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.