AF tests first all-electric vehicle fleet in California

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials unveiled the Department of Defense’s first non-tactical vehicle fleet composed entirely of plug-in electric vehicles, Nov. 14, at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.

The rollout of the 42-vehicle fleet marks a milestone in the DOD’s demonstration of emerging technology and the vehicles will serve as a resource to the electrical grid when they’re not being driven.

“Everything we do to fly, fight and win requires energy, whether it’s aviation fuel for our aircraft or power to run the bases that support them,” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. “This vehicle-to-grid pilot is a great example of how Airmen are driving the Air Force forward and finding new and innovative ways to make every dollar count.”

The PEV fleet includes both electric and hybrid vehicles ranging from sedans to trucks and a 12-passenger van. The vehicles have the capability to direct power both to and from the electrical grid when they’re not being driven, known as vehicle-to-grid technology. Unique charging stations have been installed on Los Angeles AFB to support the vehicles’ V2G capability. Read more

EPA Recognizes Outstanding Food Recovery Challenge and WasteWise Program Participants

Posted: January 28, 2015

Food Recovery Challenge Participants Alone Diverted 370,000 Tons of Wasted Food from Landfills

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the accomplishments of organizations and businesses participating in EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge and WasteWise program for reducing their climate footprint, improving efficiency, helping communities and achieving cost savings through waste reduction. These programs save money, protect the environment and feed the hungry.

“In 2013, EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge participants diverted more than 370,000 tons of wasted food from entering landfills or incinerators. Of this total, more than 36,000 tons of food was donated to feed people in need, which equates to nearly 56 million meals,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “I commend the efforts of our award winners and encourage others to follow their lead by joining the Food Recovery Challenge. These leaders demonstrate that protecting the environment, saving money and feeding the hungry can go hand in hand.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that wasted food costs America more than $165 billion annually and that the average family of four throws away $1,600 of food each year. The Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers, through innovation and hard work, have greatly reduced wasted food. Food pantries, food rescue programs, local food banks, soup kitchens and shelters are benefiting from donations of wholesome and nutritious food — helping feed people, not landfills.

EPA presented 23 awards to Food Recovery Challenge participants and endorsers in two categories: data-driven and narrative. The data-driven award recipients achieved the highest percentage of wasted food diversion and prevention. The narrative award winners excelled in areas of source reduction, leadership, innovation, education and outreach, and endorsement. Read more

Paint, Body & Equipment Specialists Set Conference for May 13-15

Posted: January 28, 2015

Source: BodyShop Business

The Paint, Body & Equipment Specialists (PBES) segment of the Auto Care Association will be holding its annual conference May 13-15 in San Antonio, Texas at the Hyatt Regency (on the Riverwalk).

“The conference committee has put together a great list of speakers dedicated to ‘Keeping Pace with Change,’ as our industry continues to evolve at such a rapid pace,” said PBES Chairman Travis Trott. “We are confident that these folks will help each attendee bring back valuable insights to their own operations.”

PBES will be releasing more information soon, including the full program brochure.

The post Paint, Body & Equipment Specialists Set Conference for May 13-15 appeared first on BodyShop Business.

Hunter Releases New Technical and Training-Specific Channel on YouTube

Posted: January 28, 2015

Source: BodyShop Business

Hunter Engineering Company has launched a new technical and training channel on YouTube called the Hunter Learning Channel.

The Hunter Learning Channel features extensive training video playlists for every product category manufactured by Hunter. It also allows viewers to post technical and training questions on videos and receive detailed answers from Hunter’s staff of industry experts.

Hunter still maintains its promotional YouTube channel, called HunterEngCo. The HunterEngCo channel features new product introduction, product overview videos and excerpts from TV shows that highlight Hunter Equipment from networks such as Discovery Channel and SPEED.


The post Hunter Releases New Technical and Training-Specific Channel on YouTube appeared first on BodyShop Business.

Three Shell Oil Company Affiliates Settle with EPA Over Violations of Vehicle Fuel Standards

Posted: January 20, 2015

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a settlement with three companies affiliated with Shell Oil Company to resolve Clean Air Act violations, including selling gasoline and diesel fuel that did not conform to federal standards. These violations resulted in excess emissions of harmful air pollutants from motor vehicles, which pose public health threats and environmental impacts. The companies will pay a $900,000 penalty to resolve these violations.

“Fuel standards established under the Clean Air Act play a major role in controlling harmful air pollution from vehicles and engines,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “If unchecked, these pollutants can seriously impair the air we breathe, especially during summer months when they can reach higher levels. This settlement makes clear that if companies fail to produce fuels that comply with federal standards, they will be held accountable.” Read more

EPA Releases 2013 Toxics Release Inventory National Analysis

Posted: January 14, 2015

WASHINGTON — Similar to previous years, in 2013, most of the toxic chemical waste managed at industrial facilities in the U.S. was not released into the environment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report. The report, published today, shows that approximately 22 billion pounds— or 84 percent— of the 26 billion pounds of toxic chemical waste were instead managed through the use of preferred practices such as recycling. Of the 4 billion pounds that were disposed of or otherwise released to the environment, 66 percent went to land, 19 percent to air, 5 percent to water, and 10 percent was transferred to other facilities.

