Environment & Weather
EPA Region 7 to Participate at National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk Event, Nov. 10 in Kansas City, Mo. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kris Lancaster   
Friday, 11 November 2011 11:56

Environmental News




(Kansas City, Kan., Nov. 7, 2011) - EPA officials will attend the annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk event at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday, Nov. 10.


Interview topics include regulatory updates on air and water quality programs, animal feeding operations, nutrient management and pesticides.


WHAT: National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention and Trade Talk


WHEN: 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011


WHO: Karl Brooks, Regional Administrator; Josh Svaty, Senior Adviser; and Kris Lancaster, Agricultural Public Affairs Specialist


WHERE: Booth 74, Westin Crown Center, 1 Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo.

Biographies of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Booth 70 Staff

Karl Brooks serves as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 7. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and reports directly to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. His responsibilities include supervising environmental programs in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and nine tribal nations. Brooks practiced trial and appellate law for a decade. He was elected in 1986 to the first of three terms in the Idaho Senate. Retiring from elective politics, from 1993 to 1996 he served the Idaho Conservation League as executive director and legislative liaison. Since earning his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and joining the faculty in 2000, he has taught American environmental, political, and legal history as well as environmental law and policy.

Josh Svaty is a senior adviser to the Region 7 Administrator. He is the fifth-generation of his family to farm in Ellsworth County, Kan. The Svaty farm is a diversified operation that includes wheat, milo, soybeans, corn, sunflowers, a cow/calf herd and sheep. Svaty served as the State Representative of the 108th District in Kansas for seven years. His committee assignments included the committees for Energy and Utilities, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the joint committee on Energy and Environmental Policy. Svaty later served as Secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture. In this position, he managed a $27 million budget, a 380-employee workforce and statutory duties for 17 programs. He holds a B.A. from Sterling College in Sterling, Kan.

Kris Lancaster is an EPA spokesperson responsible for agriculture, pesticides, renewable fuels, water and wetland issues. His past agricultural employment includes serving as a licensed grain inspector, agricultural adviser to the chairman of the Missouri House Agriculture Committee and to two members of Congress, a farm real estate broker, a federal crop insurance broker and a negotiator of agricultural leases for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His family owns a corn and soybean farm in Scotland County, Mo. Lancaster has 28 years of media relations experience and serves on Region 7’s Agriculture and Renewable Fuels Team. He graduated from Central Missouri State University and completed an advanced sciences program at Park University.

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News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Erin Robinson Vorac   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 13:43

DAVENPORT, IA—Waste Commission of Scott County is hosting a free, guided tour of the Scott Area Recycling Center and Electronic Demanufacturing Facility from 2:00-3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15 in celebration of America Recycles Day. The tour is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about local recycling programs. However, space is limited and an RSVP is required by November 14. To RSVP, call Paula Webinger at (563) 468-4218.

The Scott Area Recycling Center is located at 5640 Carey Avenue in Davenport. This facility receives, sorts, bales and markets material from the curbside recycling programs in the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf, from the five drop-off recycling centers located throughout Scott County and from some businesses and outlying communities in Scott County. Tour attendees will learn about acceptable and unacceptable material, watch how material is sorted and marketed and see examples of products that are made from recycled material.

The Electronic Demanufacturing Facility is located at 1048 East 59th Street in Davenport, which is on the same campus as the Scott Area Recycling Center. This facility receives electronic waste (e-waste) such as computers, televisions, monitors, printers, copiers, VCRs and DVD players. Electronics received at this facility are demanufactured and, to ensure data security, are not refurbished or reused. Demanufacturing, or disassembling, involves manually breaking down equipment into marketable components, which are then sent for recycling. Hazardous material, such as lead and mercury, from e-waste is removed and properly managed. Both facilities are handicapped accessible.

This free tour is in celebration of America Recycles Day. Since 1997, communities across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. More than a celebration, America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling in the United States. Learn more at www.americarecyclesday.org.

Waste Commission of Scott County is an inter-governmental agency whose mission is to provide environmentally sound and economically feasible solid waste management for Scott County. For more information about the Commission, please call (563) 381-1300 or visit www.wastecom.com.

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Mississippi River Push Boat Project Receives $494,978 Diesel Emissions Reductions Grant PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by David Bryan   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 09:07

(Kansas City, Kan., Nov. 1, 2011) – Anyone along the Mississippi River will see the steady-moving push boats moving along America’s inland waterways, carrying commodities from as far north as St. Paul, Minn. to ports as far south as New Orleans, La.  Push boats run 24 hours a day, seven days a week moving goods to markets at inland ports along the river.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $494,978 grant to Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission (SEMO RPC) to replace engines on a push boat operated by SCF Marine.  The boat’s old engines are from 1953 and 1960, decades before emission standards went into effect.  The new engines will meet EPA Tier II standards, resulting in reduced health impacts for port workers and communities along the Mississippi River.  The EPA grant is part of a $1 million project.

The Tier 2 vehicle and gasoline sulfur program is part of a series of major initiatives that reduce emissions from passenger vehicles, highway trucks and buses, and nonroad diesel equipment. The result will be reduced emissions, cleaner air, and improved human health.

SEMO RPC is also working with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to reduce emissions on trash haulers and switch locomotives in southeast Missouri.

