News

  • Want Consumers to Recycle In-Store? Show Them How.
    by Kate Bertrand Connolly on July 13, 2024 at 12:00 am

    Research shows retailers can use in-store signage to build consumer engagement with flexible-packaging recycling programs. […]

  • How to Reach Your 2025 Packaging Sustainability Goals
    by Lisa McTigue Pierce on July 12, 2024 at 6:10 pm

    You can still make plenty of progress on your sustainability goals, even as deadlines loom. Here are great tips on how your packaging can be recyclable, reusable, compostable, or increase its recycled content and reduce virgin material. […]

  • PRINTING United Expo 2024 Registration Trends Upward
    by Greg Kishbaugh on July 12, 2024 at 5:04 pm

    PRINTING United Alliance announced that registration for PRINTING United Expo 2024, taking place September 10-12 in Las Vegas, Nevada, is trending ahead of last year’s figures.  Hotel room bookings are reportedly trending at more than 10 percent over last year’s numbers at this time. Additionally, registration is trending ahead from the same time last year […]

  • ICPF Partners With SFI To Increase Awareness Of Corrugated Careers
    by Len Prazych on July 12, 2024 at 12:06 pm

    The International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF) announced a new partnership with Project Learning Tree (PLT), an initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI), to increase youth awareness of corrugated packaging industry careers. The partnership aims to increase awareness, access, and education about the rewarding green careers in the corrugated packaging industry through the development […]

  • EPA Announces Revisions to the Velsicol Chemical Superfund Site Cleanup Plan
    by Region 05 on July 12, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    CHICAGO (July 12, 2024) – On Monday, July 15, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will begin a 30-day public comment period on proposed revisions to the Velsicol Chemical Superfund site cleanup plan.  Revisions include repairing the existing slurry wall around the former plant site and removing the need to extend a collection system around monitoring well 19.   On Wednesday, July 31, EPA will host a public meeting and accept comments on the proposed revisions to the cleanup plan at the community room in City Hall, 300 N. Mill St., St. Louis, Michigan. There will be a formal presentation about the modification to the cleanup plan, also known as an explanation of significant differences, followed by a question-and-answer period. At the end, EPA will accept formal comments from the public. To view the proposed modifications to the cleanup plan before the meeting, please visit EPA’s website.    To submit a comment, send by mail to Diane Russell, community involvement coordinator, U.S. EPA Region 5, 1300 Bluff St., Suite 105, Flint, MI 48504; attend the public meeting on July 31 to provide an oral comment; or go to EPA’s Velsicol website and click the “Public Comment Form” and fill out a comment. Comments must be received before midnight on August 13.   For more information about the Velsicol Chemical Superfund site, visit EPA’s website.   &nbs […]

  • EPA Issues Order to City of Marietta, Ohio, to Resolve Clean Water Act Violations
    by Region 05 on July 12, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced an order issued to the city of Marietta, Ohio, to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at the city’s wastewater treatment works, located at 440 East Eighth Street. Pollutants including fecal coliform and E. coli were discharged in amounts that exceed permit limits into the Ohio River. On multiple occasions, untreated sewage was discharged to the Ohio River, the Muskingum River and a tributary to the Muskingum River. Under the order, the city is required to submit a plan to EPA for plant upgrades and collection system improvements to address the chronic permit effluent exceedances, treatment bypasses, and sanitary sewer overflows, along with other operations, maintenance, reporting, and monitoring violations discovered during a July 2023 inspection. The city contains areas with environmental justice concerns. Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To learn more about the Clean Water Act, visit the EPA website. To learn more about EPA’s enforcement process, visit its website. […]

