Sustainability and the U.S. EPA

Author: National Research Council,Policy and Global Affairs,Science and Technology for Sustainability Program,Committee on Incorporating Sustainability in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Publisher: National Academies Press

ISBN: 0309212553

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 162

View: 8419

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Sustainability is based on a simple and long-recognized factual premise: Everything that humans require for their survival and well-being depends, directly or indirectly, on the natural environment. The environment provides the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Recognizing the importance of sustainability to its work, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working to create programs and applications in a variety of areas to better incorporate sustainability into decision-making at the agency. To further strengthen the scientific basis for sustainability as it applies to human health and environmental protection, the EPA asked the National Research Council (NRC) to provide a framework for incorporating sustainability into the EPA's principles and decision-making. This framework, Sustainability and the U.S. EPA, provides recommendations for a sustainability approach that both incorporates and goes beyond an approach based on assessing and managing the risks posed by pollutants that has largely shaped environmental policy since the 1980s. Although risk-based methods have led to many successes and remain important tools, the report concludes that they are not adequate to address many of the complex problems that put current and future generations at risk, such as depletion of natural resources, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. Moreover, sophisticated tools are increasingly available to address cross-cutting, complex, and challenging issues that go beyond risk management. The report recommends that EPA formally adopt as its sustainability paradigm the widely used "three pillars" approach, which means considering the environmental, social, and economic impacts of an action or decision. Health should be expressly included in the "social" pillar. EPA should also articulate its vision for sustainability and develop a set of sustainability principles that would underlie all agency policies and programs.

Sustainability in the Design, Synthesis and Analysis of Chemical Engineering Processes

Author: Gerardo Ruiz Mercado,Heriberto Cabezas

Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann

ISBN: 0128020644

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 426

View: 4777

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Sustainability in the Design, Synthesis and Analysis of Chemical Engineering Processes is an edited collection of contributions from leaders in their field. It takes a holistic view of sustainability in chemical and process engineering design, and incorporates economic analysis and human dimensions. Ruiz-Mercado and Cabezas have brought to this book their experience of researching sustainable process design and life cycle sustainability evaluation to assist with development in government, industry and academia. This book takes a practical, step-by-step approach to designing sustainable plants and processes by starting from chemical engineering fundamentals. This method enables readers to achieve new process design approaches with high influence and less complexity. It will also help to incorporate sustainability at the early stages of project life, and build up multiple systems level perspectives. Ruiz-Mercado and Cabezas’ book is the only book on the market that looks at process sustainability from a chemical engineering fundamentals perspective. Improve plants, processes and products with sustainability in mind; from conceptual design to life cycle assessment Avoid retro fitting costs by planning for sustainability concerns at the start of the design process Link sustainability to the chemical engineering fundamentals

Rethinking the Components, Coordination, and Management of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Laboratories

Author: Committee on Strengthening the US Environmental Protection Agency Laboratory Enterprise: Phase 1â€"Priority Needs, Guiding Principles, and Overall Goals,Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology,Division on Earth and Life Studies,National Research Council

Publisher: National Academy Press

ISBN: 9780309312370

Category: Nature

Page: 118

View: 1766

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) applies scientific results that have been provided by various parts of its own organization and by external organizations. The agency requires substantial high-quality inhouse scientific expertise and laboratory capabilities so that it can answer questions related to regulation, enforcement, and environmental effects of specific chemicals, activities, and processes. It is also usually faced with situations in which research or analytic work is time-critical, so it maintains dedicated laboratory staff and facilities that can respond quickly to such needs. In recent years, EPA has made several changes to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its laboratories, such as the designation of national program directors to align the work of research laboratories with the needs of the agency's regulatory program offices. The agency is currently undertaking an integrated evaluation of it laboratories to enhance the management effectiveness and efficiency of its laboratory enterprise and to enhance its capabilities for research and other laboratory-based scientific and technical activities. The results of EPA's evaluation are expected to include options for colocation and consolidation of laboratory facilities. "Rethinking the Components, Coordination, and Management of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Laboratories" assesses EPA's highest-priority needs for mission-relevant laboratory science and technical support, develops principles for the efficient and effective management of EPA's laboratory enterprise to meet the agency's mission needs and strategic goals, and develops guidance for enhancing efficiency and effectiveness now and during the next 10 years. EPA's laboratories play a vital role in the agency's work. The findings and recommendations of this report will help EPA to develop an implementation plan for the laboratory enterprise.

