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Entries in EPA (5)


New U.S. Anti-Smog Restrictions Raising Debate Over Effects on Atmospheric Chemistry

Cartoon courtesy of toonpool.com

There is always a lot of controversy anytime longstanding federal regulations are changed. This time, the uproar came because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to increase the stringency of national air quality standards regarding nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions.

NO2 forms quickly from the emissions of cars, trucks, buses, power plants, and off-road equipment. In addition, the compound also contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone (also known as smog), and fine particle pollution, which is linked with a number of adverse effects on the human respiratory system.

There is a clear benefit to taking action to reduce NO2, but there is also concern among some in the scientific community about potential side effects to taking this action.

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EPA Set to Spend Millions for Projects and Job Training in Environmental Clean Up

Redevelopment image courtesy of Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council, R.I.

In its continuing efforts to clean up America’s brownfields, the Environmental Protection Agency has just announced that it will award $55 million in supplemental funding to qualified loan/grant applicants, in addition to currently operating projects.

The agency also announced that it will provide about $6.8 million in funding to be invested to train workers to clean up brownfields sites, which may be contaminated by hazardous chemicals or pollutants. The goal is to turn these sites into revitalized and productive properties.

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EPA Launches Grants Initiative to Clean Up Brownfields Across the Country

A Lawrence, Mass. Brownfield transformed into the Dr. Nina Scarito Park.

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the availability of an estimated $111.9 million in grants to help communities clean up polluted sites known as Brownfields.

The grants include $74.6 million from the EPA Brownfields general funding program, and $37.3 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Communities in 46 states, four tribes, and two U.S. Territories will share in these grants to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites.

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Clean Air Act Violations Force Shut Down of Sulfuric Acid Plant, Cos. Pay 2M Penalty

Graphic by Speedysigns.com

WASHINGTON,D.C.- DuPont and Lucite International, Inc. have agreed to pay a $2 million civil penalty to settle Clean Air Act violations at a sulfuric acid plant in Belle, W. Va., according to a joint announcement made today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the state of West Virginia.

The sulfuric acid plant is located on a 100-acre chemical manufacturing complex along the Kanawha River. The plant is owned by Lucite and operated by DuPont. The companies will pay $1 million to the United States and $1 million to the state of West Virginia.

In addition, the companies chose, on their own, to shut down the sulfuric-acid manufacturing unit of a larger chemical facility at the site. The settlement confirms the agreement that the sulfuric acid unit is scheduled to shut down by April 1, 2010.

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EPA Will Give Up to $7 Million in Grants to Spur Methane Reduction Innovations

Bacteria is a big source of methane gas, which is found in termites mound, cow flatulence, rice paddies, swamps, and in the sea bed. Methane also comes from petroleum fields and is the natural gas you cook with. Photo courtesy of ChemistryLand.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Environmental Protection Agency, through its Methane to Markets partnership program, will make up to $7 million in grants available for international initiatives to reduce global methane emissions by promoting capture-and-use projects in oil and gas systems, coal mining, landfills, and animal waste management.

Methane is emitted from a variety of both human-related and natural sources. Human-related activities include fossil fuel production, animal husbandry, rice cultivation, biomass burning, and waste management. These activities release significant quantities of methane into the atmosphere. It is estimated that 60% of global methane emissions are related to human-related activities.

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