ERG Air Quality Experts to Present at an International Workshop in Mexico City (December 3, 2013)
Paula Fields Simms and John Koupal are invited speakers at the International Workshop on Emissions Inventories and Air Quality Policies, being held in Mexico City on December 5–6, 2013. The workshop is sponsored by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Mexico City’s Environment Secretariat. Ms. Fields Simms will speak on U.S. air quality policies for control of ozone and PM2.5, and Mr. Koupal will speak on methodologies for estimating air emissions from mobile sources. Other speakers include representatives from the U.S. EPA and Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology (INE).
ERG to Develop North American Black Carbon Estimation Guidelines (November 5, 2013)
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has chosen ERG to develop new guidelines that the United States, Mexico, and Canada will use to prepare black carbon emission inventories. CEC oversees the implementation of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), a supplemental environmental agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
ERG Builds on Department of Energy Support (November 1, 2013)
ERG was recently awarded a task order to continue its support for the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings residential programs. The work will include ongoing support for a Web-based repository of best practices and resources related to residential energy efficiency programs, outreach and communications, and management and strategic direction for the program's customer relationship management (CRM) system. ERG will also support most aspects of the program's transition from a grant-based format to a partnership structure.
EPA Releases Third Year of Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program Data (October 29, 2013)
This week, EPA released its third year of reporting data for the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP), adding 2012 data to those collected for 2010 and 2011. The GHGRP tracks emissions from large industrial sources throughout the United States and represents about 85-90 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions. ERG supported the development and implementation of the program and has provided technical and public outreach support since the program’s inception. See highlights of what the data show about emissions and trends across 41 source categories in nine industrial sectors in the GHGRP 2012: Reported Data section of the GHGRP website.
ERG Earns Energy Star Low Carbon IT Recognition (October 3, 2013)
ERG has been recognized by EPA’s Energy Star program for its workplace commitment to a better environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. By ensuring all the desktops, laptops, and printers it purchases are energy efficient and operate in low power consumption mode, ERG earned a Low Carbon IT certificate through Energy Star’s Low Carbon IT Campaign. For more information about reducing the environmental impact of IT equipment, visit the campaign’s website.
ERG Vice President Appointed to Transportation Research Panel (October 2, 2013)
The Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program has appointed Ian Todreas, an ERG Vice President, to serve on a project panel to provide guidance on research pertaining to developing communication resources for state departments of transportation.
ERG Supports FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (September 30, 2013)
Under a contract with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ERG has been awarded a project to compile a tagged electronic library of documents on tobacco product manufacturing and FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practice rulemaking activities. This library will support FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products as it considers whether and how to regulate manufacturing of tobacco products, as authorized under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
New Report Showcases Best Practices in Transportation Supply Chains (September 27, 2013)
ERG helped EPA produce Driving Data Integrity in Transportation Supply Chains (PDF), a new report of the SmartWay Transport Partnership that documents best practices in collecting, verifying, and processing data collected by shippers, carriers, and logistics companies. SmartWay is the only voluntary program working across the entire freight system to comprehensively address key national economic, energy, and environmental goals related to goods movement and freight sustainability.
ERG Wins Peer Review Contract Aimed at Strengthening Vehicle Fuel Economy Regulations (September 18, 2013)
ERG has been awarded a five-year, $1.25 million contract with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to provide peer review services. During the contract period, NHTSA will be developing and issuing significant regulations affecting the motor vehicle industry. ERG will organize independent, external peer reviews of vehicle fuel economy and fuel efficiency research documents, computer models, and related analyses that support these regulations—a critical step in ensuring their credibility and soundness.
ERG’s Air and Waste Management Experts to Present at International Conference on Climate Change (September 10, 2013)
The Air & Waste Management Association will hold its Climate Change: Impacts, Policy, and Regulation conference from September 10 to September 11, 2013, at the Hyatt Dulles in Herndon, Virginia (in the D.C. metro area). ERG’s leading experts in climate change and air quality will present at the following sessions:
- Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 10:25 a.m.–10:45 a.m.
