On July 10, 2000, the City Council of Ann Arbor, Michigan, approved a new Ordinance to addChapter 69 Mercury Thermometers (Ordinance No. 31-00) to the city code – effective as of July 26, 2000. Thenew ordinance bans the retail sale, importation and manufacture of mercury fever thermometers within the city limits. Ann Arbor becomes the first city in Michigan and the second in the Great Lakes basin to enact such an ordinance. The city of Duluth, Minn. and the City and county of San Francisco passed similar measures earlier in 2000.
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Santa Monica was one of the first cities to require the reduction of toxicity of janitorial products. In 1993 the city implemented a Toxics Use Reduction Program, which included the trial of less-toxic or non-toxic alternative custodial products. The results of the pilot contributed to the development of bid specifications for the evaluation of bids from custodial product vendors. The specifications include environmental and public health criteria as well as performance and cost criteria. Continue reading
Pesticide Ban On July 11, 2000, the Halifax Regional Municipality voted to ban pesticide use on lawns by the year 2003. Tax Policies Several countries and states have found that increasing the costs of agricultural inputs is an effective way to reduce their use. Austria, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the states of Iowa, Nebraska, and… Continue reading
The US government is the world’s biggest consumer and together federal, state and local governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars annually on goods and services. This purchasing power can be used to promote environmentally friendly products and practices in the economy. Government purchasing can significantly enlarge the market for a producer’s goods as well… Continue reading
All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), commonly referred to as four-wheelers, and other Off Road Vehicles (ORVs or Off-Highway Vehicles – OHVs) are facing increasing regulatory pressures. The growing popularity of these recreational vehicles has resulted in grassroots movements to protect sensitive, natural areas from intrusion by ORVs. These vehicles can easily inflict damage to the landscape… Continue reading
Noise pollution is an intrusion into the commons. When boom boxes, leaf blowers, and jet ski’s emit their sounds, they degrade the quality of the environment for everyone else. Many communities are fighting back, asserting their right to responsibly control excessive noise in public spaces. Noise ordinances come in many shapes. Some are source-specific, limiting… Continue reading
Each night almost of a third of the light used out-of-doors escapes into the night sky where, instead of providing useful illumination, it causes glare, sky glow and other types of light pollution. About 2.500 individual stars should be visible to the human eye in an unpolluted night sky; but in a typical suburb only… Continue reading
Largely a post Word-War II phenomenon, the word sprawl describes what its name evokes: formless, spreading, inefficent consumption of land. A "sprawling" landscape generally has no center and few public spaces where people congregate. Many Americans feel that sprawling development has accrued too many costs: The environment has suffered as Americans make more and more… Continue reading
This 1989 law prohibited the use of once-through water systems in the Twin Cities after 2010, and immediately raised the price of using once-through water 200-fold for commercial users and 50-fold for non-profits and schools. The Act, administered by the Division of Waters of the Department of Natural Resources, requires that a conversion plan be submitted by users by Jan 1992. The once-through systems must be converted within the design life of the equipment based on the ASHRAE service life for primary system components. Continue reading
Can a land tax reduce sprawl and strengthen urban economies? The evidence is persuasive though not conclusive. Political economist Henry George first proposed a land value tax over 100 years ago, as a way to eliminate land specualtion and make more land available for production.
Today,some observers hail it as a way to curb sprawl. Current property taxes are based in the value of property, reflecting both the land and structure value, in a proportion determined by local property assessors. Decisions to reinvest or remodel currently result in higher assessment valuations and thus higher taxes.