Archive for September, 2012

Documents Recently Added to Sector Resources

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 by

These publications were recently added to GLRPPR’s Sector Resources. This list is continuously updated on the web, fed to GLRPPR’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, and is available as an RSS feed.

Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill
Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. This not only means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also that the uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills as the single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste where it accounts for almost 25 percent of U.S. methane emissions. Reducing food losses by just 15 percent would be enough food to feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables. Increasing the efficiency of our food system is a triple-bottom-line solution that requires collaborative efforts by businesses, governments and consumers. The U.S. government should conduct a comprehensive study of losses in our food system and set national goals for waste reduction; businesses should seize opportunities to streamline their own operations, reduce food losses and save money; and consumers can waste less food by shopping wisely, knowing when food goes bad, buying produce that is perfectly edible even if it’s less cosmetically attractive, cooking only the amount of food they need, and eating their leftovers.

The Hidden Costs of Electricity: Comparing the Hidden Costs of Power Generation Fuels
This report challenges the underlying notion of the Clean Energy Standard: that “clean” can be measured by a single emission rate, ignoring land and water impacts and ignoring a technology’s full life cycle. This report analyses six fuels used to generate electricity — biomass, coal, nuclear, natural gas, solar (photovoltaic and concentrating solar power), and wind (both onshore and offshore). Water impacts, climate change impacts, air pollution impacts, planning and cost risk, subsidies and tax incentives, land impacts, and other impacts are all considered.

Great Lakes PAH reduction
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is engaged in a project funded by U.S. EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through 2014 to promote phase-out of coal tar-based pavement sealcoat (CTS) in order to reduce environmental loading of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Tools and strategies used in Minnesota will be disseminated to partner states in the Great Lakes Basin and beyond.

Sustainable Industries’ 2011 Green Office Guide
Learn strategies for creating a Green Team, a Sustainability Plan, and tools for tracking your progress. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Find out how to audit your current office operations, set goals and measure your success. Also learn how “green leases” can help your company save money. Ensure your purchasing decisions have the least impact on the environment and human health, while promoting social justice. Other sections include: Paper; Printing; Office Supplies; Technology; Vehicles; Furnishings; Cleaning Supplies; Food; Carbon Offsets & Green Power; Meetings; Event Planning.

Sustainable Energy Guide
A company’s physical location is probably the most resource intensive part of business operations. This Sustainable Energy Handbook aims to address energy use in facilities and transportation.

Eco-Health Relationship Browser
The Eco-Health Relationship Browser illustrates the linkages between human health and ecosystem services–benefits supplied by Nature. This interactive tool provides information about our nation’s ecosystems, the services they provide, and how those services, or their degradation and loss, may affect people.

Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater
Expanding water reuse–the use of treated wastewater for beneficial purposes including irrigation, industrial uses, and drinking water augmentation–could significantly increase the nation’s total available water resources. Water Reuse presents a portfolio of treatment options available to mitigate water quality issues in reclaimed water along with new analysis suggesting that the risk of exposure to certain microbial and chemical contaminants from drinking reclaimed water does not appear to be any higher than the risk experienced in at least some current drinking water treatment systems, and may be orders of magnitude lower. This report recommends adjustments to the federal regulatory framework that could enhance public health protection for both planned and unplanned (or de facto) reuse and increase public confidence in water reuse. PDF download available at no charge. Print copy: $64.

Medical Waste: Product Stewardship — Extended Producer Responsiblity
Resource conservation has become an important issue internationally, especially in communities suffering from economic difficulty. Resource conservation is dependent on markets, locations willing to accept used materials and reprocess them to put them back on the market, or turn the materials into something else for resale.

Meaningful Impact: Challenges and Opportunities in Industrial Energy Efficiency Program Evaluation
Impact evaluation of industrial energy efficiency programs is a necessary activity to ensure public funds are used in a responsible manner. However, some stakeholders believe the manner in which industrial programs are currently evaluated for their impacts does not accurately reflect the reality of how customers use industrial energy efficiency programs. Others believe the metrics sought in evaluation are not meaningful and alternatives could be considered.

