"Shalini Swaroop is general counsel for Marin Clean Energy, the first of a new breed of electricity providers in California known as community choice aggregators, or CCAs. When Marin Clean Energy launched in 2010, it gave San Francisco Bay Area residents a government-run alternative to Pacific Gas & Electric, the monopoly utility that recently filed for bankruptcy protection amid huge wildfire liabilities."
What makes styrofoam good — like its insulating, shock-absorbing qualities that make it suitable for hot coffee cups, coolers, helmets and packing material — is also what makes it bad … for the environment, that is. This month’s Backgrounder looks at the technical and environmental aspects of this long-troubling plastic pollution source.
The first state ban on styrofoam food containers makes this a good time to see how things stand with styrofoam in your area, as the controversial plastic draws negative attention for overflowing landfills, causing litter and polluting waters. More, plus story ideas and reporting resources, in this week’s TipSheet.
Seemingly healthy foods might not be as healthy as consumers believe. A new list tracking pesticide residue tells a different story, explains this week’s SEJournal TipSheet. Find out what iconic health food is on the “Dirty Dozen” list and which healthy standby makes the “Clean Fifteen.” Plus, the backstory, why pesticide residue matters and resources to report on the issue.
"New York State lawmakers have agreed to impose a statewide ban on most types of single-use plastic bags from retail sales, changing a way of life for millions of New Yorkers as legislators seek to curb an unsightly and omnipresent source of litter."
"The European parliament has voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers as part of a sweeping law against plastic waste that despoils beaches and pollutes oceans.
The vote by MEPs paves the way for a ban on single-use plastics to come into force by 2021 in all EU member states. The UK would have to follow the rules if it took part in and extended the Brexit transition period because of delays in finding a new arrangement with the EU.
"If it's been a few years since you shopped for a light bulb you might find yourself confused. Those controversial curly-cue ones that were cutting edge not that long ago? Gone. (Or harder to find.) Thanks to a 2007 law signed by President George W. Bush, shelves these days are largely stocked with LED bulbs that look more like the traditional pear-shaped incandescent version, but use just one-fifth the energy."
"Oklahoma lawmakers are considering legislation to prevent cities and towns from imposing a fee on single-use plastic and paper bags, a measure that officials in one Oklahoma community say encroaches on their search for an innovative way to protect the environment from the problems of carelessly discarded bags."
Drinking water contaminated with PFAS for years has caused worry, even outrage, in local communities affected by the toxic chemicals. Now, a military database may help reporters locate contamination sites. This week’s TipSheet has more on the database, along with tips for evaluating your local PFAS story.
"The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Friday new limits on a lethal chemical found in paint stripping products that has been linked to more than 50 deaths since the 1980s."