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Posted: June 12, 2014

Identified chemicals are persistent, accumulate in the environment and have reproductive, developmental, and neurological toxicity

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing safer alternatives to the flame retardants now used in consumer and commercial products, including building insulation and products with flexible polyurethane foam.

“EPA’s findings for safer alternatives is great news for consumers and industry,” said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “We will now have safer alternatives for use in our products from furniture to car seats to building insulation.”

Flame retardant chemicals such as hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and pentabromodiphenyl ether (pentaBDE) raise concerns for human health and the environment including potential reproductive, developmental, and neurological effects and can be persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to aquatic organisms.

EPA is releasing the final report on alternatives to the flame retardant HBCD and releasing an updated draft report on alternatives to the flame retardant pentaBDE. These alternatives were identified through EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Alternatives Assessment Program.
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Posted: June 12, 2014

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that Ford Motor Company (Ford) is revising the fuel economy (mpg) estimates for six vehicle models to correct errors found in an internal Ford audit. Ford is required to correct fuel economy labels on affected vehicles within 15 days.

EPA oversaw Ford’s re-testing program and conducted independent tests to confirm the corrected results as soon as it was notified by Ford of the potential errors. Ford has agreed to implement enhanced validation tests for future vehicles under EPA oversight.

“This issue highlights the need for continued strong oversight of the fuel economy labeling program,” said Chris Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “Consumers need to trust that fuel economy window stickers are giving consumers reliable and fair estimates of real world fuel economy.”

Cars currently in dealer lots will be re-labeled with new window stickers reflecting the corrected mileage estimates. Ford will re-label four versions of the Ford Fiesta, the Hybrid and Energi versions of the Ford Fusion, the C-Max Hybrid and Energi, and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.  Most labels will change between 1-5 miles per gallon (mpg). The largest change is for the Lincoln MKZ hybrid whose combined city and highway fuel economy value has been reduced by 7 mpg. EPA and DOE have updated their joint fuel economy site, www.fueleconomy.gov, to reflect the corrected numbers.
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Posted: May 27, 2014

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the first-ever Energy Star label for clothes dryers. If all residential clothes dryers sold in the U.S. meet these new requirements, the utility cost savings will grow to more than $1.5 billion each year and more than 22 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented. Informed by extensive input from manufacturers, retailers, the U.S. Department of Energy and environmental groups, the new specifications will recognize a selection of highly efficient electric, gas, and compact dryers that will use approximately 20% less energy than what is required by the minimum efficiency standards effective in 2015. In 2013 alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved $30 billion on their utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to those of 38 million homes.

“The addition of clothes dryers expands the range of Energy Star products to include one of the most energy-intensive home appliance not yet covered by the program,” said U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Working with industry on innovative approaches to address our changing climate, we are helping consumers select more energy efficient appliances, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.“
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Posted: May 14, 2014
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

graph of energy consumption in the iron, steel, and aluminum manufacturing sectors by fuel, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey

The production of iron, steel, and aluminum is a highly energy-intensive process, accounting for 10% of total manufacturing energy use. The use of recycling in the manufacturing process of these metals has been a main driver of improvements in energy efficiency within the industry.
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Posted: May 14, 2014
Source: Body Shop Business.com

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes has announced its third quarter 2014 collision repair courses and training sites, available from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2014.

Participants will learn through a combination of classroom, digital and hands-on settings at various metropolitan Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes training centers, according to Rod Habel, director of training operations for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes.

“Our hands-on and digital classroom training is available to all shop owners, managers, painters and technicians who can choose to advance their business-building, production-excellence and/or paint application techniques, as needed,” he said

The following hands-on, paint and processes application-based courses will be offered during the third quarter: AWX Performance Plus Waterborne Refinish System; Color Adjustment and Blending; and Painter Certification.

Additional shop management and business-building courses will also be offered: Key Process indicators (KPIs); Achieving Service Excellence; Improving Workshop Efficiency; and Estimating Solutions for Profit.

“We’re always seeking to introduce concepts that support sustainable practices, increase productivity and minimize or even eliminate waste –all factors that are necessary to the success of a collision center,” said Habel.


More information:View the course schedule

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes

Posted: May 12, 2014
Source: Environmental Leader.com

General Motors’ fleet of fuel cell vehicles has passed 3 million miles of hydrogen-powered, real-world driving, avoiding 157,894 gallons of gasoline consumption, GM estimates.

Some individual vehicles have accumulated more than 120,000 miles.

The fleet of Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles is part of GM’s 119-vehicle Project Driveway program, which launched in 2007.
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18th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Hosted by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute®, the 18th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference (GC&E) is June 17-19, 2014, in Bethesda, MD.

GC&E invites scientists, decision-makers, students, and advocates to come together, compare findings, and discuss the science of the future. Over three days of programming featuring more than 25 technical sessions, you can explore green chemistry and engineering advancements, while attending poster sessions, the green exhibit hall, networking events, and keynote lectures. Other special events include the GC&E Student Workshop (held on June 16th), a Careers Workshop, and a 2014 GC&E Business Plan Competition.

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ADEQP2Team
ADEQP2Team

L-R: Farah Mohammadesmaeili, Jeanine Inman, and Linneth Lopez

Those of us who knew Charles Burke and Bill Quinn reluctantly said goodbye when they retired last year. But there is great news – Arizona has a new P2 Team! But Farah, Linneth and Jeanine have been much too busy for fanfare. They hit the ground running and April was particularly active. ADEQ is currently working on getting its P2 strategic plan finalized that covers the next three years and included P2 training workshops that started in April.