This report is based on interviews and surveys of program administrators, evaluators, and regulators. It discusses how industrial energy efficiency program evaluation is conducted and the types of data and metrics derived by evaluators. It discusses six issues in-depth that were of particular interest to respondents. They are:

  • The development of a facility’s baseline
  • The timing of evaluation activities
  • The measurement of net savings and the use of net-to-gross ratios
  • The measurement of free riders and their associated savings
  • The measurement of spillover effect
  • The measurement of non-energy benefits

Stakeholders believe many of the above components of evaluation are insufficiently or inaccurately conducted. This report explains these concerns about each issue and suggests best practices and suggested directions for improvement where available and applicable.

EPA’s DfE Standard for Safer Products (DfE Standard)
This document establishes minimum requirements for identifying cleaning products that meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s DfE Safer Product Labeling Program (also know as the Formulator Program) criteria.

Join Us for a Webinar on Sustainable Electronics Wednesday, Sept. 19

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 by

Join us tomorrow, September 19 at noon Central time, when Dr. Callie Babbitt of the Rochester Institute of Technology presents “Adapting Ecological Models for Linking Sustainable Production and Consumption Dynamic in Consumer Electronic Product Systems.” Registration for the webinar is available at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/541176247.

Click here to read the rest of the article

Approximately $7.4 Million in Funding Available for State, Local, and Tribal Governments

Friday, September 14th, 2012 by

This post announces the availability of nearly $7.4 million and technical assistance in current opportunities for state, local, and tribal governments from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Funders’ Network, and American Institute of Architects (AIA) that can be used to support climate and energy initiatives, including sustainability, drought adaptation, and environmental education. For full eligibility and application details, please visit the links provided below.

In addition, please visit the calendar of 2012 EPA grant opportunities that may be of particular interest to communities.

Funders’ Network Local Sustainability Matching Fund – $250,000
Application Due: October 1, 2012

Eligible Entities: The proposal must be submitted by a team of at least two partners who are (1) the sustainability director of a city (municipality) or a county and (2) the local, place-based foundation.

The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network have joined together to launch a Local Sustainability Matching Fund. The fund will provide matching investments from national foundations on a competitive basis to build partnerships between sustainability directors and local place-based foundations to advance discrete sustainability initiatives that demonstrate broad-based community support and engagement.

For more information, visit the Funders’ Network.

AIA Sustainable Design Assessment Teams (SDAT) – Technical Assistance
Application Due: Two review cycles; upcoming due date is October 12, 2012

Eligible Entities: Committees with a cross-section of residents, local government agencies, businesses, institutions, and community groups. A letter of support from the local AIA chapter is required.

The Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program focuses on the importance of developing sustainable communities through design. The American Institute of Architects’ Center for Communities by Design is seeking potential partner communities that can demonstrate the capacity to convene a diverse set of community leaders and stakeholders for an intensive, collaborative planning process focused on long-term sustainability. The Center is particularly focused on identifying communities that have the ability to leverage local resources and build strong partnerships for implementation of an SDAT process. Awarded communities will receive pro bono services from a multidisciplinary team through the program, and the AIA commits to funding up to $15,000 for each project to cover team expenses.

For more information, visit the AIA SDAT page.

EPA Climate Leadership Awards
Application Due: October 12, 2012

Eligible Entities: Governmental entities or academic organizations with annual budgets over $100 million; legally recognized corporate organizations with annual revenue over $100 million.

EPA co-sponsors the Climate Leadership Awards (CLA) with three NGO partners: The Climate Registry, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, and the Association of Climate Change Officers. The CLA is a national awards program that recognizes and incentivizes exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change. Applications will be accepted for the following recognition categories: Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management (Goal Setting Certificate), Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management, Supply Chain Leadership Award, Organizational Leadership Award, and Individual Leadership Award. This year’s award winners will be publicly recognized in early 2013 at the awards gala, held in Washington, DC, in conjunction with the Climate Leadership Conference.

For more information, visit the Climate Leadership Awards site.

USDA Conservation Innovation Grants – $5 million
Application Due: October 15, 2012

Eligible Entities: Federally recognized Indian tribes, state and local units of government, and non-governmental organizations and individuals.