  • OMG Partners of Turlock, Calif. Penalized $140,000 for Fuel Spill that Reached San Francisco Bay
    by Region 09 on July 12, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a proposed settlement with OMG Partners of Turlock, Calif. to resolve claims of Clean Water Act violations after one of the company’s tanker trucks overturned and a fuel product spilled into the roadway, Laguna Creek, Coyote Creek, and the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. The fuel reached the San Francisco Bay. The proposed settlement requires OMG Partners to pay a civil penalty of $140,000. “Spilled fuel can cause severe harm to our waters, wildlife and ecosystems, so it’s imperative that it be transported in a safe manner,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “With this proposed settlement, EPA is showing our commitment to holding accountable entities that pollute waterways in the San Francisco Bay watershed.” On Dec. 24, 2021, one of OMG Partners’ trucks was transporting 8,500 gallons of unleaded gasoline when it overturned in Fremont, Calif., releasing 7,900 gallons of gasoline, some of which flowed to Laguna Creek and subsequently into the San Francisco Bay. At the direction of EPA and California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), OMG Partners contractors placed booming in four locations: the main storm drain outfall, Laguna Creek, Agua Caliente, and Coyote Creek. In the settlement, EPA alleges that OMG Partners’ tanker truck released unleaded gasoline in such quantities that may be harmful. Additional Information: For more information visit EPA’s public notice webpage. For more information on reporting possible violations of environmental laws and regulations visit EPA’s enforcement reporting website. Learn about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and X.&nbs […]

  • EPA New England Makes Healthy Communities Grants Available to Protect Public Health and the Environment in New England
    by Region 01 on July 12, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    BOSTON (July 12, 2024) – EPA New England's Healthy Communities Grant Program is now accepting applications for projects of up to $40,000 in federal funding that will benefit New England communities in one or more target areas. The deadline to submit a proposal is Friday, November 1, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. EPA plans to award approximately 15 cooperative agreements.,000 in federal funding that will benefit New England communities in one or more target areas. The deadline to submit a proposal is Friday, November 1, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. EPA plans to award approximately 15 cooperative agreements. "At EPA, we put the health and wellbeing of New England communities at the forefront of our work. However, many of our neighborhoods continue to face significant environmental challenges that can affect public health," said EPA Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "The Healthy Communities Grant program will provide critical funding in the form of small-scale grants to support local projects. Empowering communities means that together we can achieve positive results for a cleaner, healthier environment for all New England residents." The Healthy Communities Grant Program offer grants for entities to work directly with communities to reduce environmental risks to protect and improve human health and the quality of life, advance resilience, and preserve or restore important ecosystems. Projects must be aligned with one or more of the four Target Investment Areas (Areas near Ports that are being Redeveloped to Support Offshore Wind and Related Industries; Geographic Priority Areas or Sectors in Northern & Southern New England; Environmental Justice Areas of Potential Concern; and/or Sensitive Populations), and identify how the proposed project will achieve measurable environmental or public health results in one or more of the seven Target Program Areas (Capacity Building on Environmental and/or Public Health Issues; Clean, Green and Healthy Schools; Energy Efficiency; Healthy Indoor Environments; Healthy Outdoor Environments; Pollution Prevention; and Sustainable Materials Management). Full descriptions of the target areas can be found in the 2024 Healthy Communities Grant Program Request for Applications. Eligible applicants include state and local governments, public nonprofit institutions or organizations, private nonprofit institutions or organizations, quasi-public nonprofit institutions or organizations, federally recognized Tribal Governments, K-12 schools or school districts, and nonprofit organizations, such as grassroots and community-based organizations. Funding will be considered for a college or university to support a project with substantial community or Tribal involvement. Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend one of four information sessions to learn more about the application process and ask questions. Information sessions will take place at the following times: July 16, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET August 14, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET September 10, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET October 2, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET Visit the Healthy Communities webpage to register for an information session, access the Request for Applications and learn more about the program. […]

  • Platinum Packaging Adds Bobst Technology
    by Greg Kishbaugh on July 11, 2024 at 5:01 pm

    Platinum Packaging, Mlolongo, Kenya, has implemented two automated Bobst Master M6 inline flexo presses with oneECG technology.  Platinum Packaging Ltd supplies brand owners in the consumer goods (FMCG) sector, agrochemical, pharmaceutical, automotive and construction industries, with a total annual production of 580 tons. Established in 2019, Platinum Packaging initially concentrated solely on gravure printing relying […]

