GA Water Research Center Opens

The Water Research Center opened on November 19 in Cartersville, GA. It was created by a partnership between the Electric Power Research Institute, the Southern Research Institute, and 14 other companies. The center will focus on seven areas of study: carbon technology water issues, cooling tower and advanced cooling systems, FGD/process wastewater treatment, moisture recovery, solid landfill water management, water modeling and monitoring, and zero-liquid discharge.

Report Says U.S. Methane Emissions Higher than EPA Estimates

Anthropogenic Emissions of Methane in the United States was published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences on November 25. The report, written by researchers from Harvard University and seven other institutions, said Environmental Protection Agency methane emissions estimates could be off by 50 percent. Oil and natural gas production emissions could be five times greater than estimate, and livestock emissions might be twice as much as agency figures. The report said the difference is due to modeling issues.

Multifamily Homes Efficiency Report

In the December 2 Apartment Hunters: Programs Searching for Energy Savings in Multifamily Homes, the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy reported that apartment buildings and condominiums face significant energy efficiency challenges. The study said policymakers should learn from the best practices of certain programs already in existence. Recommendations included coordinating programs across electric, gas, and water utilities.

Report on Duke Energy Facility Coal Ash Contamination

The Southern Environmental Law Center, the Cape Fear River Watch, the Sierra Club, and the Waterkeeper Alliance released a report on coal ash storage at a Duke Energy plant on December 3. Commissioned by SELC and conducted by Wake forest University Associate Research Professor Dennis Lemly, the report found that the L.V. Sutton Plant near Wilmington, NC has contaminated Sutton Lake with selenium, resulting in thousands of fish deaths and deformities. The groups promoted coal ash regulations and protections. Duke Energy challenged the claims and said the coal-fired power plant was retired last month, to be replaced by a 625-megawatt natural gas plant.

CAP Report on Federal Land Emissions

The Center for American Progress, in its December 5 paper The Clogged Carbon Sink: U.S. Public Lands Are the Source of 4.5 Times More Carbon Pollution Than They Can Absorb, said fossil fuel production on federal lands has accelerated to a point where it has outpaced the lands’ ability to absorb carbon through natural processes. The report said 4.5 times more carbon is emitted than can be naturally absorbed. It advocated for emissions reduction strategies.