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) is a program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. In fiscal year 2013, USDA is offering an adaptation to drought funding category for CIG projects that demonstrate and/or enhance system resilience to drought. Proposal ideas include demonstration of innovative cropping or grazing systems that increase resilience to drought; alternative animal feeding systems that incorporate novel drought-tolerant feedstocks; and alternative housing and/or heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) systems for confined animal operations to promote animal productivity even during periods of extreme temperatures.

For more information, see the funding notice.

EPA Environmental Education Regional Model Grants – $2.16 million
Application Due: November 21, 2012

Eligible Entities: Any local education agency, college or university, state education or environmental agency, nonprofit organization, or a noncommercial educational broadcasting entity. Tribal education agencies that are eligible to apply include a school or community college controlled by an Indian tribe, band, or nation that is recognized as eligible for special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians and which is not administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The purpose of the Environmental Education Regional Grant Program is to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues and provide the skills that participants in its funded projects need to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment. In order to be eligible, all applications must address at least one of the EPA educational priorities listed and at least one EPA environmental priority. EPA educational priorities are community projects, human health and the environment, and career development. EPA environmental priorities include protecting air quality, preventing pollution, cleaning up our communities, and protecting America’s waters. EPA expects to award one grant per Region for an expected 10 grants nationwide.

For more information, visit the grant opportunity webpage.

Webinar: EPA’s DfE Program and Other Initiatives

Thursday, September 13th, 2012 by

Fri, Sep 21, 2012 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4401659851222307840

The New York Pollution Prevention Institute’s EcoHour series and the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable are co-hosting this webinar as part of Pollution Prevention Week 2012, “Safer Chemicals for a Safer World”. This webinar will focus on the EPA’s Design for the Environment Program. It will also look at other EPA initiatives such as the Green Sports Initiative.

Anahita Williamson, Director of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute will introduce this webinar.

Presenter:

Bridget Williams is the Outreach Lead for the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Program. As part of the DfE team, Bridget collaborates with a broad range of stakeholders, including science and policy professionals, product manufacturers, and environmental advocacy groups, to improve the human and environmental health effects of chemical-intensive products. Prior to joining DfE, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African country Burkina Faso where she taught high school Physics and Chemistry. Bridget has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Washington and a B.S. in Chemistry from Colorado State University.

What are your program’s training needs?

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 by

During the GLRPPR meeting last month, attendees discussed regional training needs, sector or chemical specific issues, and emerging trends in pollution prevention technical assistance. The following trends emerged:

Training

  • Basic principles of P2 as applied to doing technical P2 assessments; focus must be on hands-on; audience would include students, consultants, businesses, TAPs
  • Green chemistry, particularly product substitution; it’s the right thing to do, and green chemistry and other P2 approaches can help a business avoid regulations
  • Front-line worker P2 training as is done by Purdue – P2 is for everyone!
  • EMS for small businesses; ISO 14000 is out of reach for many businesses wanting to do the right thing

Emerging Trends

  • P2 is getting more complex, including more multi-media  — more direct field support is needed as well as follow-up, longer term commitments by TAPs and inter-organizational partnerships and coordination
  • Recipients of the technical assistance are wearing more hats, particularly in economic down times
  • Work needs to get from the lab to the field and successes defused to other P2 TAPs and industry

Sector-specific issues
We got little agreement on this, and a number of states did not respond.

We want to know: What are the most important training needs for your program? What emerging trends do you see in the pollution prevention technical assistance field? Are there sector or chemical specific issues that you need assistance with? Leave your thoughts in the comments. I’m planning to use this information to develop future GLRPPR sponsored webinars and training opportunities.

DOE Announces Upcoming Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Webinars on Energy Storage Technology for Vehicles, Urban Wind Projects, and More

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 by

EERE offers webinars to the public on subjects ranging from how to adopt the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to training for the clean energy workforce. Webinars are free; however, advanced registration is typically required. You can also watch archived webinars and browse previously aired videos, slides, and transcripts.

