Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | By ShanB | Comments Off on EPA Exhibit at 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show Highlights Healthy Headwaters
This year’s Philadelphia Flower Show showcases the Wonders of Water and the USEPA’s exhibit is no exception. By demonstrating the connection between headwater streams and wetlands, and the vital role they play in the overall health of downstream waters, the exhibit highlights the connection between healthy watersheds and healthy drinking water sources – and shows how the integrity of our drinking water supply begins far away from the kitchen faucet.
“The beauty of the native plants displayed in the exhibit’s headwater stream and bog wetland areas highlight the need to protect and enhance these aquatic resources,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Conserving and enhancing these aquatic ecosystems in our gardens promotes clean and healthy water, while serving as a sustainable landscaping practice in our own backyards.”
The exhibit illustrates how clean drinking water begins at the very tops of watersheds in small streams and wetlands which capture and transport water through our environment to larger downstream resources; ultimately being withdrawn for drinking water. Two-thirds of our drinking water comes from these downstream surface waters (rivers and streams) like the Delaware River, which supplies drinking water to the city of Philadelphia.
EPA’s exhibit begins with a small headwater stream shaded with beautiful native trees such as magnolia, fringe tree, flowering dogwood, and the sweet fragrance of azaleas. The exhibit also includes a bog that is teaming with wild and unique botanical beauty such as the carnivorous pitcher plant, exquisite swamp pinks, and magical fairy wands.
The native plants displayed in the exhibit will show how they grow in the wild and how to incorporate them in home gardens. The environmental benefits of these native plants include providing buffers for aquatic resources that help naturally manage stormwater, which can directly improve or maintain healthy water quality.
Exhibit volunteers will engage with the public on the connection between healthy aquatic resources and drinking water, as well as provide visitors with information on the benefits of using native plants, sustainable landscaping, and stormwater management practices to instill positive ways of protecting our water.
The objective of EPA’s exhibit is to foster the continued appreciation of the multi-faceted benefits of these aquatic resources to help ensure the Wonders of Water for generations to come.
EPA websites also include information on promoting healthy water through sustainable landscaping, and how to get started. Photographs of sustainable landscaping practices used in residential settings are featured here:
https://www.epa.gov/green-infrastructure or https://www.epa.gov/soakuptherain.
EPA’s flower show team, along with all the other exhibitors, are setting up the exhibit at the Philadelphia Convention Center this week. The Philadelphia Flower Show opens to the public, on March 3, and will run through March 11.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | By ShanB | Comments Off on EPA Removes C&D Recycling Site in Luzerne County, Pa. From Superfund List
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency removed the C&D Recycling Site in Foster Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania from the Superfund National Priorities List.
The National Priorities List is a roster of the nation’s most contaminated sites that threaten human health or the environment. The sites on the list are eligible for cleanup under EPA’s Superfund program. EPA removes sites from the list once all the remedies are successfully implemented and no further cleanup is required to protect human health or the environment.
“Superfund cleanup and safe reuse of the site continues to be a priority at EPA as we work to create a safer and healthier environment for all communities affected,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Removing this site from the list represents an important step toward achieving this goal.”
EPA did not receive any adverse comments during the 30-day public comment period on the proposal to delist.
EPA conducted oversight of the remediation work by Nassau Metals Corporation to clean up soil and sediment contamination, and has determined the site no longer poses a threat to human health or the environment.
The 110-acre site is located along Brickyard Road in Foster Township, about one mile south of Pond Creek. From 1963 until 1984, the site was used to reclaim metals, including copper and lead, from cable wires. Cable burning and processing of materials at the site caused contamination of the surrounding soil and sediment that posed a risk to human health and the environment.
The cleanup included the stabilization and off-site disposal of contaminated soil and sediment. Approximately 80,000 tons (4,000 truckloads) of stabilized soil and sediment were removed from the site during the remediation.
For more information about the site, visit: https://cumulis.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0300881
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | By ShanB | Comments Off on Starbucks Testing Paper Cup Fee
Delish is reporting that Starbucks is testing a paper cup fee at select locations in an effort to become more eco-friendly:
This month, 35 London outposts began charging a five pence fee (equivalent to about seven cents, as of press time) to anyone who ordered their drink in the chain’s standard cardboard takeaway cups. The trial will last three months, and stats from the period will be used to determine if the practice encourages people to bring their own travel mugs. Baristas will offer those drinking their coffee in the store a ceramic cup, cutting down on paper while lending a more independent cafe vibe to the coffee giant’s shops.
Read the full story from Delish here.
Thursday, February 22, 2018 | By Tracy | Comments Off on Game Commission Now Accepting Orders For Seedlings For Schools Program
The Game Commission is now accepting orders under its Seedlings For Schools Program which provides free tree seedlings to classrooms so students can plant them as part of projects to improve wildlife habitat. Orders will be accepted through March 30.
