Environmental Protection


$20 Million Carbon XPRIZE Contest Under Way

Registration opened Sept. 29 in the contest, which will last 4.5 years, with competing teams challenged to develop breakthrough technologies that convert the most carbon dioxide into one or more products with the highest net value.

UN Secretary-General Praises Climate Action Plan Response

The action plans of 147 countries will be the basis of the agreement expected to be reached at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP21, to be held in Paris in December.

New Technology Revs Up ‘Energy Neutrality’ for Municipal Wastewater Treatment

GE’s ZeeLung Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor is four times more energy efficient than conventional fine bubble aeration systems. The new technology offers simple, ultra-low energy nutrient removal in a small footprint.

Washington Ecology Launches Greenhouse Gases Rule

The Washington Department of Ecology this week began writing a rule to require the state's largest polluters to reduce their greenhouse gases and considering that businesses and organizations responsible for producing 100,000 metric tons or more of greenhouse gases be covered under the rule.

Haze Closes Singapore Education Ministry Schools

The Sept. 25 forecast was for "Very Unhealthy" air quality, possibly "Hazardous," so the ministry closed kindergartens and primary, secondary, and special education schools for the day.

New York Receives Millions in Funding for Five New Clean Energy Projects

Governor Cuomo recently announced $175 million has been awarded to New York for clean energy projects to add to the state’s electric grid.

VW Admits 'Defeat Device' Software in 11 Million Vehicles Worldwide

"Discrepancies relate to vehicles with Type EA 189 engines, involving some eleven million vehicles worldwide. A noticeable deviation between bench test results and actual road use was established solely for this type of engine. Volkswagen is working intensely to eliminate these deviations through technical measures," the company's statement says.

A New Analysis and Approach to Watershed Management

UMass Amherst watershed scientists offer national flood and runoff assessment.

Duke Energy Settles Clean Air Act Case

The settlement resolves federal claims that the company violated the act by unlawfully modifying units at five coal-fired power plants in North Carolina.

DOE Selects Nonprofit for Housing Innovations Award

Sacramento, Calif.-based Mutual Housing California has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a 2015 Housing Innovations Award.

Mutual Housing California Receives Grant from NeighborWorks America

Sacramento-based nonprofit Mutual Housing California recently received a $442,700 grant from NeighborWorks America to underwrite the organization’s activities and to continue developing rental housing in the Sacramento region.

New Rules for Hazardous Waste Management and Waterway Protection

Earlier this week, the EPA announced two new rule proposals for hazardous waste management that would help protect waterways without heavy restrictions on businesses.

Kentucky Water Commission Wins Spirit Award

McLean County's 9,500 residents are now served by five water systems, all of which nearing their functional life expectancy and struggling to meet the safe operating standards of federal regulations.

Panama Canal Authority Suspends Draft Restriction

Caused by El Nino conditions, the restriction had been set to begin Sept. 8.

Drought-Stricken California Island to Increase Fresh Water Supply

Catalina Island will defer, and possibly avoid, 50 percent water rationing with the expansion of a new GE Desalination System to produce up to an added 150,000 Gallons of water per day by treating the concentrated seawater from the existing desalination reverse osmosis system.

Removal Work Begins at St. Louis Superfund Site

EPA reports that structures and grounds at the site became contaminated with toxic polychlorinated biphenyls, trichloroethylene, and asbestos over decades of use as a manufacturing plant for automotive equipment.

World Nuclear Association Hails Japanese Reactor's Restart

"The restart of Sendai unit 1 puts Japan on the road to recovery. Going forward, it is essential that the nuclear industry works harder at building better relationships with the public as well as improving our performance and future technology offerings," said Agneta Rising, the association's director general.

WVDEP Sets Water Quality Standards Meeting

During the public meeting, DEP staffers will accept suggestions for criteria changes and additions as part of the upcoming triennial review for West Virginia's Water Quality Standards Rule, which the agency will propose in 2016 for consideration during the 2017 legislative session.

Timbervest Managed Habitats Up to 30,000 Acres

"Thanks to these projects, thousands of acres of degraded habitats will be restored or improved so that wildlife can thrive. We're proud of the fact that our company succeeds when the environment is restored," said Joel Shapiro, CEO of Timbervest LLC.

City Declares Emergency as Spill Estimate Triples

EPA now estimates 3 million gallons of wastewater from an old gold mine spilled into the Animas River, part of the Colorado River system. The wastewater contains lead, cadmium, and other heavy metals.

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