissions, or VOCs, contribute to the formation of ozone, or smog, which can result in health problems such as asthma, lung infections, bronchitis, and cancer. The settlement also achieved climate change co-benefits through the reduction of 6,168 tons of methane emissions. Methane is a potent climate pollutant that also impacts human health.

“By using advanced technology, the EPA, working in partnership with the NMED, was able to detect Clean Air Act violations and ensure that the company took prompt action to address unauthorized emissions.” said Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “The CAA is designed to protect and enhance the quality of our nation’s air; companies (or facilities) must continue to uphold that standard or expect to be held accountable when failing to safeguard public health.”

The settlement addresses violations of air regulations that the EPA identified from its flyover of the Permian Basin in 2020. The company failed to comply with requirements for tanks in the federal New Source Performance Standards and the New Mexico State Implementation Plan, and constructed facilities prior to permit approval. Chisholm performed corrective actions to address the components that were causing the emissions, including repairing thief hatches, pressure relief valves and resizing vapor recovery units at the sites. Additionally, Chisholm must pay a penalty of $440,000 to resolve the violations at the facilities, which the company sold in February 2022. The New Mexico Environment Department assisted the EPA as it conducted the investigation into noncompliance with state requirements.

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

EPA ordena a empresas cumplimiento con la Ley de Agua Limpia y restaurar humedales en Rincón, Puerto Rico

EPA Air - Wed, 03/22/2023 - 19:00

NUEVA YORK - La Agencia de Protección Ambiental de Estados Unidos (EPA, por sus siglas en inglés) ha anunciado hoy que ha emprendido una acción de cumplimiento, al amparo de la Ley de Agua Limpia, contra Calrincón Corp. y Karimar Construction Inc. por rellenar humedales sin permiso en el municipio de Rincón, Puerto Rico.

"Construir en humedales sin permiso provoca inundaciones, destruye hábitats importantes de vida silvestre e impacta la calidad de vida de las comunidades", señaló la administradora regional de la EPA, Lisa F. García. "La EPA hará cumplir la Ley de Agua Limpia y otras leyes ambientales, acorde necesario, para proteger la salud pública y el medio ambiente."

Karimar Construction Inc. vertió material de relleno en humedales de la propiedad de Calrincón Corp sin el permiso requerido de la Ley de Aguas Limpias (CWA). Karimar Construction colocó aproximadamente 8 pies de material de relleno por encima del nivel existente en aproximadamente 0,89 acres de humedales utilizando equipo mecánico.

La EPA ha ordenado a Karimar Construction Inc. que retire el material de relleno colocado en los humedales en un plazo de ocho meses y permita que los humedales se regeneren de forma natural con vegetación autóctona en un plazo de cinco años a partir del 14 de marzo de 2023.

La restauración y protección de los humedales es importante para mantener el hábitat crítico de la fauna autóctona, ayudar a cumplir con la salud de las cuencas hidrográficas y contribuir al bienestar económico. Mediante esta acción, la EPA ayuda a alcanzar estos objetivos en beneficio de los ecosistemas costeros sensibles y de las comunidades de Rincón.

Esta zona de Rincón es vital para fines recreativos y está cerca de la Reserva Marina de Tres Palmas, una reserva establecida en 2004 gracias a los esfuerzos impulsados por la comunidad que protege importantes playas para deportes acuáticos y recreación en la costa, junto con especies de coral en peligro de extinción.  

La Ley de Agua Limpia federal se estableció en 1972 para restaurar y mantener la integridad química, física y biológica de los ríos, lagos y arroyos de la nación, así como algunos de los hábitats de humedales más frágiles y vitales. La Sección 404 de la antes mencionada ley,  exige un permiso del Secretario del Ejército, actuando a través del Cuerpo de Ingenieros del Ejército de Estados Unidos, antes de que pueda disponerse de material de dragado o relleno en aguas de Estados Unidos, incluidos los humedales sujetos a jurisdicción federal.

Siga a la EPA Región 2 en Twitter y visite nuestra página de Facebook. Para más información sobre la Región 2 de la EPA, visite nuestro sitio web

23-027 - SP 

EPA Orders Companies to Comply with Clean Water Act to Restore Wetlands in Rincón, Puerto Rico

EPA Air - Wed, 03/22/2023 - 19:00

NEW YORK - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has taken an enforcement action against Calrincón Corp. and Karimar Construction Inc. for discharging fill material into wetlands without a permit in the Municipality of Rincon, Puerto Rico. 

“Building on wetlands without permits causes flooding, destroys important wildlife habitats and decreases the quality of life for communities," said Lisa F. Garcia, EPA Regional Administrator. "EPA will enforce the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws to protect public health and the environment.”

Karimar Construction Inc. discharged fill material into wetlands on Calrincón Corp’s property without the required Clean Water Act (CWA) permit. Using mechanized equipment, Karimar Construction placed approximately 8 feet of fill material above the existing grade in approximately 0.89 acres of wetlands.  

EPA has ordered Karimar Construction Inc. to remove the fill material placed on wetlands within eight months and allow the wetlands to naturally regenerate with native vegetation within five years from March 14, 2023. 

Wetland restoration and protection are important to maintain critical wildlife habitat, help meet state and tribal watershed goals and contribute to economic well-being. Through this action, EPA helps in achieving these goals for the benefit of sensitive coastal ecosystems and communities in Rincon.  