In years past, “Seedlings for Your Class” was intended primarily for pre-K and elementary students, but this year it’s been extended to middle and high school students.
There is no charge to schools that participate in this program. The seedlings are provided by the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery and shipping costs are offset by the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation.
Seedlings for Your Class provides a classroom, grade level or entire school with enough seedlings so each student can take one home to plant.
Traditional favorites white spruce and silky dogwood are available again this year. Four other species also are being offered: grey-stemmed dogwood, American sweet crabapple, American highbush cranberry and our beloved state tree, eastern hemlock.
Seedlings come in bundles of 25, and depending on spring weather, will be shipped directly to schools by UPS from April 2 to 4 and April 9 to 11. The nursery does not ship on Thursdays or Fridays so seedlings should not arrive on weekends when no one is at school to receive them.
Once seedlings do arrive, it is important to moisten the roots immediately and plant them as soon as possible, said Brian Stone, manager of the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery.
Seedlings should be handed out to students with their roots in plastic bags with moist shredded newspaper, or with the seedlings planted in juice or milk cartons for transplanting at home, Stone said.
Individuals and groups wishing to donate to the program can send checks to the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Fund, which maintains the account for donations. Be sure to indicate the donation is for the Game Commission’s “Seedlings for Schools” program. Donations can be mailed to the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation, 341 Science Park Road, State College, PA 16803.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018 | By ShanB | Comments Off on Website Tracks Government Attacks on Climate Science
A pair of groups at Columbia Law School have created the Silencing Science Tracker, a website that tracks federal government attempts to discredit or censor climate scientists.
Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund recently launched an online resource tracking actions by the government to “silence science” since the November 2016 election. The launch of the Silencing Science Tracker coincided with the first anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017.
The Silencing Science Tracker is intended to capture government attempts to restrict or prevent scientific research, education, discussion or the publication or use of scientific information. The tracker contains a table of entries, drawn from media reports, which will be updated on a regular basis. There is also a resources page, which contains links to other trackers and resources that complement the Silencing Science Tracker. The tracker currently has 96 entries of actions organized by the following categories: 41 government censorship, 11 self-censorship, 15 budget cuts, 20 personnel changes, 5 research hindrance and 8 bias and misrepresentation (please note that some entries fall within two categories). At this time, the tracker only records federal government attempts to silence science, but there are plans to add state-level actions in the future.
Michael Gerrard, Faculty Director of the Sabin Center and a professor at Columbia Law School, said, “Scientific knowledge is the very foundation of all environmental regulation. When the government ignores science, it’s like a truck driver who wears a blindfold and drives based on what is whispered into his ear — dangerous and intolerable. The vital work of scientists must be supported, made public, and listened to. When government officials block this, we plan to shine a harsh light.”
Lauren Kurtz, Executive Director of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, said, “Political and ideological attacks on science have a long and shameful history, and such attacks are the most dangerous when carried out or condoned by government authorities. Our tracker is designed to provide a tally of government-sanctioned threats to the scientific endeavor. We must watch out for efforts to curtail research, and speak up when we see attempts to silence science.”
The core mission of the Sabin Center is to develop and promulgate legal techniques to address climate change and to train the next generation of lawyers who will be leaders in the field. The Sabin Center is both a partner to and resource for public interest legal institutions engaged in climate change work.
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) protects the scientific endeavor by providing support and resources to scientists who are threatened, harassed or attacked for doing their job. The CSLDF offers free legal aid to scientists, educates researchers about their rights and responsibilities, shares strategies and information about cases with attorneys and publicizes attacks on science.
Find more information at http://columbiaclimatelaw.com/resources/silencing-science-tracker/
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | By ShanB | Comments Off on PennDOT Seeks Public Feedback On Statewide Bicycle, Pedestrian Plan
The Department of Transportation recently announced it has begun the process of updating the Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and is inviting the public to weigh in through an online survey.
The plan, last updated in 2007, will outline a vision and framework for improving conditions for walking and bicycling across Pennsylvania, especially for those Pennsylvanians who walk and bicycle out of necessity rather than for leisure and recreation.
“Keeping our transportation network safe and accessible for all transportation modes is a crucial responsibility,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards, “We are accountable for supporting and improving quality of life for communities, and updating our bicycle and pedestrian master plan is a crucial step in that process.”
Over the next 18 months, PennDOT will use the project website to provide information on the department’s progress. The community survey also will be accessible on the site and will play a critical role in understanding the current issues and challenges facing people who walk and bike across Pennsylvania.
Once completed, the PA Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan will be a resource for Municipal Planning Organizations (MPOs), Regional Planning Organizations (RPOs), and municipalities throughout Pennsylvania, providing guidance to local governments on best practices for developing and implementing regional and local bicycle and pedestrian plans.
