Environmental Protection

Industry Trends


Condo Owner Gets Four-Year Prison Sentence for Conspiring to Violate Clean Air Act

<p>The owner and manager of a California condominium complex were sentenced for conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act’s asbestos work practice standards during the renovation of a 204-unit apartment building in Winnetka, Calif., in 2006 – work that caused asbestos to be released into the complex and the surrounding community. </p><p> Charles Yi, of Santa Clarita, Calif., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson to four years in prison. John Bostick, also of Santa Clarita, was sentenced to six months home confinement, 150 hours of community service, and three years probation. Yi was convicted after a two-week trial in March 2011 when a jury found him guilty of five felony offenses, including conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act. Bostick pleaded guilty in February 2011 to conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. </p><p> The jury also convicted Yi of failing to notify the Environmental Protection Agency and the South Coast Air Quality Management District about a renovation containing asbestos, failing to provide a properly trained person during a renovation containing asbestos, failing to properly remove asbestos and failing to properly dispose of asbestos wastes. </p><p> Yi was the owner of the now-defunct Millennium-Pacific Icon Group and Bostick was its vice-president. Millennium-Pacific owned the Forest Glen apartment complex in Winnetka that was being converted into condominiums in 2006. Knowing that asbestos was present in the ceilings of apartments in the Forest Glen complex, Yi, Bostick, and the project manager, Joseph Yoon, hired workers who were not trained or certified to conduct asbestos abatements. The workers scraped the ceilings of the apartments without knowing about the asbestos and without wearing any protective gear. The illegal scraping resulted in the repeated release of asbestos-containing material throughout the apartment complex and the surrounding area because Santa Ana winds were blowing during the time of the illegal work. After the illegal asbestos abatement was shut down by an inspector from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the asbestos was cleaned up at a cost of approximately $1.2 million. Yoon pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in June 2010 and is scheduled to be sentenced in July. </p><p> The federal Clean Air Act requires those who own or supervise the renovation of buildings that contain asbestos to adhere to certain established work practice standards. These standards were created to ensure the safe removal and disposal of the asbestos and the protection of workers. </p><p>

Pair of Kenyan Carbon Forestry Projects Are First to Reach CCB Standards

Two carbon forestry projects have reached verification status against the climate, community and biodiversity (CCB) standards, meaning that the projects have been implemented using best practices for community engagement and have generated benefits for local communities and biodiversity as well as for the climate.

Smart Meters Make U.K. Community More Energy-Efficient

The utility could provide individuals their energy-usage information in real time, which enabled them to make informed choices to reduce their electricity demand.

Voluntary Carbon Markets Surge to Record Year on Corporate Buying and Forestry

The voluntary carbon market shrugged off policy failures and the closure of the Chicago Climate Exchange in 2010 to post a 34 percent surge in volume to a record 131 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) worth at least $424 million, according to a new report.

EPA Orders Mecca Calif. Tire Recycling Facility to Immediately Reduce Fire Risk

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is ordering Consolidated Tire Recyclers Inc., which operates a tire recycling facility in Mecca, Calif., to remove excess stockpiled tires and improve fire prevention or face fines of up to $7,500 per day.

EPA's GreenChill Program Works to Revolutionize Supermarket Refrigeration

Supermarkets are among the most energy-intensive buildings around, and refrigeration uses more than half of that energy. That doesn't even include the harm that leaking refrigerants cause to the ozone layer. EPA's GreenChill program works with companies and their refrigeration engineers across the country to help program participants lower their refrigeration emissions of all kinds.

Report: Cost Obstructs Path to Alagae-Based Biofuel Market Worth Billions

According to a recent report from Pike Research, despite limited production to date, the scale-up potential of algae is substantial compared to other non-food based feedstocks.

Study: North American Utilities Most Concerned about Regulation, Infrastructure, Workforce, Pricing

According to a survey of more than 100 senior executives in the U.S. and Canadian electric and natural gas industries, the five most critical challenges facing the North American energy industry, in order of importance, are: environmental regulation, aging infrastructure, non-environmental regulation, an aging industry workforce, and the need for new pricing mechanisms.



European Commission Funds Large-Scale Bioproducts-from-Algae Project

Nine partners from seven countries have joined in a project to show that ethanol, biodiesel and bioproducts can be produced from algae on a large scale.

Professor Comes Up With Way to Neutralize Radioactive Iodine – In the Microwave

A University of Sheffield professor has found a way of locking up iodine radioisotopes in a durable, solid material suitable for ultimate disposal, such as lead iodovanadinite(Pb5(VO4)3I).

Fairtrade and Forest Stewardship Council Aim to Reinvigorate Economy in Depressed Region of Chile

The once degraded forests in the Curacautin Valley in Chile have now recovered sufficiently, after hard work over the last decades, to be able to help provide a sustainable living to the people in the area, based on fair trade and responsible forest management principles.

GE Secures 630 MW of Commitments For its New Wind Turbine

GE unveiled its latest wind turbine technology, the 1.6-100, at the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) Windpower 2011 Conference & Exhibition. The company has already secured nearly 630 megawatts of commitments for the evolutionary 1.6-100, which has been designed for increased performance in areas with lower wind resources

Vt. Implements Law Requiring CFL Makers to Create Recycling Programs

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law a bill that requires manufacturers of mercury-containing lamps to establish and finance a recycling program for spent bulbs from residents and small businesses.

Report: Short-Term Air Quality Not Affected by Gas Drilling in Marcellus Shale

An air quality study near Marcellus Shale natural gas operations in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga counties in Pennsylvania found no emission levels that would pose a public health concern, according to a report released by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

One of U.S.’s Largest Public Utilities Adopts energyOrbit Cloud Computing Solution

energyOrbit, a cloud-computing company in the Demand Side Management sector, announced the successful Implementation and roll out of energyOrbit at Santee Cooper, one of the country’s largest public utilities.

Fukushima Affect on Ocean Bigger than That of Chernobyl

Radionuclides in seawater have been reported from the Fukushima plant's discharge canals, from coastal waters five to 10 kilometers south of the plant, and from 30 kilometers offshore, that are at least an order of magnitude higher than the highest levels in 1986 in the Baltic and Black Seas, the two ocean water bodies closest to Chernobyl.

Biofuel Industry Urges Congress to Leave Biofuels Provision in Energy Law

Advocates of the biofuels industry sent Congress a letter urging lawmakers "to stand firm in the face of calls to waive or repeal the groundbreaking biofuels provisions included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), including the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS)."

Pa. DEP Levies Biggest Gas Drilling Fine Ever on Chesapeake Energy

Chesapeake Energy agreed to pay the penalty for using faulty well casings that allowed natural gas to seep into the water supply and for improper handling of a wet gas that resulted in a fire.

Russian Power Plant's Capacity-Expanding Upgrades Include GE Technology

The project is part of the Russian government’s development plan for St. Petersburg and also supports the country’s overall strategy to expand and continue to modernize its energy infrastructure.

U.S. Silver Corp. Pays EPA $87,000 to Settle Clean Water Act Violations

The agreement resolves the company’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit violations and unpermitted discharges at the mines and mills that occurred from 2008 to 2010.

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