May 30, 2019

DOE Releases New Study Highlighting the Untapped Potential of Geothermal Energy in the United States

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy released a
groundbreaking analysis detailing how the United States can benefit
from the vast potential of geothermal energy.

The analysis culminated in a report, GeoVision: Harnessing the Heat
Beneath Our Feet, which summarizes findings showing that geothermal
electricity generation could increase more than 26-fold from
today—reaching 60 gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity by 2050. In
addition to describing electricity-generation opportunities, the
GeoVision analysis also shows how geothermal can enhance heating and
cooling solutions for American residential and commercial consumers
through direct-use and heat-pump technologies.

"There is enormous untapped potential for geothermal energy in the
United States," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. "Making
geothermal more affordable can increase our energy options for a more
diverse electricity generation mix and for innovative heating and
cooling solutions for all Americans."

The GeoVision analysis represents a multiyear collaboration among
industry, academia, the National Laboratories, and federal agencies to
evaluate the potential for different geothermal resources. The effort
assessed opportunities to expand nationwide geothermal energy
deployment through 2050 by improving technologies, reducing costs, and
addressing project development barriers such as long permitting

In the electric sector, under business as usual, geothermal generation
capacity will grow to 6 GW by 2050. By accelerating geothermal
development timelines, geothermal capacity could more than double from
business as usual, to 13 GW. Geothermal capacity could increase even
further—to 60 GW—by combining faster development timelines with
technology improvements.

In the non-electric sector, technology improvements could enable more
than 17,500 geothermal district-heating installations nationwide, and
28 million U.S. households could realize cost-effective heating and
cooling solutions through the use of geothermal heat pumps.

The analysis also examined economic benefits to the U.S. geothermal
industry; investigated opportunities for desalination, mineral
recovery, and hybridization with other energy technologies for greater
efficiencies and lower costs; and quantified potential environmental
impacts of increased geothermal deployment.

In addition to summarizing opportunities for geothermal energy in the
United States, the GeoVision analysis includes a roadmap of actionable
items for stakeholders to reduce technology costs and speed up
project-development timelines.

For more information on the Energy Department's Office of Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or the Geothermal Technologies
Office, visit the EERE website. To learn more about the GeoVision
report, visit the Energy Department's GeoVisionanalysis webpage.


May 24, 2019

In case you forgot...60,000 tons of dangerous radioactive waste still sits on Great Lakes shores

More than 60,000 tons of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel is
stored on the shores of four of the five Great Lakes — in some cases,
mere yards from the waterline — in still-growing stockpiles.

"It's actually the most dangerous waste produced by any industry in
the history of the Earth," said Gordon Edwards, president of the
nonprofit Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

The spent nuclear fuel is partly from 15 current or former U.S.
nuclear power plants, including four in Michigan, that have generated
it over the past 50 years or more. But most of the volume stored along
the Great Lakes, more than 50,000 tons, comes from Canadian nuclear
facilities, where nuclear power is far more prevalent.

It remains on the shorelines because there's still nowhere else to put
it. The U.S. government broke a promise to provide the nuclear power
industry with a central, underground repository for the material by
1998. Canada, while farther along than the U.S. in the process of
trying to find a place for the waste, also doesn't have one yet.

Read more from source:

May 23, 2019

Work-Related Asthma in the ER

Most people who go to work don't expect to end up at the emergency
room for asthma. According to a Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program
(WRAPP) pilot study, an estimated 1 in 4 adults who wound up in the ER
for asthma in 2016 were there because of their exposures from work.

The study also found that 60% of people surveyed by phone after ER
visits experienced asthma symptoms due to work at some point in their

During Asthma Awareness Month in May, workplaces can share information
in multiple languages about preventing work-related asthma by
decreasing or eliminating exposures. Examples include having a
fragrance-free policy, using asthma-safer cleaning products, cleaning
with microfiber, and minimizing wood dust in the air.

Photo: Hospital workers can be exposed to disinfectants that can
trigger or cause asthma.


Work-Related Asthma Prevention Program (WRAPP) - OHB website

Cleaning Products, Disinfectants, and Work-Related Asthma - OHB topic page

Fragrances and Work-Related Asthma - OHB topic page

Pool Chemicals and Work-Related Asthma - OHB topic page

Wood Dust and Work-Related Asthma - OHB topic page


May 21, 2019

Improvements to New Chemicals Website Increase Transparency

EPA has updated its new chemicals statistics webpage to make it easier
to find and understand how many chemicals are in each stage of the new
chemical review process. The page now includes a flow chart showing
the number of new chemicals cases (PMNs, SNUNs and MCANs) at each
stage of review and detailed descriptions of each step in the process.

These changes are the first step in a larger effort to increase the
transparency of the new chemicals program and ensure stakeholders and
the public can quickly and easily view EPA's progress in reviewing new
chemicals submissions as the Agency receives them.

