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Archive for August, 2011

31
Aug

Spring Valley: Army Corps Cleanup Plan Meeting!

Wed Aug 31, 2011 at 03:42:49 PM EST

By Kent Slowinski, ANC Commissioner, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3D01

The Army Corps of Engineers has spent more than $200 million over the last 18 years cleaning up chemical munitions and chemical contamination from World War I activities at the American University Experiment Station.  Come learn about the most recent stage of the Spring Valley cleanup.

At the September 7 ANC3D meeting, the Army Corps will make a brief presentation on their plans to tear down the house at 4825 Glenbrook Road in order to clean up a World War I chemical munitions burial pit under the house.  Some of the Johns Hopkins team that is conducting a health study will also be at the meeting.

Over the past ten years, Army Corps contractors have removed more than 500 munitions, 400 pounds of laboratory glassware and 100 tons of contaminated soil.  This includes 75 mm rounds filled with arsine and mustard agent, bottles containing mustard agent, lewisite and arsenic trichloride, several 55 gallon metal drums, and the necks of several large glass containers.  Some believe this is the Sargeant Maurer Burial Pit.

The ANC3D meeting will be held at 7 pm on Wednesday, September 7 at Sibley Hospital’s new medical office building, 5255 Loughboro Road, NW.

If you are unable to join us there is another opportunity to learn about the cleanup plans at the Spring Valley Restoration Advisory Board meeting at 7 pm on Tuesday, September 13 in the basement meeting room of Saint David’s Church, 5150 Macomb Street, NW.

Global Green USA & the DC Environmental Network are strong supporters of neighborhood efforts to require clean up of WW1 munitions that contaminate District neighborhoods.

28
Aug

DCEN LUNCHEON: DC Wildlife

Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 04:06:59 PM EST

By Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

The DC Environmental Network invites all metro-based environmentalists to a brown bag luncheon:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

featuring:

– Mary Cheh, DC Councilmember,  Chair of Committee on the Environment, Public Works and Transportation

–  Dr. John Hadidian, Director – Urban Wildlife, The Humane Society of the United States

– Anne Lewis, President, City Wildlife, Inc. 

– Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network – Moderator 

On September 8th at noon join the DC Environmental Network for a presentation and discussion about the importance of protecting urban wildlife.

RSVP for the September 8th DCEN Event Here!

Background:

“Over the past several decades, local wildlife habitat has been severely depleted as farm land and wooded areas turn into suburbs, and suburbs turn into urban landscapes. Wild animals, whose very survival is at stake, are learning to adapt to living in close proximity with people. In fact, they are doing this so well that many former denizens of dense forests and vacant meadows–foxes, beaver, deer, opossums, and woodchucks, for example–are now living in even the most urban of environments.” – City Wildlife website.

Even with some adaptation conflict between humans and wildlife is a daily occurance in urban centers around the world. Our three panelists will share the work they do to create policies and programs that humanely deal with this problem.

Dr. Hadidian will focus on the importance of wildlife to a healthy city and describe programs and cutting edge concepts and ideas designed to help people and wildlife co-exist. Councilmember Cheh will talk about policies to manage the relationship between wildlife and people in the Distrct and what might be worth looking at in the future. Anne Lewis will talk about City Wildlife, Inc’s plan to create a wildlife education and rehabilitation center to deal with the thousands of wild animals a year that need help.

Join us September 8th at Noon at Global Green USA, 1100 15th Street NW, 11th Floor – Near Farragut North & McPherson Square Metro.

Call-In Number: 775-269-3893, when prompted enter 399602#

RSVP for the September 8th DCEN Event Here!

All are welcome to attend!

26
Aug

Call to Action: Join White House Protest!

Fri Aug 26, 2011 at 08:20:27 AM EST

by Jim Dougherty, Washington, DC Resident

Finally the “climate change movement” is drawing on the lessons of Gandhi, King and Mandela — making our commitment physical but nonviolent, sacrificial rather than wonky.

