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EPA Highlights $11 Million for Clean School Buses in Southeast Michigan

EPA Air - Wed, 11/02/2022 - 19:00

CHICAGO (November 2, 2022) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Ypsilanti Community Schools and Dearborn Public Schools in southeast Michigan as Fiscal Year 2022 recipients of EPA's Clean School Bus Program rebate competition. The school districts will receive up to a total of $11 million from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help purchase 28 zero-emission school buses for cleaner air in and around their schools.
 

In Ypsilanti, EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Director Liesl Clark joined school district leaders on a tour an electric school bus and highlighted how these vehicles will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save schools money, and better protect children’s health. The investment will also drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, boost domestic manufacturing, and create good-paying jobs.
 

 “Thanks to the Clean School Bus program, Ypsilanti and Dearborn are making significant progress in providing a healthier environment for their students, bus drivers, and school staff,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “Upgrading to electric school buses is a major win for these communities that will reduce harmful air pollution in and around schools. EPA is proud to be able to partner with them and help move our country forward towards a cleaner, healthier future.”
 

“We know that diesel exhaust from school buses has a negative impact not only on our environment, but on the health of our children, teachers, bus drivers, and the surrounding communities,” said Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. “With this funding from the Clean School Bus program, Dearborn and Ypsilanti will be able to take diesel buses off the roads, reducing our carbon emissions and ensuring the air our children breathe on the way to school is cleaner and free from dangerous pollutants.” 
 

“These grants are forward-focused in two crucial ways,” said Michigan EGLE Director Liesl Clark. “They protect the health of our children and generations to come in Michigan’s promising clean-energy future, and they move us toward the ambitious goals we’ve set to reduce our carbon footprint and avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis.”
 

Ypsilanti Community Schools will receive up to $3.9 million to help purchase up to 10 electric school buses.
 

“The 10 electric buses purchased with the $3.9 million will help us provide cleaner transportation to our students and benefit our community by decreasing our carbon footprint,” said Dr. Carlos Lopez, Assistant Superintendent, Ypsilanti Community Schools. “These electric buses could eliminate more than 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year which can result in a reduction in the number of children who are exposed to high levels of air pollutants. Overall, this will improve the quality of life for our residents throughout Michigan and the world.”
 

Dearborn Public Schools will receive up to $7.1 million to help purchase up to 18 electric buses.
 

“We are excited to be one of several school districts in our state to receive this funding, allowing us to purchase up to 18 electric school buses. Adding these vehicles to our fleet will provide us with the opportunity to evaluate this new technology and how it performs in the real-world environment year-round,” said Dr. Glenn Maleyko, Superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools. “The Dearborn Public Schools has a long history of educating students on the importance of being good stewards of the environment and the addition of electric school buses will reinforce the importance of that message.”
 

Last week, EPA announced the selection of 389 applications totaling $913 million to support the purchase of 2,463 buses, 95% of which will be electric. EPA will distribute awards to school districts in all 50 states, Washington D.C., along with several federally recognized Tribes and U.S. territories. School districts identified as priority areas serving low-income, rural, and, or Tribal students make up 99% of the projects that were selected. More applications are under review, and the agency plans to select more to reach the full $965 million in the coming weeks.
 

In Michigan, EPA is awarding more than $50 million to 25 school districts to help purchase 138 clean school buses.
 

These awards are among the first $1 billion of a five-year, $5 billion program created by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA is also designing the next rounds of program funding to launch in the coming months, which will include an ambitious grant competition. Through future rounds of funding, EPA will make available another $1 billion for clean school buses in Fiscal Year 2023. EPA encourages school districts not selected in the first round of rebates – and those that did not apply this funding cycle – to participate in future rounds.
 

About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program

The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts, and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas, and the communities through which the buses drive each day. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will also save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets, replacing older, heavily polluting buses with brand new clean school buses, while freeing up needed resources for schools.
 

The 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates prioritize low-income, rural, and Tribal communities. The vast majority of applicants met the priority definition under the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates criteria, resulting in access to more funds for buses and electric vehicle infrastructure for schools in areas that need them the most. The program also delivers on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and  overburdened by pollution.
 

View the full list of Clean School Bus award recipients here.

EPA and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in Michigan Begin New Project to Build Resilience at Coastal and Shoreline Habitats

EPA Air - Wed, 11/02/2022 - 19:00

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held its first meeting with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in Michigan to begin a technical assistance project funded by the American Rescue Plan. EPA and KBIC officials met to discuss risks to human health and the environment from contaminated waste and coastal erosion in specific areas along the Keweenaw Bay shoreline on Lake Superior.

“The traditional territory of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community includes coastal and shoreline habitats which are critical places for culturally-important species, foods, medicines and gathering,” said EPA Regional Administrator Debra Shore. “EPA is helping the KBIC assess the risks posed by flooding and coastal erosion and develop conceptual design options for five green infrastructure projects to protect its shoreline areas from climate change and natural disasters.”

 “KBIC feels very fortunate to be selected to receive assistance through the EPA Equitable Resilience Technical Assistance program,” said KBIC CEO Brigitte LaPointe-Dunham.  “This assistance will provide important cultural preservation to continue our way of living on the L'Anse Indian Reservation without concern. Additionally, we are excited for the assessment to be performed and designs to be brought forward that will complete the shoreline project and ultimately mitigate the identified risks to critical infrastructure and ecosystems.”

 Portions of the KBIC’s land are contaminated with mining waste. Some areas also face significant challenges from coastal erosion which could threaten drinking water intakes and other critical infrastructure. EPA and the KBIC's Natural Resources Department will assess environmental and human health risks along the Lake Superior shoreline. Together, they will develop design options for green infrastructure projects.

Through technical assistance programs, EPA provides vital resources, including experts, to communities in need. Equitable Resilience Technical Assistance projects build resilience against effects from climate change, natural disasters, and/or industrial or hazardous materials risk. The resilience measures will build community capacity to prepare for, withstand, recover from, and maintain its identity in the face of these risks.

EPA’s Office of Community Revitalization is providing Equitable Resilience Technical Assistance to four state and tribal governments in 2022. EPA’s assistance will be informed by community-based organizations in each location to ensure that the projects are centered on the vision of those who live and work in these communities. This effort is part of EPA’s commitment to achieving environmental justice by elevating community efforts to address legacy injustices made worse by a changing climate and the COVID-19 pandemic.

 For more information on Equitable Resilience Technical Assistance, please visit EPA’s website.

EPA Awards Nearly $3M in Research Grants to Identify and Measure Economic Benefits of Improved Water Quality

EPA Air - Wed, 11/02/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON  Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced grants to four universities totaling $2,964,932 for research to refine the measurement of benefits of water quality improvements, either directly or through indicators.

“At EPA, we know that when we take action to protect and improve our water resources, communities see economic and environmental benefits in return. That’s why the Agency is supporting research to improve the scientific basis behind the measurement of these benefits,” said Chris Frey, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “The research funding announced today will help communities and environmental experts better estimate the costs and benefits of improved local water conditions, especially in underserved and overburdened communities.”

Across the United States, the beneficial impacts of healthy waterbodies can be extensive. These benefits include recreational uses such as swimming, boating, and wildlife viewing as well as increased property values and reduced drinking water treatment costs. Quantifying these benefits can help support national, state, tribal, and local water quality decision-making.

However, there are many gaps in the existing research, such as the valuation of water quality improvements in many areas, the benefits of improvements to coastal areas, and how water quality changes may impact underserved communities. To address these and other research gaps, the funded projects will evaluate economic benefits and costs, including predicting the environmental justice and other distributional consequences of surface water quality improvements nationwide. 

The following universities are receiving awards:

  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., to identify water quality improvements and river restoration along the Mississippi River to improve the understanding of the benefits, costs, and equity considerations of investments that improve water quality.
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis., to collect data and select models quantifying stressors in watersheds to estimate the economic benefits of surface water quality improvements in nationwide locations in a scientifically valid manner.
  • University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, to use a two-stage model to produce regional water quality valuation estimates for three under-studied regions.
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., to conduct research with community partners to assess how different populations value water quality improvements and aquatic resources in Midwest reservoirs.

