Monday, July 11, 2011


July 28-29, 2011

Washington, DC

The National Council for Science and the Environment invites you to hear speakers from more than a dozen countries:

• Hoesung Lee, Vice Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
• Dan Kammen, University of California, Berkeley; Chief Technical Specialist for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, The World Bank
• Peter Lund, Director, New Energy Technologies Group, Aalto University, Finland
• Governor Bill Richardson, former Congressman, Ambassador to the UN, and Secretary of Energy
• Eduardo Pereira Guimaraes, Secretary of International Relations, Curitiba City Government, Brazil
• Johanna Gregory Partin, Director of Climate Protection Initiatives, Mayor's Office, City of San Francisco
• Jong-dall Kim, President, International Solar Cities Initiative, Kyungpook National University, Korea
• David Jhirad, Professor and Director, Energy, Resources, and Environment Program; HRH Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Professor in Environmental Policy, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
• Mark Levine, Founder and Group Leader, China Energy Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
• Johan Eliasch, CEO of Head, former Climate Change Advisor to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
• Allen Barnett, School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, University of New South Wales, Australia
• Gary Guzy, Deputy Director, White House Council on Environmental Quality

The conference will focus on the interplay between clean-energy strategies and policies to secure significant technological innovation, workforce development to promulgate green jobs, and sustainability principles to guide economies and societies toward sustainability.

Registration is still available (click HERE to register now). The registration fee of $220 includes a banquet featuring remarks from Governor Richardson, two luncheons, and a reception, along with the full conference program.

The conference is organized by the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP) at the University of Delaware, the Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL), in collaboration with the Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI).

More information, including the conference agenda and a registration link, is available through the conference website . You can also contact David Blockstein, NCSE/CEREL or 202-207-0004.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Natural Resources Defense Council Job Announcement

Midwest Advocacy Director

Chicago Office

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a global non-profit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. We have offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Beijing, China. Our staff of over 350 includes lawyers, scientists, economists, and policy experts who work to protect the environment and public health through advocacy and education.

Position Summary:

The Midwest Advocacy Director will be responsible for building public support to advance NRDC’s strategic priorities and our federal, state, and local policy agenda in the region. The Director will work to build relationships with elected officials, advocacy groups, and other potential allies; coordinate with NRDC programs; and will be responsible for the development and execution of NRDC advocacy, coalition building and grassroots activities in the region. Specific near-term objectives include promoting clean energy policies; protection of the Great Lakes; strong mercury, smog, and carbon standards under the Clean Air Act, and robust support of the Clean Water Act. The Midwest Advocacy Director will be based in NRDC’s Chicago office, and will report jointly to both the Midwest Program Director and the Government Affairs Director.

Major Responsibilities/Activities

• Develop and help manage a robust NRDC network in the Midwest, leverage influence of “Grasstop” supporters, allies and affinity groups on NRDC’s strategic priorities.
• Help develop and oversee strategies, including campaigns, to promote NRDC’s policy objectives in the Midwest.
• Foster a network of relationships with elected and appointed officials, businesses, civic leaders and advocacy groups, and build an advocacy structure to affect and influence decision-makers, opinion leaders and policy experts in the Midwest on NRDC’s strategic priorities.
• Work with NRDC’s government affairs, communications, development, program staff and policy advocates in planning and implementation of NRDC’s governmental and policy advocacy in the Midwest.
• Help foster effective connections between NRDC’s regional and national staff on campaigns and programs.

Knowledge, skills and abilities

• Work experience in government relations and legislative action;
• Practical experience with political campaigns, policy advocacy, or public interest campaigns;
• Practical knowledge of energy policy, public health issues, or environmental regulations desired;
• Practical experience with press and/or social media advocacy desired; and
• Practical knowledge of key political figures and issues in the region.

Minimum Requirements/Qualifications

• B.S. or B.A. degree in public policy, political science government, or related area; Master’s or J.D. degree preferred;
• At least 10 years experience in government relations, political consulting or legislative practice; Excellent interpersonal skills;
• Demonstrated leadership, management, and administrative skills; and
• Excellent written and oral communications skills required.

NRDC offers competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment and is committed to workplace diversity. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience. To apply please visit Once you complete the initial application page, please attach a formatted copy of your cover letter and resume. Please include salary requirements in your cover letter. Please apply no later than August 15, 2011. No phone calls or faxes please. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Additional information about NRDC

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Natural Resources Defense Council: Job Announcement

Program Assistant

Chicago Office

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a global non-profit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. We have offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Beijing, China. Our staff of over 350 includes lawyers, scientists, economists, and policy experts who work to protect the environment and public health through advocacy and education.