  • Bottles Debut in Limited-Time Pepsi Pineapple Promotion
    by Kate Bertrand Connolly on July 11, 2024 at 3:36 pm

    A returning promotion from Pepsi and Little Caesars puts pineapple on beverage packaging, not pies. […]

  • 3 Ways to Reimagine Medical Device Packaging Development
    by Nicholas Webb on July 11, 2024 at 3:05 pm

    Be an innovation superstar by avoiding common pitfalls and embracing smart risks. […]

  • Dispelling The MythsOf Digital Corrugated Printing
    by Len Prazych on July 11, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    by Ben Ginesi In recent years, the corrugated industry has experienced a surge in demand for short and medium runs of high impact packaging, driven by growth in sectors such as the thriving craft beer market, where new product development generates a virtually constant stream of box design variations. As converters explore the prospect of […]

  • EPA Announces $14 Million WIFIA Loan to Develop Drought Solutions in California
    by Region 09 on July 11, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $14.8 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to Palmdale Water District (PWD) in southern California. This WIFIA loan will assist the district’s regional advanced water augmentation program to expand the water supply by establishing a drought-proof drinking water supply for over 125,000 residents. “California is no stranger to drought impacts, and we are seeing a need for communities to invest in drought resilient water supply as they prepare for future climate stress,” said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Bruno Pigott. “We are thrilled to help the Palmdale Water District advance their project ensuring a plentiful and resilient water supply through EPA’s low-cost financing. The Biden-Harris Administration has been prioritizing critical water infrastructure projects across the country through the investing in America agenda.” The is developing an advanced water augmentation program to purify recycled water for potable use for its residents. By using recycled water, the district will create a reliable water supply and provide an alternative to the drought-affected Antelope Valley Basin. With this WIFIA loan, the district will construct a small-scale advanced water purification demonstration facility to conduct necessary water testing. They will also test an emerging technology, called direct air capture, which is designed to transform brine into a solvent. It will capture carbon dioxide, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lower operation and maintenance costs. The district will use information collected at the demonstration facility to complete planning, design and construction of the full-scale advanced water purification facility and new groundwater injection wells. “We are grateful to the EPA for awarding this loan for our Pure Water Antelope Valley Demonstration Facility,” said PWD General Manager Dennis D. LaMoreaux. “It gives us the funds needed to build a project that will enable us to be more drought-proof, have local control of our water, and improve the groundwater quality and quantity.” This is the first WIFIA loan under a master agreement that will commit a total of $145 million to develop its advanced water purification program. With this first loan, the district is expected to save $4 million in interest compared to traditional financing and create about 50 jobs. Since 2018, the EPA’s WIFIA program has announced over $20 billion in financing to support more than $44 billion in water infrastructure projects that are strengthening drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure while creating over 140,000 jobs. Learn more about the EPA’s WIFIA Program and water infrastructure investments under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Background Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan program administered by the EPA. The WIFIA program aims to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term, low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs. The EPA is currently in its seventh selection round for WIFIA financing. In this round, the EPA is offering $6.5 billion through WIFIA, and $1 billion through SWIFIA, which is a loan program exclusively for State infrastructure financing authority borrowers. EPA is currently accepting letters of interest for WIFIA and SWIFIA loans. Learn more about submitting a letter of interest for a WIFIA loan.In addition to WIFIA loans, there are many federal funding resources available for communities and utilities to improve vital water and wastewater resources. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment in the nation’s water infrastructure. Learn about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and X. […]