Upcoming Webinars

September 18: Live Webcast on Accelerating Innovation: Energy Storage

The Energy Department, in partnership with the Battelle Commercialization Council of Labs, will present a live webcast titled Accelerating Innovation: Energy Storage on Tuesday, September 18, 2012, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. This webcast will highlight several National Laboratory technologies, all of which are energy-focused and can be found on EERE’s Energy Innovation Portal. During this webcast, attendees will hear from J. Raymond Smith about using cryotanks to store hydrogen when used as a vehicle fuel. In addition, Zhuangchun Wu and Chunmei Ban—two researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory—will present their research in technologies including: lithium ion batteries, electrochromic windows, the fabrication of nano-architecture electrodes for electrochemical systems, and surface atomic modification of electrode materials to improve performance. Following the presentations, attendees will be able to participate in a live question-and-answer session with the researchers.

Register here to attend webinar.

September 18: Community Renewable Energy Success Stories: Tapping into Wind in Urban Environments

The Energy Department will present a live webinar titled Community Renewable Energy Success Stories: Tapping into Wind in Urban Environments on Tuesday, September 18, 2012, from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The webinar will provide information and lessons learned on urban wind turbine projects in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Hull, Massachusetts.

Register to attend the webinar.

September 27: Live Webcast on the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign

The Energy Department, in partnership with BOMA International, the Green Parking Council, and IFMA, will present a live webcast titled Overview of the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign on Thursday, September 27, 2012, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. This webinar will provide an overview of the LEEP Campaign and it will highlight two case study examples of businesses that have implemented high efficiency lighting projects in parking facilities. Webinar attendees will learn about the benefits of high efficiency lighting technologies in parking applications and strategies to overcoming barriers to implementation of these projects.

Register to attend the webinar.

Past Webinars:

September 4: 2011-2012 Hydrogen Student Design Contest Winners: On-campus Trigeneration Fuel Cell Systems

The Energy Department presented a live webinar titled 2011-2012 Hydrogen Student Design Contest Winners: On-Campus Tri-Generation Fuel Cell Systems on September 4. This webinar focuses on the winning entries from the University of Maryland, Washington State University, and University of California, Davis. This year, teams created design concepts for a tri-generation system that produces electricity, heat, and hydrogen for their university campus. The first place winner, the University of Maryland’s design, utilizes organic and municipal solid waste via gasification and anaerobic digestion technology. Washington State University placed second and proposed a pyrolysis reactor for straw waste from agriculture in their community. The University of California, Davis won third place for a design that included a hydrogen power and heating system for a residential building complex next to their new solar village. During the webinar, the theme for the 2013 contest was discussed as well.

View the recorded webinar here.

Exemplary Utility Energy Efficiency Programs — Nominations Now Open!

Monday, September 10th, 2012 by

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) seeks to recognize and profile America’s leading utility-sector energy efficiency programs. ACEEE will award these programs a “Certificate of Recognition” and will feature them as exemplars of best practices in a compendium of program profiles to be published by ACEEE in the Spring of 2013.

Eligibility

We’re looking for leading examples of energy efficiency programs for all types of customers (residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural) and end-uses. The only constraint is that they must be “utility sector” energy efficiency programs (i.e., funded by customers through utility rates, public benefits charges, or other similar utility revenue mechanisms). The programs can be administered by utilities, government agencies, or “third party” independent administrators. Both electric and natural gas programs are eligible. Programs recognized in ACEEE’s 2003 and 2008 reviews are eligible for this new review. In these cases, program data and results need to be updated to reflect the latest information available.

Organizations may only nominate themselves for a maximum of three programs each.

[Note: we are NOT seeking nominations for “load management” or “demand response” programs, with one exception: we are interested in “integrated” programs where broader energy efficiency measures and savings are incorporated as an explicit priority in the program design in addition to load management. Inclusion of integrated, significant energy efficiency measures and savings (not just peak reduction) also need to be well documented.]

Selection Criteria

The primary selection criteria for recognition by ACEEE are:

  • Direct Energy Savings: Demonstrated ability of the program to deliver significant immediate and long-term kWh (and/or therm) savings from energy efficiency.
  • Market Impacts: Demonstrated ability of the program to produce desirable and lasting improvements in the energy efficiency characteristics and performance of the targeted market.
  • Cost Effectiveness: Demonstrated ability to yield significant energy savings and related benefits relative to the costs of the program.
  • Customer Service and Satisfaction: High quality of services available and provided to customers participating in programs.
  • Innovation: Incorporation of particularly innovative measures, program designs, and/or implementation techniques that have achieved positive near-term results and promise significant future impacts.
  • Transferability:  Well documented programs with characteristics amenable to replicating the program design in other similar settings.

