Our Top 5: The Weekly Round-up, Environmental & Sustainability — March 23, 2011

1) Despite Japan Crisis, DOE to Continue Financing Nuclear Projects 

With many riveted on Japan’s reactor crisis, the head of the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program has affirmed that it will continue to finance nuclear projects in the United States. “Assuming there is a desire in the Capitol to move forward, nuclear remains an important part of the energy mix,” Jonathan Silver, executive director of the Energy Department’s loan programs office, said in a presentation at the Cleantech Forum conference in San Francisco.

(Source: The New York Times, 2011-03-17)

2) EPA Requires Energy Star TVs to be 40 Percent More Efficient 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completed updates to the Energy Star requirements for televisions and cable and satellite boxes. Effective in September 2011, these products must be 40 percent more efficient than conventional models in order to qualify for the Energy Star label.

(Source: Reuters, 2011-03-15)

3) Court Rules for Alabama Power in EPA Clean Air Permit Lawsuit 

Routine maintenance of coal fired power plants do not require a utility company to get new clean air permits from the federal government according to a ruling made in federal court in Birmingham. Alabama Power was fighting a clean air lawsuit brought by the federal Environmental Protection Agency which claimed maintenance projects altered plant operations to the point where new permits were required.

(Source:, 2011-03-15)

4) Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Deadline Extended to September 

The reporting deadline for greenhouse gas emissions by U.S. emitters has been extended to the end of September, the U.S. EPA announced. “This extension will allow EPA to further test the system that facilities will use to submit data and give industry the opportunity to test the tool, provide feedback and have sufficient time to become familiar with the tool prior to reporting,” the agency announced.

(Source: United Press International, 2011-03-18)

5) EPA Releases Plan to Reduce Coal-Burning Power Plant Emissions 

The Environmental Protection Agency released a plan that would reduce emissions of mercury and other toxins from coal-burning power plants, drawing praise from health officials and condemnation from some industry representatives and lawmakers. The plan would force plants to purchase scrubbers and other equipment to prevent 91 percent of mercury from coal from being released into the air.

(Source: The Washington Post, 2011-03-16)

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