Science and Decisions:

Advancing Risk Assessment

Author: Committee on Improving Risk Analysis Approaches Used by the U.S. EPA,Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology,Division on Earth and Life Studies,National Research Council

Publisher: National Academies Press

ISBN: 0309120462

Category: Political Science

Page: 424

View: 8261

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Risk assessment has become a dominant public policy tool for making choices, based on limited resources, to protect public health and the environment. It has been instrumental to the mission of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as other federal agencies in evaluating public health concerns, informing regulatory and technological decisions, prioritizing research needs and funding, and in developing approaches for cost-benefit analysis. However, risk assessment is at a crossroads. Despite advances in the field, risk assessment faces a number of significant challenges including lengthy delays in making complex decisions; lack of data leading to significant uncertainty in risk assessments; and many chemicals in the marketplace that have not been evaluated and emerging agents requiring assessment. Science and Decisions makes practical scientific and technical recommendations to address these challenges. This book is a complement to the widely used 1983 National Academies book, Risk Assessment in the Federal Government (also known as the Red Book). The earlier book established a framework for the concepts and conduct of risk assessment that has been adopted by numerous expert committees, regulatory agencies, and public health institutions. The new book embeds these concepts within a broader framework for risk-based decision-making. Together, these are essential references for those working in the regulatory and public health fields.

Public Health Linkages with Sustainability

Workshop Summary

Author: Institute of Medicine,Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice,Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine

Publisher: National Academies Press

ISBN: 0309287898

Category: Medical

Page: 147

View: 7622

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In 1992 world leaders met at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to reaffirm the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment that was established on June 16, 1972 in Stockholm. The meeting resulted in the adoption of Agenda 21 by the member states which is a framework for the transition to a more sustainable world. In 2012 the members gathered to assess and reaffirm the importance of progress towards the efforts of Agenda 21. In response to this the Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine held a workshop to inform the policies that are discussed at the 2012 Earth Summit. The workshop, held in Woods Hole, Massachusetts on July 25-26, 2011, focused on the issue of sustainability and health as well as the linkages that are currently present between the two. The workshop included presentations and discussions which are summarized in Public Health Linkages with Sustainability: Workshop Summary. The report presents how different areas of public health, such as food and water resources, link to sustainability and opportunities or venues that can be examined.

Sustainable Practices for Landfill Design and Operation

Author: Timothy G. Townsend,Jon Powell,Pradeep Jain,Qiyong Xu,Thabet Tolaymat,Debra Reinhart

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1493926624

Category: Science

Page: 472

View: 1909

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Solid waste management is a global concern, and landfilling remains the predominant management method in most areas of the world. This book provides a comprehensive view of state-of-the-art methods to manage landfills more sustainably, drawing upon more than two decades of research, design, and operational experiences at operating sites across the world. Sustainable landfills implement one or multiple technologies to control and enhance the degradation of waste materials to realize a multitude of potential benefits during or shortly after the landfill’s operating phase. This book presents detailed approaches in the development, design, operation, and monitoring of sustainable landfills. Case studies showcasing the benefits and challenges of sustainable landfill technologies are also provided to give the reader additional context. The intent of the book is to serve as a reference guide for regulatory personnel, a practical tool for designers and engineers to build on for site-specific applications of sustainable landfill technologies, and a comprehensive resource for researchers who are continuing to explore new and better ways to more sustainably manage waste materials.

Silent Spring

Author: Rachel Carson

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780618249060

Category: Nature

Page: 378

View: 6247

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Discusses the reckless annihilation of fish and birds by the use of pesticides and warns of the possible genetic effects on humans.

