|Vol. 17 No. 1 Spring 2007|
-New York State
-Update on Green Seal's Green Cleaning Program
-Key Factors to Consider for an Environmentally-Preferred Cleaning Products Program
-Green Cleaning Web Resources
-DEP: Organic Land Care
-DEP: Health Care Outreach
-DEP: Being Smart About Energy
-DEP: P2 Program Activities
-Toxics Use Reduction Act Regulations Amended
-DEP: Mercury Levels Down in Treatment Plant Sludge
-OTA: Cleaner Technology & Energy Efficiency
-OTA: High Speed Direct Digital Printing of Textiles
-OTA: Energy & Materials Flow & Cost Tracker (EMFACT)
-OTA: Powder Coating: Benefits & Opportunities
-OTA: Center for Cleaner Technology
-TURI: New Web site
-TURI: Community Grant Proposals
-TURI: Lead-Free Electronics Consortium
-DES: Free Lamp Recycling for Homeowners & Small Businesses
-DES: Green Yards
-DES: Auto Switch Recycling
-DES: Mercury Dental Collection Project
-DES: 2007 Mercury Legislation
-DEP: Pollution Prevention Trends
-DEP: Outreach to Industries that use Priority Chemicals
-DEC: Reducing Mercury in Schools
-DEC: Small Business Pollution Prevention & Environmental Compliance
-DEC: New York Environmental Leaders (NYEL)
-DEC: Environmental Excellence Awards (EEA)
-DEM: Auto Salvage Yard Certification
-DEM: Underground Storage Tank Alternative Inspections
-DEM: Exterior Lead Paint Removal Certification
-DEM: Common Measures Project & States' ERP Consortium
-NBC: Energy Conservation
-NBC: Anaerobic Biogas
-NBC: Wind Energy
-NBC: Stormwater Pollution Prevention
-DEC: Greening Up Your Bottom Line Conference
-DEC: Mercury Education & Reduction
-DEC: Hardware Store Lamp Recycling
-DEC: Vehicle Service Outreach
-DEC: Environmentally-Preferable Products (EPP) Database
-DEC: Environmental Networking Businesses
EPA Region I
-Environmental Technology Opportunities Portal
NE A & P2 Roundtable
-P2 Technology Profiles
-P2 Results Aggregation Tool
THE NORTHEAST WASTE MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS' ASSOCIATION (NEWMOA)
NEWMOA is a non-profit, non-partisan interstate governmental association. The membership is composed of state environmental agency directors of the pollution prevention, hazardous and solid waste, and waste site cleanup programs in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
NEWMOA's mission is to develop and sustain an effective partnership of states to explore, develop, promote, and implement environmentally sound solutions for the reduction and management of materials and waste, and for the remediation of contaminated sites, in order to achieve a clean and healthy environment. The group fulfills this mission by providing a variety of support services that facilitate communication and cooperation among member states and between states and EPA.
NEWMOA's P2 program was established in 1989 to enhance the capabilities of the state and local environmental officials in the northeast to implement effective source reduction programs. The program is called the Northeast States Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NE P2 Roundtable). This program involves the following components: (1) NE P2 Roundtable meetings and workgroups; (2) regional P2 information resource center and databases of information; (3) source reduction research and publications; (4) training sessions; and (5) regional policy coordination and development.
Cleaning can be a very dirty business. Approximately one out of every three commercial cleaning products contains harmful chemicals that are linked to cancer, reproductive disorders, asthma and other respiratory ailments, or skin and major organ damage. Toxic chemicals that are released during the use or disposal of cleaning products can create diffuse sources of pollution and their effects can be pervasive and difficult to detect and correlate with changes in the environment and human health. Those same substances can eventually enter the environment and can adversely affect drinking water quality and be responsible for toxics in fish and other organisms. Some of the dangerous chemicals in cleaners do not biodegrade and can remain in the environment for long periods of time
As a result of the significant environmental and public health hazards associated with some cleaning chemicals, government and private sector purchasers have been making the switch to more environmentally-preferable alternatives, often called green cleaning. At first the transition was guarded, as maintenance staffs were concerned about the cleaning performance of the products, and the purchasers were skeptical about the price. However, based on the increasing number of positive experiences being documented nationwide over the past few years, the move toward green is rapidly gaining momentum. Purchasers have discovered that many environmentally- preferable options are commercially available without a higher price tag, and custodians find that they work just as well, if not better, than their traditional counterparts. It's a win-win all around – especially for the cleaning staff and the building occupants.
This Feature Article provides an overview of a variety of efforts underway in Northeast states to promote green cleaning and some lessons learned from those efforts. The article includes a recent interview with Green Seal, a non-profit organization dedicated to safe guarding the environment by promoting the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally-responsible products and services, on their efforts to promote green cleaning.
As a result of Executive Order 14 issued in April 2006, all Connecticut state agencies in the executive branch are required to buy and use environmentally-preferable cleaning and sanitizing products. The order cites exposure to harmful chemicals contained in cleaning and sanitizing products as well as releases into the environment from their wastes as reasons to "go green."
The Connecticut Department of Administrative Services (DAS) along with the Departments of Public Health, Public Works, and Environmental Protection (Office of Pollution Prevention) were responsible for developing the policy for purchasing and implementation of Executive Order 14.
The policy states that environmentally-preferable cleaning products must be used in state-owned and leased facilities. Green Seal certification is being used as the standard. (See side bar interview with Green Seal.) Municipalities, political subdivisions, and school districts can take advantage of buying Green Seal-certified cleaners under the state contract. The policy extends to vendors that are contracted by the state for janitorial and custodial services. Vendors are responsible for training their staff on the use of the products. DAS has also found that vendors have been instrumental in promoting the products and explaining the benefits of using less toxic products.
DAS reports that since the policy was released in November 2006, Green Seal-certified products are almost 15 percent of the total cleaners purchased. This number is expected to grow as agencies deplete their inventories of other cleaners. DAS will be preparing a progress report for the Governor in April.
For more information contact: Kim Trella, CT DEP (860) 424-3234; http://www.das.state.ct.us/busopp.asp.
In February of 2006, Governor Baldacci signed an Executive Order for Safer Chemicals in Consumer Products and Services. A Governor's Task Force for Safer Chemicals in Consumer Products and Services and an environmentally-preferable procurement (EPP) workgroup were established to determine how to best conform with this Executive Order. The workgroup involves Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) Pollution Prevention (P2) Program officials and others. The EPP workgroup evaluated various third party certification programs and decided that Green Seal had recognizable and accountable criteria for Maine to use to conform to the requirements of the Executive Order.
ME DEP's Pollution Prevention Program has been providing specific technical assistance to the Department of Administration and Financial Services (DAFS), Division of Purchases on contract and request-for-bid language to cover EPP requirements.
As of February 2007, the State of Maine has begun to require vendors of cleaning chemicals to provide products that conform to the criteria under Green Seal's Certification. (See side bar interview with Green Seal.) The EPP workgroup has also developed a standard that goes out with request for bids on cleaning chemicals that are not within the categories that Green Seal certifies.
To date, one request for bids has gone out that included these environmentally-preferable requirements for cleaning chemicals. More cleaning chemical contracts are going to need to be filled in the coming months.
ME DEP's Pollution Prevention Program has determined that besides Division of Purchases, technical assistance to Maine's Central Warehouse with purchasing and with individual agencies is necessary to ensure conformance with Maine's EPP commitment.
For more information contact: Peter Cooke, ME DEP (207) 791-8101, .
Many people consider the initiative that sparked a groundswell of support for green cleaning products in Massachusetts to be the 2003 Massachusetts State Contract for Environmentally-Preferable Cleaning Products. The specifications for the contract were established by a multi-state workgroup comprised of purchasing staff from over a half dozen state and city governments across the country. The contract cited the Green Seal Standard for Industrial and Institutional Cleaning Products (GS 37) as the minimum criteria, along with strict performance requirements.
Massachusetts is making progress with reducing toxics in cleaners, as evidenced by the fact that purchases on the State contract have tripled in the past three years. Greater gains are still needed, however. Numerous groups are calling for passage of proposed legislation that seeks to require the use of green cleaners in public buildings and educational institutions throughout the State. Such legislation would serve to strengthen the current progress and expedite the establishment of healthier environments for students, workers, and others.
In the meantime, the State's central purchasing office, the Operational Services Division (OSD), is in the process of revising the present statewide contract for environmentally-preferable cleaning products to include additional product lines offered by the current vendors. Since the range of green cleaning products has significantly expanded in recent years to include floor care systems, hand soaps, carpet cleaners, and other products, OSD is also working on the release of a new contract bid over the next few months. To go one step further, the Agency is looking to establish a statewide contract for cleaning services that would require the awarded contractors to use only cleaning products certified by third-party organizations, such as Green Seal and Environmental Choice.
