News in brief

US greenhouse gas emissions inventory----Pesticide residue policy framework----Four EMPACT grants announced

US greenhouse gas emissions inventory

The US EPA has released its official inventory of US greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 – 96. This report is required of the US under its responsibilities as a Party to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, established by the Rio Treaty (Earth Summit). Under the Framework, the US and other developed countries agreed to submit greenhouse gas emissions reports annually to the Secretariat of the Convention. The report, ‘Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990 – 1996,’ can be viewed on the EPA’s website (see link below)

Pesticide residue policy framework

The US EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) has published a framework outlining nine science policies that the agency is developing to reassess tolerances (pesticide residue limits) and meet the new safety standards of the Food Quality and Protection Act. The framework includes a schedule for issuing and revising these policies, and summaries the issues addressed by each policy. One issue addressed is the use of an additional ten-fold safety factor in the risk assessments EPA conducts to ensure that children are protected from pesticides found in food. Other issues include evaluating drinking water and residential exposures to pesticides. A copy of the framework and a timeline are available from the EPA Home page at the Federal Register -Environmental Documents entry for this document under ‘Laws and Regulations’ (see link below)

Four EMPACT grants announced

The US EPA is to make four grants to local governments to establish pilot programs as part of the agency’s Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT) initiative. The grants will go to: Boulder, Colorado; Dayton, Ohio; Denton (Dallas-Fort-Worth) Texas; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A grant for Minneapolis, Minnesota was announced on October 12. The EMPACT program grants total approximately $3.5 million. The remaining grants go to: Boston, Massachusetts; Burlington, Vermont; and Tucson, Arizona.

The EPA intends the projects to provide access to accurate environmental data in 86 of the larger US metropolitan areas. The awards will help cities to monitor key information about environmental quality and to allow people to obtain information on daily air quality issues such as ozone and water quality degradation affecting rivers, lakes and city beaches.

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