Science for Environmental Protection

The Road Ahead

Author: Committee on Science for EPA's Future,Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology,Division on Earth and Life Studies,National Research Council

Publisher: National Academies Press

ISBN: 0309264901

Category: Science

Page: 221

View: 5739

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In anticipation of future environmental science and engineering challenges and technologic advances, EPA asked the National Research Council (NRC) to assess the overall capabilities of the agency to develop, obtain, and use the best available scientific and technologic information and tools to meet persistent, emerging, and future mission challenges and opportunities. Although the committee cannot predict with certainty what new environmental problems EPA will face in the next 10 years or more, it worked to identify some of the common drivers and common characteristics of problems that are likely to occur. Tensions inherent to the structure of EPA's work contribute to the current and persistent challenges faced by the agency, and meeting those challenges will require development of leading-edge scientific methods, tools, and technologies, and a more deliberate approach to systems thinking and interdisciplinary science. Science for Environmental Protection: The Road Ahead outlines a framework for building science for environmental protection in the 21st century and identified key areas where enhanced leadership and capacity can strengthen the agency's abilities to address current and emerging environmental challenges as well as take advantage of new tools and technologies to address them. The foundation of EPA science is strong, but the agency needs to continue to address numerous present and future challenges if it is to maintain its science leadership and meet its expanding mandates.

Enforcement at the EPA

High Stakes and Hard Choices, Revised Edition

Author: Joel A. Mintz

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 0292742819

Category: Political Science

Page: 324

View: 5112

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The only published work that treats the historical evolution of EPA enforcement, this book provides a candid inside glimpse of a crucial aspect of the work of an important federal agency. Based on 190 personal interviews with present and former enforcement officials at EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice, and key congressional staff members—along with extensive research among EPA documents and secondary sources—the book vividly recounts the often tumultuous history of EPA’s enforcement program. It also analyzes some important questions regarding EPA’s institutional relationships and the Agency’s working environment. This revised and updated edition adds substantial new chapters examining EPA enforcement during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Its treatment of issues of civil service decline and the applicability of captive agency theory is also new and original.

Sustainability in the Chemical Industry:

Grand Challenges and Research Needs - A Workshop Report

Author: Committee on Grand Challenges for Sustainability in the Chemical Industry,Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology,Division on Earth and Life Studies,National Research Council

Publisher: National Academies Press

ISBN: 0309095719

Category: Science

Page: 206

View: 4167

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Through innovative design, creation, processing, use, and disposal of substances, the chemical industry plays a major role in advancing applications to support sustainability in a way that will allow humanity to meet current environmental, economic, and societal needs without compromising the progress and success of future generations. Based on a workshop held in February 2005 that brought together a broad cross section of disciplines and organizations in the chemical industry, this report identifies a set of overarching Grand Challenges for Sustainability research in chemistry and chemical engineering to assist the chemical industry in defining a sustainability agenda. These Grand Challenges include life cycle analysis, renewable chemical feedstocks, and education, among others.

Pathways to Urban Sustainability

Challenges and Opportunities for the United States

Author: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine,Policy and Global Affairs,Science and Technology for Sustainability Program,Committee on Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities

Publisher: National Academies Press

ISBN: 0309444535

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 192

View: 8651

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Cities have experienced an unprecedented rate of growth in the last decade. More than half the world’s population lives in urban areas, with the U.S. percentage at 80 percent. Cities have captured more than 80 percent of the globe’s economic activity and offered social mobility and economic prosperity to millions by clustering creative, innovative, and educated individuals and organizations. Clustering populations, however, can compound both positive and negative conditions, with many modern urban areas experiencing growing inequality, debility, and environmental degradation. The spread and continued growth of urban areas presents a number of concerns for a sustainable future, particularly if cities cannot adequately address the rise of poverty, hunger, resource consumption, and biodiversity loss in their borders. Intended as a comparative illustration of the types of urban sustainability pathways and subsequent lessons learned existing in urban areas, this study examines specific examples that cut across geographies and scales and that feature a range of urban sustainability challenges and opportunities for collaborative learning across metropolitan regions. It focuses on nine cities across the United States and Canada (Los Angeles, CA, New York City, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Grand Rapids, MI, Flint, MI, Cedar Rapids, IA, Chattanooga, TN, and Vancouver, Canada), chosen to represent a variety of metropolitan regions, with consideration given to city size, proximity to coastal and other waterways, susceptibility to hazards, primary industry, and several other factors.