This area of Rincón is vital for recreational purposes and is near Tres Palmas Marine Reserve, a marine reserve established in 2004 through community-driven efforts that protect the Tres Palmas surfing break, along with endangered coral species.   

The CWA was established in 1972 to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s rivers, lakes and streams, as well as some of the more fragile and vital wetland habitats. CWA’s Section 404 requires a permit from the Secretary of the Army, acting through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, before dredged or fill material may be discharged into waters of the United States, including wetlands that are subject to federal jurisdiction. 

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


EPA Settlement with Cold Storage Warehouse and Distribution Company Helps Make New Bedford and Hartford Communities Safer

EPA Air - Wed, 03/22/2023 - 19:00

BOSTON – A cold storage warehouse and distribution company, Maritime International and its subsidiaries, Bridge Terminal and Connecticut Freezers, has paid penalties of over $195,000 to settle claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it violated federal laws regulating companies that handle hazardous chemicals relating to its use of ammonia at facilities in New Bedford, Mass. and East Hartford, Conn.

The company will also perform supplemental environmental projects worth about $163,000 that make safety upgrades to its facilities and provide local first responders with emergency response equipment and training.

"EPA's action underscores the importance of the safe handling and management of hazardous substances like anhydrous ammonia, and when a company like Maritime International does not comply with its safety obligations, it threatens the safety of our communities," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "EPA's work is designed to protect all communities from chemical releases, and we have a special responsibility to reduce the burden of environmental pollution and risks of chemical accidents to the workers and residents of communities that have shouldered a greater share of these impacts. This case clearly illustrates the critical importance of complying with chemical accident planning, prevention, and mitigation requirements."

According to EPA, Maritime International and its subsidiaries, Bridge Terminal and Connecticut Freezers, violated the Clean Air Act's General Duty Clause, which requires users of extremely hazardous substances to take steps to prevent and mitigate accidental releases, and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act, which requires companies handling hazardous chemicals to notify state and local emergency response personnel of the presence of those chemicals. Maritime had not taken all required steps to design and maintain a safe facility and had not adequately minimized the consequences of an accidental release of ammonia. Maritime also failed to file hazardous chemical inventory reports with state and local emergency response agencies.

As part of the supplemental environmental projects agreed to, Maritime will install beyond- compliance safety upgrades at two of its New Bedford facilities to help prevent ammonia releases, donated emergency response equipment to the New Bedford Fire Department, and provided ammonia-related emergency response training to 26 local first responders and refrigeration operators in the Hartford area.

Anhydrous ammonia is an efficient refrigerant with low global warming potential, but it must be handled with care because it is highly corrosive to the skin, eyes, and lungs. Exposure to 300 parts per million is immediately dangerous to life and health. Ammonia is also flammable at certain concentrations and can explode if it is released in an enclosed space with a source of ignition present, or if a vessel containing anhydrous ammonia is exposed to fire.

Steps required under the General Duty Clause help prevent accidental releases of extremely hazardous substances and reduce the severity of releases that do occur. A company that fails to take these steps can leave the public and environment at risk from accidental releases. Failure of a facility to identify hazards, design and maintain a safe facility, and take steps to limit and mitigate the harm from accidental releases of extremely hazardous substances puts the local population and environment at risk.

Both Maritime facilities are located less than a half mile from residential homes, restaurants, and businesses. Maritime no longer operates the East Hartford facility. New Bedford, in particular, is home to several ammonia refrigeration facilities and has experienced a number of ammonia releases in recent years, including a release at one of the facilities subject to EPA's enforcement action.

This case stems from information learned about Maritime's facilities following inspections by EPA in the summer of 2018 following an ammonia release at the Fish Island, New Bedford facility. In July 2018, approximately 3,200 pounds of anhydrous ammonia were released from the New Bedford Facility. Following EPA's inspections, Agency staff notified the company about the alleged violations. The company was cooperative and took the necessary steps to bring its facilities into compliance with the Clean Air Act, in accordance with administrative compliance orders Maritime entered into with EPA in 2019 and 2020.

More information:

EPA Settles Claims with Six California Animal Fat and Vegetable Oil Companies

EPA Air - Wed, 03/22/2023 - 19:00

SAN FRANCISCO – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced settlements with six California companies for claims they failed to comply with Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures requirements for handling oil under the Clean Water Act. The payments to the United States under these settlements range from $1,050 to $175,000. 

“Facilities must comply with federal clean water requirements,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “To protect our communities and waterways, it is imperative that companies managing oil take actions to prevent and ensure they’re prepared for the possibility of spills.”

The six companies are: AAK USA Richmond Inc. in Richmond; Baker Commodities Inc. in Vernon; Imerys Filtration Minerals Inc. in Lompoc; Marborg Industries, Liquid Waste Division in Santa Barbara; Mission Foods in Hayward; and Penny Newman Grain Company in Stockton. These firms store, process, refine, transfer, distribute or use animal fats or vegetable oils.

EPA's spill-related requirements help facilities handling animal fats and vegetable oils (AFVO) prevent discharges into navigable waters or onto adjoining shorelines. While AFVO are governed under EPA’s federal oil pollution prevention regulations, California’s Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act does not extend to this industry sector. It is important that AFVO facilities are aware of their obligations to comply with federal regulations.

