Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
EPA moves to fix air pollution rule after Supreme Court loss
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to fix by this spring the problem that caused the Supreme Court to rule against its major air pollution regulation in July. The EPA told a lower court on Monday that it is formulating a plan to conduct cost-benefit analysis as part of a revision of its finding that the mercury rule is "appropriate and necessary." Source: The Hill, 8/10/15

IL: This Jewel has some interesting ways to bag your groceries
One week into Chicago's plastic bag ban, shoppers have noticed a few hiccups in the transition as major retailers have replaced the old lightweight plastic bags with thicker reusable ones, spurring confusion and complaints. Source: Chicago Tribune, 8/7/15

Ikea to sell only energy-saving LED lightbulbs
Halogen and compact fluorescent bulbs will no longer be sold worldwide from September by retailer, which says LED technology has reached a tipping point. Source: The Guardian, 8/10/15

Hospitals look for ways to cut water use during California drought
Hospitals are among the highest water users in communities, but have a lot of potential to help California fight its ongoing drought, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Source: Los Angeles Times, 8/6/15

10 questions to ask about wood and paper-based products
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute offer 10 key questions to consider when buying wood or paper-based products. Source: Treehugger, 8/4/15

The 5 Plastics That Nobody Should Be Using
Tom Szaky and Albe Zakes, the eco-entrepreneurs behind global recycling company TerraCycle, have a unique take on trash. Their new book, "Make Garbage Great", explores the history of human waste and presents some creative ideas to make less of it in the future. Here's what they have to say about plastic. Source: MindBodyGreen, 8/7/15

The trends spawning the next wave of sustainable business models
From the sharing economy to digitization, technological and cultural trends are changing the way we think about sustainability. Source: The Guardian, 8/11/15

How Can Cities Get Renters to Use Less Water?
California's drought demands an answer, but as homeownership rates drop, the question has implications for the whole country. Source: CityLab, 8/10/15

K-Cup killers? Hotel suppliers seek better single-serving coffee
As a large market for single-serving beverage products, hotels are seeking sustainability improvements to wasteful plastic products. Source: GreenBiz, 8/11/15

How Does a City Get to Zero Carbon Emissions?
Even before Obama released his rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, dozens of cities pledged to become carbon-free. But how they will achieve that isn't always known. Source: Governing, August 2015

Tracing conflict minerals proves elusive -- and expensive
The clock for corporates looking to get a handle on supply chain conflict minerals is starting to tick much louder. With just one year to go before stricter reporting is required by the Securities and Exchange Commission, many companies are still struggling to trace their sources for metals such as gold, tungsten, tantalum and tin, according to an analysis of reports submitted for the most recent reporting period. Source:, 8/10/15

Friday, August 7, 2015
Why the outdoor industry needs to climb Mount Sustainability
It helps people fall in love with the natural world, and the sector is known for several sustainability stars, but the entire sector can do more. Source: GreenBiz, 8/7/15

McConnell: Chemical reform could get a vote in the fall
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that an overhaul of federal chemical safety laws could come up for a vote when lawmakers return from their summer recess. Source: The Hill, 8/6/15

Green Surfactants Close to Surface
From cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to agricultural products and paint, surfactants are ubiquitous in consumer and industrial areas. The compounds make up a multi-billion-dollar market, according to the NSF. Taking cues from surfactants made by common bacteria, the Univ. of Arizona research team is exploring new biosurfactants based on sugars generally referred to as glycolipids. The sugar structure ensure the surfactants are biodegradable. Source: R&D Magazine, 8/6/15

Thursday, August 6, 2015
Meet the companies trying to break our plastic addiction
The fate of the world's oceans may rest inside a stainless steel tank not quite the size of a small beer keg. Inside, genetically modified bacteria turn corn syrup into a churning mass of polymers that can be used to produce a wide variety of common plastics. Source: GreenBiz, 8/6/15

Solar farm construction begins on UI campus
After several years of design and delay, construction has finally begun on a new "solar farm" at the University of Illinois. Source: Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, 8/1/15

Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Demand-Side Energy Efficiency in the Final Clean Power Plan
Yesterday, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled the final version of the Clean Power Plan--the nation's first ever federal regulatory standards to address carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants. One significant change in the final rule is that EPA is no longer including demand-side energy efficiency as one of the "building blocks" used to determine the CO2 emissions performance rates for existing power plants. Fortunately, energy efficiency can still be used as a compliance measure, and EPA expects that energy efficiency will play a major role in meeting the state targets because it is a "cost-effective and widely-available carbon reduction tool." Source: Climate Law Blog, 8/4/15

3 strategies to shape more efficient water systems
The drought ravaging the American West provides a case study on what could be done to shore up the water supply. Source: GreenBiz, 8/3/15

5 steps to build the business case for sustainable procurement
It's not always easy to sell a supply-chain makeover, but these tips can help. Start with measuring your company's footprint. Source: GreenBiz, 8/3/15

5 core competencies of sustainability leadership
To achieve lasting change, the entire C-suite should demonstrate emotional intelligence, systems thinking and these other qualities. Source: GreenBiz, 8/4/15

Friday, July 31, 2015
EPA Reaches Agreement with Manufacturer to Stop Use of TCE in Spray Fixative Products Used on Arts and Crafts
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached an agreement with a manufacturer to voluntarily phase-out the use of trichloroethylene (TCE) in an aerosol arts and crafts spray fixative product as part of EPA's ongoing efforts to reduce the public's exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Source: US EPA, 7/30/15

Other Environmental News

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