Handbook of Environmental and Sustainable Finance

Author: Vikash Ramiah,Greg N. Gregoriou

Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 012803646X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 510

View: 6763

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The use of financial concepts and tools to shape development is hardly new, but their recent adoption by advocates of sustainable environmental management has created opportunities for innovation in business and regulatory groups. The Handbook of Environmental and Sustainable Finance summarizes the latest trends and attitudes in environmental finance, balancing empirical research with theory and applications. It captures the evolution of environmental finance from a niche scholarly field to a mainstream subdiscipline, and it provides glimpses of future directions for research. Covering implications from the Kyoto and Paris Protocols, it presents an intellectually cohesive examination of problems, opportunities, and metrics worldwide. Introduces the latest developments in environmental economics, sustainable accounting work, and environmental/sustainable finance Explores the effects of environmental regulation on the economy and businesses Emphasizes research about the trade-environmental regulation nexus, relevant for economics and business students

Sustainability

A Philosophy of Adaptive Ecosystem Management

Author: Bryan G. Norton

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226595214

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 607

View: 8699

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While many disciplines contribute to environmental conservation, there is little successful integration of science and social values. Arguing that the central problem in conservation is a lack of effective communication, Bryan Norton shows in Sustainability how current linguistic resources discourage any shared, multidisciplinary public deliberation over environmental goals and policy. In response, Norton develops a new, interdisciplinary approach to defining sustainability—the cornerstone of environmental policy—using philosophical and linguistic analyses to create a nonideological vocabulary that can accommodate scientific and evaluative environmental discourse. Emphasizing cooperation and adaptation through social learning, Norton provides a practical framework that encourages an experimental approach to language clarification and problem formulation, as well as an interdisciplinary approach to creating solutions. By moving beyond the scientific arena to acknowledge the importance of public discourse, Sustainability offers an entirely novel approach to environmentalism.

Sustainability Management

Lessons from and for New York City, America, and the Planet

Author: Steven Cohen

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231526371

Category: Science

Page: 200

View: 3010

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Can we grow our world economy and create opportunities for the poor while keeping the planet intact? Can we maintain our vibrant, dynamic lifestyles while ensuring the Earth stays productive and viable? Aimed at managers, students, scholars, and policymakers, Sustainability Management answers these questions in the affirmative, arguing it is possible for environmentally sustainable business practices and policies to foster economic and long-term growth. Written by a former analyst and consultant with the EPA, this book originally combines sustainable efforts in water, agriculture, urban, and power management to achieve in practice, not just in theory a sustainable planet and economy. Steven Cohen begins with the technical, financial, managerial, and political challenges of such a project, and then honestly assesses sustainable practices in the manufacturing and service industries. He addresses renewable and carbon-free energy production; water sustainability, especially with regard to energy issues involving filtration, distribution, and changing rainfall patterns; food cultivation and distribution; and ways to maintain the interdependent systems on which we depend to live. Taking examples from New York City, one of the most sustainable and sustainability-minded metropolises in the world, Cohen explains how everything from construction to waste management can be designed to facilitate a sustainable environment, not just for New York but also for the world. He concludes with this macroscopic view, outlining the global efforts necessary to preserve biodiversity and ecosystems, and the impact of war, terrorism, and human conflict on sustainability.

Green Information Technology

A Sustainable Approach

Author: Mohammad Dastbaz,Colin Pattinson,Babak Akhgar

Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann

ISBN: 012801671X

Category: Computers

Page: 348

View: 894

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We are living in the era of "Big Data" and the computing power required to deal with "Big Data" both in terms of its energy consumption and technical complexity is one of the key areas of research and development. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that centralized computing infrastructures (data centres) currently use 7 giga watts of electricity during peak loads. This translates into about 61 billion kilowatt hours of electricity used. By the EPA’s estimates, power-hungry data centres consume the annual output of 15 average-sized power plants. One of the top constraints to increasing computing power, besides the ability to cool, is simply delivering enough power to a given physical space. Green Information Technology: A Sustainable Approach offers in a single volume a broad collection of practical techniques and methodologies for designing, building and implementing a green technology strategy in any large enterprise environment, which up until now has been scattered in difficult-to-find scholarly resources. Included here is the latest information on emerging technologies and their environmental impact, how to effectively measure sustainability, discussions on sustainable hardware and software design, as well as how to use big data and cloud computing to drive efficiencies and establish a framework for sustainability in the information technology infrastructure. Written by recognized experts in both academia and industry, Green Information Technology: A Sustainable Approach is a must-have guide for researchers, computer architects, computer engineers and IT professionals with an interest in greater efficiency with less environmental impact. Introduces the concept of using green procurement and supply chain programs in the IT infrastructure. Discusses how to use big data to drive efficiencies and establish a framework for sustainability in the information technology infrastructure. Explains how cloud computing can be used to consolidate corporate IT environments using large-scale shared infrastructure reducing the overall environmental impact and unlocking new efficiencies. Provides specific use cases for Green IT such as data center energy efficiency and cloud computing sustainability and risk.

