Archive for October, 2013

Tribal Pollution Prevention (Tribal P2) Announces Enhanced Tools for Tribal Environmental Professionals

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 by

TP2 logoThe national Tribal Pollution Prevention Network (Tribal P2) is proud to announce the launch of the newly renovated TribalP2.org website. The website provides resources, current funding opportunities and events, and collaborative connection assistance in 19 different topic areas – from Solid Waste to Green Casinos to Climate Change.

One goal of the Network is to facilitate collaboration among peers, mentors, and experts in topics related to pollution prevention. To that end, the new website features an interactive member map that provides contact information for Network members across the nation. Many of the Network’s members have agreed to be collaborators – which means they are willing to share their expertise with you.

Visit the site to learn about pollution prevention (P2) opportunities and identify peers with expertise to share. Join the Network listserv to receive information on regularly scheduled webinars, news, announcements and funding opportunities pertaining to timely and relevant P2 topics.

“…it all looks great! I really like the way you set up the website […] it should be very beneficial for all the Tribes needing help on difficult issues.” Donna Marie Noel, Energy Project Manager Water Resources Department, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

“…the listings are formatted in a user friendly way for communication and searching. It is a great tool!” Stan Belone, Environmental Engineer Air Quality Program, Environmental Protection & Natural Resources, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

The Tribal P2 Network was formed in December 2003 from an EPA grant issued as a result of tribal requests for more specific tribal communication about Pollution Prevention (P2) efforts directly relating to tribes. Tribal P2 consists of environmental professionals from tribal entities, local, state and federal agencies, academia, and not-for-profit organizations around the nation. The major objective of Tribal P2 is to share information and identify solutions to address environmental issues affecting the tribal nations using pollution prevention methodologies. Membership in the Network now stands at over 250 individual participants, with over 90 Tribes participating.

Funding opportunities for State, Local, and Tribal Governments

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 by
Nearly $10 million of funding and technical assistance is available for state, local, and tribal governments from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the National Endowment for the Arts, the Forest Service, Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, and Georgetown University that can be used to support climate and energy initiatives, including sustainable communities, community forests, and energy efficiency. For full eligibility and application details, please visit the links provided below.
In addition, please visit the calendar of 2013 EPA grant opportunities that may be of particular interest to communities.
Bureau of Indian Affairs 2013 Tribal Climate Change Adaptation Grant Program – $600,000
Application Due: November 29, 2013
Eligible Entities: Federally Recognized Tribes and inter-tribal organizations
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has made available competitive grants for tribal adaptation, training, and tribal travel support to participate in technical training, workshops, forums, and cooperatives. Grants in the following categories will be considered for funding: Category I) Design a series of tribal workshops to support tribal leaders/climate change coordinators/planners to gain the skills needed to guide a tribal government level climate adaptation plan; Category II) Development of tribal government climate adaptation plans, vulnerability assessments, or data analysis that supports multiple tribes. Category III) Travel support to attend technical workshops or to participate in cooperative climate change adaptation efforts.
For more information, visit the request for proposals.
Corporation for National and Community Service’s AmeriCorps State and National Grants – Total funding available TBD
Notice of Intent Due: December 11, 2013
Application Due: January 8, 2014
Eligible Entities: Government entities within states or territories; Tribes; public or private nonprofit organizations; institutions of higher education; labor organizations; partnerships and consortia
The AmeriCorps State and National Grants provide funding to engage AmeriCorps members in service interventions strengthen communities. Focus areas for the grants include: Disaster Services, Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Stewardship, Healthy Futures, and Veterans and Military Families. Grants may be used to provide support for direct services that contribute to increased energy and water efficiency, renewable energy use, or improving at-risk ecosystems.
For more information, visit the AmeriCorps Grants webpage.
Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Environmental Solutions for Communities
Grants Program – Grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 each
Application Due: December 16, 2013
Eligible Entities: State, tribal, and local governments; educational institutions; and non-profit 501(c) organizations
Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation seek to promote sustainable communities through Environmental Solutions for Communities by supporting highly-visible projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. Funding priorities include ‘greening’ traditional infrastructure and public projects such as storm water management and flood control, urban forestry, and education and training of community leaders on sustainable practices.
For more information, visit the request for proposals.
National Endowment for the Arts FY 2014 Our Town Initiative – Grants ranging from $25,000 to $200,000 each
Application Due: January 13, 2014
Eligible Entities: All applications must involve two primary partners: a local government entity and a nonprofit organization. Local governments include counties, parishes, cities, towns, villages, or federally recognized tribal governments. Local arts agencies or other departments, agencies, or entities within an eligible local government may submit the application on behalf of that local government.
The National Endowment for the Arts will provide a limited number of grants, ranging from $25,000 to $200,000, for creative placemaking projects that contribute toward the livability of communities and help transform them into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at their core. The Our Town initiative will invest in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with their arts and design organizations and artists, seek to improve their quality of life, foster stronger community identity and a sense of place, and revitalize economic development.
For more information, visit the grant opportunity webpage.
The Forest Service’s Community Forest and Open Space Program – $4 million
Application Due: January 15, 2014
Eligible Entities: Local governments, federally recognized tribes and Alaskan Native Corporations, and non-profits who are eligible to hold title to land for conservation purposes.
The Community Forest Program is a grant program that authorizes the Forest Service to provide financial assistance to establish community forests that provide continuing and accessible community benefits. Community forests provide many benefits such as protection of habitat, water quality, and other environmental benefits, and they can provide economic benefits through timber resources. Community Forests have also long been sites for environmental and cultural education.
For more information, visit the opportunity synopsis.
Georgetown University Energy Prize –$5 million
Letters of Intent Due: February 2014
Eligible Entities: For this competition, a “community” is defined geographically by the limits of a municipality – a town, city, or county that has corporate status and local government. All small to medium municipalities in the U.S.A. with populations between 5,000 and 250,000 are eligible to apply.
The Georgetown University Energy Prize is a competition in which communities will be challenged to work together with their local governments and utilities in order to develop and begin implementing plans for innovative, replicable, scalable, and continual reductions in the per capita energy consumed from local natural gas and electric utilities. Participating communities will be asked to develop a long-term energy efficiency plan and to demonstrate initial effectiveness and sustainability over a two-year period. Participating communities will benefit from access to various resources and the winning community will receive $5 million, which will help to support their continuing community-based energy efficiency efforts. Interested communities are encouraged to submit a non-binding letter of intent as soon as possible.
For more information, visit the energy prize website.

