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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Michigan Capitol going green with geothermal
The Michigan Capitol is going "green and clean" with a new geothermal heating and cooling system that officials say will be the largest of its kind at a state government building in the country. Source: Detroit News, 8/14/16

Society of Environmental Journalists announces winners of 16th Annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment
The Society of Environmental Journalists is proud to present the winners of the 2016-2017 Awards for Reporting on the Environment. SEJ's journalism contest is the world's largest and most comprehensive awards for journalism on environmental topics. Source: Society of Environmental Journalists, 8/16/17

EPA Issues Guidance for New Nanotechnology Reporting and Recordkeeping Rule
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued guidance materials for the recently-issued TSCA section 8(a) Nanotechnology Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Rule which becomes effective on August 14, 2017. This rule establishes one-time reporting and recordkeeping requirements for certain chemical substances when they are manufactured or processed at the nanoscale as described in the rule issued January 12, 2017.

The guidance reflects input received on draft guidance EPA issued in May 2017 and provides answers to questions the Agency has received from manufacturers (including importers) and processors of certain chemical substances when they are manufactured or processed at the nanoscale, as described in the final rule. EPA has incorporated public comments and included additional questions in the guidance.  EPA intends to update the guidance based on questions and input they receive.

If this general guidance does not answer those questions or other questions you have about the rule, please contact EPA and the Agency will answer these questions on a case-by-case basis.  EPA intends to add further questions/answers and update the guidance as warranted based on further questions we may receive. EPA's technical contact for this rule, Jim Alwood, can be reached at

Source: U.S. EPA, 8/16/17

Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Researchers creating warning system for toxic algae in lakes
Satellites in space and a robot under Lake Erie's surface are part of a network of scientific tools trying to keep algae toxins out of drinking water supplies in the shallowest of the Great Lakes. Source: Associated Press, 7/30/17

2017 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Awards Open for Nominations
The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable is accepting nominees for the 2017 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) Awards. The MVP2 awards are presented annually during National Pollution Prevention Week. National Pollution Prevention Week is the third week of September, September 18th -- 25th, 2017.

Applications are due September 8. 2017. Source: National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, 6/15/17

Thursday, August 10, 2017
New California law gives air quality officials the power to quickly shut down polluters
Local air quality officials are gaining new powers to quickly stop polluters when they endanger people's health under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday. Source: Los Angeles Times, 8/7/17

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
How connected are humans to their environment?
Today many of us rely heavily on imports of goods, food and power and have lost much of our connection with our local environment. As a result we tend to consume more than our fair share of resources and generate more than our fair share of waste. But unless we suffer the direct consequences, often we are not aware of how disconnected we are from our own environment. Now a study has assessed the mechanisms that enable people to disconnect from their environment, and proposed a framework to measure connectedness in any part of the world. Source: EnvironmentalResearchWeb, 8/7/17

The farmer's new friend could be good for everyone: super-precise drones
When most urban people think of farming, it's some amalgam of American Gothic, John Deere tractors, Walker Evans's Dust Bowl photography, a ad, and a Levi's commercial. That image is steadily being updated to include the operation of drones. As Modern Farmer notes, the future of farming may include "insanely precise drones" delivering the specific amount of fertilizer that a plant needs to thrive. Source: Fast Company, 8/7/17

Thursday, August 3, 2017
Many states have adopted policies to encourage energy efficiency
As of July 2017, thirty states and the District of Columbia have adopted energy efficiency policies--either mandated requirements, voluntary goals, or pilot programs--designed to lower the growth of electricity consumption by using electricity more efficiently. Seven of these states have either created new or updated existing energy efficiency standards within the past year. Source: Energy Information Administration, 8/3/17

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