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Outreach Materials for Burn Season

2011 August 22

Let us know if you’d like Burn Wise materials mailed to you to use for this year’s burn season. We have posters, brochures, post card reminders and other fun items that help promote the Burn Wise message.

http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/burnwisekit.html#more

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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Updated Revisions to Method 28

2011 August 11

Revisions to EPA’s Method 28 Outdoor Wood-Fired Hydronic Heaters (OWHH) have recently been finalized.  The Method’s title has dropped “Outdoor” because it now allows for the qualification of indoor hydronic heaters, too.  The new name is EPA Method 28 WHH and the revisions will improve reproducibility and accuracy of results.  The revised method can be found at www.epa.gov/burnwise/pdfs/owhhphase2agreement.pdf and start on page 17.  The revisions to EPA’s Hydronic Heater Partnership Agreement at this same address will be completed next month.

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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EPA Internship Program- Aug 19 Deadline

2011 August 9

From our Office of Environmental Justice-

EPA is looking for energetic and highly motivated graduate level students to work on addressing environmental justice. Numerous opportunities are available within EPA for students to gain valuable work experience while contributing to the mission of protecting human health and the environment. Student internship opportunities are available at EPA’s regional offices nationwide through the EJ eco-Ambassador program.

The goal of the internship program is to:
– Provide an opportunity for graduate level students to work collaboratively with EPA offices to support community based programs and increase the local community’s capacity to address environmental concerns.
– Facilitate career development opportunities for graduate level students who have been involved in or have a strong interest in environmental justice.

Visit http://www.agimssinc.com/mission-support/programs for more information.

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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Dr. Arden Pope’s Presentation is Available

2011 July 28

Over 300 people joined us for today’s webinar: PM Health Effects and Wood Smoke. Thanks to Dr. Pope for presenting and providing his slides. You can access his presentation here- http://epa.gov/burnwise/resources.html#presentations We’ll provide the audio recorded presentation sometime next week. Please let us know if there are other health topics that you’d like to hear about.

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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July 28 Health Effects Webinar

2011 July 14

Here’s the information on our upcoming webinar. Hope you will join us.

The US EPA will present a webinar featuring Dr. C Arden Pope III, Professor at Brigham Young University, on Thursday, July 28, 2011 from 2:00–3:00 pm EDT, on the health effects associated with particle pollution and wood smoke. Dr. Pope has collaborated on various human health effects studies that relate to short- and long-term air pollution exposure. He is considered one of the world’s most widely cited and recognized experts on the health effects of air pollution.

The webinar will answer questions such as:

Does particle pollution exposure affect children, women, and men the same?
How does exposure to particle pollution compare with cigarette smoking?
How small are fine particles?
Is there such a thing as “Killer Smog?”
Can short-term exposure contribute to acute coronary events?

If you would like the answers to these questions and others, please join us on July 28, 2:00–3:00 pm EDT.

To register, please visit: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/209975528.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Please plan to join the webinar a few minutes prior to the start time so that we may begin on time. Note that no phone line or microphone is needed for the webinar. You can hear the audio through the speakers on your computer. There will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions at the end of Dr. Pope’s presentation. You may use the “questions” function during the presentation to type and send in questions.

For more information on wood smoke and health effects, please visit: www.epa.gov/burnwise/healtheffects.html.

The webinar is open to state, tribal and local agencies and organizations interested in knowing more about the health effects associated with particle pollution emissions and wood smoke.

If you already have questions about particle pollution health effects, please email them ahead of time to finch.pat@epa.gov. Dr. Pope will try to respond to those questions sent ahead of time at the beginning of the question and answer session.

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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USDA Housing Preservation Grant

2011 July 14

USDA issued a call for proposals that may be a possible funding option for replacing heating appliances in rural housing. The announcement is below.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announces the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Housing Preservation Grant Program. This program is available for residents of rural areas whose incomes fall into the low and very low income categories and who need assistance to repair or rehabilitate their homes. An area is considered rural if it is populated with 20,000 people or less. Urban area residents would not be eligible for the program. Nonprofits, local governments, and Native American tribes can receive the grant funding to repair the properties of these residents. Grant funding is not provided to individuals. The deadline to submit the pre-application is August 22, 2011.

