Jan 31, 2013

H.R. 316 #Renewable Energy Promotion Act: reinstate the construction of 2 hydroelectric projects #water #energy

H.R. 316 would authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reinstate the licenses and extend the deadline for beginning construction of two hydroelectric projects (numbers 10822 and 10823) in Hartford County, Connecticut. The bill would direct FERC to update the environmental analyses associated with those projects and, if reinstated, transfer the licenses to the town of Canton, Connecticut.

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Wisconsin DNR’s New Phosphorus Rules: Implementation Begins #Wisconsin #environmental #regs

In December 2010, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) put into place new rules to control phosphorus discharges to the state’s waterways. In two prior client alerts, Wisconsin DNR’s New Phosphorus Rules: Are They in Effect? and Wisconsin DNR’s New Phosphorus Rules: They Are in Effect, we discussed the history and citizen suit notice of intent that led to the enactment of these rules, the basic framework of the rules, and the initial skirmish over whether the rules would go into effect as scheduled. They did. This third client alert is intended to bring that story forward in time.

 Phosphorus Rules: Overview

The "phosphorus rules" are actually revisions to three existing rules which establish numerical criteria for phosphorus and implementation procedures for point sources, and performance standards for agriculture:


1. NR 102 Water Quality Standards for Wisconsin Surface Waters: the long-standing "narrative standard" has been replaced with numerical in-stream criteria for phosphorus:

    • For 46 specifically identified rivers - 100 micrograms per liter (ug/L) also expressed as .1 milligrams per liter (mg/L)


    • For all other streams, unless they are exempted - 75 ug/L (.075 mg/L)


    • For lakes and reservoirs - from 15 ug/L (.015 mg/L) to 40 ug/L (.04 mg/L); the lower criterion applies to lakes that support a cold water fishery in the lower portions of the lake; the higher criterion applies to shallow lakes and reservoirs


    • For the open and near shores of Lake Superior – 5 ug/L (.005 mg/L); for the open and near shore waters of Lake Michigan (with the exception of a limited segment near the mouth of the Fox River) – 7 ug/L (.007 mg/L)


    • A criterion for a specific river segment or waterbody can be modified by adopting a site-specific rule.


2. NR 217 Effluent Standards and Limitations:

a. Adds water quality based effluent limitations (WQBELs) for phosphorus derived from the numerical criteria in NR 102 or a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for the specific waterbody, applicable to the following dischargers of phosphorus:

    • Industrial


    • Municipal


    • Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that discharge through a treatment system


    • Municipal stormwater systems if necessary to meet phosphorus criteria


    • Noncontact cooling water unless 100% of the phosphorus is from intake water


b. Establishes four compliance mechanisms (described more fully below):

    • Traditional "bricks and mortar" treatment facility construction


    • Variances


    • Water quality trading


    • Adaptive manageme


3. NR 151 Runoff Management: adds Phosphorus Index (P-Index) performance standards for agricultural sources to address runoff from agricultural lands:

    • Applicable to croplands, pastures and winter grazing areas


    • Requires a P-Index averaging 6 or less over the accounting period and less than 12 in any individual year


    • Implemented through a nutrient management plan


    • Became effective July 1, 2012


The balance of this Client Alert discusses the implementation tools and issues arising for point source dischargers.


Compliance Options: What are they?

 Read more from: Linda H. Bochert of MICHAEL BEST & FRIEDRICH LLP

80 departments still battling eight-alarm Burlington Wisconsin fire - #Hazmat #CHMM #OHS

Firefighters from 80 departments in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois are continuing to battle an eight-alarm blaze that started Wednesday evening at Echo Lake Farm Produce, a food processing plant in Burlington.

Burlington Mayor Bob Miller said early Thursday that no employees or firefighters had been injured in the fire at the 70,000-square-foot building near downtown Burlington. He said the fire still was not under control.

Read updates at:



  • CHMM (Certified Hazardous Materials Manager)
  • CHMP (Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner)
  • Hazardous Materials Manager in Training (HMMT)
  • Exam Preparation Course
  • Fundamentals of Hazardous Materials

 Note: There is a 25% discount for government/military/student registration.

The website for the course is http://www.ph.ucla.edu/erc/chmm-09.12.htm

Do you encounter any hazardous materials in your workplace or environment?

Are you responsible for the proper handling, storage and/or transportation of hazardous materials? Are you affected by any health, safety, product stewardship or life cycle-related decisions regarding the use of hazardous materials? If so, you should have a credential from the Institute for Hazardous Materials Management (IHMM) that recognizes your responsibilities, training, and expertise.

Given that hazardous materials are found everywhere, a series of three new exam prep courses are now available to prepare candidates for certification by IHMM. All three courses closely follow the approved IHMM examination blueprints. Internationally-recognized credentials promote career advancement and recognition of subject matter expertise in the field of hazardous materials management. IHMM and its credentials are accredited by Council of Engineering & Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) & American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

College seniors and graduate students looking to start a career related to proper & beneficial use of hazardous materials can prepare for the Hazardous Materials Manager in Training (HMMT) exam with a one-day course on Fundamentals of Hazardous Materials. Completing Day 1 of the three-day series of courses is an excellent introduction to this career field.

Supervisors and practitioners, without an applicable 4-year college degree, who are responsible for handling, storage, transportation or other use of hazardous materials can now prepare for the Certified Hazardous Materials Practitioner (CHMP) exam with a 2-day course (Days 1 and 2).

Executives and Managers, with an applicable 4-year college degree and requisite experience, can prepare for the Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM) with a 3-day course (Days 1, 2 and 3).

What is the three-day course sequence?

HMMT (Day 1), CHMP (Days 1 & 2), and CHMM (Days 1, 2 & 3)

Days 1-3 — CHMM Exam Prep — Day 3 focus is project & program management. Content includes environmental, health, safety, and homeland security regulations & compliance; assessing risks related to hazardous materials; mitigating and/or eliminating hazards; and managing impacts of hazardous materials on human health and the environment.

