EPA Action: Oil, gas industry agrees to work with agency in solving environmental problems

Also in this report: NPDES Program sponsors stormwater seminars; Small businesses awarded $400K for environmental innovation; New human health research website launched; First harmonized label for pesticide product available; Dallas airport joins EPA Performance Track program; Agreements boost $21M Kalamazoo River cleanup; Culkin Water District in Vicksburg, Miss., receives award for environmental performance; EPA Announces New Compliance Incentive Program for Colleges and Universities...

In other news below:
-- NPDES Program sponsors stormwater seminars
-- Small businesses awarded $400,000 for environmental innovation
-- EPA announces new human health research website
-- First harmonized label for pesticide product available
-- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport joins EPA Performance Track program
-- Agreements boost Kalamazoo River cleanup; $21 million Plainwell project begins
-- Culkin Water District in Vicksburg, Miss., receives award for environmental performance
-- EPA Announces New Compliance Incentive Program for Colleges and Universities

Oil, gas industry agrees to work with EPA in solving environmental problems -- WASHINGTON, DC, March 2, 2007 -- The oil and gas exploration and refining industry has become the 13th industry to join EPA's voluntary Sector Strategies Program that fosters collaboration among business, government, and non-government organizations. Through this program, EPA works with the diverse parties to improve the environmental impact of the major manufacturing and service sectors of the U.S. economy.

EPA's primary contacts in the industry will be the American Petroleum Institute (API), the Domestic Petroleum Council (DPC), and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA). Collectively, these organizations represent the full spectrum of oil and gas operations -- from exploration and production to refining and distribution.

The U.S. is the world's third-largest petroleum producer, with more than 500,000 producing wells and approximately 4,000 oil and natural gas platforms operating in U.S. waters. The nation's 144 refineries process more than 17 million barrels of crude oil every day. Together, oil and gas supply 65% of U.S. energy.

Currently, more than 20 national trade associations -- representing 12 major divisions of the U.S. economy -- are working with the agency to improve their environmental performance with the least administrative burden. The participating sectors represent more than 780,000 facilities.

The 12 other participating sectors include: agribusiness; cement manufacturing; specialty-batch chemical manufacturing; colleges and universities; construction; forest products; iron and steel manufacturing; metal casting; metal finishing; paint and coatings; ports; and shipbuilding and ship repair.

For more information about the Oil and Gas Sector Strategies Program, click here

For more information on the Sector Strategies Program, click here

NPDES Program sponsors stormwater seminars -- WASHINGTON, DC, March 2, 2007 -- Two programs will be hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Wastewater Management:
1. Stormwater Webcast - Municipal Stormwater Compliance, March 7, 2007, 12-2 EST -- Speakers: Jenny Molloy of EPA Headquarters, John Tinger of EPA Region 9, Jason Papacosma of Arlington County, VA, and John Kosco of Tetra Tech Inc. -- EPA will introduce its new guide for assessing the effectiveness of municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) programs. This guide is intended for use by EPA and state staff who conduct evaluations of MS4 programs. It can also be used by MS4s if they wish to conduct self-assessments, prepare for an upcoming audit, or improve the effectiveness of their programs. The guide describes how to conduct an evaluation of each major stormwater program component and includes detailed worksheets to help organize and document the evaluation. Guest speakers will discuss their experiences during evaluations of MS4 programs.
2. Getting in Step with Phase II Workshop - Atlanta, GA, April 3-4, 2007 -- Join us for a two-day workshop designed specifically for MS4 managers and staff. During this workshop, you will learn how to build an effective stormwater education and outreach program, develop a pollution prevention plan for municipal operations, and develop and implement an effective illicit discharge detection and elimination (IDDE) program. The workshop will include presentations by nationally-recognized experts, successful case-studies implemented by local leaders, and more. There is an $85.00 registration fee which helps to cover lunch, refreshments, and materials...

