Monthly Archives: December 2011

Too Much Cookie Dough

By Jeanethe Falvey

It’s not the holidays until you feel sick from intercepting dough before it hits the oven. There are only so many times a year where this is justifiable and I make the most of it.

It’s a morsel of pleasure for yourself, during a month long frenzy to think of everyone else in your life. Between cards, gifts, baking, in the effort to be thoughtful, you can lose yourself in the holiday stress. You owe it to yourself before we ring in 2012 to take a deep breath. Let us all hope for it to be a year of greater health, peace and happiness.

Hope is where change begins.

Right now is the single greatest time when most of us are doing a bit of self-reflection. Whether it’s to eat healthier, go to the gym regularly, send real cards instead of e-mails, laugh at least once a day, recycle more, drive less and car pool more often. There are endless possibilities to make yourself feel better and do a bit of greater good at the same time.

It’s also a season to be concerned about what’s contagious, as the cold and flu make their annual rounds. Here’s the funny thing though, not all things contagious require extra vitamin C – in fact – some turn out to be real gifts that keep on giving. Ever noticed that happiness bounces from person to person? It’s spread through laughter, small gestures of thoughtfulness, it can even jump across a room with a smile.

They sum it up in the beginning of the movie Love Actually when they talk of standing in the arrivals gate at an airport. You’re quickly reminded that the world is a place full of smiles. It’s all what you choose to focus on, it’s all a choice. Throughout each day there are zillions of opportunities to take a brighter outlook on life, those choices add up to either make a day that was horrible, just ok, pretty good actually, or one you’ll never forget.

I’m choosing more happiness this year. I hope it spreads to others in my life. I’m also choosing to use and toss less ‘stuff’ and continue communicating about our environment, I hope it helps us collectively live in a world of greater health and peace.

What are your choices for 2012?

About the author: Jeanethe Falvey, U.S. EPA Pick 5 for the Environment and State of the Environment project lead based in sunny and crisp Boston, Massachusetts.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Green Tracks for Maryland’s Light Rail

By Nancy Grundahl

Read more about green initiatives proposed in, “Design Green! Best Practices for Sustainability, Safe Street Design for the Red Line.”

The Maryland Transit Administration is testing a “Green Track” concept, establishing vegetation between and adjacent to light rail tracks.  Among the positive outcomes is a reduction in polluted stormwater running into local streams.

The question is: will the turf grass and/or sedums planted between the tracks survive in the railway environment and become established well enough to present a dense and attractive growth in Maryland?  If so, green tracks are to be considered for incorporation into portions of the Red Line, a 14-mile light rail transit line proposed in Baltimore City. Additionally, the Green Track concept is being considered for portions of the Purple Line, a 16-mile light rail project in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. (Read more about green initiatives proposed in, “Design Green! Best Practices for Sustainability, Safe Street Design for the Red Line.”)

Green tracks are not uncommon in Europe, most notably in France and Germany. The benefits are many.  Some stormwater that would otherwise run off will be captured by the vegetation and soil. The temperature in the immediate area will be moderated, being a little cooler in the summer, reducing the urban heat island effect.  And, the noise from the trains will be dampened. Regular monitoring of Maryland’s Green Tracks test areas is currently underway.

Interested in seeing the green track test segments in person?

In mid-town Baltimore go to the Cultural Center Light Rail Station which is near the intersection of North Howard and West Preston Streets. There are two test areas here.

There is another test area in the suburbs near the Ferndale Light Rail Station in Anne Arundel County.  The test area is located between South Broadview Boulevard and Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard south of the station and the firehouse.

About the author: Nancy Grundahl has worked for the Philadelphia office of EPA since the mid-80’s. Nancy believes in looking at environmental problems in a holistic, multi-media way and is a strong advocate of preventing pollution instead of dealing with it after it has been created. Nancy likes to garden and during the growing season brings flowers into the office. Nancy also writes for the EPA “It’s Our Environment” blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Toys and the 3Rs

By Lina Younes

During the holidays, my youngest daughter and I undertook the project of cleaning up the toy room. As we approached the seemingly enormous task of going through all the toys, we opted for the following strategy. Divide the toys, books, gadgets, trinkets, etc. in three piles: one set of articles to keep, another to throw away, and the third to “recycle.”

In other words, the third pile of toys would donated to Goodwill.

The challenging process of sorting the items in three piles took quite a while. Many of the toys were full of memories, not only for her, but for me too. It was interesting to see which items finally ended up in the “must save” or “keep away” category. I saw how some of the valued items considered “must haves” from holidays past were easily discarded this time around. I confess that I added quite a few items to the “must keep” pile, such as some stuffed animals and baby toys. It was moving to see a pair of child gardening gloves that were half the size of my little girl’s hands today. How quickly they grow! Furthermore, I reluctantly added to the recycle pile some items that in spite of our personal memories were in a perfectly good condition and would definitely make another child happy.