Position Summary:

NRDC seeks a Program Assistant to work in its Chicago Office. The Program Assistant will provide administrative support to the Director and Deputy Director of the Midwest Program, and the Midwest Director of Development. The candidate must be able to efficiently handle administrative tasks such as: coordinating and booking travel, handling phone calls, scheduling and coordinating meetings, processing expenses, handling budgets, proofreading and preparing materials.

Essential Functions:

• Scheduling and facilitating various internal and external meetings;

• Maintaining calendar appointments and meetings for Director and Deputy Director of Midwest Program;

• Processing invoices and business expenses;

• Tracking restricted grants and discretionary spending;

• Coordinating schedules and travel arrangements;

• Proofreading and editing correspondence;

• Coordinating mailings to donors and members;

• Providing general administrative support and ad hoc projects as needed;

• Researching prospective donors and maintaining prospect lists for eight Midwestern states; and

• Providing support for development events.

Skills and Knowledge Requirements:

• Bachelors degree and interest in environmental issues a plus;

• 2-5 years previous administrative experience;

• Excellent written and verbal communications skills;

• Strong interpersonal skills;

• Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with the capability of handling multiple tasks at once;

• Must have the ability to work independently, prioritize multiple projects, and perform well under deadlines;

• Ability to maintain confidentiality a must;

• Excellent time-management skills;

• Ability to work well under pressure and be detail-oriented; and,

• Proficiency with Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

NRDC offers competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment and is committed to workplace diversity. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience. To apply please visit Once you complete the initial application page, please attach a formatted copy of your cover letter and resume. Please include salary requirements in your cover letter. Please apply no later than June 10, 2011. No phone calls or faxes please. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

For further information about NRDC, please visit

Thursday, January 13, 2011



Up To $1 Million Each for Innovative Organizations Worldwide

The MacArthur Awards for Creative and Effective Institutions, selected by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, will be announced on Wednesday, January 19.

The Awards, which recognize exceptional Foundation grantees and help ensure their sustainability, reflect MacArthur’s tradition of encouraging creativity and building effective institutions to help address some of the world’s most challenging problems. The Awards provide organizations up to $1 million each to advance their missions.

In 2009, eight organizations from five different countries received the Awards, with missions ranging from defending equality in the Nigerian legal system (Access to Justice) to transforming low-income Chicago neighborhoods (Center for Neighborhood Technology) to advocating for conservation of natural resources (Caribbean Natural Resource Institute). Information on previous recipients.

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. More information.

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.

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.

Monday, November 16, 2009

EPA to Hold Public Hearings on Proposed on GHGs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold two public hearings on the proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions thresholds defining when Clean Air Act permits would apply to new or existing industrial facilities. This program would cover nearly 70 percent of the nation’s total GHG emissions from stationary sources. The nation’s largest facilities, including power plants, refineries, and cement production facilities, that emit at least 25,000 tons of GHGs a year would be required to obtain operating and construction permits.

The hearings will be held on November 18 in Arlington, Va. and November 19 in Rosemont, Ill. Both hearings will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 7:00 p.m. local time at the following locations:

November 18: Arlington, Va.
Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport
2799 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202
Note: Anyone attending the Arlington hearing will need to bring photo identification.

November 19: Rosemont, Ill.
Donald E Stephens Convention Center
5555 North River Road
Rosemont, Ill 60018

For information about participating at the hearings please contact: Pamela Long or (919) 541-0641. The public may also register on the day of the hearing; however, they may not be given a specific time to speak.

EPA will accept written comments on the proposed rule until December 28, 2009.

More Information

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

EPA Releases Children's Exposure Pollutants Guide

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a user-friendly document to help risk assessors understand how children are exposed to pollution. The document, titled “Highlights of the Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook,” serves as a quick-reference guide to the more comprehensive “Child-Specific Exposure Factors Handbook,” published by EPA in 2008. It will serve as an additional resource for those who work on children’s health issues, which the agency has been highlighting during Children’s Health Month.

EPA developed the reference guide to provide important information necessary for answering questions about exposure through drinking water, breathing, and eating foods, such as:

· How much exposure to environmental pollutants might children get if they live or play near contaminated sites?

· How much dirt from a child’s hands might s/he inadvertently eat?

· How much of a child’s exposure to various pollutants might come from skin contact?

· Which age groups (childhood life stages) may inhale or ingest the most and thus may be at higher risks?