For more information visit: www.mass.gov/epp/
In January 2006, the Governor of New Jersey issued an Executive Order (EO76) requiring all agencies to eliminate, to the greatest extent possible, all cleaning agents containing hazardous ingredients and replacing them with environmentally-friendly products as soon as possible.
Working in collaboration with the State Departments of Treasury and Health and Senior Services and external stakeholders, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) staff assumed the lead role of developing guidelines for environmentally-friendly products. These products, by meeting specific standards, are envisioned to be:
NJ DEP staff conducted numerous meetings with representatives from Treasury and Health and Senior Services and external stakeholders to ensure transparency in the process and to guarantee that they address all viewpoints and concerns.
The final guidelines are modeled after the Green Seal and Environmental Choice standards for cleaning and floor-care products and the U.S. EPA's Design for the Environment program.
In addition, the guidelines contain a training component to ensure that agency staff is trained in the proper usage of these products and that they understand the potential negative health impacts of using them improperly. These guidelines were incorporated into a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by the New Jersey Treasury Department in March 2007.
New Jersey recognizes that green cleaning is a dynamic and expanding area of interest. As such, this RFP is being implemented with the intent that the State will commit to an ongoing dialogue with other states, Green Seal, Environmental Choice, U.S. EPA, and such other stakeholders as industry and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to continually improve the standards to be more protective of human health and the environment.
For more information contact: Michael DiGiore, NJ DEP (609) 777-0518, .
New York State
New York State has two initiatives that underline the state's commitment to green cleaning. First, an Executive Order requires all state agencies to use environmentally-preferred cleaning products; second, New York passed the first legislation in the country mandating that all K-12 schools use environmentally-sensitive cleaning products. To fulfill these mandates, the Office of General Services (OGS), partnered with the Departments of Health, Education, Labor, and Environmental Conservation to develop guidelines and lists of approved cleaning products.
Green cleaning products are defined as "cleaning and maintenance products that minimize adverse impacts on children's health and the environment, while cleaning effectively." For the categories of general purpose cleaners, glass cleaners, carpet cleaners, bathroom cleaners, and hand soaps, the state guidelines require that such products be certified by one of two internationally-recognized certification organizations: Green Seal or Environmental Choice. In addition, the guidelines suggest that schools voluntarily investigate the procurement and use of sanitary paper products. The guidelines also include a section on "Best Cleaning Management Practices" that provides ideas to help schools obtain cleaner and better-maintained facilities.
The State-created guidelines set a bar for schools where none existed before and has agreed to make the standard even more health and environmentally-sensitive within the next 12 to 18 months. In keeping with this commitment, the Office of General Services has contracted with Green Seal to revise and update its nationally-recognized green cleaning products standard (GS 37), which is the Green Seal environmental standard for industrial and institutional cleaners. (See the side bar interview with Green Seal).
Starting in January 2007 NYS OGS is funding Green Seal to revise the standard following a consensus process among manufacturers, users, and various other groups interested in green cleaning products. Green Seal is collaborating with the Canadian Environmental Choice program, which is also recognized for their environmental standard for industrial and institutional cleaners. The revised standard will address health and environmental effects, such as asthmagens, asthma triggers, endocrine disrupters, mutagens, and fragrances in an effort to better protect vulnerable or sensitive populations, such as children and janitorial workers. More than 300 stakeholder groups have indicated their interesting in participating in the revision, and Green Seal has developed an open transparent consensus-based process to ensure that the standard is scientifically sound and effective in identifying good cleaning products that minimize their adverse effect on health and the environment.
OGS recognizes that while NYS has made great strides in the area of green cleaning in schools and state agencies through the development of guidelines and lists of approved green cleaning products, there must be a focus on training. Considering that most cleaning budgets are approximately 5-10 percent product and 90-95 percent labor, one can appreciate the importance of understanding how such cleaning products should be used and ways to engage and motivate staff. Efforts are underway to develop a consistent and effective curriculum and to investigate funding opportunities to make the training practical and universally available.
New York State recognizes that green cleaning is an iterative process, and they are committed to continually reviewing and improving their program. As science and technology evolve, advancements in environmentally-sensitive cleaning products will be made, and product applications will be better understood through usage and observation. The state will amend its guidelines to reflect such changes and advancements. The OGS website will regularly report on innovative ideas that are emerging in green cleaning in New York State.
For more information contact: Kurt Larson, NYS OGS, ; http://www.ogs.state.ny.us/bldgadmin/environmental/default.html.
|Vermont Environmental Safety & Occupational Health Criteria For Custodial Cleaning Chemicals||
In 2006, the State of Vermont refined existing criteria to evaluate environmentally-preferable (EP) cleaning products, reviewed proposals from suppliers, and wrote new contracts for EP custodial cleaning products. Contractors now provide a full line of basic custodial cleaning products that meet VT's EP criteria and meet the service and training requirements of the State.
Contracted suppliers have exhibited a commitment to green cleaning products as part of their business practice, and have local representatives available to routinely meet with state maintenance staff to actively train and advise custodians in effective use of EP products in Vermont buildings. The vendors selected are committed to supporting Vermont policies relating to environmentally-preferable purchasing.
The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Office of Environmental Assistance has provided technical and other assistance to the efforts to green-up the state contract for environmentally-preferable products, including custodial cleaning supplies. In addition, the Office helped establish the Vermont Environmentally-Preferable Purchasing Alliance, a group of public and private organizations and entities that are promoting the use of environmentally-preferable cleaners in Vermont schools.
Working with the University of Vermont, Center for Rural Studies, a phone survey was conducted and findings were statistically evaluated. The results were summarized in a paper, "Consumer Chemicals: Safeguarding Human Health and the Environment."
In 2005, the Office of Environmental Assistance helped to secure a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) grant for the Association of Vermont Recyclers (AVR) to develop and implement a multi-year effort to assist at least 30 Vermont schools to transition to EP cleaning products. AVR has developed expertise in this area and, despite the full expenditure of grant funds, continues to offer its services to Vermont schools.
For more information contact: Doug Kievit-Kylar, VT DEC, ; http://www.bgs.state.vt.us/PCA/epp/contracts.htm.
Critical Product Exclusion Criteria are mandatory for products used in state facilities:
Other considerations include:
Update on Green Seal's Green Cleaning Program
Green Seal is a non-profit organization dedicated to safe guarding the environment and transforming the market place by promoting the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally-responsible products and services. The following summarizes a recent interview conducted by NEWMOA staff with Linda Chipperfield, Vice President of Marketing for Green Seal on their current green cleaning activities.
NEWMOA: What is Green Seal doing to update their green cleaning standard?
Green Seal: The original version of Green Seal 37 (GS 37), the green cleaning standard, was published in 2000. Green Seal is beginning the process of updating the standard, in part because there have been a lot of developments in green cleaning since that time. The proposed review of GS 37 will involve stakeholders in an open and transparent process. The stakeholders will include manufacturers, distributors, environmental groups, cleaning service companies, janitors, academics, and federal and state officials that are interested in environmentally-preferable cleaning.
Green Seal announced their effort to update the GS 37 standard in 2006 and has received formal interest from approximately 300 stakeholders in their process. (The period of time for stakeholders to sign up to participate in the process has already passed.) These stakeholders will choose their representatives to a Committee that will guide the process to ensure that there is a consensus on the final standard. Green Seal is currently following-up with the stakeholders to select 20 representatives from each of the stakeholder groups to participate in the Committee.
To help manage the overall project, Green Seal is forming a Standard Executive Committee that will consist of representatives of:
NEWMOA: What are the improvements that Green Seal hopes to make to the standard?
Green Seal: The goal is to continue to represent environmental leadership and incorporate criteria to protect human health, particularly for sensitive and vulnerable populations. Information has recently become available concerning indoor air emissions, asthmagens, and endocrine disrupters in cleaners. Various groups have raised issues about whether GS 37 adequately protects the health of school-age children in light of this information.
NEWMOA: What is the timeframe for updating GS 37?
Green Seal: Green Seal hopes to have the proposed updated standard available a year from now. We plan to hold a final vote on the revised standard next spring.
Green Seal has formed a team to conduct the necessary technical research to support the effort. This involves Green Seal staff with assistance from researchers at the University of Tennessee and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This technical group will develop a draft standard to propose to the stakeholder group for review and comment.
Green Seal will work hard to achieve consensus within the Committee of stakeholder representatives on the final standard and will follow its procedures and protocols for standard development. We are not required to achieve 100 percent consensus, but we strive for near consensus, if possible. The final standard should be rigorous and a leadership standard.