For more information visit:

May 14, 2019

​EPA to Hold First Meeting of the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will hold the first meeting of the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act), for Pigment Violet 29 (PV29), the first chemical of the initial 10 chemicals undergoing review.

"This will be an important opportunity for the science experts on this new committee to provide their scientific and technical advice to EPA," said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn. "This peer review ensures scientific rigor and enhances transparency of the risk evaluation process."

The purpose of the June 18-21, 2019, SACC meeting is for EPA to get the independent review of the science underlying the PV29 risk assessment, including the hazard assessment, assessment of dose-response, exposure assessment, and risk characterization. Additionally, this meeting will include an orientation on TSCA and how EPA is evaluating chemicals in commerce as prescribed in the Lautenberg Act. EPA will use the scientific advice, information and recommendations from the SACC, as well as public comments, to inform the final risk evaluation.

The public has an opportunity to provide comments before and during the meeting. In March 2019, EPA re-opened the public comment period on the draft risk evaluation. The public has from April 17, 2019 until May 17, 2019 to provide comments in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0604 on

This peer review meeting was rescheduled from an earlier meeting that was previously canceled due to the lapse in appropriations.

May 2, 2019

EPA to Propose Revisions to Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) Rule

(PAINT.ORG), EPA provided notice in the Federal Register that it will be releasing a proposed rule to revise its Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule. The agency said the proposed amendments would support Agency data collection efforts, align reporting with amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by requiring that confidentially claims be substantiated, and make chemical reporting easier by streamlining complex submissions.

EPA aims to amend the CDR rule to update the definition of small entities (small manufacturers), who are exempt from reporting; add exemptions for specific types of byproducts; simplify reporting, including allowing manufacturers to use certain processing and use data codes already in use as part of international codes developed through the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development; and remove outdated rule text and consolidate exemptions.

EPA noted that the proposed revised definition for small entities may reduce the burden on chemical manufacturers by increasing the number of manufacturers considered small.

TSCA Section 8(a) authorizes EPA to require, by rulemaking, manufacturers (including importers) and processors of chemical substances to maintain records and/or report such data as EPA may reasonably require to carry out the TSCA mandates. Information that can be required to be reported may include the following:

  • Chemical or mixture identity
  • Categories of use
  • Quantity manufactured or processed
  • By-product description
  • Health and environmental effects information
  • Number of individuals exposed
  • Method(s) of disposal

The current CDR rule requires manufacturers (including importers) of certain chemical substances listed on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory (TSCA Inventory) to report data on chemical manufacturing, processing, and use every four (4) years.

Once the official rule EPA proposal is published in the Federal Register, the agency will accept comments on the proposal for 60 days.

​EPA and federal partners seek public input on draft GLRI Action Plan III

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its federal partners are seeking additional input from the public on developing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Action Plan III. The plan will outline priorities and goals for the GLRI for the years 2020-2024. Input will be received until May 24, 2019.

Last summer, EPA received input on priorities for Action Plan III through six public engagement sessions convened across the Great Lakes basin. Feedback was received from the general public and representatives of agriculture, industry, academia, local government, non-profits, and metropolitan planning organizations. EPA also consulted with the Great Lakes states and tribes throughout the draft plan's development.

The draft plan and a link to provide input are available at:

CSB Calls on EPA to Update HF Study in Wake of the 2017 Husky Refinery Fire

Washington, D.C. April 24, 2019 - Today, the US Chemical Safety Board released a letter calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to review its existing Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) study to determine the effectiveness of existing regulations as well as the viability of utilizing inherently safer alkylation technologies in petroleum refineries.

CSB Interim Executive Kristen Kulinowski said, "In the last 4 years, the CSB has investigated two refinery incidents where an explosion elevated the threat of a release of HF. Refinery workers and surrounding community residents are rightly concerned about the adequacy of the risk management for the use of hazardous chemicals like HF. The EPA should review its 1993 HF study to ensure the health and safety of communities near petroleum refineries utilizing HF."

HF is a highly toxic chemical that can seriously injure or cause death at a concentration of 30 parts per million (PPM), which is used in about fifty of the U.S.'s approximately 150 refineries, as well as many other industries. In a refinery, the chemical is used as a catalyst in the creation of a blending agent for high octane gasoline. In both of its investigations, the CSB conducted a public hearing in which members of the surrounding communities expressed their concerns about the adequacy of the risk management strategies for the use of HF and the effectiveness of community notification procedures in the event of a catastrophic release.

Kulinowski said, "The EPA is the appropriate agency to assess the adequacy of risk management for the use of chemicals like HF. Refiners, their workforce and communities that surround the refineries need assurances that the risk plans are adequate to prevent a catastrophic release."