FY 2014 Request Focuses on Transforming the Way EPA Does Business
WASHINGTON – Today the Obama Administration proposed a Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014) budget of $8.153 billion for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This request is $296 million below the EPA’s budget for Fiscal Year 2012.
“EPA’s FY 2014 budget reflects our firm commitment to keeping American communities across our country healthy and clean, while also taking into consideration the difficult fiscal situation and the declining resources of state, local and tribal programs,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “Our request takes a balanced approach to funding the agency, including increased investments in more efficient technologies as well as necessary program eliminations or reductions.”
EPA’s FY 2014 request will allow EPA to continue its progress in addressing climate change; protecting the nation’s air, waters, and lands; supporting sustainable water infrastructure; and assuring the safety of chemicals. EPA will continue to lay the groundwork to transform the way it does business, ensuring the best use of human and financial resources, while continuing to achieve the agency’s mission effectively and efficiently. Read the rest of this entry »
THE Environmental Protection Agency’s latest proposed tightening of limits on sulfur in gasoline, and its previous rules, will most likely have the perverse consequence of retarding the development of cars running on batteries, advanced biofuels or hydrogen — all promising but expensive technologies that have not become mass-market products.
At the least, domestically produced gasoline and rapid advances in technology to make the internal combustion engine more efficient are likely to help the conventional automobile survive against competition from vehicles powered by electricity, natural gas and other cleaner alternatives.
The E.P.A. last week announced its proposed new Tier 3 rules sharply reducing allowable amounts of sulfur in gasoline, which would help automobiles’ catalytic converters to capture more pollutants. Tier 1, the E.P.A.’s first set of rules, was established two decades ago, under the Clean Air Act of 1990. Tier 2 was a refinement in 2000.
A new study suggests that more research is needed in order to find the complete impacts pharmaceutical pollution has on aquatic life and water quality.
In a new study, researchers focused on six common pharmaceuticals (caffeine, ciprofloxacin, metformin, an antihistamine for allergies, and two antihistamines for heartburn) influenced streams in Indiana, Maryland, and New York. Each pharmaceutical was investigated alone and in combinations by using pharmaceutical-diffusing substrates in order to find some of the effects they caused in the springs. Read the rest of this entry »
The EPA has proposed new standards for both cars and fuels that will help reduce pollution and improve efficiency in vehicles.
The EPA’s new standard proposal for cars and gasoline will aid in achieving lower pollution at the lowest cost. By decreasing the amount of emissions caused by motor vehicles and their fuel, the standard can help prevent up to 2,400 premature deaths and 23,000 cases of respiratory illnesses in children per year. Read the rest of this entry »
Even as thinking “green” is increasingly at the forefront of consumers’ minds, Americans still struggle with their role in the lifecycle of products with an environmental benefit. Nine in 10 respondents say they believe it’s their responsibility to properly use and dispose of these products, but action isn’t aligning with intent: Only 30 percent say they often use products in a way that achieves the intended environmental benefit. Some 42 percent say they dispose of products in a way that fulfills the intended environmental benefit. Read the rest of this entry »
For a century, almost all light-duty vehicles (LDVs) have been powered by internal combustion engines (ICEs) operating on petroleum fuels. Energy security concerns over petroleum imports and the effect of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions on global climate are driving interest in alternatives. This report assesses the potential for reducing petroleum consumption and GHG emissions by 80% across the U.S. LDV fleet by 2050, relative to 2005. It examines the current capability and estimated future performance and costs for each vehicle type and non-petroleum-based fuel technology as options that could significantly contribute to these goals. By analyzing scenarios that combine various fuel and vehicle pathways, the report also identifies barriers to implementation of these technologies and suggests policies to achieve the desired reductions. Several scenarios are promising, but strong, effective, and sustained but adaptive policies such as research and development (R&D), subsidies, energy taxes, or regulations will be necessary to overcome barriers such as cost and consumer choice.
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will begin assessments on 23 commonly used chemicals, with a specific focus on flame retardant chemicals, in order to more fully understand any potential risks to people’s health and the environment. This effort is part of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan which identifies commonly used chemicals for risk assessment.
Americans are often exposed to flame retardant chemicals in their daily lives; flame retardants are widely used in products such as household furniture, textiles, and electronic equipment. Some flame retardant chemicals can persist in the environment, bioaccumulate in people and animals, and have been shown to cause neurological developmental effects in animals.
“EPA is committed to more fully understanding the potential risks of flame retardant chemicals, taking action if warranted, and identifying safer substitutes when possible,” said James J. Jones, Acting assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Though today’s announcement represents a significant step forward on chemical safety, it’s important to remember that TSCA, this country’s chemicals management legislation, remains in dire need of reform in order to ensure that all Americans are protected from toxic chemicals in their environment.” Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are recognizing 118 awardees for their commitment to saving energy and protecting the environment. Recipients of the 2013 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award include Sears Holdings Corporation, PepsiCo, JC Penney, Food Lion, USAA Real Estate, Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia, and Toyota.
“This year’s Energy Star award winners have gone above and beyond to save energy and cut greenhouse gases,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “Their commitment to superior energy efficiency not only makes these organizations valuable partners in our effort for a cleaner, healthier environment, but it also helps them reduce their day-to-day energy costs – an important feat for any organization.” Read the rest of this entry »
(Reuters) – U.S. distributors and freight hauliers have held down diesel consumption even as their business recovers from recession by making thousands of small changes to their operations.
Improved driver training, restrictions on idling and careful route planning to reduce deadheads (where vehicles travel empty) are all reducing consumption of expensive diesel while helping companies promote their green credentials.
“In 2011, we achieved almost 69 percent improvement in fleet efficiency over our 2005 baseline,” Wal-Mart boasted in its 2012 Global Responsibility Report. “We delivered 65 million more cases, while driving 28 million fewer miles, by increasing our pallets per trailer and better managing our routes.”
“Our network efficiency improvement equates to avoiding nearly 41,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent to taking 7,900 cars off the road,” the company wrote. Read the rest of this entry »