NEWMOA: What are the key challenges with getting green cleaning adopted by consumers and institutions?
Green Seal: A key challenge is changing people's thinking. People are used to buying regular cleaners and are not used to asking questions about those products. There is a need to shift the public's mindset and philosophy but that can take a while. People need to be assured that green cleaners are as effective and perform as well as traditional cleaners. They also need assurances that green cleaners will not cost more. Many green cleaners now compete effectively on price and performance with traditional cleaners.
Consumers need to be able to identify what constitutes a green cleaner and to have some assurance that the products with these labels have been examined and certified by a third party. This gives more confidence in the label and term.
NEWMOA: What does Green Seal consider to be the most important successes of its efforts to promote green cleaning?
Green Seal: Getting the word out to the New York schools has been a major success for Green Seal. The bill that was passed in New York requiring schools to be cleaned with green cleaners is an accomplishment for the whole industry. The adoption and reference of GS 37 in the procurement guidance for government agencies has helped enormously. Many federal agencies have adopted the standard. The National Park Service is preparing material on their use of green cleaners to hand out to the public at their facilities. Green Seal is very proud that we have been able to get more and more institutions to go green.
Key Factors to Consider for an Environmentally-Preferred Cleaning Products Program
Concern over the effects of potent chemical cleaning agents has led to the development, testing, and acceptance of an extensive array of effective alternative environmentally-preferable cleaning products. These products have less of an impact on human health and the environment than their traditional counterparts because they are generally less toxic and contain lower concentrations of volatile organic compounds, ozone depleting chemicals, endocrine disruptors, and reproductive toxins and carcinogens.
There are a number of key points to consider when setting up a program to promote the use of green cleaners:
Glowing customer endorsements, pictures of animals, or the use of green on a label do not mean that a product is safe or that it works. There may be green products available, but if they do not work, no one is going to use them. That is where the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) Laboratory can help. They have conducted performance testing for hundreds of products for many industrial cleaning situations. In addition, the Institute has evaluated more than a dozen janitorial cleaning products. These tested cleaners are used in the bathroom, on glass, and as all-purpose cleaners. TURI evaluated the products at the vendor recommended concentrations and sprayed them onto the surface to be cleaned. Products were considered successful by the Lab if 85 percent of the soil was removed during the cleaning process.
In addition to laboratory evaluation, the TURI Lab has conducted pilot testing in the field. Pilot testing provides direct feedback on performance in real word situations. TURI has conducted this kind of testing in various locations, including academic buildings and hotels. These pilots have employed two types of tests: direct substitution and blind tests, where the end user is unaware of which product is being used. In both types of situations, the Lab has monitored the housekeeping staff during routine cleaning. After cleaning, the users fill out a survey on their experience with the alternative products. The results from the pilots help identify any concerns by the end users, which can then be addressed prior to full implementation, resulting in a more streamlined transition to the greener cleaning products.
The TURI lab provides free performance testing for Massachusetts firms searching for safer cleaners. Fee-for-service assistance is available for out-of-state firms, other state programs, and vendors seeking performance testing or eco-label testing. For information on the results of TURI's evaluation of cleaning products and pilot testing, use the web links provided at the end of this Feature Article.
For more information contact: Jason Marshall, TURI Laboratory, (978) 934-3133, .
This section of the NE Assistance & P2 News lists useful web resources that are related to the topic of the Feature Article.
Green Seal promotes the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally-responsible products and services. The website also includes a list of Green Seal Certified cleaning products.
U.S. EPA Green Cleaning Resources:
EPA's Environmentally-Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Database, makes it easy for users to purchase products and services with reduced environmental impacts.
The Ashkin Group:
The Ashkin Group is dedicated to creating healthier, more productive indoor environments with lower burdens on natural systems, while creating sustainable value for their clients.
Green Clean Institute:
The Green Clean Institute offers certification programs for commercial, educational, and government buildings and provides links to contractors and suppliers of green products.
MA Environmentally-Preferable Products (EPP) Procurement Program:
The EPP Procurement Program aims to reduce the environmental and public health impact of state government and foster markets for EPPs. This site provides information about the benefits of EPPs, statewide EPP contracts, guides, tools, and events.
Ten Ways to Find Safer Cleaners:
This TURI fact sheet outlines ten steps consumers can follow when purchasing safer and greener cleaning products.
TURI Cleaner Solutions Database:
The CleanerSolutions Database allows users to search for information generated from testing at the TURI Surface Solution Laboratory. The website contains information on alternative solvents and cleaners and searchable links to products and vendors.
TURI Lab Janitorial Evaluation:
The TURI Laboratory evaluated various cleaning products from seven vendors to determine product performance for Massachusetts Operational Service Division's EPP Procurement Program.
TURI Lab Pilot Project:
TURI conducted a pilot project using green cleaning products on campus.
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP)
Organic Land Care
Following the distribution of an Organic Land Care DVD (see Northeast Assistance and Pollution Prevention News, Fall 2006 for details on the DVD), CT DEP solicited applications from municipalities interested in participating in a pilot project to demonstrate organic practices on a school or municipal recreation field. The selection process included a point rating system for the application's questions followed by on-site interviews with the three top-rated municipalities. Over 30 municipalities throughout the state applied to participate.
The Town of Manchester was selected due to the many strong points of their application, such as the pilot field's location within a potential high yield aquifer area and the availability of municipal compost. The project team will provide technical assistance to their town crew in transitioning from conventional turf management, including soil tests, site analysis, and on-site training in organic methods from an accredited organic land care professional. CT DEP hopes to produce a case study of this project's results to share with other municipalities.
For further information contact: Judy Prill, CT DEP (860) 424-3694, .
Health Care Outreach
CT DEP's Office of Prevention continues to provide assistance to hospitals through the CT Hospital Environmental Roundtable (CHER). CHER provides a setting for hospitals to learn from each other by sharing ideas, presenting success stories, and keeping up-to-date on available resources.
The following workshops have been held recently:
For more information contact: Connie Mendolia, CT DEP (860) 424-3243; Nan Peckham, CT DEP (860) 424-3367.
Being Smart About Energy
The CT DEP Pollution Prevention Office developed a Smart Energy Game with EPA Pollution Prevention Grant funding from 2006 to help students and adults understand the benefits of choosing Energy Star appliances. The colorful backdrop explains how to play the game and describes the dollars saved and carbon dioxide emissions reduced with the seven Energy Star appliances in the game - refrigerators, TVs, computers, dishwashers, lights, dehumidifiers, and room air conditioners.
Fifth graders played the game at the Energy Awareness Conference held at Wesleyan in mid-March. Teams of six placed the game pieces representing standard efficiency appliances in one tube then placed the Energy Star equivalent of the same appliances in the second tube. Kilowatt-hours (kWh) are marked on the tube so the students took the two annual kWh totals and calculated the savings for their families if they were to switch out the seven appliances. A second game, "Pay Me" focused on simple energy conservation measures, like turning off appliances. When asked what they would pledge to do to "be smart about energy," 15 of the 23 checked off "Talk to my parents about Energy Star appliances." All pledged to turn off or reduce using something – a light, the TV, the refrigerator; and ten pledged to change an incandescent light bulb to a compact fluorescent light.
For more information contact: Mary Sherwin, CT DEP (860) 424-3246, .
Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP)
Suzanne Watson recently joined Maine DEP's Office of Innovation as the new Director. Current activities of the Pollution Prevention Program in Maine DEP's Office of Innovation include:
Toxics Use Reduction Act Regulations Amended
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) has proposed revisions to the Toxics Use Reduction regulations to implement recent changes to the Toxics Use Reduction Act that were signed into law in July 2006. First enacted in 1989, TURA requires certain facilities to report their use of toxics and explore ways to reduce their toxics use and waste. The 2006 statutory amendments build on the program's success by focusing attention on reducing the use of higher hazard chemicals, streamlining reporting and planning requirements, and encouraging businesses to increase environmental performance through resource conservation plans and environmental management systems.
MA DEP will promulgate two sets of regulatory revisions to implement the recent statutory changes. The first set of regulatory revisions address changes to reporting requirements for the 2006 reporting year (for toxics use reports due July 1, 2007), and will be promulgated in April 2007. These include:
The second set of regulatory revisions will implement new planning options for TURA facilities that have completed a toxics use reduction (TUR) plan and two plan updates. MA DEP expects to hold public hearings on these revisions in late spring. Beginning with plans due July 1, 2008, these facilities now have the option to develop either a resource conservation plan (for alternating planning cycles) or to implement an environmental management system (EMS) in lieu of a TUR plan, giving facilities the opportunity to focus their planning efforts on such other areas as energy, water, and materials while still addressing toxics. The proposed regulatory revisions also make several changes to TUR planning requirements and revise TUR Planner certification requirements to fit the new planning options.
