Court Leaves EPA Sulfur Dioxide Limits in Place
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled to uphold a clean air standard that limits dangerous intense bursts of sulfur dioxide pollution from power plants, factories, and other sources, rejecting challenges by polluting industries. The standard will prevent thousands of premature deaths, hospital admissions, and emergency room visits, and over 50,000 asthma attacks each year.
Sulfur dioxide pollution causes a variety of adverse health impacts including breathing difficulties, aggravation of asthma, and increased hospital and emergency room visits for respiratory illnesses.
Sulfur dioxide pollution causes a variety of adverse health impacts including breathing difficulties, aggravation of asthma, and increased hospital and emergency room visits for respiratory illnesses. This stronger standard will protect the health of millions of people at risk from sulfur dioxide, especially seniors, children, and people with asthma.
EPA Allows Wisconsin to Limit Phosphorous Discharges to Great Lakes
The EPA has approved Wisconsin’s program to reduce phosphorus levels in the Great Lakes and Wisconsin’s inland waters.
“EPA and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are working together to improve water quality by reducing phosphorus levels,” said Regional Administrator/ Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman. “This will reduce harmful algal blooms and ensure oxygen levels support fish and other aquatic life.”
Wisconsin’s program allows permit holders to meet phosphorus discharge requirements through partnership arrangements with others who release phosphorus. Permit holders can make such arrangements to achieve phosphorus reductions more economically. This allows communities and other permit holders to save money while still ensuring overall phosphorus levels are reduced in the watershed.
EPA to Review Landfill Air Standards
The EPA filed a proposed consent decree to establish legal deadlines to review whether its outdated new source performance standards (NSPS) for municipal solid waste landfills are still effective. Under the decree, EPA says it will determine by May 1, 2013, whether to update the municipal solid waste landfill NSPS, last revised in 1996, and, if merited, issue a final rule by May 1, 2014. It would resolve a lawsuit brought last year by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), represented by Earthjustice against EPA (EDF v. Jackson) over the agency’s failure to update the standard as required every eight years under the Clean Air Act (CAA). EDF in October of 2008 filed a notice-of-intent-to-sue EPA over its failure to update the 1996 landfill NSPS, where it laid out a detailed case for why the agency should include methane limits, saying that landfills regulated by the current NSPS are significant sources of methane, accounting for 22.6% of all domestic methane emissions in 2006. The review could also call into question whether the agency should adopt first-time limits on landfill greenhouse gas (GHG) methane.
Greensboro RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Greensboro, North Carolina, from August 7–9 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
Dallas RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management in Texas and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Dallas, Texas, from August 7–9 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
Birmingham RCRA and DOT Training
Register for Hazardous Waste Management: The Complete Course (RCRA) and DOT Hazardous Materials Training: The Complete Course, in Birmingham, Alabama, from August 14–16 and save $100. To take advantage of this offer, click here or call 1-800-537-2372.
How to Prepare for OSHA’s Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS)
OSHA has issued a final rule revising its Hazard Communication Standard, aligning it with the United Nations’ globally harmonized system (GHS) for the classification and labeling of hazardous chemicals. This means that virtually every product label, material safety data sheet (now called “safety data sheet” or SDS), and written hazard communication plan must be revised to meet the new standard. Worker training must be updated so that workers can recognize and understand the symbols and pictograms on the new labels as well as the new hazard statements and precautions on SDSs.
Environmental Resource Center is offering webcast training for you to learn how the new rule differs from current requirements, how to implement the changes, and when the changes must be implemented. Register for an upcoming webcast on How to Prepare for OSHA’s Globally Harmonized Hazard Communication Standard (GHS) offered on the following dates:
Easy Tips to Save Water
Much of the country is experiencing drought conditions. But even if you are not in a drought area, its always a good idea to save water, which also saves money and energy. Use this link to calculate how much you can save.
Of the estimated 29 billion gallons of water used daily by households in the US, nearly 7 billion gallons, or 30%, is devoted to outdoor water use. In the hot summer months, or in dry climates, a household's outdoor water use can be as high as 70%.
Summer’s rising temperatures often coincide with rising outdoor water use, primarily due to an increase in lawn and landscape watering. While using water efficiently is important throughout the year, sometimes the timing of water use can make a big difference for community water supplies—and your water bill.
The amount of water used to keep lawns green or gardens lush spikes in the summer—two to four times as much water used the rest of the year. About half of the water we use outdoors goes to waste from evaporation, wind, or runoff due to overwatering. And those with timed outdoor watering systems often forget to monitor the weather or set their irrigation controllers back in the fall, leading to more overwatering during the cooler months.
You can help use less water and create a more healthy landscape on your property by using and sharing these facts about overwatering and tips for reducing outdoor water use.
Here are some tips for saving water outdoors:
- Water during cool hours—morning is best to prevent fungus and mildew growth—to minimize evaporation and don’t water on windy days which also wastes water lost to evaporation
- Don’t let the hose run while washing your car. A bucket of water and quick hose rinse will conserve many gallons of water
- Collect rainwater from your downspouts to water your plants and garden
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways, patios and sidewalks
- Apply mulch around plantings to retain moisture
- Check outdoor faucets, sprinklers and hoses for leaks
- Use regionally appropriate water-saving plant species (see this list for varieties in your area)
- Use the WaterSense Water Budget Tool to plan your landscape for water-efficiency
- Raise your lawn mower blade, especially in the summer, when mowing too close to the ground will promote thirsty new growth. Longer grass promotes deeper root growth and a more drought resistant lawn. Longer grass blades also help shade each other, reducing evaporation, and minimizing weed growth. The optimal turf grass height is the tallest allowable height within the recommended mowing range for the turf species grown.
- If you have sprinklers, install a timer and a rain sensor; this avoids watering during or after adequate precipitation
- Grass doesn’t always need water just because it’s hot out. Step on the lawn, and if the grass springs back, it doesn’t need water. An inexpensive soil moisture sensor can also show the amount of moisture at the plant’s roots and discourage overwatering.
