Another Delay of Oil and Gas NSPS

June 19, 2017

The EPA has proposed another delay the effective date of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas industry. Under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, EPA issued updates to the NSPS to curb emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds from additional new, modified and reconstructed sources in the oil and gas industry in an effort to address climate change and protect public health.

The current administration is proposing a two-year stay of the fugitive emissions, pneumatic pump and professional engineer certification requirements in the rule while the agency reconsiders issues associated with these requirements. Under the proposal, sources would not need to comply with these requirements while the stay is in effect.

EPA will take comment on both of the proposed stays for 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register.

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RMP Effective Date Extended to 2019

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a final rule to further delay the effective date of EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) Amendments an additional 20 months to allow the agency to conduct a reconsideration proceeding and to consider other issues that may benefit from additional comment. The new effective date of the rule is February 19, 2019. Risk Management plans are required for facilities using extremely hazardous substances.

Administrator Pruitt’s action to extend the effective date of the amendments until February 19, 2019, will allow the Agency time to evaluate the RMP Amendments.

Methane and Waste Prevention Rule Requirements to Be Ignored

At the request of the oil and gas industry, the Bureau of Land Management recently announced that it intends to ignore significant requirements of the Methane and Waste Prevention Rule enacted last year to control venting, flaring and leaking of methane from oil and gas operations on public and tribal lands.

The rule went into effect in January 2017 after the U.S. District Court in Wyoming rejected the oil and gas industry’s attempt to halt the rule. The rule also survived a challenge from friends of the industry under the Congressional Review Act. But now in response to requests from two oil and gas organizations, the Trump Administration is giving industry a free pass from additional waste reduction measures that would have applied as of January 18, 2018.

“Once again, the Trump administration is taking its marching orders from the oil and gas industry with no concern for public health and the environment, said Earthjustice attorney Robin Cooley. “Methane regulations are common-sense, cost-effective standards that reduce pollution while saving money. It is imperative that these rules go into effect, and we will be in court fighting every step of the way.”

The BLM announcement was made in a notice to be published in the Federal Register. It states that the industry will not be required to comply with certain provisions of the rule.

The Methane and Waste Prevention Rule calls for reductions in the releases of methane and other air pollutants to protect public health, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to ensure that taxpayers are fairly compensated for the value of the publicly-owned gas taken from public lands. It requires drillers to employ leak detection technology and to repair rigs that vent, leak or waste the gases, and to cut down on wasteful flaring of publicly-owned gas.

New Effluent Limitation Guidelines for Mercury at Dental Offices

The EPA has published technology-based pretreatment standards under the Clean Water Act to reduce discharges of mercury from dental offices into municipal sewage treatment plants known as publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). This final rule requires dental offices to use amalgam separators and two best management practices recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). The rule includes a provision to significantly reduce and streamline the oversight and reporting requirements in EPA's General Pretreatment Regulations that would otherwise apply as a result of this rulemaking. EPA expects compliance with this final rule will annually reduce the discharge of mercury by 5.1 tons as well as 5.3 tons of other metals found in waste dental amalgam to POTWs.

The final rule is effective on July 14, 2017. The compliance date, meaning the date that existing sources subject to the rule must comply with the standards in this rule is July 14, 2020. After the effective date of the rule, new sources subject to this rule must comply immediately with the standards in this rule. In accordance with 40 CFR 23, this regulation will be considered issued for purposes of judicial review at 1 p.m. Eastern time on June 28, 2017.

Three Companies Fined $726,000 for Violating Cargo Handling Equipment Air Quality Rules

The California Air Resources Board has fined three companies $726,250 for failing to comply with the state’s Cargo Handling Equipment (CHE) Regulation. The regulation sets emission standards for a range of equipment used mostly at ports and railyards, including gantry cranes, yard trucks, and forklifts.

