Update June - Aug 04
Simple Steps To Conserve Gas, Save Money and Reduce Auto Emissions -Contact: John Millett, 202-564-7842 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Independence Day 2004 will be the busiest travel weekend of the summer. As drivers prepare to hit the road this weekend, EPA recommends several simple steps to reduce their impact on the environment and their wallets. To get the most out of each gallon of gas and reduce tailpipe emissions, EPA encourages the following steps:
Driving Wisely – Sudden starts and stops, excessive speeds, extra weight in the trunk, unnecessary idling, long drive-through lines, and revving or warming up the engine waste fuel. Using cruise control on the highway helps maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas. Using overdrive gears slows engine speed, saves gas and reduces engine wear. Observe speed limits.
Regular Maintenance – Routine car maintenance extends a car’s life, increases its resale value, and improves gas mileage. Properly inflated and aligned tires, a tuned engine and regularly changed oil and air filters are a few simple steps that help ensure fuel efficiency. Advanced Trip-Planning – Planning routes, avoiding peak traffic periods, combining errands, and eliminating backtracking will save gas, prevent wear and tear, and save time.
Smart Refueling – Topping off the tank creates harmful emissions and wastes money. Gasoline vapors are harmful to breathe, contribute to
ground-level ozone formation and are a source of toxic air pollutants such as benzene. Evaporation from the spillage of gas from
overfilling can occur, contributing to the air pollution problem. For more information on the environmental benefits of proper
refueling, visit: http://www.epa.gov/donttopoff/index.htm .
For more gas mileage tips, visit: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/drive.shtml .
After the long weekend, there are more substantial steps consumers can take to protect the air we breathe and minimize trips to the fuel pump.
Consumers have more choice than ever when it comes to fuel economy and protecting the environment. EPA encourages consumers to consider fuel economy when purchasing a new vehicle. For help in selecting the cleanest, most fuel-efficient vehicle to match individual needs, visit EPA's Green Vehicle Guide at: http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicle .
EPA also works with business to help consumers find more efficient and environmentally friendly ways to commute to the office. EPA's Best Workplaces for Commuters program encourages companies to provide incentives to employees to choose cleaner modes of transportation, including ride-sharing – and whenever possible – walking, biking, public transportation, or tele-commuting. For more information, visit:
July 1, 2004 — New York State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., today reminded New Yorkers to take precautions to reduce their potential health risks from exposure to pesticides by using them responsibly and limiting the use of these chemicals whenever possible.
"It is important for people to give careful consideration to the use of chemical pesticides before using them," Dr. Novello said. "It is also critical that people follow manufacturer’s directions carefully to prevent their exposure to pesticides. The improper storage, application or disposal of pesticides present potential health risks to the entire family, especially children."
"Uninformed or improper use of pesticides can threaten both the environment and human health," said Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Erin M. Crotty. "When using pesticides it is vital to understand the type of pesticide that is needed for the extermination of each specific pest to avoid unnecessary or excessive use of these chemicals."
(Washington, D.C. - July 2, 2004) As part of the Clean Beaches Plan, EPA has issued a proposed regulation to improve standards for water quality monitoring at our nation’s beaches. EPA acted to ensure that more protective health-based standards are in place in all states and territories bordering Great Lakes or ocean waters.
“We are working as partners with the states and territories to promote scientifically strong, defensible standards for coastal and Great Lakes recreational waters,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Ben Grumbles.
“States have made good progress over the last several months. We expect this to continue, but in the meantime, we are ensuring that the public is protected by having federal standards in place.”
Of the 35 states and territories that have coastal or Great Lakes recreational waters, ten have already adopted EPA’s recommended criteria for all their coastal recreational waters and 17 states are in the process of adopting these criteria. Other states have adopted the criteria for portions of their waters, while a small number have yet to take action. EPA will exclude from the final federal regulation any state or territory that adopts these more protective health-based criteria. The proposal has a 30-day comment period and EPA will issue a final standard in early Fall.
The Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act of 2000 requires coastal states and states bordering the Great Lakes to adopt EPA's most current bacteria criteria by April 10, 2004 to better protect beach goers from harmful pathogens. The Act requires EPA to propose federal standards for the state’s coastal or Great Lakes waters for states who have failed to meet the deadline. Specifically, for these states, EPA is proposing E. coli and enterococci criteria for their coastal recreational waters. These bacteria do not directly cause illness, but are good indicators of harmful pathogens in waterbodies.
The Administration’s Clean Beaches Plan includes grant funding to all BEACH Act states and territories to ensure continued monitoring of the nation’s beaches and public notification of beach closures and advisories. These funds are designed to ensure the protection of public health and to improve information on the quality of waters at the nation’s beaches. EPA estimates that Americans take a total of 910 million trips to coastal areas each year and spend about $44 billion at those beach locations.
Information about the beach criteria proposal, a list of states and their status as of July 1, 2004, and the Agency’s Clean Beaches Plan is available at: http://www.epa.gov/beaches/