- If you have a swimming pool, cover it with a solar blanket whenever it is not in use. You’ll not only reduce evaporation, you’ll keep the pool warm, and reduce chemical use.
The bathroom is the largest consumer of indoor water. The toilet alone can use 27% of household water. Older toilets use between 3.5 and 7 gallons of water per flush. Newer efficient toilets require 75 to 80% less water. A leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water every day. Here are some tips for saving water indoors:
- Keep drinking water in your refrigerator
- Fix leaky faucets and toilets immediately
- Install water saving shower heads
- Take shorter showers or take a bath
- Install high efficiency, low-flow faucet aerators
- Fill your dishwasher before use
- Select the proper water level and temperature for laundry
- Don't let water run down the drain while rinsing vegetables and dishes; collect the water and use it in your garden
- Turn off the water while shaving, brushing your teeth, etc.
- Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket
- Install low-flow toilets
- Purchase WaterSense labeled products
First Half of 2012 Sets MPG Record for Higher Auto Fuel Efficiency
The first half of 2012 set the record for the highest-ever fuel efficiency for new passenger vehicles entering the US market, according to industry analysts Baum & Associates.
The country reached this record mile per gallon (MPG) level without relying on higher small car sales—a significant shift from a pattern going back to the 1973 Arab oil embargo where similar gains were achieved only when consumers moved to smaller vehicles in the face of higher gas prices.
From January to June of 2012, the average fuel efficiency of new passenger vehicles was 23.8 MPG, improving by 1.1 MPG the record of 22.7 MPG set over the same six months in 2011. Baum & Associates calculated the average fuel efficiency using monthly fuel economy data from the University of Michigan and sales data from Wards Automotive.
Importantly, the projected new auto sales figure for 2012 is 14.2 million units, up a strong 1.5 million vehicles over 2011.
“Thanks to a bumper crop of fuel efficient models in the most popular segments, consumers don’t have to choose between fuel efficiency and performance,” said Alan Baum, principal of Baum & Associates. “No matter what type of vehicle you want, midsize car, minivan, SUV, or pickup truck, carmakers are now upping fuel efficiency performance across the board. The new era of auto fuel efficiency is truly here.”
Baum pointed to three key factors accounting for these trends that fly in the face of past experience during periods of high gas prices:
- There are now significantly more fuel-efficient vehicle choices of all sizes for consumers. The number of high fuel efficiency, high volume vehicle models has more than doubled since 2009 from 28 to 60, according to analysis by Baum & Associates. These include fuel-efficient models of small cars, midsize cars, and crossovers (CUVs). A May 2012 Consumer Reports survey showed that fuel efficiency is by far the #1 concern for prospective auto buyers.
- Consumers are buying larger fuel-efficient vehicles, not just small high-MPG cars. In an important shift, the 2012 year-to-date increase in the market share of small cars and crossovers over the same period in 2011 is just 0.4 percentage points. (By contrast, sales of small cars and crossovers jumped by a much larger 4.8 percentage points during the previous period of high gas price from 2007 to 2009.) The important shift here is that consumers are embracing larger fuel-efficient vehicles.
- A perfect storm of factors coincided with industry roll-out of vehicles under new federal higher MPG standards. Model year 2012 is the first year of a long-term federal program that requires an average laboratory rating of 35.5 mpg by 2016, equivalent to a label average of about 27.3 mpg. Final rules expected next month will raise the standards even further to an average laboratory rating of 54.5 mpg by 2025. In 2012, the increased availability of more fuel-efficient models to meet these standards coincided with high spring gas prices, creating a perfect storm of an ample fuel-efficient car supply in every segment just in time to meet surging consumer demand.
Based on the year-to-date sales data from model year 2012 (October 2011 to June 2012) as tracked by the University of Michigan, the US fleet fuel efficiency average is poised to exceed government regulators’ predictions of a fleet wide average of 23.4 mpg for model year 2012.
Most New Pesticides Have Roots in Natural Substances
Scientists who search for new pesticides for use in humanity’s battle of the bugs and other threats to the food supply have been learning lessons from Mother Nature, according to a new analysis in the article Natural Products as Sources for New Pesticides. It concludes that more than two out of every three new pesticide active ingredients approved in recent years had roots in natural substances produced in plants or animals.
Charles L. Cantrell and colleagues point out that there have been many analyses of the impact of natural products—substances produced by living plants, animals, and other organisms—on the production of pesticides. None, however, has ever looked at the impact of natural products and natural product-based pesticides in fostering new active ingredients (NAIs) in pesticides on the US market, based on NAI registrations with the EPA. The scientists filled that information gap with results that they say defy conventional wisdom that natural products may not be the best sources for NAIs.
The analysis found that between 1997 and 2010, more natural products were registered as NAIs for conventional pesticides and biopesticides than any other type of ingredient. The authors report that when biological ingredients and natural products recreated in labs are included, more than 69% of all NAIs registered in that time frame have natural origins.
Two EPA Scientists Receive Presidential Awards for Advancing Environmental Science
On July 23, two EPA scientists were awarded the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Dr. Mehdi Hazari's work demonstrates that inhaling low levels of air pollutants could increase susceptibility to cardiac events. Mr. Adam Eisele's work identifies community health risks due to air pollution, and developed a mobile measurement device to remotely assess oil and gas production emission sources. For more information, go to http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/pecase.htm
Reduced Traffic at 2008 Olympics Yielded Big Cut in Planet-Warming Gas
China’s Olympian attempt to improve air quality during the 2008 summer games did more than provide a healthier atmosphere for the athletes. It also demonstrated that widespread changes in transportation patterns could greatly reduce the threat of climate change.
New research by an international team of scientists indicates that China’s restrictions on motor vehicles had the side benefit of dramatically cutting emissions of carbon dioxide by 24,000 to 96,000 metric tons (about 26,500 to 106,000 US tons) during the event.
To put this in perspective, the authors note that this reduction by a single city represents more than one-quarter of 1% of the emissions cut that would be necessary worldwide, on a sustained basis, to prevent the planet from heating up by more than about 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century. That is the amount of heating generally considered to lead to major societal impacts.