  • The Water Tower Institute, Inc., based Buford, Georgia among national recipients of $20 Million in Water Workforce Training and Career Development as Part of Investing in America Agenda
    by Region 04 on July 11, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    ATLANTA (July 11, 2024) –Today, July 11, As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing over $20 million to 13 workforce development organizations across the nation under its Innovative Water Workforce Development Grant Program, which supports expanding career opportunities in the drinking water and wastewater utility sector. This announcement comes as White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden and Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su travel to Philadelphia today to host the inaugural convening of the city’s Investing in America Workforce Hub. The Philadelphia Workforce Hub will support the workforce needed to deliver on the city’s water and transportation projects spurred by the President’s Investing in America agenda. “In every community in America, water and wastewater utility workers are unsung heroes ensuring that families and businesses have access to reliable, clean and safe water services,” said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator Bruno Pigott. “As the water sector faces a wave of retirements, EPA is prioritizing the sustainability of the water workforce and the resilience of our water systems and communities with this $20 million program.” Across the country, water infrastructure workers make possible the delivery of clean, safe water services to millions of Americans. EPA’s Innovative Water Workforce Development Grant Program complements the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government strategy to create good-paying, family-supporting jobs in the communities they serve. The grant program also develops the apprenticeship programs, labor standards, and other tools needed to ensure a strong pipeline of workers and high-quality jobs.  EPA is selecting 13 recipients at regional and national organizations to implement a broad range of programs under the Innovative Water Infrastructure Workforce Development Grant Program: Multiplier/WaterNow Alliance (CA): $760,463.31 American Water Works Association (CO): $852,000 Rural Community Assistance Partnership (DC): $1,000,000 The Water Tower Institute, Inc (GA): $1,942,378 Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (HI): $1,000,000 Wichita State University (KS): $414,250 Baltimore City Department of Public Works (MD): $914,500 Center for Watershed Protection, Inc. (MD): $999,520 Grand Rapids Community College (MI): $1,000,000 Board of Regents Nevada System of Higher Education (NV): $999,153 University of New Mexico (NM): $600,000 National Rural Water Association (OK): $5,594,000 Energy Innovation Center Institute, Inc. (PA): $4,900,000 The grants will expand public awareness about job opportunities in the drinking water and wastewater utility sector and will address the workforce needs of drinking water and wastewater utilities. Activities that will be funded under this competition include: Targeted internship, apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and post-secondary bridge programs. Education programs designed for elementary, secondary, and higher education students. Regional industry and workforce development collaborations to address water utility employment needs and coordinate candidate development. Integrated learning laboratories in secondary educational institutions. Leadership development, occupational training, mentoring, or cross-training programs that ensure incumbent drinking water and wastewater utility workers are prepared for higher-level supervisory or management-level positions. EPA plans to award the recipients a grant once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied. Funding this program furthers the agency’s goals of a cleaner, healthier environment for all Americans and future generations. Learn more about EPA’s Innovative Water Infrastructure Workforce Development Program. […]

