Clean Water Continues to Be a Focus Point at EPA

The folks at the EPA are serious about enacting new legislation and enforcement relating to water pollution.  They are asking for input from water professionals around the country.  This is a chance for those who want things done right to have an impact on future regulation.  Clean water is an important issue, but it can be achieved without adding to the level of bureaucracy already in place.  See the link in the article below to join the discussion.

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Sonny Perdue Signs Proclamation Saluting General Aviation

NBAA Applauds Georgia Governor’s Proclamation Saluting General Aviation
Association Staff On-Hand at Signing Ceremony
Contacts: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360,
Patrick Dunne, (202) 783-9263,

Washington, DC, October 7, 2009 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed a proclamation by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue (R-GA) recognizing the essential role general aviation plays for the state and its businesses. Lisa Piccione, NBAA senior vice president, government affairs, was among those in attendance at the signing ceremony for the proclamation held in Atlanta today.

“NBAA applauds Governor Perdue for recognizing the value of general aviation, including business aviation, to citizens, companies and communities across Georgia,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “We thank him for sending this most welcome message about the importance of the jobs, business productivity, access to small airports and humanitarian initiatives that our industry supports. We also join Governor Perdue and his fellow Georgians in celebrating the state’s historic First Flight by E. Patrick Epps in 1907.”

The proclamation notes that Georgia “has a significant interest in the health of general aviation, aircraft manufacturing, airline industries, educational institutions and aviation organizations such as the National Business Aviation Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Atlanta Aero Club.”

The statement goes on to note that “a great many businesses and communities depend upon general aviation aircraft and small aircraft of all types for access to medical treatment, mobility, economic opportunity, disaster relief and a wide range of critical resources. Business aviation is an invaluable tool for companies in Georgia to support their operations.”

These and other general aviation benefits cited in the proclamation are among the central themes of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, jointly sponsored by NBAA and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

In recognizing the value of the industry, the proclamation declares the fourth week of October “Aviation Appreciation Month,” in honor of the first powered flight in Georgia, in 1907. The idea for the governor’s proclamation came from Steve Champness, president of the Atlanta Aero Club, with encouragement and guidance of Bolen and Lisa Piccione, NBAA seinor vice president of government affairs.

October is declared Aviation Appreciation Month in Georgia!

October is declared Aviation Appreciation Month in Georgia!

Aviation Appreciation Month in Georgia

New Natural Ways to Clean Contaminated Soil

ScienceDaily (Sep. 24, 2009) — Researchers at North Carolina State University are working to demonstrate that trees can be used to degrade or capture fuels that leak into soil and ground water. Through a process called phytoremediation – literally a “green” technology – plants and trees remove pollutants from the environment or render them harmless. 

Through a partnership with state and federal government agencies, the military and industry, Dr. Elizabeth Nichols, environmental technology professor in NC State’s Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, and her team are using phytoremediation to clean up a contaminated site in Elizabeth City, N.C.

Phytoremediation uses plants to absorb heavy metals from the soil into their roots. The process is an attractive alternative to the standard clean-up methods currently used, which are very expensive and energy intensive. At appropriate sites, phytoremediation can be a cost-effective and sustainable technology, Nichols says.

The Coast Guard site was planted with a mixture of fast-growing trees such as hybrid poplars and willows to prevent residual fuel waste from entering the Pasquotank River by ground water discharge. About 3,000 trees were planted on the five-acre site, which stored aircraft fuel for the Coast Guard base from 1942 until 1991. Fuels had been released into the soil and ground water over time. Efforts to recover easily extractable fuel using a free product recovery system – also called “oil skimmers” – had stalled so other remedial options were considered before choosing phytoremediation.

“We knew that tree growth would be difficult on portions of the site due to the levels of fuels in the soil and ground water, but, overall, we thought the trees could keep this contamination from moving toward the river by slowing ground water flow,” Nichols said. “Trees need water for photosynthesis so they absorb water from the ground; that process can slow the amount of ground water flowing toward the river.”

In the process of absorbing water from the ground, trees can take up fuel contaminants. Some contaminants will be degraded by trees during this process while others will be released into the air by tree leaves and stems. “We wanted to demonstrate that the trees would first slow the movement of fuel toward the river,” Nichols said.

Trees can also increase the abundance and diversity of soil microorganisms around their roots. Some of these soil microorganisms will degrade the fuel still remaining in the ground. “This can be a slower process, but we also want to show that trees will remove the remaining fuel footprint over time,” Nichols continued.

Initially, 500 hybrid poplar and willow trees were planted in 2006. Another 2,500 trees were planted in 2007. “Our initial results are very encouraging, and amounts of fuel in the ground have decreased much faster than anticipated,” Nichols said, “but there is still much to learn about how trees can impact residual, weathered fuels over time. There are two areas on the site where trees do not do well, but, overall, tree growth and survival are impressive.” The Coast Guard has recognized the value of phytoremediation from this study, and has established two additional phytoremediation systems at different locations on base.

The project received a $240,584 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources’s (NCDENR) Division of Water Quality 319 program, and an additional $15,000 grant from British Petroleum North America to establish the demonstration site. Nichols worked with Brad Atkinson (NCDENR), Dr. James Landmeyer (U.S. Geological Survey), J.P. Messier (U.S. Coast Guard), and Rachel Cook, a graduate student at NC State, to design and implement the phyto-demonstration site. NC State was recently awarded an additional EPA/NCDENR 319 grant to continue monitoring the site for tree growth and fuel reduction, tree toxicity to fuels, changes to ground water levels and flow, and how fuel contamination is actually removed by trees.Clean Landscape