Days 1 and 2 — CHMP Exam Prep — Day 2 focus is supervisor and practitioner issues. Content includes identification, handling, shipment of hazardous materials; management of emergencies and incidents; and site investigation and remediation.

Day 1 only — HMMT Exam Prep — Fundamentals of Hazardous Materials are reviewed for all attendees. Content includes: basic hazmat science; hazmat chemistry and physics; geology and hydrology; environmental biology and ecology; physiology and toxicology; and sampling and analysis.


Register Online

Other Registration Options

Who Should Attend? Environmental, Health & Safety Decision Makers including: Hazardous Materials Managers, Engineers, Environmental Scientists, Industrial Hygienists and Safety Officers. Anyone who wants to increase or refresh their knowledge of the Fundamentals of Hazardous Materials are also invited to the Day 1 training session.

Your education and/or work experience will determine your eligibility to sit for the HMMT, CHMP or the CHMM exam. Certification candidates should visit the IHMM website (www.ihmm.org) to obtain specific information regarding how to become pre-approved to sit for their examination.

All three of our exam prep courses are designed as an “overview” of the body of knowledge (exam blueprint) required to pass comprehensive and rigorous examinations. Each student will receive a Student Workbook (containing exam blueprints, copies of the PowerPoint presentation slides, a practice exam and an exam prep glossary exercise). Subject matter experts will lead students through each section of the student workbook.

Laws & regulations, science & technology, management principals and practical applications pertaining to body of knowledge required to practice as hazardous materials professionals are reviewed. Our society has become dependent on credentialed professionals to make the right decisions regarding life cycle stewardship issues related to the proper use and ultimate disposal of hazardous materials. Our course instructors believe that maturity of judgment comes from life long learning and experience. Given this approach, students that sit for their respective exams within six months after completing an exam prep course and their personal follow up study program (based upon their education and experience gaps) have consistently achieved favorable test score results.

Today, hazardous materials professionals work in environmental protection, public health, homeland security, transportation, safety and related fields. Corporations, universities, and government agencies depend on IHMM certifications to identify individuals qualified to properly identify and handle hazardous and/or potentially hazardous materials.

Certified Hazardous Materials Professionals work in environmental protection, public health, homeland security, transportation, safety and related fields. Corporations, universities, and government agencies depend on IHMM certifications to identify individuals qualified to properly identify and handle hazardous and/or potentially hazardous materials. Since 1984, over 15,000 professionals have been certified by the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management.

Agenda *

CHMP “Practitioner Topics” (Workshop Day 1)





1. Introduction to Hazardous Materials Management



2. Basic Hazardous Materials Science



3.. Chemistry of Hazardous Materials



4. Sampling & Analysis of Hazardous Materials



Lunch Break



5. Identification & Handling of Hazardous Materials



6. Shipment of Hazardous Materials



7. Management of Emergencies & Incidents



8. Site Investigation/Groundwater Hydrology


CHMP “Practitioner Topics” (Workshop Day 2)





9. Environmental Remediation & Treatment Technology Selection Guidelines



10. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)



11. Overview of Environmental Laws & Regulations



12. HazMat Program & Project Management



Lunch Break



24. CHMP Case History



13. Clean Air Act (CAA)



14. Clean Water Act (CWA)



15. Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA)



16. Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA)



17. Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS)



25. CHMP Workbook Questions & Review


CHMM “Manager Topics” (Workshop Day 3)





18. Recognize, Identify & Characterize Hazards of Materials



19. Assess Risks Related to Hazardous Materials



20. Mitigate and/or Eliminate Hazards of Materials



21. Manage Impacts of Hazardous Materials on the Environment



Lunch Break



21. Manage Impacts of Hazardous Materials on Human Health



22. General Management of Hazardous Materials & Business Skills



24. CHMM Case History



25. CHMM Workbook Questions & Review

Study says cats kill more birds than wind turbines

Those who oppose wind turbines often cite bird deaths as a reason, noting incidences in which birds have flown into turbines and been killed en masse. But a Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute study has found that wind turbines kill far fewer birds annually than an average house cat, Tim McDonnell of Mother Jones reports. (NPR photo)

The study, published today in the journal Nature Communications, found that cats kill about 12.3 billion mammals every year and about 2.4 billion birds. By comparison, wind turbines kill just 440,000 birds. Study authors write that "free-ranging cats . . . are likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic [human-caused] mortality for U.S. birds and mammals." (Read more)

Smithsonian animal ecologist Pete Marra told NPR's Veronique Lacapra that Americans own about 84 million cats, of which 40 to 70 percent are allowed outside. About 50 to 80 percent of those are actually hunters, so around 47 million cats, most of them feral, are killing prey every year. Researchers analyzed all available data to estimate about how many bird and small animals cats kill each year.

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Water Helps Your Brain - #water #health

Water Helps Your Brain

Drinking water is the easiest thing you can do for your brain, but most people don’t drink anywhere near enough.

Fact: About 80% of the brain is comprised of water. If you don’t drink enough—or if you drink a lot of dehydrating liquids, such as coffee or alcohol—you’re going to struggle to think clearly and you may have memory problems. That’s because dehydration increases stress hormones, and stress hormones interfere with cognitive abilities.

Recommended: Drink half your weight in water ounces every day.Example: If you weigh 150 pounds, you’ll want to drink 75 ounces of water a day. Drink more during the warm months or if you exercise regularly and lose water in perspiration.