  • EPA and Justice Department announce $241.5M settlement with Marathon Oil to reduce climate- and health-harming emissions in North Dakota
    by Region 08 on July 11, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice announced a settlement with Marathon Oil Company resolving Clean Air Act violations at the company’s oil and gas production operations on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. The settlement requires that Marathon pay a civil penalty of $64.5 million, the largest ever for violations of the Clean Air Act at stationary sources, which include facilities such as oil and gas tank systems. Under the settlement agreement, Marathon will implement extensive compliance measures to achieve major reductions in harmful emissions from over 200 facilities across the state. The case is the first of its kind against an oil and gas producer for violations of major source emissions permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. The complaint alleges that these and other Clean Air Act violations at nearly 90 Marathon facilities resulted in thousands of tons of illegal pollution, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide, which contribute to asthma and increase susceptibility to respiratory illnesses. Additionally, greenhouse gases, including methane, were released in large quantities, contributing to climate change. While Marathon is the nation’s 22nd largest producer of oil based on 2022 data, it is the 7th largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas industry. A large portion of these emissions come from flaring, an industry practice that releases methane, a climate super-pollutant. The work that Marathon will do under this agreement will result in the equivalent of over 2.25 million tons of reduced carbon dioxide emissions over the next five years, similar to the number of reductions achieved by taking 487,000 cars off the road for one year. The settlement will also eliminate nearly 110,000 tons of VOC emissions. “Today’s record Clean Air Act settlement is the most significant to date under EPA’s climate enforcement initiative and makes clear that EPA will hold corporate polluters like Marathon accountable for violations that put communities and our futures at risk,” said Assistant Administrator David M. Uhlmann of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The $64.5 million Clean Air Act penalty and the substantial measures Marathon must take to reduce its harmful air emissions demonstrate that EPA will not allow oil and gas companies to put corporate profits ahead of protecting communities and the environment. As a result of today’s settlement, Marathon will dramatically cut its emissions of methane, a climate super-pollutant that is dozens of times more potent in the near term than carbon dioxide.  EPA is committed to doing everything possible to limit climate change and promote a sustainable future.” “This historic settlement – the largest ever civil penalty for violations of the Clean Air Act at stationary sources – will ensure cleaner air for the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and other communities in North Dakota, while holding Marathon accountable for its illegal pollution,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.  “The complaint alleges that Clean Air Act violations at nearly 90 Marathon facilities resulted in thousands of tons of illegal emissions.  The work that Marathon will do under this agreement will result in the equivalent of over 2.25 million tons of reduced carbon-dioxide emissions over the next five years and also eliminate nearly 110,000 tons of VOC emissions.  The Justice Department will continue to vigorously enforce our environmental laws to protect the health of the American people.” “This settlement is a major win for the health and future of our Tribal communities, including people and families who are often overburdened by pollution,” said KC Becker, EPA Region 8 Administrator. “As a result of the agreement, Marathon has and will continue to take comprehensive measures to come into compliance and reduce harmful emissions across hundreds of production sources. These investments will improve air quality and reduce respiratory illnesses across the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and western North Dakota.”  “The record civil penalty and extensive compliance measures, including an innovative cap on VOC emissions, set a benchmark for the Department’s enforcement efforts at oil and gas production facilities,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer. “Those who are historically overburdened by pollution are the most at risk of being harmed by these emissions. The Justice Department is committed to enforcing laws such as the Clean Air Act to protect the health of everyone in the United States, including Tribal Nations and their members.” “This landmark settlement will ensure cleaner air throughout the State of North Dakota and substantially reduce pollutants that contribute to global warming,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “We are committed to taking strong action to ensure that oil and gas production operations across the nation comply with environmental laws designed to protect human health and the environment.” The agreement requires Marathon to invest in extensive compliance measures estimated to cost $177 million, much of which will be implemented by the end of 2024. The settlement requires Marathon to obtain permits with federally enforceable emissions limits at production facilities on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and future operations in the state of North Dakota. Compliance measures also include flare monitoring, periodic infrared camera inspections and implementation of storage tank design requirements. These actions will significantly reduce harmful health-related emissions from 169 existing facilities on state land and on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, as well as at new facilities built in North Dakota. The complaint alleges that Marathon failed to obtain required preconstruction permits under the PSD program and operating permits under the Title V program, which represents a larger industry practice of permitting avoidance that is coming under tighter scrutiny. The settlement is part of EPA’s National Enforcement and Compliance Initiative, Mitigating Climate Change. This initiative focuses, in part, on reducing methane emissions from oil and gas and landfill sources. Like all of EPA’s national enforcement initiatives, this initiative prioritizes communities already overburdened by pollution and other potential environmental justice concerns. The consent decree was filed with the United States District Court, District of North Dakota, Western Division and is subject to a 30-day comment period. The complaint and the proposed consent decree is available on the Justice Department’s Proposed Consent Decree web page. More information on the settlement agreement is available on the Agency’s Marathon Oil Company 2024 Clean Air Act Stationary Source Settlement web page. Background The complaint also alleges failure to comply with storage tank design, operation and maintenance requirements at facilities on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The settlement requires Marathon to obtain permits for its existing facilities on the Reservation and for new facilities it builds in North Dakota. These actions will cap VOC emissions at under 100 tons per year. The settlement further requires auditor checks on Marathon’s permit applications and ongoing audits of emissions from its facilities. Marathon must temporarily stop production if facility-wide emissions limits are exceeded or if flares are not operating properly. In addition to three other projects to reduce emissions, Marathon will purchase two infrared cameras for use by the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation during oil and natural gas production facility inspections. A major part of this case is the reduction of flaring at the facility. Flaring burns harmful natural gas components such as VOCs and methane, but the process is not 100% efficient. These inefficiencies, combined with improper flare operation, result in excess emissions being released to the atmosphere and can have health impacts on the surrounding communities. […]