Learn more about the funded recipients.  

Learn more about EPA research grants.

EPA Issues Final List of Contaminants for Potential Regulatory Consideration in Drinking Water, Significantly Increases PFAS Chemicals for Review

EPA Air - Wed, 11/02/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON  Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Final Fifth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 5), which will serve as the basis for EPA’s regulatory considerations over the next five-year cycle under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This update includes a substantial expansion of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), an important first step towards identifying additional PFAS that may require regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

“Following public engagement and robust scientific review, the final contaminant candidate list is the latest milestone in our regulatory efforts to ensure safe, clean drinking water for all communities,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “As EPA takes action to protect public health and the environment from PFAS, including proposing the first nationwide drinking water standards later this year, today’s final CCL 5 looks further forward to consider additional protective steps for these forever chemicals.”

A year ago, EPA published the PFAS Strategic Roadmap, outlining an Agency-wide approach to addressing PFAS in the environment. Today’s announcement strengthens EPA’s commitment to protect public health from impacts of PFAS and support the Agency’s decision-making for potential future regulations of PFAS.

In addition to a group of PFAS, the Final CCL 5 includes 66 individually listed chemicals, two additional chemical groups (cyanotoxins and disinfection byproducts (DBPs)), and 12 microbes.

In developing the Final CCL 5, EPA requested public nominations, providing an opportunity for people to make recommendations to the Agency about specific contaminants of concern that may disproportionally affect their local community. EPA further enhanced the CCL process based on comments received on this CCL and previous CCLs, including by prioritizing data most relevant to drinking water exposure, improving considerations of sensitive populations including children, and considering the recommendations included in the Review of the EPA’s Draft Fifth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 5) report from the Science Advisory Board. These improvements resulted in a Final CCL 5 that can better inform prioritization of contaminants for potential regulatory actions and/or research efforts.

More information on the final Fifth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 5).

EPA, Congressmembers Announce Dallas Independent School District Clean School Bus Funding

EPA Air - Wed, 11/02/2022 - 19:00

DALLAS, TEXAS (Nov. 2, 2022) — Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dallas Independent School District (DISD) and three members of the North Texas congressional delegation gathered yesterday to celebrate DISD’s funding through EPA’s Clean School Bus Program. The district will receive $7.1 million to fund the purchase of up to 25 zero-emission electric buses.

“We are thrilled Dallas ISD was selected for the first round of funding through EPA’s new Clean School Bus program and President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said Regional Administrator Earthea Nance. “The new, zero-emission buses will protect school children and staff, reduce pollution and help improve air quality, all while saving the district money.”

“We are grateful to EPA for making these funds available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and to our congressional delegation for their support,” said DISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde. “I can’t wait to see these buses rolling down our streets, making the air cleaner for our students immediately, as well as for the future.”

“I am pleased to learn that Dallas ISD has been selected for participation in the EPA’s Clean School Bus Program, a groundbreaking initiative that will provide $7 million in funding for 25 new electric school buses. Once fully implemented, students will ride buses that are healthier for the environment—and in turn, healthier for them,” said Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson.

“This is great news for Dallas schools and shows how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law continues to deliver and how North Texas school districts can lead the nation in the adoption of this technology,” said Congressman Colin Allred. “I am a graduate of Dallas public schools, and I took the bus when I was growing up, so I know how important this service is for families. I was glad to join the EPA this summer in urging our schools to apply for this funding and I am proud that Dallas ISD will receive 25 clean, pollution-free electric school buses.”

"Today's funding will provide a critical investment to climate security and children's futures here in North Texas," said Rep. Veasey. "Last year, I was proud to vote for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that made this accomplishment possible by ensuring our communities have the tools to switch dirty diesel-powered buses to zero-emissions electric buses."

In May, EPA announced the availability of $500 million for its Clean School Bus Program. Given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, Tribal nations, and territories, EPA nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded to $965 million. The rebate application period closed in August with an outstanding response from school districts seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses across the country.

Last week, EPA announced the selection of 389 applications totaling $913 million to support the purchase of 2,463 buses, 95% of which will be electric. EPA will distribute awards to school districts in all 50 states, Washington D.C., along with several federally recognized Tribes and U.S. territories. School districts identified as priority areas serving low-income, rural, and, or Tribal students make up 99% of the projects that were selected. More applications are under review, and the agency plans to select more to reach the full $965 million in the coming weeks. 

Those school districts who received an award can now proceed with purchasing new buses and eligible infrastructure. Selectees will need to submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating they have ordered new buses and eligible infrastructure. EPA is also partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Transportation to provide school districts with robust technical assistance to ensure effective implementation.

These awards are the first $1 billion of a five-year, $5 billion program created by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA is also designing the next rounds of program funding to launch in the coming months, which will include an ambitious grant competition. Through future rounds of funding, EPA will make available another $1 billion for clean school buses in Fiscal Year 2023. EPA encourages school districts not selected in the first round of rebates – and those that did not apply this funding cycle – to participate in future rounds.

About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program

The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas, and the communities through which the buses drive each day. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will also save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets, replacing older, heavily polluting buses with brand new clean school buses, while freeing up needed resources for schools.

The 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates prioritize low-income, rural, and Tribal communities. The vast majority of applicants met the priority definition under the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates criteria, resulting in access to more funds for buses and electric vehicle infrastructure for schools in areas that need them the most. The program also delivers on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and  overburdened by pollution.

View the full list of Clean School Bus award recipients here.

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

City of Lakewood, Ohio, Agrees to Improve Sewer Systems to Reduce Discharges of Raw Sewage

EPA Air - Tue, 11/01/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — The city of Lakewood, Ohio, has agreed to perform work that will significantly reduce discharges of untreated sewage from its sewer system into Lake Erie and the Rocky River. The settlement is set forth in an interim partial consent decree that was filed today in federal court in the Northern District of Ohio.

The decree requires Lakewood to complete construction of a high-rate treatment system that will treat combined sewer overflows and build two large storage basins that will hold millions of gallons of wastewater until it can be sent to the wastewater treatment plant. Under the decree, Lakewood will spend about $85 million to improve its sewer system and will pay a civil penalty of $100,000, split evenly between the United States and Ohio.

The decree would partially resolve the violations alleged in the underlying complaint filed by the United States and the State of Ohio. The complaint alleges that Lakewood discharged untreated sanitary sewage into the Rocky River or directly into Lake Erie on at least 1,933 occasions from January 2016 through the present. The complaint also alleges that on numerous occasions from January 2016 through the present, Lakewood discharged water from combined sewer outfalls that violated the effluent limitations included in its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

“Discharges of untreated sewage can damage local water bodies and sicken community members who come in contact,” said Larry Starfield, EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This settlement will benefit Lakewood and other Ohio communities by preventing the discharge of millions of gallons of untreated sewage from entering the Rocky River and Lake Erie.”

“Communities must invest in adequate infrastructure to protect the integrity of our nation’s waters,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This settlement requires meaningful investments in Lakewood’s wastewater collection and treatment system that will protect the waters surrounding the city of Lakewood.”

Under the decree, Lakewood will also conduct multiple pipe lining and repair projects within its sewer system designed to eliminate causes of sanitary sewer overflows. Lakewood will also undertake a sampling pilot study designed to identify sewage in stormwater outfalls and a one-year post-construction monitoring program, which will provide the data needed for future work in Lakewood’s sewer system.

The implementation of this decree will prevent millions of gallons of raw sewage carrying harmful pollutants, such as E. coli, from being discharged to Lake Erie and the Rocky River. These reductions in pollutants will improve water quality in Lake Erie and the Rocky River. 

This decree is an important, but partial step to address the problems in Lakewood’s sewer system. It will resolve all civil penalty claims, but will not fully resolve the injunctive relief claims alleged in the complaint. Lakewood will be required through a subsequent, enforceable agreement with the United States and the state of Ohio to implement a plan that addresses the remaining permitted and unpermitted overflows in Lakewood’s sewer system and to demonstrate compliance with the Clean Water Act.