A facility choosing to complete a resource conservation plan must select at least one "natural asset" as the focus of the plan and apply the TUR planning methods and source reduction approach on this asset. After developing a resource conservation plan, a facility must return to TUR planning for the following planning cycle two years later. Asset areas that can be included in a resource conservation plan include:
If a facility chooses the EMS option, the facility's EMS must contain certain elements (based generally on ISO 14001) and must integrate toxics use reduction planning for all TURA chemicals and production units.
The TURA agencies - MA DEP, MA Office of Technical Assistance (OTA), and MA Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) - have been working together to develop guidelines and workshops for planners and filers. The TURA programs have put together working groups to establish guidance and training programs for Alternative Resource Conservation (ARC) and Environmental Management System (EMS) Planning, and for the Science Advisory Board.
For more information contact: Julia Wolfe, MA DEP,
; Lynn Cain, MA DEP,
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP)
Mercury Levels Down in Treatment Plant Sludge
Since January 2004, when the MA Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) and the Massachusetts Dental Society began promoting the use of mercury amalgam separators in dental offices, mercury levels in wastewater sludge have dropped dramatically. At the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) treatment plant in Boston Harbor, mercury levels have been cut nearly in half, and are down by about 75 percent over the last 10 years.
Since the mid 1990s, MWRA sludge has been sold for use as fertilizer and soil amendments. The Agency has worked aggressively with hospitals and other facilities to track and reduce mercury in sewage. While mercury levels in the sludge have consistently met all government limits, the MWRA recognized that further improvements were achievable.
Statewide, amalgam waste from dental facilities was contributing 600+ pounds of mercury to the environment, (about half of the mercury in wastewater). Mercury is released when sewage sludge is incinerated or reused, or wastewater that contains mercury traces is discharged from treatment plants.
MA DEP's dental amalgam program aims to reduce mercury discharges from dental offices by up to 98 percent. 3,000 Massachusetts dentists voluntarily installed these systems before 2006, or have complied with regulations requiring the installation of amalgam separators that are now in effect.
This effort is one of several designed to keep mercury out of the environment. In-state releases to air in MA are down by more than 60 percent since the late 1990s. Trash incinerators have reduced their mercury emissions by 90 percent to comply with 1998 regulations, and all Massachusetts medical waste incinerators have closed, eliminating their emissions completely. In 2004, MA DEP required four coal-burning power plants to reduce their mercury emissions by 95 percent over five years. In July 2006, MA DEP began implementing the new Massachusetts Mercury Management Act, which bans the sale of specific mercury products and requires manufacturers to set up "end of life" collection and recycling programs.
For more information contact: www.mass.gov/dep/toxics/stypes/hgres.htm.
Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (MA OTA)
Cleaner Technology & Energy Efficiency
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and the Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (MA OTA) held a conference, "Cleaner Technology and Energy Efficiency: Structuring a Competitive Advantage" on April 5 in Boxborough, Massachusetts. The conference included presentations on innovative technologies, vendor displays, and product demonstrations.
For more information contact: Scott Fortier, MA OTA (617) 626-1090; Morgan Mihok, MA OTA (617) 626-1088.
High Speed Direct Digital Printing of Textiles
The John Adams Innovation Institute awarded MA OTA a grant of $150,000 through its Regional Priority Grants Program to investigate high speed digital printing using wide format printers and radiation-curable materials, including inks, pigments, and dyes. This project will address energy consumption and environmental compliance issues. By working with selected contractors and industry stakeholders, MA OTA aims to accelerate the development and adoption of this technology, which will significantly improve the product mix, competitiveness, and profitability of textile printing operations compared to conventional textile screen printing.
For more information contact: Gus Ogunbameru, MA OTA (617) 626-1065; Scott Fortier, MA OTA (617) 626-1090; Morgan Mihok, MA OTA (617) 626-1088.
Energy & Materials Flow & Cost Tracker (EMFACT)
MA OTA and NEWMOA issued a Request for Responses (RFR) for the development of a software application to track the use of resources by small or medium-sized manufacturing facilities. The project, called Energy and Materials Flow and Cost Tracker (EMFACT) is funded by a grant from EPA. The RFR was written following a year of research with discussions with potential EMFACT users, including technical assistance providers. The intent is to provide the tool for free to those that wish to improve the efficiency of their use of materials, energy, and water. MA OTA and NEWMOA received five proposals from qualified vendors and selected SYS Technologies, which had developed a similar tool for a private client. MA OTA and NEWMOA have begun holding meetings with SYS on the design of the tool. The target is to have a beta version of the EMFACT tool to demonstrate to reviewers in the early fall.
For more information contact: Rick Reibstein, MA OTA (617) 626-1062.
Powder Coating: Benefits & Opportunities
Massachusetts has established a Purchasing Preference for Powder Coated Products, in recognition of their reduced environmental impact and high quality. Powder coating technology is successfully used in many industries as a substitute for solvent-based painting. Depending on the liquid system in use, a company may realize significant energy savings when they switch to a powder coating.
MA OTA is holding a series of events to promote powder coating and to help companies that use powder coatings on their products to sell in state and local government markets. The first event was a March workshop that included presentations on powder coating technologies and why they work for businesses. Speakers at the event include representatives of Powder Coating Systems, Eastern Finishing and Powder Coating, Columbia Manufacturing, and MA OTA. Approximately 38 people from a variety of industries attended the workshop.
MA OTA is planning a follow-up meeting in May with state procurement officials and companies that use powder coating technologies to promote the state's purchasing preference for powder-coated products.
For more information contact: Marina Gayl, MA OTA (617) 626-1077.
Center for Cleaner Technology
MA OTA established a Center for Cleaner Technology to provide a forum for technology developers to interact with businesses that are interested in incorporating modern, cleaner technologies into their operations. The program offers demonstration sites, a series of seminars, and other features to highlight both existing and emerging technologies.
For more information contact: Paul Richard, MA OTA (617) 626-1062.
Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (MA TURI)
New Web site
The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) has launched a newly designed website. Users from small to large companies can find information on toxics use reduction training opportunities, emerging research at TURI and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and solvent cleaning substitutions. Users from community organizations can find ideas on how to make their neighborhoods safer. And government organizations can find updates on national and international science on toxics, relevant policy topics, and the latest about the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Program. All users can access TURI's specialized pollution prevention library, including international databases and a top-notch toxics use reduction reference librarian.
For more information visit: http://www.turi.org.
Community Grant Proposals
TURI seeks proposals from non-profit community or environmental organizations, municipal departments, or agencies in Massachusetts. Now in its thirteenth year, the goal of the TURI Community Grant Program is to help organizations raise awareness of the hazards of toxic chemical use and introduce safer alternatives within their neighborhoods. Neighborhood associations, labor unions, fire and police departments, academic institutions, chambers of commerce, libraries, boards of health, hospitals, youth organizations, health centers, and public schools are encouraged to apply.
New this year: the proposal deadline is June 29, 2007, earlier than in past years, and TURI is offering $1,000 grants for smaller toxics use reduction projects and up to $15,000 for larger ones. This year's projects will run from August 2007 to June 2008.
For more information contact: Joy Onasch, TURI (978) 934-4343, ; http://www.turi.org/community
Lead-Free Electronics Consortium
To help industry transition to lead-free electronics assembly, the New England Lead-free Electronics Consortium is now in its fourth phase of designing, building, and testing printed circuit boards made with lead-free materials. This phase includes the use of halogen-free laminate materials, as well as addressing challenges with lead-free electronics assembly. Preliminary results of this phase should be available this summer.
In May 2006, the New England Lead-Free Consortium, a group of industry, academic, and government organizations, received an EPA Merit Award for a five-year effort to find new lead-free alternatives for the electronics industry.
For more information contact: Greg Morose, TURI (978) 934-2954, ; http://www.turi.org/industry/research/new_england_electronics_consortium.
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES)
Free Lamp Recycling for Homeowners & Small Businesses
In a first-of-a-kind program, True Value hardware stores, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES), Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC), and Public Service of New Hampshire teamed up to a create a system to collect, consolidate, and recycle spent fluorescent lamps generated by homeowners and small businesses. Homeowners and small businesses may bring in up to six fluorescent lamps to participating local sores where they will be accepted for free. As of April 2007, more than 2,100 liner feet of fluorescent lamps and 55 compact fluorescent lamps have been recycled through the program.