Finally the “climate change movement” is drawing on the lessons of Gandhi, King and Mandela — making our commitment physical but nonviolent, sacrificial rather than wonky.

Yesterday’s protest — Day 6 in a 14-day campaign led by Bill McKibben, Gus Speth and allies — focused on the upcoming Obama/Clinton decision whether to permit the proposed pipeline from Alberta’s tar sands region to Texas refineries. If this one goes through its “game over” for the atmosphere. See www.tarsandsaction.org for more.

Some 60 noble individuals brought the total to 322 Americans willing to go to jail to take a stand in defense of the integrity of the planet’s ecological infrastructure. I made the came choice on Monday. Yesterday’s Washington Post had coverage of the issue and more celebrity arrests. 

We’re hoping that a thousand will take the same stand come the end of the action. To achieve that goal we’re going to have to ramp things up. As I write, national phone banks are being organized — and they need volunteers.

Here in DC we’ll need beds, couches and carpets to house our colleagues. I’ll be taking in a stranger from Missouri. This is where DCEN has a crucial role to play.

This just might be a pivotal point in the history of the movement — and thus the world. If so, we need to give it our all. The support of  DC Environmental Network community would be invaluable.

Jim Dougherty

The DC Environmental Network is very proud of Jim Dougherty and other District residents who have already participated in this important action. The organizers, Tar Sands Action, is planning a daily series of peaceful protests between August 20th and September 3rd, which for some participants will involve risking arrest. The organizers want to be able to schedule people’s participation for maximum effectiveness, so please let them know on which dates you can participate.  Go to the Tar Sands Action website to sign-up or to learn more.  CW

 

 

19
Aug

Is Walmart a True Anacostia River Partner?

Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 09:14:14 AM EST

By Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

DC Residents Discuss Walmart Environmental Impacts.

With 2.1 million employees worldwide and reported sales of $419 billion in 2011, Walmart is big and knows how to flex its economic muscle. In the District, before one shovel of dirt has been moved to construct four proposed new stores, Walmart gave millions of dollars to local charities and the District government. Just last week Mayor Vincent Gray announced an additional $3 million Walmart will give to our local community college and non-profit organizations for job training. Arguably it makes sense to curry as much favor and community support as possible before moving forward with new stores. No one can argue that the beneficiaries, including the Capital Area Food Bank ($230,000), DC Hunger Solutions ($450,000) and the DC Department of Parks and Recreation ($60,000), for example, are undeserving.  These are worthy and important organizations and agencies threatened by the recent economic downturn and in need of support. But one might ask if contributions will truly compensate for the environmental impacts of four large retail stores on our air and water and the impacts of hundreds of jobs that will not pay a living wage. Ironically many of the same organizations that received contributions may spend the next decade using scarce resources to deal with the environmental health and economic impacts created by Walmart’s presence.

Ward 7 Walmart Site: How Much Polluted Stormwater Will Walmart Send to the Anacostia River?

As environmentalists many of us are concerned about the motivation and intent behind a $100,000 donation Walmart recently made to the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership. This contribution will be used to install a bioretention facility or rain garden to treat polluted stormwater runoff entering the Anacostia River. It would be hard to find anyone who does not believe this is a good project. The environmental community works very closely with the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Partnership and believes in its mission. Yet here again some important questions should be asked. Will four new Walmart developments direct significant amounts of polluted stormwater into the Anacostia River?  Or will Walmart embrace stormwater controls to curb this pollution and show they are a true partner in efforts to protect and restore our rivers?

In 2005 Walmart made a commitment to green their company and thus far, with all their resources, progress does not seem equal to existing potential.

If Walmart truly wants to be a partner to green our nation’s capital city and help save the planet from further environmental degradation why not build the greenest Walmart stores in the country? Luckily we already have a blueprint for green in DC. The DC government will soon finish writing stormwater regulations and green building codes already exist that establish much of the required standards.  To get 80% of the way to green Walmart will simply have to follow local requirements. The rest is up to them to decide if being one of the most successful companies on the planet carries the responsibility of making sure they do more good than harm to the environment and local economy.

