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DEP’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation to Receive National Award for Lackawanna County Coal Refuse Fire Project

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (DEP-BAMR) will receive the 2015 Excellence in Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Appalachian Regional Award from the United States Department of Interior Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) for its work on the Simpson Northeast Coal Refuse Fire in Fell Township, Lackawanna County in 2014. The award will be presented at the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs Annual Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 28.

This is the ninth year of the last ten that a Pennsylvania project has won the Appalachian Regional or National AML Reclamation Award....

09/01/2015 10:01:41am
Drink Coffee Out of a 3D-Printed Coffee Cup Made of Coffee

Take your coffee game to the next level. Or, at least, to another level: A company called Wound-Up has created a bio-based 3D printing material made from "waste byproducts" from coffee. The brown-colored filament can be used in many different types of 3D printers, and can print anything, but we're thinking coffee cups are the most obvious choice here. Once printed, the plastic-looking cups can hold the product they're made from: Coffee. Coupled with The Ripple Maker — which prints photographic-like portraits onto milk foam — you could make the most high tech latte currently known to man....

09/01/2015 09:40:13am
DEP TO HOST PUBLIC HEARING ON AIR QUALITY PLAN FOR PROPOSED POWER PLANT IN LACKAWANNA COUNTY

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host a public hearing about a proposed natural gas power plant in the Borough of Jessup, Lackawanna County. The meeting will take place from 6-9 P.M. on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at Valley View High School, 1 Columbus Drive, Archbald, PA 18403 (map). The purpose of the hearing will be to take testimony regarding an application by Lackawanna Energy Center, LLC of Chicago, for an air quality plan approval to construct and operate a 1500-megawatt natural gas fired power plant....

08/27/2015 09:52:11am
World Water Week: Accessible, Clean Water for all – Is it Possible?

World Water Week, August 23rd-28th, brings much-needed attention to humanity’s growing water crisis. Despite advancements in technology and industrialization, a staggering amount of people remains without access to clean water. Further, threats such as pollution, overpopulation, and climate change pose serious problems for the future. Here are a few distressing facts via the United Nations:

  • “Water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population and is projected to rise”
  • “2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines”
  • “Each day, an average of 5,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diseases”
  • “Approximately 70 per cent of all available water is used for irrigation”

Here in America, it’s easy to take for granted what having clean, accessible water means....

08/27/2015 09:27:32am
Foods Made From Trash

At least 30 percent of food ends up in landfills each year in the United States. Thanks to these noshes—all made from castoffs—the trash piles are a little smaller:

  • The REPUBLIC OF TEA‘s new line of Sonoma Teas is made from grape skins discarded by Northern California wineries. These refreshing drinks incorporate wine's nuanced flavors but not its intoxicating effect. The summery Sonoma Chardonnay Iced Tea has notes of peach and pineapple. Steep one pouch to make a quart of the family-friendly beverage, ideal for picnics or pairing with light salads.
...
08/26/2015 09:08:07am
Poll Finds Environment as Important as Immigration to Latino Voters

Latino voters are as focused on protecting the environment as they are on immigration reform, according to a new poll.

The national survey done for Earthjustice and the advocacy group GreenLatinos found 4 out of 5 very concerned about clean air, clean water and climate change.

Adrian Pantoja, a senior analyst at the polling firm Latino Decisions, says nearly 8 out of 10 of those surveyed said they have personally seen the impacts of climate change.

And he says these attitudes are likely to show up on Election Day....

08/21/2015 10:17:22am
Pennsylvania Schools: Leading the Way to a Sustainable Future
Pennsylvania schools are becoming leaders in sustainability by reducing their environmental impact, improving health and wellness, and educating on sustainability.
Learn more about what PA schools are doing to go green.
...
08/21/2015 09:09:45am
Marine Biologists Remove Straw From Sea Turtle's Nostril

The video of a sea turtle that had a plastic straw stuck up in its nose, with the turtle bleeding while marine researchers took out the straw, gained much worldwide attention, so much so that the YouTube video has now been viewed more than two and a half million times.

The video eventually led to a fundraising campaign to help the researchers continue their work on marine life.

The team of researchers from Texas A&M University and Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne had gone to Costa Rica for an in-water research trip and found a male Olive Ridley sea turtle with the plastic straw lodged in its nostril....

08/20/2015 09:48:41am
New Process Uses No Water to Frack Gas Wells

A new process that could be suitable for some Pennsylvania gas wells uses no water for hydraulic fracturing.

One big criticism of fracking is that drillers typically inject millions of gallons of surface water into each well.

Doug McMillan, senior vice president of operations for GASFRAC, Inc. based in Calgary, says the new process uses liquid butane or propane instead.

He points out those are hydrocarbons that occur naturally with the gas anyway - and his company uses a closed system designed not to let those products leak....

08/18/2015 10:23:12am
FERC May Thin Out Duplicate Gas Pipeline Proposals

Opponents of pipeline construction want federal regulators to say which of several near-identical natural gas pipelines don't have to be built.

Energy companies are asking to build three 42-inch gas pipelines to carry Utica and Marcellus shale natural gas to eastern markets.

Attorney Joe Lovett, executive director of Appalachian Mountain Advocates, says all the pipelines go from the same sources to the same markets, or connected markets.

Lovett's group has requested the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to perform an overall Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which he says will force regulators to decide which of the projects is simply duplication....

