Wednesday, September 25, 2013

13th annual Green Power Leadership Awards Go To 21 Green Power Partners

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented its 13th annual Green Power Leadership Awards to 21 Green Power Partners and three suppliers for their achievements in advancing the nation’s renewable electricity market. Close to one-third of America’s carbon pollution – a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change – comes from power plants. By using green power, communities, businesses and organizations can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support America’s growing renewable energy industry, improve public health, and help transition the United States to cleaner energy sources.

“Our 2013 Green Power Leadership Award winners are driving new renewable energy generation and providing clear examples of organizations thriving on innovation and sustainability,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “These winners are moving us closer to the vision President Obama outlined in his Climate Action Plan—cutting harmful pollution and promoting American leadership in renewable energy.”

EPA defines green power as electricity that is generated from renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas and low-impact hydroelectric sources and produces no fossil fuel-based carbon pollution. The winning organizations are recognized for dramatically increasing their green power purchases, installing large-scale solar panel arrays, and leading innovative renewable energy procurement efforts, among other actions.

The 2013 Green Power Leadership Award winners are listed below in the following categories:

Sustained Excellence in Green Power: Intel Corporation (Santa Clara, Calif.); Kohl's Department Stores (Menomonee Falls, Wis.); Staples (Framingham, Mass.)
Green Power Partners of the Year: Cisco Systems, Inc. (San Jose, Calif.); Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.); Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, Wash.); The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) 
Green Power Communities of the Year: Cincinnati, Ohio; Mercer Island, Wash.
Green Power Purchasing: Accredo Packaging, Inc. (Sugar Land, Texas); Dell Inc. (Round Rock, Texas); Pearson (Upper Saddle River, N.J.); Powdr (Park City, Utah), The North Face (Alameda, Calif.); U.S. Department of Energy (Washington, D.C.); UW Credit Union (Madison, Wis.); Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
On-site Generation: Apple Inc. (Cupertino, Calif.); County of Santa Clara, Calif.; Kaiser Permanente (Oakland, Calif.); Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
Green Power Suppliers of the Year: 3Degrees (San Francisco, Calif.); Dominion Virginia Power (Richmond, Va.); Sterling Planet (Atlanta, Ga.) 

The 21 award-winning partners were chosen for their exemplary use of green power from more than 1,500 partner organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state and federal governments, and colleges and universities. Utilities, renewable energy project developers, and other green power suppliers were eligible to apply for the Supplier of the Year Award, which recognizes leadership in voluntary renewable energy offerings.

EPA also announced the winners of the third annual Green Power Community Challenge, a national competition between communities to use renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the collective participation of local governments, businesses, and residents. Out of 48 competing communities, Washington, D.C., won the challenge for a third year in a row for using the most green power annually with more than one billion kilowatt-hours (kWh). Oak Park, Ill., also won the challenge for a second consecutive year for achieving the highest green power percentage of total electricity use at 92 percent.

EPA, through the Green Power Partnership, works with partner organizations to reduce the environmental impacts of conventional electricity use. Nearly two-thirds of partners use 100 percent green power. All together, the partners are voluntarily using more than 28 billion kWh of green power annually, equivalent to avoiding carbon pollution created by the electricity use of more than three million average American homes each year.

More on the Green Power Leadership Awards:
More on the Green Power Community Challenge:
More on the Green Power Partnership:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stop Smoking in Your Home and Car: Serious Health Conditions

Secondhand Smoke Can Make Children Suffer Serious Health Risks

Breathing secondhand smoke can be harmful to children's health including asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), bronchitis and pneumonia and ear infections.

Children's exposure to secondhand smoke is responsible for:

  • increases in the number of asthma attacks and severity of symptoms in 200,000 to 1 million children with asthma;
  • between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections (for children under 18 months of age); and,
  • respiratory tract infections resulting in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations each year.

Head Start

  • EPA and HHS Partnering to Promote Smoke-free Homes for Head Start Families
  • EPA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families, Head Start Bureau are working together to improve the quality of life for nearly a million Head Start children by conducting nationwide secondhand smoke and asthma outreach.  Read more about the EPA and HHS partnership and what you can do as a Head Start teacher, staff member or parent to help create Care for their Air: Promoting Smoke-free Homes for Head Start Families.
  • The developing lungs of young children are severely affected by exposure to secondhand smoke for several reasons including that children are still developing physically, have higher breathing rates than adults, and have little control over their indoor environments. Children receiving high doses of secondhand smoke, such as those with smoking mothers, run the greatest risk of damaging health effects.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

EPA Launches Interactive Web-Based Mapping Tool

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched an interactive web-based mapping tool that provides the public with access and information on Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) filed with EPA for major projects proposed on federal lands and other proposed federal actions. When visiting the website, users can  click on any state for a list of EISs, , including information about the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of these projects. 

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to consider the impacts of proposed actions, as well as any reasonable alternatives as part of their decision-making process. For proposed projects with potentially significant impacts, federal agencies prepare a detailed Environmental Impact Statement which is filed with EPA and made available for public review and comment. EPA is required to review and comment on Environmental Impact Statements prepared by other federal agencies.

“This interactive tool makes it easier for the public to be informed about the environment around them,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, which oversees NEPA compliance. “Major projects and decisions have the potential to affect the environment where you work and live. I encourage everyone to check out the tool, stay informed and lend your voice.” 

The user can click on a state in the map and is provided with comment letters submitted by the EPA on Environmental Impact Statements within the last 60 days. The tool also provides users with the information they need to identify projects with open comment periods, including how to submit comments.

The tool supports EPA’s commitment to utilize advanced information technologies that help increase transparency of its enforcement and compliance programs. EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance has recently launched the “Next Generation Compliance” initiative, designed to modernize its approach and drive improved compliance to reduce pollution. Learn more about the effort by visiting:

To use EPA’s EIS Mapper, visit

For more about EPA’s NEPA Program, visit: