Category Archives: Energy

Rick Phelps Of High Sierra Energy Foundation Is One Of The Facilitators At Sierra Solutions Conference In Mammoth Lakes, California October 3-4, 2008

The High Sierra Energy Foundation has been working on transitioning Mammoth Lakes from its dependency on propane as a primary home-heat to geothermal energy, obtained locally. Currently about 75% of Mammoth Lakes heat source comes from propane—going to local energy would radically effect not only the emissions from the production and burning of propane, but the impact of moving the fuel to Mammoth and then delivery to each home’s fuel tank—the trickle down of energy loss gets converted to energy saved when the movement is made to a local energy distribution network.

The California Energy Commission approved a grant of $191,000 from the Geothermal Resource Development Account to the Town of Mammoth Lakes in 2006, which is now underway. “The grant facilitates developing a business model for a geothermal heating district in Mammoth Lakes,” stated Phelps. “Over the last 20 years there have been numerous technical studies confirming that there is hot water under Mammoth Lakes, but this is the first study that will generate a comprehensive business plan,” continued Phelps. “This project has the potential to become a model for local energy creation and distribution. Mammoth Lakes will be a showpiece for energy efficiency and responsible use of local resources.”

Dave Harvey, Board President of the High Sierra Energy Foundation pointed out “this CEC grant, combined with the recent Community Energy Partnership with Southern California Edison, puts the Foundation well on the way to fulfilling its mission of promoting and developing efficiency and renewables in the High Sierra.”

In fact, electric power production and transportation are the two largest sources of carbon emissions in the United States with California producing 47.24 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. It qualifies as one of the biggest emitters in the United States.

Moving towards local economies and local energy sources is a powerful notion for saving energy, reducing carbon and building strong economies. Learn more about local energy generation, and other strategies for building resilient, sustainable communities in the Sierra—and how these practices apply to other regions by attending Sierra Solutions conference.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE: SIERRA SOLUTIONS—Tools for Sustainable Communities, Economies and the Environment
October 3-4, 2008
Mammoth Resort Conference Center
Mammoth Lakes, CA

Hosted by The Sierra Business Council and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, SIERRA SOLUTIONS highlights leading sustainability speakers, who believe, “The Sierra Nevada is a place that serves as a model for the rest of the nation – it is a place where we pursue a green economy, support valuable ecosystems, and design sustainable communities.” Steve Frisch, Sierra Business Council

Solution-based tools, processes and opportunities for ensuring sustainable and vibrant Sierra communities, landscapes and local economies are the focus of this 2-day event in scenic Mammoth, California.

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Fuels For Schools And Beyond Is Moving Into Providing Biomass Energy For Schools And Private Enterprise While Maintaining Healthy Forests

After the wildfires in the summer of 2000, which burned over 350,000 acres and 70 structures in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, a resident of Darby, Montana began to research ways in which to tie fire hazard reduction work with economic development in the valley. Discovering that waste wood was being used to heat a number of schools in the northeastern U.S., this individual approached community leaders with the idea of using slash (tree limbs, tops and branches) from hazardous fuels reduction projects for heat in Darby’s schools. With the aid of a grant from the Economic Action Program and assistance from the Bitter Root RC&D, USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory and the Biomass Energy Resource Center, a biomass boiler system was planned, designed and installed at Darby and began heating three schools in the fall of 2003.

Today, Fuels for Schools and Beyond is a recognized national leader in community biomass projects, moving into providing biomass energy for schools and private enterprise while maintaining healthy forests.

The Fuels for Schools and Beyond program is a partnership between the USDA Forest Service’s State & Private Forestry Division, the State Foresters of Montana, North Dakota, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, and the Bitter Root Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Area, Inc., to promote and facilitate the use of forest biomass waste for heating, cooling and power in public and private buildings.

These organizations are advancing local and national policies in biomass utilization, and ensuring the viability of the nation’s forests and communities.

There are currently 14 biomass boilers operating throughout North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Nevada with two more in the design or construction phase. While continuing to provide support to existing projects, the program is now actively advancing “wood to energy” for private enterprise.

Dave Atkins, Fuels for Schools and Beyond Program Manager, from Missoula Montana, is one of the presenters at Sierra Solutions conference in Mammoth Lakes, California October 3-4, 2008.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE: SIERRA SOLUTIONS—Tools for Sustainable Communities, Economies and the Environment October 3-4, 2008 Mammoth Resort Conference Center Mammoth Lakes, CA

Hosted by The Sierra Business Council and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, SIERRA SOLUTIONS highlights leading sustainability speakers, who believe

“The Sierra Nevada is a place that serves as a model for the rest of the nation – it is a place where we pursue a green economy, support valuable ecosystems, and design sustainable communities.” Steve Frisch, Sierra Business Council

Solution-based tools, processes and opportunities for ensuring sustainable and vibrant Sierra communities, landscapes and local economies are the focus of this 2-day event in scenic Mammoth, California.

Conference details—Nikki Streegan 530.582.4800

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A Class Action Lawsuit Demands Behr Dayton Thermal Plant To Make Financial Restitution For Damages To Residents Caused By Toxic Underground Fumes Caused By Groundwater Contamination Cased By The Plant

The Columbus, Ohio law firm of Leeseberg & Valentine, in litigation partnership with Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC (Maryland) and German Rubenstein, LLP (New York), have announced the filing of a class action lawsuit on behalf of residents living near the Behr Dayton Thermal Plant.

The suit demands that defendants Behr America, Inc., Behr Dayton Thermal Products, LLC and Behr Dayton Thermal Plant LLC, current owners of the facility, and Chrysler, LLC, former owner, make financial restitution for damages to residents caused by toxic underground fumes caused by groundwater contamination cased by the plant.

The suit was filed Tuesday, September 2, in the Court of Common Pleas, Montgomery, County, OH. The class includes all persons who live in the McCook Field neighborhood and other areas near the plant, located at 1600 Webster Street in Dayton.

“The U.S.Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the damage caused to the McCook neighborhood. Those responsible for the contamination need to be held accountable. Our lawsuit begins the process of holding the wrongdoers responsible for their disregard of the health and safety of these residents,” said attorney Anne Valentine.

Exceedingly high levels of toxic gases linked to cancer have been found in many homes in the area, leading the USEPA this year to nominate the site for the national Super Fund list.

The class action lawsuit seeks compensation for diminished property values, establishment of a medical monitoring fund, money to pay for installation and operation of air filtration systems, and punitive damages. Persons who think they may qualify as a member of the class may call toll free 1-800-590-1289 to speak to an attorney, or may find information on the web at www.McCookField-lawsuit.com

The three law firms partnering in the class action bring exceptional experience, expertise and resources to the case. German Rubinstein, LLP, has significant experience in environmental toxic torts and groundwater contamination matters. Janet, Jenner & Suggs and Leeseberg & Valentine are nationally known for expertise in dealing with mass torts.

Background

Census data shows the area includes an estimated 2,100 residents living in 1,100 homes and apartments. Former and current residents and property owners, and any persons who spent significant time in the area, such as employees of local businesses or schools, may have been exposed to harmful levels of chemicals and are included in the class.

At issue is a cloud, or plume, of poisonous gas that is rising from contaminated ground water in the area. The USEPA has pinpointed the source of the contamination as the thermal plant, when it was owned and operated by Chrysler Corp. Groundwater contamination in the area started in at least 1998, according to the EPA.

Chrysler has assumed responsibility for tracking and cleaning up the contamination. However, it is disputing EPA claims that the plume has spread significantly since 2002 and is now putting a greater number of people and properties at risk.

The Behr plume contains high levels of trichloroethylene or TCE, a highly toxic gas linked to cancer. The EPA considers a safe level of TCE for humans to be 0.4 parts per billion. Yet, indoor air concentrations in the community have been detected as high as 260 ppb. Air abatement systems have been installed in at least 185 properties in the area so far. The Ohio Department of Health has found rates of cancer from 1 ½ to nearly nine times the average in residents who live in near the plant.

USEPA released a report Aug. 1, warning that TCE levels in some homes in the area had reached levels “that may pose a long-term health threat.” The report said the Behr VOC plume is expected to continue to pose a public health hazard until the ground water is cleaned up. It said indoor air filtration systems proposed for impacted homes are only a temporary solution. One elementary school in the affected area has already been closed.

Chrysler owned and operated the plant from 1937 to 2002, first as Chrysler Corporation and then as the merged company, DaimlerChrysler. The facility, which manufactures vehicle air conditioners and cooling systems, was sold to Behr America in 2002.

