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Enviro-Newsbrief February 8, 1999

Enviro-Newsbrief                             February 8, 1999

     The following is a daily update summarizing news of interest
to EPA staff. It includes information from current news sources:
newspapers, newsletters, and other publications. For more
information, contact the EPA Headquarters Information Resources
Center at (202) 260-5922, or e-mail LIBRARY-HQ.

**Viewpoints expressed in the following summaries do not
necessarily reflect EPA policy**

A searchable archive of past Enviro-Newsbriefs can be found on
the EPA web site at the following URL:

** The EPA HQ IRC did not receive the BNA Daily Environment
Report for February 8, 1999. **


Talkin' Trash. The Washington Post, February 7, 1999, pB1&B4.

     This commentary by William Rathje, founding director of the
Garbage Project at the University of Arizona urges the
preventative measure of decreasing the amount of garbage we
create in the first place, instead of searching for places to put
it once it already exists.
     He notes that garbage is constantly being moved from the
place it's created to somewhere else for landfilling.  He notes
that every day nearly 3,000 tons of New York City's garbage is
being hauled to Virginia.
     Rathje goes on to note that the problem of too much garbage
will not be cured by our asking where it all comes from, but
instead by asking what we can do to reduce it.
     Recycling is not the top priority either says Rathje.  EPA
places recycling only third in its list of ways to reduce waste.
The number one means of reducing waste is "source reduction",
i.e. using less by buying products and packaging that will create
less waste.
     Rathje thinks that one answer to the problem might be EPA's
"Pay As You Throw Program."  Seattle, WA has employed this
program.  A family is given a small garbage receptacle, and
should they need a larger one, they can pay for it.  Seattle has
had a decrease in the amount of garbage bags collected.


Hybrid Bus Is Environmentally Friendly.  The New York Times,
February 8, 1999, pA16.

     A new bus in use at Boston's Logan Airport is a step towards
reducing air pollution from vehicle emissions.  The bus is
powered by two motors and a natural gas engine.  In addition, it
weighs only two-thirds the weight of a regular bus.
     "Transit agencies are under more and more pressure to get
off diesel," said Sheila Lynch, the executive director of the
Northeast Alternative Vehicle Consortium.  "Government agencies
are reviewing all their options."  She went on to note that
Boston has agreed to not buy any new diesel buses, and the
Natural Resources Defense Council is working on New York City to
make the same kind of agreement.
     New York has been using five of the hybrid buses since
September 1998, and plans to purchase 10 more.
     "The reaction of our bus drivers has been overwhelmingly
positive," said Albert W. O'Leary, a spokesman from New York City
     Because the engine is powered by natural gas, it is far
cleaner than a diesel engine.  In addition, it runs at a constant
speed, a facet which allows the highest energy return from fuel.
     The bus was designed by Everett A. Pearson, who is the owner
of TPI Composites.

Small Business Input Sought by EPA For Air Toxics Combustion
Rulemaking.  Daily Environment Report, February 5, 1999, ppA1-2.

     The EPA has begun efforts to gather input from small
businesses that may be affected by five upcoming air toxics rules
on stationary combustion sources.  The agency sent letters to
trade associations that represent small business in hopes of
finding out exactly how much interest small businesses have in
the upcoming rulings.
     Amanda Agnew, of EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and
Standards' combustion group, said that EPA is not sure how the
rulemakings will affect small business. "We're unsure at this
point.  We haven't had much input from small businesses, which
would really help."
     Karen V. Brown, the EPA's Small Business Ombudsman is
heading up the outreach efforts.  She's asking that trade
associations and other small business representatives contact EPA
by March 1 if they're interested in participating in the
     A second reasoning behind the outreach effort is an attempt
by EPA to educate small businesses about the upcoming rules.
Many businesses that use combustion devices may not even realize
that the rules are in the works.   The rules are slated to take
effect in the year 2000 and would effect boilers, process
heaters, incinerators, combustion turbines, and stationary
internal combustion engines.
     EPA noted that it's possible that not all small businesses
will be subject to the new rules.  In a letter, EPA said that
"...because a large number of small entities may not satisfy the
criterion for being major sources, and because the required level
of emission control for boilers has not yet been determined, it
is difficult to predict at this time the type and number of small
entities that would be subject to the standards..."

** For more information on the rulemakings, please contact Sims
Roy for turbines (919) 541-5426; Jim Eddinger for boilers (919)
541-5426; Bill Maxwell for process heaters (919) 541-5430; Amanda
Agnew for internal combustion engines at (919) 541-5268; and Rick
Crume for incinterators (919) 541-5294 or see EPA's website at **

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