This winter, NH DES hosted five workshops for municipal officials focusing on new legislation affecting auto salvage facilities and junkyards. The law states that local officials must require applicants for a town-issued "junkyard" license to self-certify that they are operating their facility in compliance with environmental regulations. NH DES developed various tools to help both local officials and salvage yard operators properly implement the self-certification process, including a compliance checklist, workbook, and sample self-certification form. Over 200 people, representing over 100 towns, attended the workshops.
Auto Switch Recycling
After collecting over 5,700 switches through the NH Green Yards voluntary switch collection program, New Hampshire joined the National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recycling Program (NVMSRP). New Hampshire was originally scheduled to be admitted during "Wave 3" in April, but because NH already had a switch collection system in place, the state petitioned NVMSRP to allow New Hampshire to participate sooner. New Hampshire's request was granted, and NH auto salvage facilities were allowed to request mercury switch collection buckets in January. As of April, 36 facilities have joined the program and have submitted 533 switches equaling 1.17 pounds of mercury.
For more information contact: Paul Lockwood, NH DES (603) 271-2956, .
Mercury Dental Collection Project
NH DES Pollution Prevention Program coordinated a free mercury recycling project in the fall of 2006. Surveys were sent out to 133 dental providers in the Connecticut River Valley Watershed. Thirteen dental offices participated in the dental mercury collection program, and a total of 19.2 pounds of mercury were collected from these facilities, as well as 0.8 pounds of other metal alloys. For dental providers in the Connecticut River Valley Watershed towns that missed this opportunity, there will be a second round of the program during the spring 2007.
For more information contact: Sara Johnson, NH DES (603) 271-6460, .
2007 Mercury Legislation
Mercury-added products bills have been introduced in the 2007 NH legislative session. House Bill (HB) 416 would institute a solid waste disposal ban on all mercury-added products, regardless of mercury content. This ban would take effect January 1, 2008 and would include products used by consumers and businesses, including fluorescent lamps, tilt switches, thermostats, electrical relays, thermometers, and button cell batteries. Another bill, HB 907 would prohibit the sale of certain categories of mercury-added products, including flow meters, manometers, switches, relays, and thermostats. If passed, this prohibition would take effect July 1, 2008. An exemption process is included in the bill, which is similar to legislation already passed by the other New England states. Both HB 46 and HB 907 have passed the NH House and are awaiting action in the Senate.
To reach for this goal, NH DES received a three-year grant from EPA's State Innovation Grant program that includes several key tasks. NH DES will work with colleges to include environmental issues in business curricula, provide training in environmental management for private and public sector organizations, establish specific strategies for small businesses, and search for a way to use the "bully pulpit" of the state government to recognize, and perhaps reward, within a legal framework, organizations that perform above and beyond the minimums.
For more information contact: Stephanie D'Agostino, NH DES (603) 271-6398; .
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP)
Pollution Prevention Trends
In January and March 2007 respectively, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) Office of Pollution Prevention and Right to Know released two reports entitled Community Right To Know Annual Report for Reporting Year 2004, An Analysis of Community Right To Know Data for 2004 and Industrial Pollution Prevention in New Jersey: A Trends Analysis of Materials Accounting Data, 1994 to 2004.
The "Community Right to Know Annual Report" provides summaries and analyses of the 2004 hazardous substances inventory data and the facility chemical throughput, environmental release, on-site waste management, and off-site transfer data reported by New Jersey companies. The report represents a landmark 20th year of collecting hazardous substances inventory data in New Jersey.
The "Trends Report" reviews statewide trends for the use, non-product output (NPO), and releases for several different universes of facilities and hazardous substances. The primary purpose of this report is to provide information to the residents of New Jersey on the use, generation, and release of hazardous substances. To estimate impacts from changes in economic activity, the report quantifies use, NPO, and releases using two different metrics. The first tracks the sum of the "unadjusted" data as it is reported by the facilities. The second uses a Production Index (PI) to adjust the reported quantities for changes in production. Tracking both quantities presents a more complete picture for hazardous substance trends. The unadjusted quantities are needed to address concerns of potential risks and exposure from hazardous chemicals in communities regardless of production levels at the facilities. The adjusted quantities are useful for assessing whether changes are due to increases or decreases in production, or whether they are more likely attributed to improvements in process efficiency and pollution prevention.
Highlights of the "Trends Report" include:
For more information visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/opppc/reports.html#p2.
Outreach to Industries That Use Priority Chemicals
The NJ DEP Office of Pollution Prevention and Right to Know is working with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and Rutgers University Center for Advanced Energy Systems (CAES) to develop a proposal for a 2007 Pollution Prevention grant.
The project will attempt to identify and prioritize, based on toxicity data available in EPA's High Production Volume Information System (HPVIS) and New Jersey's air toxics and chemical use and inventory databases, high production volume chemicals being used at facilities in New Jersey. Once these chemicals are prioritized, 5-10 facilities will be selected for pollution prevention audits to be conducted by CAES. The goal of these audits will be to assist/educate these facilities on the reduction or elimination of the most toxic high production volume hazardous chemicals and their subsequent waste. Additionally, multi-media sustainable business practice guidelines will be developed based on the audits that can be used by other facilities.
For more information contact: Michael DiGiore, NJ DEP (609) 777-0518, .
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC)
Reducing Mercury in Schools
The NYS DEC Pollution Prevention Unit in conjunction with staff from the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA) has continued to conduct, half-day workshops. The goal of these workshops is to promote the elimination of mercury in schools. Eleven (11) workshops were conducted from October 2006 through March 2007. The objective is to reach every county in the state; to date officials from 50 of 52 have participated in the workshop program. Outreach efforts target school administrators, science teachers, health and safety coordinators, building and grounds personnel, and school nurses.
As a result of these workshops and a demonstration project that was held in schools in the Albany area and in schools in the Rochester school district over 600 pounds of mercury was removed as follows:Workshops covered: how to identify, inventory, collect, and remove/recycle elemental mercury and mercury-containing items from schools. The workshops have included discussion about the health hazards associated with mercury exposure, what to do in the event of a mercury spill, New York State mercury legislation, and how to replace mercury-containing items with mercury-free alternatives. Informational handouts, brochures, a mercury inventory chart, and a poster called "Mean, Mad Mercury" have been distributed at the workshops as classroom aids to promote awareness of the hazards of mercury.
Additional activities are currently underway to remove mercury in the following areas of the state: Syracuse, Long Island, and New York City.
Fifteen additional workshops are currently in the planning stages and provide a sweep of the entire state. The first of these are being scheduled for later in September and will cover school districts located in Niagara, Orleans, Erie, Chautauqua, and Allegany counties.
For more information contact: Deborah Knight, NYS DEC (518) 402-9469, .
Small Business Pollution Prevention & Environmental Compliance
NYS DEC has now established a Small Business Pollution Prevention and Environmental Compliance Program and Council, and they have recently established a workgroup to assist the Division of Solid and Hazardous Materials in the development of an Environmental Results Program (ERP) to reach out to autobody shops and printers. Plans are underway to address these sectors in pilot programs in the Albany area and in Buffalo. As the program progresses, the program will be expanded to the entire state. The Council is also developing an outreach program to identify opportunities to introduce pollution prevention technologies to the businesses in SIC codes 30 (Plastics), 32 (Stone/Clay/Glass), and 36 (Electrical). These SIC codes were initially identified by reviewing 2004 TRI release data and looking for SIC codes showing increases since 2000.
For more information contact:Dennis Lucia, NYS DEC (518) 402-9469, .
New York Environmental Leaders (NYEL)
The NYEL final policy was endorsed by Commissioner Sheehan on December 26, 2006 and took effect on January 26, 2007. NYS DEC Staff is currently taking the initial steps necessary to develop application material for the program. The Commissioner Policy on NYEL sets forth program requirements, benefits to participating organizations, and the responsibilities of the Department in implementing this program. The Department is implementing NYEL to provide recognition and incentives for those organizations that can demonstrate the use of pollution prevention practices, beyond compliance performance, or sustainable business practices as a result of their participation in NYEL. NYEL provides organizations with incentives to sustain their existing high levels of performance, and to motivate and enable organizations that are committed to reaching higher levels of performance.
For more information contact: John Vana, NYS DEC (518) 402-9469, .
Environmental Excellence Awards (EEA)
The 2006 NY Environmental Excellence Awards (EEA) ceremony was held in December 2006 as part of the Healthy Environment - Healthy Economy symposium held in Albany at the Legislative Office Building. The ceremony was attended by approximately 200 people. Executive Deputy Lynette Stark, who attended on behalf of Commissioner Sheehan, presented the awards to:
For more information contact: Marna Posluszny, NYS DEC (518) 402-9469, .