The six companies that are settling with EPA have certified that they have corrected their violations and are now in compliance with the spill-related requirements under the Clean Water Act.

EPA has proposed a Consent Agreement and Final Order and is accepting public comment. For more information and to submit comments, click here.

Learn more about EPA's oil spill prevention and preparedness regulations

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

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

Statement by EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan on National Agriculture Day

EPA Air - Tue, 03/21/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — In celebration of National Agriculture Day, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan issued the following statement:

“On this National Agriculture Day, just like every day, I’m grateful for the farmers, ranchers, and laborers who work tirelessly to produce the food, fuel and fiber that powers our Nation’s economy.  The agricultural community is the backbone of this country, and remains a vital partner in EPA’s mission to ensure clean air and clean water for all. 

We know that farmers, ranchers, and laborers, are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and recently, the newly appointed members of EPA’s Farm, Ranch & Rural Communities Advisory Committee, held its first in-person meeting since 2016. The committee provides independent advice and recommendations on environmental issues essential to our agriculture and rural communities, and reviews the agency’s policies and programs concerning agriculture and climate change. I’m looking forward to hearing from the committee over the next year about how EPA can support the agricultural community in reaching its climate mitigation and adaptation goals to ensure a more resilient food and agricultural system.

The Biden-Harris Administration continues to show its commitment to strengthening the agricultural community. Both the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law have contributed billions of dollars to support climate-smart agriculture, provide relief to stressed borrowers, and bolster conservation. EPA is committed to working hand-in-hand with farmers and ranchers to protect public health and the environment.”

Learn more information on EPA’s partnership with the agricultural community.

Learn more information on climate-smart agriculture practices.

United States Seeks Preliminary Injunction Against Denka Performance Elastomer to Immediately Reduce Chloroprene Emissions

EPA Air - Mon, 03/20/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), filed a motion for preliminary injunction under the Clean Air Act (CAA) requesting that the Court order Denka Performance Elastomer LLC (Denka) to require significant pollution controls to reduce chloroprene emissions, a pollutant that EPA has determined to be a likely carcinogen. The request for immediate relief by EPA and the Justice Department follows the United States’ complaint filed on Feb. 28, alleging an imminent and substantial endangerment to the communities surrounding the facility as a result of Denka’s manufacturing operations.

The Clean Air Act section 303 imminent and substantial endangerment lawsuit is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

“All communities deserve to breathe fresh, clean air, it is one of EPA’s top priorities as we work to protect human health and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This is another action that sends a clear message that the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to the health and safety of St. John the Baptist Parish, and I will continue to pledge that EPA will use all legal remedies available to reduce harmful air pollution in this community.”

“Today’s motion asks the court to require Denka to take strong action to protect neighboring communities from the urgent dangers caused by its harmful emissions,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This action shows our determination to address environmental justice concerns of overburdened communities, and to protect children living and studying today near this facility.”

Denka’s facility, located in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, manufactures neoprene, a flexible, synthetic rubber used to produce common goods like wetsuits, beverage cozies, laptop sleeves, orthopedic braces, and automotive belts and hoses. Chloroprene is a liquid raw material used to produce neoprene that is emitted into the air from various areas at the facility.

“As Regional Administrator, I am committed to reducing exposure to chloroprene in St. John the Baptist Parish,” said Region 6 Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “Transparent engagement with the community is a top priority because people who live near Denka deserve to understand the purpose of the motion filed today and what EPA hopes to achieve by bringing this Clean Air Act Imminent and Substantial Endangerment case.”

In 2010, EPA published its peer-reviewed assessment of chloroprene that concluded it is “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” Approximately 20% of the total population living within two-and-a-half miles of Denka are children under the age of 18, and between 800-1,000 are children under the age of five. Children under the age of 16 are particularly vulnerable to mutagenic carcinogens like chloroprene. Denka’s chloroprene emissions reach more than 300 young children who attend the 5th Ward Elementary School, located within approximately 450 feet of Denka’s facility. Additionally, 1,200 children who attend East St. John High School, located about a mile-and-a-half north of Denka, are also exposed to the facility’s chloroprene emissions.

More information on EPA’s actions to reduce chloroprene emissions from the Denka facility

National Freight Carrier to Pay Civil Penalties and Implement Stormwater Compliance Measures for Clean Water Act Noncompliance

EPA Air - Mon, 03/20/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – ABF Freight System Inc. (ABF), a freight carrier that operates more than 200 transportation facilities in 47 states and Puerto Rico, has resolved allegations that it violated requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA) relating to industrial stormwater at locations across the country. Under the proposed settlement, ABF will enhance and implement its comprehensive, corporate-wide stormwater compliance program at all its transportation facilities except those located in the state of Washington, and will pay a civil penalty of $535,000, a portion of which will be directed to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the State of Maryland, and the State of Nevada who joined this settlement.

The complaint in the case, filed contemporaneously with the proposed consent decree, alleges that ABF failed to comply with certain conditions of their CWA permits (e.g., spills that had not been cleaned up; failure to implement required spill prevention measures; failure to implement measures to minimize contamination of stormwater runoff; failure to conduct monitoring of stormwater discharges as required; and failure to provide all required training to ABF’s employees) at nine of its transportation facilities.