More Information

Monday, October 26, 2009

EPA Names Top 20 Green Powered Schools

For the first time, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership announced the 20 primary and secondary schools nationwide using the most power from renewable energy sources. The top Green Power Partner schools are buying nearly 113 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, equivalent to carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) that would be produced from the electricity use of 11,000 American homes for one year.

The five schools using the greenest power are:

1. Austin Independent School District (Austin, Texas)

2. Round Rock Independent School District (Round Rock, Texas)

3. Rochester City School District (Rochester, N.Y.)

4. Bullis School (Potomac, Md.)

5. The Dalton School (New York, N.Y.)

Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower. Green power electricity generates less pollution than conventional power and produces no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA’s Green Power Partnership works with more than 1,100 organizations to voluntarily purchase green power to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity use. Overall, EPA Green Power Partners are buying more than 17 billion kWh of green power annually, equivalent to the CO2 emissions from electricity use of nearly 1.7 million American homes annually.

More information on the entire top 20 list of k-12 schools

Information on EPA’s Green Power Partnership

Senate Environment & Public Works Climate Hearings

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee starts the debate over climate legislation this week with three hearings on legislation that would curb U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions:

10/27/09 Full Committee hearing entitled, “Legislative Hearing on S. 1733, Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act


10/28/09 Full Committee hearing entitled, “Legislative Hearing on S. 1733, Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act


10/29/09 Full Committee hearing entitled, “Legislative Hearing on S. 1733, Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

EPA Proposal To Cut Great Lakes Air Pollution From Ships

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing regulation to force vessels to burn cleaner fuel and upgrade their engines. Emissions from these ships are the only mode of transportation not under new federal air pollution regulations. These emission have been linked to increased levels of heart and lung disease, particularly in Great Lakes states. EPA estimates the proposal will produce more health benefits than those it has applied to off-road vehicles, diesel trucks and other sources. Without further regulation by 2030, the agency projects that smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions from the ships will more than double, to 2.1 million tons a year. It is being estimated that the new standards, proposed in July and set to be finalized by Dec. 17, would prevent up to 33,000 premature deaths a year from problems such as heart disease, respiratory illness and cancer.

The proposal would limit air emissions from ships in the United States' exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles from its coasts. This includes the 133 American and Canadian "Lakers" that spend their whole lives in the Great Lakes or St. Lawrence Seaway and the smaller "Salties" that go between foreign and Great Lakes ports.

The agency wants to require vessels to switch by 2015 from viscous bunker fuel, which contains about 30,000 parts per million sulfur, to fuel that contains no more than 1,000 parts per million. Trucks are required to use fuel with no more than 15 ppm sulfur, and by 2015 locomotives, bulldozers and barges will have similar limits.

Great Lakes shipping industry officials say the cost of the new fuel and the engine overhauls needed to burn it would undermine their competitive edge and shift commodity transport to rail and truck. The Lake Carriers' Association believes the rule would cost U.S. and Canadian ships an extra $210 million a year for fuel. Out of a U.S. fleet of 65, they predict that 13 steamships with 429 mariners would be scrapped and that 13 ships with old diesel engines might face premature retirement.

Currently, some in Congress are considering the prospect of attaching language to the annual Interior and Environmental Appropriations Bill that could halt implementation of the rule and have delayed moving the bill as they seek to influence EPA. (Wash Post, 10/23/09)

More information: EPA Oceangoing Vessels

Four Reasons To Join The "Go Green" Movement

Everyday you hear something on the television or radio promoting the green movement. You decide that there's no reason not to join on the bandwagon and give the "go green" movement a try. After all, it's a popular idea that's gaining more and more ground with environmentalists and common folk.

There are many benefits to be had when you "go green". For instance, you improve your life as well as those around you. You also improve the planet by using fewer resources the Earth has to offer by using other resources that doesn't require taking something out of the Earth.

Remember that whatever comes from the Earth will have an impact on everyone. You can make an impact by making sure you don't cause further damage to it and keeping it at its natural beauty.

What "go green" tactics can you do? You can start by saving energy in your home or at work, plant or purchase organic products and use alternative fuel sources to heat and cool down your home. There is much you can do in the way of going green safely; all you have to do is start the process.

Why is there the overwhelming desire to go green? Here are four reasons to join the "Go Green" movement.

Reason 1 - Way To Safer, Healthier Living

Any non-organic household products will need to be removed from the home. Obviously these ingredients are dangerous to your health as well as to the environment. Consider using organic or natural ingredients to clean your home and clothes in lieu of these harsh, popular chemicals.

