Monday, December 14, 2009

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding to be Used for Immediate Asian Carp Control Measures

The Great Lakes Inter-agency Task Force Chair and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson today announced $13 million in federal funding to prevent Asian carp from migrating further toward the Great Lakes. EPA and its partners are stepping up to prevent the environmental and economic destruction that can come from invasive Asian carp.

In February 2009, President Obama proposed $475 million for a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an unprecedented investment in the nation’s largest fresh surface water ecosystem. Congress approved that funding level and President Obama signed it into law in October. The funding for immediate carp control measures would come from the $475 million initiative. The Task Force, chaired and coordinated by EPA, was created in May of 2004 under a presidential executive order and is responsible for implementing federal efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has identified more than $13 million in funding needs for measures to deter Asian carp from moving closer to Lake Michigan. The majority of funding announced today will be used to close conduits and shore up low-lying lands between the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal and adjacent waterways. Agencies remain concerned that during times of heavy precipitation water, and therefore carp, can wash from adjacent waterways into the canal. Initiative funding will support work by the Corps to reduce the risk of invasion from these collateral access points. Some of the funding will support more genetic testing to pinpoint where carp may be in the Chicago Area Waterway System. The agencies will continue to identify other mechanisms for keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

EPA Signs Two Rules to Further Protect Ozone Layer

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced two final rules that will further cut ozone-depleting pollutants, protecting the Earth’s ozone layer and reducing harmful greenhouse gases. The rules reduce the availability and use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are primarily used as refrigerants and harm the ozone layer. A diminished ozone layer [hole pictured in purple at right] allows more radiation to reach the Earth’s surface, leading to serious health effects, such as skin cancer, cataracts, and weakened immune systems.

The first rule prohibits the use of specific HCFCs to manufacture new air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment beginning in 2010, while allowing limited HCFC use to service existing equipment. The second rule prohibits the sale, distribution, and import of air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances and their components containing certain HCFCs that are manufactured or imported after January 1, 2010. The rulemakings protect the ozone layer by decreasing the availability of these compounds as well as the demand for newly-produced equipment containing HCFCs.

These rules advance U.S. compliance under the Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. More information on the two rules.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Federal Tax Credits for Tankless Water Heaters

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

A tankless water heater is the perfect solution for those who want hot water and to save money. Tankless water heaters, which are also called instantaneous or demand water heaters, are becoming extremely popular these days because of their efficiency. Cold water travels through a pipe into the water heater and is then heated by an electric or a gas-fired element. As a result, hot water is instantaneous, and you don't need to waste your time waiting for the water to warm up. These electric water heaters can also simultaneously produce and supply endless streams of hot water to multiple outlets without the hassle of temperature fluctuation. These units are so popular that even the U.S. Department of Energy recommends them.

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, making great changes to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

Under the new Stimulus bill:

Tax credits previously expiring in 2009 will now be effective until December 31, 2009.
Tax credits have been increased from 10% to 30%.
Instead of limiting the tax credits to a specific dollar amount (ex: $300 for tankless water heaters), tax credits are up to 30% of the cost.
The maximum credit has been raised from $500 to $1500; however some improvements such as geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, and solar panels are not subject to the $1500 maximum.
Tax credits are available to consumers for 30% of the cost, up to $1500, in 2009 & 2010 (for existing homes only) for:
Gas Tankless Water Heaters (non-solar, non-electric) placed into service before December 31st, 2010
Water Heaters
Windows and Doors
Roofs (Metal & Asphalt)
Biomass Stoves
Tax credits are available at 30% of the cost, with no upper limit through 2016 (for existing homes & new construction) for:

Solar Water Heaters
Solar Panels
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Small Wind Energy Systems
Fuel Cells

How to get your tax credit:

Choose a qualifying tankless water heater (see list above) that suits your needs.
Manufacturer’s Certification Statement* is required.
Save your receipts and Manufacturer’s Certification Statement for tax purposes.
Use IRS Form 5695.
Improvements must be “placed into service” (this generally refers to the installation, not the purchase) within the specified dates.
See the DSIRE database of state incentives, or contact your state energy office or local utility service providers for more information about tax credits and rebates in your area.

Federal Tax Credits for Tankless Water Heaters is brought to you by Heater Home.