  • EPA and Justice Department Announce $241.5M Settlement with Marathon Oil to Reduce Climate- and Health-Harming Emissions in North Dakota
    by Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) on July 11, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    WASHINGTON – Today, July 11, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice announced a settlement with Marathon Oil Company resolving Clean Air Act violations at the company’s oil and gas production operations on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. The settlement requires that Marathon pay a civil penalty of $64.5 million, the largest ever for violations of the Clean Air Act at stationary sources, which include facilities such as oil and gas tank systems. Under the settlement agreement, Marathon will implement extensive compliance measures to achieve major reductions in harmful emissions from over 200 facilities across the state. The case is the first of its kind against an oil and gas producer for violations of major source emissions permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. The complaint alleges that these and other Clean Air Act violations at nearly 90 Marathon facilities resulted in thousands of tons of illegal pollution, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and carbon monoxide, which contribute to asthma and increase susceptibility to respiratory illnesses. Additionally, greenhouse gases, including methane, were released in large quantities, contributing to climate change. While Marathon is the nation’s 22nd largest producer of oil based on 2022 data, it is the 7th largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas industry. A large portion of these emissions come from flaring, an industry practice that releases methane, a climate super-pollutant. The work that Marathon will do under this agreement will result in the equivalent of over 2.25 million tons of reduced carbon dioxide emissions over the next five years, similar to the number of reductions achieved by taking 487,000 cars off the road for one year. The settlement will also eliminate nearly 110,000 tons of VOC emissions. “Today’s record Clean Air Act settlement is the most significant to date under EPA’s climate enforcement initiative and makes clear that EPA will hold corporate polluters like Marathon accountable for violations that put communities and our futures at risk,” said Assistant Administrator David M. Uhlmann of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The $64.5 million Clean Air Act penalty and the substantial measures Marathon must take to reduce its harmful air emissions demonstrate that EPA will not allow oil and gas companies to put corporate profits ahead of protecting communities and the environment. As a result of today’s settlement, Marathon will dramatically cut its emissions of methane, a climate super-pollutant that is dozens of times more potent in the near term than carbon dioxide.  EPA is committed to doing everything possible to limit climate change and promote a sustainable future.” “This historic settlement – the largest ever civil penalty for violations of the Clean Air Act at stationary sources – will ensure cleaner air for the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and other communities in North Dakota, while holding Marathon accountable for its illegal pollution,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.  “The complaint alleges that Clean Air Act violations at nearly 90 Marathon facilities resulted in thousands of tons of illegal emissions.  The work that Marathon will do under this agreement will result in the equivalent of over 2.25 million tons of reduced carbon-dioxide emissions over the next five years and also eliminate nearly 110,000 tons of VOC emissions.  The Justice Department will continue to vigorously enforce our environmental laws to protect the health of the American people.” “This settlement is a major win for the health and future of our Tribal communities, including people and families who are often overburdened by pollution,” said KC Becker, EPA Region 8 Administrator. “As a result of the agreement, Marathon has and will continue to take comprehensive measures to come into compliance and reduce harmful emissions across hundreds of production sources. These investments will improve air quality and reduce respiratory illnesses across the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and western North Dakota.”  “The record civil penalty and extensive compliance measures, including an innovative cap on VOC emissions, set a benchmark for the Department’s enforcement efforts at oil and gas production facilities,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer. “Those who are historically overburdened by pollution are the most at risk of being harmed by these emissions. The Justice Department is committed to enforcing laws such as the Clean Air Act to protect the health of everyone in the United States, including Tribal Nations and their members.” “This landmark settlement will ensure cleaner air throughout the State of North Dakota and substantially reduce pollutants that contribute to global warming,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “We are committed to taking strong action to ensure that oil and gas production operations across the nation comply with environmental laws designed to protect human health and the environment.” The agreement requires Marathon to invest in extensive compliance measures estimated to cost $177 million, much of which will be implemented by the end of 2024. The settlement requires Marathon to obtain permits with federally enforceable emissions limits at production facilities on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and future operations in the state of North Dakota. Compliance measures also include flare monitoring, periodic infrared camera inspections and implementation of storage tank design requirements. These actions will significantly reduce harmful health-related emissions from 169 existing facilities on state land and on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, as well as at new facilities built in North Dakota. The complaint alleges that Marathon failed to obtain required preconstruction permits under the PSD program and operating permits under the Title V program, which represents a larger industry practice of permitting avoidance that is coming under tighter scrutiny. The settlement is part of EPA’s National Enforcement and Compliance Initiative, Mitigating Climate Change. This initiative focuses, in part, on reducing methane emissions from oil and gas and landfill sources. Like all of EPA’s national enforcement initiatives, this initiative prioritizes communities already overburdened by pollution and other potential environmental justice concerns. The consent decree was filed with the United States District Court, District of North Dakota, Western Division and is subject to a 30-day comment period. The complaint and the proposed consent decree is available on the Justice Department’s Proposed Consent Decree web page. More information on the settlement agreement is available on the Agency’s Marathon Oil Company 2024 Clean Air Act Stationary Source Settlement web page. Background The complaint also alleges failure to comply with storage tank design, operation and maintenance requirements at facilities on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The settlement requires Marathon to obtain permits for its existing facilities on the Reservation and for new facilities it builds in North Dakota. These actions will cap VOC emissions at under 100 tons per year. The settlement further requires auditor checks on Marathon’s permit applications and ongoing audits of emissions from its facilities. Marathon must temporarily stop production if facility-wide emissions limits are exceeded or if flares are not operating properly. In addition to three other projects to reduce emissions, Marathon will purchase two infrared cameras for use by the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation during oil and natural gas production facility inspections. A major part of this case is the reduction of flaring at the facility. Flaring burns harmful natural gas components such as VOCs and methane, but the process is not 100% efficient. These inefficiencies, combined with improper flare operation, result in excess emissions being released to the atmosphere and can have health impacts on the surrounding communities. […]