While scientists have long known that reduced traffic would lead to lower carbon dioxide emissions, they could not previously calculate with any precision the link between traffic volume and emission levels of the GHG.
“The Beijing Olympics allowed us to actually measure what happens when people drive much less, and it turns out that it makes quite a substantial difference to our climate,” says scientist and lead author of the study Helen Worden of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), in Boulder, Colorado. “People may think their choice of how to commute to work doesn’t make a difference, whether driving their cars or riding their bikes. But on a large scale, it really does.”
Worden and her colleagues published their findings on in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).
Clearing the Air For Olympians
As China has industrialized in recent decades, residents of Beijing and other major cities have been subjected frequently to unhealthy levels of air pollutants. To provide better air quality during the 2008 Olympics, Chinese officials imposed stringent limits on motor vehicle use, including banning 50% of privately owned vehicles on any single day because of alternate-day driving requirements. They also imposed limits on industry and temporarily suspended construction activity.
Recent research has confirmed that the restrictions successfully reduced levels of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide and ozone. Worden and her colleagues, using new methods in satellite observations and computer simulations, were able to estimate the impact on carbon dioxide emissions as well.
The study measured the effect of driving reductions and did not address the China’s policy during the Olympics. “This implies that sustained controls on urban transportation emissions, on the scale implemented in Beijing, could potentially provide a significant part of [emissions reduction],” the study concludes. “However, in this study, we do not address the sustainability of these controls or the feasibility of applying traffic restrictions in other cities.”
From Monoxide to Dioxide
The research required several steps. Worden and her colleagues first turned to an instrument developed by NCAR and the University of Toronto called MOPITT (Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere), which flies aboard NASA’s EOS-Terra Satellite. The instrument’s measurements, analyzed with a new multispectral data product, enabled the researchers to estimate the amount of carbon monoxide in the Beijing atmosphere in August 2007, without traffic restrictions, and in August 2008, during the Olympics.
The researchers then inferred the amount of carbon dioxide emissions by drawing on other studies in Beijing that have measured the ratio of emissions of the two gases at 0.03 grams of carbon monoxide to 1.0 grams of carbon dioxide. They used simulations by the NCAR-based Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to fill in gaps in the observations because MOPITT could not obtain measurements during overcast days. The computer model also enabled the researchers to focus on carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles as opposed to other sources, such as factories.
“We knew there had to be some reduction in carbon dioxide from the Beijing traffic restrictions, and this experiment enabled us to find out how much,” Worden says.
She adds that the same study could not be done for this summer’s London Olympics, partly because the surface and cloud conditions in London aren’t as favorable for the measurements of carbon monoxide near the surface from MOPITT. In addition, London is very different from Beijing in terms of pollution controls and it has already restricted traffic in the central city for several years.
Measurement Advance Could Speed Innovation in Solar Devices
A new versatile measurement system devised by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) accurately and quickly measures the electric power output of solar energy devices, capabilities useful to researchers and manufacturers working to develop and make next-generation solar energy cells.
Innovative devices that convert sunlight to electric power more efficiently and cost effectively than the current generation of solar cell technology are the objects of a global pursuit—means to reducing fossil-fuel consumption and to securing pole position in the competition for fast-growing international markets for clean energy sources.
As reported in the journal Applied Optics, the NIST team has combined 32 LEDs—each generating light from different segments of the solar spectrum—and other off-the-shelf equipment with their custom-made technologies to build a system that measures the wavelength-dependent quantum efficiency of solar devices over a relatively large area.
Anticipated advantages over current approaches—most of which use incandescent lamps or xenon arc and other types of discharge lamps—are greater speed and ease of operation, more uniform illumination, and a service life that is about 10 times longer.
The new NIST system for measuring spectral response easily accommodates two unique but complementary methods for determining how much electric current a solar, or photovoltaic (PV), device generates when hit by a standard amount of sunlight. Both methods are straightforward, and they use the same hardware setup.
With either method, the automated system produces measurements more rapidly than current instruments used to simulate solar radiation and characterize how efficiently a device converts light energy to electric energy.
One method, which activates the LED lights sequentially, is less subject to interference than the other technique, and yields a spectral response measurement in about six minutes. With the other method, all 32 LEDs are activated simultaneously, but each generates pulses of light at a different rate. The solar response of a PV device over the entire LED-blended spectrum can be determined in about four seconds.
Though more susceptible to interference, the faster method has potential for in-line manufacturing tests for ensuring quality, the researchers write.
The new system represents a major stride toward a technical goal set by a group of solar energy experts convened by NIST in late 2010. “To accelerate all types of PV development and lower costs through more accurate assessment of performance,” these experts set the goal to achieve spectral response measurements in fewer than 10 minutes.
While the new system beats the time requirement, the NIST team must push their technology further to match related targets that are part of the goal. Their to-do list includes matching or exceeding the energy intensity of the sun, broadening the LED-synthesized spectrum to include the infrared portion of the sun’s output, and consistently achieving measurement results with uncertainties of less than 1%.
With their work to date, however, the NIST researchers have demonstrated that LEDs are now technologically viable for use in solar simulators and for characterizing PV and other photoelectric devices, says NIST physicist Behrang Hamadani.
New DataONE Portal Streamlines Access to Environmental Data
Environmental researchers who investigate climate change, invasive species, infectious diseases, and other data-intensive topics can now benefit from easy access to diverse datasets through technology released by the Data Observation Network for Earth, or DataONE.
Understanding broad and complex environmental issues increasingly relies on the discovery and analysis of massive datasets. But the amount of collected data—from historical field notes to real-time satellite data—means that researchers are now faced with an onslaught of options to locate and integrate information relevant to the issue at hand.
DataONE, a ten-institution team including researchers from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is addressing this data dilemma with a one-stop search engine called ONEMercury that queries data centers located around the world for relevant earth science information. ORNL’s Robert Cook, John Cobb, Line Pouchard, and Giri Palanisamy are part of the National Science Foundation-supported DataONE team that collaborated on the newly released software, along with researchers from the University of Tennessee’s School of Information Sciences in the College of Communication & Information, the University of New Mexico, and other partners. At the heart of the new software is an advanced search engine developed by Palanisamy and colleagues at ORNL.