“Through this settlement ABF will implement an enhanced, comprehensive stormwater management program at transportation facilities they operate across the country,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This settlement exemplifies EPA’s commitment to working with companies like ABF who notify EPA of noncompliance and then work to improve compliance with the Clean Water Act to help ensure the protection of local water resources.”

“Companies must comply with Clean Water Act provisions to prevent waterways from being contaminated by industrial pollutants,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This consent decree ensures that measures will be implemented at hundreds of transportation facilities across the nation to protect nearby waterways and the communities that live along them.”

“Water quality affects every citizen equally, it’s importance simply cannot be overstated,” said U.S. Attorney Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas. “This agreement ensures that ABF will take significant steps towards ensuring that water quality is not negatively affected by its operations.  This settlement would not have been possible without the commitment and cooperation of all the federal, state, and local agencies involved along with ABF.”

In April 2015, ABF voluntarily disclosed to EPA that it failed to obtain industrial stormwater permit coverage at multiple facilities and had discovered additional areas of noncompliance with the CWA through the company’s own compliance audits which were conducted at nearly all its facilities during 2013 and 2014. Between October 2016 and April 2019, EPA, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the State of Maryland, and the State of Nevada conducted 15 inspections of ABF’s facilities and observed noncompliance with applicable stormwater laws at both CWA permitted facilities and No Exposure Certification (NEC) facilities.

To address the extent of ABF’s noncompliance, the proposed consent decree requires ABF to continue to implement and enhance its comprehensive, corporate-wide stormwater compliance program. This includes a memorialization of stormwater roles and responsibilities, comprehensive employee training with contractor awareness, implementation of standard operating procedures, stormwater pollution prevention plan management, and tracking facility-specific corrective actions. The settlement also requires ABF to conduct tiered management oversight inspections at its permitted and NEC facilities throughout the three-year implementation of this consent decree.

Stormwater runoff from industrial facilities can pick up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oils and sediment that can harm waters throughout the country. Pollutants in stormwater can cause changes in hydrology and water quality that result in habitat modification and loss, increased flooding, decreased aquatic biological diversity, and increased sedimentation and erosion. It is critical that all facilities requiring permit coverage appropriately apply for permit coverage and adhere to applicable stormwater regulations to ensure environmental impacts are effectively minimized.

The injunctive relief measures set forth in the proposed consent decree are designed to result in effective stormwater runoff management at ABF’s facilities, including those facilities that conduct vehicle maintenance and equipment cleaning.

The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, is subject to a 30-day federal public comment period and approval by the federal court. The consent decree can be viewed on the Department of Justice website.

For more information about this settlement, please visit ABF Freight, Inc. Clean Water Act Settlement Information Sheet | US EPA

WaterSense and Its Partners Encourage Homeowners to Fight Water Waste for the 15th Fix a Leak Week

EPA Air - Mon, 03/20/2023 - 19:00

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program is encouraging consumers and businesses to celebrate the 15th annual Fix a Leak Week, March 20 through 26, by finding and fixing plumbing leaks in their homes and improving irrigation systems for their landscapes.

“This Fix a Leak Week, I invite you to spend a few minutes checking for leaks around your home,” said Director for the EPA Office of Wastewater Management Dr. Andrew Sawyers. “Over the past 15 years, WaterSense partners have engaged their communities to find and fix leaks – helping people save water and money.”

To help stop leaks that can waste nearly 10,000 gallons of water per year in the average home, WaterSense partners from coast to coast are hosting community events, educational workshops, public service announcements, and other efforts to show homeowners how to stop water waste and make their water bills more affordable by checking for leaks.

Because toilets are often a source of leaks, EPA recommends checking for silent toilet leaks by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank and waiting 10 minutes before flushing. If dye is visible in the bowl, there is a leak that may be easily fixed by replacing a worn flapper.

With spring here, EPA recommends checking irrigation components that may have been damaged by winter’s cold. A “sprinkler spruce-up” that checks for broken parts, connects system components tightly to avoid leaks, and directs sprinklers to spray on landscapes can help reduce water waste outdoors.

If any fixtures require replacement, look for models that have earned EPA’s WaterSense label. The WaterSense label is your guide to identify products, programs, and homes that are independently certified to use at least 20 percent less water and perform as well or better than standard models.

Learn more about finding and fixing leaks.

About WaterSense

WaterSense helps protect the nation's water supply by offering consumers simple ways to use less water. WaterSense is both a label to help consumers identify water-efficient products and a resource offering consumers and businesses practical advice on saving water. The program and its more than 2,000 partner water utilities, local governments, manufacturers, retailers, builders, and other organizations have helped consumers save more than 6.4 trillion gallons of water since 2006.

Learn more about WaterSense.

BNSF Swinomish Channel Derailment UNIFIED COMMAND

EPA Air - Sat, 03/18/2023 - 19:00

News Media Update #3

SEATTLE (MARCH 18, 2023) -- Clean up crews are wrapping up active cleanup of the diesel spill caused by the March 16 derailment of two BNSF locomotives on the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Reservation near Anacortes, Washington.

In total, crews have removed approximately 2,100 cubic yards of contaminated soil and 4,300 gallons of groundwater from the site. The groundwater contained fewer than 50 gallons of diesel fuel.

Crews will also install a series of groundwater monitoring wells to detect if any residual petroleum product migrates into groundwater at the site as well as a series of “sparging” units to speed the breakdown and removal of any remaining petroleum products from soil.