“Emissions from the ports can travel far inland but they have the strongest impact on those who live and work near these busy trade hubs,” said Todd Sax, CARB’s Enforcement Division Chief. “With enforcement of the Cargo Handling Equipment Regulation, CARB has been able to achieve a high compliance rate, significantly reducing emissions of diesel air contaminants in port-adjacent communities.”

Seaside Transportation Services, Penny Newman Grain Company, and CEMEX Construction Materials Pacific, LLC, were all cited for failing to ensure that their cargo handling equipment met the requirements for reduced emissions under the cargo handling rule.

Seaside Transportation Services will pay a fine of $437,500 to be divided equally between the California Air Pollution Control Fund to support education and research, and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District for its school bus diesel emission reduction Supplemental Environmental Project.

Penny Newman Grain Company will pay $170,625 to the California Air Pollution Control Fund.

CEMEX Construction Materials Pacific, LLC, will pay $118,125, to be divided equally between the California Air Pollution Control Fund and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District for cleaner school buses.

CARB has been vigorously enforcing the Cargo Handling Equipment rule, adopted in 2009 and amended in 2012. As a result, compliance for yard trucks (heavy duty diesel trucks that move containers within and between terminals) increased from 61% in 2012 to 89% by the end of 2015. Compliance for “non-yard” trucks (rubber tired gantry cranes, forklifts, etc.) trucks increased from 44% to 92% over the same time period.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and more than 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death, and other health problems.

Asbestos Abatement Company Ordered to Stop Illegal Work, Clean Up Asbestos and Hazardous Waste

A Boston-based asbestos abatement company and a man associated with the company have been ordered to secure and clean up a large amount of asbestos-contaminated waste material, waste oil, and other hazardous waste at its Hyde Park facility, Attorney General Maura Healey announced recently.

The preliminary injunction, secured by the AG’s Office in Suffolk Superior Court, orders Clean Air Environmental, Inc., and Neal Cass not to conduct any more asbestos abatement work, preventing them from storing additional illegal asbestos waste and stopping their ongoing pattern of illegal work.

“We allege that these defendants put the health of their workers and our residents at risk by conducting illegal abatement work and unsafely storing asbestos and hazardous waste,” said AG Healey. “We have laws in place to protect workers and the public from the serious risks of asbestos exposure, and those who violate these laws will be held accountable.”

“MassDEP will work to ensure the environmental laws of the Commonwealth not only protect residents and the environment, but also support the majority of registered and licensed environmental workers and businesses that do it right,” said Massachusetts Department of Environment Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “MassDEP investigations play an important role in the state’s efforts to make sure that these protective regulations are followed by all.”

In June, the AG’s Office sued the defendants for allegedly performing unsafe, illegal asbestos work at a total of eight different locations in Boston, Quincy, Brighton, Charlestown, Cambridge, West Roxbury, and Brookline, including work on occupied homes and condominiums, on a school, and near a child care center, as well as in environmental justice neighborhoods.

The complaint further alleges that the defendants illegally stored waste from their asbestos work in ripped, unmarked, and unsecured bags that they packed in trucks, a van, and a trailer at their Hyde Park facility and stored asbestos, waste oil, and other hazardous waste unsafely in and around the building. The defendants also failed to document where they disposed of some of the illegally-stored asbestos waste and waste oil from their work.

The Court also imposed a $50,000 attachment of Clean Air Environmental’ s assets, in order to preserve the company’s ability to clean up the Hyde Park facility. If found liable, the defendants face civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day for each violation of law.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that is used in a wide variety of building materials, from roofing and flooring, to siding and wallboard, to caulking and insulation. If asbestos is improperly handled or maintained, fibers can be released into the air and inhaled, potentially resulting in life-threatening illnesses, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Asbestosis is a serious, progressive, long-term non-cancer disease of the lungs for which there is no known effective treatment. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin membranes of the lung, chest, abdomen, and heart, that may not show up until many years after exposure, and that has no known cure, although treatment methods are available to address the effects of the disease.