The proposed agreement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval after publication in the Federal Register. The agreement is available on the Justice Department’s website: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees

EPA Announces 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award Winners; New Jersey and New York Winners Highlighted

EPA Air - Tue, 11/01/2022 - 19:00

NEW YORK (November 1, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing 26 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners across 14 states and the District of Columbia for achievement in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals. In EPA Region 2, our winners are Case Medical, Bloomfield, N.J., Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Ewing, N.J. and Colgate-Palmolive, New York, N.Y. The Safer Choice program helps consumers and purchasers for facilities, such as schools and office buildings, find products containing chemical ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment. This year’s awardees represent a wide variety of organizations, including small- and medium-sized businesses, women-owned companies, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and trade associations. This year’s winners have all shown a commitment to preventing pollution by reducing, eliminating, or stopping pollution at its source prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal.

“Cleaning and other products made with safer chemicals – like those certified by the Safer Choice program - help protect workers, families, communities, and the planet,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention Jennie Romer. “This year, we’re pleased to recognize a variety of organizations for their support of safer chemistry and sustainability, many of which have worked to advance the central priorities of the Biden-Harris Administration of addressing environmental justice and climate change.”

Applicants for this year’s awards were encouraged to show how their work promotes environmental justice, bolsters resilience to the impacts of climate change, results in cleaner air or water, or improves drinking water quality. Many of the organizations being recognized today addressed climate change, like working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, several winners offer products with concentrated formulas which reduces water consumption and plastic use. This practice also lowers greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of product that must be transported.

Additionally, many awardees increased access to products with safer chemical ingredients in communities with environmental justice concerns. For example, one nonprofit winner conducted targeted outreach in both English and Spanish to promote safer cleaning techniques and products, including Safer Choice-certified products, in food trucks. Many of these businesses are owned and operated by immigrant entrepreneurs. Another winner made its Safer Choice-certified product line more accessible to lower income shoppers by offering affordable prices and making these products available at retailers that often serve low-income communities.

In early 2023, EPA will build on this work by announcing a grant opportunity for projects that can increase supply and demand for safer, environmentally preferable products such as those certified by the Safer Choice program or identified by EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program.

Case Medical, Bloomfield, NJ

Case Medical is recognized as an outstanding Formulator-Product Manufacturer. Case Medical has been a Safer Choice partner since 2011. Case Medical displays the Safer Choice label on its product containers and packaging, marketing materials, catalogs, literature and website. Case Medical highlights Safer Choice throughout its website like on the homepage and a blog post.  Case Medical includes Safer Choice messaging in email blasts and regularly published articles. In 2021, Case Medical hosted monthly webinars encouraging the use of Safer Choice-certified products by consumers and in the healthcare industry. These webinars also educated the healthcare community on cleaning best practices, safety and sustainability. Case Medical uses the Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL) and GreenBlue’s CleanGredients when formulating new products. Case Medical’s Safer Choice-certified product offering includes concentrated formulas which reduce water consumption and plastic use. These products also lower greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of product that must be transported. This supports EPA’s goal of addressing climate change. Case Medical promotes environmental justice by limiting the environmental impact of their manufacturing facility, which is located in a lower-income residential neighborhood. Case Medical takes responsibility for the safety of their workers and neighbors by using technologies to reduce air and water pollution, filtering and recycling wastewater, creating greenspace adjacent to their facility and reducing energy consumption. Safer Choice commends Case Medical for their promotion of the Safer Choice label and commitment to protecting worker and community health.

Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Ewing, NJ

Church & Dwight Co., Inc. (CHD) is recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Formulator-Product Manufacturer. CHD has been a Safer Choice partner since 2015. In 2021, CHD prominently displayed the Safer Choice label on its Safer Choice-certified laundry detergent and in its marketing materials. CHD features Safer Choice messaging on its website, as well as in its social media and national TV and print advertisements. CHD’s marketing campaign leveraged social media channels that reach about 700 million individuals. CHD also expanded its Safer Choice-certified product line in 2021 and made its Safer Choice-certified product line more accessible to lower income shoppers by offering affordable prices and making these products available at retailers that often serve low-income communities. These efforts support EPA’s goal of advancing environmental justice. CHD’s produces its product line using 100% renewable energy, contributing to EPA’s goal of addressing climate change. Safer Choice applauds CHD for its environmental stewardship and efforts to increase consumer awareness of the Safer Choice label.

Colgate-Palmolive, New York, NY

Colgate-Palmolive is recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Formulator-Product Manufacturer. Palmolive became a Safer Choice partner in 2021. It’s Safer Choice-certified products were reformulated to use only chemicals listed on the Safer Chemical Ingredient List (SCIL). Colgate-Palmolive promotes the Safer Choice program by placing the Safer Choice label on the front panel of its products. The company also developed a “Shopper Toolkit” in 2021, designed to help communicate Safer Choice messaging both online and in stores. With a vision to make efficacy and sustainability more affordable, Colgate-Palmolive’s Safer Choice-certified products were sold at a lower price point, making them accessible to retailers in markets that serve disadvantaged communities. This supports EPA’s focus on environmental justice. Colgate-Palmolive is also committed to addressing climate change, having reduced plastic waste by 5,200 tons by reducing the size of its bottles and using 100% post-consumer recycled and recyclable plastic bottles. Safer Choice commends Colgate-Palmolive’s dedication to formulating and promoting products with safer chemical ingredients.

A list of the 2022 Partner of the Year award winners can be found below. Learn more about the 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners and summaries of their accomplishments.

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter and visit our Facebook page.

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ICYMI: EPA Administrator Regan, Congressman Pat Ryan visit Ulster County, New York, Highlight Expedited Removal of Asbestos Contamination Under the Superfund Program

EPA Air - Tue, 11/01/2022 - 19:00

NEW YORK – In case you missed it, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan and Congressman Pat Ryan (NY-19), traveled to Ulster County, New York on Friday to see firsthand the expedited removal of asbestos contamination under EPA’s Superfund program, as well as highlight the economic benefits being delivered thanks to the public-private partnership between federal, state, and local officials.

The deterioration of the site and its existing buildings were the result of improper demolition of buildings and mishandling of material that contains asbestos. The site - which once housed the area’s largest employer, IBM - has been an economic liability for over two decades because of asbestos contamination. Piles of asbestos sat on the site for six years, hampering redevelopment and risked contaminating the community because the former owner and other responsible parties refused to accept responsibility.

“Thanks to a dynamic public-private partnership, after years of sitting idle due to contamination, the former TechCity site is being reimagined as a burgeoning economic hub,” said Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Through EPA’s Superfund Program, we are making progress quickly to turn blight into might, protect people’s health, and safeguard the environment. This is a shining example of what can happen when federal, state, and local officials and business leaders come together in common pursuit. After touring the new iPark87 site, I couldn’t be more excited about what’s ahead for Ulster County. Thanks to President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will turn even more communities impacted by legacy pollution into thriving economic assets.”

EPA issued a Unilateral Order directing six responsible parties, including the two companies that owned/operated TechCity Site and Alan Ginsberg, their principal, to address the threats posed by the asbestos. The parties violated the Order, and EPA filed a superfund lien to secure its costs. Leaving the asbestos debris in its present state was a threat to the community and was unacceptable. EPA changed the dynamic and worked with our local and state partners to help transform the site for the sake of this community.

More than 7,000 tons of asbestos contaminated debris were transported for landfilling more than a month ahead of schedule, thereby ensuring that the ongoing threat of exposure to asbestos by the public has been eliminated. The associated Superfund removal action was partly funded by taxpayers, but EPA will recover 100% of those funds as well as its costs of overseeing the current work.

“As we all feel the strain of rising costs, iPark87 is an example of both the present and future of economic development in the Hudson Valley,” said Representative Pat Ryan. “After decades in disrepair and asbestos contamination, I am proud to say that this site is finally open for business, with hundreds of jobs soon to follow. I want to thank EPA Administrator Regan, our local elected officials, and National Resources CEO Joe Cotter for all their hard work on this project, which I have helped champion since my time as County Executive. Between the investment at IBM in Poughkeepsie, the groundbreaking yesterday at the Cresco facility in Ellenville, and this announcement today, we are making a statement that the Hudson Valley will be at the forefront of economic development in New York State for decades to come.”