No diesel has reached the shoreline, and no impacts to fish or wildlife have been observed.

With the conclusion of active cleanup, BNSF will work with the Swinomish Tribe to return the large, disturbed area to its pre-spill condition.

As the responsible party, BNSF will pay all costs associated with the response.

#  #  #

News Media Update #2

SEATTLE (MARCH 17, 2023) -- Clean up crews have worked around the clock to excavate and remove diesel-contaminated soils from the site of Thursday morning’s locomotive derailing on the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Reservation near Anacortes, Washington.

Thus far, crews have removed over 1,200 cubic yards of soil. Responders have also pumped out 3,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater found while excavating the soil. Crews will install groundwater wells to monitor for any migration of diesel from the spill site.

As a precaution, incident commanders from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington Department of Ecology estimate that up to 2,000 total cubic yards of soil may be removed. BNSF is temporarily storing the contaminated soil until it can all be sent for disposal in a permitted landfill.

No spilled diesel has reached the shoreline, but the area remains boomed as a precaution. There are still no impacts to wildlife.

#  #  # 

News Media Update #1

SEATTLE (MARCH 16, 2023) -- A unified command has formed to address the March 16 train derailment near Anacortes. The command consists of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington Department of Ecology, BNSF Railway, Skagit County Department of Emergency Management, and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.

Shortly after midnight, a train derailed near the Swinomish Casino along the Padilla Bay waterfront. There were seven cars in the train, including two locomotives, one buffer car, and four tank cars. The two locomotives derailed, one of which spilled fuel to a berm on the land-side of the tracks. The buffer car partially derailed.

Responders arrived on the scene and found diesel on the ground and ongoing discharge from one of the locomotives. As a precautionary measure, cleanup contractors deployed boom to contain any spilled diesel from reaching the water and placed additional boom immediately off-shore. No petroleum sheen has been observed in the water.

Initial estimates were that up to 5,000 gallons of diesel spilled from the locomotive. Our current estimate based on fuel recovery efforts is that a maximum potential of up to 3,100 gallons was spilled. Approximately 600 gallons were recovered from the ground. The remaining fuel and contaminated soil will be removed and taken to a permitted facility. Some fuel remains in the locomotive and will be measured after it is moved to a safe position. Numbers will continue to be refined as the response progresses.

Fuel was removed from the second locomotive that was not leaking. The four tank cars were removed from the scene and a lifting unit is on scene to lift and remove the locomotives.

Multiple drone flights and helicopter overflights by the U.S. Coast Guard have confirmed no impact to water or wildlife. There have been no injuries.

The cause of the incident is unknown at this time. There will be a full investigation once the cleanup is complete.

#  #  #

La EPA se une al gobernador Polis en la escuela primaria de Denver para anunciar $3 millones destinados a proyectos innovadores de contaminación climática en todo el estado

EPA Air - Fri, 03/17/2023 - 19:00

DENVER (17 de marzo de 2023) – Hoy, la Agencia de Protección Ambiental de Estados Unidos (EPA, por sus siglas en inglés) anunció que Colorado recibirá hasta $3 millones para desarrollar estrategias innovadoras destinadas a reducir la contaminación climática y construir economías de energía limpia en todo el estado.

En la Academia Internacional de Denver en la Escuela Primaria Harrington, el Administrador Regional de la EPA, KC Becker, y el Gobernador Jared Polis anunciaron que Colorado recibirá los fondos como socio en el programa de Subvenciones para la Reducción de la Contaminación Climática (CPRG) de la EPA. Este programa proporciona recursos de planificación flexibles para desarrollar e implementar soluciones climáticas que protegerán a la gente de Colorado de la contaminación y promoverán la justicia ambiental.

“Este es el primer paso en un esfuerzo estratégico para ayudar a los estados a construir soluciones de sentido común para reducir la contaminación climática”, indicó la administradora regional de la EPA, KC Becker. “El gobernador Polis ha sido un excelente socio y defensor de la acción climática, y la EPA espera apoyar los proyectos cultivados en Colorado que harán que nuestras comunidades, nuestro estado y nuestra nación sean más saludables y fuertes”.

“El trabajo líder en la nación realizado por Colorado para luchar por un aire limpio y reducir las emisiones forma parte de nuestro compromiso de proteger a la comunidad que amamos ahora y para las generaciones venideras. Este nuevo y emocionante financiamiento apoyado por la mayoría de nuestra delegación federal y la EPA ayuda a construir sobre la base de nuestro importante trabajo a medida que avanzamos audazmente hacia el logro de ambiciosos objetivos climáticos, incluida la energía 100% renovable para 2040, y apreciamos este apoyo federal “, dijo el gobernador Jared Polis de Colorado.

“Después de años de inacción, Washington finalmente invirtió en la lucha contra el cambio climático al aprobar la Ley de Reducción de la Inflación. Estos fondos ayudarán a Colorado a continuar liderando al país en la reducción de la contaminación, abordando nuestra crisis climática y construyendo un futuro más saludable para todos los habitantes de Colorado”, señaló el senador Bennet.

“Esta subvención ayuda a sentar las bases para que Colorado reduzca las emisiones y construya una economía de energía limpia y próspera”, dijo el senador Hickenlooper. “Encontrar soluciones que eleven a nuestras comunidades vulnerables y de bajos ingresos será una victoria para todos los habitantes de Colorado”.