By doing more substantive greening of their stores, and spending less time  and money trying to curry short term public favor, Walmart will do  much to bring true community benefits and receive real public support in the District without burdening the city with harmful impacts.  And all of this can be achieved without threatening their global economic success.

The DC Environmental Network is a member of the Living Wages Healthy Communities Coalition.

18
Aug

Come Show Support for Our Green DC Council!

Thu Aug 18, 2011 at 12:03:49 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

We are all very lucky to have a strong Green Caucus on the District of Columbia City Council. One of the Council member’s who is proud to call himself an environmentalist is Tommy Wells.

Councilmember Wells has shown the environmental community that he probably thinks about the District’s fragile environment on a daily basis and backs up his thoughts with action on numerous fronts.

DC Green Caucus of Councilmember's Cheh, Wells & Mendelson! (partial)

Shepherding policies to reduce the amount of trash that make its way into the Anacostia and Potomac River and promoting transportation policies that are good for District residents are actions Councilmember Wells has taken to create healthier and more economically viable communities.

On Monday, August 22nd join the local environmental community for an informal get together and opportunity to say thank you to Councilmember Wells for his work on behalf of the environment.

  • What?: Informal Get Together with Councilmember Wells
  • When?: Monday, August 22nd, 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Where?: Hunan Dynasty, 215 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003 – NOTE CHANGE of VENUE!

RSVP to dennisjaffe@gmail.com

All are welcome!

10
Aug

DCEN LUNCHEON: DC Wildlife

Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 09:25:36 AM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

The DC Environmental Network invites all metro-based environmentalists to a brown bag luncheon:

featuring:

– Mary Cheh, DC Councilmember,  Chair of Committee on the Environment, Public Works and Transportation

–  Dr. John Hadidian, Director – Urban Wildlife, The Humane Society of the United States

– Anne Lewis, President, City Wildlife, Inc. 

– Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network – Moderator 

On September 8th at noon join the DC Environmental Network for a presentation and discussion about the importance of protecting urban wildlife.

Background:

“Over the past several decades, local wildlife habitat has been severely depleted as farm land and wooded areas turn into suburbs, and suburbs turn into urban landscapes. Wild animals, whose very survival is at stake, are learning to adapt to living in close proximity with people. In fact, they are doing this so well that many former denizens of dense forests and vacant meadows–foxes, beaver, deer, opossums, and woodchucks, for example–are now living in even the most urban of environments.” – City Wildlife website.

Even with some adaptation conflict between humans and wildlife is a daily occurance in urban centers around the world. Our three panelists will share the work they do to create policies and programs that humanely deal with this problem.

Dr. Hadidian will focus on the importance of wildlife to a healthy city and describe programs and cutting edge concepts and ideas designed to help people and wildlife co-exist. Councilmember Cheh will talk about policies to manage the relationship between wildlife and people in the Distrct and what might be worth looking at in the future. Anne Lewis will talk about City Wildlife, Inc’s plan to create a wildlife education and rehabilitation center to deal with the thousands of wild animals a year that need help.

Join us September 8th at Noon at Global Green USA, 1100 15th Street NW, 11th Floor – Near Farragut North & McPherson Square Metro.

Call-In Number: 775-269-3893, when prompted enter 399602#

RSVP for the September 8th DCEN Event Here!

All are welcome to attend!

8
Aug

Jobs w/Justice Comes to Washington to Talk to Walmart!

Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 05:13:33 PM EST

By Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

The DC Environmental Network is very proud to be part of the Living Wages Healthy Communities Campaign as we all work to try and make sure that when we develop our economy in the District of Columbia we take care of the environment and the people who live in it.  Our work with organizations like Jobs with Justice and Clean Water Action make our campaign a truly broad based effort. Working with our partners the DC Environmental Network is focused on making sure that if Walmart comes to the District, the stores they build will not pollute the air and water nor contribute to the growing threat of global warming.