Environmental Excellence Awards
Thirty-four applications were received for consideration for the 2006 New York Environmental Excellence Awards (EEA) program. The applications have undergone technical and compliance reviews, and 18 applications are being sent to the External Review Committee (ERC) for consideration. The ERC is broken into three teams, and each team reviews each application and develops recommendations independent of the other teams. The three teams then join for one final session to develop the final list of applicants to be sent to the Commissioner for possible award. ERC work group review sessions have been planned and will be held in various locations during September. The final ERC review is scheduled for October and plans are currently to hold an awards ceremony in early December.
For more information contact: Marna Posluszny, NYS DEC (518) 402-9469, .
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM)
Auto Salvage Yard Certification
Over the past winter, RI DEM held two stakeholder meetings to facilitate discussion and receive input as part of the preparation for finalizing and introducing the Auto Salvage Yard Facilities Certification Program. The stakeholder group includes representatives from RI DEM, the Narragansett Bay Commission, Auto Recyclers of Rhode Island, auto salvage yard operators, and the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns. Stakeholders reviewed program draft documents and the planned program design, and provided input and comments. RI DEM is finalizing the documents and is planning to launch the program to auto salvage yard facility operators in the spring of 2007. RI DEM will also be launching an Auto Salvage Yard Facility Certification Program webpage this spring. The webpage will contain documents and information for the certification program and be a resource for auto salvage yard facility operators.
RI DEM plans to have a workshop to introduce and explain the program to auto salvage yard facility operators, and is planning to hold a separate half day stormwater workshop for these operators in collaboration with the Narragansett Bay Commission in the near future.
For more information contact: Thomas E. Armstrong, RI DEM (401) 222-4700 x4412, .
Underground Storage Tank Alternative Inspections
In the fall of 2006, RI DEM was awarded an EPA State Innovation Grant to evaluate inspection alternatives for underground storage tanks. RI DEM, in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island, is working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL DEP) and EPA to assess whether an Environmental Results Program (ERP) approach to the Underground Storage Tank (UST) sector can be as effective, or more effective, than traditional enforcement programs in achieving regulatory compliance, and compare the costs and benefits of each approach. Work on the project began in January 2007.
The project will provide data to help with an upcoming EPA response to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (known as The Energy Act), which calls for a broad study of alternatives to traditional enforcement.
The RI DEM and FL DEP team allows a rather unique comparison to take place. Rhode Island is the only state that currently has an active UST ERP program. Florida has one of the oldest UST inspection and enforcement databases in the country. A goal of the project is to examine the transferability of ERP to other states as an alternative inspection/compliance program, and to provide critical data and data analysis to enhance other states' interest in implementing ERPs.
For more information contact: Thomas E. Armstrong, RI DEM (401) 222-4700 x4412, .
Exterior Lead Paint Removal Certification
The Exterior Lead Paint Removal Certification Program continues with 44 contractors, who remove exterior lead-based paint, now participating in this voluntary program. The program will conduct its second round of certification for painting contractors in the second half of 2007.
Over the past several months, RI DEM staff has participated in a Lead Rehabilitation Sub-Committee chaired by Rhode Island Housing, to develop and discuss a draft remediation plan to be provided to the Rhode Island Attorney General, to be part of the Lead remediation plan that will guide usage of the DuPont lead paint settlement between DuPont and the Attorney General.
RI DEM's webpage for Exterior Lead Paint Removal contains documents for the certification program, the list of certified contractors, exterior lead paint removal guidance, the federal Pre-Renovation Education Rule, and other lead renovation information.
For more information contact: Thomas E. Armstrong, RI DEM (401) 222-4700 x4412, ; http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/benviron/assist/extlead/index.htm.
Common Measures Project & States' ERP Consortium
RI DEM Office of Technical and Customer Assistance (OTCA) staff has been actively involved in the NEWMOA/State's Common Measures Project, and the States' ERP Consortium. The Common Measures Project supports state efforts to design and to use common measures of environmental performance in two sectors: small quantity generators and auto body. This will help to advance the use of valid statistical methods and measurement tools. It will also allow for the comparison of performance changes across states that result from the use of various environmental compliance assurance approaches, including Environmental Results Programs. The Common Measures workgroup involves staff from the NEWMOA-member states, EPA Region 1-New England, and NEWMOA.
The States' ERP Consortium was formed in 2006, to provide a means of networking, coordinating, developing policy, educating, and communicating with related environmental stakeholders in order to effectively use ERP tools at the state agency level. The group currently includes members from 16 states throughout the U.S., as well as EPA, ECOS, and NEWMOA staff.
For more information contact: Thomas E. Armstrong, RI DEM (401) 222-4700 x4412, .
Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC)
Wastewater Treatment Facilities (WWTFs) use large amounts of electricity – largely to power compressors that provide air to the secondary treatment process. The efficient use of energy by WWTF and the use of renewable energy sources can greatly help to stabilize sewage fees to area residents and businesses. Also, WWTFs that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases from aerobic and anaerobic treatment processes can help to reduce emissions through conservation and renewable energy efforts.
The Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) received $35,000 in matching grant funding from EPA Region 1-New England in 2005 to study energy conservation and renewable energy opportunities for WWTFs in the northeast. As part of this project, NBC is documenting the results of past and current energy conservation efforts at its two facilities located at Field's Point in Providence and Bucklin Point in East Providence and is assessing potential renewable energy projects that may be of benefit to NBC and WWTF operations in general. NBC has partnered with EPA's Energy Star Water/Wastewater Focus to establish baseline conditions for this project and to launch an internal energy tracking and benchmarking program at both facilities. A final project report scheduled for completion in 2007 will assess the potential of wind, solar, geothermal, tidal/wave, micro-hydroelectric, and biogas as ways of reducing the 2 MW electric demand at NBC's Field's Point facility and the 1.5 MW electric demand at the NBC Bucklin Point facility. A workshop summarizing the results of this project is being planned for the fall 2007 and will be open to all regional WWTFs and other interested parties.
To-date preliminary renewable energy assessments have been completed that have examined the feasibility of implementing technologies that utilize biogas, wind, hydroelectric, and solar as energy sources. In the fall of 2006 using additional grant funds, the Rhode Island Energy Office (RISEO) and NBC initiated two detailed feasibility studies to further investigate generating electricity using biogas in a Combine Heat and Power (CHP) system at the Bucklin Point WWTF and wind energy using a wind turbine at the Field's Point WWTF.
For more information contact: Barry Wenskowicz, NBC (401) 461 8848 x329, .
Anaerobic digestion is commonly used to convert sewage sludge into methane-containing biogas. The process is a good way to manage the large amount of sludge generated daily by the sewage treatment process, and it produces an energy surplus. Harnessing the energy from the biogas through an efficient combustion process destroys the methane. This is beneficial because methane is a greenhouse gas that is 20 times stronger than carbon dioxide. The NBC Bucklin Point WWTF produces approximately 200,000 cubic feet/day of biogas containing 60 percent methane. Currently, a major portion of this biogas is burned in an on-site boiler to heat the facility's three primary digesters – any excess biogas is flared. Using a $25,000 matching funds grant from the RISEO, NBC is studying how to use this biogas more effectively. Preliminary results indicate that it is most economically feasible to clean the biogas and generate electricity and useful heat in a 500 kW CHP system, such as a micro-turbine or reciprocating engine.
Contaminants in municipal wastewater can interfere with the energy recovery process. Volatile siloxane compounds that are commonly found in many personal care products transfer out of the sludge and into the biogas and subsequently foul the energy recovery equipment. As part of the feasibility study, NBC will determine the optimal methods to clean and use the biogas that will save money and reduce demand on the energy infrastructure. An outside engineering consultant is being chosen to confirm NBC's preliminary findings and to assist with the selection and final design of a system.
For more information contact: Barry Wenskowicz, NBC (401) 461 8848 x329, .
NBC received $25,000 in matching grant funding from RISEO to study the feasibility of utilizing one or two megawatt class wind turbines at its Fields Point WWTF. The renewable electricity produced would be used to offset a portion of the facility's electric demand. Currently the electric load at the Field's Point facility totals 2 MW and is expected to increase when the facility is upgraded to remove nutrients. Offsetting the demand behind the meter can result in a cost savings of as much as $0.11/kWh. NBC is currently measuring wind speeds at the site using a meteorological tower on loan from Roger Williams University.
If these on-going feasibility studies show acceptable returns on investment, NBC is prepared to partially finance either one or both of these projects using $2.6 M in zero interest Clean Renewable Energy Bonds allocated to NBC specifically for these projects. Successful implementation of these projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while helping to stabilize sewer rates in the area.