“Tenemos que hacer más para proteger a las comunidades que más sufren”, dijo la congresista DeGette. “La justicia ambiental debe ser más que un eslogan, debe ser nuestra misión colectiva. Necesitamos que todos los niveles de gobierno trabajen juntos para garantizar que todos, sin importar dónde vivan o cuánto dinero ganen, puedan vivir y prosperar en un ambiente saludable y limpio”.

Colorado se encuentra entre los 50 estados, el Distrito de Columbia y Puerto Rico elegibles para recibir $3 millones cada uno en fondos de subvención. Colorado utilizará los fondos para actualizar su plan de acción climática existente en colaboración con municipios y comunidades de todo el estado. El Estado también llevará a cabo una participación pública significativa en su plan, centrándose en las comunidades de bajos ingresos y desventajadas. Para el verano de 2023, las Oficinas Regionales de la EPA esperan otorgar y administrar los acuerdos de financiamiento.

A fines de este año, la EPA lanzará una competencia por $4.6 mil millones en fondos de seguimiento para implementar proyectos e iniciativas en planes de acción climática estatales, tribales y territoriales, que Colorado es elegible para recibir. Colorado puede usar este financiamiento actual para desarrollar estrategias a fin de usar otras disposiciones de subvenciones, préstamos e impuestos aseguradas por la legislación histórica del presidente Biden, incluida la Ley de Reducción de la Inflación y la Ley Bipartidista de Infraestructura, para lograr sus objetivos de energía limpia, clima y justicia ambiental.  

La Ley de Reducción de la Inflación del presidente Biden incluye fondos históricos para combatir el cambio climático al tiempo que crea empleos bien remunerados y promueve la justicia ambiental. El anuncio de hoy se basa en $550 millones anunciados a principios de este mes para el nuevo programa de Subvenciones para Comunidades Prósperas de Justicia Ambiental de la EPA y $100 millones anunciados a principios de este año para subvenciones de justicia ambiental destinadas a apoyar a comunidades desatendidas y sobrecargadas. Además, el Fondo de Reducción de Gases de Efecto Invernadero otorgará casi $27 mil millones a fin de aprovechar el capital privado para inversiones en energía limpia y aire limpio en todo el país.

Acerca del Programa de Subvenciones para la Reducción de la Contaminación Climática

El 1 de marzo, la EPA anunció la disponibilidad de estos fondos, que son la primera serie de oportunidades de financiamiento de la contaminación climática para estados, gobiernos locales, territorios y tribus. Las subvenciones de planificación de CPRG apoyarán a los estados, territorios, tribus, municipios y agencias de calidad del aire, en la creación de estrategias integrales e innovadoras para reducir la contaminación y garantizar que las inversiones maximicen los beneficios, especialmente para las comunidades de bajos ingresos y desventajadas. Estos planes climáticos incluirán:

  • Inventarios de emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero;
  • Proyecciones de emisiones y objetivos de reducción;
  • Beneficios económicos, sanitarios y sociales, incluso para las comunidades de bajos ingresos y desventajadas;
  • Planes para aprovechar otras fuentes de financiamiento federal, incluida la Ley Bipartidista de Infraestructura y la Ley de Reducción de la Inflación;
  • La fuerza laboral debe apoyar la descarbonización y una economía de energía limpia; y
  • Futuras necesidades presupuestarias y de dotación de personal del gobierno.

En la guía del programa publicada a principios de este mes, la EPA describe la manera en que la agencia tiene la intención de otorgar y administrar los fondos de CPRG a entidades elegibles, incluidos estados, áreas metropolitanas, tribus y territorios.

Más información sobre las Subvenciones para la Reducción de la Contaminación Climática

Guías del Programa de Subvenciones de Planificación de CPRG

Regístrese para recibir notificaciones sobre las subvenciones para la reducción de la contaminación climática

Wondering about your community’s air quality? EPA offers air monitors for loan to groups in Mid-Atlantic Region

EPA Air - Fri, 03/17/2023 - 19:00

PHILADELPHIA (March 13, 2023) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making it easy to monitor air quality by allowing organizations in the Mid-Atlantic Region to borrow low-cost, portable air monitoring equipment. The Mid-Atlantic Region includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia and seven Tribal partners.

“Everyone deserves to know if the air they breathe is clean,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz.  “The Air Sensor Loan Program will help its users learn about air quality in their communities and what actions they can take to protect their health.”

The program will assist community groups, schools, state agencies, local agencies, and tribes with conducting small-scale, localized air monitoring projects, as well as provide information and education on local air quality impacts.

The air quality sensors can be used to gather pertinent air quality informational data, which loanees can use to assess local air quality.

EPA will not be collecting the data from these sensors, nor will the data be used for regulatory decision making.

Additionally, this equipment is not to be used for confined space evaluations or to meet any other health and safety requirement.

More information can be found at EPA Region 3's Air Sensor Loan Program .


Equipment available for loan:

  • PurpleAir PA-II-SD* – stationary sensor that measures fine particulate matter (PM2.5); for outdoor and indoor use; plug-in powered; data available locally on the microSD card or connected to WiFi for private or public data streaming.
  • Cairsens – stationary sensor that measures nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), or non-methane volatile organic compounds (nmVOC); for outdoor and indoor use; plug-in powered.

