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EPA News Briefs for Oct. 4


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Following are the most recent news briefs from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For more information on any of these subjects, call the listed press officer.

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(1) $10 Billion Saved on Energy Bills

Contact: Enesta Jones, 202-564-4355 or jones.enesta@epa.gov

EPA released a report today showing that with the help of Energy Star Americans saved about $10 billion and the amount of energy required to power about 25 million homes during peak power. The report also states Energy Star, a government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency, also prevented 57 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, an increase from 48 million in 2003.

“EPA applauds our partners for their leadership and exemplary efforts to save energy and ensure a healthier, cleaner environment for all Americans,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “By harnessing the power of the marketplace and technological innovations, we are proving that environmental results and increased economic productivity indeed progress hand- in-hand.”

Highlights from the report include:

Close to 12,000 homes have been improved through Home Performance with Energy Star, which continues to grow with the addition of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored pilot programs in a number of cities.

More than 2,500 builders have constructed over 360,000 Energy Star qualified new homes, locking in financial savings for homeowners that exceed $200 million annually.

More than 1.5 billion Energy Star qualified products have been purchased.

Through EPA’s Green Power Partnership, more than 500 partners have committed to purchasing more than 2 billion kWh of green power.

EPA’s climate protection programs exceeded their goals for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 and are on target to provide significant greenhouse gas reductions required to meet the president’s 18 percent greenhouse gas intensity improvement goal by 2012.

Partnership programs achieved significant reductions of non- carbon dioxide gases. Through the combined efforts of the methane programs, U.S. methane emissions are expected to be kept below 1990 levels through 2012.

These programs include initiatives that develop clean energy solutions, increase the capture and use of methane gas, minimize emissions of other non-carbon dioxide gases, and provide opportunities for corporate partners to develop long-term comprehensive climate change strategies.

The report details the environmental and economic accomplishments of these programs and outlines goals for 2005 and beyond.

Copies of the 2004 annual report, Investing in Our Future: Energy Star and Other Voluntary Programs, are available by calling the Energy Star Hotline at 888-STAR-YES (888-782-7937) or at: http://www.epa.gov/cppd

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(2) EPA Releases Annual Superfund Report

Contact: Kerry Humphrey, 202-564-4355 or humphrey.kerry@epa.gov

EPA’s Superfund program has released its Fiscal Year 2004 Annual Report. The report outlines the current progress of the Superfund program as the EPA works to increase community participation, strengthen public and private partnerships, enhance cleanup effectiveness and consistency in program implementation, streamline the enforcement process and optimize the use of fairness initiatives, encourage beneficial reuse and revitalization of sites following cleanup and ensure that remedies continue to protect human health.

Report highlights:

-- The Superfund program spent $507 million to perform construction and post-construction activities and to conduct and oversee emergency response actions.

-- EPA obligated $104 million of appropriated funds, state cost share, and responsible party settlement resources for 27 new construction projects.

Superfund accomplishments include:

-- Completing construction at 40 sites across the country for a total of 926 sites or 61 percent of the sites on the National Priorities List

-- Conducting 678 long-term, ongoing cleanup projects at 428 sites

-- Securing $680 million in cleanup commitments and cost recoveries from the private parties responsible for toxic waste sites

-- Listing 11 new sites on the National Priorities List, and proposing 26 sites to be listed

-- Spending $228 million to conduct and oversee site assessments and investigations, selection and design of cleanup plans, support for state, tribal, community involvement activities, and other activities

-- Selecting final cleanup plans at 30 sites, bringing the cumulative total of sites with final cleanup plans to approximately 66 percent of the 1,529 NPL sites

As the Superfund program matures, the size, complexity and cost of sites that are under or ready to begin construction continue to grow. In fiscal year 2004, more than 52 percent of the Superfund obligations for long-term, ongoing cleanup work were committed to nine sites. The report can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/superfund



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