“This search system enables researchers to discover, access and explore data that exist at many different repositories around the Internet,” Cook said. “Previously there’s been no federation of all these different data centers that would allow someone to come in from one place and search of all these resources.”
DataONE’s search tool enables researchers to easily integrate previously incompatible datasets, as demonstrated by an ongoing project that is already yielding results in the field of ecology. A DataONE working group has combined a database of amateur bird sightings with environment data layers about land use, weather, and vegetation to make refined predictions about bird migration patterns.
“The whole process of making data available, and making the data so it could be readily integrated, really benefited the bird ecologists,” Cobb said. “That’s one example of how having data available lets people look at new and important issues.”
The tool, which is freely available to the public at http://www.dataone.org/find-data, provides access to data from sources such as the US Geological Survey at ORNL, the Ecological Society of America, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Distributed Active Archive Center at ORNL, the National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research Network, South Africa National Parks, the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity, and the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans, among others. DataONE partners expect more organizations to join in the coming months.
World-Wide Action on Black Carbon, Methane and Other Short-Lived Pollutants Grows
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, and the United Kingdom have been announced as new country partners in an international initiative to cut a range of climate-damaging pollutants that also have health and agricultural impacts.
The Stockholm Environment Institute has also become the first research institute to become a partner in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC).
It brings to 21 the number of partners which are now part of the CCAC, which was launched in February 2012.
The Coalition, the secretariat of which is hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), is targeting world-wide emissions of black carbon or soot, methane, and hydroflurocarbons (HFCs).
Fast action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants can have a direct impact on climate change, with the potential to reduce the warming expected by 2050 by up to 0.5 degrees Celsius.
At the same time, by 2030, such action can prevent millions of premature deaths, and avoid the annual loss of more than 30 million tons of crops.
The Coalition complements actions taken by countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and other actions targeted at carbon dioxide.
The announcement of new national partners, several of whom signalled their commitment to join at the last G8 Summit in the US, came as members of the Coalition discussed the progress of five international initiatives to accelerate action on these harmful pollutants.
The G8 also commissioned the World Bank, which is partner in the CCAC, to “...prepare a report on ways to integrate reduction of near-term climate pollution into their activities and ask the World Bank to bring together experts from interested countries to evaluate new approaches to financing projects to reduce methane, including through pay-for-performance mechanisms.” The outputs will be available in early 2013.
The Initiatives were agreed at the first ministerial of the Coalition held in Stockholm, Sweden in April during the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the first UN Conference on the Human Environment.
Methane Emissions from Municipal Waste
Waste generated world-wide is responsible for an estimated one-third of global methane emissions-a GHG over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide and one linked to the generation of ground level ozone that is not only damaging to crops but human health.
The Coalition is working with the Global Methane Initiative and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which is partnered with the Clinton Climate Initiative, to assist urban areas to cut methane emission from across the waste chain including from landfills and pollution linked with organic waste like food.
The initiative is also planning to assist cities in reducing open burning of municipal waste, which results in harmful black carbon emissions.
A dedicated web-based platform, through which cities world-wide can share experiences, achievements, and best practices, will be launched.
At this meeting in Paris, the Coalition discussed progress on this initiative, including plans to work with an initial group of up to 10 cities during the next 12 months through measures such as waste inventories, enhanced composting and recycling, landfill management, and comprehensive waste sector planning.
Emissions from Brick Kilns
- The manufacture of bricks in developing countries is often linked with significant emissions of toxic fumes including black carbon.
- The Coalition is assessing how to assist countries to switch to more efficient and mechanized firing technologies.
- A recent study in India and Vietnam indicates that modernizing 35,000 old brick kilns in the region could cut black carbon emissions by 40,000 tons equal to 27 million tons of CO2.
- Mexico, which has secured close to $1 million from the Global Environment Facility to carry out the first national assessment of SLCPs including those from its estimated 20,000 traditional brick kilns, is planning a Coalition workshop in September to advance action in the region.
- The Coalition is also putting in place the awareness raising and knowledge generation needed to fast track demonstration projects.
Reducing Black Carbon Emissions from Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicles and Engines
- The Coalition discussed many different methods of reducing black carbon from heavy duty diesel vehicles and engines-emissions that are not only a health risk but contribute to melting in the Arctic.
- The use of low sulphur fuels opens up the possibility of one method—fitting particle or black carbon filters to heavy duty vehicles.
- Efforts under the UNEP-hosted Clean Fuels and Vehicles Partnership, originally established to phase lead out of petrol, are now focused on reducing sulphur levels in transport fuels. The Coalition is planning to build off of UNEP’s existing sulphur reduction efforts to also tackle black carbon emissions.
Promoting Alternatives to HFCs
- HFCs are increasingly being used as replacements to CFCs in areas such as air conditioners, refrigeration and foams because they have zero impact on the ozone layer-the Earth’s shield that filters out dangerous levels of the sun’s ultra violet rays.
- However studies indicate that some HFCs are powerful GHGs and if these become widespread they could be responsible for emissions equivalent to 3.5 to 8.8 Gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide (Gt CO2eq)—comparable to current annual emissions from the entire global transport system, estimated at around 6–7 Gt annually.
- There are many climate-friendlier replacements available and opportunities to reduce HFC emissions through advanced technologies as well as best service practices.
- The Coalition is catalysing awareness of the risks and the alternatives. This week it convened a packed meeting of industry and governments in Bangkok, Thailand, aimed at fast tracking these aims.
Emissions from the Oil and Gas Industry
- Venting and leakage from oil and gas systems account for over a fifth of global man-made methane emissions and represent estimated economic losses of $27 billion to over $60 billion a year.
- An estimated one-third of these losses can be reduced at zero cost with existing technologies and practices. Meanwhile flaring also leads to emissions of black carbon.