  • EPA Releases New Science-Based Recommendations to Help More States, Tribes, and Territories Reduce Exposure to PFAS in Fish
    by Water (OW) on July 11, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    WASHINGTON – Today, July 11, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued updated recommendations under the Clean Water Act for contaminants that states, Tribes, and territories should consider monitoring in locally caught, freshwater fish. For the first time, EPA has added several per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) to the contaminant list alongside lead, three cyanotoxins, a flame retardant, and amphetamine. The recommendation to monitor for twelve PFAS fulfills a key commitment in Administrator Regan’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap and helps protect communities from exposure to these “forever chemicals.” “It’s important for EPA to continue advancing the science on PFAS as part of our comprehensive effort to protect the public from these harmful substances,” said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Bruno Pigott. “By considering the latest science in their local advisories and testing for PFAS in fish at a local level, states and Tribes can protect subsistence, recreational, and sport fishers.” States, Tribes, and territories monitor and analyze contaminants in fish and shellfish caught in local, fresh waterbodies. When they find contaminants at concentrations that can negatively impact people’s health, they issue consumption advisories. Some state and territorial programs that issue fish and shellfish advisories rely on EPA’s recommendations to determine which contaminants to monitor.    Many states are already monitoring for certain PFAS in fish and using local data to issue fish consumption advisories where appropriate. Examples of states that have advisories in place include Alabama, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin. With this announcement, EPA is suggesting that states, Tribes, and territories monitor for twelve PFAS and other contaminants including lead, cyanotoxins, a flame retardant, and amphetamine. This update comes after reviewing scientific literature, analyzing data, and seeking external peer review of the agency’s analysis, and it will help ensure that state and Tribal fish advisories consider the latest science.  EPA’s most recent National Aquatic Resource Survey, which monitors fish tissue from lakes and streams across the country, and numerous other studies have found PFAS in freshwater fish and shellfish at levels that may impact human health. These studies indicate the presence of PFAS in fish, but they do not give enough information at a local level to inform public health decisions, which is why the role of states, Tribes, and territories in gathering local data is essential. EPA recommends that people who eat locally-caught, freshwater fish and shellfish caught in local rivers and lakes consult their state, Tribe, or territory to determine the safe amount of those fish and shellfish to eat. View EPA’s lists of contaminants to monitor and learn more about EPA Guidance for Developing Fish Advisories. […]

