Companies are increasingly willing to take responsibility for water contamination and settle out of court because dealing with the Environmental Protection Agency can make a negative outcome more likely, attorneys say. They add that companies can learn what not to do by looking at the Lower Fox River cleanup in Wisconsin, which took 17 years to settle.
River Forest, Ill., is using more permeable pavement and rain gardens, as well as a dedicated storm sewer that spans more than 3 miles, but officials say more work is needed to solve its stormwater management challenges. The village is seeking proposals for a master plan with "a detailed hydraulic model that can be developed to figure out which areas can be improved and in what sequence," public works director John Anderson says.
Researchers have developed a desalination process that uses metal-organic frameworks and sunlight to produce potable water in 30 minutes, according to a study in the journal Nature Sustainability. "Our work provides an exciting new route for the design of functional materials for using solar energy to reduce the energy demand and improve the sustainability of water desalination," says lead author Huanting Wang of Monash University in Australia.
E.ON and Duke Energy's wind farms in Willacy County, Texas, are excellent examples of how one industry can help an entire community, writes Edward Gonzales, board chairman of Willacy County's Emergency Service District. The tax benefits from these projects made it possible for the county to add emergency services during the coronavirus pandemic and provide a high level of care for residents, he writes.
Iowa is home to a thriving wind industry that accounts for 42% of the state's generating capacity and benefits both Iowa's economy and environment, writes Eric Giddens, energy program manager at University of Northern Iowa's Center for Energy and Environmental Education and an Iowa State Senator. "I'm proud to celebrate Iowa's 11 wind-related manufacturing facilities and the 10,000 Iowans employed directly by wind energy this American Wind Week," he writes.
A panel of wastewater and public health experts has determined that occupational risk of COVID-19 infection for wastewater workers is low. The panel also found that standard wastewater treatment processes inactivate the virus and additional research should be conducted to further increase understanding of hazards and protections for personnel. "The top priority of WEF is always to ensure the safety and health of our frontline people, who are essential workers in communities across the country," said WEF President Jackie Jarrell.
A report released by House Republicans in June recommended using wastewater surveillance to monitor the spread of the coronavirus in the US, and some lawmakers are now requesting more information from the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding their use of the detection method. "Wastewater surveillance can serve as a surveillance tool which does not require additional COVID-19 diagnostic testing to be performed, and therefore helps to preserve much needed diagnostic testing supplies," the lawmakers wrote.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented our country and the world with unforeseen challenges in what was an already difficult time for many. Wind energy is providing support to communities when they need it most. From investing in rural America in unprecedented ways to addressing food insecurity due to the virus, wind companies are giving farmers a drought-proof cash crop and bringing financial stability to our nation.
The US added 3,200 clean energy jobs in July, fewer that it added in the previous month, and the sector's employment still remains 15% below pre-pandemic levels, according to a study from E2, E4TheFuture and the American Council on Renewable Energy. "What is needed most right now is temporary refundability of renewable tax credits so projects can continue to move forward despite an increasingly constrained tax equity market, and a delay in the scheduled phase-down of existing tax credits," says ACORE's Gregory Wetstone.