News

Courier Journal: Tree project eyes healthier hearts 

October 26, 2017 – James Bruggers

South Louisville to get thousands of new trees to intercept air pollution, with researchers looking into how people’s health responds.

The Ithaca Voice: Tompkins County: Would you like a wind turbine?

At the county’s Planning, Development and Environmental Quality Committee this afternoon, legislators are set to vote to authorize a Request for Proposals for a medium-scale wind turbine scale.

“When we developed the energy road map, we found there are a lot of places in the county that have the wind resources to drive a small-to-medium size turbine. It could be a great source of renewable energy for a farm operation or a business in a rural area,” said Tompkins County deputy planning commissioner Katie Borgella.

Ithaca.com: A bold step into a new energy future

“Locally, where the Tompkins County Energy Roadmap of 2015 calls for an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions from the city and town over the coming decade, the smart meter technology is the first step in truly changing people’s energy consumption habits simply by making them more aware of how much they actually use.”

Lansing Star: State Incentive For Clean Business Development

June 16, 2017 – Dan Veaner

Borgella says that the program could be an element that helps Tompkins County reach it’s ‘energy roadmap’ goal of reducing carbon emissions in the County by 80% from 2008 levels by the year 2050. “We need every incentive we can possibly offer to people to make this transition,” she says.

Ithaca.com: Power Struggle

In 2016, the Tompkins County Legislature accepted the planning department’s “Energy Roadmap,” a comprehensive guide to not only where the county gets its energy, but an outline of its energy consumption and the setting of goals to reduce overall greenhouse gas production. Outlining several scenarios of the impacts of various changes in our energy consumption on the environment, the Energy Roadmap offers a snapshot of local energy consumption and where we could reduce – or replace – our energy consumption with renewable sources.

Lansing Star: Smart Meters Coming to Lansing

May 5, 2017 – Dan Veaner

The test area includes most of Lansing, parts of Ithaca, Groton and Dryden, which the company says represents a variety of electricity users in a community that has an unusually high number of people engaged in energy use and preservation, and a county that uniquely has its own energy road map.

“The County has also developed an energy roadmap to meet projected energy needs while achieving greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.”

Cornell Chronicle: Engineer Max Zhang awarded Engaged Scholar Prize

Max Zhang, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, who has devoted his career to the development of sustainable communities, is the recipient of Cornell’s second annual Engaged Scholar Prize, Vice Provost Judith Appleton announced April 6.

The Ithaca Voice: Tompkins County seeks input on renewable energy systems

“Tompkins County has established a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. In order to achieve this long-term goal, the recently completed Energy Roadmap identified an interim goal of developing 50% of the county’s solar potential, 20% of its wind potential, and 20% of its micro-hydro potential.”

EERL members met with former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan

EERL members participated in a wide range of events during Mr. Kan’s visit to Cornell, including luncheon, group discussions and dinner reception. Mr. Kan gave a public talk discussing his experience leading Japan through the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster before a standing-room audience at the Statler Auditorium.

WIRED: Running Delivery Trucks on Trolley Wires Isn’t as Crazy as It Sounds

“Emission rates from trucks can be 10 to 100 times higher than that from passenger vehicles,” says Max Zhang, an engineer at Cornell University. “This is a really good idea to alleviate hotspots.”

Jeff Sward awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Jeff Award, PhD candidate at EERL, has been awarded the highly competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He was one of the only two PhD students receiving the honor at Sibley School this year.

Ithaca Journal: Energy company proposes 220-acre solar farm in Tompkins

“Cornell is exploring leasing University property to develop a community solar farm in Dryden,” Sarah Zemanick, director of Cornell University Campus Sustainability Office. “The project is in line with the renewable energy recommendations in the Tompkins County Energy Roadmap and Cornell’s Climate Action Plan, and could provide local residents and businesses access to the electricity.”

Ithaca Times: What is the Things Network?

One local group exploring the use of this new capability is a group of researchers headed by Professor Max Zhang of the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell. Their project revolves around data gathered from sensors that monitor pollutants in wood smoke.

Lansing Star: The Electricity Future Comes To Lansing, Dryden and Ithaca

February 17, 2017 – Dan Veaner

“We like to use the word launchpad,” Mann says.  “We don’t want Tompkins County people to feel like they are test citizens.  They are active and engaged customers. We know that Tompkins County is special in many ways.  That is why a program like this is a really good fit here.  Because this county is very forward looking in its energy goals.  It has an energy road map, predictors and goals that they are trying to reach.  So they are doing a lot of thinking and it really makes sense to be here.”