- Action is underway to address the issue through initiatives such as the Global Methane Initiative, the Natural Gas STAR International program, and the Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) Partnership.
- The Coalition is planning to build upon those efforts by working with industry, countries, and investors to catalyse accelerated action.
Shenango, Inc. Settles Air and Water Pollution Violations
The EPA, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) have reached a settlement with Shenango Inc., (Shenango) resolving alleged air and water pollution violations at the company’s coke manufacturing plant on Neville Island, Pennsylvania. The consent decree requires the company to pay $1.75 million in civil penalties and make significant upgrades to the plant, which is located about five miles north of downtown Pittsburgh.
Manufacturing coke involves heating coal at high temperatures in an industrial oven until it forms a residue. This residue, known as coke, is used in steel manufacturing as a fuel in blast furnaces, which are used to refine iron ore into steel. Coke manufacturing also produces gases and particles, some of which are hazardous, that are regulated by the federal CAA.
The Shenango facility has a history of noncompliance with federal, state, and county regulations protecting public health from air pollution. In 2000, the previous owner of the plant entered into a consent decree with EPA and ACHD to bring the facility into compliance.
Since that time, the violations including emissions of sulfur and visible emissions of particulate matter have continued. As part of this settlement, the company must take actions to reduce visible particulate emissions to meet CAA standards by making repairs to the plant’s coke ovens.
The governments’ complaint also alleges numerous violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) including: exceeding the pollutant limits of the facility’s permit for discharging wastewater for several years; failure to properly operate and maintain the facility’s wastewater treatment plant; and unpermitted discharges of polluted runoff from the coal pile directly to the Ohio River.
The part of the consent decree between EPA, PADEP, and Shenango resolving CWA violations requires the company to take remedial actions including:
- Building a new biological wastewater treatment plant
- Implementing immediate upgrades to its current treatment processes while the new treatment facility is being constructed
- Constructing a coal pile runoff management system
The civil penalties in the proposed consent decree include $1.25 million to be divided equally between the US and Allegheny County for the facility’s CAA violations. The company has also agreed to pay CWA civil penalties of $500,000 divided equally between the US and Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania DEP to Implement Permit Decision Guarantee Program
Governor Tom Corbett issued Executive Order EO2012-11, which requires the Department of Environmental Protection to immediately begin assessing how best to make timely permitting decisions.
The order establishes a Permit Guarantee Program, in which DEP will strive to make permitting decisions within established processing times for complete and technically adequate applications.
“One of the biggest complaints I have received over and over again is the time it takes for businesses, non-profit organizations and local governments to work through the permitting process,” Corbett said. “I promised to correct this, and today we are setting the wheels in motion to deliver on that promise. At the same time, DEP will continue its longstanding mission to protect our environment.
“While DEP will be working hard to become even more efficient, the new program also must make clear our expectations from those seeking permits. Full and complete applications are necessary for DEP to be able to make a timely decision without sacrificing their duty and commitment to protect the environment,” Corbett said. “Complete applications mean DEP can make a sound decision quickly.”
The order also requires DEP to coordinate the review of applications for projects with multiple permits; establish performance standards for staff engaged in permit reviews; and where possible, develop and improve electronic permitting tools.
$1 Million in Restitution Payments Announced to Preserve North Carolina Wetlands
North Carolina’s Waccamaw River watershed will benefit from a $1 million restitution order from a federal court, funding environmental projects to acquire and preserve wetlands in an area damaged by illegal releases of wastewater from a corporate hog farm.
Freedman Farms Inc., was sentenced in February 2012 to five years of probation and ordered to pay $1.5 million in fines, restitution, and community service payments for violating the CWA when it discharged hog waste into a stream that leads to the Waccamaw River. William B. Freedman, president of Freedman Farms, was sentenced to six months in prison to be followed by six months of home confinement. Freedman Farms also is required to implement a comprehensive environmental compliance program and institute an annual training program.
In an order issued on April 19, 2012, the court ordered that the defendants would be responsible for restitution of $1 million in the form of five annual payments starting in January 2013, which the court will direct to the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust (NCCLT). The NCCLT plans to use the money to acquire and conserve land along streams in the Waccamaw watershed. The court also directed a $75,000 community service payment to the Southern Environmental Enforcement Network, an organization dedicated to environmental law enforcement training and information sharing in the region.
According to evidence presented in court, in December 2007 Freedman Farms discharged hog waste into Browder’s Branch, a tributary to the Waccamaw River that flows through the White Marsh, a large wetlands complex. Freedman Farms, located in Columbus County, North Carolina, is in the business of raising hogs for market, and this particular farm had some 4,800 hogs. The hog waste was supposed to be directed to two lagoons for treatment and disposal. Instead, hog waste was discharged from Freedman Farms directly into Browder’s Branch.
The CWA is a federal law that makes it illegal to knowingly or negligently discharge a pollutant into a water of the US.
Three Companies Fined for Failure to Report TSCA Data
The EPA has issued complaints seeking civil penalties against three companies for alleged violations of the reporting and recordkeeping requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The alleged violations involved the companies’ failure to comply with EPA’s TSCA section 8 Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) regulations, which require companies to submit accurate data about the production and use of chemical substances manufactured or imported during a calendar year. Under TSCA, penalties can be assessed up to $37,500 per day, per violation.
Formerly known as the IUR, the TSCA Chemical Data Reporting Rule requires the collection of information about existing chemicals on the market by requiring periodic reports about the production and use of chemicals to help understand the risks they may pose to human health and the environment. The data collected by EPA is the most comprehensive source of information for chemicals currently in commerce in the US.
The reporting deadline for the 2006 IUR rule ended in March of 2007. EPA’s enforcement efforts have led to 43 civil enforcement actions and approximately $2.3 million dollars in civil penalties against companies that failed to report required chemical data information. The reporting deadline for the 2012 submission period of the Chemical Data Reporting Rule is August 15, 2012.
The three most recent cases are against Chemtura Corporation, Bethlehem Apparatus Company, and Haldor Topsoe, Inc., and resulted in penalties totaling $362,113.
