Feb 28, 2010
Another 'EcoHack' ... swapped out his twin-tube florescent aquarium lights for LEDs. By running tank water through the aluminum LED mounts he's transferring excess heat into the water in the tank, in turn saving some of the electricity that would have been used to heat the tank. Couple this with roughly 35 Watts saved by moving away from fluorescent tubes and he's got a great energy-saving hack. The LEDs used in the last aquarium light conversion were cooled by heat sinks and fans.
'We'd love to see this concept incorporated into that design.' - HackAday
With data showing arsenic and other toxic metal levels in contaminated water at some coal-ash disposal sites at up to 1,450 times federally permissible levels, the EIP/Earthjustice report identifies 31 coal-ash waste sites where groundwater, wetlands, creeks, or rivers have been polluted with "wastes (that) contain some of the earth's most deadly pollutants, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, selenium, and other toxic metals that can cause cancer and neurological harm (in humans) or poison fish." The 31 sites are located in the following 14 states: Delaware (1); Florida (3); Illinois (1); Indiana (2); Maryland (1); Michigan (1); Montana (1); Nevada (1); New Mexico (1); North Carolina (6); Pennsylvania (6); South Carolina (3); Tennessee (2); and West Virginia (2).
U.S. coal-fired power plants generate nearly 140 million tons of fly ash, scrubber sludge, and other combustion wastes every year. The EPA has indicated that coal ash dumps significantly increase risks to both people and wildlife. For example, EPA's 2007 risk assessment estimated that up to one in 50 residents living near certain wet ash ponds could get cancer due to arsenic contamination of drinking water. Full ReportSource linked From Shil Kennedy DocuTicker
Feb 26, 2010
Randolph resident Pete DeBoer, for instance, said the utility offered him $2,000 per year and a $5,000 bonus to a sign a contract waiving his right to sue if the sound from two nearby turbines exceeds 45 decibels after they are built. The utility will install equipment on his house to measure decibels.
"As far as I can tell, if you sign anything with them, they can come and go as they please on your property," DeBoer said. "It's about what they want, when they want it and where they want it.
"I told them no, and so far they've left me alone but I've heard they're harassing other people."
We Energies spokesman Barry McNulty said the utility is trying repeatedly to contact property owners, but only because representatives either are calling or arriving at homes to no answer. "It's a process," he said. "Sometimes it can take several months to try to get communication going, but I wouldn't call it harassment."
When the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved the estimated $434 million Glacier Hills project in January, commissioners required the company build turbines 1,250 feet from properties unless the owners signed waivers allowing smaller setbacks. Commissioners also set a 45-decibel night noise limit....If landowners do not sign off on waivers or easements, Manthey said, We Energies still will find a way to finish the project. But, he said, there is no justification to local concerns the utility will use eminent domain to take the land. "We're not anywhere near that," he said. "We feel pretty confident about getting the turbines up and getting the contracts we need." Please read more and follow story at DailyReporter
Much Awesomeness Guys!
Feb 25, 2010
Along with the state-by-state estimates of wind energy potential, NREL and AWS Truewind have developed wind resource maps for the United States and for the contiguous 48 states that show the predicted average wind speeds at an 80-meter height.
- DOE Webinar March 18, 2010: Getting to Net Zero Today Through a Performance-Based Design/Build Process
- Department of Energy Releases Report on Potential Environmental Effects of Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy Technologies
- DOE Guides Data Centers in Standardizing Their Energy Efficiency Metrics
- Geothermal Technologies Program Database Details More Than 170 Projects
Looks a lot like the one I installed in my sons room for lighting (via heating duct ;-)
[Peter Wirasnik] has been casting his own aluminum heat sinks. He's working on capturing the heat from a car's exhaust system and turning it into electricity, kind of like the candle generator. In the photo above a standard heat sink is bolted to one side of a Peltier cooler with [Peter's] own casting on the bottom. That casting will connect to the exhaust pipe and transfer heat to the Peltier while the other heat sink keeps the opposite side relatively cool. What results is a voltage between 600mV and 1V. Please read, credit and spread the love from hackaday
Also see Energy recycling prosthetic foot:
At first, we thought that this energy recycling prosthetic foot was going to be a power generating device to harvest some energy using our weight in the heel compression. Actually, it is showing off a fancy micro controller based system for reproducing our naturally springy step.
Reader [Hjhndr] ran across an interesting set of tests and wanted to know if they're brilliant or just a load of bull. We're not making the call on that, but the tests on a Steorn Orb motor replica are worth looking at.Keep in mind, people used to think the earth was flat and scientists of the time would have sworn up and down that's the way things were.