Session 6: Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases
Title: Development of U.S. Non-CO2 GHG Emissions Projections (Abstract #38)
Presenter: Paula Fields Simms, ERG
Authors: Joanna MacCarthy and John Watterson, Ricardo-AEA
Jameel Alsalam, U.S. EPA
- Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 11:45 a.m.–12:05 p.m.
Session 5: Greenhouse Gas Inventories
Title: Light Duty in Use GHG/Fuel Economy Data Collection and Evaluation (Abstract #39)
Presenter: Sandeep Kishan, ERG
Authors: Timothy DeFries, Michael Sabisch, ERG
Francisco Posada Sanchez, John German, Anup Bandivadekar, ICCT
- Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 1:45 p.m.–2:05 p.m.
Session 6: Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases
Title: Development of a Waste Sector NAMA: Lessons Learned (Abstract #37)
Presenter: Brian Guzzone, ERG
- Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 2:05 p.m.–2:25 p.m.
Session 5: Greenhouse Gas Inventories
Title: Emissions Data Reported to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (Abstract #25)
Presenter: John Crenshaw, ERG
ERG invites all conference attendees to meet the presenters and learn about ERG’s extensive experience in emerging issues related to greenhouse gases and climate change.
ERG to Continue Support for the Global Methane Initiative (September 6, 2013)
ERG recently won a task order with EPA to provide communications, outreach, webinar, and database management support for the Global Methane Initiative (GMI). The work builds on the support that ERG has provided to the program since its inception in 2004. GMI is a voluntary, multilateral partnership that aims to reduce global methane emissions and to advance methane abatement, recovery, and reuse. Currently, 42 countries, representing every continent, are GMI partners.
ERG Wins Task Order to Support EPA Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule (August 29, 2013)
ERG has been awarded a new task order to support implementation of three industry sectors of EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule: oil and natural gas systems, petroleum product suppliers, and suppliers of coal-based liquids. We will review the rule to improve its monitoring and emission calculation procedures and cover additional emission sources, support rule revisions, verify emissions in annual reports, respond to hotline questions, and prepare outreach materials. Under other task orders, ERG also supports the rule requirements for general provisions, cement manufacturing, magnesium production, industrial wastewater, electronics manufacturing, natural gas and natural gas liquids suppliers, and carbon dioxide suppliers.
Helping Communities Adapt to Rising Sea Level (August 21, 2013)
ERG recently developed a guidance document to help U.S. coastal communities make more informed decisions about adapting to sea level rise and storm flooding. Designed for local governments, the guide presents a step-by-step framework for assessing a community’s risk, weighing the options, and quantifying the costs and benefits of different adaptation strategies. ERG developed the What Will Adaptation Cost? An Economic Framework for Coastal Community Infrastructure guide for the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Coastal Services Center.
Lab Expands Imaging Capabilities (August 15, 2013)
ERG’s North Carolina laboratory facility has acquired a new optical gas imaging (OGI) camera designed to detect leaking gaseous hydrocarbons. The FLIR GF320 infrared camera has already undergone a battery of performance tests, and field inspection use is anticipated to begin in the very near future. Although designed for leak gas detection, the camera can also sense heat differentials for applications such as biomedical diagnostics, electrical and mechanical thermal imaging, building diagnostics, furnace and boiler tube inspections, tank inspections, and more.
ERG Investigates Impacts of Changing Great Lakes Coastlines (August 5, 2013)
The Great Lakes region is the largest surface freshwater system on earth and is home to more than 3,500 species of plants and animals. Under a new task order, ERG will help National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study the economic and social effects of changes to the Lakes’ varied coastline — changes that impact commerce, private property, infrastructure, recreational opportunities, and natural habitats. ERG will review and summarize literature regarding the effects of coastal erosion; identify federal and state agencies’ efforts to restore shorelines; and develop case studies to illustrate the economic and social impacts of a changing shoreline.