The Chemtura Corporation is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has a facility located in El Dorado, Arkansas. In a May 31, 2012 complaint, EPA alleged that the facility failed to report two chemicals pursuant to the 2006 IUR rule and assessed a penalty of $55,901. The company corrected the violations, paid the penalty, and a final order was issued by the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) on June 25, 2012.
During an inspection of the Bethlehem Apparatus Company, located in Hellertown, Pennsylvania, EPA found that the facility was in violation of the 2006 IUR Rule for one chemical substance. EPA also determined during the inspection that the company had failed to comply with the export notification requirements as required under TSCA section 12(b) and the import certification requirements as required under TSCA section 13 on a number of occasions for the same chemical substance. The company corrected the violations and paid a $103,433 penalty proposed in a May 31, 2012 complaint.
Haldor Topsoe, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is subject to a TSCA complaint that was filed on June 20, 2012. The complaint alleged that that the company had violated the 2006 IUR rule for 13 chemical substances. The complaint assessed a proposed penalty of $202,779, which the company paid on July 2, 2012.
$272,928 Penalty to Dairy for Illegal Disposal of Cow Carcasses and Illegal Discharges of Wastewater
The Executive Officer of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Valley Water Board) has issued a complaint for $272,928 to the Rego Dairy #2 in Gustine, California, for violations found during a routine Board staff inspection in February 2012. The violations included the illegal disposal of more than 50 decomposing cow carcasses, found partially buried in manure piles in the dairy’s production area, and off-property discharges of manure wastewater and septic waste to a drainage canal. The dairy is owned and operated by the Rego Family Trust.
In addition to the decaying cow carcasses, Water Board staff found violations at the dairy’s wastewater lagoon, including eroded paths where wastewater had flowed off the property and into a nearby drainage ditch, excessive weeds and rodent holes, and multiple discarded veterinary medical supplies, including syringes. Septic waste from a failed septic system was found flowing along the surface and, during a later inspection, was found to be discharging directly into surface water from a buried pipe.
The maximum penalty that may be assessed under the California Water Code for the violations is $9.1 million and the minimum penalty that may be assessed is $161,704. The minimum penalty is determined by the economic benefit that the dairy received because they didn’t comply with the Central Valley Water Board’s Dairy General Order waste discharge requirements, plus a 10% surcharge. The California Water Code allows discretion in the assessment of penalties. The Executive Officer based the penalty, in part, on the severity of the problems and the dairyman’s cooperation in cleanup efforts.
The complaint is scheduled to be heard by the Central Valley Water Board at its regular public hearing scheduled for October 3, 4, and 5 in Rancho Cordova, California. Public comments are due by September 10, 2012.
The Central Valley Water Board is a California state agency responsible for the preservation and enhancement of surface and groundwater quality.
Company Settles Allegations it Failed to Cleanup Contaminated Property
An Osterville, Massachusetts, company will pay up to $150,000 to settle allegations that it failed to complete the assessment and cleanup of a contaminated property.
The consent judgment requires Seaview Associates, LLC, (Seaview Associates), to pay up to $80,000 in civil penalties to resolve allegations that it failed to timely assess and cleanup a contaminated property in Osterville. The consent judgment further requires the company to complete the assessment and cleanup work required by state law. Provided the cleanup work is completed in a timely manner, $35,000 of the civil penalty will be waived.
The defendant will also complete a $70,000 supplemental environmental project that will fund the establishment of Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment’s (BCDHE) first-of-a-kind Residential Underground Storage Tank Removal and Replacement Revolving Loan Program. The program will provide low interest loans to qualified homeowners in Barnstable County to assist them with the removal of aging underground fuel oil storage tanks before they leak.
The lawsuit, filed in December 2011, alleged that the manager for both Dunhill Place Associates, Ltd. (Dunhill Place), and Seaview Associates, helped his son and his son’s business partner purchase the already contaminated Osterville property in 1998 and 1999. The property and the underlying groundwater were contaminated by gasoline that leaked from the underground storage tanks associated with the former gas station. The property was later redeveloped into a new gas station and two commercial buildings in 2000. In 2004, the manager’s son and his business partner transferred the entire property to Dunhill Place. The property was then transferred again to Seaview Associates, a successor to Dunhill Place, in 2007.
The complaint alleges that Seaview Associates, Dunhill Place, and the sole manager of both businesses violated state law by failing to timely assess and cleanup the contaminated property for more than six years. According to the complaint, the defendants ignored an order issued by Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) that required them to complete the assessment and cleanup work at the property by August 2007.
EPA Reaches Agreement with Park Nicollett Health Services to Fund Lead Abatement
The EPA has reached an agreement with Park Nicollet Health Services to resolve allegations of CAA violations at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. EPA alleged the company failed to keep required records and submit required reports on emissions from ethylene oxide sterilizers at the hospital. After being notified of the violations, the company took steps to meet all requirements.
Under a consent agreement and final order, Park Nicollet Health Services will pay an $18,750 fine and spend $56,250 on a project to protect families in St. Louis Park and Minneapolis from hazards associated with lead-based paint. The project will include removing lead-based paint and dust and replacing lead-based painted surfaces or fixtures in low-income housing occupied by children under age six or pregnant women.
Lead exposure affects the nervous system and can cause a range of health effects, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. Children six years old and younger are most at risk.
Talisman Energy to Pay $62,000 Penalty for Violations at 52 Natural Gas Facilities
Talisman Energy USA Inc., will pay a $62,457 penalty to settle alleged violations of hazardous chemical reporting requirements at 52 hydraulic fracturing facilities throughout Pennsylvania that include natural gas well sites and compressor stations. Talisman discovered the violations and self-disclosed them to the EPA.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requires companies that store specified amounts of hazardous chemicals to submit material safety data and lists of chemicals on site with state and local emergency response agencies and the local fire departments. The safety data describes health risks associated with the chemicals and safe handling instructions. The lists of chemicals set forth the types and quantities of chemicals present on site.
