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EPA Proposes Permitting Rules for Greenhouse Gas Emissions — Texas Dissents
August 12, 2010 04:53 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN
Following the Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule, the US EPA issued a proposed two new rules to address the permitting issues which the tailoring rule created. The GHG Tailoring Rule, specifies that beginning in 2011, facilities that increase GHG emissions substantially will require an air permit. The EPA proposed two rules to ensure that businesses planning to build new, large facilities or make major expansions to existing ones will be able to obtain Clean Air Act permits that address their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Tailoring Rule covers large industrial facilities like power plants and oil refineries that are responsible for 70 percent of the GHGs from stationary sources. The new EPA proposals are a critical component for implementing the Tailoring Rule and would ensure that GHG emissions from these large facilities are minimized. The Clean Air Act requires states to develop EPA-approved implementation plans that include requirements for issuing air permits. When federal permitting requirements change, as they did after EPA finalized the GHG Tailoring Rule, states likely need to modify these plans.
How to Make the Most of Solar Power
August 12, 2010 03:31 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
A solar panel (photovoltaic module or photovoltaic panel) is a packaged interconnected assembly of solar cells, also known as photovoltaic cells. The solar panel is used as a component in a larger photovoltaic system to offer electricity for commercial and residential applications. There are many methods available to try to increase their output. There is now a new entrant to the realm of solar panel accessories that is said to increase panel performance while decreasing costs. Joining solar trackers and microinverters is a new polymer film called FUSION by Genie Lens Technologies.
Cleanup of Superfund Site Completed in Morris County, New Jersey
August 12, 2010 12:47 PM - David A Gabel, ENN
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has successfully completed the cleanup of a superfund site in Long Hill Township and Harding Township, Morris County, NJ. The site, at the edge of a National Wildlife Refuge, had formerly served as an asbestos dump. It has now been removed from the National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites.
EPA Sets Limits on Mercury and Other Air Emissions from Cement Kilns
August 11, 2010 04:44 PM - Roger Greenway, ENN
Cement plants emit mercury from the kilns used in the cement manufacturing process. Cement kilns operate at high temperatures, and are, in fact used to destroy many types of toxic substances. The rule, proposed on August 9, 2010 also applies to total hydrocarbons (THC), and particulate matter (PM) from new and existing kilns located at major and area sources, and for hydrochloric acid (HCl) from new and existing kilns located at major sources. The standards for new kilns apply to facilities that commence construction, modification, or reconstruction after May 6, 2009 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final rules to cut emissions of mercury, particle pollution and other harmful pollutants from Portland cement manufacturing, the third-largest source of mercury air emissions in the United States. EPA calculates that the rules will yield $7 to $19 in public health benefits for every dollar in costs.
The Fish May Now Return
August 11, 2010 02:36 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
The Gulf of Mexico has been a problem for fishing and other marine life even since the BP oil spill earlier this year. Things are looking up finally. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has just reopened 5,144 square miles of Gulf waters to commercial and recreational finfish fishing. Since July 3, NOAA data have shown no oil in the newly reopened area, and United States Coast Guard observers flying over the area in the last 30 days have also not observed any visible oil. Even more importantly, fish caught in the area and tested by NOAA experts have shown no signs of contamination.
Harvesting Indonesian Ice
August 11, 2010 11:57 AM - David A Gabel, ENN
Ice can exist on the equator, so long as it's at a high elevation. The Indonesian mountain ridge, which rises to 16,000 feet on the island of New Guinea, supports the presence of such an ice field. According to a study by researchers from Ohio State University, that tropical ice field can disappear within a few years. Their studies also offer clues of the El Nino weather phenomenon that dominates climate variability in the tropics.
August 10, 2010 04:58 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Biochar is charcoal type created by the pyrolysis of biomass, and differs from ordinary charcoal only in the sense that its primary use is not for fuel, but for biosequestration or atmospheric carbon capture and storage. As much as 12 percent of the world’s human caused greenhouse gas emissions could be sustainably offset by producing biochar. That’s more than what could be offset if the same plants and materials were burned to generate energy, concludes a recent study published in the journal Nature Communications. Biochar could sequester carbon in the soil for hundreds to thousands of years.
Plastic Bag Problems in India
August 9, 2010 02:46 PM - Andy Soos, ENN
Plastic shopping bags, carrier bags or plastic grocery bags are a common type of carryall used in several countries. Most often these bags are intended for one single use to carry items from a store to a home. Before then paper bags were most commonly used. The real change in grocery bags did not start until 1982, when the two of America’s largest grocery companies Safeway and Kroger started replacing paper bags with plastic bags. These bags are useful and inexpensive but can cause numerous other problems. In India a new concern has arisen.
Accusations of Flawed Climate Science are Rejected by the EPA
August 9, 2010 12:43 PM - David A Gabel, ENN
Since the Obama Administration came to power in Washington, the EPA has taken upon itself the mission of addressing global climate change. They have been very proactive in getting information out confirming that climate change exists and that it is caused, at least in part, by human activities. Ten petitions were sent to the agency to challenge the EPA's position on climate change. Upon review, the EPA has decided to fully reject the claims made in the petitions, determining that they are without merit.
NOAA Solution to Lionfish Invasion, eat them!
August 8, 2010 10:28 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
A new NOAA study looking at how to curb the rapid growth of lionfish, an invasive species not native to the Atlantic Ocean, suggests that approximately 27 percent of mature lionfish will have to be removed monthly for one year to reduce its population growth rate to zero. But the good news is that the invasive fish happens to be delicious—and NOAA is encouraging chefs to find new ways to introduce it to U.S. consumers. Lionfish are native to the western and central Pacific Ocean, but have established themselves from North Carolina to South America. They are a popular aquarium fish that were likely first released in Florida waters in the mid-1980s. Since then, the species has spread rapidly. Scientists and public officials are seriously concerned at the effect lionfish are having on reef ecosystems, since this predator is capable of rapid population growth and outcompeting native fish for food and territory.