News and Jobs
Latest News, Featured Articles and Job Posts
NAICS Changes for TRI
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing updates to the list of North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes subject to reporting under the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) to reflect the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 2022 NAICS code revision. OMB updates the NAICS codes every five years. EPA is implementing the 2022 codes for TRI Reporting Year 2022 ( i.e., facilities reporting to TRI are required to use 2022 NAICS codes on reports that are due to the Agency by July 1, 2023). The actual data required by a TRI form does not change as a result of this rulemaking, nor does the rule affect the universe of TRI reporting facilities that are required to submit reports to the Agency under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
This final rule is effective on December 28, 2022.
EPA Solicits Comments on IRFA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of and soliciting comment on an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) and Updated Economic Analysis following the completion of a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel for the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) proposed rule for reporting and recordkeeping requirements for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The EPA seeks public comment on all aspects of the IRFA and Updated Economic Analysis, including underlying data and assumptions in developing its estimates, as well as on certain items presented in the IRFA for public comment and related to the protection of Confidential Business Information.
Comments must be received on or before December 27, 2022.
Technologies for a Sustainable Future
New technologies come into our lives, whether for our cell phones or those that seem like a dream away. Technology provides solutions to help society become more efficient, address climate change issues and replace other technologies that are more harmful than good to the environment. We are working hard to achieve 100% renewable energy, 99.9% waste recycling (excluding waste designated for landfill by law), and zero waste to landfill goals, and to reduce our carbon footprint.
Technological advances we are hearing about or already applying include electric transport, LED lights, solar power, carbon capture and LEED buildings. Let’s look at a few green technologies that give us possibilities for a sustainable future.
Recharging our home with our car
We continue to hear conversations about electric cars. A new technology system called V2H (Vehicle-to-Home charging) allows surplus charge from the vehicle to be transferred to the home and even returned to the grid (Vehicle-to-Grid, or V2G). However, they require special equipment to be installed in the home, which comes at a high cost. But this technology promises to optimize energy use and increase efficiency by allowing users to charge their vehicle at night, when electricity demand and prices are lower, and provide power to the home during the day. One vehicle could power a household for several days.
Plastic, but really recycle it
Plastic pollution is a major environmental problem in today’s world. It seems that recycling is widespread in developed countries, but how much plastic is never recycled? Studies say up to 91%! And even when it is recycled, separating plastics and melting them down does not necessarily break the polymer chains. Chemical recycling options, such as pyrolysis or gasification, that depolymerize the plastic chains to convert them into fuel are being explored, but they consume a lot of energy. A technology that manufactures polymers by a process called Reversible Additional-Fragmentation chair-Transfer polymerization (RAFT) breaks down the polymethacrylate chains into their fundamental monomers, recovering up to 92% of these individual blocks to be put to new uses without a loss of their properties.
No farmer needed; self-fertilizing crops
The nitrogenous fertilizer industry includes the production of synthetic ammonia, nitric acid, ammonium nitrate, and urea. Using these fertilizers is a practice humanity cannot do without to feed part of the world’s population. Yet the problem is that the excess nitrogen not consumed by plants and oxidized to N2O is a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This causes an explosive growth of phytoplankton in water, which in turn releases more N2O.
Some crops do not need these fertilizers. The root nodules of beans, peas, and lentils produce their own fertilizer and host a symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Research is being facilitated to learn to transfer this symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria to other crops, such as cereals, by forming these nodules in their roots or modifying their bacteria to acquire this capacity. The use of the new CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) gene technology will facilitate such research.
Time will tell how these technologies will be incorporated into our everyday world. Meanwhile, I hope you can stay current with your cell phone updates.
Submitted by Mary Ellen Mortensen. North Shore Environmental
Jobs Available ads are placed in the FET monthly newsletter EnviroNotes, and online for two consecutive months at a cost of $400 per ad ($300 for FET patron member companies).
Jobs Desired ads are free of charge for anyone who is searching for a position in the environmental field.
Additional questions can be directed to FET at email@example.com
Copy submitted for the ads are subject to editing in accordance with technical and policy guidelines and space requirements.