This week hundreds of Jobs with Justice advocates came to Washing, DC to send a clear message to Walmart – Respect DC! Their rally at Walmart headquarters was a very inspiring shot in the arm for our local activists. Thanks Jobs with Justice!

Here is some video of the rally!

5
Aug

Video: New DC Biodiesel Plant Described at Seminar

Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 03:30:15 PM EST

by Paul F. Walker, Ph.D, Director, Security and Sustainability, Global Green USA

The District of Columbia will soon have a biodiesel production plant in the coming year, a private effort to produce “the cleanest and greenest diesel fuel on the East Coast,” according to Wendell Jenkins, President and CEO of DC Biofuels.  In the roundtable organized by the DC Environmental Network and Global Green USA, Jenkins, along with James Peeples and Christine McCoy, explained that over 20 million gallons of diesel fuel are currently used annually in local government vehicles.  DC Biofuels will collect locally produced fats, oils, and grease — FOG or “non-traditional recyclables” — and process these as biodiesel fuel to supply 20-25 million gallons of cleaner biodiesel for buses, trucks, and vans in and around the District.  Called B-20 — 20% biodiesel and 80% regular diesel, this fuel will be treated to greatly limit nitrogen oxide (NOX) pollution.  They noted that the worst regions for ozone pollution in the US are Los Angeles and Houston/Galveston.  This plant will be the first of ten or more which DC Biofuels will construct in the mid-Atlantic and southeast United States.

See DC  Biofuels Powerpoint Presentation.

Watch the Presentation on YouTube!

 

5
Aug

Washington Film Institute: The Age of Stupid

Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 01:18:58 PM EST

by John Hanshaw, Director, Washington Film Institute

Franny Armstrong directed this unsparing look at the development of humanity against the background of global catastrophe and poses the question: Why did we not prevent our doom while we still had the chance to do so? (U.K., 2009, DVD, 92 min.)  Introduced by Erik Assadourian, Transforming Cultures Project Director, Worldwatch Institute.

Washington Film Institute’s Green Screen 3: “The Age of Stupid”

– Monday, 8 August 2011, 6:30 pm

– Goethe-Institute Washington, 812 7TH ST. NW (7TH & EYE)

– $7/$4 Student

– Advance Ticket Required: http://dcfilminstitute.org/ageofstupid

4
Aug

DC Sierra Club: Green Team Kickoff Happy Hour!

Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 01:20:33 PM EST

by Amanda Brinton & Lauren Elasik, DC Sierra Club

Join the Recycling Committee at their Green Team Kickoff Happy Hour Event!

Even though it is DC law that commercial establishments must recycle, many send all their waste to landfills. In an effort to make a shift in the right direction, the Green Team would like to recognize and celebrate bars and restaurants that do recycle by promoting their efforts.  DC residents now have the opportunity to show businesses that customers do care and that “taking care of business” means taking care of both customers and the natural environment.

Here are the details:

WHAT: Green Team Happy Hour to promote commercial recycling in DC

WHEN: Thursday, August 11th from 5:30-8:00pm

WHERE: Bread and Brew, 1247 20th St NW DC

Your RSVP is not required to attend this event but it helps us plan.

Specials will include: $1-off all beers on draught, $3 cans of DC’s own DC Brau Public Pale Ale and some specials on organic cocktails and food. Green Team t-shirts will also be on sale for a suggested donation of $5.

If you’d like to attend this event you can RSVP online.

4
Aug

TAKE ACTION FOR CLEAN RIVERS: Support Anacostia Waterfront Development Zone Standards!

Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 11:25:25 AM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

In 2008 the DC Environmental Network worked with housing, jobs and environmental activists to codify special environmental standards designed to protect the Anacostia River from the impacts of new developments along its banks. Environmental design, green building, marina, site planning and preservation and stormwater control standards were all part of a comprehensive plan to create what could be some of the greenest developments in the country.