Jiajun Gu won the Excellent Poster Presentation Award at 2017 AMS Annual Conference

Jiajun Gu, PhD candidate at EERL, received the Excellent Poster Presentation award at the 2017 American Meteorological Society conference. Jiajun’s poster described her research on source estimation of woodsmoke in urban downwash environments.

Dr. Shaojun Zhang joined EERL as Atkinson Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Shaojun Zhang won the highly competitive Atkinson Postdoctoral Fellowship, and has started his new position at EERL. Shaojun was a visiting PhD student to EERL. Prior to coming back to Cornell, he was working with the Ford Mobility Group at University of Michigan.

Maplewood Ithaca Press Release: Town of Ithaca – Public Hearing to review the Draft Environmental Impact Statement

October 18, 2016

With newly constructed, highly efficient buildings and mechanical equipment, fixtures, and practices, the new development will significantly reduce the site’s environmental impact – despite an increase in population. No natural gas will be used in the new development, consistent with the new Tompkins County Energy Road Map. Electric-supplied heating and cooling equipment reduces carbon emissions when compared to gas-supplied alternatives. Additionally, electricity can be provided by renewable sources like the sun, with the potential for net-zero carbon emissions related to heating and cooling. The developer is currently pursuing renewable electricity suppliers in an effort to minimize carbon emissions.

Ithaca Journal: HOME HEATING HELP: Pellet stove expo Saturday in Ithaca

“We really have the forest resources to do this,” Beers said. “Tompkins County Energy Roadmap did a study of how much biomass do we have, and they concluded that we have enough to sustainably heat all our homes using biomass.”

Ithaca Journal: Tompkins Accepts ‘Energy Roadmap’

Tompkins lawmakers on Tuesday unanimously accepted a plan that helps guide the way toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Tompkins County Energy Roadmap offers scenarios for the county, City of Ithaca and Town of Ithaca to meet their goal for reducing community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent before 2050. Before the vote, Martha Robertson, D-Dryden, said the plan shows that Tompkins County is a leader on environmental issues.

Ithaca Times: Tompkins County Accepts Energy Roadmap

The Tompkins County Legislature unanimously accepted the Tompkins County Energy Roadmap at a meeting Tuesday, April 19. Before the county accepted the roadmap, several legislators expressed their approval of the plan. “I think this shows that we are leaders,” said Legislator Martha Robertson before the legislature’s unanimous vote. “It’s a very unusual document in the country and in the world, so I think we have an enormous amount to be proud of.” She said she’s looking forward to the next step, “trying to figure out how the hell to do it.”

Ithaca Journal: Tompkins greenhouse goals fall short?

Lawmakers are set to accept a plan that helps guide the way toward an 80 percent reduction in Tompkins County greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but local experts say that goal is insufficient.

Cornell Chronicle: Max Zhang helps communities grow greener

From studying smog along Beijing’s streets to improving how U.S. interstate highways clear the exhaust to electrifying New York City parking spaces, engineer Max Zhang adds verdancy to vibrant communities.

Ithaca Voice: Tompkins explores avenues for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80%

The report was several years in the making, starting with some projects done by Cornell students in 2011 through 2013. In 2014, an official steering committee was appointed, led by Cornell professor Max Zhang and including local government and economic leaders, energy and sustainability experts and engineers.

Ithaca Times: Thompkins County Shows Support for Enfield Wind Farm

The Tompkins county legislature unanimously passed a resolution in support of Black Oak Wind Farm on Feb. 4, noting that the wind farm “constitutes a $40 million investment in clean, renewable energy,” is consistent with the County’s greenhouse gas emission goals, and that “the Tompkins County Energy Roadmap documents that wind energy has the potential to provide a significant portion of electricity demand within Tompkins County.”

Bloomberg News: Brazil Olympics Misses First Deadline for Clean Energy

Diesel backup generators generate emissions at rates similar to or higher than those from the highest emitting natural gas-fired generators, according to researchers at Cornell University.

Ithaca Journal: Write-in candidate Rich John claims victory

November 5, 2015 – Andrew Casler

John said he plans to focus on economic development and the Tompkins County Green Energy Road Map. “It’s over and now it’s on to doing the job, and I’m going to put my effort into that,” John said.

