green and sustainable business

Archive for January 2011

Spruce Down: Saving the Mountain top

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A 12-year battle over the future of one of the largest West Virginia mountaintop removal coal mines was resolved this week when the Environmental Protection Agency “vetoed” Spruce Mine No. 1.

Since 1998, the Sierra Club, along with Coal River Mountain Watch, WV Highlands Conservancy, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Public Justice and the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment have fought the Spruce mine specifically and the practice of blowing up mountain tops to get at coal.

And now, apparently Spruce is stopped.

In its final determination, EPA says that after “extensive scientific study,” a major public hearing in the state and more than 50,000 public comments, it is using its authority under the Clean Water Act to halt the disposal of mining waste in streams at Arch Coal’s Mingo-Logan Coal Company mine. Read the rest of this entry »


Written by William DiBenedetto

21 January, 2011 at 2:00 am

Seattle port gets scrappy

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Not scrappy in the way one might think—this is Seattle after all and this town is anything but scrappy even on a bad day. But the Port of Seattle is going scrap-happy about trucks.

The port launched its on-line program aimed at registering newer, cleaner drayage trucks that access its container terminals on Jan. 1. As of that date all port drayage trucks entering Seattle’s terminals must adhere to new Clean Truck Program Guidelines.

Requirements include:

– All trucks must have model-year 1994 or newer engines.

– All trucks must be registered in the Port’s Drayage Truck Registry and display the Green Gateway sticker on the driver’s side door.

The program is designed to support the goals of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, which aims to lower emissions from all sectors of maritime operations. So far, the port says more than 5,929 trucks and over 1,100 trucking companies and truck owners are registered in the Drayage Truck Registry (DTR).

Registration can be done online or in person at the Port of Seattle’s Drayage Truck Registry office located at the Terminal 5 CFS Building, 3443 West Marginal Way SW. Hours are 7:00 am to 3:30 pm.

Drayage trucks with engines older than model-year 1994 may be eligible for a $5,000 “bounty” through the ScRAPS Program (Scrappage and Retrofits for Air in Puget Sound). For more information, contact: Cascade Sierra Solutions, 200 SW Michigan Street, Seattle, WA 98108, 206-988-8893. Since the program began in 2009, 269 trucks have been scrapped.

The Port of Tacoma has a similar clean-truck program and scrapping plan in place. Tacoma maintains a database of trucks serving its port, with information on truck age and owner information. Tacoma’s drayage fleet numbered nearly 3100 at the end of 2009.

Although fairly new, the programs at Tacoma and Seattle, including the idea of incentive payments to get the older drays off of port roads, shows that a market-based, collaborative approach to cleaning-up truck emissions makes good and sustainable business sense.

Written by William DiBenedetto

12 January, 2011 at 2:00 am

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