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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Thursday, June 29, 2017
Lawmakers scramble to reform e-scrap program in Illinois
Fearing a veto from the governor, Illinois stakeholders are attempting to iron out last-minute changes to legislation that would reshape the state's e-scrap law by requiring manufacturers to fund recycling of all covered material collected through the program. Following the successful passage of Senate Bill 1417 by both the state House and Senate late last month, lawmakers in Illinois have held back on sending the legislation to Gov. Bruce Rauner and have instead worked on a separate bill, HB 1955, to add several tweaks to the legislative overhaul. The changes, according to the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA), are aimed at appeasing concerns from the Illinois EPA that likely would have caused Gov. Rauner, a Republican, to veto the original legislation. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has also raised concerns about the bill. Source: E-scrap news, 6/29/17

Friday, June 23, 2017
In booming Philadelphia neighborhoods, lead-poisoned soil is resurfacing
Breakneck construction has unearthed a toxic legacy, coating playgrounds and backyards with dangerous levels of lead dust. Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/18/17

Study: Measures of food waste are 'overstated' and potentially consequential
A new study published on behalf of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association claims measures of food waste are "inconsistent" and may be overstated. Source: Food Dive, 6/21/17

Why chemists -- not just economists -- are key to a circular future
Although some advocates of the circular economy still interpret it as simply increasing recycling rates, it is clear to anyone with a chemical engineering background that the key to resource efficiency is to get best value from materials and products in use -- the stock -- and reduce their flow through the economy. Source:

State of the Great Lakes 2017
The Governments of Canada and the United States are pleased to release the State of the Great Lakes 2017 Highlights Report. Overall, the Great Lakes are assessed as Fair and Unchanging. While progress to restore and protect the Great Lakes has been made, including the reduction of toxic chemicals, challenges remain with issues such as invasive species and nutrients. Source: Canada-United States Collaboration for Great Lakes Water Quality, 6/19/17

Recycling never looked so good: Luxury-quality materials made from waste
This gallery from CNN Style showcases some of the upcycled products on the market right now. Source: CNN Style, 6/22/17

Is It Really So Offal? 'Ugly Food' Boot Camp Entices Chefs And Diners
This James Beard Foundation sustainability boot camp teaches chefs to reduce food waste. Source: NPR, 6/23/17

Thursday, June 22, 2017
Sunlight surprise raises cadmium pollution risk
Exposure to light increases solubility of cadmium red pigment in water, bucking conventional wisdom. Source: Chemical & Engineering News, 6/16/17

Polymer network captures drinking water contaminant
Cross-linked cyclodextrin removes 93% of the perfluorinated chemical PFOA from water in lab tests. Source: Chemical & Engineering News, 6/20/17

Precise Soil, Climate, and Weather Data Help Dairy Optimize Water Use
For irrigated crops, knowing when and how much water to apply has long been a matter of experience and guesswork. In a changing climate, new technology can reduce this uncertainty, enabling farmers to make every drop of water count. Source: U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, 1/17/17

How Vermont tackled farm pollution and cleaned up its waters
From Vermont's Lake Champlain to rivers and oceans across the nation, waterways are being overloaded with pollution from farms. But Vermont took an approach that could be a model for states -- especially now that the federal government is in regulatory retreat. Source: FERN, 6/22/17

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban
The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban documents a consensus of more than 200 scientists and medical professionals on the hazards of and lack of demonstrated benefit from common uses of triclosan and triclocarban. These chemicals may be used in thousands of personal care and consumer products as well as in building materials. Based on extensive peer-reviewed research, this statement concludes that triclosan and triclocarban are environmentally persistent endocrine disruptors that bioaccumulate in and are toxic to aquatic and other organisms. Evidence of other hazards to humans and ecosystems from triclosan and triclocarban is presented along with recommendations intended to prevent future harm from triclosan, triclocarban, and antimicrobial substances with similar properties and effects. Because antimicrobials can have unintended adverse health and environmental impacts, they should only be used when they provide an evidence-based health benefit. Greater transparency is needed in product formulations, and before an antimicrobial is incorporated into a product, the long-term health and ecological impacts should be evaluated. Source: Environmental Health Perspectives, June 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Ikea aims to halve food waste at its restaurants by mid-2020
Ikea, which as well as being the No.1 furniture retailer also runs one of the world's biggest restaurant chains, aims to halve its food waste in three years to save money and reduce its environmental footprint. Source: CNBC, 6/19/17

Other Environmental News

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


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