Monthly Archives: April 2017

ALT-114 and ALT-118 Alternative Approaches to NIST-Traceable Reference Gases

In 2016, US EPA approved two separate alternatives (ALT 114 and ALT 118) for the preparation and certification of Hydrogen Chloride (HCl) and Mercury (Hg) cylinder reference gas standards that can serve as EPA Protocol gases where EPA Protocol are required, but unavailable. The alternatives were necessary due to the unavailability of NIST reference materials (SRM, NTRM, CRM or RGM) or VSL reference materials (VSL PRM or VSL CRM), reference materials identified in EPA’s Green Book as necessary to establish the traceability of EPA protocol gases. ALT 114 and ALT 118 provides a pathway for gas vendors to prepare and certify traceable gas cylinder standards for use in certifying Hg and HCl CEMS. In this presentation, EPA will describe the mechanics and requirements of the performance-based approach, provide an update on the availability of these gas standards and also discuss the potential for producing and certifying gas standards for other compounds using this approach.

ACURA ( 16V640000 )

Dated: SEP 01, 2016 Honda (American Honda Motor Co.) is recalling certain model year 2015 Acura TLX 2WD and 4WD vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the transmission wire harness connections may have insufficient crimps,…

NISSAN ( 17V253000 )

Dated: APR 13, 2017 Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan) is recalling certain 2015-2017 LEAF and 2014, 2015 and 2017 Sentra vehicles. Due to a manufacturing error within the air bag inflators, the passenger frontal air b…

MERCEDES BENZ ( 17V252000 )

Dated: APR 12, 2017 Mercedes-Benz USA LLC. (MBUSA) is recalling certain 2013-2014 C250, C300 4MATIC, GLK250 4MATIC BLUETEC and GLK350 vehicles, 2013 C250 Coupe, C350, C350 4MATIC Coupe, C350 Coupe and C63 AMG Coupe vehic…

MERCEDES-BENZ ( 17V251000 )

Dated: APR 11, 2017 Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) is recalling certain 2017 C300, C300 4Matic, C300 Coupe, C300 Coupe 4Matic, C43 AMG, C43 AMG Coupe, C43 AMG Cabrio, C63 AMG, C63 AMG Coupe, C63S AMG, C63S AMG Coupe, C63…

MERCEDES-MAYBACH ( 17V251000 )

Dated: APR 11, 2017 Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) is recalling certain 2017 C300, C300 4Matic, C300 Coupe, C300 Coupe 4Matic, C43 AMG, C43 AMG Coupe, C43 AMG Cabrio, C63 AMG, C63 AMG Coupe, C63S AMG, C63S AMG Coupe, C63…

MERCEDES BENZ ( 17V251000 )

Dated: APR 11, 2017 Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) is recalling certain 2017 C300, C300 4Matic, C300 Coupe, C300 Coupe 4Matic, C43 AMG, C43 AMG Coupe, C43 AMG Cabrio, C63 AMG, C63 AMG Coupe, C63S AMG, C63S AMG Coupe, C63…

DURUXX ( 17V242000 )

Dated: APR 10, 2017 Duruxx LLC (Duruxx) is recalling certain 2015-2016 DRX2 Low-Speed vehicles. The affected vehicles can exceed the 40 km/h speed allowed under the “Low Speed Vehicle” classification. As such, these ve…

Prolonged Instability Prior to a Regime Shift

Regime shifts are generally defined as the point of ‘abrupt’ change in the state of a system. However, a seemingly abrupt transition can be the product of a system reorganization that has been ongoing much longer than is evident in statistical analysis of a single component of the system. Using both univariate and multivariate statistical methods, we tested a long-term high-resolution paleoecological dataset with a known change in species assemblage for a regime shift. Analysis of this dataset with Fisher Information and multivariate time series modeling showed that there was a∼2000 year period of instability prior to the regime shift. This period of instability and the subsequent regime shift coincide with regional climate change, indicating that the system is undergoing extrinsic forcing. Paleoecological records offer a unique opportunity to test tools for the detection of thresholds and stable-states, and thus to examine the long-term stability of ecosystems over periods of multiple millennia.

The Peace Corps Celebrates the Legacy of President John F. Kennedy on the Upcoming Centennial of His Birth

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2017 – In honor of President John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday on May 29, the Peace Corps celebrates the legacy of the president who inspired generations of Americans to serve abroad. In the fall of 1960, then-Senator Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country by helping those in need. President Kennedy’s idea led to a bold new experiment in public service and the establishment of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961.

