Eco-news in brief 10-2

By CG News Editor April Jaynes

New energy performance contract to save OU millions

Ohio University and Constellation Energy recently announced that their energy performance contract (EPC) could save the university  approximately $38 million in water and energy costs. The estimate is based on a 15-year period and includes water and energy efficiency measurements of 72 campus buildings. The university estimates conserving about 9 million gallons of water and estimates avoiding the creation of about 50,145 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually over the next 15 years by implementing the EPC. Conservation measures that Constellation will install include campus-wide interior lighting retrofits, air system and tower condition improvements and more.

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Disposed explosives off US coast pose environmental threat

Texas oceanographers recently reported that unexploded bombs the U.S. government dumped into the Gulf of Mexico after World War II pose a significant risk to offshore drilling. Although the government designated disposal areas for unexploded ordnance (UXO)off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico, no one is sure of how much has been dumped since the areas were designated or whether human or marine life is in danger because of the designated disposal areas. Additionally, although the risk of an underwater bomb exploding may be small, environmental damage from chemical weapons is a concern of oceanographers. In March, The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will auction 38 million acres of oil and gas leases in the central gulf.

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Ohio State students create sustainable shipping pallets

A five-student research team at Ohio State University recently created three innovative designs for shipping pallets that are more sustainable than common wood pallets. The students’ pallets are made of aluminum to last longer and save fuel during shipping due to the material’s lightweight. The models are estimated to cost less than $75 each. Although aluminum is significantly more expensive and unlikely to dominate the industry anytime soon, the idea could be useful for car manufacturers who are looking to build more fuel-efficient vehicles. The students’ project was funded with a grant from the Alcoa Foundation.

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