Compliance with these requirements is important for the health and safety of facility occupants and first responders in the event of discharge or accidental exposure to hazardous chemicals. The required information also provides valuable information to emergency planners.
The settlement reflects Talisman’s good faith cooperation with EPA, and its compliance efforts in self-disclosing and swiftly correcting the violations. As part of the settlement, the company neither admitted nor denied the alleged violations.
In a consent agreement with EPA, the company has agreed to pay the $62,457 penalty for failing to file required chemical information for one or more of the past three years at each of the facilities included in the settlement.
Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for CAA Violations Involving Asbestos
Duane “Butch” O’Malley, of Bourbonnais, Illinois, who was convicted by a federal jury for the illegal removal, handling, and disposal of asbestos from a Kankakee building in August 2009, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. O’Malley was also ordered to pay restitution of $47,086 to the EPA related to the clean-up of illegally disposed asbestos and ordered to pay a fine of $15,000. Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has been used commonly in a variety of building construction materials. When asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed by repair, remodeling, or demolition activities, microscopic fibers become airborne and can be inhaled into the lungs, where they can cause serious health problems, including lung cancer and mesothelioma.
During O’Malley’s trial, the government presented evidence that O’Malley, owner and operator of Origin Fire Protection, was hired by Michael J. Pinski in August 2009 to remove asbestos-containing insulation from pipes in a five-story building in Kankakee, Illinois. that was owned by Pinski through his company, Dearborn Management, Inc. Evidence was presented that neither O’Malley nor his company was trained to perform the asbestos removal work and that O’Malley agreed to remove the asbestos insulation for an amount that was substantially less than a trained asbestos abatement contractor would have charged to perform the work. Further, O’Malley arranged for James A. Mikrut to recruit and oversee workers to remove the asbestos.
The government’s evidence showed that various provisions of the CAA and EPA regulations were violated, including, failure to properly notify the EPA, failure to have trained on-site representatives present, failure to ensure the asbestos insulation was adequately wetted while it was being stripped and removed, failure to mark vehicles used to transport the asbestos containing waste material, and failure to deposit the asbestos in a waste disposal site for asbestos. Instead, the asbestos insulation was stripped from the pipes while dry, and then placed in more than 100 large, unlabeled plastic garbage bags. The bags were then dumped in an open field in Hopkins Park, resulting in soil contamination and exposing the workers hired by O’Malley to dangerous asbestos-laden dust.
Under the CAA there are requirements to control the removal, handling, and disposal of asbestos, a hazardous air pollutant. Any owner or operator of a renovation or demolition activity which involves removal of specified amounts of asbestos-containing material must comply with the EPA regulations.
O’Malley was charged in June 2010 with five felony violations of the CAA, along with Michael J. Pinski, 42, of Kankakee, Illinois, and James A. Mikrut, 49, of Manteno, Illinois. Pinski entered a plea of guilty on August 19, 2011, to one count of violation of the CAA. Mikrut pleaded guilty on August 24, 2011, to five counts of violation of the CAA. The sentencing hearings for Pinski and Mikrut will be scheduled at a future date.
Electro-Coatings of Iowa, Inc. to Pay $19,171 Civil Penalty for Hazardous Waste Violations
Electro-Coatings of Iowa, Inc., a chrome, nickel, and zinc plating operation, has agreed to pay a $19,171 civil penalty to the US to settle a series of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In addition to paying the civil penalty, the company will spend a minimum of $110,000 to install technology that will reduce the amount of hazardous chrome waste generated at the facility as a supplemental environmental project.
According to an administrative consent agreement and final order filed by EPA Region 7, an EPA inspector conducted an inspection at the company’s Cedar Rapids facility in May 2011, and noted several violations of the federal act which regulates hazardous waste.
Electro-Coatings of Iowa, Inc., generates a large quantity of hazardous waste, over 1,000 kilograms per month. The violations included storage of hazardous waste for longer than 90 days without a RCRA permit, hazardous waste container management violations, emergency equipment violations, training violations, RCRA contingency plan violations, universal waste management violations, operation of a hazardous waste facility without a RCRA permit, and failing to comply with hazardous waste generator requirements, including failure to label waste containers, failure to date waste containers, and failure to keep waste containers closed.
By agreeing to the settlement with EPA, Electro-Coatings of Iowa, Inc., has certified that it is now in compliance with the RCRA regulations.
Duwamish Valley Firm Fined for Stormwater Violations
The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has fined Independent Metals of Seattle $14,000 for allowing polluted runoff to flow to the Duwamish Waterway.
The violations occurred at the company’s metal recycling plant and at a storage lot. Stormwater from both properties flows to the Duwamish, via city storm drains from the lot and directly from the plant.
Independent Metals corrected the violations soon after Ecology inspections identified the problems earlier this year.
Stormwater at the Kenyon Street facility passes through a private treatment system. Through lack of maintenance, the system discharged poorly treated stormwater into the Duwamish. The company also allowed a bin of auto scrap material along the waterway bank to overflow, allowing pieces of scrap to fall onto the bank.
The storage lot contained open-top scrap containers with oily residue. Dirty stormwater with an oily sheen drained off the property into the city storm drain.
The company has caught up on its treatment system maintenance, has lowered the scrap pile within the bin and removed scrap from the Duwamish bank, and has stopped storing uncovered metal containers at the lot.
Owners of Lynnfield Company Plead Guilty, Sentenced in Connection With Illegal Asbestos Removal and Disposal
The owners of a Lynnfield asbestos removal company have pleaded guilty and been sentenced in connection with the improper removal and disposal of asbestos for work performed on numerous public and private buildings in the communities of Lynn, Beverly, and Marblehead, Massachusetts.
David Harder, Jr., and Julie Rosati, of Lynnfield, each pleaded guilty on charges of violating the Massachusetts CAA (12 counts), violating the Massachusetts Solid Waste Act (2 counts), and Evasion of Unemployment Insurance (3 counts). Rosati also pleaded guilty to Filing False Statements for the Protection of the Environment (1 count).
