Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year! It's been a busy week of 2010 so far... so who else is still writing 2009 half the time?

Efficiency Maine and the soon-to-be-former Energy and Carbon Savings Trust -- the two agencies charged with distributing the proceeds of Maine's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative -- have made their selections of 16 grant winners for energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction projects. In all, $8.9 million in funds will be awarded, leveraging over $80 million in private funds to create a total project value of $90.8 million. My firm and I were privileged to assist a number of successful applicants for these grants.

In local Maine news, Bath Iron Works has been awarded another $6.9 million contract from the Navy for engineering work on destroyers. This work will last through November. Simultaneously, BIW has sought City Council approval of an expansion to its two year-old Ultra Hall indoor fabrication facility.

In a case of the federal government stepping in on states' rights where states refuse to act, the US EPA has announced a proposal to place new strict limits on smog (NYT article). EPA suggests a range of 60 to 70 parts per billion for ground-level ozone; EPA will select a specific figure within that range later this year. This represents a reduction from previous limits (84 ppb from 1997-2008, and 75 ppb since 2008). EPA estimates this stricter limit will increase the costs of doing business from between $19 billion to $90 billion a year by 2020.

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