So, a good activity to reduce clutter and help the environment is to go through a similar recycling project with your children. I admit it is not easy, but it has to be done. How do you approach going through old toys? As always, I will love to hear from you.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves as acting associate director for environmental education. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Los juguetes y el reciclaje

Por Lina Younes

Twitter en español

Durante las fiestas, mi hija menor y yo emprendimos el proyecto de limpiar el cuarto donde conservamos sus juguetes. Al parecer, era una tarea enorme recoger todos esos juguetes. Decidimos adoptar la siguiente estrategia para facilitar la labor. Dividiríamos los juguetes, libros, artefactos, y baratijas,  en tres grupos. El primero sería para los artículos que íbamos a conservar, el segundo para descartar y el tercer grupo era para aquellos que íbamos a reciclar.  En otras palabras, el tercer grupo era para juguetes que básicamente íbamos a donar.

Era un reto surtir todos los artículos y dividirlos en tres grupos. El proceso tomó varias horas. Muchos de los juguetes estaban llenos de recuerdos no tan sólo para ella, sino para mí también. Fue interesante ver cuáles artículos terminaron en la categoría de juguetes que teníamos que conservar y aquellos que íbamos a donar. Note cómo algunos de los artículos denominados como “valiosos e imprescindibles” en otroras fiestas ahora eran descartados con total desapego. Confieso que yo misma me aseguré de colocar algunos de los artículos en el montón de juguetes que íbamos a conservar, especialmente algunos peluches y juguetes de bebé. Me enterneció ver un par de pequeños guantes de jardinería de mi nena que indicaban cuanto habían crecido sus pequeñas manitos. ¡Cómo pasa el tiempo! Además, renuentemente coloqué algunos artículos en el montón que íbamos a reciclar/donar, independientemente de los gratos recuerdos y emociones que despertaban. Todos estaban en perfectas condiciones y otros niños podrían disfrutar.
Por lo tanto, el emprender un proyecto de reciclaje con sus hijos es una buena actividad para reducir los desechos y ayudar al medio ambiente. Admito que no fue una tarea fácil. ¿Cómo se deshace de juguetes viejos? Como siempre, me encantaría escuchar su sentir.

Acerca de la autora: Lina M. F. Younes ha trabajado en la EPA desde el 2002 y se desempeña, en la actualidad, como directora asociada interina para educación ambiental. Como periodista, dirigió la oficina en Washington de dos periódicos puertorriqueños y ha laborado en varias agencias gubernamentales.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Energy from Garbage?! Nooo Way…

students

Recently, Girl Scout Cadette Troop# 10717 from Florida uncovered an amazing fact during their Breathe Journey stage–a  step they take to connect and take action to earn three leadership awards and engage in improving the world’s air quality.

They toured a local waste management facility and discovered how energy is generated by using everyday trash.

With safety gear and hard hats on, the girls took a close look at the process.

Over 2,000 tons of municipal wastes arrive daily to the plant for processing.  The trash is placed into a furnace to be burned and turned into high pressure steam. The steam is converted into electricity, which is sold to local utilities.  Any ferrous metals that remain, such as iron and steel, are separated for recycling as scrap metals.  The overall volume of incoming trash is reduced by more than 90% in this process. This is so much better than going into a landfill!

The troop was excited to find a facility whose mission reflected their own, a leader interested in being green and who was concerned with safe air quality standards!  Seventh grader Alyssa said:   “We care about the environment because we live in it. We want to make the world a greener place.”

For Troop # 10717, the next step to complete their breath journey involved creating awareness within their community.  The “Greening with Greenery” project was created, which entailed each girl growing plants from seed to give away at a local event.   In over 3 months, the troop had over 1,000 plants to give to their community! To be even more sustainable, the plants were given out in biodegradable newspaper pots instead of plastic ones.  At the event, the troop educated the community on the harmful effects of air pollution and how plants can improve air quality.

Emily (6th grader) said:  “Plants absorb carbon dioxide and they give off oxygen.  We wouldn’t be able to survive without them.  By giving away plants, we hope to inspire people to grow their own garden to help our planet.”  Seventh grader Elizabeth said:  “We asked people to take action in helping our environment by planting trees and picking up trash in their environment.”

The project was a success!  Not only will they receive their badges for the Breathe Journey but they’ve been asked to run their plant give-away booth at annual fundraiser in January.  WAY TO GO!