AG Healey has made asbestos safety a priority, as part of the office’s “Healthy Buildings, Healthy Air” Initiative that was announced in March in an effort to better protect the health of children, families, and workers in Massachusetts from health risks posed by asbestos.

For more information on asbestos and asbestos-related work, visit MassDEP’s website outlining asbestos construction and demolition notification requirements.

National Home Developer NVR Inc. Ordered to Improve Environmental Compliance Measures Nationwide

The EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that they have reached an agreement with home developer NVR, Inc., where NVR will implement a program to improve compliance with federal clean water laws at its sites nationwide. The recent agreement resolves allegations that NVR failed to comply with federal requirements to properly address pollution from stormwater at some of the company’s sites in New Jersey and New York.

“This agreement will improve NVR’s compliance with important clean water laws at NVR’s sites nationwide,” said Larry Starfield, acting Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA is committed to working with companies like NVR that establish comprehensive programs to reduce pollution and prevent future violations of the law.”

Under the federal Clean Water Act, developers and contractors responsible for operations at construction sites one acre or larger are required to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits and implement stormwater pollution prevention plans to keep soil and contaminants from running off into nearby waterways. Water carries soil and contaminants off of construction sites at a rate typically 10 to 20 times greater than that from agricultural lands and 1,000 to 2,000 times greater than that from forested lands.

EPA inspected 23 NVR sites in New York and New Jersey in 2009 and found that NVR had not obtained permits for stormwater discharges at any of the sites, had failed to implement and maintain all required erosion and sediment controls, and had failed to perform self-inspections at the required frequency. Later, EPA learned of an additional 42 sites in both states for which NVR had also failed to obtain permits.

The proposed settlement requires NVR to implement a comprehensive, corporate-wide program to improve compliance with federal laws that pertain to controlling stormwater pollution in order to prevent future violations. Under the compliance program, NVR must:

  • Designate stormwater compliance representatives at a site, division and national level
  • Obtain NPDES permits prior to beginning construction at sites
  • Make reasonable efforts to confirm that the land developer has also obtained NPDES permit coverage
  • Prepare and implement site-specific stormwater pollution prevention plans
  • Conduct pre-construction and weekly inspections at each site
  • Submit national compliance summary reports to EPA each year
  • Implement a nationwide stormwater training program for all NVR employees who participate in, or assist with, construction activity

NVR will also pay a $425,000 civil penalty as part of the settlement.

The settlement, which is subject to a 30-day public comment period, is conditioned upon approval by the United States District Court before becoming final.

For more information on the settlement, visit https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/nvr-inc-clean-water-act-settlement.

Architectural Millwork Mfg. Fined for Stormwater Violations

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined Architectural Millwork Manufacturing Co., $41,964 for violating conditions of its stormwater permit at its Cross Street facility.

Stormwater discharges from the facility have consistently exceeded statewide benchmark pollutant concentrations. As a result, the company is required to install and implement additional treatment measures. The violations mean harmful levels of industrial pollutants could enter the stormwater system and eventually the Willamette River, posing risks to aquatic life and threatening beneficial uses of the water.

Of the penalty, $33,964 represents the economic benefit the company gained by not installing treatment measures. DEQ also cited the company, without penalty, for failing to conduct monitoring inspections and failing to provide an employee education and orientation process.

The company has until June 28 to appeal the penalty.

Energy Commission Report Finds California Energy Efficiency Standards Highly Impactful

Recent findings of a review conducted by the California Energy Commission demonstrate that California continues to lead the nation and the world in energy efficiency standards.

The review compared California’s 2016 building energy efficiency standards to international standards set in 2015. The comparison, which is required of all states by the federal government, found the California standards saved enough electricity to power over 300,000 more homes than the similar international standards.

At the business meeting, the Energy Commission also awarded grants for a wide range of projects and technology, including the expansion of the state’s existing hydrogen refueling network, grants to support innovators, and grants to support the development of geothermal energy.