Eligibility: State agencies, local agencies, tribes, community groups, schools, and other interested organizations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Training: Links to virtual training from non-EPA sources are available. The EPA Air Sensor Toolbox website for resources can be found at https://www.epa.gov/air-sensor-toolbox.

Information for Shipping of Equipment: Sensors can be shipped to any location within the Mid-Atlantic Region at the loanee’s expense or picked up at the EPA Regional office in Philadelphia. EPA will coordinate with loanees on a situational basis for shipment logistics.

Application Submittal: The Mid-Atlantic Region prefers to receive applications through the website, but applications may also be emailed to the Sensor Loan Contacts found at EPA Region 3's Air Sensor Loan Program.

In the Pacific Southwest, Toxic Chemical Releases Decreased Slightly in 2021 According to EPA Data

EPA Air - Fri, 03/17/2023 - 19:00

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its 2021 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis, which shows that environmental releases of TRI chemicals from facilities nationwide covered by the program remained below pre-pandemic levels and releases in 2021 are 10% lower than 2012 releases, even with an 8% increase from 2020 to 2021. Additionally, in 2021, facilities managed 89% of their TRI chemical waste through preferred practices such as recycling, energy recovery and treatment, while reporting that they released 11% of their TRI chemical waste into the environment. In the Pacific Southwest, including the U.S. Pacific Island territories, the report shows a slight decrease in toxic chemical releases compared to 2020.

“EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory provides valuable information to communities across the Pacific Southwest and the Pacific Islands about potential hazards,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “We are prioritizing transparency with our toxics data to help communities, local, state and tribal governments with appropriate strategies for reducing pollution, especially in communities dealing with environmental justice challenges.”

In 2021, facilities in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and the Pacific Island territories reported managing 932 million pounds of production related waste and releasing 554 million pounds of TRI chemicals into the environment, a decrease in releases of less than 1% from 2020. In the Pacific Southwest, the metal mining sector, mostly in Nevada and Arizona, accounted for 84% of the TRI-reported chemical releases for 2021. Excluding metal mining, releases in the Pacific Southwest have decreased by 7.8% since 2012, with the primary metals (including smelting), hazardous waste management, and petroleum sectors reported the highest releases. Changes in the chemical composition of ore extracted at metal mines can result in large year-to-year changes in the amount of waste metal mines report to TRI.

The 2021 TRI National Analysis summarizes TRI chemical waste management activities, including releases, that occurred during calendar year 2021. More than 21,000 facilities submitted reports on 531 chemicals requiring TRI reporting that they released into the environment or otherwise managed as waste. EPA, states and tribes receive TRI data from facilities in sectors such as manufacturing, mining, electric utilities and commercial hazardous waste management.

The 2021 Analysis features updated visualizations and analytical tools to make data more useful and accessible to communities, including the option to view data by region and watershed. EPA has also updated demographic information in the “Where You Live” mapping tool and in the Chemical Profiles section. Readers can view facility locations with overlayed demographic data to identify potential exposure to TRI chemical releases in vulnerable communities. Community groups, policymakers, and other stakeholders can use this data, along with other environmental data, to better understand which communities may experience a disproportionate pollution burden and take action at the local level.

EPA is holding a public webinar on March 28, 2023, to give an overview of the 2021 TRI National Analysis. Register for the webinar.

To view the 2021 TRI National Analysis, including local data and analyses, visit www.epa.gov/trinationalanalysis.

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

EPA joins Governor Polis at Denver elementary school to announce $3 million for innovative Climate Pollution projects across the state

EPA Air - Fri, 03/17/2023 - 19:00

DENVER (March 17, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Colorado will be receiving up to $3 million to develop innovative strategies to cut climate pollution and build clean energy economies across the state.

At the International Academy of Denver at Harrington Elementary School, EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker and Governor Jared Polis announced Colorado will be receiving the funding as a partner in EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) program. This program provides flexible planning resources to develop and implement climate solutions that will protect the people of Colorado from pollution and advance environmental justice.

“This is the first step in a strategic effort to help states build common-sense solutions to reduce climate pollution,” said EPA Regional Administrator KC Becker.  “Governor Polis has been a great partner and advocate for climate action, and EPA looks forward to supporting the Colorado-grown projects that will make our communities, our state, and our nation, healthier and stronger.”

“Colorado’s nation-leading work to fight for clean air and reduce emissions are part of our commitment to protect the community we love now and for generations to come. This exciting new funding supported by the majority of our federal delegation and the EPA helps to build upon our important work as we make bold progress towards achieving ambitious climate goals including 100% renewable energy by 2040, and we appreciate this federal support," said Governor Jared Polis of Colorado. 

"After years of inaction, Washington finally invested in the fight against climate change by passing the Inflation Reduction Act. This funding will help Colorado continue to lead the country in cutting pollution, addressing our climate crisis, and building a healthier future for all Coloradans," said Senator Bennet. 

“This grant helps set the groundwork for Colorado to cut emissions and build a thriving, clean energy economy,” said Senator Hickenlooper. “Finding solutions that lift up our vulnerable and low-income communities will be a win for all Coloradans.” 

