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Pennsylvania Environmental and Recycling Update

Pennsylvania is a crossroads state, the northern side of the Mason-Dixon line. Philadelphia, in the east, is part of the sprawling Northeast Atlantic Coast megalopolis which runs from DC to Boston. On the West, Pittsburgh is part of the so-called Rust Belt, the Industrial Midwest. In between is an expansive agricultural zone, home to the Amish as well as much of this country’s agriculture. Environmental concerns have increased in Pennsylvania along with the rest of the United States, and auto recycling and salvage is a significant component of all that. Here’s the latest environmental and recycling news from the Quaker State.

Recycling Improves in Pittsburgh

The famous steel city, Pittsburgh has made the jump from heavy industry to high tech-some of the most innovative technology in the world comes from Western PA’s big city and its universities. Still, despite all this invention and creativity, Pittsburgh has been somewhat behind in terms of recycling. The Pennsylvania Resources Council aims to change that.

The PRC is a longstanding environmental organization in Ohio, one of the state’s biggest advocates for recycling and other ecological programs. They have recently deployed a program to simplify and promote recycling in the city called “Zero Waste Pittsburgh.” Among the most innovative features: recycling audits for businesses and homeowners, and recycling for common hazardous materials like Cathode Ray Tube monitors and TVs, other electronics and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

State, Activists Join Forces to Turn Golf Green

Golf courses have been anathema to environmental activists for years. The sprawling links consume inordinate levels of water, an increasingly scarce resource. And the only way to keep the greens green is with kilos of toxic chemicals. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently directed one of the state’s most prominent environmental groups-the Pennsylvania Environmental Council-to produce a guide for green golf course development and maintenance, a survey released this month to the public.

With input from an environmental consultant, the guide promises to be of use to local government and green-minded course developers around the country. Among its most valuable ideas is the use of native vegetation to reduce water usage, a strategy used by homeowners everywhere now. They also outline ways to preserving floodplains, streams, creeks and other watershed areas often damaged by courses.

Three Mile Island Nuclear Reactor Passes Environmental Review

Three Mile Island has been synonymous with nuclear disaster ever since a partial meltdown in 1979 created the nation’s closest nuclear power close call. No new nuclear plants have opened since, though several have begun construction in recent years. With new management, the environmental activist bugaboo still operates today.

As part of the renewal process of its 20 year permit, the plant submitted to an environmental review from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission this year, and was given a clean bill of health this month. The permitting process rolls along, expected to be finished by the time their current permit expires in 2014, but Pennsylvania residents are glad to know things are safer at Three Mile Island.

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