Additional factors that may be regarded favorably include: success in serving “hard to reach” target populations; success in achieving “deep” energy savings by participants; and the ability to leverage significant customer investments in energy efficiency.

To demonstrate achievement according to the various  criteria, it is advantageous that nominated programs have used good quality ex post evaluation and verification methodologies to document savings impacts, market effects and other results achieved by the program.

How to Nominate a Program

To nominate a program, ACEEE asks that you complete an online nomination form here. Hard copy/paper nominations will generally not be accepted without permission. The review and selection process will consist of two phases: (1) an initial screening of nominated programs to identify leading candidates, and (2) a more in-depth review of these candidate programs; in this 2nd phase ACEEE is likely to request supplemental data and information on the programs, such as evaluation reports or other documentation. An expert panel (ACEEE staff plus external experts) will review the nominations and select the final set of programs.

Nominations due October 5, 2012.

For additional information, please contact:
Seth Nowak
snowak@aceee.org
608-256-9155

or

Dan York
dwyork@aceee.org
608-243-1123

Please note: ACEEE will confirm receipt of all nominations. If you do not receive a confirmation within one week of your submission, please call Seth Nowak at the above number.

Please feel free to distribute this invitation widely. Self-nominations are perfectly acceptable (a limit of 3 self-nominations per organization) All nominations will be kept confidential unless otherwise requested. The results of ACEEE’s second national review of exemplary programs can be found here: http://www.aceee.org/research-report/u081.

Upcoming Climate and Energy Webcasts for State and Local Governments

Friday, September 7th, 2012 by

EPA Webcasts

September 5, 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT) – School Siting
Sponsored by EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities and the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools Program, this webcast will discuss EPA’s voluntary school siting guidelines, which can help local school districts and community members evaluate environmental factors to make the best possible school siting decisions. The webcast will focus on how the location of a school affects how students get to it, and how school siting and design influence traffic congestion, air pollution, school transportation budgets, and children’s health and obesity. Presenter Tina Torma is deputy director of EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities.

September 19, 1:00-2:00 PM (EDT) – Addressing Barriers to Renewable Energy Procurement
Using clean energy is a key component of many organizations’ sustainability goals. However, the process of procuring clean energy at a meaningful scale has proven to be difficult for corporations. In this webcast sponsored by EPA’s Green Power Partnership, learn about common challenges, including market access, deal terms, and risk management requirements that organizations have encountered when trying to source clean energy for facilities or power portfolios. You’ll also learn how to overcome these barriers in a meaningful and cost-effective way. Speakers include Blaine Collison, program director, U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership; Charles Esdaile, co-founder and managing partner, Altenex; and Chris Hayes, co-founder and managing partner, Altenex.

ENERGY STAR Webcasts

ENERGY STAR offers free online training to help you improve the energy performance of your organization. To register for any of these trainings or to see other upcoming ENERGY STAR trainings, visit the ENERGY STAR Trainings page.

September 6, 2:00-3:15 PM (EDT) – Financing Energy Efficient Upgrades with ENERGY STAR
Learn how public sector organizations are improving energy efficiency with innovative solutions to financial barriers. Attendees will learn about financing projects in the public and private sectors, the basics of performance contracting, and how EPA’s tools and resources can help you make the decision to improve your facilities now or later.

September 13, 2:00-3:15 PM (EDT) – Benchmarking Water/Wastewater Treatment Facilities in Portfolio Manager
Learn how to track the progress of energy efficiency efforts and compare the energy use of wastewater treatment plants with that of other peer facilities across the country. Attendees will learn how to measure and track energy use and carbon dioxide emission reductions in wastewater treatment plants to establish baseline energy use, prioritize investments, set goals, and track improvements over time.

