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Homebuilder to Pay Clean Water Act Penalty, Implement Company-wide Stormwater Controls

The Ryland Group Inc. will pay a civil penalty of $625,000 to resolve alleged Clean Water Act violations at its construction sites.

Household Washing Machines: A Major Source of Microplastic Pollution

Scientists are reporting that household washing machines seem to be a major source of so-called "microplastic" pollution that they now have detected on ocean shorelines worldwide.

Forest Owners and States Ask Supreme Court to Reverse Ninth Circuit on Forest Roads

A bi-partisan, geographically diverse group of twenty-six state Attorneys General joined forest owners and industry groups in filing briefs  asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling that rainwater runoff from forest roads used for timber harvest is a "point source" of water pollution under the Clean Water Act.

Researchers Determine Fracking Proximity

Natural gas mining has drawn fire recently after claims that hydraulic fracturing, an increasingly popular technique for tapping hard-to-reach reservoirs, contaminates groundwater. Surface lakes, rivers and streams may also be at risk.

Clustered Hurricanes Reduce Impact on Ecosystems

New research has found that hurricane activity is 'clustered' rather than random, which has important long-term implications for coastal ecosystems and human population. The research was carried out by Professor Peter Mumby from The University of Queensland Global Change Institute and School of Biological Sciences, Professor David Stephenson and Dr. Renato Vitolo (Willis Research Fellow) at the University of Exeter's Exeter Climate Systems research centre.

New GIS Systems Can Calculate Energy Produced By Solar Panel Roofs

Scientists from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have launched a tool that uses the actual conditions to determine the maximum possible magnitude of solar incidence - in a whole town, a neighbourhood, or a particular roof.

Yale Researchers Discover U.S. Rivers and Streams Saturated with Carbon

Rivers and streams in the United States are releasing enough carbon into the atmosphere to fuel 3.4 million car trips to the moon, according to Yale researchers in Nature Geoscience. Their findings could change the way scientists model the movement of carbon between land, water and the atmosphere.

Determine the Solar Efficiency of Your Roof

It is becoming more and more common to install solar panels on roofs in order to obtain green electricity, but not all roofs are equally suitable.



EPA Marks 25th Anniversary of EPCRA

This year marks 25 years since the passage of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The act was passed in 1986 as a part of the reauthorization for Superfund. EPCRA has played a significant role in protecting people’s health and the environment by providing communities and emergency planners with area-specific information on toxic chemical releases.

Chemical warfare on the reef: How certain seaweed species harm corals

Scientists for the first time have identified and mapped the chemical structure of molecules used by certain species of marine seaweed to kill or inhibit the growth of reef-building coral. Chemicals found on the surfaces of several species of seaweed have been shown to harm coral, suggesting that competition with these macroalgae could be a factor in the worldwide decline – and lack of recovery – of coral reefs.

Turning Forest Refuse into Biochar

Students at the University of Washington have teamed up on a startup that promises to turn slash piles of forest refuse into biochar, a crumbly charcoal-like product for farmers that helps their soil hold water and nutrients. Biochar is not technically a fertilizer, but often improves yield for farmers.

Ecosystem Management Must Consider Human Impact

For a long time, ecologists have believed—and others accepted—that when it comes to whether a land mass is covered with forests or grasslands, climate controls the show. They thought that the amount of rain, temperature and frequency of wildfires determine whether the ground will be covered with trees or grasses.

Pesticides Pollute European Waterbodies More Than Previously Thought

Pesticides are a bigger problem than had long been assumed. This is the conclusion of a study in which scientists analysed data on 500 organic substances in the basins of four major European rivers. It was revealed that 38 percent of these chemicals are present in concentrations which could potentially have an effect on organisms.

New Record Achieved with PV Cells

Molecular Solar Ltd has achieved a significant breakthrough in the performance of solar photovoltaic cells.

Laboratory on Wheels Researches Electromobility

In "Fraunhofer's System Research for Electromobility" researchers are coming up with solutions for tomorrow's mobility.

Hybrid Construction Vehicle Emissions to be Analyzed

Scientists at the University of California, Riverside's Center for Environmental Research and Technology have received a $2 million contract for a first-of-its-kind study of hybrid construction vehicles.

Biologists Urge Caution for Congressional Supercommittee

Recently, the nation's largest professional organization of biologists and biological science organizations sent a letter to members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction urging lawmakers to use great caution in considering any proposals that would cut federal investments in scientific research and education.

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Improving Grocery Store Display Cases to Save Energy

Shoppers don't usually give a second thought as they reach into a cooler to grab milk, cheese or prepackaged lunches. Open-front refrigerated display cases, which make up roughly 60 percent of the refrigerated cases in grocery stores and supermarkets, provide quick access to chilled products such as dairy, meat, fish and produce.

Does Converting Cow Manure to Electricity Pay Off?

Studies have estimated that converting manure from the 95 million animal units in the United States would produce renewable energy equal to eight billion gallons of gasoline, or one percent of the total energy consumption in the nation. Because more and more farmers and communities are interested in generating renewable energy from farm waste, there is a growing need for information on the economic feasibility and sustainability of such programs.

Researchers Explore Plankton's Shifting Role in Deep Sea Carbon Storage

In a study published in the journal Global Change Biology, SF State Assistant Professor of Biology Jonathon Stillman and colleagues show how climate-driven changes in nitrogen sources and carbon dioxide levels in seawater could work together to make Emiliania huxleyi a less effective agent of carbon storage in the deep ocean, the world's largest carbon sink.

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