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The Horinko Group Newsletter: Issue 7, July 2012


Salon Proceedings Available Now — Financing Water Infrastructure through Public-Private Partnership Models
The April 30, 2012 Executive Salon on Financing Water Infrastructure was held at the Horinko Group's offices.On April 30, The Horinko Group convened a roundtable of thought leaders to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by public-private partnership models for financing our nation’s aging water infrastructure.

Proceedings from this Executive Salon entitled, Financing Water Infrastructure through Public Private Partnerships — Finding the Right Model, are now available for download at

The Horinko Group remains committed to raising critical awareness of these issues and advancing the dialogue onto an actionable and sustainable path.

A Novel Way to Clean Wastewater
(NYTimes) A silica-based material called Osorb that can remove small organic compounds like gasoline, oil, or pesticides dissolved in water is being tailored for use in cleaning wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations. The disposal of fracking wastewater, which contains chemical additives, salts, and radioactive elements, has been a contentious issue due to the environmental and health concerns it poses. Dr. Paul Edmiston, Professor of Chemistry at the College of Wooster in Ohio, invented Osorb seven years ago and founded the company ABSMaterials to commercialize the technology. The advanced glass material has pores that absorb small molecules while repelling water and has been most useful for pulling dissolved oil out of water.

For the past two years, financed by grants from the Small Business Investment Research program, ABS has been working on adapting Osorb to the specific needs of hydraulic fracturing wastewater. Thus far, it has been successful in removing more than 90% of the organic compounds found in the wastewater. Dr. Edmiston and his team are working on its ability to draw out other contaminants and on scaling up the treatment system.

To read the entire article, visit

To read the press release on ABSMaterial’s most recent SBIR grant, visit

Seeking a Profitable Place to Put Captured Carbon
Image of Carbon and Sodium Bicarbonate(NYTimes) Plans are underway for a commercial carbon capture project that intends to treat flue-gases from a coal-fired cement kiln and turn them into marketable chemicals including sodium bicarbonate.  The $125 million plant, to be built in San Antonio, Texas, expects to capture 83,000 tons of carbon and prevent another 220,000 tons from being emitted since, once the venture is operational, industries will no longer have to make those chemicals using the sources they do now. 

Groundbreaking is scheduled for later this summer and commercial operations are expected to begin in 2014.  Though the process does have energy costs, they are smaller than those of carbon capture and sequestration operations where most carbon capture efforts have been focused thus far.

To read the entire article, visit

Using Land to Mitigate Climate Change: Hitting the Target, Recognizing the Trade-Offs
An image of a deforested area.Deforestation accounts for almost 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, but saving trees may come at a significant cost as a growing, wealthier population competes for food.  A new study from the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change compares the effects of a global policy that slashes emissions solely from energy sources to one that incorporates emissions associated with land use.  It finds that an “energy-only” approach does not enable the planet to limit warming to within 2 degrees Celsius of preindustrial levels—a goal that global leaders have agreed is needed.  A global policy that taxes land-use emissions in addition to fossil fuel emissions and includes biofuels would bring the world much closer to the 2 degree C goal.

An integrated land-use approach with economic incentives for carbon storing activities like reforestation, however, comes with tradeoffs for agriculture.  Food prices could rise more than 80% under this scenario and have disproportionate effects on poorer regions of the world.  In this balancing act of determining how to use a limited amount of land, the study emphasizes the need for more efficient use of land for food production.

To read the full study, visit
Upcoming Events

July 12 Environmental Speaker Series Luncheon — Limited Seats!
July 12, 2012 | 12:00 – 1:30 PM EDT | Washington, DC | RSVPBetsy Southerland at the June 2012 ESS Luncheon
The Horinko Group’s first July luncheon takes place on Thursday, July 12 and will feature Andrew Manar, Senior Advisor on Public-Private Partnerships at The Horinko Group.  Mr. Manar will discuss challenges faced by local governments for water development projects, including why some of the best ideas get lost and how to promote innovative and workable solutions.