Read the full story from PA Environment Digest here.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | By ShanB | Comments Off on Glastonbury Festival To Ban Plastic Bottles On Site in 2019
Pollstar is reporting that when one of the most iconic festivals of the world returns in 2019, visitors won’t be allowed any plastic bottles on site:
Glastonbury has been encouraging its guests to leave plastic bottles at home and instead refill stainless steel bottles at the several hundred taps on the festival grounds. Festivalgoers could purchase such bottles or cups on site, too.
Now, festival organizer Emily Eavis told the UK Mirror, “our big mission for next year is banning plastic bottles. We’re in the middle of it at the moment.”
Vendors selling at the event are already using re-usable or compostable flatware and plates. The festival’s green policies can be viewed on its website. They encourage festivalgoers to take home what they bring, which includes tents.
Glastonbury published numbers that exemplify the vast amount of waste that is recycled after each edition. In 2014, the most current numbers available, 54 percent or 983 tons of the waste generated on site was recycled, which included 114 tons of composted organic waste, 400 tons of chipped wood, 23 tons of glass, 85 tons of cans and plastic bottles, 41 tons of cardboard, 162 tons of scrap metal, 11.2 tons of clothing, tents, sleeping bags, 0.264 tons of batteries, three tons of dense plastic, 0.25 tons plastic sheets.
Read the full story from Pollstar here.
Friday, February 16, 2018 | By ShanB | Comments Off on Study: Methane Emissions Far Higher than Reported
Methane emissions from Pennsylvania oil and gas sites are much higher than the industry reports, according to a new study.
Conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund, the study shows that oil and gas operation in the state emit more than 520,000 tons of methane every year from leaky, outdated and malfunctioning equipment. Andrew Williams, director of regulatory and legislative affairs with EDF calls the disparity between what’s reported and what the research has found “staggering.”
“Oil and gas methane emissions could be as high as five times what industry reports through the state methane and greenhouse gas reporting inventories,” says Williams.
He says that’s as much near term climate pollution as 11 coal fired power plants.
The state Department of Environmental Protection is now finalizing methane reduction requirements for new, unconventional facilities, which are expected to reduce emissions by about three percent. According to Williams, if the state regulations included existing unconventional sources, emissions would be 25 percent lower.
He says even greater reductions could be achieved by following the lead of other states that also include conventional facilities.
“You could get essentially 60 percent of the methane emissions out of the atmosphere by comprehensively regulating oil and gas methane emissions in Pennsylvania,” he says.
The DEP has not made any proposal to address pollution from older, conventional wells.
Williams notes the study also found emissions of volatile organic compounds, which contribute to smog and respiratory diseases like asthma, are nine times higher than reported to the state.
Of the study he says, “It highlights the necessity to move forward as quickly as possible to deal with not only the methane emissions, but also the volatile organic compound emissions, which really affect communities and families across the state.”
The study concludes that, without additional regulatory action by the state, more than five million tons of methane pollution could be emitted by 2025.
-Andrea Sears, Keystone State News Connection
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 | By ShanB | Comments Off on Dunkin’ Donuts to Eliminate Foam Cups
As part of its commitment to serve both people and the planet responsibly, Dunkin’ Donuts, a leading retailer of hot, brewed coffee, recently announced plans to eliminate all polystyrene foam cups in its global supply chain beginning in spring 2018, with a targeted completion date of 2020. In U.S. restaurants, Dunkin’ Donuts will replace the foam cup with a new, double-walled paper cup. The majority of Dunkin’ Donuts’ international markets are currently using paper cups, and the brand will work with its franchisees to eliminate foam cups from the remaining international markets by the 2020 goal.
Read the full press release here.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 | By Tracy | Comments Off on Keep PA Beautiful Earns National Recognition At Keep America Beautiful Awards Ceremony
Keep America Beautiful presented Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful with a Diamond State Affiliate Recognition Award at Keep America Beautiful’s National Awards Ceremony during its 2018 National Conference in Dallas, Texas.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful was honored for its outstanding promotion of Keep America Beautiful’s mission statewide and for its program support for local affiliates in Pennsylvania, distinguishing itself as an exemplary statewide affiliate organization.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful earned the Diamond Award, the highest recognition, for its implementation of multiple community improvement programs, including–
— The Great American Cleanup of PA is Pennsylvania’s premier community improvement initiative. Since the inception of this annual event in 2004, over 2.1 million volunteers have picked up 97 million pounds of litter and waste, 170,619 miles of roads, waterways, shorelines, and trails have been cleaned, and more than 181,000 trees, bulbs, and flowers have been planted.
— The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program provides an opportunity to educate consumers on the hazards of cigarette litter and provide tools to change their behavior. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has been implementing the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program throughout Pennsylvania since 2010.
Celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2018, Keep America Beautiful consists of a national network of more than 600 statewide and community-based affiliates whose programs and initiatives, supported by millions of volunteers, help transform public spaces into beautiful places.