Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*  Here’s an interesting conference coming up for three days in December in Washington.  DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) will hold a hold a marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) Distributed and Alternate Applications Forum. The purpose is to gather the latest information on potential high-priority alternative markets for MHK technologies, a chance to learn about new applications for marine energy and how emerging technologies capturing wave and tidal power can help meet the energy needs of a variety of industries.  Get ready to work, too.  Each day’s session starts at 7:15 a.m. and runs until 7:00 p.m.!
*  EPA’s Office of Inspector General released another report about Agency spending.  The topic mentioned here last week, parking subsidies, is chump change compared to this new report on EPA’s use of high-risk contracts.  OIG writes that “without improving its acquisition planning process, the EPA may continue to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on high-risk contracts that waste taxpayer resources.”  EPA allowed sole source contracts even when there was time to plan and conduct a competitive award process.  The OIG makes six recommendations for better management; EPA agrees with all of them.
*  DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will host a public meeting in December of the Supercritical CO2 Oxycombustion Technology Group.  The topic: addressing challenges “associated with oxy-combustion systems indirectly heated supercritical CO2 (sCO2) power cycles.”  DOE writes that, potentially, this is a cost-effective and well-suited technology for carbon dioxide capture.  But there is a long list of chemical and engineering challenges.  This is actually the start of a series of meetings that will occur every other month.  Watch for announcements.

Tom Ewing
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