08/14/2015 10:25:17am
Top 10 Greenest Schools in America

The Sierra Club's Sierra magazine recently released their ninth annual ranking of America's greenest colleges. Want to know who dominates stateside? Here's a hint: The West Coast is doing a stellar job of making sure its campuses adhere to strict environment-saving standards. The University of California system alone occupies 4 of our coveted top 10 slots.

But non-Californian colleges are just as impressive: all schools filled out an extensive survey about their sustainability practices to get scored, so this top 10 list represents the greenest of the green....

08/13/2015 09:34:19am
August is Tree Check Month for Asian Longhorned Beetle

August is Tree Check Month and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health

USDA

USDA

Inspection Service (APHIS) is urging people to check trees for signs of the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (ALB).  August is a time of peak emergence for the beetle and is most likely when the adult beetle can be seen infesting trees.

“We are asking people to take 10 minutes to look at their trees for any damage caused by the Asian longhorned beetle and to look for the beetle itself, then let us know if you see something suspicious,” said Josie Ryan, APHIS’ national operations manager for the Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program....

08/12/2015 09:55:32am
March Toward Cleaner Air in PA

Since the Clean Air Act of 1970, America's air has gotten cleaner, but the American Lung Association's 2015 State of the Air report finds that 44 percent of the nation still lives where pollution levels are too often dangerous to breath.

That's more than 138 million Americans.

Enter the Obama administration's new rules on carbon pollution designed to cut emissions by 32 percent nationwide over the next 15 years. The American Lung Association's Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of National Policy, says people who live closest to dirty power plants have the most to gain from the Clean Energy Plan....

08/11/2015 10:18:55am
Making Green Music in a Solar-Powered Recording Studio

The music industry is generally a notorious energy consumer, using massive amounts of electricity to power the studios, amps and instruments that create the music we love. But in the tiny town of Stockbridge, Vermont, Bow Thayer is doing things differently.

The multi-instrumentalist, whose musical career spans more than two decades, recorded his most recent album in a completely solar-powered studio that he built right in his backyard.

"I moved up to rural Vermont about seventeen years ago with the romantic idea of creating a studio where I could make my music away from the city," Bow told the Sierra Club over the phone....

08/11/2015 09:06:42am
Happy 99th Birthday, National Park Service! Celebrate With Waived Entrance Fees!

The National Park Service turns 99 years old on August 25. To celebrate, all of the country's national parks are waiving their entrance fees and inviting everyone to join in the festivities taking place coast-to-coast.

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service to formally protect and preserve these lands so people all over the world could experience America's historic beauty and heritage for years to come. Today, the National Park Service manages over 400 national parks and memorials, which supported more than 238,000 jobs and pumped more than $26 billion into local economies last year....

08/10/2015 08:40:00am
Where Does Your Grocery Store Rank?

If you shop for seafood, you’re probably more careful than most about buying ocean-safe tuna or other sustainable choices. Unfortunately, many supermarkets nationwide are complicit in ocean destruction and connected to human rights abuses in the global seafood industry.

That’s why Greenpeace put together a scorecard on where the nation’s biggest grocery chains rank on seafood sustainability. Find out where your store falls!

Stores are ranked on a variety of factors, including their sustainability policies, advocacy efforts for protecting human rights and special marine habitat like the Bering Sea Canyons, how well they label their seafood, and whether they sell any destructively caught or endangered species....

08/07/2015 10:28:12am
Do You Have Any Extra Jet Engine Parts?

Can't Figure Out What To Do With Your Spare Jet Engines? Make Them Into Tables.

It sure is hard to think of things to do with all those jet engines we've got lying around. You don't want to just throw them away, because they're jet engines, but you also don't want to buy a whole new jet just to accommodate every one. Luckily, English architectural firm OS31 Architects has come up with the perfect solution: turn that jet engine into a table....

08/06/2015 01:18:48pm
Reduce, Replay, Recycle: Pickathon's Sustainable Stage

Located 20 minutes from downtown Portland, Oregon, Happy Valley can be as idyllic as the name suggests, especially during the annual Pickathon Music Festival held last weekend. Organizers of the 17-year-old event have worked hard to keep it that way by enacting a number of sustainable practices and production methods, including an experiment in green stage construction. Run in partnership with professor Travis Bell and graduate students from Portland State University's School of Architecture, the concept has provided a sustainable example for summer festivals and music venues....

08/05/2015 01:47:31pm
Environmentally Intelligent Food Coming to a Sports Venue Near You

In March 2014, the San Francisco Giants announced they would be the first team in MLB history to construct an organic, edible garden at their home field, AT&T Park (it now sits below the scoreboard beyond the center field fence). But the San Diego Padres, who planted their own sustainable garden at Pecto Park in 2012, took exception to their rival team's claim, starting an argument that became known as "Gardengate." The friendly banter between the Giants and Padres generated enough publicity for fans to take notice of the two teams' greening efforts....

08/05/2015 09:56:24am
Conservationists: Clean Power Plan Will Help Protect Pennsylvania Natural Resources

A plan for reducing carbon pollution in the U.S. has been finalized by the Obama administration. The EPA's Clean Power Plan, released Monday, sets a 32 percent goal for cutting emissions from power plants by 2030.

Ed Perry, Pennsylvania coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation‘s Climate Change Campaign, calls the plan a "flexible, science-based" rule. He says he's confident it will create "real progress" in protecting natural resources.

"Climate scientists say we need to reduce carbon pollution by 80 percent by the year 2050," he says....

08/04/2015 10:21:43am