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Environmental News  (last updated 02-19-07)



EPA Monitoring Continues to Confirm That No Radiation Levels of Concern Have Reached the United States

Release date: 03/28/2011

Contact Information: EPA Press Office

WASHINGTON – During detailed filter analyses from 12 RadNet air monitor locations across the nation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified trace amounts of radioactive isotopes consistent with the Japanese nuclear incident. Some of the filter results show levels slightly higher than those found by EPA monitors last week and a Department of Energy monitor the week before. These types of findings are to be expected in the coming days and are still far below levels of public health concern.

EPA’s samples were captured by monitors in Alaska, Alabama, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands and Washington state over the past week and sent to EPA scientists for detailed laboratory analysis.

Detailed information on this latest round of filter results can be found at:


Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Opens State Information Call Lines

Release date: 03/28/2011

Contact Information:

WASHINGTON – The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, which has been charged by President Obama with developing a restoration strategy for the gulf, recently announced the availability of a toll-free number for individuals who have questions or suggestions related to the mission of the task force.

Under its charge, the task force must propose a gulf coast ecosystem restoration agenda by October 5, 2011. A series of listening sessions are being held throughout the gulf coast states for community members to provide individual input that will inform the development of the restoration strategy. The goal of the listening sessions is to obtain individual input on priority issues, existing impediments and key outcomes or actions for the restoration of the gulf coast ecosystem.

Citizens from the five gulf coast states, which include Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, can call the state information call line at 1-855-427-9263 to receive additional information on task force meetings and other activities within their state.

The touch tone automated menu provides general information about task force activities and allows callers to be transferred to a task force staff member located in each state. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday. The state information call line staff includes representatives from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force was established by President Obama through an executive order on October 5, 2010. It is an advisory body made up of lead officials from state representatives appointed by the president upon recommendation of the governors of the five gulf states and 11 federal agencies and White House offices

Citizens can receive automatic updates by emailing the task force at

More information on the task force:


EPA Releases U.S. - Mexico Border Environmental and Health Report / Agencies work to address risks to people’s health and the environment in border communities

Release date: 03/24/2011

Contact Information: Jalil Isa (News Media Only),, 202-564-3226, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mexico’s Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment released the Border 2012 Accomplishment Report for 2010. The report highlights projects taking place within border communities through the Border 2012 program that ensures the protection of people’s health. The bi-national program focuses on cleaning the air, providing safe drinking water, reducing the risk of exposure to hazardous waste, and ensuring emergency preparedness along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"The Border 2012 Program showcases what two neighboring countries can do when they have a shared goal to protect health and clean up the environment. This program continues to be a model of collaboration and this report highlights what can be accomplished when we work together for one mission," said Michelle DePass, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of International and Tribal Affairs. "As the national program coordinator, I am glad to collaborate with our state and local government partners, U.S. tribal nations and Mexican indigenous communities, and other stakeholders as we work to improve public health and the environment in our border communities."

Some of the highlights include:

· Bi-national watershed awareness: Dia del Rio” is an initiative to restore bi-national community awareness and public participation in the Colorado-Rio Grande watershed. More than 25,000 participants from the U.S. and Mexico participated in river cleanups, tree plantings, art exhibits and educational talks.

· Partnering with academia for solutions towards improving air quality: Through Border 2012, the University of Texas at El Paso examined options in bi-national traffic flow at the Bridge of Americas in order to determine the impact on air quality and pollution exposure.

· Engaging industry to recycle obsolete electronics: Through project leadership and public engagement at the local level, this Border 2012 effort to begin programs on recycling obsolete electronics has led to additional partnerships with bi-national universities and further expansion.

· Pesticide collection through bi-national state-level partnerships: More than 56,460 pounds of unused liquid and solid agricultural pesticides were collected through cooperation between state and federal agricultural agencies.

· Capacity development through tri-national tribal partnerships: Through cooperation of the Tohono O’odham Nation Office of Environmental Protection, the Border Environment Cooperation. Commission and Border 2012, the San Francisquito community was able to access clean drinking water.

Border 2012 is a U.S.-Mexico program that protects people’s health and the environment for 10 states on both sides of the 2,000-mile border, including 26 U.S. tribes and seven groups of Mexican indigenous people. The Border 2012 program continues to be a model of cooperation and collaboration between neighboring nations and continues to achieve tangible, on-the-ground health and environmental results within U.S.-Mexico border communities.

