Feb 28, 2014

Eco-friendly projects set for U.S. - Mexico border

3 min
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More than $720,000 in grants has been awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to fund 16 environmental projects along the Texas and New Mexico U.S-Mexico border. The projects include improving air monitoring, expanding waste collection and recycling, and improving environmental awareness and education among area residents.

The funds were awarded in partnership with the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, under the bi-national U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program, Border 2020. The projects selected address the public health and environmental protection goals of the Border 2020 Program and are part of the overall environmental funding available for the border region.

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the 30th anniversary of the La Paz Agreement, which established the legal framework for cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico in protecting the environment of the border region.

Through these agreements, EPA has made significant investments that have resulted in major environmental benefits including more than 570 tons of e-waste properly disposed or recycled, the removal of more than 12 million scrap tires from dump sites border wide, and the connection of households to drinking water and wastewater services benefitting the more than 8.5 million border residents.

 “At EPA, we are always looking for ways to help communities identify and solve problems. It’s one of the most important parts of our job,” said Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “Funding these 16 projects will help kick-start work to protect places along the border where people live, work, and play.”

The following organizations received grants:

City of Ojinaga, Chihuahua (Mexico) – Received $14,327 to improve air quality monitoring;

 New Mexico Environment Department – Received $100,000 to provide training on soil control, maintaining septic tanks, and conserving water;

Adult Youth United Development Association, Inc. – Received $50,072 for septic tank maintenance workshops;

University of Texas Pan American, Rio Grande, Texas – Received $26,022 for stormwater management projects;

Secretaría de Desarrollo Sustentable, Nuevo León, México ­­­­– Received $21,798 for waste management and recycling projects;

Public Works Department, City of Pharr, Texas – Received $20,000 to support a monthly cleanup program;

Water Utilities, City of El Paso, Texas – Received $6,220 to promote rainwater harvesting;

Comisión Estatal para la Protección contra Riesgos Sanitarios en Ciudad Juárez (COESPRIS),  Juárez, Chihuahua, México – Received $43,076 to track air quality data and incidents of respiratory disease in local hospitals and clinics;

El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Piedras Negras, Coahuila, México – Received $39,875 to collect, track, and follow up on environmental and health information;

Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station, Texas – Received $89,750 to study effects on air quality from short-haul, cross-border transport of trade;

Department of Environment, Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico – Received $44,200 to improve water quality and habitat for plants and wildlife;

Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, Texas – Received $66,470 to support waste management and recycling efforts;

Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Valle de Juárez, Chihuahua, México – Received $44,850 to develop a program to use biosolids as agricultural fertilizer;

City of Alamo, Texas – Received $54,838 to improve solid waste management and recycling and improve environmental stewardship;

Comisión Municipal de Agua Potable y Alcantarillado, Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, México – Received $32,533 to reduce fats, oils, and grease entering the water system from restaurants and hotels;

La Amistad AHEC dba Southwest Border AHEC, Eagle Pass, Texas – Received $69,083 to educate families on the dangers of exposure to mercury, lead, and pesticides;

The Border 2020 Program is a bi-national collaborative effort with a mission is to protect human health and the environment in the U.S.-Mexico border region. BECC is an international organization established for the purpose of preserving, protecting, and enhancing the environment in the U.S. – Mexico border region.

Photo credit: spirit of america/Shutterstock.com

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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