Women of Water Website Debuts
A new website has been created for women involved in all aspects of the water business, whether in manufacturing, consulting engineering, academia, government, or non-profit organizations, to come together to learn, grow, reach out and mentor.
The non-profit organization, Women of Water (WOW), is the brainchild of Headworks CEO Michele LaNoue who has a strong commitment to advance the role of women in all aspects of the water industry.
Plans are also in the works to hold the first WOW Dinner in conjunction with WEFTEC on Saturday, Oct. 29 in Washington D.C. Interested parties are encouraged to register in the website at www.womenofwater.org.
Call for Nominations for the Targeted Watershed Grants
Recently, the EPA announced the call for nominations for the third year of Targeted Watersheds grants. Formerly called the Watershed Initiative program, the Targeted Watersheds Grant Program is an integral part of the agency’s watershed approach to clean water by providing assistance to state and local community groups to protect inland and coastal watersheds.
This year Congress has provided a total of $18 million for grants to support community-based approaches and activities to protect and restore local water resources. These grants will be used to help support innovative market-based approaches to watershed projects, such as water quality trading. This most recent announcement for proposals relates to the nationwide proposals only.
In its first two years the agency selected 34 watershed organizations to receive grants averaging $700,000. The selected organizations were those with workplans that were most ready-to-go and were likely to achieve environmental results in a relatively short time period. For 2005, the agency is continuing its focus on approaches aimed to provide quick, measurable environmental results; partnerships, innovation, and program integration.
Nominations are due on or before May 19, 2005. Final selections of watershed grantees will be announced this summer. For more information about the Targeted Watersheds Grant Program is available at www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/initiative/.
USA Pavilion Available at 9th CIEPEC Event
The 9th China International Environmental Protection Exhibition and Conference (CIEPEC 2005), showcasing a broad array of environmental protection goods and services, will be held at the China International Exhibition Center in Beijing June 7-10, 2005.
CIEPEC is organized by the China Association for the Environmental Protection Industry and sponsored by China’s State Environmental Protection Administration.
The USA Pavilion at CIEPEC 2005 gives U.S. companies a cost-effective, comprehensive package of onsite trade promotion support at the largest environmental exposition in China in 2005. Currently, China’s environmental marketplace operates around $32 billion per year.
For USA Pavilion exhibitors, the standard show services package and enhanced support includes:
- Pre-show marketing campaign to buyers;
- Featured posting for your company on the Commercial Service’s China website;
- Invitation to a U.S. Embassy-hosted reception;
- Onsite meetings with Commerce Depart- ment environmental staff from other Commercial Service posts in the Asia-Pacific region; and
- Opportunity to highlight your company’s capabilities at a technical seminar.
For more details, go to www.brisea.com
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Metallic Particles Could Solve Billion-dollar Groundwater Problem
Research from Rice University’s Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology recently found that nanoparticles of gold and palladium are the most effective catalysts yet identified for remediation of one of the nation’s most pervasive and troublesome groundwater pollutants, trichloroethene (TCE). Engineers at Rice University and the Georgia Institute of Technology conducted the research.
“The advantages of palladium-based TCE remediation are well-documented, but so is the cost,” said lead researcher Michael Wong, assistant professor of chemical engineering and chemistry at Rice. “Using nanotechnology, we were able to maximize the number of palladium atoms that come in contact with TCE molecules and improve efficiency by several orders of magnitude over bulk palladium catalysts.”
TCE is found at 60% of the contaminated waste sites on the Superfund National Priorities List and is considered one of the most hazardous chemicals because of its prevalence and its toxicity. Human exposure to TCE has been linked to liver damage, impaired pregnancies and cancer.
In the CBEN experiments, Wong and collaborators compared the effectiveness of four varieties of palladium catalysts: bulk palladium, palladium powder on an aluminum oxide support base, pure palladium nanoparticles and a hybrid nanoparticle developed by Wong that consists of a gold nanoparticle covered with a thin coat of palladium atoms.
As metal particles get progressively smaller, a higher percentage of the atoms in the particle are found on the surface of the particle instead of being locked away inside the metal where they cannot interact with other chemicals. For example, in the bulk palladium, less than 4% of the palladium atoms were on surface of the particle. Pure palladium nanoparticles had 24% of the metal on the surface. In the gold-palladium nanoparticles, 100% of the palladium atoms are accessible for reaction.
Eventually, the researchers hope to develop a device that would include a cylindrical pump containing a catalytic membrane of the gold-palladium nanoparticles. The device would be placed down existing wells where it would pump water through continuously, breaking TCE into non-toxic components.
Bush Selects Steve Johnson to Head EPA
President Bush assigned Stephen Johnson, as the acting head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nominating him to the top job on a full-time basis.
“He knows the EPA from the ground up and has a passion for its mission,” Bush said. When confirmed by the Senate, Johnson would become the first professional scientist to head the agency and would be its 11th administrator.
“He will listen to those closest to the land because they know our environmental needs best,” Bush said of Johnson. Johnson’s predecessor, Michael Leavitt, is now serving as the secretary of health and human services.
One of Johnson’s top jobs according to Bush would be to “lead federal efforts to ensure the safety of our drinking water supply.”