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PWGC Healthcare Newsletter -- Winter 2015 Edition
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Winter Newsletter

Healthcare Edition

Our hospitals newsletters assist Facilities Engineering and
other departments within hospitals to stay updated on ever-changing environmental rules, regulations, and other issues pertinent to the healthcare industry.

US and China Make Historic Climate Change Deal

In the next two decades both the U.S. and China will curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as the White House’s ultimate target is to "achieve deep economy-wide reductions on the order of 80% by 2050." As the top two largest economies there is a necessity and responsibility for these two countries to be leaders in reducing air pollution. During the November 5-11 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in the Chinese capital of Beijing authorities shut down factories for a week as the region had severe smog and air pollution. The Air Quality Index (AQI), an index for reporting daily air quality telling you how clean or polluted the air is, was more than five times higher than levels considered unsafe.

This is a reminder to continue to strive for energy efficiency and sustainable practices.
Contact PWGC with questions about your facility's requirements
Energy Independence

Oct. 14, 2014 marked the first day of energy independence (producing more energy than consumed) for Gundersen Health System; making them the first health system in the nation to attain such a distinction. Since 2008 Gunderson Health System has worked towards becoming more energy efficient and committing to use only local energy resources. Hospitals can consume two and half times more than commercial buildings.

To learn more about Gundersen’s sustainability efforts, visit gundersenenvision.org. As stated on their website Gundersen's accomplishments include energy efficiency improvement of over 40% resulting in annual financial savings of nearly $2 million from conservation alone. Regional partnerships in energy creation include dairy digesters, wind turbines, and a landfill gas-to-energy initiative. Local projects also include geothermal energy and a biomass boiler.
EPA My Environment

The EPA has recently launched an informative and user-friendly application called ‘MyEnvironment” at http://www.epa.gov/myenvironment/. MyEnvironment is a search application by location to provide environmental information about air quality, water, land, energy, health and community. Some specific information provided by the application includes but is not limited to the following.

Air

  • Air Quality Index (AQI) and information on current pollutants (particulate matter, ozone
  • UV Index
  • Historical Air Quality data
  • Air Facilities Map
  • Clean Diesel programs
  • Radon map
 
Water
  • Water Quality Monitoring Activities
  • Drinking Water Sources
  • New and Expiring permits given to facilities that emit pollutants to water in your neighborhood.
  • Water conditions for local water bodies
 
Land
  • Superfund National Priorities List
  • Brownfield Information Links
  • Hazardous Waste Information links
 
Energy
  • Energy Production showing Energy Production versus Consumption by Source
  • Energy Facilities Map
  • Home Energy Saver information
  • Green Power Location
  • Fuel Cost Calculations
  • Energy Star Tip of the day
 
Health
  • EPA Cancer Risk for Air Toxics by County
  • TOXMAP- Quick Search to explore on-site toxic releases and hazardous waste sites from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).
Community
  • “Shout Out” Section allows users to become aware of shout out projects, and could encourage more grass-roots environmental projects
  • Contact information
TIER II Community Right to Know Reminder

TIER II forms are due annually by March 1st! Facilities covered by Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requirements must submit an Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form to the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), and the local fire department annually by March 1st. 

Federal minimum thresholds for Tier II are as follows (local agencies like the NYCDEP have more stringent thresholds):

  • For Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHSs) designated under Section 302 of Title III, the reporting threshold is 500 pounds (or 227 kg) or the threshold planning quantity (TPQ), whichever is lower.
  • For all other hazardous chemicals for which facilities are required to have or prepare a material safety data sheet (MSDS), the minimum reporting threshold is 10,000 pounds (or 4.540 kg).

Many Facilities are subject to TIER II submittals based on storage of petroleum fuel oil.
 
Contact PWGC for assistance with TIER II Reporting if your facility is subject or if you are uncertain if your facility is subject. Don’t miss March 1st reporting deadline!
EPA Announces New Energy Star Tool for Homeowners to

Save Money, Energy This Winter


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching an online tool that is designed to assist with saving money and energy by improving the energy efficiency of their homes through recommended, customized and prioritized home-improvement projects. The tool is called Energy Star Home Advisor.

The tool is a “do-it-yourself” energy assessment guide that will create an Energy Star home profile.  The profile will provide customized, prioritized recommendations for improvements. From these recommendations, users can create their own to-do lists of projects such as adding insulation or replacing an HVAC air filter.

Visit EPA’s Energy Star Home Advisor: www.energystar.gov/homeadvisor
 
Get in touch to find out more.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE

According the U.S. Geological Services (USGS) in 2012, 355 billion gallons of water were consumed per day. This is a 13% drop from 2005 levels which were estimated at 410 billion gallons/day. The decrease in water usage is attributed to improvements in water-use technologies and management with improvements in irrigation as a contributor in the success of water reduction which is vital for the future.

Visit http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1405/pdf/circ1405.pdf  for the full article.
PWGC has provided this newsletter solely for informational purposes; we make no warranties or certifications for a specific matter. If you require further information on a subject of this newsletter, would like to discuss your particular circumstances or would like to provide feedback, please feel free to reply directly to this email.
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