EPA Action: Progress cited in Charles River report card

Also in this report: Young leaders recognized by president for environmental, community impacts; Toxic Release Inventory reporting workshops planned; Report says Long Island Sound water quality better; Wetlands monitoring programs improvements sought; Visteon settles over hazardous waste at Mich. plants; $4M settlement reached on Watertown, CT, site; Six sites added, four proposed for Superfund list; Projects funded to improve Anacostia River; Va. groups recognized for bay protection efforts...

In other news below:
-- Michigan teen chosen for Presidential Environmental Youth Award
-- Young leaders recognized for environmental, community impacts
-- Soldotna student receives award from President Bush for stream protection project
-- Workshops on Toxic Release Inventory reporting planned for Mid-Atlantic states
-- Long Island Sound water quality improves in Sound Health 2006 Report
-- New document aimed at improving wetlands monitoring programs
-- Motor vehicle disposal wells in Hawaii must close by January
-- EPA settles with Visteon on hazardous waste violations at two Mich. plants
-- EPA, DOJ reach $4M settlement at Chase Brass and Copper Site in Watertown, Conn.
-- EPA adds six, proposes four sites to Superfund's National Priorities List
-- EPA, DOT to fund projects improving the Anacostia River
-- Virginia organizations recognized for bay protection efforts
-- Keene, NH, fined for violations at wastewater treatment plant
-- Public water supply wells in Maunabo proposed for Superfund cleanup
-- NY firm cited for underground fuel tank violations at Stroudsburg and Scotrun, Pa. stations
-- Hampden Township receives regional award for environmental performance

Charles River Report Card: Continued progress cleaning 'that dirty water'
BOSTON, MA, Apr. 21, 2006 -- For the second consecutive year, the lower Charles River has attained its highest-ever grade from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as efforts to restore the river to ecological health continue to progress.

Begun over 10 years ago, the Charles River Initiative is an effort between EPA and local stakeholders to improve ecological conditions in the lower Charles River. The continued work is paying off as the river shows signs of significantly improved water quality and ecological health. EPA has graded the health of the Charles River as a "B+" for 2005 -- only the second time the river's conditions have merited a grade that high.

The grade is based on the number of days the river meets boating and swimming standards during the previous calendar year. For 2005, the Charles met boating standards 97% of the time, and swimming standards 50% of the time according to data collected by the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) between Watertown Dam and Boston Harbor.

The Charles has improved dramatically from the initiation of EPA's Charles program in 1995, when the river received a D for meeting boating standards 39% of the time and swimming standards just 19% of the time.

EPA data indicates that the swimming standard in the most heavily used part of the river - the basin between the Mass. Avenue Bridge and the Longfellow Bridge - was met consistently during summer sampling in 2005...

Michigan teen chosen for Presidential Environmental Youth Award -- CHICAGO, April 20, 2006 -- Kacy Hermans of Midland, MI, has been selected by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 as regional winner of the President's Environmental Youth Award. Winners from each of EPA's 10 regions will be recognized today at a ceremony in Washington, DC. For the first time in Region 5 history also, the winner, first and second runners- up in the contest are all from the same state, Michigan. Searching for ideas for a 4-H project, the 18-year-old winner discovered the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland where her rain garden project has blossomed into the centerpiece of the nature center's environmental education program. She marshaled local donations of money, labor, equipment and supplies to turn a 20- by 10-foot plot of dirt into a stunning rain garden, planted with Michigan wildflowers and plants that cools runoff, filters pollutants and percolates water into the ground...
Also see:
-- "Young leaders recognized for environmental, community impacts"
-- "Soldotna student receives award from President Bush for stream protection project"

Workshops on Toxic Release Inventory reporting planned for Mid-Atlantic states -- PHILADELPHIA, April 18, 2006 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is hosting workshops for industry to learn how to comply with federal chemical and waste reporting requirements, commonly known as the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting. Utilities, mining operations, refineries and manufacturing are among the types of facilities that are required to report under the TRI regulations. EPA will conduct a total of 11 TRI workshops throughout the mid-Atlantic region. These classes are intended to assist facilities in preparing their annual TRI reports which are due to EPA on or before July 1, 2006. TRI reports provide detailed information on chemical releases and other waste management activities at each facility. The voluntary workshops will take place in the following cities: Meadville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and State College, PA; Richmond and Roanoke, VA; Towson, MD; and Charleston, WV...

Among other recent EPA headlines:
-- "Long Island Sound water quality improves in Sound Health 2006 Report"
-- "New document aimed at improving wetlands monitoring programs"
-- "Motor vehicle disposal wells in Hawaii must close by January"
-- "EPA settles with Visteon on hazardous waste violations at two Mich. plants"
-- "EPA, DOJ reach $4 million settlement at Chase Brass and Copper Site in Watertown, Conn."
-- "EPA adds six, proposes four sites to Superfund's National Priorities List"
-- "EPA, DOT to fund projects improving the Anacostia River"
-- "Virginia organizations recognized for bay protection efforts"
-- "Keene, NH, fined for violations at wastewater treatment plant"
-- "Public water supply wells in Maunabo proposed for Superfund cleanup"
-- "EPA cites NY company for underground fuel tank violations at Stroudsburg and Scotrun, Pa. stations"
-- "Hampden Township receives regional award for environmental performance"

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In earlier EPA Action reports: "EPA Action: New study will benchmark home water usage" -- Also in this report (April 13, 2006): New tools offer easier access to industrial chemicals effects; Report shows decrease in toxic chemicals releases; Financial assistance to help organizations celebrate Earth Day awarded; $6.1M settlement won for Casmalia Superfund site; Rubicon LLC joins EPA partnership, pledges 1.5 million pound hazardous waste reduction; Breckenridge Sanitation earns Environmental Achievement Award; EPA and CNMI DEQ team up on Tanapag tank removal; $30M pledged toward PCB cleanup at Lower Fox River, Green Bay Superfund sites; Companies to pay over $8 million, clean up Phoenix-area Superfund site; Comment sought on Chevron groundwater cleanup plan; PCB levels decline at Mich.'s Manistique Harbor; Hazardous chemical reporting cases settled in Indianapolis, Toledo; Delaware DOT, Transit Authority settle UST violations; Citizens' Coordinating Council meeting scheduled for Housatonic River cleanup; Great Falls, Mont., pressed to investigate sewer gas; Taunton, Mass., textile plant pays $26,000 fine for chemical spill; Lynchburg, Va., cited for chlorine release; Chevron pays $113,000 to clean up underground fuel tanks; AK Steel settlement requires cleanup of Middletown, OH, plant contamination; Contractors to pay fines for sewage discharges from Delaware Valley Veterans Home...

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