Source: Daniel G. Amen, MD, and Tana Amen, RN, BSN. Dr. Amen is a brain-imaging specialist and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and human behavior at University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. Tana Amen is a nutritional expert and neurological intensive care nurse. Dr. Amen is author of Use Your Brain to Change Your Age(Crown Archetype). www.AmenClinics.com

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Will Renewable Energy Ever Meet All Our Energy Needs? - Slashdot

"Dawn Stover has another great piece detailing why renewable energy will never provide us with all our energy needs. She deconstructs the unrealistic World Wildlife Fund report (co-written by several solar companies) that claims renewables will be able to provide 100% of the energy needs of several countries by 2050. From the article: 'When renewable energy experts get together, they tend to rhapsodize about the possibilities, believing that this will somehow inspire others to make their visions come true. But ambitious plans to power entire countries on solar energy (or wind or nuclear power, for that matter) don't have a snowball's chance in Australia. Such schemes are doomed to fail, and not because of the economic "reality" or the political "reality" -- however daunting those may be. They are doomed because of the physical reality: It's simply not physically possible for the world's human population to continue growing in numbers, affluence, and energy consumption without trashing the planet.'"
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Continued Beijing Air Pollution Triggers Online Call for Clean Air Act #toxicchina

As Beijing residents continue to endure choking air pollution that far exceeds safe levels, an online poll has found overwhelming support for new clean air legislation. Ten hours after real estate mogul Pan Shiyi posted the poll on the popular social media platform Sina Weibo, 99 percent of respondents (more than 32,000 people) agreed that the government should enact a Clean Air Act, with many users offering specific measures to curb pollution, including car-free days, stricter auto emissions standards, and public health protections. The dangerous cloud of pollution that has hung over Beijing for about a month now covers roughly 1.3 million square kilometers, according to the government-run Xinhua news agency. In Beijing this week, visibility fell to 500 meters, and some city natives called it the “worst fog ever,” according to a report in China Daily. “Controlling air pollution requires the participation of every citizen,” wrote Pan, himself a member of the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress. “Most important is implementing laws.”
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Infographic: How Much Food Nearly 7 Billion People Waste | via @GOOD


Inspired by a recent Wall Street Journal article written by Anna Lappe and Danielle NierenbergSustainable America has created this infographic to show how food is wasted and lost around the world, and what can be done about it.

Food waste and food security are serious problems, but there are current solutions and ways you can help. Read on to learn more, and stay tuned for our next post, which will delve deeper into some of the points made by Lappe and Nierenberg in the Wall Street Journal piece.

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2011 TRI National Analysis - facilities released 4.09 billion pounds toxic chemicals into environment, up 8% in one year

The following is an update from EPA’s Superfund, TRI, EPCRA, RMP & Oil Information Center:

On January 16, 2013, EPA released the 2011 TRI National Analysis, an annual report that displays EPA’s analysis of the most recent TRI data.  It includes a variety of documents and Web sites that outline national and local trends in toxic chemical disposal or other releases to the environment, as well as trends in toxic chemicals managed by TRI facilities.  These resources include an overview of the National Analysis with additional context and explanation, briefing slides that show high-level messages and trends, and three geographic-specific analyses that highlight urban communities, large aquatic ecosystems, and Indian country and Alaska Native Villages.  In Reporting Year 2011 (RY11), 20,927 facilities reported 4.09 billion pounds of toxic chemicals disposed of or otherwise released into the environment, up by 8% from 2010 to 2011.  In the long term, facility disposal or other releases of TRI chemicals have generally decreased, down by 8% from 2003 to 2011.

RY11 was the first year that facilities were required to report on 16 new chemicals that have been classified as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” by the National Toxicology Program (NTP).  Reports were received for nine of the 12 new individually-listed chemicals.

Information on these newly reportable chemicals is available at the following URL:

Jan 30, 2013

Oil Detection Methods Miss Important Class of Chemicals - via @Slashdot

"For decades, scientists studying oil spills have relied on the same analytical methods when tracking the movement of oil and assessing a spill's environmental impact. But these techniques miss an entire class of compounds that could account for about half of the total oil in some samples, according to research presented last week at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, in New Orleans. These chemicals could explain the fate of some of the oil released in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident and other spills, the researchers say."
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EPA Webinar on Rubberized Asphalt: recycling tires into rubberized asphalt the triple bottom line of sustainability.

How We Think About Our Resources Today For a Better Tomorrow

U.S. EPA SMM Web Academy Webinar Series:
February 21, 2013 – 1-2:30 p.m. EST

“Rubberized Asphalt: an Innovative and Sustainable Technology”
Register here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/757770818

This webinar, organized by the Rubberized Asphalt Committee of EPA’s Scrap Tire Workgroup, will focus on how the use of recycled scrap tires in rubberized asphalt advances sustainable materials management. Join us to hear four experts in the field provide an introduction to the production of rubberized asphalt; present techniques, methods and case studies reflecting new and emerging markets for rubberized asphalt; and describe future trends in the use of rubberized asphalt as a truly sustainable and innovative technology. By participating in this webinar, you will increase your understanding of:

    · Why rubberized asphalt is an innovative and sustainable product from a life cycle perspective;

    · Ways to successfully use rubberized asphalt products and the advantages of their uses; and

    · Current rubberized asphalt technologies as well as future trends in the use of rubberized asphalt products.

The Use of Scrap Tires in Rubberized Asphalt: A Sustainable Technology
Michael Blumenthal, Rubber Manufacturers Association
Both the U.S. EPA and the Federal Highway Administration now focus on "Sustainable Material Management" (SMM). This presentation will demonstrate how the use of rubber-modified asphalts can help to achieve the goals of SMM by using less toxics and recovering materials by reducing life cycle impacts across the supply chain associated with road construction. The presentation also will discuss an approach to assist decision-makers in achieving balanced choices among environmental, economic and social values –the triple bottom line of sustainability.

“Rubberized Asphalt Technology: An Overview”
Dr. Serji Amirkhanian, International Recycled Rubber Products Initiative (R2P) at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV)
This presentation will provide an introduction to rubberized asphalt processes, including the general terminology associated with rubberized asphalt, how it is made, how it is used, the benefits of its use, as well as the various specifications used in many parts of the country. The presentation also will define the historical background of the various asphalt technologies and the advantages and disadvantages of each technology and and/or process. Finally, a brief introduction to the research findings of researchers around the country will be presented.