NOAA Debuts ERG Video on Fish Population Assessments (July 26, 2013)
ERG recently completed an educational video for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service that explains why scientific stock assessments are critical to modern fisheries management. The engaging video, The ABCs of Stock Assessments, features hand-drawn, animated illustrations to describe how and why NOAA conducts fishery stock assessments.
ERG Wins Coral Reef Social Science Work (July 19, 2013)
ERG will soon be surveying South Florida residents to learn about their perceptions of the health of coral reefs in the region. Working with NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) and the Hollings Marine Laboratory, ERG will gather information on residents’ attitudes, perceptions, knowledge, use, and interaction with the reefs and other marine resources. These socioeconomic data will inform reef protection strategies and educational programs and tools. They will also lay the foundation for social science work in other jurisdictions where the CRCP works to conserve coral reefs.
ERG to Support EPA Office of Water Peer Review Work (July 17, 2013)
ERG was recently awarded a 5-year, $4.8 million contract with the Office of Science and Technology (OST) in EPA’s Office of Water. Under this contract, ERG will organize peer reviews of documents (e.g., related to exposure and toxicological assessments; analytic and sampling methods; and statistical, engineering, technological, and economic analyses) that OST generates to support development of regulations, guidelines, methods, standards, science-based criteria, advisories, and studies that are critical components of national water programs that protect people and the aquatic environment.
ERG Enforcement Team Supports EPA Shell Oil Settlement (July 12, 2013)
EPA announced yesterday it has settled a major legal case with Shell Oil and affiliated partnerships (Shell) to resolve alleged Clean Air Act (CAA) violations at the Deer Park, Texas, refinery and chemical plant. ERG’s enforcement team has provided engineering support for the Shell Deer Park investigation and subsequent settlement negotiations since 2008. With more than a decade of experience in refinery and petrochemical processes obtained through onsite inspections, investigations, and implementation of past settlements, ERG is EPA’s primary CAA enforcement contractor. The settlement will benefit the environment and human health by requiring new and upgraded controls and monitoring on flares and a cap on the volume of waste gas sent to flares. Once fully implemented, the pollution controls required by the settlement will reduce thousands of tons of air pollutant emissions annually.
New Study Shows Benefits of Reusable Containers (July 3, 2013)
Franklin Associates recently completed a lifecycle assessment study of the reusable plastic produce containers used by a corporation’s fruit and vegetable distribution service. The peer-reviewed study found that these containers generate 82% less solid waste, consume 92% less water, and require 49% lower energy demand compared with shipping the same amount of produce in traditional display-ready corrugated boxes. Read the executive summary of the study here (PDF). Franklin Associates is a division of ERG, and a leading provider of lifecycle analysis services; to learn more, visit www.fal.com.
ERG to Present and Exhibit at the Annual Air & Waste Management Association Conference
(June 25, 2013)
ERG will present and exhibit at the 106th Annual Air & Waste Management Association (AWMA) Conference from June 25 to June 28, 2013, in Chicago, IL. ERG’s Rebe Feraldi, LCACP, and Mae Thomas, P.E., will present and serve on the panels at the following sessions:
- Tuesday, June 26, 2013, 5:00 pm (Central Time)
Session: Recycling Initiatives and Progress
Title: Life Cycle Assessment for U.S. Scrap Tire Treatment
Presenter: Rebe Feraldi, LCACP, ERG
- Friday, June 28, 2013, 8:00 am (Central Time)
Session: Air Emission Issues in the Biofuel Industry
Panelist: Mae Thomas, P.E., ERG
ERG invites all AWMA conference attendees to visit Booth 1041 and learn about ERG’s commitment to and extensive experience in helping our clients ensure safe air quality and promote sustainable waste management strategies.
ERG to Support Clean Water Act (CWA) Enforcement (June 21, 2013)
ERG recently was awarded a new five-year, $4.3 million contract to provide technical support to EPA Region 3 in implementing and enforcing the Clean Water Act (CWA). The contract, for the Office of NPDES Permits and Enforcement within Region 3’s Water Protection Division, will require ERG to assess various aspects of municipalities’ plans for addressing CWA violations and meeting permit and regulatory requirements.