The same year, 2008, the DC Council and Mayor Adrian Fenty passed these same standards that would bring many benefits to District residents including cleaner water & air, cooler summer temperatures, increased energy efficiency, livable neighborhoods, economic revitalization and other climate change mitigations.

Now, in 2011, three years later, these standards have still not been fully implemented. Just last week 20 environmental organizations sent a letter to DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown asking him to finish the job. We specifically asked Chairman Brown to legislate immediate implementation of stormwater controls necessary for keeping toxics and other pollutants out of the Anacostia River. Much more needs to be done…and we need your help!

Take Action for Clean Rivers!

Sign-On to our organizational letter!  We will be sending the Council and Mayor an update of new organizational supporters in two weeks.

– Read Coalition Letter and Standards Description to Learn More About the Anacostia Waterfront Development Zone standards!

4
Aug

DCEN LUNCHEON: Proposed DC Biodiesel Plant

Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 08:27:30 AM EST

by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

The DC Environmental Network invites all metro-based environmentalists to a brown bag luncheon:

featuring:

– Wendell Jenkins, President & CEO, DC Biofuels

– James Peeples, Senior Vice President, DC Biofuels

– Christine McCoy, Director/Feedstock Sustainability, DC Biofuels

– Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

Join us today, August 4th at Noon, at Global Green USA, 1100 15th Street NW, 11th Floor – Near Farragut North & McPherson Square Metro Stops.

RSVP for the August 4th DCEN Event Here!

Background: On August 4th at noon,  Wendell Jenkins, President & CEO of DC Biofuels, will discuss plans to build a large biodiesel plant in Washington, DC. Biodiesel is the name of a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources. Biodiesel is produced from any fat or oil through a process called transesterification. The DC plant will recycle used animal fats, vegetable oils & greases (FOG) from urban waste streams. San Francisco currently has a biodiesel plant and a vibrant, regional biofuels industry.

DC Biofuels hopes to be in production within a year. They are already marketing to local restaurants to contribute fats, oil and grease (FOG) waste to the plant. They are also talking to DC Water about contributing fats, oil and grease (FOG) to their plant. They hope to produce “clean and green” biofuel for public and private fleets. DC Biofuels hopes to be fueling District fleet vehicles by late 2011, early 2012.

Some questions we hope to answer:

– How big a factory do we need in Washington, DC and what will it look like?

– How will the biodiesel plant impact the surrounding neighborhood?

– How does the process for “small scale” biodiesel production compare to your current plans?

– What have you learned from similar projects in San Francisco and elsewhere?

– How does San Francisco and other communities collect the waste needed to produce biodiesel? What are your plans to collect waste from DC Water and other sources?

– What are the environmental benefits of biodiesel? What kind of emissions come from biodiesel and how does it compare to other fuels?

– How does biodiesel factor into global warming?

“Wendell Jenkins, President & CEO is a co-founder of DC BIOFUELS and brings a creative, practical, hands-on and experience-based perspective to the application of sales strategy and organizational process, coupled with an unparalleled enthusiasm for working with developing new and growing organizations.” – DC Biofuels

Join us today, August 4th at Noon, at Global Green USA, 1100 15th Street NW, 11th Floor – Near Farragut North & McPherson Square Metro. 

Call-In Number: 775-269-3893, when prompted enter 399602#

RSVP for the August 4th DCEN Event Here!

Additional Information:

DCBiofuels, LLC – A Presentation to DC Water, June 28, 2010

Making Biodiesel from San Francisco’s FOG, June 28, 2011

San Francisco Falling Short on use of Biodiesel for Public Vehicles.

Dogpatch Biofuels (Bay Area, California)

San Francisco Announces 10 Million Gallon Biodiesel Plant

San Francisco Biodiesel Task Force Website

Small Scale Biodiesel Production

 

All are welcome to attend!