Tuesday, December 14, 2010

EPA Removes Saccharin from Hazardous Substances Listing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has removed saccharin, a common artificial sweetener, and its salts from the agency’s list of hazardous substances. Saccharin is no longer considered a potential hazard to human health.

Saccharin is a white crystalline powder that is found in diet soft drinks, chewing gum and juice. Saccharin was labeled a potentially cancer-causing substance in the 1980s. In the late 1990s, the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer re-evaluated the available scientific information on saccharin and its salts and concluded that it is not a potential human carcinogen. Because the scientific basis for remaining on EPA’s lists no longer applies, the agency has removed saccharin and its salts from its lists.

EPA proposed the removal of saccharin and its salts from the lists on April 22, 2010 and did not receive any comments opposing the proposal.

More information

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy: 25th Anniversary


By Norris McDonald

Today is our 25th anniversary.  The Center was incorporated on November 20, 1985.

You can see a listing of many of our activities during that time at our original website, which we converted to Multiply when the original Msn Groups platform ended).  There is more activity information at our History page. My career has been very satisfying.  From my beginning in the Fall of 1979 at the Environmental Policy Center (now Friends of the Earth) until today, the adventure has been incredible.  I started out in the Washington, D.C.-based environmental movement.  Jimmy Carter was president and was just finishing a rough 4-year run.  I shook his hand at the Democratic National Convention in New York in 1980 not knowing that Washington was about to get a completely new makeover.  The Reagan era was interesting and quite the challenge for the environmental movement.  I still remember his 'no standard standard' for appliance efficiency standards.  I also remember the Air Florida crash and the Metro subway accident on the day that I was walking back from the U.S. Department of Energy after testifying on appliance standards.

Well, without sounding like the old guy in the room sharing old war time stories that nobody really wants to hear, the situation today is as exciting as ever.  We are embarking on trying to build biomass power plants in Mississippi, California and in Kenya.  The adventure continues and I am having more fun than ever.  Our team is lean and mean and green. 

I have kept the Center small on purpose and will continue to do so.  I almost died from respiratory failure in 1991 and 1996 (intubated for 4 days in ICU each time).  After getting divorced and full custody of my son when he was 2 years old, I decided that I wanted to stick around to see my son grow up.  But I also wanted to continue with my entrepreneurial environmentalism.  So keeping it small worked.  Although I still struggle with a chronic acute asthma that could kill me any day, my son is now 18 and I am still 'doing my green thing.'  Life is good.  Hey, and we just opened a new Center Hollywood blog this week.  Oh, and if you're feeling generous, feel free to click on our Donation button on our sites.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

EPA Hearing in Chicago on E15 Pump Label Regulation

The U.S. EPA will hold a public hearing next week in Chicago on a regulation to help ensure that E15 (gasoline containing greater than 10 percent by volume ethanol up to 15 percent) is only used in approved motor vehicles.

EPA has proposed regulations to help consumers easily identify E15 when filling up at the pump. E15 fuel can be used for model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks.

The regulation includes E15 pump labeling requirements and requires the fuel industry to specify the ethanol content of gasoline sold to retailers. EPA also proposed a quarterly survey of retail stations to help ensure that gas pumps are properly labeled.

The Agency is holding the hearing to gain public input on the pump label regulation.

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or until everyone has had a chance to speak
Date: Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Place: Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago, 163 East Walton Place

View proposed rule and labels

Listen to the Hearings over the Phone: 150 lines will be available for those who wish to listen to the hearings, but are unable to attend in person. Note: you will not be able to present testimony over the phone. When each of the above hearings is occurring, you may call the following toll-free number: 1-866-299-3188. At the prompt, enter conference code 7342144423 followed by the # sign.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

EPA Public meeting on Enbridge Oil Spill

EPA, joined by its government partners for the Enbridge oil spill response, will hold a public meeting Tuesday, August 10, in Battle Creek, Michigan to update area residents on the current status and future actions for the Enbridge oil spill. EPA has the role of Federal On-Scene Coordinator for this incident.EPA and government officials will brief the public on the spill, cleanup progress, health issues and wildlife protection efforts. Following the meeting, there will be an opportunity to talk one-on-one with government officials. Parking at the parking garage adjacent to the Kellogg Arena will be validated. People who need special accommodations at the meeting should contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Don de Blasio, 312-343-6666.

More information about EPA’s response to the spill

Time: 7 p.m.

Date: Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010

Place: KELLOGG ARENA, One McCamly Square, Battle Creek, Michigan
Additional information regarding the MI Oil Spill.
Community Outreach

Fact Sheet: Water Issues (PDF) (2pp, 114K) - August 2010
Oil Spill: How Is Air Quality Affected? (PDF) (2pp, 31K) fact sheet - August 2010
Oil Spill: How Can I Help Wildlife or Volunteer? (PDF) (1pg, 45K) fact sheet - August 2010
Odor Information

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

EPA Seeks Applications for Environmental Community Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making $2 million available in 2010 to reduce pollution at the local level through the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program. CARE is acommunity-based program that works with county and local governments, tribes, non-profit organizations and universities to help the public understand and reduce toxic risks from numerous sources. EPA will award CARE cooperative agreements in two levels:
Level I awards range from $75,000 to $100,000 and will help establish community-based partnerships to develop local environmental priorities.

Level II awards, ranging from $150,000 to $300,000 each, will support communities that have established broad-based partnerships, have identified the priority toxic risks in the community, and are prepared to measure results, implement risk-reduction activities and become self-sustaining.

In 2009, EPA’s CARE program distributed $2 million to nine communities. Examples of projects that received grants include addressing waste and storm water issues in Kennett, Mo.; reducing air and water pollution in Holyoke, Mass.; addressing water pollution from coal slurry in Wheeling, W.Va.; reducing radon and other indoor air pollutants in Pueblo, Colo.; and tackling the problem of hazardous waste materials and open dumpingin Toksook Bay, Alaska.

Since 2005, the grants have reached 68 communities in 34 states and territories. A recent evaluation by the National Association of Public Administrators (NAPA) recognized the CARE program as a solid tested framework for engaging communities and otherstakeholders. Applications for the CARE grants are due March 9, 2010.

EPA will conduct three Webcasts to answer questions from prospective applicants about theapplication process on Feb. 2, 23, and 26 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. More information about the grants.