“I remember when JFK talked about the Peace Corps and of setting it up. I was in 5th grade. I was drawn to the possibility of serving my country,” said Paul Rodkey, 65, a current volunteer in Botswana. “As my wife and I began to make plans for retirement the idea of serving in the Peace Corps became a strong draw again.  We made the decision to apply and felt great joy when we did.”

While the Peace Corps has changed with the times over its 56-year history, the agency’s mission—to promote world peace and friendship—remains the same. The Peace Corps is committed to recruiting dedicated Americans who believe in the power of one person to make a difference. More than a half a century after its establishment, the Peace Corps demonstrates how the power of an idea can capture the imagination of an entire nation and change the lives of people in the United States and around the world for generations to come.

“I applied to Peace Corps because I knew firsthand the power of Peace Corps and how the work volunteers are doing now can help generations later. My parents are Liberian immigrants who came to the United States to pursue higher education,” said Nyassa Kollie, a current volunteer in Malawi. “They have credited their love for knowledge and learning to Peace Corps volunteers in Liberia who taught them during very formative years of their lives.”

Since 1961, more than 225,000 Americans of all ages have responded to Kennedy’s call to serve and have helped communities in 141 countries around the world. 

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): Sampling Studies and Methods Development for Water and Other Environmental Media

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of manufactured compounds used in a variety of industries, such as aerospace, automotive, textiles, and electronics, and are used in some food packaging and firefighting materials. For example, they may be used to make products more resistant to stains, grease and water. In the environment, some PFAS break down very slowly, if at all, allowing bioaccumulation (concentration) to occur in humans and wildlife. Some have been found to be toxic to laboratory animals, producing reproductive, developmental, and systemic effects in laboratory tests. EPA’s methods for analyzing PFAS in environmental media are in various stages of development. This technical brief summarizes the work being done to develop robust analytical methods for groundwater, surface water, wastewater, and solids, including soils, sediments, and biosolids.

A Search for Brief Optical Flashes Associated with the SETI Target KIC 8462852

Abstract: The F-type star KIC8462852 has recently been identified as an exceptional target for search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) observations. We describe an analysis methodology for optical SETI, which we have used to analyze nine hours of serendipitous archival observations of KIC8462852 made with the VERITAS gamma-ray observatory between 2009 and 2015. No evidence of pulsed optical beacons, above a pulse intensity at the Earth of approximately 1 photon/sq m, is found. We also discuss t…

Long-Term Changes Trends in Surface Temperature and Precipitation During the Satellite Era (1979-2012)

Abstract: During the post-1979 period in which the satellite-based precipitation measurements with global coverage are available, global mean surface temperature rapidly increased up to late 1990s, followed by a period of temperature hiatus after about 19981999. Comparing observed surface temperature trends against the simulated ones by the CMIP5 historical experiments especially in the zonal mean context suggests that although the anthropogenic greenhouse-gases (GHG) forcing has played a major role, i…

Flash Spectroscopy: Emission Lines From the Ionized Circumstellar Material Around 10-Day-Old Type II Supernovae

Abstract: Supernovae (SNe) embedded in dense circumstellar material (CSM) may show prominent emission lines in their early-time spectra (< or =10 days after the explosion), owing to recombination of the CSM ionized by the shock-breakout flash. From such spectra ("flash spectroscopy"), we can measure various physical properties of the CSM, as well as the mass-loss rate of the progenitor during the year prior to its explosion. Searching through the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF and iPTF) SN spectroscopy…

Searching for the 3.5 keV Line in the Stacked Suzaku Observations of Galaxy Clusters

Abstract: We perform a detailed study of the stacked Suzaku observations of 47 galaxy clusters, spanning a redshift range of 0.01-0.45, to search for the unidentified 3.5 keV line. This sample provides an independent test for the previously detected line. We detect a 2sigma-significant spectral feature at 3.5 keV in the spectrum of the full sample. When the sample is divided into two subsamples (cool-core and non-cool core clusters), the cool-core subsample shows no statistically significant positive r…

Getting NuSTAR on Target: Predicting Mast Motion

Abstract: The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is the first focusing high energy (3-79 keV) X-ray observatory operating for four years from low Earth orbit. The X-ray detector arrays are located on the spacecraft bus with the optics modules mounted on a flexible mast of 10.14m length. The motion of the telescope optical axis on the detectors during each observation is measured by a laser metrology system and matches the pre-launch predictions of the thermal flexing of the mast as the spac…