Dr. Serji Amirkhanian is the Co-Director of the newly created International Recycled Rubber Products Initiative (R2P) at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) and Director of Research and Development of Phoenix Industries, Las Vegas. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University (ASU) and UNLV. Dr. Amirkhanian served as the Mays Professor of Transportation and the Director of the Asphalt Rubber Technology Services (ARTS) in the Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University until June of 2010, before he started his international consulting activities. He has been involved with many laboratory research and field projects related to rubberized asphalt. His research activities have resulted in over 250 refereed journal papers, conference papers, and research reports in addition to over 200 presentations around the country and the world. He is a Technical Advisory Board member of the Rubber Pavement Association and the European Tire Rubber Association (ETRA).

“Traditional Techniques and Methods used in Rubberized Asphalt”
Mark Belshe, Rubber Pavements Association

This presentation will focus on the historical and traditional uses of crumb rubber as an asphalt modifier and as a component in paving applications. There are many ways to successfully introduce recycled tire rubber into paving projects, such as tried and true technologies defined by ASTM D6114 type applications, including equipment and other well-documented methodologies. The attendee to this session will understand the long development history that has advanced the technology to today’s uses as well as an overview of the equipment evolution that had addressed many previous impediments to a quality final product. Examples of successful performance aspects that have identified rubberized asphalt will be presented, primarily the story of the McDonald process and its acceptance and reputation.

Mark Belshe is the Executive Director of the Rubber Pavements Association, a non-profit trade association. Previously Mark was with a large contractor in the southwest United States working on many of the company’s paving projects. Mark is a registered professional civil engineer.

“‘Developing Trends in Rubberized Asphalt”
Douglas D. Carlson, Liberty Tire Recycling

This presentation covers the current activity within the DOTs and the development of uniform standard specifications. It will also cover emerging innovations in rubberized asphalt technology to include pot hole patching material, plant mix additives, and pre-treated rubber.

Doug Carlson has been in the rubberized asphalt industry actively since 1998. He was with the Rubber Pavements Association for 12 years. He stays engaged with agencies and organizations such as ASTM, AASHTO, State DOTs and FHWA regarding rubberized asphalt specifications. A bulk of his work is in specification development so that agencies can effectively use rubber as a modifier to asphalt. He has been with Liberty Tire Recycling since 2010 and has 4 kids in elementary school in Queen Creek, AZ with his wife, Cindy Atherton of Milwaukee, WI.

Drought, doom, and the data* #water #green #greatlakes

2012 was seriously hot and dry- the warmest year on record in the United States and the country had the worse drought in over half a century, with 80 percent of our agricultural land experiencing drought. Climate scientists predict that climate change could be creating more droughts- through warmer temperatures and changing precipitation patterns.

The USDA reports that we’ll see the impacts of the 2012 drought at the grocery store this year- with expected increases of 4% in prices for meat and milk. They estimate that the nation’s corn crop was down more than 10% from the previous year, raising prices. Because corn provides the the foundation of the feed for livestock, the price increase plays out for consumers at the butcher counter or dairy case.

Whenever people start discussing the potential impacts of climate change on agricultural production, it’s common to hear that the plants will be able to adjust. After all, isn’t that the basic story of natural selection? The genetic diversity of a species allows it to adapt to changing environmental conditions- the fittest in the new regime survive and prosper, producing more well-adapted offspring. Last week, a paper published in Nature titled “Ecosystem resilience despite large-scale altered hydroclimatic conditions,” sounded pretty optimistic, from the title at least, on the ability of plants to adapt to drier climes. They used data from a network of long-term ecological research sites in the U.S. and in Australia to compare vegetation productivity from the past decade of hotter, drier conditions to earlier, wetter decades.

They used the vegetation productivity, precipitation data and evapotranspiration estimates to determine the water use efficiency of the vegetation. Across ecosystems, they found that plants used more water when it was available, but shifted to higher water efficiency during drought conditions. That sounds like good news for plants in an era of climate chaos, but the authors also found that the water-use flexibility, also referred to as resilience, can be pushed past a breaking point.

Please read full and follow Kate Prengaman:

DRUG NATION: Rise in Federal Prison Population is “Unprecedented,” Says CRS

“Since the early 1980s, there has been a historically unprecedented increase in the federal prison population,” a new report from the Congressional Research Service observes.

“The number of inmates under the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) jurisdiction has increased from approximately 25,000 in FY1980 to nearly 219,000 in FY2012. Since FY1980, the federal prison population has increased, on average, by approximately 6,100 inmates each year. Data show that a growing proportion of inmates are being incarcerated for immigration- and weapons-related offenses, but the largest portion of newly admitted inmates are being incarcerated for drug offenses.”

“Changes in federal sentencing and correctional policy since the early 1980s have contributed to the rapid growth in the federal prison population,” CRS explained. “These changes include increasing the number of federal offenses subject to mandatory minimum sentences; changes to the federal criminal code that have made more crimes federal offenses; and eliminating parole.”

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Mpowerd launches inflatable solar lantern

The Luci has two brightness levels and an emergency flash mode

New York City-based Mpowerd introduced the Luci solar-powered inflatable lantern earlier this month. The lantern folds like an accordion and shines with the force of 10 LED bulbs. Its integrated solar panels also means you should never have the hassle of switching out batteries. .. Continue Reading www.gizmag.com/mpowerd-luci-inflatable-solar-lantern/26016/">Mpowerd launches inflatable solar lantern

Fracking produces less wastewater per gas well, but gas boom creates more wastewater overall

Hydraulically fractured natural gas wells are producing less wastewater than conventional gas wells, but the scale of fracking in the Marcellus Shale region is so large that the wastewater it produces could outpace the region's wastewater disposal capacity, according to a study by scientists at Duke University and Kent State University.

The researchers concluded that fracked wells produce about 35 percent less wastewater than conventional wells, but the total amount of wastewater produced annually since 2004 has increased by about 570 percent since 2004 because of increased production.