“This is an exciting moment for the entire community, and I want to thank Congressman Ryan for his leadership in driving this project forward, as well as the EPA for their efforts which got us here today,” said Joe Cotter, President and CEO, National Resources. “Congressman Ryan brought everyone to the table after decades of mismanagement, and now we are primed to deliver thousands of good-paying jobs and an economic development hub for years to come. This is a model for public-private partnerships at old industrial sites across the country, and I look forward to working with Congressman Ryan, Acting County Executive Contreras and our other local partners as we continue to grow iPark87.”

“For far too long the former IBM site in the Town of Ulster was a symbol of the past and a constant reminder of better economic times that lay behind us,” said Acting Ulster County Executive Johanna Contreras. “Although there is still work ahead to realize a full transformation of the site, I am grateful to Mr. Cotter, Ms. Ward and the entire National Resources team for their vision and commitment, as evidenced by their achievements so far. Within months of purchasing the properties, National Resources has made good on their commitment to remove the asbestos-laden debris piles left behind by the property’s former owner. They have proposed a master plan for the campus that aligns with our Ulster 2040 economic development strategy, not only by seeking out tenants like Upriver Studios and Zinc8, who represent our priority industries, but also by incorporating housing, transportation and educational partners into their plans. Ulster County will continue to partner with National Resources in every way possible to see this exciting transformation through to its ultimate conclusion – a revitalized campus that once again serves as the heart of Ulster County’s economy.”

Administrator Regan celebrated with key local partners EPA and iPark’s on-going asbestos cleanup and job creation and discussed how the efforts to fund Superfund, such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, can support more projects like this in Ulster and around the country.

For details on the cleanup and additional background, visit EPA’s TechCity Response page.

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

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, Congressman Pat Ryan, Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia and other dignitaries at the revitalized office park site. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan at office park site revitalized under the Superfund program. BEFORE: Pile of covered asbestos containing material. AFTER: A last load of asbestos containing material is removed from the site.

EPA, MDE Lead Tour of Hagerstown Superfund Site

EPA Air - Tue, 11/01/2022 - 19:00

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 1, 2022) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), joined by U.S. Congressman David Trone, led stakeholders, contractors, responsible parties and others on a tour today of ongoing cleanup work at the Central Chemical Superfund Site, located along Mitchell Avenue in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Central Chemical is contaminated with remnants from agricultural pesticides and fertilizers that were blended at a plant located at the site from the 1930s until 1965.  All operations at the plant stopped in 1984, and the buildings were eventually demolished, but contaminants remained in the groundwater. EPA added it to the Superfund National Priorities List in September 1997.

“Central Chemical is a great example of the private sector stepping up and taking responsibility for cleaning up a contaminated site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz.  “MDE has been an outstanding partner with EPA, overseeing the cleanup so that this site can eventually be reused and redeveloped for the benefit of the Hagerstown community and local economy.”

“After years of work to correct decades of damage, a new future for the Hagerstown superfund site is within reach. But now is not the time to let up and I applaud the EPA for continuing to work with all parties to ensure the clean-up is successfully completed,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen. 

“It was great to tour the Central Chemical Superfund Site in Hagerstown to review their environmental cleanup efforts,” said Congressman David Trone. “In Congress, I’m proud to be an advocate for bold action on climate, including the cleanup of sites like this one. When we work together at all levels of the government, we can solve some of the biggest problems impacting our community.”

The tour included observation of the groundwater treatment plant, which is capturing contaminated groundwater around the former lagoon to reduce contamination before discharging treated water to the City’s storm sewer system. There was also a demonstration of how waste in the former lagoon is being treated using a process called in-situ Solidification/Stabilization (ISS).  ISS entails turning the lagoon waste into a solid block. Afterwards, the lagoon area will be covered with a cap to prevent water from contacting the treated waste. The ISS work is expected to be completed by the end of December 2022.

The EPA website provides more details on the history and ongoing work at the Central Chemical (Hagerstown) Superfund Site .

Colorado-based Bona US recognized as one of EPA’s 2022 Safer Choice Partners of the Year

EPA Air - Tue, 11/01/2022 - 19:00

DENVER — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Bona US of Englewood, Colorado, as one of 26 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners. Winners span across 14 states and the District of Columbia and are being recognized for achievement in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals. The Safer Choice program helps consumers and purchasers for facilities, such as schools and office buildings, find products containing chemical ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment.

This year’s awardees represent a wide variety of organizations, including small- and medium-sized businesses, women-owned companies, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and trade associations. This year’s winners have all shown a commitment to preventing pollution by reducing, eliminating, or stopping pollution at its source prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal.

“Cleaning and other products made with safer chemicals – like those certified by the Safer Choice program – help protect workers, families, communities, and the planet,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention Jennie Romer. “This year, we’re pleased to recognize a variety of organizations for their support of safer chemistry and sustainability, including organizations that have worked to make these products more affordable and accessible to all, advancing the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to equity and environmental justice.”

“The Safer Choice Program helps consumers find products that are safer for human health and the environment without sacrificing quality or performance,” said Regional Administrator KC Becker. “We are excited to recognize Bona US as an EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year for the second year in a row.”

“We are honored to receive the prestigious U.S. EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year award again this year,” said John Schierlmann, Director of Research, Development and EHS at Bona US. “As the Bona product portfolio expands, we remain committed to designing our products with the safest raw materials selected from the EPA’s Safer Choice Ingredient List. We look forward to working with the U.S. EPA Safer Choice team to develop additional avenues for safer chemistry.”

Bona US is recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Formulator-Product Manufacturer. Bona US has been a Safer Choice partner since 2020 and Safer Choice certification is a companywide objective. Bona US added seven new Safer Choice-certified products to its product line in 2021, with 100% of its certified products proudly displaying the Safer Choice label. Bona US raised awareness about the Safer Choice program with multiple social media posts and a multilingual Safer Choice portal on their website to further educate its customers on what it means to be Safer Choice certified. In 2021, Bona US participated in a “Safer Choice Certified At-Home Cleaning” broadcast media tour, which aired more than 1,100 times on TV, radio and internet outlets, reaching more than 738.5 million viewers and listeners. Safer Choice applauds Bona US for their commitment to the Safer Choice program and for educating consumers about what it means to be Safer Choice certified.

Applicants for this year’s awards were encouraged to show how their work advances environmental justice, bolsters resilience to the impacts of climate change, results in cleaner air or water, or improves drinking water quality. Many of the organizations being recognized today are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat the climate crisis. For example, several winners offer products with concentrated formulas which reduces water consumption and plastic use. This practice also lowers greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of product that must be transported.

Additionally, many awardees increased access to products with safer chemical ingredients in underserved and overburdened communities. For example, one nonprofit winner conducted targeted outreach in both English and Spanish to promote safer cleaning techniques and products, including Safer Choice-certified products, in food trucks. Many of these businesses are owned and operated by immigrant entrepreneurs. Another winner made its Safer Choice-certified product line more accessible to lower income shoppers by offering affordable prices and making these products available at retailers that often serve low-income communities.

In early 2023, EPA will build on this work by announcing a grant opportunity for projects that can increase supply and demand for safer, environmentally preferable products such as those certified by the Safer Choice program or identified by EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program.

More information on the 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners and summaries of their accomplishments are available here.

EPA Announces more than $6.3 Million in Rebates for Clean School Buses in Orangeburg, South Carolina

EPA Air - Tue, 11/01/2022 - 19:00

ORANGEBURG, SC (Nov 1, 2022) – Today at an event in Orangeburg, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the Orangeburg County School District (OSCD) will receive $6,320,000 in funding for Clean School Bus Program rebates. The funds will allow the district to purchase 16 electric school buses, accelerating the transition to zero-emission vehicles, and producing cleaner air for children and communities. Seventy five percent of the District’s 12,000 children travel by bus during the school year.

