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Enviro-Newsbrief March 3, 1999


Enviro-Newsbrief
March 3, 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: http://www.epa.gov/natlibra/hqirc/enb.htm

** CLEAN AIR **

New Car Exhaust Could Mean Cleaner Air. Lycos Environmental News Service, March 1, 1999. Full text of story available at: http://ens.lycos.com/ens/mar99/1999L-03-02-09.html.

A new automobile exhaust system developed at Ohio State University cuts exhaust emissions by 15 percent and boosts engine performance by five percent. The new design is call "perforated muffler manifold catalyst."

** GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE **

EPA Prohibits Use of HFC-134a, HFC-152a in Self-Chilling Cans. Daily Environment Report, March 3, 1999, pA3.

Two potent greenhouse gases, HFC-134a and HFC-152a, have been placed off limits for use as refrigerants in self-chilling cans by an Environmental Protection Agency rule.

The banned hydro-fluorocarbons are used as substitutes for chlorofluorocarbons in a variety of refrigeration and air conditioning applications. While HFCs are considered greenhouse gases, they do not deplete stratospheric ozone.

Over the course of a century, one pound of HFC-134a acts as the equivalent of 1,300 pounds of carbon dioxide, while a pound of HFC-152a contributes effects equal to 140 pounds of carbon dioxide, according to EPA.

Authority for the new rule comes under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act and become effective April 1.

**For more information on this rule contact Kelly Davis, Stratospheric Protection Division, EPA, Mail Code 6205j, 401 M Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20460, (202) 564-2303.**

Group Touts Methanol Fuel Cells In Report to Auto Engineers Meeting. Daily Environment Report, March 1, 1999, pA4-5.

Speaking to a group of engineers in Detroit, Raymond A. Lewis of the American Methanol Institute (AMI), said that refitting 10 percent of standard gasoline pumps to supply methanol for fuel cells would be easier and cheaper than refitting for other alternative fuel sources.

Lewis cited the $2 billion that the automobile industry has already invested into fuel cell research and development as a good reason for the refitting.

He said, "We would spend substantially less than we spent to refit refineries to produce reformulated gasoline."

The AMI commissioned a study examining refitting costs in several states that will require the sale of zero-emission vehicles by 2003.

Several major automobile manufacturers have already introduced methanol fuel cell prototype vehicles, with DaimlerChrysler AG having made a commitment to produce 40,000 in Europe by 2004.

**A copy of AMI's report "Fuel Cell Power for Transportation" is available at: http://www.methanol.org.

** SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT **

The President's Council on Sustainable Development and the Global Environment & Technology Foundation to Convene National Town Meeting for a Sustainable America: Jacquelyn A. Ottman to Speak. Lycos Environment News Service, March 1, 1999. Full text of story is available at: http://ens.lycos.com/e-wire/march/mar029900.html.

A national town meeting in Detroit from May 2-5 will focus on best practices for finding new ways to balance economic, environmental, and social goals.

Sponsored by the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) and the Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF), the gathering will concentrate on Detroit and other points across America.

Co-chairs for the event are Carol Browner, Administrator of the EPA and Ray Anderson, Chairman and CEO of Interface, Inc.

Jacquelyn A. Ottman is scheduled to speak on "Achieving Sustainable Competitive Advantage Through New Product and Service Innovation". Ms. Ottman will conduct an interactive program that will shed light on how to get cross-functional corporate teams to think "out of the box" about sustainable initiatives.

Ms. Ottman is an internationally recognized consultant on environmental marketing and innovation and the author of "Green Marketing: Challenges and Opportunities for the New Marketing Age" which has been called "the definitive work" on the subject of environmental marketing by the American Marketing Association.

**Additional information about the National Town Meeting for a Sustainable America can be found at: http://www.sustainableamerica.org.

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