The Cornell Daily Sun: Local Attorney Rich John ’81 Enters Race Against Elie Kirshner ’18

October 28, 2015 – Josephine Chu

Additionally, John said he would like to address energy efficiency in Tompkins County, especially as the county planning department has spent the past several years working on an “energy roadmap” to determine whether it is possible to reduce the county’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. “It’s clearly possible,” John said. “Some decisions will be relatively easy but a lot of them involve trade-offs and difficult decisions.”

Cornell Chronicle: Student research helps county envision 2050 energy roadmap

Using 15 months of energy research conducted by Cornell students, the Tompkins County Planning Department unveiled ideas Oct. 21 to substantially reduce the county’s carbon footprint by 2050.

ElectricityPolicy.com: Cornell engineers warn of unnecessary use of diesel gen. during peak periods

Cornell University engineers have determined that firing up diesel backup generators to meet peak demand in non-emergency situations triggers rising atmospheric ozone concentrations due to additional nitrogen oxide emissions.

Cornell Chronicle: Generators that relieve power grid worsen ozone pollution

Cornell engineers have found that firing up diesel backup generators in non-emergency situations triggers rising atmospheric ozone concentrations due to additional nitrogen oxide emissions.

EHP: Green Walls Could Cut Street-Canyon Air Pollution

The study is limited by the model’s reliance on data with only modest experimental support, including the rates at which plants capture pollutants and air flows in and out of street canyons, says Pugh. Moreover, experimental research in vegetated street canyons is needed to verify the results. This lack of validation makes Max Zhang, an associate professor of engineering at Cornell University who studies traffic emissions, question the size of the pollutant reductions the paper reports. “I still believe the argument is very good,” says Zhang, “I believe there are definitely reductions, but the problem is the magnitude.”

Cornell Chronicle: Trucks Trucks with heavy emissions identified as air pollution culprit in Beijing 

The 62-mile, nine-day traffic jam in Beijing’s August heat made international headlines — and an epic amount of air pollution. It’s the latest demonstration of how Cornell air quality researcher Max Zhang’s work could make a critical difference for people who breathe bad air every day.

Cornell Chronicle: In quest to harness energy, we must consider the environment more than ever, says professor

From the first controlled use of fire in the Early Stone Age to the invention of the steam engine in 1769, humans have often had little regard for their environmental footprint in their quest to harness and efficiently use energy, said mechanical engineer K. Max Zhang at a seminar April 1 to launch this month’s celebration of the second annual Cornell Sustainability Month.

China Daily: Clearing the air

A Cornell University study by Assistant Professor Max Zhang has also backed up claims that the air is clearing because of the ban. Published in July, the study was based on air quality readings before, during and after the Olympics. … The researchers found that car emissions of black carbon were down 33 percent in 2008, the year the Olympics took place, compared with 2007. Carbon dioxide also dropped 47 percent in 2008 from the previous year’s levels.

Cornell Chronicle: Improved air quality during Beijing Olympics could inform pollution-curbing policies

Led by Max Zhang, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, the study indicates that such measures as regulating traffic density and encouraging public transportation can have a significant impact on local air quality.

Cornell Daily Sun: Professor Charts Air Quality Before And After Beijing Olympic Games

The Lost Dog Café’s upstairs lounge played host to the Ithaca Science Cabaret speaker series last night as Ithaca residents and science enthusiasts alike crowded into the dimly lit lounge. They reclined on the couches and perched themselves on the chairs while sipping wine and listening to this month’s speaker. Prof. Max Zhang, mechanical and aerospace Engineering at Cornell, explored the scientific basis for concern about air quality in Beijing during this past summer’s Olympic Games.

LiveScience.com: The Stranglehold of Weather on Beijing’s Air Quality

When the Opening Ceremonies launch the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing on Friday, city officials will no doubt hope their efforts pay off to reduce the city’s usual pall of smog and bring blue skies to the games. But their policies may matter little in the face of the region’s weather — the main influence on Beijing’s pollution levels, according to one scientist.

Cornell Chronicle: CU students across disciplines help design Hawaii’s first eco-friendly community

A planned community with plug-in hybrid cars, an electricity-saving microgrid and many other green features will soon sprout up on the Big Island of Hawaii, thanks to a group of Cornell students and faculty who have spent a year designing it.

Cornell Chronicle: Max Zhang uses cities as air-quality laboratories, including Olympic city Beijing

As the world watches China prepare for the Olympic Games, Cornell researcher Max Zhang has his eye on less visible matters — the particles in Beijing’s air that millions breathe every day, and that many more will be breathing when they descend on the city this summer.

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