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A survey of British businesses has revealed strong concern that Government regulation to reduce carbon emissions will make the country uncompetitive

A survey of British businesses, conducted by npower business has revealed strong concern that Government regulation to reduce carbon emissions will make the country uncompetitive and add more costs than benefits

The fifth npower Business Energy Index (nBEI 5) canvassed 200 senior managers and energy buyers at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large industrial firms on attitudes to energy use, costs and C02 emissions, revealing unease within the business community about the existing CO2 reduction framework of regulation.

When questioned about the new Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) – a new carbon reduction scheme aimed at large businesses, announced in the 2007 Energy White Paper* – 71% of intensive energy users said they believed that the scheme would make the UK uncompetitive. When asked about the implementation of such regulation, 63% of respondents said they thought the costs would outweigh the benefits. Only 48% believed that the CRC would achieve its target of removing 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year by 2020.

Demonstrating further concern, 75% of intensive energy users surveyed said they thought the combined pressures of the Climate Change Levy, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the new CRC will place an undue burden on business.

The Government has shown a desire to involve businesses in meeting the UK’s CO2 reduction targets and introduced a framework of regulation to incentivise and reward emission reduction, but npower business’s findings indicates companies need further convincing that this is the best method. Comments from the report suggest that British businesses feel penalised as other European and global businesses do not have to conform to the same administrative and financial requirements imposed by UK regulation.

“Businesses have faced a raft of new legislation in recent years, with more now promised in the form of the CRC, so it is understandable that they may feel the responsibility to reduce CO2 is being placed at their door. However, with the UK’s CO2 emission targets becoming legally binding this year, we cannot escape the fact that all businesses will be called on to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Paul Coffey, managing director of npower business.

“While the need to actively reduce CO2 has become a business requirement in the last few years, it will increasingly become a priority as low carbon outputs become evermore linked with strong financial performance. Those that identify the advantages of low carbon operations now, and work within the existing legislative framework, will be the ones that benefit in the future,” he added.

He also pointed to the fact that advice is available from energy providers and government organisations, which can assist businesses in reducing CO2 output. The nBEI clearly suggests businesses are in need of guidance: 56% agreed they would value help in reducing CO2 emissions and 50% said they would welcome guidance to improve energy efficiency.

While the findings suggest a lack of support for carbon reduction regulation in business, finding 88% of respondents stating they support the Government’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions and 56% said they thought compliance with climate change agreements had resulted in energy savings or process improvements. Also, 36% said they believed there were commercial advantages to be had from a small carbon footprint.

Mr. Coffey pointed to the fact that, “Businesses will have to develop policies to manage the risks associated with corporate energy use including cost, environmental and societal risks. In this way, decisions on buying and investment in energy efficiency measures that can reduce CO2 outputs can be assessed on a more holistic basis, rather than just cost. This moves away from a quick win scenario in which energy efficiency measures are only made for financial gain to a more progressive strategy in which the approach to energy management and CO2 reduction is aligned with business goals”.

* The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) is a mandatory cap and trade scheme, which will apply to large non-energy intensive public and private sector organisations. The CRC was first detailed in a 2007 Energy White Paper.

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Totally Fitness announces that it is giving carbon dioxide a good work by offsetting its emissions to go Carbon Zero

The UK’s leading gym and fitness equipment retailer Totally Fitness has given carbon dioxide a good work out after announcing that it is to offset its emissions and go Carbon Zero.

Totally Fitness, whose clients include a host of celebrities, is working with co2balance.com to calculate their ‘carbon footprint’ (the amount of carbon the company produces), to take action to reduce their emissions, and then offset the remaining amount, in order to go Carbon Zero.

Announcing their move towards becoming Carbon Zero, Emma Peoples from Totally Fitness said it is vital that companies take steps to minimise their impact on the environment in order to create a sustainable future. “We all leave an impression on the environment, and it is up to companies to take action to make it a positive impression, rather than negative, and that is why Totally Fitness has taken this decision to go Carbon Zero”, said Emma.