More information:


EPA Adds 10 Hazardous Waste Sites to Superfund’s National Priorities List / Fifteen additional sites proposed to be included on the NPL

Release date: 03/08/2011

Contact Information: Richard Yost,, 202-564-7827, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is adding 10 new hazardous waste sites that risk people’s health and threaten the environment to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites and is proposing to include 15 additional sites. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country.

To date, there have been 1,637 sites listed on the NPL, 347 of which have been deleted, resulting in 1,290 current sites on the NPL. There are now 66 proposed sites awaiting final agency action: 61 in the general Superfund section and five in the federal facilities section. There are a total of 1,356 final and proposed sites.

Harmful contaminants found at the sites include arsenic, asbestos, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, creosote, dichloroethene (DCE), dioxins, lead, mercury, pentachlorophenol (PCP), polynuclear aromatic hydrcarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethane (TCA), trichloroethene (TCE), and zinc.

With all Superfund sites, EPA tries to identify and locate the parties potentially responsible for the contamination. For the newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting significant cleanup at the site. Therefore, it may be several years before significant cleanup funding is required for these sites.

Sites may be placed on the list through various mechanisms:

· Numeric ranking established by EPA’s Hazard Ranking System
· Designation by states or territories of one top-priority site
· Meeting all three of the following requirements:

      o The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has issued a health advisory that recommends removing people from the site;
      o EPA determines the site poses a significant threat to public health; and
      o EPA anticipates it will be more cost-effective to use its remedial authority than to use its emergency removal authority to respond to the site.

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for these final and proposed sites:

The following 10 sites have been added to the National Priorities List:

Dwyer Property Ground Water Plume, Elkton, Md.
Washington County Lead District – Furnace Creek, Caledonia, Mo.
ACM Smelter and Refinery, Cascade County, Mont.
Mansfield Trail Dump, Byram Township, N.J.
Dewey Loeffel Landfill, Nassau, N.Y.
Wright Chemical Corporation, Riegelwood, N.C.
Milford Contaminated Aquifer, Milford, Ohio
Cabo Rojo Ground Water Contamination, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Hormigas Ground Water Plume, Caguas, Puerto Rico
West County Road 112 Ground Water, Midland, Texas

The following 15 sites have been proposed to the National Priorities List:

Blue Ledge Mine, Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest, Calif.
New Idria Mercury Mine, Idria, Calif.
Sandoval Zinc Company, Sandoval, Ill.
Gary Development Landfill, Gary, Ind.
Sauer Dump, Dundalk, Md.
Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp, Columbus, Miss.
Red Panther Chemical Company, Clarksdale, Miss.
Garfield Ground Water Contamination, Garfield, N.J.
MolyCorp Inc., Questa, N.M. (re-proposal)
New Cassel/Hicksville Ground Water Contamination, New Cassell/Hicksville, N.Y.
CTS of Asheville, Inc., Asheville, N.C.
Astoria Marine Construction Company, Ore.
North Ridge Estates, Klamath Falls, Ore.
US Finishing/Cone Mills, Greenville, S.C.
Alamo Contaminated Ground Water, Alamo, Tenn.



THURSDAY, FEB. 10, 2011                                               


TCEQ Program Tallies Consumer Participation in Computer Recycling

More than 24 million pounds of computer equipment collected



The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today announced second-year results on Texas’ computer recycling program, which requires computer manufacturers that sell in Texas to offer consumers convenient, free recycling for their brands of computer equipment. As part of this program, manufacturers collected for reuse or recycling 24,300,000 pounds of computer equipment in Texas from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2010.  This is nearly twice as much as last year.


Currently, 78 manufacturers representing 123 brands are participating in the program. The TCEQ encourages consumers to take advantage of these recycling opportunities in 2011. Recycling used computer equipment helps conserve the reusable materials contained therein, including copper, lead, and steel.


To help cities, counties, community groups, and schools promote computer-equipment recycling in newsletters and websites, the TCEQ is providing free print ads and Web banners available for download at  In addition, the TCEQ urges cities and counties to encourage residents to take advantage of the free program.


Texas consumers can learn how to recycle their computer equipment by visiting The site provides a link to each manufacturer’s program as well as additional information for consumers, manufacturers, and retailers. For more information on the program contact the TCEQ’s Pollution Prevention and Education section, 512-239-3143.











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