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EPA Readies New Rule Limiting Appeals on Pollution Permits

Pollution permits granted by the EPA can now be contested by individuals in affected communities who don't have the funds to mount expensive legal challenges. New rules under development would end the practice. Photo: Billy Wilson / CC BY-NC / Flickr Individuals and community advocates who are unhappy with pollution permits granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now have an opportunity to appeal the decisions before an independent tribunal called the Environmental Appeals Board. The EPA is preparing rule changes that would end that practice, The New York Times reported, even as permit holders would retain the right to…

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More Waste, Less Recycling in U.S.

The U.S. produces more than its fair share of solid waste but lacks the political will to deal with it effectively, according to a new report from a consulting firm specializing in risk analysis. Photo: Olle Johnson / CC BY-SA / Flickr] The U.S. represents 4% of the world’s population but produces 12% of municipal solid waste and recycles less of it than other developed countries, according to a new report from the consulting firm Verisk Maplecroft. The report said it compared data on waste generation and recycling for 194 countries and found the U.S. is the top producer of trash…

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Martin Holladay is Retiring

For 10 over years, Martin Holladay has been the voice of Green Building Advisor. When Martin was hired as an associate editor in 2008, he joined a robust staff of editors and experts—a joint effort between The Taunton Press and Building Green—with a mission to develop a new resource to meet the needs of a growing industry of architects, builders, remodelers, engineers, energy raters, and other professionals interested in building smarter, more energy-efficient, healthier, more durable, and more responsible homes. That mission never changed, but the building market and the world of publishing did. It wasn’t long before Martin found…

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Saving Sustainably: Interior Walls

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. After passing the insulation inspection, I had permission to enclose the walls. I used gypsum drywall, the most common interior wall-covering product on the market. Drywall, best known by brand…

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Huber Settles Infringement Lawsuit Over Zip System Sheathing

A Louisiana-based wood products company has agreed to stop selling a product that competes with Huber Engineered Woods' Zip System sheathing, ending a patent infringement lawsuit. The green Zip wall sheathing is widely used as an all-in-one replacement for structural sheathing and a water-resistive barrier. Photo courtesy of Huber Engineered Woods Huber Engineered Woods says it has settled a patent infringement lawsuit with a competitor, ending sales of an integrated weather-resistant sheathing panel similar to Huber’s popular Zip System product. In a press release, Huber said the agreement, which was filed in a federal district court in Texas, brings to…

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My House Won’t Cool Down

Not even the most powerful residential air conditioning unit on the market is enough to keep Ryan Welch’s Alabama home cool and comfortable. With the HVAC equipment located in what sounds like an underinsulated attic, temperatures in the second-floor living area may not reach 72°F until 10 in the evening—only after the attic has cooled. “Our attic has varying levels of insulation,” Welch writes in a Q&A post, “and the weak spots are under the attic floorboard, which has been nailed down, making it difficult to remove.” Parts of the attic floor are insulated to R-19, other areas to R-30…

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