Researchers analyzed gas production and wastewater generation for more than 2,000 gas wells in Pennsylvania using public data, Science Daily reports. The study was published in the journal Water Resources Research. Hydraulic fracturing uses large volumes of water, sand and chemicals to create cracks in shale formations to release gas. Increased production naturally increases the total amount of water used. The study also revealed that well operators classified most wastewater as brine, not as flowback from fracking. (Read more)

Not Just Gas! Drastic Price Increases on Everyday Items, Water triples in some areas

I was driving hose yesterday and gas jumped over $0.25 a gallon... No reason, just up and up again. This trend is called inflation.

A recent article by Benny Johnson detailed how the prices of many of the things that we buy on a regular basis absolutely soared between 2002 and 2012.  Just check out these price increases...

Eggs: 73%

Coffee: 90%

Peanut Butter: 40%

Milk: 26%

A Loaf Of White Bread: 39%

Spaghetti And Macaroni: 44%

Orange Juice: 46%

Red Delicious Apples: 43%

Beer: 25%

Wine: 60%

Electricity: 42%

Margarine: 143%

Tomatoes: 22%

Turkey: 56%

Ground Beef: 61%

Chocolate Chip Cookies: 39%

Gasoline: 158%

So what will the next few years bring?  Unfortunately, we are already being told that it looks like inflation is going to start accelerating.  A recent CNBC article started this way...

Consumers will have to dig deeper into their pockets next year to pay for costlier health care, more expensive grocery bills and higher taxes, an extra drag on the country's already slow-moving economy.

That is not what millions of struggling American families need to hear right about now.

Their bills just keep going up but their paychecks are not keeping pace.

Have you noticed that almost everything that we spend money on just keeps rising year after year?

According to USA Today, in some areas of the country water bills have actually tripled over the past 12 years.

Has your paycheck tripled?

Please continue reading at:

Jan 29, 2013

DC Cogeneration Power Plant Continues To Burn Coal, Hypocritical Environmentalists Fume

...The Leaders agreed to these terms, and since 2009, the Capitol Power Plant has worked within these terms, and has relied on natural gas as its primary fuel source.  In addition, the AOC continues to provide information to the Leaders about annual fuel use at the Plant. 

In Fiscal Year 2012, the Plant relied on natural gas for 92% of its energy needs.  By comparison, in 2005, the Plant relied on natural gas 42% of the time.

The AOC has identified the construction of a cogeneration plant as the most environmentally and economically beneficial way to meet its goal to use natural gas 100% of the time, and Congress has been supportive of this project. 

After more than 100 years in operation, significant investment is needed to replace aging infrastructure and to install new, energy-efficient equipment in the Plant, and implementing cogeneration will allow the Plant to discontinue the use of its 60-year-old, less energy efficient coal boilers. 

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The Average American.. debt, debt, spend via @RyanTMitchell

@RyanTMitchell: A while ago I wrote a post on being “weird” which was a huge hit and you can check it out here.  I was thinking about what it means to be an average American and started researching some of the numbers.  In particular I was thinking about how a typical American would compare to someone who lived in a Tiny House.   Tomorrow I will write a post on what the average Tiny House person is like to compare.


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Using Potato Towers - #Sustainable #Urban #Farming

Using Potato Towers

Great summary of various types of potato towers and their use.


Consumption of flaxseed, a rich source of lignans, is associated with reduced breast cancer risk.

greenmedinfo:   Title:  Consumption of flaxseed, a rich source of lignans, is associated with reduced breast cancer risk. Abstract:  PURPOSE: To investigate the association between intake of flaxseed-the richest source of dietary lignans (a class of phytoestrogens)-and breast cancer risk. METHODS: A food frequency questionnaire was used to measure the consumption of flaxseed and flax bread by 2,999 women with breast cancer and 3,370 healthy control women who participated in the Ontario Women's Diet and Health Study (2002-2003). Logistic regression was used to investigate associations between consumption of flaxseed and flax bread and breast cancer risk. Confounding by established and suspected breast cancer risk factors, as well as dietary factors, was assessed. RESULTS: Flaxseed or flax bread was consumed at least weekly by 21 % of control women. None of the 19 variables assessed were identified as confounders of the associations between flaxseed or flax bread and breast cancer risk. Consumption of flaxseed was associated with a significant reduction in breast cancer risk (odds ratio (OR) = 0.82, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.69-0.97), as was consumption of flax bread (OR = 0.77, 95 % CI 0.67-0.89). CONCLUSIONS: This Canadian study is, to our knowledge, the first to report on the association between flaxseed alone and breast cancer risk and has found that flaxseed intake is associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk. As dietary intake of flaxseed is modifiable, this finding may be of public health importance with respect to breast cancer prevention.

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#Milwaukee #Sustainability Newsletter with Updates on @milwaukeeshines & @SustainSummit

Check out the latest news from the City of Milwaukee's Office of Environmental Sustainability.
Source: http://city.milwaukee.gov/sustainability


Get all the details on the Milwaukee Sustainability Plan, HOME GR/OWN proposal, new solar incentives, and how Me2 can help reduce energy bills in your home or business.

Click HERE to read our January 2013 Newsletter.



From June through October, the Green Team asked for your input to guide development of Milwaukee's Sustainability Plan and over 1,000 residents responded. Additionally, the Green Team hosted five in-person town hall meetings gathering additional input from hundreds more residents. Your input has shaped the issue areas on which the Sustainability Plan will focus. Click HERE to see all of the survey results.


Milwaukee is one of 20 cities named a finalist in the "The Mayor's Challenge," a national grant competition sponsored by the Bloomberg Foundation challenging cities to address serious urban problems with innovative ideas. Mayor Barrett's HOME GR/OWN plan incorporates foreclosed properties, urban farming, and entrepreneurial spirit to revitalize neighborhoods and improve public health.  Milwaukee will compete for the $5 million first prize and $1 million each for four runners up.  The five winners will be revealed sometime in spring 2013. Read the Journal Sentinel article on Milwaukee as a finalist HERE.