From 2012 to 2013, the amount of toxic chemicals managed as waste by the nation’s industrial facilities increased by 4 percent. This increase includes the amount of chemicals recycled, treated, and burned for energy recovery, as well as the amount disposed of or otherwise released into the environment. In TRI, a “release” generally refers to a chemical that is emitted to the air, water, or placed in some type of land disposal. Most of these releases are subject to a variety of regulatory requirements designed to limit human and environmental harm.

“We all have a right to know what toxic chemicals are being used and released into our environment, and what steps companies are taking to reduce their releases to the environment or, better yet, prevent waste from being generated in the first place.” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The TRI Program tracks this information and makes it accessible to citizens and communities. And I’m pleased to see that TRI data show such a commitment to release reductions and pollution prevention on the part of many industrial facilities.” Read more

University of Washington offers certificate program in green chemistry

A new certificate program from the University of Washington will help chemists, environmental and  sustainability professionals, health and safety professionals and product managers make informed  product decisions that take into account sustainability, toxicity and human health concerns. The  certificate in Green Chemistry & Chemical Stewardship will be offered through the Professional and  Continuing Education program at the University of Washington.

There will be three online courses in the certificate and individuals can sign up for a single course on a  space available basis:

  • Sustainability, Toxicology and Human Health
  • Principles of Green Chemistry
  • Assessment Tools for Safer Chemical Decisions  

The certificate program will be offered online and is intended to give professionals working in  chemicals management experience using comparative chemical hazard assessment tools for product  selection. The classes will be offered sequentially, beginning in January, 2015, and concluding in  August, 2015. Students will complete a capstone project requiring them to evaluate a chemical or  product within a sustainability framework.

Go to to learn more  about the certificate program.

EPA to Hold Public Hearings in California, Texas and Washington, D.C. on Proposed Smog Standards

EPA to Hold Public Hearings in California, Texas and Washington, D.C. on Proposed Smog Standards

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold three public hearings on the proposed updates to the national air quality standards for ground-level ozone, also known as smog. EPA has proposed to strengthen the standards to a level within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion to better protect Americans’ health and the environment, while taking comment on a level down to 60 ppb. The agency estimates that the benefits of meeting the proposed standards will significantly outweigh the costs, preventing asthma attacks, heart attacks, missed school days and premature deaths, among other health effects. Read more

Webinar: Alternatives Analysis on Floor Wax Stripping Products

Tue, Apr 12, 2016
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT


Currently, floor wax is used extensively in schools and public buildings to give a glossy appearance to vinyl composition tile (VCT) flooring. To maintain these floors, the wax must be regularly stripped and reapplied. Floor wax strippers are a concern because they contain VOC solvents, toxic solvents and other toxic ingredients, and have high pH. Several years ago, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) estimated that VOC emissions from floor wax strippers in California amounted to approximately eight tons per day.

During this webinar, Dr. Katy Wolf will present the findings and results of a project that addressed three methods for reducing or eliminating the risk of exposure to these strippers to maintenance workers, students, teachers, building workers and the general public. These methods include: developing two alternative low-VOC, low toxicity strippers; testing three alternative types of coatings that can be applied to VCT that make wax stripping unnecessary; and testing seven types of flooring replacements for VCT that do not require waxing or stripping. Dr. Wolf will also present a cost analysis of using VCT and the alternatives.

This project was conducted by the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance (IRTA), a nonprofit organization, and was sponsored by the Western Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Network at the University of Nevada, Reno and IRTA with funding from the US EPA Pacific Southwest Region and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Over the last 20 years, Dr. Wolf has served as the director of IRTA and has led projects that have reduced the use of hazardous substances in California by more than 100 tons per day.  


About the Project

Floor wax stripping products are used in thousands of commercial buildings,  public buildings and schools to maintain the look and integrity of floors.  These products often contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that  contribute to photochemical smog. Many of the VOC solvents in the  strippers are also toxic and can cause toxicity problems for janitors who  apply them, tenants of the buildings, visitors to the buildings and children  and teachers in the schools.

WSPPN subcontracted Dr. Katy Wolf from Institute of Research and Technical Assistance (IRTA) to test and analyze alternative flooring and  to test coatings that do not  require waxing or stripping.  kwolf overseeingDr. Wolf is well known in the P2  Community for past research  projects that she has done.  Some of Katy’s more recent  projects include an alternative  graffiti remover; alternatives to  release agents for parts  manufacturing, concrete  stamping and asphalt  manufacture and application;  and alternatives to methylene  chloride consumer product paint  strippers. There are many other  studies posted on her site:

During the last year, IRTA recruited and worked with schools and public  buildings to test the alternatives. Two different stripper suppliers helped  Katy formulate and test promising alternative floor wax strippers. IRTA is  working with both suppliers to develop strippers based on the new surfactant  that will have very low VOC content. Screening tests were conducted on  some of these strippers and IRTA tested two different strippers at the San  Francisco City Hall. One foamed too much and the other was not quite  aggressive enough. A supplier is modifying the formulations based on the  results of the initial screening tests.

