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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Comment Periods Extended for Two Proposed Rules: Trichloroethylene (TCE) in Vapor Degreasing and Methylene Chloride and N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) in Paint and Coating Removal
The public comment periods for two proposed rules, one on trichloroethylene (TCE) in vapor degreasing and one on methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) in paint and coating removal, will be extended in response to stakeholder requests for more time to comment on the proposals. Comments must be received through in dockets EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0387 or EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0231 on or before May 19, 2017. Source: U.S. EPA, 4/18/17

Nitrogen Pollution: An Emerging Focus of Campus Sustainability Efforts
Many colleges and universities are working to transition toward sustainability in their academic programs, operations and engagement with communities. A major emphasis of their efforts has been reducing the environmental harms associated with campus operations. Typical initiatives include reducing emissions of climate changing greenhouse gases; reducing consumption of energy, water and other resources; building 'green' buildings; purchasing ecologically and socially preferable food and other products; and reducing waste generation and disposal in landfills.

While many of these initiatives can and do reduce nitrogen pollution, this has not been a significant or deliberate focus of college and university sustainability programs. That may be changing. Source: Huffington Post, 4/17/17

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Ohio EPA Announces New Online Materials Marketplace
Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler is in Sandusky today to announce the launch of a new online service whereby Ohio businesses, not-for-profits and government organizations can advertise and acquire potentially useful products and materials that might otherwise be destined for disposal in landfills. The new Ohio Materials Marketplace (OMM) is a free online platform allowing these organizations to connect and find solutions to material reuse and recycling needs. Source: Ohio EPA, 4/4/17

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
New York, other states take on Trump over energy efficiency
A coalition of U.S. states has mounted a broad legal challenge against what it called the Trump administration's illegal suspension of rules to improve the energy efficiency of ceiling fans, portable air conditioners and other products. Source: Reuters, 4/3/17

In the fishing industry, gear recycling is finally catching on
Old fishing nets clutter harbors and kill sea life. But entrepreneurs are changing that. Source: Ensia, 4/3/17

Monday, April 3, 2017
Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
The fashion industry and environmentalists are old foes, and the advent of 'fast fashion' has strained the relationship even more. But what if we could recycle clothes like we recycle paper, or even upcycle them? Source: American Chemical Society, 4/3/17

Ridding the oceans of plastics by turning the waste into valuable fuel
Billions of pounds of plastic waste are littering the world's oceans. Now, a Ph.D. organic chemist and a sailboat captain report that they are developing a process to reuse certain plastics, transforming them from worthless trash into a valuable diesel fuel with a small mobile reactor. They envision the technology could someday be implemented globally on land and possibly placed on boats to convert ocean waste plastic into fuel to power the vessels. Source: American Chemical Society, 4/3/17

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Minnesota's JavaCycle turns coffee-bean waste into sweet-smelling fertilizer
The parent company of Hill Bros. Coffee and Chock Full O'Nuts has partnered with the tiny, Minnesota-based operation to convert millions of pounds of roasted coffee-bean waste into commercial fertilizer. Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 3/28/17

Innovative 'Agrihood' Project Helping to Feed, Revitalize Detroit
The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative launched a crowdfunding campaign to develop an abandoned three-story apartment complex in Detroit into a community center that will feature community kitchens and a healthy food cafe to complement its adjacent gardens, orchard and cistern. MUFI co-founder Tyson Gersh says the group plans "to show proof of concept that the agrihood model can in fact work, and work very well, in an urban setting." Source: Sustainable Brands, 3/24/17

Climate change is more than a tech problem, so we need more than a tech solution
Climate change mitigation requires systemic social change, not just technological optimism. Source: Ensia, 3/20/17

How new technologies are shrinking wastewater's hefty carbon footprint
Communities looking to reduce fossil fuel use find opportunity in energy-hogging treatment plants. Source: Ensia, 3/27/17

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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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