Thursday, May 28, 2009

International Energy Outlook 2009

The International Energy Outlook 2009 (IEO2009) published by the U.S. energy Information Administration presents an assessment by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the outlook for international energy markets through 2030. U.S. projections appearing in IEO2009 are consistent with those published in EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2009 (AEO2009), (March 2009).

The Outlook finds that world marketed energy consumption is projected to grow by 44 percent between 2006 and 2030, driven by strong long-term economic growth in the developing nations of the world. The current global economic downturn will dampen world energy demand in the near term, as manufacturing and consumer demand for goods and services slows. However, with economic recovery anticipated to begin within the next 12 to 24 months, most nations are expected to see energy consumption growth at rates anticipated prior to the recession. Total world energy use rises from 472 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2006 to 552 quadrillion Btu in 2015 and then to 678 quadrillion Btu in 2030.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Climate Change and Water

This Technical Paper by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) dated June 2008 sets forth the potential impact of climate change on the world's water resources; including glaciers, rain water, surface water and oceans.

Virtual Energy Forum

This online conference for renewable energy and energy-efficient practices in businesses is coming in late June, and to attend, all you need is a computer.

The Virtual Energy Forum is a two day online-only event focused on how leading companies can adopt better energy management practices to cut costs, while at the same time adopting clean energy alternatives -- presenting alternative energy technologies, policies, and best practices in a live, interactive environment. The event is designed to meet the needs of corporate energy executives in a way that is not possible with physical events, webinars or other means.

Virtual Energy Forum will next take place on June 24th and 25th, 2009 with all new speakers, track presentations, virtual booths and informational resources from the top institutions and individuals in the field.

Presentations will cover the following tracks:
- Keynotes
- Global Energy Projects
- Utility Profiles
- Renewable Energy
- Energy Management
- Smart Buildings

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Discussion Draft: Addressing Nanomaterials as an Issue of Global Concern

This draft prepared by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) dated May 2009 provides the legal frameworks and scientific issues surrounding nanotechnology and places in a global arena addressing the needs of north and south and developed and developing nations.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Principles of Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Handbook

This handbook published by the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE) (view publication description here) dated April 2009 outlines some of the important considerations in designing, implementing and evaluating effective environmental enforcement and compliance programs. It serves as background reading for the training course on the Principles of Environmental Enforcement and Compliance. In 1992, the USEPA created this course in response to a request by Poland’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry. The Netherlands’ Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment contributed significantly to the development of this course. Since its first delivery in 1992, the Principles course has been given hundreds of times in countries throughout the world.

Successful implementation of environmental requirements requires significant effort and forethought. Changes in behavior are difficult to accomplish on both a societal and personal level. No one formula exists for achieving compliance. There is merely trial, evaluation, and adaptation to find the most effect compliance strategies for any given situation. Nevertheless, a reliable framework for designing compliance assurance programs has emerged based on the experiences of countries around the world. The information in this handbook derives from these experiences.

Endangered Species Act: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has Incomplete Information about Effects on Listed Species from Section 7 Consultants

This report by the government Accountability Office (GAO-09-550) dated May 2009 finds that the Service lacks a systematic means oftracking the monitoring reports it requires in biological opinions and does not know the extent of compliance with these requirements. The Service also lacks a systematic method for tracking cumulative take of most listed species. Out of 497 listed species in the western states, GAO identified 3 species for which the Service has a formal, Web-based database for tracking cumulative take: northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet,and bull trout. GAO identified 7 more species for which Service biologists developed informal means to track cumulative take.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Remarks by the President on National Fuel Efficiency Standards

These are the remarks, dated May 19, 2009, by President Obama in announcing the new CAFE/CO2 automobile standards.

Automakers Support President in Development of National Program for Autos

This statement by the Auto Alliance sets for the auto industry's support for President Obama's new CAFE/CO2 auto standards.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Complying With Environmental Laws in Europe-Teleconference/Webinar

This Webinar prosented by the New York State Car Association is designed for international, corporate, real estate, environmental and litigation attorneys who have clients conducting business in the European Union that could be impacted by existing and emerging environmental laws, this seminar features environmental lawyers and risk management experts located in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Speakers will discuss the most significant environmental laws and exposures in their respective countries including the European Union Environmental Liability Directive (ELD). The ELD along with existing EU regulations will make operators financially responsible for activities that damage the environment. Several ELD claims are presently being processed in various EU jurisdictions and include significant cost exposures for cleaning up environmental damage.