A DRUGGED NATION - 71% of young reported source is parent’s or friends stash

According to the national Teen Drug Survey released December 11, 2007 by the White House, teenagers are turning from street drugs to prescription drugs such as OxyCondin and Vicodin. The study conducted by the University of Michigan Institute on Social Research, found a modest decrease in marijuana and other street drugs and an increase in prescription drugs. John Walters, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said, “71% of young people have reported their source of supply is their parent’s or friend’s medicine cabinet.” Theo Milonopoulos, “Survey Finds Teens Smoking Less Pot, But Popping More Pills,” Tampa Tribune, December 12, 2007, pg. 13.

It is a deplorable commentary on our nation that the Center of Medicare and Medicaid says 21% of nursing home patients, who do not have a psychosis diagnosis are prescribed antipsychotic, off label, medication. Lucette Lagnado, “Nursing Homes Quiet Elderly with Antipsychotic Drugs,” Tampa Tribune, December 7, 2007. To give humans of any age medication to induce docility is inhumane. When children are given off label psychotic medication it is more tragic as their lives are ahead rather than behind them.

Although children naturally fluctuate in their mood from laughing to crying, they are being prescribed off-label antipsychotic medication as toddlers. Before the 1990s it was generally accepted in the mental health profession to be illogical and unethical to label a child with a bi-polar disorder. Certainly drugging a child with an antipsychotic medication was considered going against the Hippocratic principle of doing no harm. Assisting nursing homes to control the elderly and parents to control their children is not any better than caging the elderly and children for control.

Our society has become more than drug tolerant, we have become a drugged society. Drug advertisements dominate women’s magazines and television commercials. You have to wait an hour just to have a prescription filled. Recreational drugs of Hollywood celebrities to “roids” of sports idols, to sexual stimulants for anyone, psychotic drugs for the elderly and for children to control behavior indicate drugs have permeated every segment of our society. Using chemicals for daily life is epidemic.

Drugs may temporarily relieve a particular problem. The side effects to a person taking the drugs may be denied but are evident to those around us. The number of people unable to exist without mind-altering medication is destroying our power to be a vital, independent people. A large number of people dependent on drugs eventually become dependent on the government “safety net.” This leads to a sick and declining society. We must reject the celebrity’s lifestyle, advertising and the pharmaceutical/medical experts or sacrifice our own and our children’s bodies, minds and spirits to the long-term adverse impact of drugs.

The joys of life are best experienced in a conscious state. Life’s ups and downs can be painful at times although they always provide us an opportunity to learn how to better handle the next challenge of life. Problems never cease, healthy people just get better at solving them.

Americans have established a reputation as an ingenious people who can overcome life’s obstacles. We cannot surrender our character as a people who perseveres until we get the job done. If we as a society continue down the drugged path when the going gets tough, we will forget the advantages, assets and wisdom left to us by our ancestors.

Restoring our national vigor requires the discipline to say “no” to any unnecessary drugs.

Dr. Maglio is the author of Invasion Within and Essential Parenting. He is a psychotherapist and the owner/director of Wider Horizons School.

Please continue reading at: http://www.drmaglio.com/articles/culturewar/drugged_nation.php

Markey Questions DOE’s Radioactive Recycling Proposal | Radioactive Scrap Metal Could be Turned into Consumer Products

Congressman Markey writes:

A Department of Energy proposal to allow up to14,000 metric tons of its radioactive scrap metal to be recycled into consumer productswas called into question today by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) due to concerns over public health. In a letter sent to DOE head Steven Chu, Rep. Markey expressed “grave concerns” over the potential of these metals becoming jewelry, cutlery, or other consumer products that could exceed healthy doses of radiation without any knowledge by the consumer. DOE made the proposal to rescind its earlier moratorium on radioactive scrap metal recycling in December, 2012.


The proposal follows an incident from 2012 involving Bed, Bath & Beyond stores in America recalling tissue holders made in India that were contaminated with the radio-isotope cobalt-60. Those products were shipped to 200 stores in 20 states. In response to that incident, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesperson advised members of the public to return the products even though the amount of contamination was not considered to be a health risk.

This is not the first time this has happened.

As the Progressive reported in 1998, radioactive scrap metal was ending up in everything from silverware to frying pans and belt buckles:

The Department of Energy has a problem: what to do with millions of tons of radioactive material.  So the DOE has come up with an ingenious plan to dispose of its troublesome tons of nickel, copper, steel and aluminum.  It wants to let scrap companies collect the metal, try to take the radioactivity out, and sell the metal to foundries, which would in turn sell it to manufacturers who could use it for everyday household products: pots, pans, forks, spoons, even your eyeglasses.


You may not know this, but the government already permits some companies under special licenses, to buy, reprocess and sell radioactive metal: 7,500 tons in 1996, by one industry estimate. But the amount of this reprocessing could increase drastically if the DOE, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission … and the burgeoning radioactive metal processing industry get their way.


They are pressing for a new, lax standard that would do away with special permits and allow companies to buy and resell millions of tons of low-level radioactive metal.




The standard the companies seek could cause nearly 100,000 cancer fatalities in the United States, by the NRC’s own estimate.

(A couple of years later, Congressman Markey successfullybanned most radioactive scrap … but now DOE is trying to bring it back.)

Radioactive scrap is a global problem.  As Bloomberg reportedlast year:

“The major risk we face in our industry is radiation,” said Paul de Bruin, radiation-safety chief for Jewometaal Stainless Processing, one of the world’s biggest stainless-steel scrap yards. “You can talk about security all you want, but I’ve found weapons-grade uranium in scrap. Where was the security?

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Jan 28, 2013

What could you do in the four years since Senate last passed a budget.. the House of Representatives passed the No Budget, No Pay Act.