The Steorn Orbo is a motor that generates more power than is put into it. At least according to Steorn Limited that's what it does. An independent panel of scientists said otherwise a few years back but that didn't stop the company from showing off the concept a few more times, most recently a showing in Dublin ended this month.So anyway, [Jean-Louis Naudin] took what he saw from those demonstrations and built a replica. He's made several papers about the principle as well as his testing available online. There's a lot of math, a little bit of smoke and mirrors, and several videos. Take a look and let us know what you think in the comments
"The federal government's existing water policies and programs simply aren't built for 21st century pressures on water supplies," Salazar said. "Population growth. Climate change. Rising energy demands. Environmental needs. Aging infrastructure. Risks to drinking water supplies. Those are just some of the challenges." ... the 2011 budget proposed by President Obama for the Department of the Interior doubles the current enacted 2010 appropriations for water programs to move the initiative forward. It includes $72.9 million for the WaterSMART program, which is a total increase of $36.4 million over 2010. Read more from U.S. Department of the Interior
Linked from Shirl Kennedy DocUticker
Fed-OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo.(pictured in Middle row)
"There is no excuse for the lack of attention to accumulation of combustible dusts in any mill or grain elevator, especially given our nation's history of such horrific combustible dust explosions resulting in a high number of employee fatalities."
Go to the full story in WDAF via Cal-OSHA
Feb 24, 2010
Understanding the Budding "Green Building" Market Register now.
March 10 2010, 11am EST
Nearly 40% of primary energy and a whopping 75% of all electricity flows to the numerous residential, commercial, and government buildings in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). The growing trend towards "Green Buildings" promises to slash the energy inputs used for temperature control and ventilation, lighting, appliances and electronics. Aside from clear environmental benefits, green buildings represent significant cost savings, however, payback periods are often too long for some segments of the market. Despite some hurdles, the market for green building related technologies and services is already worth tens of billions of dollars and it is growing rapidly on the back of energy cost and regulatory drivers, in addition to growing green sentiment.
Join LuxResearch's first-of-its-kind analysis of the key drivers, technologies and services in the green buildings area, and how they have penetrated and will infiltrate the market. Learn:
• What "green" technology is in the building equipment material and service segment
• What the pertinent technology and service categories are
• Which regions and technologies have the most favorable prospect for adoption
• What the market size and growth forecast is for existing and emerging green technologies
• What the ramifications are of green buildings on adjacent market and technology sectors
"We know that workplace violence is preventable, as has been demonstrated in California, Washington, New York and New Jersey, states that have strong workplace violence regulations."
Go to the full article in Baltimore Sun VIA Cal-Osha
Ranking the state tax on gasoline from the lowest (Alaska $0.08) to the highest (Washington $0.375)
Data From The Department of Energy
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson signed proposed changes to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone on January 6, 2010. The proposal appeared in the Federal Register on January 19. NAAQS are standards for outdoor (ambient) air that are intended to protect public health and welfare from harmful concentrations of pollution. By changing the standard, EPA would be concluding that protecting public health and welfare requires lower concentrations of ozone pollution than it previously judged to be safe. Under the proposed standards, as many as 96% of the counties that currently monitor ozone might need to take action to reduce emissions. The proposal would also, for the first time, set a separate standard for public welfare, the principal effect of which would be to call attention to the negative effects of ozone on forests and agricultural productivity.
The ozone standard affects a large percentage of the population: as of November 2009, 122 million people (about 40% of the U.S. population) lived in areas classified "nonattainment" for the primary ozone NAAQS. As a result of the standard's strengthening, more areas will be affected, and those already considered nonattainment may have to impose more stringent emission controls.
The proposed revision would lower the primary (health-based) standard from 0.075 parts per million—75 parts per billion (ppb)—averaged over 8 hours to somewhere in the range of 70 to 60 ppb averaged over the same time. Using the most recent three years of monitoring data, 515 counties (76% of all counties with ozone monitors) would violate the new standard at 70 ppb; 650 counties (96% of those with monitors) would be in nonattainment if the standard is set at 60 ppb. By comparison, only 85 counties have monitors showing exceedance of the currently implemented 1997 standard. Thus, the change in standards will likely have widespread impacts in areas across the country. (The counties that might exceed the proposed standard are shown in Figure 3 of this report.)
The proposed standards, when finalized in August 2010, will set in motion a long and complicated implementation process that has far-reaching impacts for public health, for sources of pollution in numerous economic sectors, and for state and local governments. The first step, designation of nonattainment areas, is expected to take place in the summer of 2011, with the areas so designated then having 3 to 20 years to reach attainment. The proposed standards raise a number of issues, including whether they should lead to stronger federal controls on the sources that contribute to ozone pollution. Current federal standards for cars, trucks, nonroad vehicles and engines, power plants, and other stationary pollution sources are not strong enough to bring many areas into attainment, thus requiring local pollution control measures in many cases.
EPA, the states, and Congress may also wish to consider whether the current monitoring network is adequate to detect violations of a more stringent standard. Only 675 of the nation's 3,000 counties have ozone monitors in place. This report discusses the standard-setting process, the specifics of the new standard, and issues raised by the Administrator's choice; and it describes the steps that will follow EPA's promulgation.
Dash—who's working with the White House on this and other, similar projects—says that what's posted at OpenGov really is being read, and thought about, by the people in power.
Feb 23, 2010
Public grants can cover about $10,000 of the construction cost, but homeowners are on the hook for the rest because banks don't lend money to build solar panels.... The city of Milwaukee is trying to break the cycle with loans to homeowners for installation of residential solar panels. Borrowers would pay off the debt through an additional fee on their property tax bills.
If approved by the Common Council and mayor, the city loan program would start with $150,000 from a federal grant and give loans of up to $20,000 per project, said Alderman Tony Zielinski, the main sponsor of the plan.
"There's a good chance a bank won't even give them a loan for this,"
Please read full at DailyReporter
AP has an interesting website about wildfires from 2002 to 2006. Each year, most wildfires occurred west of the Continental Divide:
Many of these areas are forested. Others are desert or shortgrass prairie:
Many wildfires affect land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. For most of the 1900s, the BLM had a policy of total fire suppression to protect valuable timber and private property.
Occasional burns were part of forest ecology. Fires came through, burning forest litter relatively quickly, then moving on or dying out. Healthy taller trees were generally unaffected; their branches were often out of the reach of flames and bark provided protection. Usually the fire moved on before trees had ignited. And some types of seeds required exposure to a fire to sprout.
...In the last few decades the BLM has recognized the importance of occasional fires in forest ecology. Fires are no longer seen as inherently bad. In some areas "controlled burns" are set to burn up some of the dry underbrush and mimic the effects of naturally-occurring fires.
But it's not easy to undo decades of fire suppression. A controlled burn sometimes turns out to be hard to control, especially with such a buildup of forest litter. Property owners often oppose controlled burns because they fear the possibility of one getting out of hand. So the policy of fire suppression has in many ways backed forest managers into a corner: it led to changes in forests that make it difficult to change course now, even though doing so might reduce the destructive effects of wildfires when they do occur.
Given this, I'm always interested when wildfires are described as "natural disasters." What makes something a natural disaster? The term implies a destructive situation that is not human-caused but rather emerges from "the environment." As the case of wildfires shows, the situation is often more complex than this, because what appear to be "natural" processes are often affected by humans…and because we are, of course, part of the environment, despite the tendency to think of human societies and "nature" as separate entities.
Each county is ranked within the state on how healthy people are and how long they live. They also are ranked on key factors that affect health such as: smoking, obesity, binge drinking, access to primary care providers, rates of high school graduation, rates of violent crime, air pollution levels, liquor store density, unemployment rates and number of children living in poverty.
Other studies have ranked states on health factors, but this is the first time researchers have examined the multiple factors that affect health in each county in all 50 states.
Poorly ranked counties often had multiple challenges to overcome, including:
Link via Shirl DocUticker
- Two- and three-fold higher rates of premature death, often from preventable conditions.
- High smoking rates that lead to cancer, heart disease, bronchitis and emphysema.
- High rates of obesity which can put people at risk for diabetes, disability and heart disease.
- High unemployment and poverty rates.
- High numbers of liquor stores and fast-food outlets but few places to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
Feb 19, 2010
The new agreement provides guiding principles for data center operators to gauge energy use and create opportunities for improved energy performance. By providing clear direction for data center energy management, the groups participating in the agreement hope to spur data center operators to improve their measurement practices leading to higher efficiency and reduced energy consumption.
More information on the agreement and its guiding principles can be found in ITP's February 1 press release.
Read full from EERE
Feb 18, 2010
Users can interactively search for projects by state, awardee, technology, partner, and more. Summaries provide details such as participants, funding level, background, objectives, and possible impacts on projects dealing with Enhanced Geothermal Systems, geothermal energy production, ground source heat pumps, innovative exploration technologies, and the National Geothermal Data System. Read more DOE geothermal here or visit GTP Projects Database
The community has not heard much about the project since representatives from the state and We Energies visited Rothschild in September to announce plans to build a 50-megawatt biomass plant next to Domtar Corp.'s paper mill, said Village President Neil Torney, who said the plant's burner would be built 1,400 feet from his house.
