Contact: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / email@example.com
Monday, October 31, 2011
EPA Region 3 News Release: EPA Settles Case Alleging PCB Violations at Office Building in Philadelphia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2011
EPA Grants Clean Air Act Petition to Improve Air Quality in New Jersey
Action protects public health and cuts harmful emissions from Pennsylvania power plant
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today granted a petition submitted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to limit sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from a Pennsylvania power plant that are adversely impacting air quality in Warren, Sussex, Morris and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. This is the first single-source petition the agency has granted and it will require the Portland Generating Station in Northampton County, Pa., to significantly cut its SO2 emissions within three years, with a portion of those cuts happening by the end of the first year. Carried across state lines by wind and weather, SO2 can aggravate asthma and cause other respiratory problems. SO2 emissions can also react in the air and contribute to harmful levels of particle pollution, which is linked to widespread illnesses and premature deaths.
"As someone who lived and worked in New Jersey, I know that communities have struggled for years with pollution crossing state lines, fouling the air they breathe and threatening their health. The Cross State rule EPA finalized this year and today’s action are two important steps designed to protect communities facing these exact challenges," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "In granting today’s petition, we’re taking a common-sense approach that gives the facility flexibility to find the most cost-effective methods for cutting pollution and for helping communities in New Jersey meet the Clean Air Act standards for sulfur dioxide."
The final rule provides the Portland plant with the flexibility to choose the most cost-effective strategy for meeting these limits, including installing proven and widely available pollution control technologies. The two units covered under this rule are large sources of SO2 emissions in the region, are about 50 years old and are currently among the 44 percent of coal-fired units in the country that do not have advanced pollution controls, such as scrubbers or catalysts, installed to limit emissions.
Actions taken to meet these limits are similar to those that the facility would need consider taking to meet the recently finalized Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the upcoming Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. This common-sense and coordinated approach supports the development of strategies that reduce all pollutants, including sulfur dioxide, particle pollution, ozone and others; minimize costs; and maximize public health protection.
EPA conducted air quality modeling analyses to evaluate SO2 levels in New Jersey. These analyses show that the level of SO2 in the air is exceeding the agency’s 1-hour national air quality standard and that the Portland plant is the main source of emissions. Monitoring data showing SO2 concentrations in Warren County exceeding the level of the 1-hour SO2 standard, support the agency’s modeling results.
Under the Clean Air Act, when a facility’s emissions impact air quality in another state, the affected state can petition EPA and request that the facility be required to reduce its impact. If EPA finds that the emissions do contribute to an air quality problem, the agency must set emissions limits that will eliminate this contribution. In a September 2010 petition, New Jersey asked EPA to find that emissions from the Portland power plant are impacting the state’s air quality and to require the facility to reduce its SO2 emissions. EPA proposed to grant the petition in March 2011.
More information on the petition: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/new.html
News Release: EPA Awards Seven Universities in the Southeast with Grants to Help Design Sustainable Technologies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EPA Awards Seven Universities in the Southeast with Grants to Help Design Sustainable Technologies
College students to design projects to help environment and economy
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, firstname.lastname@example.org
ATLANTA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded seven universities in the southeast with the People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) Phase I grants for the 2011-2012 school year. Nationally, the grants were awarded to 45 teams of college and university students across the country. The teams will design creative solutions to sustainability challenges in the developed and developing world. The P3 grants challenge students, working together on interdisciplinary teams, to design and build sustainable technologies that improve quality of life, promote economic development and protect the environment.
The 2011-2012 school year awardees are:
Clark Atlanta University - Designing genes for bacteria that will produce lignin-degrading enzymes in plant cell walls to more efficiently produce the renewable fuel bioethanol.
The annual EPA P3 competition begins with Phase I grant awards of $15,000 to student teams that then work on projects in a range of categories including water, energy, agriculture, built environment, and materials and chemicals. After working on the project for eight months, the teams will bring their designs to the 8th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C around Earth Day. At the expo, the projects will be judged by a panel of experts. A few teams will be selected for Phase II grants up to $90,000 for students to improve their designs, implement them in the field, or move them to the marketplace.
Applications are being accepted through Dec. 22, 2011, for the next round of Phase I awards for the 2012-2013 school year. In addition to the categories above, teams can also propose innovative ideas for green infrastructure and designing clean cookstoves.
More information on the P3 Phase I grant awards: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/p3/current
More information on applying for a 2012-2013 Phase I P3 award: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/p3/apply
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 31, 2011
Contact: Margot Perez-Sullivan, email@example.com
Nevada Charter Schools to comply with asbestos regulations
SAN FRANCISCO –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has worked with 12 Nevada charter schools to address violations of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). Five of the schools are located in Clark County, and seven are in Wahsoe County.
As a result of the EPA’s inspections, the schools have hired accredited inspectors to prepare a management plan for each school, and conduct further inspections. Under AHERA, local education agencies must appoint a designated person who is trained to oversee asbestos activities and ensure compliance with federal regulations. Finally, schools with asbestos-containing materials must conduct periodic surveillance and re-inspections, properly train the maintenance and custodial staff, and maintain records documenting those activities in its management plan.
For more information on asbestos in schools visit: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/asbestos_in_schools.html