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POSTED: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 1:21 PM
Filed Under: How to ...
Conemaugh coal-fired power plant in western Pennsylvania, one of seven plants in the state that are among the 100 highest emitters of greenhouse gases in the nation, according to an EPA data set of large industrial sources. (Inquirer photo by Laurence Kesterson)

Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released national data from 2010 for about 6,700 large industrial emitters of greenhouse gases.  They were predominantly power plants, and they released mostly carbon dioxide.

I wrote a story about it for this morning's paper.

That story focused on how Pennsylvania ranked second in the nation in the amount of emissions from these sources, and how seven coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania made the list of the top 100 emitters nationwide.

POSTED: Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 4:05 PM
Filed Under: How to ...

I'm still getting tons of emails about light bulbs. One thing that's abundantly clear is that people are  confused, so I'll try to help.

Here's a Jan. 1 story I wrote that explains what the new efficiency standards for bulbs are and why national legislators and environmental groups think they are important.

As the Natural Resources Defense Council's Noah Horowitz said, looking ahead to full implementation of the standards in 2014, the nation is "on pace to save $13 billion per year in the form of lower electric bills and prevent the need for 30 large power plants, and all the pollution they generate."

POSTED: Thursday, April 14, 2011, 11:17 AM
Filed Under: How to ...
Workers remove plastic bags from the stream of recyclables at the Waste Management sorting facility in Northeast Philadelphia. (Inquirer photo by Ron Tarver)

My story earlier this week about a $20 million high-tech sorting facility that Waste Management opened in Northeast Philadelphia took some avid recyclers by surprise.

In the story, company officials noted that so many plastic bags come in with all the other recyclables that they can't keep up with them. Workers attempt to pull them from the stream at the outset, sending them whooshing off via a vacuum system to a different part of the building. But still, so many get by that they clog the machinery. Twice a shift, workers have to shut down the automated line and clear the works.

So let us re-emphasize: Plastic bags should not be put in with the curbside recyclabes.

POSTED: Thursday, March 24, 2011, 2:42 PM

They call it a "dashboard." And it's a way for the public to track information on facilities that are violating the Clean Water Act.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released a new data and mapping tool that looks at national trends, and then zeros in on statewide views and individual facilities.

The tool incorporates data on minor facilities -- it looks like about a bazillion in Pennsylvania alone -- and major ones. Included is the latest information from EPA’s 2009 Annual Noncompliance Report. Also, information on the inspections conducted by both EPA and the state, violations and enforcement actions over the past two years, and the penalties levied in response to violations.

About this blog

GreenSpace is about environmental issues and green living. Bauers also writes a biweekly GreenSpace column about environmental health issues for the Inquirer’s Sunday “Health” section.

Sandy Bauers is the environment reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. She lives in northern Chester County with her husband, two cats, a large vegetable garden and a flock of pet chickens.

Reach Sandy at

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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