ERG Supports Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Effort (June 13, 2013)
ERG has won a new contract to provide mobile sources, air quality, and health and economic impact analysis expertise for the CONNECT Our Future project, funded by a grant through the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities Initiative. ERG’s Diesel/Black Carbon Technical Assessment and Feasibility Study will estimate black carbon emissions from construction equipment, identify cost-effective mitigation strategies, and analyze the potential health and economic impact of implementation.
ERG Supports 18th Annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory (June 5, 2013)
ERG helped to develop the recently published EPA’s Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, 1990–2011 by estimating methane and carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. natural gas and petroleum systems. We prepared emissions estimates, identified and implemented improvements in methodology and data related to well counts and hydraulic fracturing activities and controls, responded to review comments, and estimated the uncertainty of the emissions estimates. We also estimated the emissions for coal mining, 18 of the 25 industrial processes, manure management, nitrous oxide from product uses, manure management, and wastewater treatment.
ERG Assesses New FDA Program to Enhance Innovative Drug Approval Process (May 31, 2013)
ERG is assessing a new U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) program aimed at enhancing review transparency and communication between the agency and industry. FDA selected ERG to conduct a five-year assessment of its program for reviewing innovative new drugs and biologics under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act. The program is based on a new review model that aims to reduce the number of review cycles necessary for approval—giving patients more timely access to safe and effective new drugs and biologics. FDA will use the results of the assessment to further refine its review program.
ERG Work Featured in AP News (May 24, 2013)
The Associated Press (AP) distributed a news story of an ERG project for the National Hurricane Center (NHC) today. The project is aimed at improving the public’s understanding of hurricane risks, particularly life-threatening storm surge. ERG has been working with the NHC to test a new map that will show people where to expect a hurricane’s storm surge. NHC expects to begin using the map in the 2013 or 2014 hurricane season.
ERG Helps EPA Produce Second DERA Report (May 23, 2013)
EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality’s National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) recently released its second report to Congress (PDF) on the impacts of its Diesel Emissions Reduction Program. ERG assisted EPA in developing both this report and NCDC’s first report to Congress in 2009. Both reports summarize the benefits and outcomes of this ongoing program, which works to reduce the environmental impacts of the nation’s diesel engines. ERG developed case studies to highlight grant recipients and their achievements from 2008-2010, edited the report, and developed an engaging graphic design with clean, easy-to-understand figures.
ERG Supports EPA’s Pollutant Loading Tool (May 13, 2013)
EPA provided states with a first look at the new version of its Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool. Version 1.2 will provide new features, including better leveraging of data from EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program along with DMR data. The tool is one component of EPA efforts to increase the availability of discharge data from industrial facilities and publicly owned treatment works. ERG has supported the development of the DMR Pollutant Loading Tool since 2008, helping EPA to develop concepts, define system requirements, develop calculation models, and program and deploy the tool. Version 1.2 of the tool is expected to be available to the public in summer 2013.
ERG Publishes Article in Clear Waters (May 3, 2013)
The New York Water Environment Association published an article by ERG Vice President Linda Girardi on overcoming barriers to biogas projects at wastewater treatment plants in its spring 2013 issue. Written as part of ERG's ongoing communications support to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA's) Environmental Research program, the article summarizes a research project conducted by NYSERDA and the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF).
ERG to Conduct IFC Waste Audit (May 1, 2013)
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has selected ERG to conduct a waste audit for its headquarters building in Washington, DC. IFC is a financially independent member of the World Bank Group that mobilizes private finance to support development and positively impact the lives of those in poverty around the world. The waste audit will be conducted under the organization's Footprint Program, which is committed to enhancing the sustainability of IFC's business.
ERG Contributes to CDC Extreme Heat Booklet (April 17, 2013)
Extreme heat events pose a real danger to people throughout the United States, and this threat is expected to become worse over time as the climate warms. In partnership with EPA, ERG helped to develop final content for a CDC booklet entitled Climate Change and Extreme Heat Events (PDF). The publication describes extreme heat events; their relationship to climate change; projected increases in their intensity, frequency, and duration; and steps that communities can take to adapt and respond. ERG’s technical writing team played a pivotal role in adapting scientific text to make it more engaging and accessible to a general audience.
