Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DEP Newsy Bits

In my neverending search for fun and entertainment I read the daily news reports from the state Dept. of Environmental Protection. Since the political world is a little sluggish this week, let me share some newsy bits from the DEP:

"Credit crunch puts ethanol plant on hold," by Joe Napsha, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 11/12. Excerpt:

Construction of an ethanol plant in East Huntingdon, Westmoreland County, is being delayed because the company can't secure financing for the project amid the national financial crisis, a local official said Tuesday.

"Building interest County may have found a home for its energy incubator," by Rachel Carta,, 11/08. Excerpt:
A factory where men and women once rolled cigars by hand, by the light of electric bulbs dangling from the ceiling, may help take Northumberland County to a future in the renewable energy industry.

The 60,000-square-foot former General Cigar Co. building, where 600 local people once worked, has been targeted by the county as the site for the Energy Technology Energy Commerce (E-TEC) Incubator.

Iberdrola press release, 11/05, Excerpt:
IBERDROLA RENEWABLES last week released the wind power industry's first company-wide Avian and Bat Protection Plan.

The IBERDROLA RENEWABLES plan is modeled in part after the 2005 Avian Protection Plan template developed by some 30 electric utility companies, numerous electric cooperatives and rural utilities, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to address impacts of transmission and distribution lines on birds. The IBERDROLA RENEWABLES plan applies those principles to its wind fleet and addresses bats as well as birds.

IBERDROLA RENEWABLES is the largest owner of wind energy projects in the world with 8,500 megawatts of wind power in operation globally. Its Eastern Development office is located in Radnor, Delaware County, and employs approximately 80 people.

IBERDROLA has ownership interests in wind farms generating 67 megawatts of energy in Pennsylvania, including the 35-megawatt Casselman project in Somerset County dedicated by Governor Edward G. Rendell in October. Iberdrola has another 102-megawatts of wind projects under construction in the commonwealth.

DEP press release, 11/06:
DEP's Southeast Regional Office has received a Sustainable Healthcare Partner Award from EPA Region 3 for its leadership in helping Philadelphia area hospitals adopt “green” operational practices.

Thanks to a $78,500 grant from EPA, since 2006 DEP and its partners – the Health Care Improvement Foundation and the Women's Health & Environmental Network (WHEN) – have guided 20 Delaware Valley hospitals toward measurable and sustained reductions in their environmental footprint. The Green Hospitals Pilot project grant has been supervised by Heather Cowley, OETD manager for DEP’s southeast region.

“The project has produced results. Reduction in red bag waste, improved recycling, better management of pharmaceutical waste, greater awareness of sustainability as a whole, and better partnerships between hospitals are just some of the benefits that were realized by participating hospitals,” she said.

Cowley believes the participants also appreciate the green hospital's bottom line. “Health care costs continue to rise and this is an area where you can reduce both risks and costs,” she noted.

Cowley, who accepted the EPA award for the department at an October 30 annual meeting of the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council's Annual Meeting, will remain involved with the pilot project until it ends in June 2009.

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