Small businesses awarded $400,000 for environmental innovation -- Companies in Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas receive $70,000 each -- DALLAS, March 1, 2007 -- Six small businesses have each been awarded $70,000 contracts from the Environmental Protection Agency and its Small Business Innovation Research program. EPA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides financial support to small businesses to translate their innovative ideas into commercial products that address environmental problems. SBIR has helped spawn successful commercial ventures that not only improve our environment, but also create jobs, increase productivity and economic growth, and enhance the international competitiveness of the U.S. technology industry. Each of the companies awarded contracts received Phase I, or "proof of concept," awards to test the feasibility of their research concepts. If the results of this phase are successful, businesses can submit proposals for Phase II contracts, which can reach amounts up to $225,000 to help commercialize the technology...
Also see:
-- "Michigan company wins EPA innovation research contract: Lesktech Ltd., Negaunee, Mich., gets $70,000 to develop method to treat waste from copper mines" (3/2/07)
-- "Chicago company wins EPA innovation research contract: Integrated Genomics Inc. gets $70,000 to develop a method to produce butanol from biomass" (3/2/07)
-- "Cleveland company wins EPA innovation research contract: Technology Management Inc. gets $70,000 to develop a new method for converting biomass such as plant and animal wastes into liquid fuels " (3/2/07)
-- "EPA awards three Colorado small businesses $350,000 in innovation research contracts" (2/28/07)
-- "North Dakota company awarded $70,000 EPA innovation research contract" (2/28/07)
-- "EPA awards $210,000 to three So. Calif. small businesses" (2/28/07)

EPA announces new human health research website -- WASHINGTON, DC, March 1, 2007 -- EPA's Human Health Research Program launched a new Web site on the latest information on its research to protect public health. The program's science looks at such questions as why some people are more sensitive to pollution and how exposure to chemicals affects people's health. The site is designed for the general public as well as for the scientific community.
"The best decisions are informed decisions," said George Gray, assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development. "The site provides easy access to research and results on methods, tools, and data needed to improve risk assessments to protect the public."
Visitors to the site will find an overview of the research, information on how research has contributed to decision making, resource materials available in journal publications and reports, and a listing of meetings and conferences. The website can be accessed at: epa.gov/hhrp...

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Among other recent EPA announcements:
-- "First harmonized label for pesticide product available" (3/2/07)
-- "Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport joins EPA Performance Track program" (3/1/07)
-- "Agreements boost Kalamazoo River cleanup; $21 million Plainwell project begins" (2/28/07)
-- "Culkin Water District in Vicksburg, Miss., receives award for environmental performance" (2/28/07)
-- "Grand Bay Water Works, Board, Ala., receives environmental recognition for protecting public health" (2/28/07)
-- "Jefferson Communities Water System, Jefferson County, Fla., receives environmental recognition for protecting public health" (2/28/07)
-- "EPA Announces New Compliance Incentive Program for Colleges and Universities" (2/28/07)
-- "EPA Offers Financial Assistance for Communities with Drinking Water Systems Not Serviced by the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority" (2/26/07)
-- "EPA Approves Majority of Missouri's Water Quality Standards" (2/23/07)

Among other regulatory actions:
-- "Public Review of GE's 'Corrective Measures Study Proposal' for Housatonic River Clean Up Begins" (3/1/07)
-- "Clean Up Work Begins at ECC Corporation Site in Holden, Mass." (3/1/07)
-- "EPA cleans up hazardous substances from Coachella Valley site. Hazardous waste removed from Auclair Dump site; upcoming March 20 progress report" (3/1/07)
-- "Major Milestone Reached at Cornell-Dubilier Site in South Plainfield, NJ" (2/28/07)
-- "Discovery Construction Inc. Settles with EPA for Federal Clean Water Act Violations" (2/28/07)

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In earlier "EPA Action" reports, see: "Agency cultivates water-efficient landscapes with WaterSense label"

For water-related news releases at the EPA website, click here.

For the latest news releases from the EPA website, click here.

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