More than $17 million was approved for nine new hydrogen stations that will expand the refueling infrastructure network in California. FirstElement Fuel, Inc., will develop eight hydrogen refueling stations. Five of those will be located in Southern California in Huntington Beach, Irvine, San Diego, Santa Monica, and Sherman Oaks. The remaining three will be in the Bay Area in Campbell, Oakland and Sunnyvale. Air Liquide Advanced Technologies U.S., LLC, received funds for a refueling station in Santa Nella that will connect the Southern California and the Bay Area stations.

The Energy Commission approved more than $1 million in grants for innovators and entrepreneurs working to bring early-stage clean energy concepts to market. Eight grants of $150,000 were the first-ever approved from CalSEED, which is the Energy Commission’s initiative to invest in novel solutions to energy challenges. The grants will fund a wide range of demonstration projects, including a new lithium extraction process, a high-efficiency electric power grid control device, and a light-emitting diode (LED) bulb that operates at a resistance level 30 times lower than conventional LED lights.

The Energy Commission also awarded more than $7 million in grants from its Geothermal Grant and Loan Program. Projects funded include using an existing pilot facility to demonstrate the extraction of lithium and other minerals from geothermal brines and the demonstration of satellite radar to observe deformations in geothermal fields in Southern California. For details on all Energy Commission actions taken recently, see the business meeting agenda.

Attorneys General: Trump Administration Violated the Law by Not Publishing Energy Efficiency Standards

A coalition of 11 Attorneys General is filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) over its failure to comply with the law and publish in the Federal Register finalized energy efficiency standards for five products: portable air conditioners, uninterruptible power supplies, air compressors, walk-in coolers and freezers and commercial packaged boilers.

These standards would save consumers and businesses an estimated $11.6 billion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 159 million tons, and conserve over 242 billion kilowatt- hours of electricity—the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of more than 19.3 million households—over a 30-year period. The suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

“Ignoring laws that were implemented to protect the health of our citizens and our environment is unacceptable,” said Attorney General Frosh. “By stalling and not complying with common- sense energy efficiency standards, President Trump and his Administration are wasting money and energy, and causing unnecessary pollution.”

The energy efficiency standards were approved by the Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency at DOE in December 2016. As required under the law, the standards then went through two procedural steps. First, they were subject to a 45-day correction request period. Once this period closed, the DOE had a 30-day period to submit these rules for publication in the Federal Register, which makes the rules legally enforceable.

The DOE did not complete this final step. This is a clear violation of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Federal Register Act.

In the lawsuit, which was filed after a 60-day notice of intent to sue letter was delivered to the Department of Energy, Maryland Attorney General Frosh highlighted that Maryland has a significant interest in increased energy efficiency and reduced energy use, in protecting their population and environment, and in enforcing the provisions of their laws designed to foster energy efficiency and reduce global warming related impacts. Attorney General Frosh added that these efforts are harmed by the DOE’s illegal decision not to publish the energy efficiency standards.

Attorney General Frosh joins California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, co-leads in the suit, and the Attorneys General of Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington. The City of New York is also a Plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Oregon Ice Cream Fined for Stormwater Violations

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined Oregon Ice Cream LLC $36,171 for stormwater violations at its Grant Street facility.

The company failed to control and treat stormwater at its Eugene facility. Oregon Ice Cream was required by its permit to implement a “Tier II” plan that would address elevated levels of zinc, copper, and suspended solids in its stormwater discharge, but failed to do so by the June 30, 2016 deadline. Of the civil penalty assessed by DEQ, $26, 571 represents the economic benefit gained by the company for failing to complete these measures. DEQ will consider recalculating the penalty if the requirements are completed.

The company also allowed wash water containing milk and soap to discharge through an exterior door to the adjacent sidewalk where it was likely to be washed into a catch basin that drains into Amazon Creek.

