Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region
|Thursday, July 13, 2017|
Recycling your home: Can structural wood be reused for the same purpose?
A group of researchers at Michigan State University studying the science of domicology -- the term they use to describe the policies, practices and consequences of abandoned structures -- are examining how wood from abandoned buildings can be reused. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 7/12/17
|Monday, July 10, 2017|
Researchers working with sports venues to make them 'greener,' sustainable
Ecosystem and bioproduct researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are working with professional sports franchises to make their venues "greener" and reduce the environmental impact of their events. Source: Penn State University, 7/6/17
Two Environmental Buzzwords, Same Meaning?
"Zero waste" and "circular economy" are often used interchangeably. Source: Governing, July 2017
Greener City Streets Aren't Just About Traffic. They're About Rainwater, Too.
As cities push to become more environmentally friendly, transportation planners are being asked to consider how both traffic and water flows through their streets. Source: Governing, July 10, 2017
Can sustainable stadiums be a better deal for cities and environment?
D.C. United's forthcoming soccer field, funded in part with a green loan, offers more than a place to play. Source: Curbed, 7/6/17
Just 100 companies responsible for 71% of global emissions, study says
Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, according to a new report
: The Guardian, 7/10/17
|Friday, July 7, 2017|
Attempts to limit the use of hazardous substances in Europe are being hindered by poor implementation of Europe's chemical laws
Governments who want to limit the use of toxic chemicals are being set a high burden of proof while industry concerns are being accepted with little evidence by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), analysis
by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has found. Source
: European Environmental Bureau, 6/22/17
|Thursday, July 6, 2017|
Study finds climate change damages U.S. economy, increases inequality
Unmitigated climate change will make the United States poorer and more unequal, with the poorest third of U.S. counties projected to sustain economic damages costing as much as 20 percent of their income if warming proceeds unabated, according to a new study
published in the journal Science Source
: University of Chicago, 6/29/17
Restaurants Are Returning Their Empty Oyster Shells To The Ocean To Rebuild Decimated Reefs
A partnership between a nonprofit and a waste-management company in Mobile, Alabama has already diverted 2.8 million oyster shells from landfill. Source: Fast Company, 7/5/17
Paint Stripper Poses An Increasing Threat to Ozone Layer, Study Finds
Concentrations of a paint-stripping chemical are building in the atmosphere and scientists believe it threatens to significantly delay repair of the damaged ozone layer, which shields the earth from high levels of harmful ultraviolet radiation.
The chemical dichloromethane had been left out of the 1987 Montreal protocol, which banned the worst of the ozone-depleting chemicals, in part because it breaks down so quickly. But recent observations published in Nature Communications show its atmospheric concentration is now increasing at a rapid clip. Source: e360 Digest, 6/28/17
Are Fish Consumption Advisories for the Great Lakes Adequately Protective against Chemical Mixtures?
The North American Great Lakes are home to > 140 types of fish and are famous for recreational and commercial fishing. However, the presence of toxic substances has resulted in the issuance of fish consumption advisories that are typically based on the most restrictive contaminant.
Objectives: We investigated whether these advisories, which typically neglect the existence of a mixture of chemicals and their possible additive adverse effects, are adequately protective of the health of humans consuming fish from the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.
Methods: Using recent fish contaminant monitoring data collected by the government of Ontario, Canada, we simulated advisories using most-restrictive-contaminant (one-chem) and multi-contaminant additive effect (multi-chem) approaches. The advisories from the two simulations were compared to determine if there is any deficiency in the currently issued advisories.
Results: Approximately half of the advisories currently issued are potentially not adequately protective. Of the four Great Lakes studied, the highest percentage of advisories affected are in Lake Ontario if an additive effect is considered. Many fish that are popular for consumption, such as walleye, salmon, bass and trout, would have noticeably more stringent advisories.
Conclusions: Improvements in the advisories may be needed to ensure that the health of humans consuming fish from the Great Lakes is protected. In this region, total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury are the major contaminants causing restrictions on consuming fish, whereas dioxins/furans, toxaphene, and mirex/photomirex are of minor concern. Regular monitoring of most organochlorine pesticides and metals in fish can be discontinued. Source: Environmental Health Perspectives, April 2017
|Thursday, June 29, 2017|
Lawmakers scramble to reform e-scrap program in Illinois
Fearing a veto from the governor, Illinois stakeholders are attempting to iron out last-minute changes to legislation that would reshape the state's e-scrap law by requiring manufacturers to fund recycling of all covered material collected through the program. Following the successful passage of Senate Bill 1417 by both the state House and Senate late last month, lawmakers in Illinois have held back on sending the legislation to Gov. Bruce Rauner and have instead worked on a separate bill, HB 1955, to add several tweaks to the legislative overhaul. The changes, according to the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA), are aimed at appeasing concerns from the Illinois EPA that likely would have caused Gov. Rauner, a Republican, to veto the original legislation. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has also raised concerns about the bill. Source: E-scrap news, 6/29/17
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