Southeast Green - Business depends on the environment and the environment depends on business

Five Facilities in Kentucky among 70 Top Performing Energy Star Certified Manufacturing Plants in 29 States

Five Facilities in Kentucky among 70 Top Performing Energy Star Certified Manufacturing Plants in 29 States   Across the country, Energy Star manufacturing plants are leading their industries by saving energy and money, combating climate change

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that 70 manufacturing plants have achieved Energy Star certification for their superior energy performance in 2014. Together, these manufacturing plants saved a record amount of energy, cut their energy bills by $725 million, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 8 million metric tons –equivalent to the annual total energy use of more than 650,000 households. From implementing corporate energy management programs to implementing energy efficiency projects, there are many ways plants can save energy with EPA’s Energy Star program.   “Energy Star certified manufacturing plants are leading their industries by advancing energy efficiency and making cost-saving improvements while combating climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Through their work with EPA, the 2014 Energy Star manufacturing plants are demonstrating that making sustainability and energy efficiency improvements is a smart business decision.” Energy Star certified plants are independently verified on an annual basis to have reached the top 25 percent of energy performance for their industries nationwide. Among these are plants from the auto assembly, cement manufacturing, corn refining, food processing, glass manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and petroleum refining industries. Seven are certified for the first time: • ConAgra Foods’ American Falls, Idaho frozen fried potato processing plant; • ConAgra Foods’ Ogden, Utah cookie and cracker baking plant; • Essroc Cement Corp.’s Martinsburg, W.Va. cement manufacturing plant; • Essroc Cement Corp.’s Nazareth, Pa. cement manufacturing plant; • Lehigh Cement’s Glen Falls, N.Y. cement manufacturing plant; • Lehigh Cement’s Leeds, Ala. cement manufacturing plant; and • Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s Illinois Refining Division petroleum refinery.


Fully Funded: What’s Next for Rooibee Red Tea, The Louisville Beverage Startup

Rooibee Red Tea recently finished a successful funding round on CircleUp, raising an impressive two million dollars in growth funding. They also landed a co-packer in the process. “He was on board immediately,” says Heather Howell, Rooibee Red’s CEO, says of their new production partner. “He told me he’s been buying Rooibee Red at Giant Eagle for years. It’s amazing, I feel like I met my match.”


Approval of Kentucky Solar Project

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a 10-megawatt solar project proposed by Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) that will be located at the E.W. Brown Generating Station in Mercer County. This project, expected to go online in 2016, will become the Commonwealth’s largest solar facility and appears to be the first utility-scale renewable energy project in the state (not counting “renewable” biomass).


550+ Citizens Join Conservation Groups in Call for TVA to Retire Shawnee Coal Units

Economic and Environmental Concerns Raised at Close of Comment Period on Kentucky Plant Units

Over 550 concerned citizens from the Tennessee Valley and a coalition of conservation groups — including Earthjustice, Environmental Integrity Project, Sierra Club and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy — submitted comments on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) draft environmental assessment for units 1 and 4 at the Shawnee coal plant in West Paducah, Kentucky. The utility has proposed spending up to $225 million to retrofit the units and keep them in operation instead of retiring them by 2018. Under the terms of a major settlement with environmental groups, states and the EPA, TVA is required to make a decision on the fate of the two units by December 31, 2014, and comments due yesterday were submitted as part of that process.


Hazard and Barbourville, Kentucky to Encourage Economic Expansion/ Local Foods


On behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined to announce 26 communities, including those of Hazard and Barbourville, Kentucky, have been selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative providing technical support to integrate local food systems into community economic action plans. Under this effort, a team of agricultural, transportation, environmental, public health and regional economic experts will work directly with the communities to develop specifically identified local food projects. Project proposals include repurposing vacant land into local food production, developing year-round retail markets for local food products, and establishing food hubs to increase local food supply chains.


EPA Awards Kentucky-based Conference of Radiation Control Directors Grant to Reduce Indoor Pollutant Exposure and Protect Public Health


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Conference of Radiation Control Directors in Frankfort, Kentucky funding to protect public health by reducing exposure to indoor pollutants, such as radon, and environmental asthma triggers commonly found in homes, schools, offices and other large buildings. The organization is one of eight from throughout the United States to receive up to $200,000 of the $4.5 million in funds that are being made available. Awards were obtained through a competitive grant process. These EPA-funded projects will ensure Americans, especially in low-income, minority and tribal communities, are able to reduce their exposure to indoor pollutants and safeguard their families’ health.


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