DEQ also cited the company, without penalty, for failing to take other corrective actions, failing to provide employee education, failing to conduct facility inspections and failing to provide secondary containment for hazardous materials.

Such violations could pose a risk to aquatic life and to beneficial uses of Amazon Creek. The company has until July 3 to appeal the penalty.

Qorvo Oregon Fined $4,276 to Resolve Self-Disclosed Environmental Violation Related to Its Nickel Plating Operation in Bend

Qorvo Oregon, formerly Triquint Semiconductor, has paid a $4,276 civil penalty to resolve an environmental violation related to its nickel plating operation at a research and development facility located at 63140 Britta Street in Bend. Qorvo Oregon self-disclosed the violation to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in December 2016.

After conducting an environmental audit, the company disclosed that it had operated a nickel-plating operation since 2008. DEQ began issuing General Air Contaminant Discharge Permits for this type of air source in April 2011.

Qorvo's audit, which was completed in November 2016, revealed that Bend facility was operating without the required permit and the company promptly disclosed the violation to DEQ. The company was granted permit coverage by DEQ in March 2017.

Despite not having an air quality permit, Qorvo Oregon has demonstrated compliance with emission control requirements the permit would have required at the facility since at least January 2012. This includes adding a wetting agent or fume suppressant in the nickel plating tank to reduce emissions.

Qorvo Oregon and DEQ resolved the violation through a Mutual Agreement and Order, which requires the company to submit emissions information for the Bend facility to DEQ as part of the Cleaner Air Oregon data request.

Minnesota Plans for Changing Climate

A new report by the Interagency Climate Adaptation Team (ICAT), a group of Minnesota state agencies focused on adapting to the changes, says the effects of climate change, from heavier rainfall events to changing ecosystems, will be significant and far-reaching in Minnesota.

“Addressing climate change will be good for our health, our environment, and our economy. This new report underscores the importance of ensuring Minnesota is climate resilient by implementing changes like weatherizing our buildings and improving run-off control,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “Next session, I urge the Legislature to adopt the bipartisan ‘50 by 30’ renewable energy standard proposed earlier this year. It will create new jobs and reduce greenhouse emissions in our state.”

“Minnesota’s climate is changing at a rate faster than global and national averages,” said Will Seuffert, executive director of the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB), which plays a lead role in ICAT’s work. “This has very real consequences for communities and businesses in all corners of the state. Already we are seeing innovative measures to adapt, and state agencies are collaborating to support these efforts. But we’ll need to do much more at all levels if we want to preserve our state’s, precious natural resources, economic vitality and quality of life.”

Climate adaptation will be a major theme of the EQB’s meeting on June 14 in Waseca, Minnesota. Waseca was the site of heavy flooding in September 2016 which caused significant damage in the community.

ICAT’s new report, Adapting to Climate Change in Minnesota, calls out many climate change related developments. Among the report’s take-aways:

  • For several decades, Minnesota has seen substantial warming during winter and at night, with increased precipitation throughout the year, particularly from larger and more frequent rainstorms. These two effects will continue to be the state’s leading symptoms of climate change.
  • These changes have damaged buildings and infrastructure, limited recreational opportunities, changed our growing seasons, and affected the quality of our lakes, rivers and drinking water.
  • These and other climate-related trends are accelerating.
  • Due to climate change, Minnesota will experience warmer winters, more days with severe heat and longer-lasting heat waves, and increasingly heavy and more frequent rainstorms.

The report highlights measures that state government is taking to adapt, such as increasing weatherization of homes and buildings, “greening” infrastructure with trees and landscaping to improve runoff control, assessing roads and bridges to identify those most vulnerable to damage, and restoring wetlands to buffer flooding.

The aim of these measures is to build resiliency into the state’s critical systems. “Climate change is bringing serious effects that we’ll have to live with,” said David Thornton, assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, a founding agency of the team. “Building resilience is about making the systems that support our health and economy more prepared for these challenges.”