To attend, please RSVP to Isaac Chapman via email at

July 18 Environmental Speaker Series Luncheon
July 18, 2012 | 12:00 – 1:30 PM EDT | Washington, DC | RSVP
The Horinko Group’s second July luncheon, sponsored by Terra Altus, will feature David White, Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Mr. White will discuss developments with the 2012 Farm Bill as well as current priorities for the NRCS.

To attend, please RSVP via email to and reference the July 18 luncheon. 

America’s Great Watershed Initiative — 2012 Summit
September 25 – 27, 2013 | St. Louis, MO | Save the Date
America's Great Watershed Initiative
An upcoming watershed-wide Summit is currently being planned for September 25-27, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. This event is in follow-up to the 2010 America’s Inner Coast Summit (AICS) and will be an opportunity to further develop ideas guiding AGWI and develop an action-oriented agenda.

For additional information, visit the conference website at

Save the Date — ABA 20th Section Fall Meeting
October 13 — 15, 2012 | Austin, TX | Register Now
American Bar Association
The Horinko Group’s President Marianne Horinko will participate on a panel at this year’s 20th Section Fall Meeting of the American Bar Association’s Environment, Energy, and Resources Law Summit. The conference, held on October 13 through 15 in Austin, Texas, will feature the theme — Our Tangled Web of Energy Policies and Practices: Their Natural Resource and Environmental Consequences Examined.

The conference provides opportunities for Continuing Law Education (CLE), networking, and idea exchange for environmental, energy, and resources lawyers.  The summit features environmental and energy regulators, leading academics, in-house counsel, NGO lawyers, and prominent private-practice lawyers discuss the latest developments and future trends.

For more information and to register for this summit, visit the ABA’s website at

In The Spotlight

Burning Our Rivers: The Water Footprint of Electricity
Burning Our Rivers: The Water Footprint of ElectricityA new report by River Network provides an accounting of how much water is used to generate electricity on an average per-kilowatt basis. The report, Burning Our Rivers: The Water Footprint of Electricity, found that for every gallon of water used in an average household, five times more water (40,000 gallons each month) is used to provide that home with electricity via hydropower turbines and fossil fuel power plants. The water footprint of a kilowatt-hour generated in the U.S. in 2009 was 42 gallons used, withdrawn or consumed. The report highlights that electricity production by coal, nuclear and natural gas power plants is the fastest-growing use of freshwater in the US, accounting for more than about half of all fresh, surface water withdrawals from rivers.

The report goes on to assert that wind and photovoltaic solar power have almost no water footprint at all, although other renewables such as biofuels from irrigated crops and solar thermal plants have water-use factors greater than some coal and nuclear power facilities. We can chart a new course that would include investments in water-efficient cooling technologies and “low-water” photovoltaic solar and wind power generation. Taken together and implemented across the country, these steps could reduce the amount of water used by the thermoelectric sector by 80 percent.

To read the entire report, visit

Featured Column

Excerpt From:Common Sense Solutions for U.S. Natural Gas
Cathryn Courtin, Student Scholar, The Horinko Group By: Cathryn Courtin, Student Scholar, The Horinko Group
Few certainties exist in the growing debate on hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) that has been circling media, government, academic circles, and activist groups. A lack of empirical evidence has resulted in polarized, often opinion-driven discussions. However, stakeholders on both ends of the spectrum tend to agree on two points.

First, the access that hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies have provided to shale and other unconventional gas reserves, once too expensive and difficult to extract, is and will continue to be transformative to U.S. and global energy markets. In 2010, this industry supported 600,000 jobs within the United States, contributed $76.9 billion to the gross domestic product (a figure expected to triple by 2035), and continues to reduce consumer costs of natural gas and electricity. Hydraulic fracturing and the related processes that have enabled this kind of economic growth are here to stay.

To read the remainder of the featured column, visit

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The Horinko Group is an environmental consulting firm operating at the intersection of science, policy, and communication. The Horinko Group has become a leader in designing and applying innovative solutions to address our nation’s most pressing environmental challenges. We bring together disparate groups of stakeholders and facilitate the collaboration critical to ensure efforts are cost-effective and sustainable.

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