Yvonne Gonzalez is a SCEP intern with the Air and Radiation Division in Region 5. She is currently pursuing a dual graduate degree at DePaul University.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Old Gadgets Can Be Useful, Too

Reposted from USA GOV

By Felicia Chou

‘Tis the season to be gushing about the new electronic gadgets you’ve received for the holidays, and figure out what to do with your old ones. Sure, you could keep them in your closet or attic, waiting for the day VHS tapes are all the rage again, or when radio-sized phones are back in style. Maybe that old TV can be used as a giant paperweight. But there are plenty of better alternatives to put your unwanted electronics to use.

I’ve had this laptop since college and believe it or not, it still works. Well, besides the fact that the touchpad and keyboard aren’t working; and I have to keep it plugged in because the battery is pretty much dead. If, like me, you don’t want to part with your old computer just yet, see if you can upgrade the hardware or software to put it on par with your new gadgets. In my case, I would replace the battery and the keyboard, and plug in a new wireless mouse. Or, after clearing out your personal data, you can donate working electronics to those who need them.

The next best thing is to recycle your old gadgets, but before you start carting loads of electronics to your nearest electronics collection program or drop-off point, check if they’re working with a third-party certified recycler. You’re probably thinking, third-party what? Well, companies that recycle electronics can be certified by outside organizations (like R2 Solutions and eStewards) and regularly audited to make sure that your electronics will be managed safely. That way, you can rest assured that your old gadget is being recycled in a way that is protective of our health and the environment. Check out R2 Solutions and e-Stewards® for a list of certified recyclers.

So, why shouldn’t you just let your electronics sit at home and collect dust, or worse, get thrown away in the garbage?

Electronics are made of precious metals and materials, like gold, copper, and glass. If they’re thrown away, all that precious material that required a lot of energy to mine and manufacture will go to waste. When you recycle your electronics, those precious materials can be used in other products, such as electric cars or watches. You’ll also be preventing the pollution that would have been caused by having to mine and manufacture raw materials. In fact, recycling one million laptops saves enough energy to power over 3,000 US homes for a year.

So while you’re having a blast trying out all the new features on your shiny new gadgets, just remember to put your old ones to good use. I, for one, will be looking forward to the new battery and keyboard to keep my beloved laptop working for as long as I can.

About the author: Felicia Chou is a Program Analyst in the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery at EPA. Find out more about what you can do to green your holiday season at http:// www.epa.gov/waste/wycd

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Buried Treasure

By Jeanethe Falvey

I remember my mom telling me about a jar of pennies she buried as a child. Every visit to that house in Long Island I would consider excavating beneath my grandparents’ porch, but grabbed my pail and shovel to find other intriguing things on the beach instead. It was tempting though. Very tempting.

As a little kid even old pennies are exciting. OK, some of us don’t outgrow this, but there’s some allure from the fact that they were put there long ago.

I always wanted to bury a time capsule. The boxes under my bed do not count. Nor do the Playschool people that I lost in my sandbox and never recovered.

Years ago I thought it would be fun to do and then dig up later with my children, if I was lucky enough for all of those details to work out.

Then I thought, just as well to let someone else find it. Considering I missed the opportunity to have hidden anything of substance as a kid (newspaper clippings, CD – er cassette – of popular music, maybe a photograph) plan B seems more likely. The expressions on my housemates’ faces when they find me digging in the backyard would certainly be worth it.

A little over a year ago, through the help of social media and a few colleagues at the National Archives, I came upon a huge, unexpected time capsule. Documerica stirred my childhood aspirations and more recent memories of studying the social, political and economic issues surrounding some of the largest environmental challenges of the past 50 years.

It was all right there. Photos of new catalytic converters, polluted drinking water, thick black smoke, people going about their everyday business, tires on beaches; brings to mind that Billie Joel song.

I was speechless. It was like going from black and white TV to color. Facial expressions brought those debates to life. No longer were images of the environment back then, left up to the imagination.

What will our Documerica look like? What are the challenges we face today, after 40 years of better environmental protection? What do our faces look like as we go about our lives; enjoying, struggling, or remaining unaware of the State of our Environment?

About the author: Jeanethe Falvey, US. EPA Office of External Affairs. Pick 5 and State of the Environment project lead, based in rainy Boston, Massachusetts.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Upcoming Activities -Special Holiday Edition!

We’re taking a week off on Greening the Apple and want to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season. Instead of the usual weekend list, we’re providing a whole slew of fun suggestions for how to spend your time in New York City the rest of December. If we’ve left something out, let us know in the comments section. See you next year! 