Reason 2 - Clean Environment For The Air and Water

When you don't use harsh chemicals to clean your home, wash your car or fix your makeup/hair, you get cleaner air and water. You also won't be dumping chemicals into the water system, which can have a long-term effect on the system. When you avoid using aerosol or other toxins, you keep the air healthy to breathe.

Reason 3 - Saving Money When You Go Green

Believe it or not, you can save plenty of money when you go with the "Go Green" movement. For instance, avoid leaving on lights when you leave a room. By doing this, you can lower the cost of your energy bill.

What else can you do to save energy? One way is to avoid leaving on computers and televisions for an extended period of time.

Another way you can help the movement is to recycle. If you have items you no longer want but are still in very good condition, consider giving it away or use it in a different way instead of sending it to the landfill.

Reason 4 - Eco-friendly Trendy Lifestyle

When you decide to go "green", you may change your d├ęcor to match the new lifestyle. Purchase items that employ greener tactics such as solar fountains or long-lasting light bulbs. Friends and neighbors will be envious over the look of your home.

When you "go green" you have the ability to give back to the Earth by not using those harsh chemicals to clean your home or using fuel sources such as natural gas or coal that gives your home power. Remember that you are doing yourself and the future generation a favor by "going green".

Author: Phillip Dye

Friday, October 23, 2009

White House Public Meeting On Great Lakes

Obama Administration Officials to Hold Great Lakes Regional Ocean Policy Task Force Public Meeting in Cleveland, OH, on October 29, 2009

Obama Administration officials will hold their sixth regional Ocean Policy Task Force Public Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 29, 2009. The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, led by White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, consists of senior-level officials from Administration agencies, departments, and offices.

The Task Force is charged with developing a recommendation for a national policy that ensures protection, maintenance, and restoration of the oceans, our coasts and the Great Lakes. It will also recommend a framework for improved stewardship, and effective coastal and marine spatial planning. The public is encouraged to attend and an opportunity for public comment will be provided.

Members of the public can access the meeting in three ways: by attending in person at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center; by calling into the listen only phone line (800-369-2133; participant code: 8314284); or via live webstream at

Who: Chair Nancy Sutley, White House Council on Environmental Quality

Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Cameron Davis, Senior Advisor to the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

Rear Admiral Sally Brice O’Hara, Deputy Commandant for Operations, U.S. Coast Guard

Captain Byron Black, Senior Maritime Safety and Security Advisor to the Secretary, Department of Transportation

What: Ocean Policy Task Force Public Meeting

When: Thursday, October 29, 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Where: Marriott Cleveland Downtown at Key Center, Ballroom (Salon D and E), 127 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44114

Submit Public Comment Online

The Center participated in an Interagency Task Force on Ocean Policy on coastal community issues that was sponsored by the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday, July 24. CEQ and EPA co-chaired the meeting at the CEQ Headquarters in Washington, DC.

$350 Million Willis Tower Green Retrofit

Chicago’s Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) will undergo a $350 million environmental retrofit starting in 2010 that will add wind turbines, solar panels, roof gardens and equipment replacements that should reduce energy use by as much as 80 percent. American Landmark Properties owns the 110-story building in partnership with New York-based investors Joseph Chetrit and Joseph Moinian. It is the world’s third tallest building.

All of the building’s 16,000 windows are being replaced, which alone could save up to 60 percent of heating energy. Energy-efficient mechanical and lighting systems are being installed, and the building’s 104 elevators and 15 escalators, along with its plumbing systems, are being modernized. Also planned is on-site renewable energy. Solar hot water panels would adorn the 90th-story roof, which is already carpeted with an experimental garden, and several varieties of roof-mounted wind turbines will be tested for their performance at those altitudes.

The retrofit was designed by Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. The bulk of the work will begin next spring and is expected to complete in roughly five years. The project will create almost 4,000 jobs. The retrofits will save enough electricity to power a Chicago neighborhood of 2,500 homes for a year. Water conservation is projected at 24 million gallons annually. The owners want to earn LEED Platinum, the highest sustainability designation of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system. A Sustainable Technology Learning Center is planned to educate the more than 1 million visitors to the Willis Tower each year on ways to save energy and money. (CoStar Group, 6/28/09)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Center Opens Chicago Office for the Midwest Region

The Center has reestablished its presence in Chicago, Illinois.

The Chicago Office for the Midwest Region will not only cover issues in the city and surrounding areas, it will also address regional environmental and energy issues.

We are excited about reestablishing in the hometown of Oprah Winfrey and President Barack Obama.

We look forward to a productive future as we work to mitigate environmental issues in this region.