“ICAT brings together the planners from all the state’s agencies responsible for coping with the changes that are already happening, as well as those we have yet to see but we know are coming,” Thornton added.

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger noted that the health effects of climate change fall disproportionately on the state’s most vulnerable people. “Minnesota’s changing climate will affect the health of all of us, but we know that those with the fewest resources and those most vulnerable—physically, geographically, economically, socially—will be hit the hardest. We need to step up our efforts to build resiliency and protect the most vulnerable in our communities all across the state,” he said.

While the team focuses on adapting to climate change, the report acknowledges that without serious attempts to also slow the pace of change, humans and natural systems will find it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to adapt. In many cases, adaptation measures also can help reduce the rate of change. For example, increasing tree cover provides resilience to higher heat by providing cooling shade, while at the same reducing energy use for air conditioning. And improving water conservation builds resilience to drought by reducing use of groundwater and surface water, while also reducing energy used to purify and transport water.

Seuffert said ICAT recognizes that state government can’t make Minnesota ready for all the effects of a changing climate on its own. Partnerships and collaboration are needed at all levels across the spectrum. “The climate is changing and it’s going to continue to change in ways we can’t yet foresee. We’re going to need all hands on deck,” he said.

Pennsylvania DEP Secretary: House Republican Budget Proposal Puts Public Health at Risk

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) warns that cuts to environmental and public health programs in the proposed budget from House Republicans could put air and water quality at risk. In a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committees, Secretary Patrick McDonnell outlined six key ways the proposed budget would impact public health, safety, and economic development.

“A spending cut of this magnitude—unfocused and on top of the changes we have already proposed and the cuts we have received, including a reduction of 754 positions over the past decade—would put Pennsylvania’s environmental and public health at risk,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

Among the impacts of the proposed budget would be:

  • Six hundred fewer inspections of public water systems, which provide clean drinking water to 83% of the Commonwealth population
  • Fewer underground mine inspectors that ensure safe working conditions for Pennsylvania’s coal miners
  • Longer wait times for permit reviews, slowing down economic development and undercutting improvements that DEP has made to the permit review process

A fee package that would increase and implement new fees on public water systems has been introduced to fund additional staff for the program. In December 2016, the U.S. EPA warned DEP that continued staff shortages and underinvestment in the program could lead to Pennsylvania losing primacy over the program. Loss of primacy for the program would strip DEP’s authority to regulate drinking water, as well as remove millions of dollars of funds for communities to upgrade their safe drinking water facilities.

In addition to the cuts outlined in the letter, Sec. McDonnell noted that possible cuts to DEP’s budget from federal sources would further exacerbate these issues. Combined, funding cuts at the state and federal level would hamper infrastructure projects and the jobs that those projects create.

Along with the effects that funding cuts at the state level would cause, DEP also outlined the impacts of federal budget cuts in a letter to the Pennsylvania congressional delegation. Copies of that letter can be found here.

Merck Research Laboratories Wins EPA 2017 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards

The EPA is recognizing landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn potential environmental issues into business opportunities, spurring innovation and economic development.

“We congratulate those who bring innovative solutions that will help solve problems and help American businesses,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These innovations encourage smart and safe practices, while cutting manufacturing costs and sparking investments. Ultimately, these manufacturing processes and products spur economic growth and are safer for health and the environment.”

Merck Research Laboratories in Rahway, New Jersey, is being recognized for successfully applying green chemistry design principles to Letermovir, an antiviral drug candidate, that is currently in phase III clinical trials. The improvements to the way the drug is made, including use of a better chemical catalyst, increases the overall yield by more than 60%, reduces raw material costs by 93%, and reduces water usage by 90%. They will be honored alongside four other Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners on June 12 at a ceremony in Washington, DC.