Minnesota 2012-2013 Green Chemistry and Design College Curriculum Grant Projects

Monday, October 14th, 2013 by

Two grant projects, funded through MPCA’s Environmental Assistance Grant Program, supported the development of Green Chemistry and Design curricula at Northwestern Health Sciences University and a new laboratory experiment at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities to teach introductory chemistry students about sustainable polymers.

Further information and links to previous case studies are available here.

Seventh National ACEEE Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource: Report to U.S. Department of Energy

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 by

This report summarizes the content and themes of the ACEEE Seventh National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource, held in Nashville, Tennessee from September 22 to 24, 2013, per the agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy.  The successful conference demonstrated the progress of energy efficiency as a resource in the Southeast and leading regions of the country.  Speakers and sessions examined progress and energy savings achievements, and how programs in the field are evolving past previous limits towards greater savings and participation. Challenges and policy issues arising after a decade of growth were addressed in-depth.

See also the presentations available on the conference web site.

State updates from recent GLRPPR meeting available on web site

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 by

State updates from the recent GLRPPR meeting are available on the web site at http://www.glrppr.org/meetings/September2013/index.cfm. I received one-pagers from Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. If other states would like to submit project updates, please send them to l-barnes@illinois.edu. I’ll post them to the blog and make them available on the web site.

Use of Formaldehyde and HBCD in Minnesota

Monday, October 7th, 2013 by

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has completed a project with the Stratford Companies to work with the MPCA to assess the presence and use of formaldehyde and Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in Minnesota’s composite and fabricated wood building and furnishing products by manufacturers, architects, engineers and contractors (the value chain). Links to summaries of the findings from these surveys are below. Copies of the final white papers are available by request to Mark Snyder.

More information on the ongoing project is available here.

Which federal government services are affected by the shutdown?

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 by

This post originally appeared on Environmental News Bits. I am continuously updating there as I get more information. Please check there for the latest news. The post will remain on the front page of the Environmental News Bits site until the shutdown is over.

USA.gov’s Government Shutdown web site provides summaries of what services are affected by the shutdown and a link to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s government operations status page.

Currently, the U.S. EPA and U.S. DOE’s web sites are available, but with a notice that they will not be updated until government operations resume. The ENERGY STAR web site is still up, but online tools and applications and the ENERGY STAR hotline will be unavailable until the government reopens.

USDA’s web site is currently unavailable, as are those for the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. The last three agencies are all part of the U.S. Department of Interior and their web sites are now redirecting to the main DOI web page, which includes a notice similar to DOE’s regarding the shutdown.

The White House has agency contingency plans posted for agencies across the federal government. This is the place to look if you want detailed information for a particular agency.

The Pew Research Center offers a list of government data and statistics sites that have been shuttered.

UPDATE FROM OSTI: In light of the uncertainties regarding government operations, we wanted to let you know that the DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) will continue to make available OSTI databases, search tools and web pages, including SciTech Connect and Science Accelerator.  Should the situation change, OSTI will put out another announcement prior to any of our products being unavailable for any period of time.

UPDATE VIA THE NOAA WEB SITE: Due to the Federal government shutdown, NOAA.gov and most associated web sites are unavailable. Only web sites necessary to protect lives and property will be maintained. See Weather.gov for critical weather information or contact USA.gov for more information about the shutdown. NOAA Federal Employees: For access to the Notice to Federal Employees About Unemployment Insurance (SF-8), please Click Here.

UPDATE VIA THE CENSUS BUREAU WEB SITE: Due to the lapse in government funding, census.gov sites, services, and all online survey collection requests will be unavailable until further notice. Updates regarding government operating status and resumption of normal operations can be found at <usa.gov>.Websites affected by this shutdown are all census.gov hosted websites, including:

October is Children’s Health Month

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 by

EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment requires that they continue to pay special attention to the vulnerabilities of children, and especially to children living in disadvantaged communities. Children are more affected by pollution than adults for many reasons. They are smaller, their organ systems are still developing, and their play and learning behaviors expose them to additional environmental threats.

In October and throughout the year, EPA will work with parents, teachers, and health providers to promote healthy environments where children live, learn and play.

There are events planned throughout children’s health month to promote healthy environments for children. There is also a wealth of information to explain and promote the reduction and elimination of harmful exposures in terms that are easy to understand. To learn more children’s environmental health, visit The Office of Children’s Health Protection website.

More on CH Month can be found at http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/chm-home.htm.