Week Ahead: Integrating Energy, Water Use to Be Explored at Forum


A hydropower and tidal power executive will outline the importance of assessing water and energy issues in an integrated fashion at a Tuesday forum, one of several energy and environment events—including numerous webinars—the week of Aug. 14.

Trey Taylor, president of Verdant Power International Inc. of New York, will speak at the U.S. Energy Association about the company’s research and development efforts at its Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project in New York City’s East River. USEA is a group of public and private energy-related organizations, corporations, and government agencies.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2012 issued a pilot commercial license for the Roosevelt Island project, in which a system of underwater turbines, similar to those used for wind power, continuously make use of tidal power to generate electricity.

A 2014 Department of Energy report said several trends underscore the need to address the water and energy in an integrated and proactive way. Those trends include climate change; increasing population growth and regional migration that each complicate managing energy and water systems; and new technologies in energy and water that shift demands in those areas.

“Because energy and water are interdependent, the availability and predictability of water resources can directly affect energy systems,” then-Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in the report. “We cannot assume the future is like the past in terms of climate, technology, and the evolving decision landscape. These issues present important challenges to address.” David Schultz will cover the event.

In Other News

Mercury convention: A long-awaited United Nations treaty to phase out and limit mercury use becomes legally binding on Wednesday. The European Union and seven of its member countries in May ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury, signed in 2013, taking the pact beyond a 50-country threshold for entry into force. The Minamata Convention is intended to prevent environmental contamination by highly hazardous mercury by requiring the phaseout of mercury extraction; limiting its use in products and processes; and implementing measures to reduce mercury emissions into air, soil or water. It is the first international environmental convention adopted in about a decade. Bloomberg BNA staff will monitor.

Inorganic Byproducts: The Environmental Protection Agency will hold its second meeting on Wednesday and Thursday to negotiate strategies to ease the chemical reporting burden faced by electronic equipment, metal, petroleum, power plant, and other companies when they produce inorganic chemicals—mostly metals—as byproducts of their regular manufacturing. A committee of EPA, company, state and environmental organization officials will discuss simplifying reporting requirements, expanding reporting exemptions, improving data collected and other strategies. Pat Rizzuto will cover.

Gasoline additives: EPA science advisers will meet Tuesday through Thursday to evaluate agency risk reviews for two gasoline additives. Sylvia Carignan will track.

Pipeline project: Minnesota’s Commerce Department is scheduled Thursday to release its final environmental impact statement regarding a fuel pipeline replacement project proposed by Enbridge Inc. The project is expected to ship light, medium and crude oil from northern Canada to Wisconsin, transiting through Minnesota. Stephen Joyce will follow.

Webinars Offered

Lead rule: EPA’s Office of Water on Thursday will host its final webinar series on its rule regarding lead in drinking water. The agency is updating its set of lead standards, known as the Lead and Copper Rule, with a goal of releasing a draft version of the update later this year.

Water emergency preparedness: The Water Research Foundation will hold a Thursday webinar discussing the findings of its recent report on preparedness and response practices. Participants will learn about practices in other sectors that could be used in the water sector.

Climate and agriculture: Agriculture is responsible for one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Defense Fund’s Jenny Ahlen will lead a Wednesday webinar on best practices for agriculture in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will hold a separate Thursday webinar on how climate information services—the packaging and dissemination of climate information to specific users—can help with planning for climate adaptation in agriculture.

Renewable fuels: The Renewable Fuels Foundation and Pinnacle Engineering Inc. will hold the first in a series of webinars on Wednesday to educate the renewable fuels industry about oil release planning, prevention, and impact mitigation.