Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
Promoting Pollution Prevention Through Information Exchange

Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Environmental engineer Kartik Chandran awarded MacArthur Genius Grant
Kartik Chandran is an environmental engineer integrating microbial ecology, molecular biology, and engineering to transform wastewater from a troublesome pollutant to a valuable resource. Traditional facilities for biologically treating wastewater remove pathogens, organic carbon, and nutrients (where necessary) through decades-old technology that requires vast amounts of energy and resources, releases harmful gases into the atmosphere, and leaves behind material that must be discarded. Chandran approaches wastewater treatment with the goal of producing useful resources such as fertilizers, chemicals, and energy sources, in addition to clean water, in a way that takes into account the climate, energy, and nutrient challenges we face today. Source: MacArthur Foundation, 9/28/15

Gary Cohen, Founder and President of Health Care Without Harm, awarded MacArthur Genius Grant
Gary Cohen is a social entrepreneur and activist spurring environmental responsibility in health care both in the United States and abroad. American hospitals have historically been major contributors to environmental pollution, largely ignoring the damage to local communities and environments caused by extensive use of harmful chemicals in medical devices, toxic cleaning agents, reliance on fossil fuels, and disposal of waste via incineration. Cohen has led a paradigm shift in the perceived responsibility of health care providers, from a narrow, patient-centered duty of service regarding individual health to a broader obligation to also "do no harm" to surrounding communities, their residents, and the global environment. Source: MacArthur Foundation, 9/28/15

Thursday, September 24, 2015
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Managing Industrial Water Resources
Water is critical to manufacturing processes and companies are finding it more important than ever to analyze and automate to improve use of natural resources. Source: Automation World, 9/22/15

One Scientist's Hopeful View On How to Repair the Planet
Ecological crises may be piling up in a seemingly hopeless cascade, but Swedish scientist Johan Rockstrom says the next few decades offer an unparalleled opportunity to undo the damage. Source: Yale Environment360, 9/23/15

Imagine a world without waste: it's possible with a circular economy
We can remedy our planet's problems, but only if we are willing to redesign wasteful manufacturing processes and give up our throwaway habits. Source: The Guardian, 9/24/15

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Green roofs are no easy feat, but the list of viable plants is growing
The typical black-membrane urban roof cooks in the sun, reaching 120 degrees or more. Rain, when it comes, flows directly off the roof and contributes to the considerable environmental harm of storm water runoff. The green roof, by contrast, cools the roof and the building beneath it (reducing energy costs) and traps and filters rainwater. It costs more to build than a conventional roof but lasts much longer, because it isn't corroded so much by the elements. Given the extremes of a roof environment -- thin soil, wind, drought, high heat in summer and frigid conditions in winter -- the number of suitable plants is a fraction of what you might grow on the ground. Source: Washington Post, 9/1/15

Monday, September 21, 2015
Beyond Sprawl: A New Vision of The Solar Suburbs of the Future
The concept of the "solar suburb" includes a solar panel on every roof, an electric vehicle in every garage, ultra-efficient home batteries to store excess energy, and the easy transfer of electricity among house, car, and grid. But will the technological pieces fall in place to make this dream a reality? Source: Yale Environment360, 9/21/15

More in C-U answering call of 'duty'
Local cities make sure residents have opportunities to recycle. Urbana provides recycling for all of its residents through a municipal program. Champaign requires all waste haulers to provide recycling for all residents. Bart Bartels, a technical assistance engineer at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, discusses some of the efforts made by the University of Illinois to increase awareness of recycling efforts on campus. Source: Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette, 9/20/15

Saturday, September 19, 2015
Administration Announces New "Smart Cities" Initiative to Help Communities Tackle Local Challenges and Improve City Services
The Obama Administration has announced a new "Smart Cities" Initiative that will invest over $160 million in federal research and leverage more than 25 new technology collaborations to help local communities tackle key challenges such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services. The new initiative is part of this Administration's overall commitment to target federal resources to meet local needs and support community-led solutions. Over the past six years, the Administration has pursued a place-based approach to working with communities as they tackle a wide range of challenges, from investing in infrastructure and filling open technology jobs to bolstering community policing. Advances in science and technology have the potential to accelerate these efforts. An emerging community of civic leaders, data scientists, technologists, and companies are joining forces to build "Smart Cities" -- communities that are building an infrastructure to continuously improve the collection, aggregation, and use of data to improve the life of their residents -- by harnessing the growing data revolution, low-cost sensors, and research collaborations, and doing so securely to protect safety and privacy. Source: The White House Office of the Press Secretary, 9/14/15

Next Page of News

Other Environmental News

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


One East Hazelwood Drive; Champaign, IL; 61820; (800) 407-0261;