EPA Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman joined Congressman James Clyburn, State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman and Orangeburg officials in recognizing the award. Statewide, South Carolina will receive nearly $59 million for clean school bus rebates which will help 16 school districts in South Carolina purchase over 148 clean school buses. This funding is the third highest of any state in the country.

EPA's investment in zero-emission school buses highlights how districts will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save schools money, and better protect children's health. The investment will also drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, boost domestic manufacturing, and create good-paying jobs.

“The infrastructure bill is delivering critical resources for the communities I represent, which has always been my top priority,” said Congressman Clyburn. “This initial investment of $58 million for South Carolina, including $25.3 million for the Sixth District, will have a lasting impact on rural communities by providing students with reliable and climate-friendly transportation. South Carolina received the third greatest allocation of all the states in this round of awards, and there will be additional funding to come over the next four years of this program to assist even more communities across the state.”

“With this historic investment, schools in Orangeburg and across the southeast will be able to reduce pollution and provide our children with cleaner safer air,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. “This is especially critical for children in historically disadvantaged communities who deserve healthy air.”

“We are grateful for the award and what it means for students and residents in our state,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “South Carolina can now tout having a modern state fleet, with plans to have one of the largest fleets of electric school buses in the country. We look forward to the cost savings and many ways this will benefit our state, and we take pride in knowing that the next generation of school bus mechanics, bus drivers, STEM leaders and inventors will be riding on electric school buses very soon.

“The significant investment that the EPA is making in South Carolina, but especially in Orangeburg County School District, is a gift that our students and families will benefit from for years to come," said Dr. Shawn D. Foster, OCSD Superintendent. “Some of the current buses in our fleet are nearly 15 years old, and the addition of these buses will greatly improve our student's travel to and from school in a clean, safe, and, most importantly, healthy environment,” Foster continued.

EPA will distribute awards to school districts in all 50 states, Washington D.C., along with several federally recognized Tribes and U.S. territories. School districts identified as priority areas serving low-income, rural, and, or Tribal students make up 99% of the selected projects. More applications are under review, and the agency plans to select more to reach the full $965 million in the coming weeks.

Those school districts that received an award can now proceed with purchasing new buses and eligible infrastructure. Selectees will need to submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating they have ordered new buses and eligible infrastructure. EPA is also partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Transportation to provide school districts with robust technical assistance to ensure effective implementation.

These awards are the first $1 billion of a five-year, $5 billion program created by President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA is also designing the next rounds of program funding to launch in the coming months, including an ambitious grant competition. Through future funding rounds, EPA will make another $1 billion available for clean school buses in Fiscal Year 2023. EPA encourages school districts not selected in the first round of rebates – and those that did not apply this funding cycle – to participate in future rounds.

About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program

The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students' health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas and the communities through which the buses drive each day. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will also save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets, replacing older, heavily polluting buses with new clean school buses while freeing up needed school resources.

The 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates prioritize low-income, rural, and Tribal communities. The vast majority of applicants met the priority definition under the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates criteria, resulting in access to more funds for buses and electric vehicle infrastructure for schools in areas that need them the most. The program also delivers on President Biden's Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and overburdened by pollution.

View the full list of Clean School Bus award recipients here.

EPA Region 7 Celebrates Clean School Bus Rebate Program in Sidney, Iowa

EPA Air - Tue, 11/01/2022 - 19:00
EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister (far right) presents Sidney Community School District Superintendent Tim Hood (far left) and School District members with a ceremonial check for $1.185 million. (Photo credit: U.S. EPA)

LENEXA, KAN. (NOV. 1, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 celebrated the award of nearly $1.2 million in funding to the Sidney Community School District in Sidney, Iowa, to purchase three electric school buses through the Agency’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program.

The district was one of 13 Iowa recipients of the 2022 EPA Clean School Bus Rebate competition from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In total, Iowa school districts received $11.1 million in funding to purchase 28 electric school buses and two propane buses.

“The announcement of $11.1 million for Iowa school districts to purchase 30 clean school buses could not come at a better time,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “As EPA wraps up Children’s Health Month, this investment in electric school buses represents the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to the health of our children and to reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases in our communities.”

“Too many of our school children ride old and unsafe buses that pollute the air, and this has been directly tied to asthma,” said U.S. Representative Cindy Axne (IA-3). “I am pleased to see money I helped secure by voting for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law make its way back to Iowa. This investment in Sidney’s school buses will reduce air pollution and improve the health of students and the community.”

“In addition to being excited about the health and safety benefits of this electric bus grant for Sidney’s students, we see this as a way to save our community members’ tax dollars,” said Tim Hood, Sidney Community School District superintendent. “Three new school buses with quiet and clean operation will cost less to fuel than our old buses. Being around electric buses will be a great learning experience for our students and community, too. Many thanks to the EPA, the bipartisan folks who got this bill through, and special thanks to our Transportation Director Tim Limerick and Business Manager Tricia Glockel for the extra work they put into writing Sidney’s grant.”

Additionally, school districts throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska also received funding to purchase clean school buses through the Clean School Bus Rebate program. Including Iowa school districts, a total of $41.7 million was awarded to 51 districts in Region 7 to purchase a total of 109 clean school buses (106 electric and three propane).

In May, EPA announced the availability of $500 million for its Clean School Bus Program. Given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, tribal nations, and territories, EPA nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded to $965 million. The rebate application period closed in August with an outstanding response from school districts seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses across the country.

About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program

The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts, and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas, and the communities through which the buses drive each day. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will also save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets, replacing older, heavily polluting buses with brand new clean school buses, while freeing up needed resources for schools.

The 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates prioritize low-income, rural, and tribal communities. The vast majority of applicants met the priority definition under the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates criteria, resulting in access to more funds for buses and electric vehicle infrastructure for schools in areas that need them the most. The program also delivers on President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

View the full list of Clean School Bus award recipients.

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EPA $18.5 Million Rebate Will Put Clean School Buses on the Streets of New York City

EPA Air - Tue, 11/01/2022 - 19:00

NEW YORK - The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is transforming how New York City children get to school, accelerating the transition to zero-emission vehicles, and producing cleaner air for our communities. That is the message delivered today by EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan, Mayor Eric Adams, and other state and local leaders on the steps of City Hall in New York. EPA is making rebate awards nearing $18,500,000 available to three New York City school districts, allowing the purchase of 51 new clean school buses to take the streets.

“Protecting our kids and tackling the climate crisis is a win-win. New York City has one of the country's highest asthma rates among children and young adults. Transitioning away from dirty diesel and toward clean electric buses is a climate smart investment in our children's future,” said Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. "Cleaner air and less pollution are a net positive for every community in New York, and thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law this is just the beginning.” 

“We want our children’s future to be safe and sound with clean air and a healthy environment, so we are taking big steps to make sure their yellow school busses are green,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “This announcement is what happens when government works for all of us. More than $18 million in funding to purchase clean busses that run entirely on renewable energy will improve our kid’s lives and accelerate our transition to zero-emission school busses. It is clear that we must make big changes to protect our environment, our children, and our future from climate change and New York City is leading the way.”

“Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law, as the wheels of the new, electric school buses go round and round, carbon emissions and pollution are going to keep going down and down,” said Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer. “Over $18 million will supercharge our efforts to fight climate change and power over 50 brand new electric buses in New York City to keep our air clean, kids safe and our communities healthy. I am proud to deliver this tremendous environmental justice investment that will put our students on the road to a brighter future and a cleaner commute.”

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Massive federal investments and the sustained commitment to clean transportation by the Biden-Harris Administration, Majority Leader Schumer, and the State’s Congressional delegation will help bring New York one step closer to reaching Governor Hochul’s goals for zero-emission school buses here in New York City, and statewide. With $18.5 million going directly to help bring cleaner air to the city’s schoolchildren, we thank EPA Administrator Regan and Regional Administrator Garcia for working with New York State to support the transition to cleaner transportation.” 

“As Schools Chancellor, my absolute top priority is student safety and wellbeing. This includes wellbeing in our school communities. Through the electrification of buses, we are doing our part to create a cleaner and greener city,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “I’m grateful to the EPA for the essential work they are doing as part of this program, not just here in New York City, but across the nation.”

