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Compliance & Standards Briefing: Green Globes, Home Builders, Radioactive Sludge

Internap Network Services Corporation, a provider of IT infrastructure services, has achieved Green Globes certification for its Santa Clara colocation facility, following a review process by the Green Buildings Initiative (GBI). This marks the first Green Globes certification of a public data center in the U.S., Internap says, as well as the first for a non-governmental building in California. Specific initiatives that contributed to Internap’s Green Globes certification include its reuse of more than 99 percent of exterior structural components, keeping nearly 85 percent of overall construction waste from landfills, and a nearly 50 percent cut in energy use compared to similar building types. Internap also says the colocation facility is the first commercial data center in California to use reclaimed rather than potable water to help cool the building. This approach will save 27,849,500 gallons per year, the company says. Internap is also working towards LEED and Energy Star certifications.

The EPA is proposing to approve California’s air quality plans, called the State Implementation Plans, for fine particles (PM2.5) in the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley, Green Car Congress reports. But the EPA is proposing to disapprove the plans’ contingency measures, arguing that they do not provide sufficient emissions reductions.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has given Cotter Corp. permission to dump 90,000 gallons of radioactive sludge and solvents from a disused uranium mill into a leaking impoundment pond, the Denver Post reports. Officials say this won’t worsen groundwater contamination near Cañon City because underground barriers would confine it near the impoundment. But Cañon City-based Citizens Against Toxic Water and other environmental advocates have filed suit, seeking judicial review of this and other decisions made by the state

The National Association of Home Builders is suing the federal government over the “pollution diet”, or total maximum daily load (TMDL), set with states for rivers that drain into the Chesapeake Bay, according to HometownAnnapolis.com. The group alleges that the Environmental Protection Agency’s computer modeling was faulty, that it didn’t allow for sufficient public review and that the federal government doesn’t have the authority to define specific pollution limits. The pollution diet was set near the end of 2010. Organizations that have since filed suit against the government include the American Farm Bureau, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, the Fertilizer Institute, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Chicken Council, the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association and the National Turkey Federation.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined independent energy producer Chief Oil & Gas $180,000 for environmental violations in the Marcellus Shale, Reuters reports. The company has paid the fine, which was related to a hydraulic oil spill and the failure to maintain a drill pit at a natural gas well in Somerset County, Pa.

The EPA has proposed a $157,500 civil penalty against Kansas-based Swamp Angel Energy, LLC, for alleged illegal discharges of more than 228,000 gallons of oil brine into injection wells in the Allegheny National Forest in McKean County, Pa. The EPA alleges violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and EPA regulations on the underground injections of fluids and wastes. Two company employees were previously convicted on criminal charges in connection with the illegal brine injection. They were sentenced to home detention and probation and ordered to pay a fine and perform community service.

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