The Bridge at the Edge of the World

Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability

Author: James Gustave Speth

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300151152

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 295

View: 6469

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Presents an analysis of modern capitalism and its impact on the global environmental crises, and discusses how the transformation of current economic and political systems can lead to environmental sustainability.

Fostering Sustainable Behavior

An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing

Author: Doug McKenzie-Mohr

Publisher: New Society Publishers

ISBN: 9781550924626

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 192

View: 8912

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The highly acclaimed manual for changing everyday habits--now in an all-new third edition!

Sustainability and the U.S. EPA

Author: Committee on Incorporating Sustainability in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,Science and Technology for Sustainability Program,Policy and Global Affairs,National Research Council

Publisher: National Academies Press

ISBN: 0309212529

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 286

View: 6093

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Sustainability is based on a simple and long-recognized factual premise: Everything that humans require for their survival and well-being depends, directly or indirectly, on the natural environment. The environment provides the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Recognizing the importance of sustainability to its work, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working to create programs and applications in a variety of areas to better incorporate sustainability into decision-making at the agency. To further strengthen the scientific basis for sustainability as it applies to human health and environmental protection, the EPA asked the National Research Council (NRC) to provide a framework for incorporating sustainability into the EPA's principles and decision-making. This framework, Sustainability and the U.S. EPA, provides recommendations for a sustainability approach that both incorporates and goes beyond an approach based on assessing and managing the risks posed by pollutants that has largely shaped environmental policy since the 1980s. Although risk-based methods have led to many successes and remain important tools, the report concludes that they are not adequate to address many of the complex problems that put current and future generations at risk, such as depletion of natural resources, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. Moreover, sophisticated tools are increasingly available to address cross-cutting, complex, and challenging issues that go beyond risk management. The report recommends that EPA formally adopt as its sustainability paradigm the widely used "three pillars" approach, which means considering the environmental, social, and economic impacts of an action or decision. Health should be expressly included in the "social" pillar. EPA should also articulate its vision for sustainability and develop a set of sustainability principles that would underlie all agency policies and programs.

Sustainable Engineering

Concepts, Design and Case Studies

Author: David T. Allen,David R. Shonnard

Publisher: Prentice Hall

ISBN: 0132756587

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 240

View: 7204

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Assessing Engineering Designs for Environmental, Economic, and Social Impact Engineers will play a central role in addressing one of the twenty-first century’s key challenges: the development of new technologies that address societal needs and wants within the constraints imposed by limited natural resources and the need to protect environmental systems. To create tomorrow’s sustainable products, engineers must carefully consider environmental, economic, and social factors in evaluating their designs. Fortunately, quantitative tools for incorporating sustainability concepts into engineering designs and performance metrics are now emerging. Sustainable Engineering introduces these tools and shows how to apply them. Building on widely accepted principles they first introduced in Green Engineering, David T. Allen and David R. Shonnard discuss key aspects of designing sustainable systems in any engineering discipline. Their powerful, unified approach integrates essential engineering and quantitative design skills, industry perspectives, and case studies, enabling engineering professionals, educators, and students to incorporate sustainability throughout their work. Coverage includes A concise review of the natural resource and environmental challenges engineers face when designing for sustainability Analysis and legislative frameworks for addressing environmental issues and sustainability Methods for identifying green and sustainable materials Principles for improving the sustainability of engineering designs Tools for evaluating sustainable designs and monetizing their benefits