Environmental Protection

Energy and Climate Change


EPA Amends Heavy Duty Diesel Regulations for Emergency Vehicles

An EPA direct final rule published June 8 amends its heavy-duty diesel regulations so engine manufacturers may deploy emission controls or settings to be used only in emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks.

Republic Services, Foristar and Duke Energy Dedicate Gas-to-Energy Plant in N.C.

Leading environmental services company Republic Services, Inc., FORTISTAR and Duke Energy dedicated a new, state-of-the-art, landfill gas-to-energy plant in North Carolina with a ribbon-cutting event at the site today.

Startup Creates New Type of Electrolyte for Better and Cheaper Lithium Ion Battery

Boulder Ionics, a new startup, has apparently found a way to get more bang for the buck with lithium ion batteries by creating a liquid electrolyte out of ionic salts that performs better than anything else currently being used.

Boeing Reduces Environmental Footprint

The Boeing Company has steadily reduced its environmental footprint while rapidly expanding its business and significantly increasing monthly airplane production rates, the company reported in its fifth annual Environment Report.

Energy Supplies Vulnerable to Climate Change

Higher water temperatures and reduced river flows in Europe and the United States in recent years have resulted in reduced production, or temporary shutdown, of several thermoelectric power plants, resulting in increased electricity prices and raising concerns about future energy security in a changing climate.

New Small Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Reaches Record Efficiency

Individual homes and entire neighborhoods could be powered with a new, small-scale solid oxide fuel cell system that achieves up to 57 percent efficiency, significantly higher than the 30 to 50 percent efficiencies previously reported for other solid oxide fuel cell systems of its size.

EPA Awards Brownfields Grant to Mt. Shasta to Clean Up Toxic Lumber Mill

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced approximately $3.8 million in new pilot grants to nine recipients across the country for cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties. One of the grants will go to the City of Mt. Shasta, Calif.

Two Houston Companies Will Pay $1 Million for Natural Gas Pipeline Spills

Mid-America Pipeline Company, LLC (MAPCO), and Enterprise Products Operating LLC (Enterprise), of Houston, Texas, have agreed to pay a civil penalty of more than $1 million to the United States to settle violations of the federal Clean Water Act related to three natural gasoline pipeline spills in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.



High-Speed Method to Aid Search for Solar Energy Storage Catalysts

Finding an efficient way to store solar energy is a major goal for science and society. Writing this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie, a Wisconsin group of researchers describes a new high-throughput method to identify electrocatalysts for water oxidation.

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Retrofit Kits Help Businesses Meet New DOE Lighting Standards

Starting on July 14, 2012, the Department of Energy (DOE) will begin phasing out most T12 fluorescent lights and replacing them with energy-efficient T5 lights. To help make the adjustment to T5 lights easier, one company in the United States has begun making retrofit plug-and-play adapters.

Fuel Economy Slipped as Gas Prices Dipped Throughout April

Average fuel economy (window-sticker values) of cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs purchased in April was 23.9 mpg, down from 24.1 in March, but the same as in February. Despite the drop, fuel economy is up 3.8 mpg (or 19 percent) from October 2007, the first month of monitoring by UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle.

SEPTA Partners With Energy Management Firm to Help Reduce Utilities and Fuel Costs

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, the nation’s sixth-largest public transport organization, has signed a three-year contract with SourceOne energy consulting firm. SEPTA is looking for support for electricity and natural gas procurement.

Carnegie Mellon University Student Builds C02 Fence

Sculpted by chemistry graduate student Longzhu Shen (MCS'12), the latest installation at CMU's ArtPark Lab uses environmentally friendly lighting to illustrate the fluctuation of carbon dioxide levels in Earth's atmosphere over the past 800,000 years.

The Energy Efficient Soldier

U.S. soldiers are increasingly weighed down by batteries to power weapons, detection devices and communications equipment. So the Army Research Laboratory has awarded a University of Utah-led consortium almost $15 million to use computer simulations to help design materials for lighter-weight, energy efficient devices and batteries.

Gas Development Linked to Wildlife Habitat Loss

Intense development of the two largest natural gas fields in the continental United States is driving away some wildlife from their traditional wintering grounds, according to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Students Use Dog Waste to Light Park

Every day, about 200 dogs and their owners visit the Cosmo dog park in Gilbert, Ariz. When they go home, they leave behind about eight cubic yards of dog waste, plastic bottles, bags and other trash. Normally, all of that junk ends up in a landfill. But starting this month, the little gifts that Fido leaves will be used to power a light at the park, thanks to a team of engineering and technology students from ASU’s Polytechnic campus.

Researchers Use Weather Model to Recommend East Coast Offshore Wind Farms

Most energy experts agree that cheap, clean, renewable wind energy holds great potential to help the world satisfy energy needs while reducing harmful greenhouse gases. But how can fluctuating wind power be made more consistent to match our power needs?

New Poll Finds Americans Want Less Population Growth 40 years After Government Called for Stabilization

Forty years after a multi-year bi-partisan government commission recommended slowing U.S. population growth and eventually stabilizing, Americans still would like to see it happen, according to poll results to be released this weekend at the 2012 Earth Day Dallas festival.

Save Big on Heating, Cooling Costs with Efficiency Controls

U.S. commercial building owners could save an average of 38 percent on their heating and cooling bills if they installed a handful of energy efficiency controls that make their heating, ventilation and air conditioning, also known as HVAC, systems more energy efficient, according to a recent report from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

New Research Suggests Metal Oxides Hold the Key to Cheap, Green Energy

Harnessing the energy of sunlight can be as simple as tuning the optical and electronic properties of metal oxides at the atomic level by making an artificial crystal or super-lattice ‘sandwich,’ says a Binghamton University researcher in a new study published in the journal Physical Review B.

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