"There's a few concerned citizens who live near the plant who would, naturally, have a bunch of questions," he said. Torney said his list of questions is seven pages.
We Energies is sending people to knock on doors within a mile of the project to share information and gather comments, said spokesman Brian Manthey. On Saturday, the utility will hold its first project open house in Rothschild, he said.
We Energies planners, Manthey said, want to hear concerns before applying for Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approval in March or April so the designs can be changed to alleviate problems.
The project will supply jobs to the community and other economic benefits, Manthey said.
"Those are all good things, and those are real good community benefits," he said. "And we want to make sure that we are out there as well to address any issues."He said the project will cut emissions from the site by 30 percent. After the biomass plant is complete, Domtar will shut its four gas and wood boilers because the mill will use steam from the We Energies plant, he said.
We Energies has opened discussions with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources over the state air and water permits needed for the project, Manthey said.
"I have confidence in the DNR as far as issuing air-quality permits," said Torney, "and also, our village will be very cognizant."Read more VIA DailyReporter
"Global Energy Perspective: Where in the World Will Our Energy Come From?"
Nathan S. Lewis, PhD. of California Institute of Technology
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 1:30 pm PST
Sierra Hearing Room, 2nd Floor, Cal/EPA Building
1001 I Street, Sacramento, California
Announcement and Presentation can be viewed at cARB Website
Feb 17, 2010
Haase - Hey that's funny isn't that the program I proposed for googles 10^ 100^ project 'ideas to save the world'?
"industry experts to reduce energy use." - Always happy to help ;-)
Ocean Power Technologies has deployed a wave energy device offshore from a Marine Corps base in Hawaii. If this and other ocean energy trials now underway globally succeed, the ocean could yield as much as 200 gigawatts of power by 2025, according to a new report. Read more at DOE
Commercial cellulosic ethanol plants are moving ahead in Iowa and Kansas, while demonstration-scale plants are now operating in Pennsylvania and Tennessee. The new facilities will help meet the new federal Renewable Fuel Standard for cellulosic ethanol.
ACA Efforts to Address Pending Changes in U.S. Chemicals Management Policy:
New and aggressive legislative efforts at the federal and state level are anticipated seeking to amend longstanding policies with respect to management of new and existing chemicals, including critical coatings industry raw materials. To a large extent, the focus is expected to be on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a 30-year-old statute that has served to regulate the chemical industry into the modern era. Read on here
EPA Publishes SNURs for 15 Chemical Substances under TSCA:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Feb. 1 published in the Federal Register a notice of promulgation of Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) under Section 5(a)(2) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 15 chemical substances.
Full article here
The U.S. Department of Transportation has published a hazmat transport rule to revise packing-related definitions, allow more flexibility when preparing and transmitting closure instructions, and clarify documentation requirements.
Please read full at paint.org
...find out how you can lower your energy bills with this beta.
In the last several months the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized three area source rules that may impact coatings, ink, adhesive, resin, and chemical preparation manufacturing operations by requiring add-on pollution controls and work-practice standards to reduce hazardous air pollutants (HAP).
Feb 16, 2010
DOE and its interagency partners will host an information session on the E-RIC on February 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. For those who cannot attend in person, there will also be a Webcast.
The Energy Efficient Building Systems Hub will be based at a university, DOE national laboratory, nonprofit organization, or private firm, partnering closely with local or state government officials, and leveraging existing expertise of local architects, builders, and manufacturers. With this specialization, the regional economy could support other businesses that address the full production lifecycle for building technologies and thus create more jobs. Training and education activities would help narrow the gap between the supply and demand for workers in these specialized fields.
For more information about this project, including details on the information session, please visit EERE
Quote from kids game developer: "'The contraceptives and morning-after pills are only one part of the game"...The more often avatars buy and use condoms and morning-after pills, the higher their IQ is rated.
Far from the innocent online dress-up games on other websites, parent groups and child psychologists fear My Minx is pressuring children to grow up too quickly.
The website does not have any age restrictions, and even this technologically challenged journalist was able to figure out the pay-by-text system.
''This sort of site sexualises women, which can create negative body images, low self-esteem and unhealthy ideas about women's roles in society in terms of sexual behaviour,'' said Dr Dooley, the scientific director of ECU's Cyber-bullying and Child Health Promotion Research Centre.
''Some older children can assess such sites critically, while younger ones can just take it on board and normalise these ideals as their own. Please read full at herald
Feb 15, 2010
The new bacteria-based water treatment unit, developed by researchers at Sam Houston State University and sponsored by Department of Defense cash. The filtration system is portable (it can be transported via truck) and purifies water in less than 24 hours — a marked improvement over standard waste-water treatment processes that can take nearly a month.
