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Report Warns of Widespread Drinking Water Contamination

An updated map shows sites contaminated with PFAS, a class of chemicals used in a wide range of consumer products that have been linked to serious health problems. The EPA disputes the accuracy of the new data. [Image credit: Environmental Working Group] Drinking water systems serving 19 million Americans are contaminated with highly toxic chemical compounds called PFAS as the number of locations where pollution has been found continues to grow, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group. As of March, at least 610 locations in 43 states were known to be affected, including water systems, military…

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A Secret Weapon to Combat Road Salt Damage

Bacteria, which have been working for millennia as nature’s stonemasons, could soon be enlisted to help neutralize the destructive effects of road salt. According to the Transportation Research Board, it takes about 10 million tons of road salt to keep roads safely navigable in the winter. And while it’s certainly an effective method for staving off snow and ice, around this time of year, we start to see the toll it takes on our infrastructure in the form of cracks, potholes, and bumps. It turns out, those bumps aren’t just the inevitable annoyances that come with wear and tear —…

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Teach Them Young: Advantages of Training Construction Professionals Early

Teach Them Young: Advantages of Training Construction Professionals Early | 2019-05-08 | Walls & Ceilings This website requires certain cookies to work and uses other cookies to help you have the best experience. By visiting this website, certain cookies have already been set, which you may delete and block. By closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree to the use of cookies. Visit our updated privacy and cookie policy to learn more. This Website Uses CookiesBy closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Learn More This website requires…

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Los Angeles Updates Its Plan to Cut Carbon Emissions

Traffic jams in Los Angeles are one target of an updated sustainability plan designed to cut carbon emissions. [Photo credit: Jenni / CC BY-SA / Flickr] On Earth Day, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared at a news conference to tout the city’s Green New Deal and explain newly passed legislation that will reduce carbon emissions from the city’s largest buildings. Now, the mayor of Los Angeles, the country’s second largest city, has followed suit with an updated plan to cut carbon emissions there. The Los Angeles Times reports that Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Sustainability Plan 2019 sets a number of…

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Saving Sustainably: Installing Trim and Siding

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of blogs detailing the construction of a net-zero energy house in Point Roberts, Washington, by an owner-builder with relatively little building experience. A list of Matt Bath’s GBA articles can be found at the bottom of this page. You’ll find Matt Bath’s full blog, Saving Sustainably, here. If you want to follow project costs, you can keep an eye on a budget worksheet here. With a break in the weather, it was high time to install the siding. The Tyvek water-resistant barrier (WRB) I’m using should be protected by siding; it will break down…

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Midwest Floods of 2019: The Latest Disaster to Learn From

In the wake of an intense winter storm, major floods broke out recently across the central United States. [Image credit: NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center] The catastrophic flooding in Nebraska and other states along the Missouri River has brought back painful memories of major floods like those in 1993 and 2011. We know that floods are becoming more frequent and causing far more damage. The National Climate Assessment has warned that floods are more likely to occur in the Midwest as the climate changes. Bill McKibben, in an interview with ThinkProgress.com, pointed out that Nebraska’s “current trauma is part of everyone’s future.” The flooding in the Midwest is the latest in…

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