New York City Clean School Bus Coalition said, “The NYC Clean School Bus Coalition is thrilled that 51 electric school buses will be added to the New York City fleet as a result of the EPA’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program. Senate Majority Leader Schumer, Mayor Adams, and EPA Regional Administrator Garcia understand that electric school buses provide cleaner air for our schoolchildren and the communities that surround our school bus depots, improving public health and leading the transition to clean transportation and we are grateful for their support in this effort.”

“The work that the EPA is doing to increase the number of electric school buses is exactly the type of leadership effort we need in order to reduce emissions and shrink their carbon footprint. As the leader in EV School Bus sales in New York State, Bird Bus is proud to support the New York City school bus contractors with the tools they need to succeed now and, in the future, as they achieve their green fleet goals. The largest school district in the United States is going green and we are excited about being a critical part of the process,” explained Robert Reichenbach, President of Bird Bus Sales.

Today's announcement celebrates the $18,345,000 funding for buses and infrastructure for the NYC Chancellor's Office, Geographic District #1 and Community Partnership Charter School in Brooklyn. These awards are part of EPA's Clean School Bus Rebate Program, which awarded $69,620,000 to applicants related to 22 school districts in New York State, allowing the future purchase of 184 clean school buses

Applicant Organization

New York School Districts

Location

# Of Clean School Buses

Total Funding Amount

J.P. Bus & Truck Repair Ltd.

NYC Chancellor’s Office

New York City

25

$8,075,000

J.P. Bus & Truck Repair Ltd.

NYC Geographic District #1

New York City

25

$9,875,000

NESCO Bus & Truck Sales, Inc.

Community Partnership Charter School

Brooklyn

1

$395,000

In May, EPA announced the availability of $500 million for its Clean School Bus Program. Given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, Tribal nations, and territories, EPA nearly doubled the funding awarded to $965 million. The rebate application period closed in August with an outstanding response from school districts seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses across the country.

EPA will distribute awards to school districts in all 50 states, Washington D.C., along with several federally recognized Tribes and U.S. territories. School districts identified as priority areas serving low-income, rural, and, or Tribal students make up 99% of the selected projects. More applications are under review, and the agency plans to select more to reach the full $965 million in the coming weeks.

Those school districts that received an award can now proceed with purchasing new buses and eligible infrastructure. Selectees will need to submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating they have ordered new buses and eligible infrastructure. EPA is also partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Transportation to provide school districts with robust technical assistance to ensure effective implementation.

These awards are the first $1 billion of a five-year, $5 billion program created by President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA is also designing the next rounds of program funding to launch in the coming months, including an ambitious grant competition. Through future funding rounds, EPA will make another $1 billion available for clean school buses in Fiscal Year 2023. EPA encourages school districts not selected in the first round of rebates – and those that did not apply this funding cycle – to participate in future rounds.

About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program

The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students' health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas and the communities through which the buses drive each day. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will also save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets, replacing older, heavily polluting buses with new clean school buses while freeing up needed school resources.

The 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates prioritize low-income, rural, and Tribal communities. The vast majority of applicants met the priority definition under the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates criteria, resulting in access to more funds for buses and electric vehicle infrastructure for schools in areas that need them the most. The program also delivers on President Biden's Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and overburdened by pollution.

View the full list of Clean School Bus award recipients here.

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

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EPA Announces $52 Million WIFIA Loan to Modernize Drinking Water Infrastructure in Pflugerville, Texas

EPA Air - Tue, 11/01/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $52 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Pflugerville, Texas, to support its Water Treatment Plant Expansion Project. With this WIFIA loan, EPA is helping to increase how much drinking water the plant can treat and making the water safer to drink through new treatment and filtration technology.

“Congratulations to the City of Pflugerville on closing the first WIFIA loan in the State of Texas,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “With this loan, the EPA is providing the City of Pflugerville with low-cost financing to undertake critical upgrades to their drinking water system that serves 76,000 residents.”

The Water Treatment Plant Expansion project will increase the City of Pflugerville’s drinking water system’s capacity to meet projected demand from 17.7 million gallons per day to 30 million gallons per day. To address water quality concerns and protect public health, the city will upgrade drinking water infrastructure and utilize new pretreatment and filtration technologies to enhance the system’s disinfection process and help meet EPA standards. Overall, these improvements will help the system comply with regulatory requirements, enhance overall system resiliency, and meet projected water demand through 2050.

“I'm monumentally excited about this project and our strategic funding strategies because it delivers what the residents deserve for clean water at a great price,” said Brandon Pritchett, Public Utility Director, City of Pflugerville. “While we have to do a lot of work to get there, it delivers a project that the ratepayers deserve, and a clean product that's going to be resilient and robust for the next 30 years.”

By financing with a WIFIA loan, the City of Pflugerville will save over $13 million and will be able to accelerate other capital improvement projects for its drinking water system. Construction is expected to be completed in 2023, and construction and operation are estimated to create approximately 325 jobs. Through WIFIA and $50 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is working to deliver the benefits of water infrastructure improvements to communities across the country.

Background

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 93 WIFIA loans that are providing $16 billion in credit assistance to help finance over $34 billion for water infrastructure while creating 103,000 jobs and saving ratepayers $5.5 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 Region 4 Announces 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award Winners

EPA Air - Tue, 11/01/2022 - 19:00

ATLANTA (November 1, 2022) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 office is recognizing three Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners for achievement in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals.

The Safer Choice program helps consumers and purchasers for facilities, such as schools and office buildings, find products that perform and are safer for human health and the environment. In support of the Biden-Harris Administration goals, EPA encouraged submission of award applications that show how the applicant’s work in the design, manufacture, selection and use of those products promotes environmental justice, bolsters resilience to the impacts of climate change, results in cleaner air or water or improves drinking water quality.

"We are proud to recognize the Home Depot in Georgia, Novozymes North America in North Carolina, and the ODP Corporation in Florida for their commitment to promote and manufacture safer chemicals," said EPA Region 4 Administrator Daniel Blackman. “Their achievements as a Safer Choice Retailor, Innovator, and Distributor provide consumers and commercial buyers with products that are safer for communities and the environment.”

The Home Depot, Atlanta, Ga.

The Home Depot is recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Retailer. In 2021, The Home Depot relaunched their Eco Options website as Eco Actions to emphasize their commitment to the environment. Safer Choice-certified products are included as a subcategory within the Eco Actions Responsible Chemistry category. The Home Depot also increased its offerings of Safer Choice-certified products, from 173 products in 2020 to 185 in 2021. The Home Depot’s website features Safer Choice-certified products, many of which have labels on the front of the products, making the Safer Choice label visible to website users. The company also raises awareness of the Safer Choice label by displaying it on product lifestyle images and through in-store signage. This exposure reaches an estimated 21 million individuals per week. Safer Choice applauds The Home Depot’s dedication to selling products with safer chemical ingredients.

Novozymes North America, Raleigh, N.C.

Novozymes is recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Innovator. In 2021, Novozymes added six ingredients to CleanGredients, a database of chemical ingredients pre-approved for use in Safer Choice-certified products. Novozymes supported 12 requests made by formulators and brand owners for certification of formulations by the Safer Choice program. The company also ran a survey of 1,000 consumers in the United States to gather data on consumer perception of Safer Choice as the most trustworthy certification on laundry products. Novozymes provided this information to formulators to help them understand how Safer Choice certification enables commercial success. To build awareness of the Safer Choice program, Novozymes promoted the Safer Choice program and their Safer Choice-certified products on its website and social media channels. Novozymes showed its commitment to EPA’s goal of addressing climate change by working to reduce carbon emissions. Novozymes has also committed to ensuring zero waste by 2030. The company is well on its way to this goal, with a recycling rate of non-biomass waste at 62% in 2021, compared to 48% in 2020. Safer Choice commends Novozymes work to manufacture safer chemicals in a sustainable manner.

The ODP Corporation, Boca Raton, Fla.