Questions that will be addressed and discussed include:

How is the ELD being implemented and enforced within the EU? What is the claims history for the ELD?

What liability exists under the 1996 Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive and 2006 Waste Disposal Directive?

What are the biggest concerns for environmental loss in a given country?

What is next in Europe?

What waste permits are required?

When and where does a company need to demonstrate satisfactory financial security and how can these requirements be met?

Are NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) a significant threat?
What risk management techniques are available to mitigate the effect of environmental loss?

When and where is environmental insurance compulsory?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Storage of Captured Carbon Dioxide Beneath Federal Lands

This Report (DOE/NETL-2009/1358) dated May 8, 2009 by the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory examines the potential for CO2 storage under federal lands. The reports finds that the storage resource beneath Federal lands ranges between 126 and 375 billion metric tons. The vast majority of Federal lands are west of the Mississippi. Of the estimated storage potential beneath Federal land in the United States, 68 percent can be found in the stratigraphy of Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas.

The single most important challenge to utilizing Federal lands for storage of captured CO2 is regulatory. Experience from oil and gas operations provides an important guide and basis for development of regulations and procedures for CO2 storage operations. A regulatory framework will help to define expectations for the operator, regulator, and insurer. The EPA and the states of Washington and Wyoming have provided an important yet only initial effort in the regulatory arena.

Implementing Amendments to Agreement on Border

Executive Order 13380 of June 17, 2005

First (1st) Round of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Comments to USEPA on the Proposed Findings

This document (EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171-0124) posted by the Environmental Protection Agency states quotes: “The Administrator believes that the scientific findings in totality point to compelling evidence of human-induced climate change, and that serious risks and potential impacts to public health and welfare have been clearly identified, even if they cannot always be quantified with confidence. The Administrator’s proposed endangerment finding is based on weighing the scientific evidence, considering the uncertainties, and balancing any benefits to human health, society the environment that may also occur.”

The document created by the Office of Management and Budget goes on to question whether the EPA Administrator has any basis for that statement. This document has been the subject of a great deal of discussion.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Center for the State of the Parks: Park Assessments: Great Basin National Park

This report by the Center for the State of the Parks dated March 2009 finds that natural resources at the park are in “good” condition, with a score of 81 out of 100. The park currently has “good” air quality and “excellent” water quality, but they are threatened by power plants and groundwater withdrawals, respectively, and past grazing practices and fire suppression have degraded park habitats. Staff are working to restore some areas.

Overall conditions of Great Basin National Park’s known cultural resources rated 66 out of a possible 100, indicating “fair” conditions. While the addition of a cultural resources manager in 2003 has greatly benefited Great Basin, additional staff are needed for all programs to assist with baseline research, archaeological surveys, and museum and archival collections upkeep.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

EPA Lifecycle Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Renewable Fuels

This Technical Report (EPA-420-F-09-024) by the Environmental Protection Agency dated May 2009 analyzes the lifecycle GHG impacts of the range of biofuels currently expected to contribute significantly to meeting the volume mandates of EISA through 2022, including those from domestic and international sources.

EPA Does Not Provide Oversight of Radon Testing Accuracy and Reliability

This Report (No. 09-P-0151) dated May 4, 2009 states that recent studies on radon – while not nationwide in scope – have identified problems with the accuracy of radon testing devices. Also, a recent New England study identified problems with the quality of laboratory analyses of radon testing. Nonetheless, a key 2009 EPA publication on the Agency’s Website continues to state that radon testing devices provide reliable measurements of indoor radon levels. In its 2009 A Citizen's Guide to Radon: The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Radon, EPA states:

MYTH: Radon testing devices are not reliable and are difficult to find.
FACT: Reliable testing devices are available from qualified radon testers and companies.

However, EPA does not have data within the last 10 years to support that radon test kits or testers are reliable.

Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the United States

This report by the Congressional Budget Office (No. 3044) dated May 2009, discusses the potential changes in weather patterns, agriculture, coastal erosion, biodiversity, and changes in other aspects of the environment that may occur with rising global temperatures due to excessive greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Monday, May 4, 2009

EnergySmart Schools

This no-cost Advanced Engergy Design Guide Webinar put on by the Department of Energy provides an overview of the Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) for K-12 School Buildings, including recommendations based on climate zones to achieve 30% energy savings over baseline standard in both new and renovation building projects. The Webinar was presented live on April 16, 2009.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Pace Environmental Notes -- April 2009

Here is this month's Pace Environmental Notes.