As the leading supplier of exercise equipment, Totally Fitness provide fitness apparatus to a variety of clients, from stars such as Julia Roberts, Jim Carrey and Nicolas Cage, to hotels and hospitals, and Peoples believes that clients are becoming more environmentally mindful in their purchases. “In addition to top quality fitness products, people want to buy equipment from companies that are proactive in looking after the environment, and so we are delighted to be able to offer this to our clients through our new Carbon Zero status”, commented Emma.

co2balance.com offers several ways to offset a company’s carbon footprints and help make them become ‘Carbon Zero’; through energy efficiency projects in Kenya, renewable energy projects in East Africa and through tree planting (as trees absorb carbon) in various locations throughout Europe.

Suzanne Longworth, from co2balance.com said: “The co2balance philosophy is based on minimisation of energy use and reduction of the Carbon Footprint before offsetting. All our projects are truly additional, in that they would not otherwise have occurred but for the investment of the funds from our offsetting clients like Totally Fitness. This ensures that their move in becoming Carbon Zero results in clear and direct action in reducing carbon dioxide”.

About Totally Fitness:
Totally Fitness began life in 1997 trading as Rent To Be Fit, a business specialising in the rental of fitness equipment to the consumer and hotel market. It soon established a reputation in the industry for providing a highly responsive and flexible service.

Totally Fitness now has an enviable portfolio of private and corporate clients. Stars such as Julia Roberts, Andre Agassi and Jim Carrey have been clients of Totally Fitness since the beginning and the list of celebrity clients continues to grow. Corporate clients range from the capitals most prominent property developers, hotels, schools and hospitals to the Metropolitan Police.

About co2balance Ltd:
co2balance’s aim is to provide a simple, practical and cost-effective way for individuals and businesses to reduce their ‘carbon footprint’ and then balance their unavoidable carbon dioxide emissions through investment in woodland planting and energy efficiency. After providing advice on carbon reduction, co2balance will arrange to offset the residual CO2 emissions.

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V.O. TECH a manufacturer of vegetable oil conversion systems for diesel engines recieved award for being eco-friendly

V.O. Tech, LLC, a manufacturer of systems which allow diesel engines to run on straight vegetable oil, was presented with an “Environmental Responsibility Award” by Senior Americas’ Team Green. V.O. Tech was chosen for contributing to the greening of America and to our children’s future by promoting renewable fuels for transportation.

Patent Pending all-in-one vegetable oil filter housing (the “Geo”) More info…

The award was presented by Howard Levin, President Senior America’s Team Green and was accepted

on behalf of V.O. Tech by the company’s founders Walter Little and Jonathan Bernz.

V.O. Tech, LLC, is a manufacturer of high-performance diesel-hybrid conversion systems that allow mechanical and electronic diesel-powered engines to operate on either pure (straight) vegetable oil, or traditional diesel fuel, all at the choice of the driver. The company was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Mahopac, NY.

“These companies are promoting the greening of America to put our nation back in balance with the earth, and Senior America’s Team Green is proud to officially recognize them,” said Levin. Senior America’s Team Green Promotions represents environmentally friendly companies. Howard “Lev” Levin is a philosopher who believes that “America is out of balance, but we must continue to inspire other nations. We all have a stake in determining in which direction we must go to ensure our children’s future and our quality of life.”

Via EPR Network
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Welcome to EPR Environment News

EPR Environment News is a new blog, part of EPR Network, that is going to be focused on and will be covering the environment news and stories from press releases published on EPR Network.

EPR Network (EPR stands for express press release) is one of the nation’s largest press release distribution networks on Web. The EPR’s nationwide network includes 12 State based PR sites, one major PR forum and a number of industry specific PR blogs and what started as a hobby on Internet years ago turned out to be a rapidly growing business today. EPR Network is also known as one of the most trusted (human optimized, published, edited and monitored, spam/scam/low quality PR content free) PR sites on the web with more than 10,000 company and individual press releases distributed per month. EPR Network is putting your press releases on top of all major search engines’ results and is reaching thousands of individuals, companies, PR specialists, media professionals, bloggers and journalists every day.

EPR Network has thousands of clients around the world including global 500 corporations like Hilton Hotels, Barclays Bank, AXA Insurance, Tesco UK, eBay/Skype, Emirates, just to name a few. The network’s PR web sites are currently reaching from 150,000 to sometimes 500,000 unique visitors per month while our viral reach could possibly go to as much as 1M people per month through our presence across various social media sites. EPR Network was established in 2004 and as of May 2008 it had more than 800,000 press releases (pages) published on its network.

If you have a press release to be distributed, you can do it over here: press release distribution