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Massachusetts Clean Energy Partnership Project Recognized As an (05/08/2015)
CAMBRIDGE -- The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, has recognized the "Massachusetts Clean Energy Partnership for Wastewater and Drinking Water Facilities" project as one of five finalists in this year's Innovations in American Government Awards competition. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Partnership is a model program for use at wastewater and drinking water treatment plants to help cut energy use and increase efficiency, install new clean energy sources, lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce operating costs. Since 2007, more than 120 treatment facilities across the Commonwealth have utilized the program's technical assistance and funding sources as part of the Energy Leaders Roundtable.
 
Improving Environmental Risk Assessment of Human Pharmaceuticals (04/27/2015)
This paper presents 10 recommendations for improving the European Medicines Agency's guidance for environmental risk assessment of human pharmaceutical products. The recommendations are based on up-to-date, available science in combination with experiences from other chemical frameworks such as the REACH legislation for industrial chemicals. The recommendations concern: expanding the scope of the current guideline; requirements to assess the risk for development of antibiotic resistance; jointly performed assessments; refinement of the test proposal; mixture toxicity assessments on active pharmaceutical ingredients with similar modes of action; use of all available ecotoxicity studies; mandatory reviews; increased transparency; inclusion of emission data from production; and a risk management option. We believe that implementation of our recommendations would strengthen the protection of the environment and be beneficial to society. Legislation and guidance documents need to be updated at regular intervals in order to incorporate new knowledge from the scientific community. This is particularly important for regulatory documents concerning pharmaceuticals in the environment since this is a research field that has been growing substantially in the last decades.
 
Report Demonstrates Over $5.4 Billion in Economic Benefits from Pollution Prevention (04/27/2015)
The Clear Choice for Environmental Sustainability: Pollution Prevention Results from 2010 to 2012 presents available information on the achievements of state and local P2 programs for the calendar years 2010 to 2012. The Report was produced by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) based upon the results shared by 90 pollution prevention (P2) programs in the United States. The Report shows that P2 projects yielded about $5.4 billion in economic benefits during the three year period. During this three-year period, waste was reduced by 8.9 billion pounds, which is the amount of waste produced by 5.5 million people annually. 8.8 billion gallons of water and 1.4 billion kWh of electricity were also conserved. This study affirms that pollution prevention results in conservation of valuable resources and significant waste reductions.
 
Home Depot Says It Will Phase Out Chemical Used in Vinyl Flooring (04/27/2015)
Facing pressure from consumer groups, Home Depot said it would discontinue use of a potentially harmful chemical in its vinyl flooring by the end of the year. The retailer is asking about a half-dozen suppliers to phase out their use of ortho-phthalates, according to Stephen Holmes, a spokesman. Most of Home Depot's flooring does not contain the chemicals at all, Mr. Holmes said, adding that the move would affect about 15 percent of the company's vinyl products. "Phthalates are one of the top 10 groups of chemicals that we're concerned with right now," said Jeff Gearhart, the research director for HealthyStuff.org, a research group affiliated with the nonprofit organization Ecology Center. "We think it's an avoidable hazard simply because there are alternatives on the market."
 

 

 

 

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