The ODP Corporation (ODP), formerly Office Depot, is recognized as an outstanding Safer Choice Distributor. As part of ODP’s stewardship, the company supports the responsible use of chemicals. This commitment extends to all the products it sells, including private and other brands, the packaging for those products, and the manufacturing processes for those products. The company seeks to phase out chemicals of concern and improve the general management of chemicals. ODP has focused on green procurement and sales by providing products that are energy efficient, use recycled content, and certified by Safer Choice and other third-party ecolabels. ODP recently launched a new line of products that are Safer Choice-certified. These products are available as concentrates and can be filled in a reusable bottle, reducing waste. This supports EPA’s goal of addressing climate change. Safer Choice applauds ODP’s commitment to safer and sustainable products.

EPA’s Safer Choice program is hosting the 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards Ceremony and Partner and Stakeholder Summit in Arlington, Virginia on November 1-3. The public is invited to attend one or both events in person or virtually. Register at https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-choice-partner-year-awards-ceremony-and-partner-and-stakeholder-summit-2022.

More information on the 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners and summaries of their accomplishments are available at: http://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-choice-partner-year-awards.

For more information on the Safer Choice program, visit https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice.

###

EPA Announces 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award Winners

EPA Air - Tue, 11/01/2022 - 19:00

WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced 26 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners across 14 states and the District of Columbia, recognizing their achievements in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals.

The Safer Choice program helps consumers and purchasers for facilities, such as schools and office buildings, find products containing chemical ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment.

“Cleaning and other products made with safer chemicals – like those certified by the Safer Choice program - help protect workers, families, communities, and the planet,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention Jennie Romer. “This year, we’re pleased to recognize a variety of organizations for their support of safer chemistry and sustainability, including organizations that have worked to make these products more affordable and accessible to all, advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to equity and environmental justice.”

This year’s awardees represent a wide variety of organizations, including small- and medium-sized businesses, women-owned companies, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, and trade associations. This year’s winners have all shown a commitment to preventing pollution by reducing, eliminating, or stopping pollution at its source prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal.

Applicants for this year’s awards were encouraged to show how their work advances environmental justice, bolsters resilience to the impacts of climate change, results in cleaner air or water, or improves drinking water quality. Many of the organizations being recognized today are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat the climate crisis. For example, several winners offer products with concentrated formulas which reduces water consumption and plastic use. This practice also lowers greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of product that must be transported.

Additionally, many awardees increased access to products with safer chemical ingredients in underserved and overburdened communities. For example, one nonprofit winner conducted targeted outreach in both English and Spanish to promote safer cleaning techniques and products, including Safer Choice-certified products, in food trucks. Many of these businesses are owned and operated by immigrant entrepreneurs. Another winner made its Safer Choice-certified product line more accessible to lower income shoppers by offering affordable prices and making these products available at retailers that often serve low-income communities.

In early 2023, EPA will build on this work by announcing a grant opportunity for projects that can increase supply and demand for safer, environmentally preferable products such as those certified by the Safer Choice program or identified by EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program.

A list of the 2022 Partner of the Year award winners can be found below. Learn more about the 2022 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners and summaries of their accomplishments.

List of Winners

American Cleaning Institute, District of Columbia

The Ashkin Group, LLC, Channel Islands Harbor, Calif.

Bona US, Englewood, Colo.

Case Medical, Bloomfield, N.J.

Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Ewing, N.J.

Clean Safety & Health in Food Trucks (CleanSHiFT) Team, Seattle, Wash.

The Clorox Company, Oakland, Calif.

Colgate-Palmolive, New York, N.Y.

Design for the Environment Logo Redesign Coalition: Environmental Defense Fund, The Natural Resources Defense Council, The Clorox Company, The Procter & Gamble Company, and Reckitt

Dirty Labs Inc., Portland, Ore.

ECOS, Cypress, Calif.

Grove Collaborative, San Francisco, Calif.

The Hazardous Waste Management Program, Seattle, Wash.

Holloway House, Inc., Fortville, Ind.

The Home Depot, Atlanta, Ga.

Household & Commercial Products Association, District of Columbia

Jelmar, LLC, Skokie, Ill.

Lemi Shine, Austin, Texas

LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, San Francisco, Calif.

Mother Africa, Kent, Wash.

Novozymes North America, Raleigh, N.C.

The ODP Corporation, Boca Raton, Fla.

The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio

PurposeBuilt Brands, Gurnee, Ill.

Sensitive Home, Greenbrae, Calif.

Solutex, Sterling, Va.

EPA and Senator Chuck Schumer Highlight the Transition to Clean School Buses After Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Investment for New York City Children

EPA Air - Mon, 10/31/2022 - 19:00

NEW YORK – Tomorrow, EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and other state and local leaders will celebrate New York City School District recipients of EPA’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program. With nearly $18,500,000, 51 new electric school buses will shuttle New York City children to and from school.

Who:

  • Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia
  • Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer
  • State and local leaders

What:

Celebration of New York City School Districts Clean School Bus Rebate award. Photo opportunity with yellow electric school bus and press conference to follow.

When:

Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at 11:15 am.

Media should be set by 11:00 am, with press conference to follow at 11:15 am.

Where:

New York City Hall

City Hall Park

New York, NY 10007

(Map)

Credentialed press who would like to attend should RSVP to Stephen McBay at McBay.Stephen@epa.gov.

Reporters are encouraged to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the press conference. TV crews and cameras will be responsible for their own technical and sound requirements.

Consistent with CDC guidance, individuals are encouraged to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines at this event.

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Biden-Harris Administration Announces More than $13 Million from EPA's Clean School Bus Program for 13 Maine School Districts

EPA Air - Mon, 10/31/2022 - 19:00

WELLS, MAINE (October 31, 2022) — Flanked by local officials, parents and school children, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) New England Regional Administrator David Cash announced the Biden-Harris Administration's Fiscal Year 2022 recipients of EPA's Clean School Bus Program rebate competition, including $13,340,000 from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to 13 school districts in Maine, including a significant investment for the community of Wells.

The grants in Maine will help school districts purchase 34 clean school buses that will accelerate the transition to zero emissions vehicles and produce cleaner air in and around schools and communities. The community of Wells will receive $4,345,000 to assist purchasing 11 clean, zero-emission school buses.

EPA's investment in zero-emission school buses highlights how they will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save schools money, and better protect children's health. The investment will also drive demand for American-made batteries and vehicles, boost domestic manufacturing, and create good-paying jobs.

"President Biden's historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is accelerating our nation's transition to electric and low-emission school buses while ensuring a brighter, healthier future for our children," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. "As many as 25 million children rely on the bus to get to school each day. Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration, we are making an unprecedented investment in our children's health, especially those in communities overburdened by air pollution. This is just the beginning of our work to build a healthier future, reduce climate pollution, and ensure the clean, breathable air that all our children deserve."

"With the new Clean School Bus program, EPA is delivering significant funding to Maine school districts for clean electric school buses, with a particular focus on reducing air pollution in several areas with a large proportion of historically-disadvantaged communities with priority needs," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "These zero-emission vehicles will help provide cleaner and healthier air for school children, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change."

Today's announcement includes funding for buses and infrastructure for the following school districts in Maine:

Bar Harbor, Mt Desert CSD, one school bus, $395,000
Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor Public Schools, one school bus, $395,000
Blue Hill, Castine Public Schools, one school bus, $395,000
Calais, Pleasant Point, three school buses, $1,095,000
Baileyville, Waite Public Schools, one school bus, $395,000
Bingham, RSU 83/MSAD 13, one school bus, $395,000
Searsport, RSU 20, two school buses, $790,000
Baileyville, East Range CSD, one school bus, $395,000
Dayton Public Schools, four school buses, $1,580,000
Waterboro RSU 57/MSAD 57, two school buses, $790,000
Wells-Ogunquit CSD, 11 school buses, $4,345,000
Somerville, RSU 12, two school buses, $790,000
Winthrop Public Schools, four school buses, $1,580,000

"From Baileyville to Wells, these 34 electric buses funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help towns cut costs, reduce emissions, and protect the health of their students," said Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden." This is a significant investment in the future of our state and our students that demonstrates the immediate positive impacts of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law across Maine."

"What a tremendous opportunity this is for our district and communities. Anytime we can reduce dependence on fossil fuels, GHG emissions, and pollution into the environment, it's a win for our children and community," said James Daly, Superintendent of Schools for the Town of Wells.

In May, EPA announced the availability of $500 million for its Clean School Bus Program. Given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, Tribal nations, and territories, EPA nearly doubled the amount of funding that will be awarded to $965 million. The rebate application period closed in August with an outstanding response from school districts seeking to purchase electric and low-emission school buses across the country.

At this time, the agency has selected 389 applications totaling $913 million to support the purchase of 2,463 buses, 95% of which will be electric. EPA will distribute awards to school districts in all 50 states, Washington D.C., along with several federally recognized Tribes and U.S. territories. School districts identified as priority areas serving low-income, rural, and, or Tribal students make up 99% of the projects that were selected. More applications are under review, and the agency plans to select more to reach the full $965 million in the coming weeks.

Those school districts who received an award can now proceed with purchasing new buses and eligible infrastructure. Selectees will need to submit Payment Request Forms with purchase orders demonstrating they have ordered new buses and eligible infrastructure. EPA is also partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Transportation to provide school districts with robust technical assistance to ensure effective implementation.

These awards are the first $1 billion of a five-year, $5 billion program created by President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA is also designing the next rounds of program funding to launch in the coming months, which will include an ambitious grant competition. Through future rounds of funding, EPA will make available another $1 billion for clean school buses in Fiscal Year 2023. EPA encourages school districts not selected in the first round of rebates – and those that did not apply this funding cycle – to participate in future rounds.

About the Clean School Bus Rebate Program

The Clean School Bus Program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for school districts and produce cleaner air. Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students' health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and Tribal communities. Phasing out these diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near the bus loading areas, and the communities through which the buses drive each day. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis. The program will also save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets, replacing older, heavily polluting buses with brand new clean school buses, while freeing up needed resources for schools.

The 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates prioritize low-income, rural, and Tribal communities. The vast majority of applicants met the priority definition under the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates criteria, resulting in access to more funds for buses and electric vehicle infrastructure for schools in areas that need them the most. The program also delivers on President Biden's Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved and overburdened by pollution.

View the full list of Clean School Bus award recipients here.

EPA Unveils Historic National Lead Strategy in Omaha, Nebraska

EPA Air - Fri, 10/28/2022 - 19:00
OLEM Deputy Assistant Administrator Carlton Waterhouse (right of check) and EPA Region 7 Deputy Administrator Ed Chu (far left) present the Douglas County Health Department with a ceremonial check for $12.7 million. (Photo credit: U.S. EPA)

LENEXA, KAN. (OCT. 28, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled its historic National Lead Strategy before a cooperative agreement renewal ceremony with the Douglas County Health Department today in Omaha, Nebraska.

Omaha was once home to a large lead smelter and lead battery recycling plant that are estimated to have released over 400 million pounds (200,000 tons) of lead particles into the environment, with much of that ending up in residential areas.

The National Lead Strategy reflects the Agency’s commitment to protecting children from harmful exposures to lead, while reducing disproportionate impacts of lead exposure on high-risk communities. EPA will continue to work to protect people from lead through the historic investments from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to clean lead-contaminated soil at Superfund sites and replace drinking water lead pipes and service lines.

“The release of EPA’s National Lead Strategy’s during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is more than a symbolic gesture. It is a reflection of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to substantially reducing childhood lead exposure,” said EPA Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) Deputy Assistant Administrator Carlton Waterhouse. “With this strategy, we seek to not only reduce lead exposure in children, but also to eliminate the historic racial and socioeconomic disparities in blood lead levels and promote environmental justice with actions that will improve the lives of our nation’s residents that live in disproportionally impacted communities.”

               Map of the Omaha Lead Superfund Site

Omaha was chosen as the location to announce EPA’s National Lead Strategy as historic smelting operations there resulted in the largest residential lead Superfund site in the United States.

Following the announcement of the National Lead Strategy, EPA Region 7 held a ceremony to recognize the seven-year, $12.7 million renewal of the Agency’s cooperative agreement with the Douglas County Health Department (DCHD), with $1.8 million awarded annually.

The agreement renewal will provide funding for the county’s free blood lead screening services for children 7 years old and under, as well as pregnant and nursing women, residing within the Omaha Lead Superfund Site. The renewal D will also provide funding for indoor lead dust screening, as well as education and outreach to medical professionals within the site boundary.

“Renewing our cooperative agreement with the Douglas County Health Department is an essential step to ensuring residents within the site boundary continue to have access to free blood lead screening,” said EPA Region 7 Deputy Administrator Ed Chu. “I encourage parents and caregivers of children to sign up for testing, as children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead poisoning.”

"Omaha is home to the country's largest residential lead Superfund site. We are honored to work alongside the EPA to serve those in our community who are impacted by lead contamination,” said Douglas County Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse. “Lead exposure is a serious and preventable cause of cognitive harm to many children, and this collaborative agreement with our federal partners means that we can build upon the great work that has already been done in our community and reach even more potentially impacted families, giving every child the best start possible to lead happy and healthy lives.”

EPA and the city of Omaha also have a cooperative agreement in place for the cleanup of the Omaha Lead Superfund Site.

Background

The Omaha Lead Superfund Site, consisting of approximately 27 square miles of property within the metro area of Omaha. Soils across a broad swath of the city were contaminated with lead over more than a century, primarily from the operation of a major lead smelter situated along the west bank of the Missouri River, which sent particulate lead aloft from its smokestacks and deposited it on the landscape. Other sources of lead contamination at the site included a former paint manufacturer, former lead battery plant, and the decay of lead-based paint from homes and other structures.

EPA and the city of Omaha have completed residential soil sampling at over 40,000 properties and residential soil remediation at over 13,000 properties within the site. Today, only 165 residential properties remain to be sampled and 594 properties still need soil remediation.

  • Read the Lead Strategy.
  • Learn more about the Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan.
  • Learn more about Douglas County’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.
  • Learn more about the Omaha Lead Superfund Site.

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Colorado to receive $411,440 through EPA’s Pollution Prevention Grant program

EPA Air - Fri, 10/28/2022 - 19:00

DENVER – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) with $411,440 in Pollution Prevention (P2) grants to support state programs as they work with businesses to prevent or reduce pollution and reduce costs. CDPHE is one of thirty-two (32) recipients of $9 million in P2 grants announced by the EPA earlier this month.

“EPA’s support of Colorado’s exemplary Pollution Prevention partnerships continue to help businesses develop and implement strategies to reduce toxic pollution, waste production, water and energy use, and the use of raw materials, while also lowering business costs” said EPA Region 8’s Acting Director of Land Chemicals and Redevelopment Division, Nancy Morlock.  “This funding will also help the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment develop and share best practices through several different pathways focusing efforts on environmental justice concerns in underserved communities.” 

CDPHE’s P2 grant will be used to:

  • Identify, develop, document, and share P2 best practices through the Colorado Green Business Network (CGBN) technical assistance and recognition program. Through this program, businesses throughout the state of Colorado can receive free on‐site and off‐site technical assistance in operational efficiency, as well as recognition to incentivize continual improvement in operational sustainability.
  • Support community based P2 efforts amongst state and local technical assistance providers (TAPs), in addition to providing resources to enable the foundation of new TAPs across the state. The CGBN will focus efforts throughout its activities on environmental justice (EJ) concerns in underserved communities and on climate change impacts and GHG emissions reductions. Click here to learn more about CGBN.
  • Support five P2 internship projects for Colorado State University graduate fellows, focusing on the Food and Beverage Manufacturing and Processing sector.

The grants announced this month are in addition to $12 million in P2 grants that were announced in September and made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic $100 million program investment in EPA’s P2 program.

The P2 grants also deliver on the President’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities. EPA anticipates the majority of grants will successfully direct at least 40% of their environmental and human health benefits onto disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

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

A full list of the entities selected to receive funding can be found here.

Read more about P2 and the P2 Grant Programs.

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