...some of the things you could do in the nearly four years since Senate last passed a budget. For example, you could take 179 round trips to the moon …

With a national debt of more than $16 trillion – $53,000 for every American – Washington needs to spend less, not take more from families and small businesses. That starts with passing a budget. To spur Senate  into action, the House of Representatives passed the No Budget, No Pay Act. And it’s having an impact …

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What could you do in the four years since Senate Democrats last passed a budget? | Speaker.gov

Bill Maher becomes a conservative "We have 23.5% dirt bags in America,"

"We have 23.5 percent dirt bags in America," the HBO Real Time host surprisingly said. "It just seems like there’s less people pulling the wagon and more people in the wagon, and at some point the wagon is going to break"

    BILL Maher: ...And of course to get to that number of 47 percent who don't pay federal taxes, that’s what he was talking about, you have to include veterans and retirees.

    Okay, so basically what Mitt Romney was saying was, you know, “These spongers, these grifters, these people, I wouldn't piss on them if their ass was on fire because they don't pay in.” But it's not really 47 percent. But I, here’s my question: It's not zero percent either, takers. I mean, there are a lot of dirt bags in this country, and I think it's somewhere in between 47 and zero. I think we should split the difference and say we have 23.5 percent dirt bags in America. I do. Like the Octomom. California pays, we pay to, you know, feed and cloth and spay and neuter her children. And she's not giving back to society.

Moments later, he continued:
    MAHER: And here, listen to this about disability. People who take disability, who are on disability, in 1968 it was 51 to1, people on disability to people who worked. In 2001, not that long ago, it was 23 to 1. Now it's 13 to 1, 13 people to one who are on disability. Now, of course, you know, some of that is real. We are an overworked, overstressed, polluted, ripped off and lied to people. So, I mean, obviously there are some people who really do have disabilities. But 13 to 1?

    You know, it just seems like there’s less people pulling the wagon and more people in the wagon, and at some point the wagon is going to break.

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Jan 27, 2013

Hybrid Air system would have Emissions like a Plug in Hybrid and get 81.1 mpg

Hydraulic powertrains for cars would uses compressed air for energy storage and basically comprises two hydraulic units and their pressure accumulators. The technology—called “Hybrid Air”—will be fitted on B-segment models starting in 2016.

The power-split concept allows the vehicle to be driven in three ways: the conventional mechanical way, hydraulically, or by a combination of the two. At low loads, therefore, the internal-combustion engine can be run at a more economical operating status. When braking, moreover, the kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost as heat is converted into hydraulic energy and stored in a pressure accumulator. This energy can then be used to drive the car. In addition, driving off can be done purely hydraulically, and short distances driven without any emissions. The result is a potential average CO2 reduction of 30 percent in the new European driving cycle, and as much as 45 percent in a purely urban driving cycle.

Cost-effective hybrid powertrain for compact cars

In principle, this technology can be combined with any conventional engine. In an initial phase, it is to be used in the compact car segment, but it is also suitable for other passenger-car segments and light delivery trucks in urban traffic. This hydraulic-mechanical powertrain system results in a hybrid powertrain that is more cost-effective, robust, and service-friendly. In addition, it does not require any special infrastructure, and can be deployed anywhere in the world.

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China will ramp up synthetic gas from coal perhaps to 35% of total gas supply by 2020

Sinopec and PetroChina quietly have been beefing up efforts to start producing syngas from coal in the last two years. Coal-to-gas production could potentially outstrip both shale gas and coalbed methane by the end of the current five-year economic plan in 2015, as well as by 2020, according to some estimates. Bernstein is predicting synthetic coal gas production to reach 16 billion cubic meters/year by 2015 and 55 billion cu m/year by 2020, representing 6% and 14%, respectively, of China’s total gas demand. This would be more than the 20.2 billion cu m/year of CBM output the bank expects by 2020.

Nomura Research is even more optimistic, forecasting syngas to account for 35% of China’s total gas supply by 2020. It estimates the price of syngas production to average $7-$8/Mcf, much cheaper than the expected $13-$17/Mcf for imported gas and LNG, which would trigger much faster development of syngas projects, particularly in China’s western regions, which are rich in coal.

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Alternative #Energy Investing for 2013... #Solar still dying slowly


If 2011 was a bad year for solar, with the bankruptcy of Solyndra, tariff wars with China, and other damaging events, then 2012 was a disaster. The Ardour Solar Energy Index (SOLRX) lost 35% in 2012. This is on top of a blistering 66% loss in 2011!

The chart below shows the change in net profit margin from 2011 to 2012 for the largest solar companies. Performances were not stellar in 2011, only 12 out of the 13 companies turned a profit and the average net profit margin was just over $5 million. In 2012, however, only one of the companies posted a tiny profit, and companies averaged over $28 million in losses. I could throw up similarly downbeat charts for other measures of financial health, including earnings per share (EPS), price to book ratios, and sales growth.


Even analysts’ projections for solar earnings have come way down. In 2011, the average EPS estimate for these large solar companies was a meager 0.57 one year out. In 2012, analyst EPS estimates dropped to a very negative average assessment of -1.72. Though depressing, this reality jived with my forecast at the beginning of 2012, where I predicted another year of rough sledding for solar stocks.

Despite the gloomy statistics, financial and energy analyst may look back at 2012 as the turnaround year for solar. 

Please continue reading By Harris Roen at:

Say It Ain’t So — A Can of Soda a Day Can Increase the Risk of Cancer for Men by 40%?

AlterNet – by Scott Thill According to a Swedish study from Lund University recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it takes a single daily can of soda to increase a man’s  risk of prostate cancer by 40 percent, compared … Continue reading 

Research Study: Global Warming Less Severe Than Feared - via @Slashdot

Numerous news outlets are reporting the findings of a study from theResearch Council of Norway — a government agency — which concludes that (in Bloomberg's version) "After the planet's average surface temperature rose through the 1990s, the increase has almost leveled off at the level of 2000, while ocean water temperature has also stabilized." The New York Times' Dot Earth blog offers some reasons to be skeptical of the findings.
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San Francisco on Track to Become Zero Waste City | #sustainable #LEED #green

San Francisco on Track to Become Zero Waste City


San Francisco is trying to become the first city with zero waste. By requiring residents and businesses to separate compostable items such as food scraps, as well as recyclable items, NewsHour correspondent Spencer Michels reports that the city has already reduced a huge amount of garbage from ending up in landfills.