September 18, 2:00-3:00 PM (EDT) – The Basics of Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager
Learn the basics of benchmarking using Portfolio Manager, EPA’s ENERGY STAR measurement and tracking tool. Portfolio Manager enables you to track the progress of energy and water efficiency efforts and compare the energy use of your buildings with that of similar buildings nationwide. Regardless of whether you are looking to benchmark a K-12 school, fire station, courthouse, retail store, supermarket, or office, this session will show you how easy it is to get started by providing an introduction to ENERGY STAR and walking you through setting up a building in Portfolio Manager. You will learn how to use Portfolio Manager to establish energy and water use baselines, track energy and water use and greenhouse gas emission reductions over time, and assess your building’s energy performance.

DOE & NREL Webcasts

September 5, 3:00-4:00 PM (EDT) – Regulatory Strategies for Driving the Distributed Solar Market
Join the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Program, in coordination with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for the Solar Technical Assistance Team summer webinar series for state policymakers and staff. Targeting regulators and staff, this webinar will provide an overview of policy and program actions that stakeholders can implement to support solar markets. The presentations will include examples of different regulatory actions that have been successful.

September 18, 3:00-4:15 PM (EDT) – Tapping into Wind in Urban Environments
This webinar will provide information and lessons learned on urban wind turbine projects in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Hull, Massachusetts. The A to Z basics in constructing a wind turbine in an urban environment will be covered, along with the lessons learned. The City of Milwaukee found that information and transparency were two key items that helped win over local officials and the public when planning its 100-kilowatt urban wind project. Learn more about the project from the City of Milwaukee and Northern Power. In 1997, members of the community of Hull, Massachusetts, founded Citizen Advocates for Renewable Energy to develop a wind project to offset the community’s electricity use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The first wind turbine was completed in late 2001 and the second one was completed in 2006. This presentation will discuss the two projects and the challenges and successes that the community experienced in developing them.

National Highway Institute Webcast

September 25, 1:00-2:30 PM (EDT) – Transportation and Health
This Federal Highway Administration’s Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program webinar will discuss planning research initiatives planned or underway that are related to transportation and health.

EPA Opens Registration for Campus RainWorks Design Challenge Competition

Thursday, September 6th, 2012 by

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened registration for student teams from colleges and universities across the country to participate in its new design competition, the Campus RainWorks Challenge, through which teams will compete to develop innovative approaches to stormwater management. This first annual competition, will help raise awareness of green design and planning approaches at colleges and universities, and train the next generation of landscape architects, planners, and engineers in green infrastructure principles and design. Stormwater is a major cause of harmful water pollution in urban areas in the U.S., impacting tens of thousands of miles of rivers, streams, and coastal shorelines, as well as hundreds of thousands of acres of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds.

Student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will submit design plans for a proposed green infrastructure project for their campus. Registration for the Campus RainWorks Challenge is open from September 4 through October 5, and entries must be submitted by December 14, 2012 for consideration. Winning entries will be selected by EPA and announced in April 2013. Winning teams will earn a cash prize of $1,500 – $2,500, as well as $8,000 – $11,000 in funds for their faculty advisor to conduct research on green infrastructure. In 2013, EPA plans to expand Campus RainWorks by inviting students to design and complete a demonstration project assessing innovative green infrastructure approaches on their campus.

EPA is encouraging the use of green infrastructure as a solution to help manage stormwater runoff. Green Infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater runoff at its source and provide other community benefits. Green infrastructure is increasingly being used to supplement or substitute for single-purpose “gray” infrastructure investments such as pipes, and ponds. The Campus RainWorks Challenge will help encourage the use of green infrastructure projects on college and university campuses to manage stormwater discharges.

More information on the Campus RainWorks Challenge:
http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/crw_challenge.cfm

Webinar–“Electronic Waste: Our Problem and What We Should Do About It”

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 by

Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM CDT. This seminar will be hosted live at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) in Champaign, IL, and simultaneously broadcast online. The presentation will be archived on the ISTC web site (see http://www.istc.illinois.edu/about/sustainability_seminars.cfm for more information and additional webinar archives).

Presenters include William Bullock, Affiliate with the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and Professor of Industrial Design in the School of Art and Design, U of I at Urbana-Champaign; and Joy Scrogum, Emerging Technologies Resource Specialist at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, Prairie Research Institute, U of I at Urbana- Champaign.

See the Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI) Blog for further information and a link to the online registration form.