Next IRTA installed three different types of coatings on the flooring at a  Riverside school and four different types of flooring at two Riverside schools.  The coatings and alternative flooring will be inspected monthly with the  coating and flooring suppliers during the school year. The flooring that  requires floor wax is widely used today and is called vinyl composition tile  (VCT). The floor wax strippers that are commonly used generally meet the  VOC limits established by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). These  are 3% VOC for light and medium buildup and 12% for heavy buildup. IRTA  will try to develop alternatives with 1% VOC content; this is the limit set by  the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in their  certification program for janitorial products. Virtually all of the strippers  used today also contain ethanolamines which can be toxic and IRTA will try  to formulate alternatives that eliminate these components.

IRTA worked with the coating suppliers to apply three different types of  coatings over the VCT in a well-used hallway with  three doors to the outside at a Riverside school.  Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 11.14.17 AMThese included a vinyl coating, a polyurethane  coating and a UV curable coating. None of the  coatings require waxing or stripping and they can be  cleaned with plain water or a neutral cleaner. IRTA  also worked with alternative flooring suppliers to  coordinate the installation of four different types of  flooring in two Riverside schools. Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 11.14.24 AMThree of the  alternative  flooring types— sheet vinyl,  sheet vinyl with  cushioning and  linoleum—were installed in the same  school hallway where the coatings were  applied. One additional type of flooring  was installed in another Riverside school  hallway where there is substantial traffic.  This coating is Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT).  None of these types of flooring requires  waxing or stripping and they can be  cleaned with plain water or water with a  small amount of vinegar.

What’s Next?

IRTA plans to test a modified DuraChem stripper with the Riverside Unified  School District. IRTA plans to regularly monitor and inspect the coatings and  the alternative flooring installed in the two Riverside schools with the  suppliers. The flooring suppliers are very interested in the results of the  project and have invited IRTA to give a presentation in January.

Dr. Wolf said, “The suppliers think that this is a landmark study. It will be  the first time that there will be information to compare the cost and  performance of VCT with waxing and stripping to the cost and performance  of coatings and alternatives flooring without waxing and stripping.”

Katy will finish the project as she always done with a thorough report that  evaluates and compares the performance and cost of the alternatives to the  currently used methods. WSPPN will likely organize a webinar once the  project is completed, so stay tuned.

German Environment Ministry celebrates “5 years of GMO cultivation free Bavaria” and commends commitment of conservationists, farmers and beekeepers


On a Thursday in November, an event was held at the Prince Regent Theatre in Munich celebrating the 5-year anniversary of GMO cultivation free Bavaria. Since 2009, no genetically modified crops have been grown and especially thanks to the efforts of beekeepers not been planted for research purposes since 2010 in Bavaria.

Walter Haefeker, who gave a presentation about colony collapse disorder to the EPA San Francisco office in 2010 and was featured in a WSPPN Webinar last year, received the Bavarian State Medal for his outstanding contribution to the environment. The German Professional Beekeepers Association welcomes the clear position of the Bavarian State Government and is delighted to see, that the Free State of Bavaria earlier this year officially became the 62nd GMO Free farming area in Europe, by signing the GMO Free agreement in Brussels, with the President of the European GMO Free network, Maura Malaspina, the Environment Minister for the Marche region of Italy.

Walter Haefeker is a professional beekeeper in Bavaria, south of Munich (Germany). He serves on the board of directors of the German Professional Beekeepers Association and as President of the European Professional Beekeeping Association. In this capacity he has worked on the critical issues facing Beekeepers today including pesticides, GM-crops and intensive agricultural practices.

Serving as the President of the European Professional Bee Keepers Association, Walter helped lead the European beekeeping community’s efforts to support the EU Commission’s 2013 proposal to restrict the use of 3 neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam) for seed treatment, soil application (granulate) and foliar treatment on bee attractive plants and cereals.

Walter also helped initiate cooperation with the German Biogas Producers organization to replace corn with flowering plants to produce renewable energy and honey while promoting biodiversity and regenerating soil. He introduced a new international “bee friendly” label developed and owned by the beekeeping community, which is designed to mobilize consumer demand for certified bee-friendly production.

He is authored many articles, has made presentations and presented papers at scientific conferences dealing with the coexistence issues around GM-crops, and was featured in the 2010 documentary “Nicotine Bees.” Under his leadership, the German Professional Beekeepers Keynote Association of independent German dairy farmers launched a “Fair Milk” product designed to use bee friendly methods of feed production  and land management. Walter’s beekeeping operation is certified organic.

In the subsequent panel discussion after the November awards presentation, those present agreed that the Free State of Bavaria and the representatives of the ruling party (CSU) will play a special role in the upcoming weeks and months when the EU is considering the rules for the so-called opt-out plan. The unmodified implementation of the decision just taken by the Environment Committee of the European Parliament would finally create a solid legal foundation not only in Bavaria for banning GMO cultivation.

Walter who has been invited to speak at Harvard in February is a successful reconnaissance and defender of a bee and environmentally friendly agricultural policy. Congratulations go to Walter for being recognized with the Bavarian State Medal.