ERG Providing Communications Support for Regional Ocean Planning in New England (April 10, 2013)
ERG has been selected to provide communications support to the Ocean Planning Committee of the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC). Created by the six New England governors in 2005, NROC brings together federal, state, and nongovernmental organizations to implement solutions to New England’s most pressing ocean and coastal issues that require a regional response. To strengthen stakeholder awareness of and engagement in NROC regional ocean planning efforts, we will draw on our decades of communications and outreach support to state and federal agencies, as well as our support to NOAA’s Coastal Services Center, NROC, and other regional ocean partnerships in coastal marine spatial planning and other ocean planning activities.
ERG Presented Commuter Award (April 3, 2013)
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) presented ERG with a 2013 Pacesetter Award for offering outstanding commuter options. Forty-four towns, institutions, corporations, and nonprofit organizations earned the award this year. Among ERG's peers were the Boston Red Sox, Genzyme, and the Town of Amherst. The award reflects ERG's deep commitment to environmental protection by encouraging employees to walk, bike, carpool, and take transit.
ERG Earns A Better City Hat Trick (March 2013)
For the third straight year, ERG’s Lexington and Boston offices have been honored by A Better City for their performance in the ABC Challenge for Sustainability, a voluntary sustainability initiative for Boston area properties, which ERG was contracted to help pilot back in 2008. ERG now participates in the challenge with 100 other properties, covering 30 million square feet of space and 80,000 employees. ERG received a plaque for its sustainability efforts, which included installing energy-efficient lighting and motion sensors in its Boston office and installing energy-efficient lighting and “daylight-harvesting” light ballasts that adjust to the level of natural daylight in its Lexington office. ERG’s efforts are expected to have a payback period of just over one year for each office and should reduce ERG’s annual electricity costs by approximately $5,000 across the two offices. For more information.
ERG Supports the Development of New EPA Coastal Wetland Review Reports (February 13, 2013)
ERG recently assisted EPA in developing four new reports that will be a valuable resource for those working to protect the nation’s coastal wetlands. The Coastal Wetland Review reports arose from stakeholder meetings convened to better understand regional stressors on wetlands in coastal watersheds, local protection strategies, and key information gaps that, if addressed, could help reverse the trend of wetland loss. Although each discussion was specific to the watershed in which it occurred, many observations and ideas are transferable throughout the region and the country. The four reports cover coastal watersheds throughout the Mid-Atlantic (Delaware Estuary, York River), South Atlantic (Middle and Lower Neuse River, Indian River Lagoon), North Atlantic (Cape Cod), and Gulf of Mexico (Galveston Bay, Mississippi Coast) regions. The work is part of EPA’s Coastal Wetlands Initiative.
ERG Opens Ann Arbor Office and Welcomes John Koupal to Staff
ERG is pleased to announce the opening of our new office in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the addition of John Koupal to our staff. Mr. Koupal brings more than two decades of extensive experience in vehicle emissions modeling, regulations, and standards certification from his work at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Nissan Research & Development. Under John’s leadership, the Ann Arbor office will support ERG's work on mobile source emissions research, modeling, and inventory development in the United States and abroad.
ERG Team Presents Hurricane Research at 2013 American Meteorological Association (AMS) Annual Meeting (January 7, 2013)
ERG’s social science work on improving hurricane threat messaging was presented at the 2013 AMS Annual Meeting in Austin, TX. ERG consultant, Dr. Betty Morrow, presented the findings of the research, which was commissioned by the National Weather Service (NWS)/National Hurricane Center (NHC). This work is especially timely given the devastation and loss of lives caused by Hurricane Sandy and other recent storms. ERG and its consultants have been testing new, prototype forecast maps aimed at improving the public’s understanding and response to hurricane threats, especially storm surge. The work is part of a larger effort by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to enhance its storm prediction and communication tools.