EPA has awarded $50 million for clean diesel projects as part of its ongoing campaign to reduce harmful emissions in the air and better protect people's health. These efforts will replace, retrofit or repower more than 8,000 older school buses, trucks, locomotives, vessels, and other diesel powered machines. Reducing emissions from existing diesels provides cost-effective public health and environmental benefits while supporting green jobs at manufacturers, dealerships and businesses across the country.

Diesel engines emit 7.3 million tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 333,000 tons of soot annually. Diesel pollution is linked to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and millions of lost work days. While EPA's standards significantly reduce emissions from newly manufactured engines, clean diesel projects funded through these grants will work to address the more than 11 million older diesel engines that continue to emit higher levels of harmful pollution.


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Iowa Natural Resource Educators Attend National Conference in St. Paul Davenport, Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Ron Summers   
Thursday, 03 November 2011 15:08

Environmental educators, naturalists and park interpreters from across the country gathered in St. Paul, Minnesota, November 8–12 for the National Association of Interpretation Workshop. 

Greg Wolf with Davenport Parks and Recreation was one of 56 members of the Iowa Association of Naturalists who received scholarships to attend the workshop in St. Paul.

Presenters and attendees shared new ideas, talents, and examples of actions to enhance existing programs and develop new methods to engage families, schools, and other groups in natural resource education and recreation. 

Concurrent session topics ranged from how to utilize “apps” to promote recreation opportunities by iPhone users to nature-based activities for pre-schoolers. “I was able to attend a number of sessions during the workshop,” noted Mr Wolf. “Thanks to a REAP Conservation Education Program/Iowa Association of Naturalists Scholarship, I was able to benefit from experiences and ideas of the presenters and other workshop attendees from across the U.S. and Canada.

These sessions will help me improve the outdoor education and recreation opportunities we provide for area residents and visitors.”

Iowa’s Resource Enhancement and Protection Program (REAP) provides funding to public and private partners for natural and cultural resource projects, including water quality, wildlife habitat, soil conservation, parks, trails, historic preservation, and more. The Iowa Association of Naturalists promotes education about natural and cultural environments.

For more information about the environmental education opportunities in Davenport, contact Greg Wolf at 563-326-PARKS. For more information about the REAP program, contact Tammie Krausman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Wallace State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319 ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Lt. Governor Simon awards green industry leaders PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kara Beach   
Tuesday, 01 November 2011 09:41

Local foods key to growing economy

CHAMPAIGN – October 27, 2011. At an award ceremony celebrating 25 of the greenest public, private and non-profit organizations and businesses in Illinois, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon said good environmental practices strengthen the state's economy.

“These awards recognize leaders in sustainability, and they also recognize smart economic policy for businesses and governments," Simon said at the 25th Annual Governor’s Sustainability Awards Ceremony hosted by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois.

Among those recognized was Uncommon Ground in Chicago, which runs two restaurants serving locally grown food from its 2,500 square foot rooftop farm. The group received a Continuous Improvement Award, given to organizations that have won awards at previous Sustainability Award Ceremonies.

Simon noted that Uncommon Ground helps keep local food dollars in the state. Simon, who chairs the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council has targeted building opportunity in Illinois by promoting local foods.  Illinoisans spend roughly $46 billion annually on food, but only $2 billion of that amount on food grown in Illinois.

The awards have been presented since 1987 by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) at the University of Illinois. Awards are given to organizations for their efforts in implementing green practices such as technology and energy conservation.

“The efforts of these businesses and organizations demonstrate that it is possible to meet social and economic needs while minimizing impacts on the environment,” ISTC Director Manohar Kulkarni said. “Present and future generations will appreciate their foresight.”

A Sustainability Award, which recognizes first-time winners, was given to the University of Illinois Retro-commissioning Group, which is comprised of engineers, field technicians and tradesmen. The group has spent $6 million making 27 campus buildings more energy efficient. The team’s efforts have resulted in an average energy savings per building of 26 percent and a total $9.7 million reduction in utility costs since 2007.

Four community colleges - John A. Logan College, Lewis and Clark Community College, Rock Valley College and Southwestern Illinois College – all received sustainability awards for implementing energy efficiencies on campus.

“More efficient energy use in community colleges means more opportunity for students to get the education they need to be ready for the workforce,” Simon said.

The winners are:

·         ActOnEnergy Business Program, Peoria

·         Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne

·         Cabot Corporation, Tuscola

·         City of Evanston, Evanston

·         City of Naperville, Naperville

·         DuPage County, Wheaton

·         Earth Friendly Products, Addison

·         Elmhurst Park District, Elmhurst

·         Gabriel Environmental Services, Chicago

·         GE Healthcare IT, Barrington

·         Harris Corporation, Quincy

·         J.L. Clark, Rockford

·         John A. Logan College, Carterville

·         Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey

·         Lincoln Park Zoological Society, Chicago

·         NOW Foods, Inc., Bloomingdale

·         PortionPac Chemical Corporation, Chicago

·         Rock Valley College, Rockford

·         Solberg MFG., Itasca

·         Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville

·         The Sherwin-Williams Company, Effingham

·         Uncommon Ground, Chicago

·         University of Illinois at Chicago, c/o Office of Sustainability, Chicago

·         University of Illinois Retro-commissioning Group, Champaign

·         Village of Hoffman Estates, Hoffman Estates



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