“We have to do more to protect the communities that are suffering the most,” said Congresswoman DeGette. “Environmental Justice needs to be more than just a catchphrase, it needs to be our collective mission. We need all levels of government working together to ensure everyone – no matter where they live or how much money they make – is able to live and thrive in a healthy, clean environment.”

Colorado is among the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico eligible to receive $3 million each in grant funds. Colorado will use the funds to update its existing climate action plan in collaboration with municipalities and communities across the state.   The State will also conduct meaningful public engagement on its plan, focusing on low-income and disadvantaged communities.  By summer 2023, EPA Regional Offices expect to award and administer the funding agreements.

Later this year, EPA will launch a competition for $4.6 billion in follow-up funding to implement projects and initiatives in state, Tribal and territorial climate action plans, which Colorado is eligible to receive. Colorado may use this current funding to develop strategies for using other grant, loan, and tax provisions secured by President Biden’s historic legislation, including the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to achieve its clean energy, climate, and environmental justice goals.

President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act includes historic funding to combat climate change while creating good-paying jobs and advancing environmental justice. Today’s announcement builds on $550 million announced earlier this month for EPA’s new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking program and $100 million announced earlier this year for environmental justice grants to support underserved and overburdened communities. Additionally, the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will award nearly $27 billion to leverage private capital for clean energy and clean air investments across the country.

About the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant Program

On March 1, EPA announced the availability of these funds, which are the first series of climate pollution funding opportunities for states, local governments, territories and Tribes. The CPRG planning grants will support states, territories, Tribes, municipalities and air agencies, in the creation of comprehensive, innovative strategies for reducing pollution and ensuring that investments maximize benefits, especially for low-income and disadvantaged communities. These climate plans will include:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions inventories;
  • Emissions projections and reduction targets;
  • Economic, health, and social benefits, including to low-income and disadvantaged communities;
  • Plans to leverage other sources of federal funding including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act;
  • Workforce needs to support decarbonization and a clean energy economy; and
  • Future government staffing and budget needs.

In program guidance released earlier this month, EPA describes how the agency intends to award and manage CPRG funds to eligible entities, including states, metropolitan areas, Tribes, and territories.

More information on the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants

CPRG Planning Grant Program Guidances

Sign up for notifications about the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants


Aerial Application to Restore Vegetation at Superfund Site Occuring on Blue Mountain

EPA Air - Fri, 03/17/2023 - 19:00

PHILADELPHIA (March 17, 2023) – As part of the Palmerton Zinc Pile Superfund Site remediation which includes the revegetation of Blue Mountain, airplanes will be applying native seed and soil amendments onto areas of Blue Mountain south of Palmerton, Pennsylvania, between March 20 and April 7.

The materials applied will include 12 species of native grasses, 25 species of native wildflowers, pine, and sumac seed as well as limestone and fertilizer. Previous aerial seeding occurred in 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2012 during the early stages of the Blue Mountain revegetation remedy.    The 2023 aerial application will be targeting areas of Blue Mountain where vegetation has not been well established over the years. 

The aerial application will take place on more than 365 acres located west of Lehigh Gap on the Lehigh Gap Nature Center property and east of Lehigh Gap on lands managed by the National Park Service and Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Notification signs and trail guards will be posted along trails to notify recreational users during application. Application will occur on sections of the Appalachian Trail between Little Gap and Lehigh Gap, along sections of Lehigh Gap Nature Center trails, and the D&L Trail west of Lehigh Gap.

For more information visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/palmerton  

EPA and DOJ File Clean Air Act Complaint Against Diesel Spec Inc. for the Sale of Vehicle Emission “Defeat Devices”

EPA Air - Fri, 03/17/2023 - 19:00

CHICAGO (March 17, 2023)  Today, the Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, filed a complaint against Diesel Spec Inc. (DSI), a Canadian company based just outside of Montreal, for violating Section 203(a) of the Clean Air Act. The alleged violations include manufacturing, selling or offering to sell parts or components in the United States known as “defeat devices” that can bypass, defeat or render inoperable the air pollution controls on motor vehicles.

The complaint alleges that that DSI sold products that disable pollution controls on heavy-duty trucks, agricultural equipment such as tractors and combines, and construction equipment such as bulldozers. Through this action EPA is seeking to: bar DSI from selling, offering to sell, and installing defeat devices in the United States, require DSI to pay a civil penalty and require DSI to remedy the environmental harm caused by these violations.

As a result of EPA’s efforts to improve air quality and fuel efficiency, cars and trucks manufactured today emit far less pollution than older vehicles. To meet EPA’s emission standards, engine manufacturers have carefully calibrated their engines and installed sophisticated pollution control systems.

Tampering with diesel-powered vehicles by installing defeat devices causes large amounts of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter pollution, which contributes to serious public health problems. These include premature death, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravation of existing asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and decreased lung function. Numerous studies also link diesel exhaust to increased incidence of lung cancer. Respiratory issues disproportionately affect families, especially children, living in underserved communities overburdened by pollution. Stopping the sale and use of defeat devices will help reduce harmful air pollution that exacerbates the health effects of pollutant exposures. 

This enforcement action is part of EPA's National Compliance Initiative for Stopping Aftermarket Defeat Devices for Vehicles and Engines: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-compliance-initiative-stopping-aftermarket-defeat-devices-vehicles-and-engines.

Syndicate content