You may be familiar with the dreaded Great Pacific Garbage Patch — a massive soup of plastic debris, flotsam and junk floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Scientists say that ocean currents determine the precise gathering of the junk: the patch lies in the middle of a giant ocean gyre, or vortex in the sea. There are five major gyres in the world's oceans, and one group, 5 Gyres, is determined to search the remaining 4 for evidence of similar plastic island gatherings.
Read the rest of The 5 Gyres Project Searches the Oceans for New Garbage Patches
Feb 14, 2010
By increasing cigarette taxes by $1 per pack, the states could raise more than $9 billion in new annual revenue to help close severe budget shortfalls, while also reducing smoking and saving lives, according to a new report released today by a coalition of public health organizations.
A national poll released along with the report finds that 67 percent of voters support a $1 tobacco tax increase. The poll also found that voters far prefer higher tobacco taxes to other options, such as other tax increases or budget cuts, for addressing state budget deficits.
- Raise $9.1 billion in new annual revenue;
- Prevent more than 2.3 million kids from becoming smokers;
- Prompt more than 1.2 million adult smokers to quit;
- Prevent more than 1 million premature, smoking-caused deaths; and
- Save $52.8 billion in health care costs.
Feb 13, 2010
NATURE ITSELF IS THE
MOST SUCCESSFULLY MARKETED
PRODUCT OF OUR TIME
Nature as ideology
But in the end there is another hidden, largely unconscious, yet even bigger propaganda mechanism going on. Perhaps even the shrewdest political campaign managers are not really aware that political ideas sold using this kind of Biomimic Propaganda, simultaneously promote a very one-dimensional and romanticized notion of nature. Along with the promotion of ideologies, nature is being promoted as the sensible, harmonic, soothing, authentic, healthy, honest and beautiful force in life. The darker, more negative, side of nature is consistently omitted by the biomimic propagandists, as you can't sell your political party with diseases, death, hurricanes, floods, or other extremely crude, unpredictable and amoral qualities nature has to offer.
Nature itself is the most successfully marketed product of our time.
Fire in the Ice Newsletter
Inhaling the chemical's fumes can cause allergic reactions or asthmatic symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath. Hexavalent chromium is used in pigments, metal finishing, wood preservatives and fungicides. Workers may also be exposed to hexavalent chromium fumes generated during welding of chromium metal alloys. Full DocumentLink via Shirl Kennedy DocUticker
Happy Valentines Day
Feb 12, 2010
"The cost is something we need to know and taxpayers need to know," said state Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon. "I don't think anybody's against green jobs, but I'm not quite sure how many there are going to be."
Fitzgerald joined state Reps. Michael Huebsch, R-West Salem; Phil Montgomery, R-Green Bay; and Scott Gunderson, R-Waterford, in sending letters this week to the secretaries of the state departments of Commerce and Natural Resources and to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin requesting cost and job tallies associated with the bill.
The bill, based on recommendations made in 2008 by the Governor's Task Force on Global Warming, is in committee in the state Senate and Assembly. The omnibus bill sets a course for Wisconsin's future energy consumption, establishing renewable energy goals through 2025 and requesting changes to state building codes and vehicle emission standards.
Feb 11, 2010
Highspeed rail will not... "long-term drain on state transportation money," in a state currently crippled by transportation overspending.
That is unlikely to happen.
People around the country are asking the same question about operating costs for rail lines, said Laura Kliewer, director of the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission. There really isn't an answer, she said, because the federal government did not start investing large amounts of money into high-speed rail until 2009.
...Gov. Jim Doyle this week asked the Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance to approve the state's acceptance of $810 million to build a Madison-to-Milwaukee high-speed rail line. The cost of operating the trains would come from the state transportation budget, said Chris Klein, executive assistant to Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi.
VIEW THE COMPLETE 33-PAGE WISDOT RAIL FINANCIAL PLAN (pdf)
The state came up with a rough estimate of operating costs when it applied for the money, but the actual cost is unknown, Klein said. The estimate — $8.2 million annually in 2013 dollars — is preliminary and based on the cost of running Amtrak trains from Milwaukee to Chicago.
But finance committee member Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, said she will not support accepting the money until she gets firm numbers.
"I want a definite, credible evaluation of our obligation — the pluses and the minuses, the ridership, and the costs and how all of this works — on a spreadsheet," she said.
"I can't believe we are even having this discussion," she said, "without even knowing what we are talking about."
Please read full at DailyReporter