Harder pleaded guilty. After his plea was entered, Harder was sentenced to 30 days in the House of Correction, with three years of probation upon his release. Rosati pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years of probation. Both Harder and Rosati were barred from working in environmental remediation during their probation, either independently or for any company that does environmental remediation.
The pleas are the result of an investigation by the Massachusetts Environmental Strike Force, an interagency unit. The Strike Force comprises prosecutors from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Environmental Police Officers assigned to the Attorney General’s Office, and investigators and engineers from the MassDEP which investigate and prosecute crimes that harm or threaten the state’s water, air, or land and pose a significant threat to human health.
In September 2010, the Strike Force received information that Harder and Rosati, owners of AEI Environmental, LLC, (AEI) were illegally storing bags of asbestos at a self-storage facility in Lynnfield. Further investigation of the facility found hundreds of bags containing asbestos debris from work performed by the company. Under the Solid Waste Act, the storage units were not a permissible location for the storage of asbestos debris.
Harder and Rosati engaged in the illegal and improper removal of asbestos at numerous locations in Lynn, Beverly, and Marblehead, including several public buildings and schools, as well as other locations in Massachusetts, without properly notifying Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). The removal of asbestos must be performed by a licensed contractor pursuant to MassDEP regulations with notification as to when the removal will occur. During the relevant time period the defendants were not licensed to perform asbestos removal. While contracted for asbestos removal services, the defendants convinced other contractors working on location to file the asbestos notifications with MassDEP, indicating that removal would be performed by another entity.
While engaged in asbestos removal, the defendants failed to adhere to proper procedure for asbestos abatement. Rosati also falsified documents that are used by MassDEP to ensure that asbestos work is performed safely.
Crematory Agrees to Address Community’s Complaints Over Amigone Funeral Home Air Emissions
New York has announced an agreement with Sheridan Park, Inc., which operates the Amigone Funeral Home crematory in Tonawanda, New York, to cease its operations for six months while pursuing solutions to eliminate odor, particles, smoke, and other emissions that have been the source of persistent community complaints. The agreement preserves the right of the New York Attorney General to take legal action if the emissions of concern to the community have not been solved.
The agreement first commits Sheridan Park to pursue the relocation of their crematory operations to a more suitable site, including securing any necessary state or local approvals. If such approvals are not granted, the corporation then must retain an expert to evaluate crematory operations and make recommendations to the State on engineering solutions that will resolve community concerns.
The Amigone crematory, which began operations in August 1991, is located in a densely-populated neighborhood in the Town of Tonawanda. Since that time, Sheridan Park has implemented a number of operational and engineering changes at the facility in response to odors, soot, smoke, and other emission concerns of the community. Nonetheless, residents in the surrounding neighborhood continue to complain that emissions from the crematory’s operations disrupt routine activities and the enjoyment of their property, including gardening, walking, and backyard family events.
The legally binding agreement is focused on eliminating emissions from the Amigone crematory’s operations that have been the source of the community’s persistent complains.
The agreement requires Sheridan Park to cease the operation of its Tonawanda crematory effective July 22. Further, the corporation is required to keep the crematory’s operations halted while it actively pursues solutions to eliminating the emissions that have been the subject of community complaints. Specifically:
- Sheridan Park is first required to pursue relocating their crematory operations to a more suitable site, including securing any necessary state or local approvals; and
- If no such permission is granted, Sheridan Park is then required to retain a technical expert with experience in operating crematories to make recommendations on engineering solutions to end problematic emissions. The agreement requires that such recommendation be submitted to New York Attorney General Schneiderman and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for review.
Cardboard Theives Caught in Large Scale Recycling Theft Ring
New Jersey police, working the New York City Business Integrity Commission, arrested three perpetrators of a large-scale recycling theft operation that netted more than $100,000 by stealing crushed and baled cardboard boxes from Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. The high value of cardboard (OCC), which has been over $130 per ton, makes it an attractive target. The gang used spotters to locate cardboard bundles awaiting pickup by contracted haulers and send their own trucks to pick up the bales instead. Since May the operation stole about 900 tons of cardboard worth well over $100,000. Industry officials with the National Solid Wastes Management Association said that its members in New York City are losing $8–10 million per year due to cardboard theft.
Alabama Announces New Water Quality General Permits Available for Wastewater Treatment Plants
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) officials have announced that two new streamlined water quality control permits are now available for operation of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) that discharge effluent to surface water throughout the state.
Coverage under the general permits will be available for those WWTPs releasing less than one million gallons per day to surface waters that flow only after rain or snow events, or to those surface waters that are dependent upon effluent discharges for their flow. Coverage will also be available for those WWTPs releasing less than 20 million gallons per day on a very infrequent or emergency-only basis.
Discharges to continuous and intermittent flowing surface water bodies that have been designated as Outstanding Arizona Waters due to their exceptional recreational or ecological significance are not eligible to discharge under these general permits.
A general permit is a cost-effective and efficient way for ADEQ to authorize discharges from a large number of similar facilities, while ensuring consistency in permit conditions for similar discharges. General permits also benefit an applicant by significantly reducing the cost and shortening the time necessary to obtain permit coverage. Individual permits previously costing as much as $15,000 and taking up to a year to issue will now be available as general permits costing between $1,500 and $2,500 and be issued in much less time.
Further, as general permits are developed to restrict discharges at multiple facilities, the requirements are often more stringent than what would be required under an individual permit. Thus, cost and time savings do not come at the expense of environmental protection.
“We are continuously looking for ways to reduce permit processing times while maintaining the same or higher level of environmental protection,” said ADEQ Director Henry Darwin. “It generally takes a wastewater treatment plant from nine to 12 months to receive an individual permit. These new general permits will only take four to six months to process and will offer the same or better water quality protection due to the comprehensive monitoring required.”
Wastewater treatment plants already operating under individual permits may be eligible for one of the new general permits at the time of renewal if the requirements for coverage can be met. The applications for the new general permits are available online at http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/water/permits/gen.html
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Trivia Question of the Week
The 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, are claiming to be the greenest Olympics ever. What is the final estimated percentage of renewable energy being supplied to London’s Olympic Park?