Notice of Funding Availability: Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants for Fiscal Year 2011: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-07-07/pdf/2011-17109.pdf (7 pp, 313K)

FY 2011 Pre-application for Housing Preservation Grants: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/mfh/MPR/Forms/533%20HPG%20Preapplication%20FY2011.pdf (4 pp, 358K)

The Section 533 HPG Pre-application form may be accessed from this site and submitted electronically. You may also contact the State Office in the state the project is located for hard-copy forms. Hard copy pre-applications and additional materials can be mailed to the State Office with your complete application package.

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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Recent Study Finds HEPA Filters Reduce Particle Pollution by 60%

2011 June 29

A recent study conducted by Dr. Ryan Allen of Simon Fraser University and colleagues demonstrated that using portable high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) filters can reduce the presence of air particles by about 60%. This in turn resulted in decreased presence of some cardiovascular risk factors leading the researchers to conclude that filters would help reduce cardiovascular morbidity due to wood smoke. [Allen RW, et al. An air filter intervention study of endothelial function among healthy adults in a woodsmoke-impacted community. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. doi:10.1164/rccm.201010-1572OC]

This may help communities mitigate immediate indoor air health concerns. We hope to have two focused webinars on health effects related to wood smoke within the next few months. Please let us know if you have suggestions or requests for the webinars. Also, if you know of other recent health studies, please include the link as a comment. Thanks!

Publication- http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/201010-1572OCv1

Dr. Allen’s Presentation to the BC American Lung Association- http://bc.lung.ca/association_and_services/documents/11Allen-AirFilterandStoveExchangeImpactsonIndoorAirQualityandHealth.pdf

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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Burn Wise Tip Sheets Available

2011 June 28

We have several thousand tip sheets available in color. Please let us know if you’d like a box (500/package or 3000/box) for this Burn Season. These are great to include in utility or health mailers. Dane County, WI teamed up with a local hospital and mailed out 5000 this past year as part of their asthma campaign.

http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/pdfs/BurnWiseTips.pdf

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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Draft Wood Moisture Graphic: What Are Your Thoughts?

2011 June 23

We want people to burn only dry seasoned wood, but what is the best way to get the message across? Our brochures and website provide detailed information, but we want a quick and simple visual that demonstrates the difference between burning wet wood and dry wood.

The following is our latest version of a wood moisture graphic with accompanying text. In most cases we would expect the text to be included with the visual, but at times we may want the graphic to stand alone:

Draft Moisture Graphic

 

Since this is still in the draft stage, we would like to get your comments, thoughts, and suggestions. What works? What doesn’t work? If the graphic didn’t include explanatory text would it make sense?

We value you input in helping us make this something that will be useful to us – and to you – in trying to promote the use of dry, seasoned wood. Please leave us a reply and let us know what you think!

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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Washington State Wood Smoke Education Campaign

2011 June 20

Washington State recently released the final report for their pilot wood smoke education campaign known as “Is Your Wood Ready to Burn?”

Washington Wood Smoke Education Pilot Campaign (PDF, 54pp)

The results from this research-based campaign are valuable for air district communications professionals, but are also beneficial for stakeholders who wish to partner with air districts in the future. We encourage you to read the report and share any input that you think is appropriate.

As you take time to read the report, please take the following points into consideration:

  • This was a foundational effort aimed at gathering the demographics, behaviors and motivations of frequent wood burners and uncovering what is needed to get them to take action to reduce wood smoke; reaching a large group of people was not the intention of this campaign.
  • This project was funded by the Washington State Department of Ecology, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency on behalf of the Washington subgroup of the Northwest Air Quality Communicators Group.
  • This data only defines how to work with one segment of the wood burning population.

Lisa Woodard of the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency and Amy Warren of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency are interested in taking this effort to the next phase, so your comments and input are greatly appreciated. What are your thoughts and feedback? Leave a reply and let us know what you think!

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.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.