  • EPA Invests $20 Million in Water Workforce Training and Career Development as Part of Investing in America Agenda
    by Water (OW) on July 11, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    WASHINGTON – Today, July 11, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing over $20 million to 13 workforce development organizations across the nation under its Innovative Water Workforce Development Grant Program, which supports expanding career opportunities in the drinking water and wastewater utility sector. This announcement comes as White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden and Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su travel to Philadelphia today to host the inaugural convening of the city’s Investing in America Workforce Hub. The Philadelphia Workforce Hub will support the workforce needed to deliver on the city’s water and transportation projects spurred by the President’s Investing in America agenda. “In every community in America, water and wastewater utility workers are unsung heroes ensuring that families and businesses have access to reliable, clean and safe water services,” said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator Bruno Pigott. “As the water sector faces a wave of retirements, EPA is prioritizing the sustainability of the water workforce and the resilience of our water systems and communities with this $20 million program.” Across the country, water infrastructure workers make possible the delivery of clean, safe water services to millions of Americans. EPA’s Innovative Water Workforce Development Grant Program complements the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government strategy to create good-paying, family-supporting jobs in the communities they serve. The grant program also develops the apprenticeship programs, labor standards, and other tools needed to ensure a strong pipeline of workers and high-quality jobs.  EPA is selecting 13 recipients at regional and national organizations to implement a broad range of programs under the Innovative Water Infrastructure Workforce Development Grant Program: Multiplier/WaterNow Alliance (CA): $760,463.31 American Water Works Association (CO): $852,000 Rural Community Assistance Partnership (DC): $1,000,000 The Water Tower Institute, Inc (GA): $1,942,378 Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (HI): $1,000,000 Wichita State University (KS): $414,250 Baltimore City Department of Public Works (MD): $914,500 Center for Watershed Protection, Inc. (MD): $999,520 Grand Rapids Community College (MI): $1,000,000 Board of Regents Nevada System of Higher Education (NV): $999,153 University of New Mexico (NM): $600,000 National Rural Water Association (OK): $5,594,000 Energy Innovation Center Institute, Inc. (PA): $4,900,000 The grants will expand public awareness about job opportunities in the drinking water and wastewater utility sector and will address the workforce needs of drinking water and wastewater utilities. Activities that will be funded under this competition include: Targeted internship, apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and post-secondary bridge programs. Education programs designed for elementary, secondary, and higher education students. Regional industry and workforce development collaborations to address water utility employment needs and coordinate candidate development. Integrated learning laboratories in secondary educational institutions. Leadership development, occupational training, mentoring, or cross-training programs that ensure incumbent drinking water and wastewater utility workers are prepared for higher-level supervisory or management-level positions. EPA plans to award the recipients a grant once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied. Funding this program furthers the agency’s goals of a cleaner, healthier environment for all Americans and future generations. Learn more about EPA’s Innovative Water Infrastructure Workforce Development Program. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Updated press release to correct award amounts for the American Water Works Association and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership. […]

  • 10 Packaging Pieces that Peaked by Mid-2024
    by Lisa McTigue Pierce on July 10, 2024 at 9:51 pm

    A new take on beer design, sustainability predictions, Jerry Seinfeld, Cheerios, and more lead our top stories of the year so far. […]

  • PPC Celebrates Success Of TICCIT Program
    by Len Prazych on July 10, 2024 at 8:02 pm

    The Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC), announced the success of its TICCIT (Trees Into Cartons, Cartons Into Trees) program, thanks to the dedication and commitment of its member companies across the country. The TICCIT program, which educates schoolchildren about the environmental benefits of recycling and trees, has reached new heights this year with unprecedented participation and […]