During the 22 years of the program, EPA has received more than 1600 nominations and presented awards to 114 technologies that spur economic growth, reduce costs, and decrease waste. The agency estimates winning technologies are responsible for annually reducing the use or generation of more than 826 million lb of hazardous chemicals, saving 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminating 7.8 billion lb of carbon dioxide equivalent releases to air.

An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute formally judged the 2017 submissions from among scores of nominated technologies and made recommendations to EPA for the 2017 winners. The 2017 awards event will be held in conjunction with the 21st Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference.

Maryland Green Registry Leadership Winners Honored

The Maryland Department of the Environment recently announced that five Maryland organizations received leadership awards Wednesday night at the Governor Calvert House in Annapolis during the eighth annual Maryland Green Registry awards celebration, held in partnership with the Registry, Annapolis Green and the U.S. Green Building Council Maryland.

The awards were presented by Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles to BD Diagnostics in Sparks, Hamilton Associates in Owings Mills, the Town of Emmitsburg in Frederick County, Harford County Public Schools, and Washington Gas. Winners were chosen based on their commitment to continuous environmental improvement within their facilities and the environmental results achieved to date. More information on each winner’s achievements are detailed on the Maryland Green Registry website.

In addition, the Registry announced that its 490 member organizations saved $104 million last year by implementing sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices at their facilities such as reducing energy usage, waste reduction and water conservation. As part of their online member profile, Maryland Green Registry members share at least one quantitative environmental measurement. The results are collected to demonstrate that even small efforts among a group of committed organizations can lead to impressive outcomes. The results also emphasize the importance of measurement to the successful management of environmental impacts at any type and size of organization.

“Maryland is open for business, and the Hogan Administration is eager to welcome and support green business leaders,” Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles said. “The organizations we are honoring are true leaders in showing the way toward an environmentally sustainable future and a thriving economy in Maryland. The two go hand in hand, as shown by $104 million in annual savings for Green Registry members.”

The following results were achieved by Registry members on an annual basis between 2016 and 2017: 535,000 lb of hazardous waste reduced, 12.4 million lb of nonhazardous waste reduced, 719.8 million lb of non-hazardous waste recycled, 9.7 million lb of material composted, 2.75 million gallons of wastewater reduced, 535,000 gallons of fuel saved through both fuel efficiency and vehicle miles traveled, 9.3 million vehicle miles traveled reduced, 459.5 million kWh electricity saved, 190 million gallons of water conserved, and 2.25 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) reduced.

The Maryland Green Registry was created to promote and recognize sustainable practices by organizations throughout the state. The free program offers tips and resources to help organizations set and meet their own goals on the path to sustainability.

Environmental News Links

Scientists Praise Energy Innovation Office Trump Wants to Shut Down

Pension Fund Divests in Stocks of Companies that Breach Paris Climate Deal

Wind, Solar Surpass 10 Percent of Power Production

As Coal Ash Rules Are Challenged, Activists Worry About Long-Term Monitoring

Countries on Track to Double Clean Energy Research, Except U.S.

Energy Department Aims to Close International Clean Energy Office

Trump's Planned EPA Cuts Will Hit America's Most Vulnerable

Springfield Facility Along Willamette River Cited for Hazardous Waste Law Violations

Van Catches Fire, Spills Hazardous Material on Sacramento Road

EPA and Texas Oncology, P.A. Enter into Consent Agreement

Investigators: EPA Had No Rules for Working at Risky Mines

Former EPA Employees Are So Worried About Trump’s Plans, They Formed Their Own Alt-EPA

Protect Those Who Protect Us and Fund the EPA

McDonald’s Canada Debuts Compostable Coffee Pods

EPA Administrator Blindsided During House Budget Hearing

Hexion Cited for Hazardous Waste Violations

Label on Chemical Waste Drum Inaccurate, Lab Learns

Trivia Question of the Week

Every $1 spent on EPA regulations produces how many dollars in benefits?

a. $2
b. $5
c. $6
d. $9

Answer