For more information contact: Barry Wenskowicz, NBC (401) 461 8848 x329, .
Stormwater Pollution Prevention
The NBC's two largest Wastewater Treatment Facilities (WWTFs) receive a mixture of residential, commercial, and industrial wastewater; and during rain events, stormwaters flow from ten Rhode Island cities and towns.
At the turn of the century, many urban areas across the nation built their sewer systems to carry both sewage and stormwater run-off in the same pipe. This is called a combined sewer. Both of NBC's WWTFs have been designed in this manner, and during a rain event enormous amounts of stormwater runoff enter the NBC sewer system. During dry weather, NBC's Field's Point WWTF receives on average, 45 million gallons/day (mgd) of wastewater, and its Bucklin Point WWTF receives about 24 mgd. During a rain event, however, wastewater flow can swell to as much as 200 mgd and 100 mgd, respectively. The additional hydraulic loading caused by the influx of stormwater into the combined sewers and the various contaminants found in stormwater increase treatment costs and decrease the effectiveness of the WWTFs to fully treat conventional pollutants found in municipal wastewater. Also, and most importantly, during heavy rain storms, combined flows can exceed the capacity of the sewer system resulting in the discharge of raw untreated sewage into local rivers and the Narragansett Bay. This is a combined sewer overflow.
To help minimize untreated wastewater from overflowing into water bodies during periods of heavy rain, the NBC has constructed an underground tunnel that will capture a major portion of stormwater flow from most rain events for eventual treatment. The underground combined sewer overflow tunnel is about three miles long and is expected to be completed in 2008. Because of the cost associated with treating stormwater and problems associated with treating pollutants often found in the stormwater flow, NBC has great interest in both reducing the amount of stormwater received at its facilities and minimizing the types and amount of contaminants in the stormwater.
With these concerns in mind, in 2004, the NBC applied for and received a $35,000 EPA Grant to develop a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Project. The Project consists of non-regulatory, free, in-depth site assessments of stormwater activity at local industries, and the promotion of applicable Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce the amount of stormwater leaving these facilities, and to minimize contamination of stormwater that does find its way into the sewer and/or the surrounding environment. To date, seven comprehensive site visits have been completed with facility owners. Checklists being used on the site visits were originally "field tested" on several auto salvage yards within the state last summer, during a separate EPA Grant-funded project (see description of RI DEM's salvage yard project).
Stormwater BMPs currently being encouraged include simple procedures, such as covering all outdoor chemical storage areas when not in use, covering fuel delivery/storage areas, and promoting the use of Low Impact Development (LID). LID focuses on using such technologies as green roofs, rain barrels and cisterns, and area gardens to retain and reduce stormwater runoff. All of these actions help local businesses comply with RI stormwater regulations, as well as with the NBC's Stormwater Discharge Permit Requirements.
A free, half-day workshop to address local stormwater requirements and concerns is being planned for the end of May, and will be co-sponsored by the RI DEM and the University of Rhode Island.
For more information contact: David Aucoin, NBC (401) 461-8848 x 418.
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC)
Greening Up Your Bottom Line Conference
A statewide business environmental conference, entitled "Greening Up Your Bottom Line," was held in September 2006. Topics included energy efficiency, green marketing and reporting, environmentally-preferable purchasing, and greening the corporate culture. The conference was co-sponsored and planned by businesses, non-profit corporations, VT DEC, and SBDC and attracted 194 attendees. Based on the success of the first conference, a second annual conference will be held on September 29, 2007.
For more information contact: Gary Gulka, VT DEC (802) 241-3626, .
Mercury Education & Reduction
VT DEC is implementing mercury auto switch removal legislation that was signed into law last year and took effect on January 1, 2007. The legislation does not include a bounty on auto switches; however, auto salvage yards are being paid through the National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program. To date, there are 63 facilities collecting switches. Program evaluation and measurement will be conducted at the end of 2007.
Dental Best Management Practice compliance self-certifications were due to VT DEC by January 31 by all dental practices. The BMPs address dental amalgam waste handling, hazardous waste handling, and a requirement for installation of amalgam separators. VT DEC is currently following-up on compliance and has found that more than 85 percent of practices have complied.
Mercury thermostat legislation, requiring manufacturer collection and financial incentives for contractor and homeowner thermostats, has passed the Vermont House and is currently in the Senate for consideration. The legislation is similar to thermostat legislation in Maine that is now being implemented.
VT DEC is currently assisting 16 hospitals to develop mercury reduction plans that address mercury use in patient care settings, including all outpatient facilities owned and operated by the hospital. Vermont's planning law exempts those facilities that can demonstrate 95 percent reduction in mercury use. Many hospitals have already achieved 95 percent mercury reduction, and this requirement will encourage reduction at those facilities that have not voluntarily stepped forward on the issue.
For more information contact: Gary Gulka, VT DEC (802) 241-3626, .
Hardware Store Lamp Recycling
The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VT SBDC), partnering with VT DEC, has provided management and financial administration for the Lamp Recycling Pilot Project with True Value hardware stores. This pilot project had 30 participating True Value hardware stores in the first year (2005), and now has 40 True Value and 23 Ace hardware stores in the program. Stores provide homeowners and small businesses with no-cost recycling services limited to six bulbs per visit (stores can accept more if they choose). Project funding is currently through a Supplemental Environmental Project. This service has clearly made small quantity fluorescent bulb recycling more convenient for consumers and small businesses alike.
VT DEC and VT SBDC developed a marketing plan for this project in cooperation with the hardware stores and Efficiency Vermont (the state's energy efficiency utility), and continue to market this project. VT DEC staff set up all of the True Value participating stores with lamp recycling boxes, marketing materials, surveys, and instructions. Recycling collection options were evaluated in this project: back-shipping the lamp recycling boxes to the New Hampshire True Value Distribution warehouse, and to the New York Ace distribution warehouse. These systems, with numbers for reordering lamp shipping boxes have worked well for all parties involved. To date the participating store's have collected 104,598 linear feet of fluorescent tubes and 2,768 circle-lines, u-tubes, and compact fluorescent bulbs for recycling.
In addition, VT SBDC has tabulated customer surveys from program users. A total of 457 surveys were received from 349 households, 98 businesses, and 11 municipalities. The survey respondent indicated that roughly 3 out of 4 customers would be willing to pay up to $.50 per bulb for the convenience of recycling bulbs in the future. Respondents indicated that they learned about the lamp recycling pilot project principally through the True Value in-store poster, followed by newspaper ads and True Value flyers.
For more information contact: Peter Crawford, VT SBDC (802) 728-1423, .
Vehicle Service Outreach
A series of 11 workshops for vehicle service businesses and fleets in Vermont is underway, with two workshops held in the fall of 2006 and 9 additional workshops in the spring of 2007. VT DEC hopes to generate a significant number of on-site visits as a result of the workshops.
For more information contact: Chad Cliburn, VT DEC, ; http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/ead/sbcap/index.htm.
Environmentally-Preferable Products (EPP) Database
In March, the Vermont Business Environmental Partnership launched a searchable database of EPP products and services available in the State. Users can select from categories of information, like janitorial products, office and paper products, and energy efficient products; users can then further narrow their search by subcategory. For example, under energy efficient products, a user can choose from light bulbs, appliances, and solar power. This functional database was created to support Vermont businesses in their efforts to purchase more environmentally-friendly products and services.
For more information contact: Chad Cliburn, VT DEC, ; Gary Gulka, VT DEC (802) 241-3626, ; http://www.vbep.org/EPP_search.cfm.
Environmental Networking Businesses
The Vermont Business Environmental Partnership, in conjunction with Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and the Vermont Environmental Consortium, is launching a new environmental networking series. Quarterly events will focus on creating a venue for Vermont businesses to network and learn about a variety of environmental topics. The first event will be held June 5, 2007 at Hull Printing in Barre, VT. Representatives from Hull Printing will describe options available to make print jobs environmentally-friendly. Business representatives will learn how to pick a green print shop and understand paper and ink options. Future events will focus on green purchasing, energy efficiency, climate change, and green building.
For more information contact: Chad Cliburn, VT DEC, ; Gary Gulka, VT DEC (802) 241-3626, .
NEW PUBLICATIONS & EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
This following provides a list of new publications and other educational resources available from the Northeast states.
MA Environmental Guide for the Medical Device Industry – Provides a roadmap tailored to meet the unique needs of medical device manufacturers in Massachusetts and is designed to:
NH Motor Vehicle Salvage Yard Environmental Compliance Manual & Self-Audit Checklist – Provides reference guide to help NH motor vehicle recyclers find out if they are operating their salvage yards within state and federal requirements.