Two of them are in partnership with the Hazardous Waste Inspections Workshops that are offered at different locations around the state each year.  The other one was specific to ADEQ P2 Planning facilities to help them in filling out the plan template and goal forms.  ADEQ is hopeful that this training workshop will result in better accuracy in plan submissions and better quality goal setting.  And they’ve also been doing some value stream mapping to try to trim the P2 review process down to a more manageable feat.

In addition to coordinating training efforts with the Haz Waste Team, ADEQ has been going out on inspections with them to provide technical assistance to facilities.

ADEQ pollution prevention staff conducted presentations as part of two free hazardous waste workshop sessions for residents of Yuma County and other parts of western Arizona on Earth Day, April 22 in the City of Yuma.  Each of the sessions covered the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and hazardous waste regulations, hazardous waste generator statutes, common hazardous wastes by industry, what to expect when you are inspected, top 10 most common hazardous waste violations, the pollution prevention (P2) philosophy, and an introduction to the P2 Planning program.

For the week of Earth Day, internal employees were encouraged to fill out a leaf for the ADEQ Earth Day Pledge Tree to make a pledge on how they would make Earth Day every day by recycling, conserving energy, and helping educate others on how to help the environment and prevent pollution for a healthier planet.

Other “Green” activities that ADEQ participated in surrounding Earth Day included:

  • April 5:  A free electronic waste recycling and paper shredding event at the Recreation Centers of Sun City West
  • April 5:  ADEQ booth at Salt River Pima – Maricopa Indian Community Environmental Fair in Scottsdale
  • April 12: A free electronic waste recycling event at Multi-Event Center in Payson
  • April 12: ADEQ booth at 20th Annual Earth Day Festival with activities for children at Reid Park in Tucson
  • April 17: ADEQ booth at Seventh Annual Arizona Western College Sustainability Fair in Yuma
  • April 19: A free electronic waste recycling event, Flagstaff City Hall parking lot in Flagstaff
  • April 20: ADEQ booth at Earth Day celebration, South Rim Visitor Center, Grand Canyon
  • April 22: ADEQ booth at Earth Day event, Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Phoenix
  • April 22: ADEQ booth at Canyon Day Junior High School Earth Day Festival, Canyon Day community, Fort Apache Indian Reservation
  • April 24.: Earth Day water quality monitoring event for fifth-grade students from Safford, Solomon and Bonita schools at Discovery Park pond in Safford
  • April 24: ADEQ Flag Program presentation as part of Tempe High School Earth Day Fair in Tempe
  • April 25: ADEQ Earth Day booth at Spring Festival, Sequoia Village School in Linden
  • April 25: ADEQ booth at Ak-Chin Earth Day event, Ak-Chin Recreation Center in Maricopa

A brief background on each of the new P2 team is included below. The P2 team is led by Linda Mariner who joined ADEQ’s Sustainability Programs Unit in 2010. Linda has worked for ADEQ for 22 years. If you haven’t already, please be sure to pick up the phone and welcome Arizona’s new team to our P2 universe.

Bios of the ADEQ P2 Team:

Jeanine Inman is an Environmental Engineer with the Pollution Prevention (P2) Program at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). She is a licensed Professional Engineer with over seven years’ experience in environmental consulting for international engineering firms. Prior to joining ADEQ she provided project management and engineering support for various environmental remediation projects in Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Seattle, Texas and Virginia. She received her B.S. in Geology and Geophysics and Environmental Engineering from Yale University and a M.S. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

Linneth Lopez is an Environmental Engineering Specialist who currently works for the Pollution Prevention Program in the Sustainability Unit at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). Previous to that she was a Hazardous Waste Compliance Officer with ADEQ where the main duties included the inspection of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) facilities ranging from hospitals and platters to military bases and drycleaners. Her previous position as a Hazardous Waste Compliance Officer has provided her with valuable knowledge and experience for her new position.

Linneth Lopez attended California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly) in California and has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on Environmental Engineering. During her time at Cal Poly she was involved in researching an innovative remediation method using fungi and had an internship with a large school district involved with the new construction of schools. She moved to Arizona three years ago and in her spare time she likes to cook recipes from vintage cookbooks.

Farah Mohammadesmaeili is an Environmental Engineering Specialist of the P2 Program at ADEQ. Farah received her PhD in Environmental Engineering from Arizona State University. She is a licensed Professional Engineer with over ten years’ experience in research, teaching, and environmental consulting. Before joining ADEQ, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at ASU and conducted research on Reverse Osmosis concentrate management and the removal and inactivation of microbial contaminants from drinking water. She was also an adjunct faculty of the Physical Sciences Department at Phoenix College. She received her M.S. in Environmental Engineering and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Iran.

Posted: April 25, 2014
Source: Environmental Leader.com

Waste Management’s compressed natural gas trucks cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent and reduce particulate matter by 90 percent, Automotive Fleet reports.

The waste and recycling company earlier this month added six CNG trucks to its fleet in Chico, Calif. “We see an average annual reduction of 22 metric tons of greenhouse gases and 8,000 gallons of diesel with the CNG trucks,” district manager Ryan West tells the publication.

The company also uses route optimization software and its truck engines are programmed to shut down automatically after idling for five minutes to further cut emissions and fuel costs.

The company has used natural gas for heavy-duty trucks since the 1990s. Waste Management operates more than 2,200 alternatively fueled vehicles and says it has the largest fleet of natural gas collection trucks in North America.

Last year, Waste Management began building a facility to create pipeline-ready natural gas from its Milam Landfill in Fairmont City, Ill. At the time, the company said it expects it to begin delivering gas to the pipelines in late summer 2014.