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70 years of Nuclear Fission, 1,000's of Centuries of Nuclear Waste "Atoms for Peace, Problems Forever"

On December 2, 1942, a small group of physicists under the direction of Enrico Fermi gathered on an old squash court beneath Alonzo Stagg Stadium on the Campus of the University of Chicago to make and witness history. Uranium pellets and graphite blocks had been stacked around cadmium-coated rods as part of an experiment crucial to the Manhattan Project - the program tasked with building an atom bomb for the allied forces in World War II. The experiment was successful, and for 28 minutes, the scientists and dignitaries present witnessed the world's first manmade, self-sustaining nuclear fission reaction. They called it an atomic pile - Chicago Pile 1 (CP-1), to be exact- but what Fermi and his team had actually done was build the world's first nuclear reactor.

The Manhattan Project's goal was a bomb, but soon after the end of the war, scientists, politicians, the military and private industry looked for ways to harness the power of the atom for civilian use, or, perhaps more to the point, for commercial profit. Fifteen years to the day after CP-1 achieved criticality, President Dwight Eisenhower threw a ceremonial switch to start the reactor at Shippingport, Pennsylvania, which was billed as the first full-scale nuclear power plant built expressly for civilian electrical generation.

Shippingport was, in reality, little more than a submarine engine on blocks, but the nuclear industry and its acolytes will say that it was the beginning of billions of kilowatts of power, promoted (without a hint of irony) as "clean, safe and too cheap to meter." It was also, however, the beginning of what is now a weightier legacy: 72,000 tons of nuclear waste.

Atoms for Peace, Problems Forever

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Court Overturns E.P.A.’s Biofuels Mandate #green #energy #biofuels

New York Times: A federal appeals court threw out a federal rule on renewable fuels on Friday, saying that a quota set by the Environmental Protection Agency for incorporating liquids made from woody crops and wastes into car and truck fuels was based on wishful thinking rather than realistic estimates of what could be achieved. The ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia involved a case brought by the American Petroleum Institute, whose members were bound by the 2012 cellulosic...

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Psychotropic Medication Use Among Children in the Child Welfare System: maltreatment, rates of psychotropic medication

Key Findings

  • Among children age 4 and older with a report of maltreatment, rates of psychotropic medication use are significantly higher in rural (20 percent) than urban areas (13 percent).
  • Children age 4 and older with a maltreatment report in rural areas were significantly more likely to take more than one medication than children in urban areas. In rural places, 28 percent took two medications and 33 percent took three or more medications. In urban places, 23 percent took two and 14 percent took three or more medications.
  • In addition to emotional or behavioral problems, a number of other factors predicted which children were given psychotropic medication, including whether they receive counseling, being 12 years old or older, and being male.
  • In rural places, children living in poor households were more likely to be given psychotropic medication.
  • Twenty percent of children in rural areas with a child maltreatment report who remain in-home received medication compared to 12 percent in urban areas.

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Man With 4th Amendment Written on Chest Wins Trial Over Airport Arrest | Wired.com

Man With 4th Amendment Written on Chest Wins Trial Over Airport Arrest
A Virginia man who wrote an abbreviated version of the Fourth Amendment on his body and stripped to his shorts at an airport security screening area won a trial Friday in his lawsuit seeking $250,000 in damages for being detained ...
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Shocking research study: Chemotherapy can backfire, make cancer worse by triggering tumor growth - #health #news

NY Daily News: Chemotherapy can backfire, make cancer worse by triggering tumor growth
Scientists found that healthy cells damaged by chemotherapy secreted more of a protein called WNT16B, which boosts cancer cell survival. 'The increase in WNT16B was completely unexpected," said Peter Nelson, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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One-third of fish caught in English Channel have plastic contamination via@RawStory

Fish were found to contain small pieces of plastic known as ‘microbeads’, in a study of 10 species

One-third of fish caught off the south-west coast of England have traces of plastic contamination from sources including sanitary products and carrier bags, scientists have found.

The Plymouth University study, published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, looked at the occurrence of plastic in 10 species of fish caught in the English Channel.

Of 504 fish examined, more than one-third were found to contain small pieces of plastic less than 1mm in size, referred to by scientists as “microbeads”.

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Jan 26, 2013

ECO-Cycle Aquaponics kit grows greens and cleans aquarium water

The ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit lets users raise plants and filter their aquarium's water at ...

The folks at the non-profit ECOLIFE Foundation are dedicated to providing, as they put it, “ecologically sustainable water, food, and shelter to communities through education applied programs.” Part of this mandate involves the promotion of community aquaponics projects – systems that symbiotically combine aquaculture and hydroponics. Now, the group is bringing scaled-down aquaponics to classrooms and homes, in the form of its ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit for aquariums. .. Continue Reading ECO-Cycle kit grows greens and cleans aquarium water

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Oxijet air shower reduces water use by 50 percent

The Oxijet nozzle

Low-flow shower heads are a good way to save water, but using one can be a bit like showering with a spray bottle. New Zealand company Felton, in collaboration with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has developed the Oxijet – an “air shower” head that injects tiny air bubbles into the water droplets to make the shower feel like it’s at full pressure, yet while using 50 percent less water... Continue Reading Oxijet air shower reduces water use by 50 percent

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USA's Deaths & War Costs Infographic - debt of our children's prosperity & hero souls

USA's Deaths & War Costs

The trucks show the Iraq & Afghanistan war budget in fiscal year 2012. 
The total bill of Iraq war is estimated around $4 Trillion USD ($4 million millions dollars). 

US Government has authorized 1.38 Trillion USD through 2012 for War Budget for Iraq & Afghanistan.

The real cost of war is much higher, with ~2.6 Trillion estimated additional expenses, including health care for wounded, etc. That is illustrated by the 2x $1.3 Trillion dollars towers. 

There are a also 14342 wounded soldiers, but the wheel-chairs are not shown. 
Note the full-size American Football field on the right & the small truck on the right by cash tower.