NY Mercury Workgroup Recommendations to Meet the Mercury Challenge – Presents recommendations for a comprehensive mercury reduction strategy that will help protect public health and preserve natural resources of NY State.
What Do You Know About Mercury? – Provides basic background information on mercury, the human health effects of various forms of mercury, and the behavior of mercury in the environment.
Reducing Mercury in NY Schools, A Pilot Project – Summarizes the results of a pilot project to remove mercury from schools in the city of Rochester and from school districts throughout Albany County.
VT Vehicle Service & Repair Guide for Compliance & P2 – Provides a revised and reprinted guide to environmental compliance and P2 for vehicle service shops in VT.
EPA REGION 1-NEW ENGLAND
Environmental Technology Opportunities Portal
Work by EPA Region 1-New England has led the Agency to launch a national Environmental Technology Opportunities Portal (ETOP) to assist environmental technology developers and users. The portal features the Technology Connection Program, a service matching those that seeks new environmental technologies with over 900 providers of innovative technologies, pollution prevention techniques, and environmental management systems. The service is available to anyone needing technologies or services to solve an environmental problem, address a compliance violation, and improve environmental performance. Participants can be companies, individuals, consultants, or environmental agency staffs. There is no cost to use this service, and announcements for technology developers can be made anonymously.
For technology developers, EPA offers several programs that provide financial assistance, verification testing support, advocacy and information, and voluntary incentives. These programs are designed to foster the development, testing, and commercialization of new technologies and to enhance the use of environmental technologies by the government.
For more information contact: Myles Morse, U.S. EPA (202) 343-9706, ; www.epa.gov/etop.
NORTHEAST ASSISTANCE & P2 ROUNDTABLE
P2 Technology Profiles
NEWMOA has published online a series of P2 Technology Profiles that compile and distill available information on specific innovative technologies to provide a succinct overview. The latest in this series cover:
Enclosed Spray Gun Washers Using Alternative Cleaners - provides summary information about enclosed spray gun washers that use alternative cleaners in order to raise awareness of their potential to reduce hazardous chemical use and the generation of hazardous waste and air emissions.
Available at http://www.newmoa.org/prevention/p2tech/AltSprayGunWash.pdf.
Computer-to-Plate Lithographic Printing – provides an overview of computer-to-plate (CTP) lithographic printing technologies in order to raise awareness of its potential to reduce chemical use and the generation of hazardous waste and wastewater. The Profile presents information about the two main categories of CTP technology: thermal and visible light. Information about chemistry-free and process-free plates is also included.
Available at http://www.newmoa.org/prevention/p2tech/DirectToPlateProfile.pdf.
For more information contact: Jennifer Griffith, NEWMOA (617) 367-8558 x303
P2 Results Aggregation Tool
NEWMOA has posted a Regional Aggregation Module of the Pollution Prevention Measurement Aggregation Tool on its website and is currently collecting and posting validated pollution prevention data from state and local government programs in the Northeast for calendar years 2004 and 2005. The NEWMOA Regional Aggregation Module generates an aggregated P2 results report for the entire region.
For more information contact: Andy Bray, NEWMOA (617) 367-8558 x306 ; http://www.newmoa.org/measurement/.
Northeast Assistance & P2 News Seeks to Reduce Paper Waste
As a way to save paper and printing costs, NEWMOA would like to transition readers of this newsletter to electronic distribution, where appropriate and desirable. Currently NEWMOA distributes the newsletter via an email to about 75 recipients and sends out at least 1,300 in hard copy. To receive the newsletter via email, please use the form on the back of this newsletter, or send an email to requesting a change in the delivery method and indicating the email address to use. Thanks for helping to reduce paper waste!
Pollution Prevention News!
NEWMOA's Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) Center collects and publishes online assistance and P2-related news items. P2News is frequently updated – so check in regularly.
|NORTHEAST ASSISTANCE & P2 CALENDAR
For more up-to-date listings of upcoming events, visit www.newmoa.org/
|TITLE||SPONSOR||DATE / LOCATION||CONTACT|
|National Environmental Partnership Summit||NPPR||May 7-11; New Orleans, LA||www.p2.org|
|Electronics Recycling Summit||IAER||May 7-10; Orlando, FL||http://www.iaer.org/summit/summit2007b.htm|
|Storm Water - U.S. EPA's New Rule & Local Initiatives||CMBEN||May 8; Worcester, MA||(508) 754-8560|
|2007 H2E Environmental Excellence Summit||H2E||May 14-15, Minneapolis, MNfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|18th Annual Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference||NEIWPCC||May 21-23; Newport, RI||www.neiwpcc.org|
|Third National Product Stewardship Forum||PSI||May 30-31; San Francisco, CA||www.productstewardship.us|
|Business & Sustainability Conference||The Conference Board||May 30-June 1; Washington, DC||http://www.conference-board.org|
|26th Annual Recycling Conference & Expo||NRRA||June 4-5; Nashua, NH||www.nrra.net|
|Federal Environmental Symposium||Federal Facilities Compliance Assistance Center||June 4-6; Bethesda, MD||www.fedcenter.gov|
|VT Business Environmental Partnership Meeting||VT DEC||June 5, 2007; Barre, VTemail@example.com|
|2007 International Dialogue on Environmental Policy||MSWG||June 17-21; Madison, WI||www.mswg.org|
|A&WMA's 100th Annual Conference & Exhibition||AWMA||June 26-28; Pittsburg, PA||www.awma.org|
|Recycling Metals From Industrial Waste||Colorado School of Mines||June 26-28; Golden, CO||http://www.mines.edu/outreach/cont_ed|
|Sustainable Engineering Workshops (2 sessions)||EPA & NSF||July 15-7 or July 18-20; Austin, TX||http://online.csengin.org/cse/|
|2007 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry||ACEEE||July 24-27; White Plains, NY||www.aceee.org|
|Industrial Water Quality 2007||NEWEA & WEF||July 29-Aug 1; Providence, RI||www.wef.org|
|Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care Products||NEIWPCC||August 8-9; Portland, ME||www.neiwpcc.org|
|North American Conference on Ecotourism||TIES||September 26-29; Madison, WI||www.ecotourism.org|
|Greening Up Your Bottom Line||VT DEC||September 29; VT||(802) 241-3626|
|North American Electronics Recycling Conference||Resource Recycling||October 24-25; Atlanta, GA||www.e-scrapnews.com|
Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA)
NEWMOA is a non-profit, non-partisan interstate governmental association. The membership is composed of state environmental agency directors of the pollution prevention, hazardous and solid waste, and waste site cleanup programs in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
NEWMOA's mission is to develop and sustain an effective partnership of states to explore, develop, promote, and implement environmentally-sound solutions for the reduction and management of materials and waste, and for the remediation of contaminated sites, in order to achieve a clean and healthy environment. The group fulfills this mission by providing a variety of support services that:
NEWMOA's Assistance and P2 Program was established in 1989 to enhance the capabilities of the state and local government environmental officials in the Northeast to implement effective multimedia source reduction and assistance programs to promote sustainability and improvement in public health and the environment. The program is called the Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NE A & P2 Roundtable). This program involves the following components:
For more information contact: Terri Goldberg, NEWMOA (617) 367-8558 x302, , or visit www.newmoa.org/prevention.
NE Assistance & Pollution Prevention News
Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News is published a few times per year by NEWMOA's Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NE A & P2 Roundtable). The publication is provided free to the Northeast states, EPA, and other interested individuals and is supported by funds from EPA Region 1-New England and the Northeast States.
The NE A & P2 Roundtable would like to thank the following people for writing and producing this newsletter: Karen Angelo, MA TURI; Tom Armstrong, RI DEM; Dave Aucoin, NBC; Rachel Colella, NEWMOA; Peter Cooke, ME DEP; Peter Crawford, VT SBDC; Marcia Deegler, MA OSD; Michael DiGiore, NJ DEP; Gary Gulka, VT DEC; Doug Kievit-Kylar, VT DEC; Sara Johnson, NH DES; Kurt Larson, NYS OGS; Dennis Lucia, NYS DEC; Jim McCaughey, NBC; Christopher McIsaac, MA OTA; Kim Trella, CT DEP; Paul Walsh, MA DEP, and Barry Wenskowicz, NBC. Terri Goldberg managed production of the newsletter.
Please use the form at the back of this issue to request an address change, to add your name to the mailing list, or to request an electronic version of the newsletter.
The Northeast A & P2 Roundtable is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, P2Rx, a national network of regional P2 information centers linked together to facilitate information retrieval from experts around the country.
For more information visit: http://www.newmoa.org/prevention/ or www.P2Rx.org/.
Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News
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