Bilingual Story Time at the Queens Library – Winter Wednesdays (through February 1, 2012). 10:30 a.m.

Coney Island Polar Bear Club – A frigid dip in the ocean ought to wake you out of your holiday food coma! Or, you can just watch the winter warriors from a cozy spot on the beach. Sunday, December 25, 1 p.m.

Christmas Tree Tour – The Rockefeller Center Tree isn’t the only place to check out creative decorations in the city! Grab your Metrocard and some walking shoes and trek to the other trees on this list. 

Dyker Lights in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn – This historic Brooklyn neighborhood is worth the trip to see elaborate and inventive holiday displays; through December, 5-9 p.m.

Health and Race Walking – Get a head start burning off those extra holiday calories while enjoying Central Park’s beautiful landscapes. Coach Lon Wilson of the New York Walkers Club leads walks at a moderate to brisk pace. Saturday, December 24, 9:30 –11:30 a.m.

Holiday Open House – Visit the Queen’s County Farm Museum for tours of the decorated farmhouse, crafts and mulled cider. December 26-28, noon-4 p.m. 

Ice Skate at Citi Pond – Back for its seventh season, Citi Pond at Bryant Park is Manhattan’s first and only free admission ice skating rink. Open daily through February 26, 2012, Friday until 10 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-midnight; Sunday-Wednesday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. For directions to Citi Pond, click here.

Citi Pond at Bryant Park

Klez for Kids – Clarinetist Greg Wall and his band Klezmerfest will lead a musical tour of Eastern European Jewish culture culminating in a festive interactive shtetl wedding at the Museum at Eldridge Street. Sunday, December 25, 1 p.m.

Kwanzaa Celebration – Kwanzaa is celebrated all around the world. Explore this African-inspired holiday by learning about the traditions, culture and meaning of this holiday at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Create a Kwanzaa inspired craft to take home. December 26 at 11:30 a.m. and December 27 at 2:30 p.m., ages 5 and under.  

Kwanzaa 2011 – Head to the American Museum of Natural History for their annual Kwanzaa celebration full of stories, songs and dance that honor the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Saturday, December 31, from noon to 4 p.m. 

Midnight Run in Central Park – Celebrate the New Year with a toast to your health by participating in a four mile annual fun run. Saturday, December 31, 10 p.m.

Morning Bird Walk – Start 2012 by communing with nature in Prospect Park. Led by the Brooklyn Bird Club. Sunday, January 1, 10 a.m. 

Presents to the Animals – It’s the last chance to see animals at the Prospect Park Zoo pounce on their presents of treat-filled bags and boxes. Saturday and Sunday, December 24-25 at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Volunteer – It’s the season for giving, but how about the gift of time? Find volunteer opportunities in the area, because “everybody’s got something to offer.”

World’s Largest Menorah Lighting – From December 20-27 around 5:30 p.m. watch the lighting of this Guinness World Record holding-menorah near Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. 

23rd Annual Coat Drive – Donate a coat through December 31 and help a fellow New Yorker. See the complete list of collection sites for a location near you.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Have an Idea for Urban Waters?

Click here to visit the EPA Urban Waters web site.By Catherine King

Do you have an idea that could restore urban waters but you need funding?  This could be your opportunity.

EPA recently announced it will provide up to $1.8 million for projects across the country to protect Americans’ health and restoring urban waters, by improving water quality and revitalizing communities.

The funding is part of EPA’s Urban Waters program which helps communities access, improve and benefit from their urban waters.  Urban waters are canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans.  Examples of projects eligible for funding include:

·        training for water quality improvement or green infrastructure jobs,

·        educating about ways to reduce water pollution,

·        monitoring local water quality,

·        engaging diverse stakeholders to develop local watershed plans, or

·        promoting local water quality and community revitalization goals.

A web-based seminar on this funding opportunity will be held on January 5, 2012.  Proposals must be received by EPA by January 23, 2012.  Awards are expected to be made in the summer of 2012.  More information about these urban waters small grants and registration for the webinars is available on our national website.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Reduciendo el mercurio y protegiendo a los niños en Estados Unidos

Por la Administradora Lisa P. Jackson

Twitter en español

Desde los esfuerzos históricos por recortar la contaminación de los automóviles estadounidenses a fuertes medidas para prevenir que la contaminación de plantas energéticas cruce las fronteras estatales, el 2011 ha sido un año estelar para el aire limpio y la salud del pueblo estadounidense. Y en la EPA estamos cerrando el año habiendo alcanzado nuestra mayor protección del aire limpio hasta el momento.

