You are invited to attend the Multi-State Working Group on Environmental Performance (MSWG) 7th annual "Learning Together Workshop on Environmental Innovation & Environmental Management Systems (EMS)." This three-day workshop will be held in Charleston, West Virginia June 28-30, 2004. Two to three hundred individuals from government, private industry, non-governmental organizations, and academic sectors who will be coming together to conduct research, network and establish partnerships that improve the state of the environment, economy and community through systems-based public and private policy innovation.
On the first two days, the workshop agenda will feature speakers on topics ranging from the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on environmental management, encouraging leadership in government programs, a look at voluntary versus mandatory programs on environmental impact, EMS in corporate culture, sustainable business practices, EMS and agriculture, environmental management concepts in education, using systems for compliance management, and working with communities on environmental priorities. The third day will feature an array of international speakers and perspectives including consideration of national sustainability policies, public-private partnerships, and the international marketplace for sustainable business practices. The agenda and additional information can be found at http://www.mswg.org.
Attendees that arrive by Sunday morning can join a unique whitewater rafting trip through the beautiful and historic New River Gorge followed by the MSWG Business meeting. For more information on the workshop, contact Dave Bassage, Workshop Chair, at 304-926-3647 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Details Announced on Proposed Clean Air Interstate Rule
The Bush administration released a supplement to its proposed Clean Air Interstate Rule, providing additional implementation details, including model cap-and-trade programs for power plants that states may adopt to achieve required emissions reductions. The Clean Air Interstate Rule would establish permanent caps reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the eastern United States. In 2015, NOx emissions from the electric power sector are estimated to be 65 percent below today's levels. SO2 emissions from that sector are estimated to be 50 percent below current levels by 2015 and about 70 percent below when fully implemented.
The proposed supplement provides for the use of a cap and trade program, like the Clean Air Act's Acid Rain program, to ensure complete accountability and transparency as this rule is implemented. Each of the 29 states affected and the District of Columbia must submit a plan to EPA that demonstrates how it will meet its assigned statewide SO2 and NOx emissions budget (i.e., emissions reduction requirements which are provided in the January 2004 proposal).
The Clean Air Interstate Rule (proposed in January 2004, formerly the Interstate Air Quality Rule to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone) is a national tool proposed to help communities achieve clean air and meet the health-based fine particle and 8-hour ozone standards. When combined with the recently completed Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule and other national control programs, the reductions required by the Clean Air Interstate Rule are anticipated to achieve significant regional improvements in air quality and reduce the need for additional local controls.
EPA will take public comments on the supplemental proposal for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. EPA will also hold a public hearing on June 3 in the Washington, D.C. area to solicit comments. For more information on the supplemental proposal, the public comment and hearing processes, and the January 2004 proposed Clean Air Interstate Rule, visit http://www.epa.gov/interstateairquality.
EPA Extends the Deadline for Action on North Carolina's Petition to Reduce Upwind Air Emissions
EPA is extending by six months the deadline for final action on a clean air petition from North Carolina filed under section 126 of the Clean Air Act. The petition requests that EPA make a finding that emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from large electric generating units in 13 states are contributing significantly to fine particulate matter and/or 8-hour ozone nonattainment and maintenance problems in North Carolina. The affected states are: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. EPA will use the additional time to gather public input on the section 126 petition, which has significant implications for North Carolina, as well as citizens and the regulated community in upwind states. EPA will take this information into consideration and evaluate North Carolina's petition very carefully.
In January, EPA proposed the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) which, when final, is anticipated to result in significant reductions of interstate transported pollution throughout the eastern United States. North Carolina's section 126 petition is seeking reductions from the same types of sources and pollutants as proposed in EPA's CAIR.
North Carolina's petition relies, in part, on EPA's findings and analyses supporting the CAIR proposal. EPA received the petition on March 19. Under section 126, EPA must take action to grant or deny the petition within 60 days of receipt. A separate provision of the Clean Air Act, however, allows EPA to extend the deadline for action by up to 6 months if EPA determines that additional time is needed for the rule-making process. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/airlinks/airlinks1.html.
Waste Disposal Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Hazardous Waste Dumping in Alabama
On May 17, Don Milton White, a private contractor from Mobile, Ala., pled guilty to two counts of violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
White contracted with the Escambia County, Fla. Utility Authority to transport and dispose of wastes from its wastewater treatment facility. The wastes included oils, tar, paint wastes, hydraulic fluid and solvents, which are required under RCRA to be disposed of by a licensed hazardous waste disposal facility. Instead, White dumped these chemicals at separate locations throughout Southern Alabama. Of the hundreds of gallons of wastes White illegally discarded, some was highly corrosive liquid regulated as hazardous waste under federal law.
Dumping waste oils, fluids and solvents on the ground can create a contamination hazard for humans and wildlife.
The case was investigated by the Jacksonville Area Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, EPA's Emergency Response Branch and the FBI. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Mobile and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Shopping Centers Nationwide Commit to Recycling, Waste Prevention
A new initiative plans to target waste streams, including corrugated cardboard packaging, wood pallets, plastic packaging, paper, food court waste (glass, metal and plastic beverage containers, and food waste) and yard waste. EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt announced the "America's Marketplace Recycles!" initiative at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Spring Conference in Las Vegas.
"Shopping centers are a magnet for young people, so what better place to teach our youth the value of recycling," said Leavitt. "By recycling their own waste and at the same time making it easier for customers to recycle, the International Council of Shopping Centers is setting a high standard for improving the environment."
Leading shopping centers are already focusing on packaging reduction, resource management, buying recycled, and educating consumers about recycling. Ninety-four percent of Americans visit a shopping center every month, on average 2.5 times a month.
For example, in 1995, the 4.2 million square foot Mall of America complex in Bloomington, Minn., began a "pig bucket program" by contracting with a local farmer to haul away more than 150 tons of food waste per month from the mall's restaurants to be used as pig feed. The Mall of America complex is home to more than 520 shops; an indoor family theme park; a 1.2 million gallon walk-through aquarium; and a 14-screen movie theatre. The "pig-bucket program" is just one element of food waste from the mall's far-reaching reuse and recycling program, which diverts 50 to 60 percent of the 800 tons of solid waste generated by the complex each month.
In 2002, VF Outlet Village in Reading, Pa., recycled 499 tons of corrugated cardboard, generating more than $225,000 in income. In addition, for each ton of materials recycled, the shopping center avoids a $50-per-ton waste disposal fee.
AMR! also encourages shopping centers and retailers to recycle construction and demolition debris from renovations and expansions, and whenever possible, to use products containing recycled content. The AMR! initiative provides incentives to participate in the program by offering a series of awards that recognize significant recycling and waste prevention efforts. The first AMR! awards will be presented at ICSC's 2005 Spring Convention for: Best New Recycling Program; Expansion of an Existing Recycling Program; Outstanding Retailer; Outstanding Mall Owner/Developer; Public Awareness Campaign/Promotional Event; Community Partnership/Beneficial Use of Funds; and Innovative Recycling Program. A single outstanding program will be selected by the judging panel to receive the "Recycler of the Year" Award.
More information about AMR! is available at http://www.epa.gov/rcc/amr.htm.
AMR! is another component of EPA's Resource Conservation Challenge(RCC), a major national effort to find flexible, yet more protective ways to conserve natural resources through waste reduction and energy recovery. More information about the RCC is available at http://www.epa.gov/rcc.
ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its 45,000 members in the U.S., Canada and more than 70 other countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, lenders, retailers and other professionals, as well as academics and public officials. More information about the ICSC is available at http://www.icsc.org.