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EPA Adds BPA, 22 Other Chemicals to TSCA List (10/29/2014)
Twenty-three chemicals, including bisphenol A (BPA), seven phthalates and two flame retardants, have been added to the EPA's list of chemicals for assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Manufacturers of some of the newly added chemicals include Dow Chemical, DuPont, Eastman Chemical, Mexichem S.A.B de C.V., Momentive Performance Materials Holdings and Webb Chemical Service, Bloomberg BNA reports. The EPA also removed 15 chemicals and groups of chemicals from the TSCA Work Plan list, which now includes 90 chemicals and chemical groups.

TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments: 2014 Update (10/29/2014)
In October 2014, EPA issued the TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments: 2014 Update to reflect updated data submitted to EPA by the chemical industry on chemical releases and potential exposures. This is the first update to the TSCA Work Plan. The new data was submitted in 2012 under TSCA's Chemical Data Reporting or in 2011 as part of the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory reporting. These data were used to update the exposure rankings for the chemicals initially screened as part of the Work Plan. These data were also used to screen ten Action Plan chemicals and two additional chemicals identified by the Agency during EPA's assessment of flame retardants. The exposure ranking is part of the screening methodology used to develop the Work Plan in 2012 and is described in detail in the Work Plan Methods Document.

EPA Invites Communities to Apply for Assistance to Build Resilience, Pursue Revitalization (10/27/2014)
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today invited communities to apply for technical assistance to implement smart growth development approaches. EPA is offering this technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program to help communities across the country, including underserved communities, coastal communities, small cities and rural areas, adopt sustainable growth strategies. The program aims to increase resilience to natural disasters and strengthen the economy while protecting human health and the environment. The Building Blocks program provides quick, targeted technical assistance to communitiesusing tools with demonstrated results and widespread application. Communities may apply for assistance on one or more of the following topics: • Bikeshare planning • Equitable development • Infill development for distressed cities • Sustainable strategies for small cities and rural areas • Flood resilience for riverine and coastal communities

National Scale Assessment of Mercury Contamination in Streams (10/27/2014)
A new USGS report presents a comprehensive assessment of mercury contamination in streams across the United States. It highlights the importance of environmental processes, monitoring, and control strategies for understanding and reducing stream mercury levels. Methylmercury concentrations in fish exceed the human health criterion in about one in four U.S. streams. Mercury contamination of fish is the primary cause of fish consumption advisories, which currently exist in every state in the nation. Mercury can travel long distances in the atmosphere and be deposited in watersheds, thus contaminating fish even in areas with no obvious source of mercury pollution.

Tool Helps Manufacturers Use Safer Chemicals (10/22/2014)
The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute will offer a material health certificate, a tool for manufacturers across industries to avoid chemicals of high concern, shift to safer ones in their products and encourage product and supply chain transparency. The Material Health Certificate marks the first time the Institute has offered reporting of its methodology in only one category. Several companies are pursing the new certificate, including Owens Corning and ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas. Owens Corning, which produces residential and commercial building materials, glass-fiber reinforcements and engineered materials for composite systems, is in the process of pursuing the material health certificate on three product lines while having already earned Cradle to Cradle certification on a product line.

EPA Releases Guidance to Improve Schools' Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency (10/17/2014)
WASHINGTON --- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new guidance to help school districts protect indoor air quality while increasing energy efficiency during school renovations. "This guidance provides common-sense solutions for improving energy efficiency and indoor air quality in schools across the country," said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "By using these guidelines, school districts can cut their energy bills and help ensure that students have a healthy and safe learning environment."

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