La semana pasada, finalizamos los Estándares de Mercurio y Tóxicos de Aire, o los MATS, por sus siglas en inglés, una regla que protegerá a millones de familias, y especialmente a los niños de la contaminación del aire. Antes de esta regla, no habían estándares nacionales que limitaran la cantidad de mercurio, arsénico, cromo, níquel, y gases ácidos que las plantas eléctricas en todo el país podían emitir al aire que respiramos. El mercurio es una neurotoxina que es particularmente dañina a los niños y las emisiones de mercurio y otros tóxicos de aire están vinculados con daños al sistema nervioso en desarrollo, enfermedades respiratorias y otras enfermedades. Los estándares MATS requerirán que las centrales eléctricas instalen controles de emisiones que también reducirán contaminación particulada, que ha sido vinculada con muertes prematuras y enfermedades cardiovasculares y respiratorias.

Como resultado, los MATS ofrecerán entre $37 mil millones y $90 mil millones en beneficios a la salud para el pueblo estadounidense. Una vez que esta regla sea implementada cabalmente en el 2016, prevendrá hasta 11,000 muertes prematuras, 4,700 ataques al corazón, y 130,000 casos agravados de asma entre niños de seis a 18 años.

El último punto es especialmente significativo para mí como madre. Yo entiendo la importancia del los MATS de maneras muy profundas ya que mis dos hijos han luchado con asma. Hace quince años, mi hijo menor pasó su primera Navidad en el hospital luchando por respirar. Como madre de un niño asmático, le puedo decir que los beneficios de las protecciones de aire limpio como el MATS ya no son tan sólo estadísticas y conceptos abstractos.

De lo que realmente estamos hablando con todos estos números que mencioné anteriormente es de las madres embarazadas que ahora pueden tener un poco de mayor tranquilidad al saber que sus niños no estarían expuestos a niveles dañinos de mercurio en las etapas críticas de desarrollo. Estamos hablando de reducir los niveles de mercurio en el pescado que nosotros y nuestros niños comen a diario. Estamos hablando de futuras generaciones que crecerán de manera más saludable porque hay menos contaminación tóxica en el aire que respiran.

Aprenda cómo los MATS protegen la salud en su estado.

De lo que realmente estamos hablando también acerca de los MATS son miles de nuevas oportunidades para trabajadores estadounidenses. Los MATS no tan sólo ofrecerán beneficios a la salud que sobrepasarán los costos de cumplimiento sino también apoyarán empleos e innovación en nuestra economía.

Para cumplir con las normas MATS durante los próximos años, muchas plantas energéticas tendrán que mejorar sus operaciones con tecnología moderna para el control de contaminación ampliamente disponible. Hay unas 1,100 unidades a base de la quema de carbón que están cubiertas por los MATS y cerca del 40 por ciento no utilizan controles avanzados de contaminación que limitan las emisiones. Una mayor demanda para los filtros y depuradores de aire y otros controles avanzados de contaminación conllevará a una mayor actividad económica para compañías estadounidenses que serán líderes en la producción de tecnología para el control de contaminación.

No obstante, esto es tan sólo el comienzo. Aquellas plantas eléctricas que efectúen estas mejoras necesitarán trabajadores para construir, instalar, operar, y dar mantenimiento a los controles de contaminación. Como dijo recientemente uno de los principales ejecutivos de una de las más grandes empresas públicas de energía basada en la quema de carbón en el país acerca de la reducción de emisiones mediante la instalación de tecnología para el control de contaminación, “se crean empleos en el proceso—no hay duda de ello”. La EPA estima que la demanda por trabajadores apoyará 46,000 empleos de construcción a corto plazo y 8,000 empleos a largo plazo.

Los Estándares de Mercurio y Tóxicos de Aire protegerán a millones de familias y niños de la contaminación de aire dañina y costosa, proveerán al pueblo estadounidense beneficios que ampliamente sobrepasarán los costos en cumplimiento, y apoyarán la creación de empleos e innovación que son buenas para nuestra economía. Las familias en todo el país, incluyendo la mía, se beneficiarán del mero hecho de poder respirar aire más limpio. De eso se trata la protección ambiental y la labor de la EPA.

En esta época de fiestas a medida que nos reunimos como amigos y familias, los estadounidenses nos podemos sentir orgullosos del regalo del aire limpio. Nuestros niños y las generaciones futuras tendrán un aire más limpio para respirar debido a los MATS y este año histórico para la protección del aire limpio.

Acerca de la autora: Lisa P. Jackson es la administradora de la agencia de Protección Ambiental de EE.UU.

Aprenda cómo trabajan los MATS:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twThtiQeltI[/youtube]

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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