On September 17, 2008, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich announced legislation requiring electronics manufacturers to collect and recycle or reuse electronics products. At no charge to consumers, the law authorizes the use of a combination of incentives and mandates to reduce the ever-increasing amount of electronic waste – televisions, printers, computer monitors, computers, laptops, printers, fax machines and MP3 players – and their toxic substances, such as lead, cadmium, copper, flame retardants, and phosphorus, from being disposed in Illinois landfills. It also gives manufacturers flexibility in the strategies they use to meet their goals, such as partnering with retailers and local governments to sponsor collections. Manufacturers, recyclers, refurbishers and collectors must also register annually with the Illinois EPA. Effective January 1, 2012, landfills would be prohibited from knowingly accepting any of the covered electronic devices for disposal. SB 2313 is effective immediately.
For further information on SB 2313, as well as a link to the resulting Public Act (095-0959; the Electronic Products Recycling and Reuse Act), see the Illinois General Assembly web site.
The DEQ has been given primary responsibility to implement the Green Chemistry Executive Directive, including establishing a Michigan Green Chemistry Program and convening a Michigan Green Chemistry Roundtable. The Roundtable, which is comprised of experts representing business, academia, environmental interest groups, and the public, had significant input into the development of the Action Plan and will be participating in the implementation of the Michigan Green Chemistry Program.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 will host the 2008 International Environmental Nanotechnology Conference: Applications and Implications, Oct. 7 – 9 at Chicago’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, 151 E. Wacker Dr. Researchers from Asia, Australia and Europe will join U.S. scientists and government officials to discuss nanotechnology applications for environmental cleanup, pollution control and the implications of releasing engineered nanoparticles into the environment.
Opening remarks Oct. 7 at 8 a.m. will be provided by EPA Region 5 Deputy Administrator Bharat Mathur, EPA Office of Research and Development Assistant Administrator George Gray and EPA Nanotechnology Manager Jeff Morris. The conference agenda includes over 100 presentations and poster sessions. About 40 exhibitors will be represented at the poster session the evening of Oct. 9. Registration for the entire event is $475.
Partner agencies represented at the conference include the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Science Foundation, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of Energy and University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Lakes Centers for Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health. Find more information at http://emsus.com/nanotechconf/index.htm, or contact EPA’s Warren Layne (firstname.lastname@example.org, 312-886-7336) or Charles Maurice (email@example.com, 312-886-6635).
Today begins National Pollution Prevention Week (September 15-21 in 2008). This year’s theme is “Pollution Prevention – Where Sustainable Practices Begin.” Check out U.S. EPA’s P2 Week page (linked to above) for tips on preventing pollution at home, at work, in the garden and on the road. More in depth information is also provided on the environmental benefits of pollution prevention methods and what is being done to prevent pollution within the U.S. EPA itself.
If you’re planning an activity or celebration in honor of P2 Week, or if your organization offers information on its web site promoting P2 Week, tell us about it by using the “Comments” area for this blog post. The comments will serve as a way to promote your events and share ideas and experiences with the rest of the P2 community.
According to the Organic Trade Association web site:
“In 1992, the Organic Trade Association implemented ‘Organic Harvest Month™,’ a widespread promotion of organic food and agriculture through regional and local events. The objective of Organic Harvest Month™ is to highlight organic agriculture and the growing organic products industry. September is also an ideal time for consumers and retailers to celebrate the bounty of the organic harvest.”
Organic agricultural methods are relevant to pollution prevention because they typically involve the use of fewer, non-toxic, more environmentally friendly pesticides, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), composting, the elimination of the use of antiobiotics and synthetic hormones, etc. To paraphrase the National Organic Standards Board definition of “organic” as presented on teh Organic Trade Association web site, “Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony…Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water…The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.”
Registration is now open for the Biofuels and Sustainability Conference to be held at the University of Illinois campus in Champaign, IL on October 21-22. This event will provide a forum for researchers, policy makers, students, activists and industry leaders to share and gain perspectives regarding the entire life-cycle of the biofuels industry–from feedstock development through fuel consumption. Diverse constituencies will be able to network and develop future directions and strategies regarding this important and complex topic and examine innovations that can improve the sustainability of the biofuels industry.
See the conference website for a detailed description of the event, a list of speakers, and registration information.
Remember that if you have events related to sustainability and pollution prevention that you would like to promote to the region, you can suggest them for the GLRPPR Calendar by sending them to Wayne Duke. Events posted to the GLRPPR Calendar also appear in relevant Sector Resources and are featured on the RSS feeds for those Sector Resources.
It’s that time of year again. As students go back to school to focus on the three Rs, school districts and technical assistance providers may want to focus on the two Es (energy efficiency). The Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR) has developed a Topic Hub on Energy Efficient Schools and Students that describes energy efficient practices and research available to schools and introduces resources that support changes in operations, maintenance, and behavior. Numerous ways exist to reduce escalating energy costs and this Topic Hub assembles guidelines and comprehensive energy programs, identifies educational efforts and case studies, and provides examples of best practices for schools. A “Curricula” section identifies energy related instructional materials and standards-linked K-12 curricula for classrooms.
New resources are continuously added to the Hub’s “Complete List of Links.” If you would like to suggest links for the hub or have other comments, please contact Joy Scrogum.