Northeast States Pollution Prevention News, Fall 2009
Vol. 19 No. 2 Fall 2009


Greening Government
  -New Hampshire
  -New Jersey
  -New York
  -Rhode Island
  -Northeast States Award Green Cleaning Contract
  -ASTSWMO's Greening Government Survey
  -Greening NEWMOA's Office
  -Cleaning for Health: An Interview with Carol Westinghouse, Program Manager, Informed Green Solutions, Inc.
  -Web Resources

  -DEP: Organic Land Care Workshops
  -DEP: Green Lodging
  -DEP: Green Cleaning

  -DEP: P2 Program Activities

  -DEP: Dental Practices & Recycling Mercury Waste
  -TURI: Update on Funding
  -TURI: TUR Science Advisory Board
  -TURI: 20th Anniversary Symposium & Conference
  -TURI: Statehouse Event Honors Leaders
  -TURI: TURI Laboratory
  -OTA: Toxics Use Reduction Administrative Council

New Hampshire
  -DES: Mercury Reduction
  -DES: Lean & the Environment
  -DES: Hospitality
  -DES: Green Slopes

New Jersey
  -DEP: Wet Garment Cleaning
  -DEP: Green Auto Repair
  -DEP: P2 Planning

New York
  -NYS DEC: Green Hospitality & Tourism

Rhode Island
  -NBC: Fats, Oil, & Grease

  -DEC: Business Environmental Partnership
  -DEC: Greening Up Your Bottom Line Conference
  -DEC: Auto Body Workshops
  -DEC: Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence
  -DEC: Emergency Planning Seminars

New Publications & Educational Materials

EPA Region I - New England
  -Regional Climate-Waste Action Plan
  -Mercury Science & Policy Conference
  -Call for P2 Results


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 that helps achieve a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment by exploring, developing, promoting, and implementing environmentally sound solutions for:

  • Reducing materials use and preventing pollution and waste,
  • Properly reusing and recycling discarded materials that have value,
  • Safely managing solid and hazardous wastes, and
  • Remediating contaminated sites.

The group fulfills this mission by providing a variety of support services that:

  • facilitate communication and cooperation among member states, between the states and the U.S. EPA, and between the states and other stakeholders;
  • provide research on and evaluation of emerging issues, best practices, and data to help state programs maximize efficiency and effectiveness; and
  • facilitate development of regional approaches to solving critical environmental problems.

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:

  • NE A & P2 Roundtable meetings and workgroups,
  • regional information resource center and online databases,
  • source reduction research and publications,
  • training events, and
  • regional policy coordination and development.

Feature Article

Greening Government
Are you the person in your office that is constantly reminding your co-workers to recycle? Do you go around turning off computers at the end of the day? Do you want your workplace to be as green as you are? You're not alone. In a survey commissioned by National Geographic in February 2008, more than 80 percent of U.S. workers polled said that they believe that working for a company or organization that makes the environment a top priority is important. As a result, institutions, government agencies, and businesses are greening their operations and products and forming "green teams" to reduce waste generation, start recycling programs, reduce energy, organize carpools, and much more.

Local, state, and federal environmental agencies in the Northeast are increasingly promoting green practices to a wide variety of audiences within their jurisdictions while at the same time developing initiatives to "walk the talk" and demonstrate sustainability leadership. The programs described below have initiated a wide variety of greening government approaches that provide models from others can learn.

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP) established a team to green the agency in 1995. Originally known as the Pollution Prevention (P2) Work Group, the group recently changed its name to the Green Team to reflect its current mission to implement the Commissioner's Conservation Plan. The goals of the Plan are to reduce energy, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions; measure progress; and make CT DEP a model for other state agencies.

The Green Team is made up of volunteers from a cross-section of departments and jobs. They work closely with the building manager and cleaning crew to ensure that recycling, composting, and special projects like building-wide cleanouts, achieve the highest results. The Green Team is further organized into committees that roughly correspond with sections of the Plan. The committees currently include Energy Efficiency, Green Purchasing, Education, Building Improvements, Reducing Water, the ReSupply Center, and Floor Teams. While the full Green Team meets monthly, committees meet individually and work on specific projects.

The Green Team is celebrating the 11th year of composting food waste at the CT DEP Headquarters in Hartford this year. Over 43 tons of food waste has been diverted from the trash during this time, providing finished compost for gardens at state parks.

Office Supplies
The ReSupply Center came about as a result of a major building-wide clean-out in May 2008. Over a two week period, CT DEP employees recycled 13 tons of paper, and collected hundreds of binders, thousands of paper clips, and other office supplies, all in good condition. At the time, there was no central location to store these reusable materials so the Green Team made this a priority, locating space in the building that could be dedicated to creating a ReSupply Center. They solicited the extra supplies stored in cabinets and boxes throughout the building from last year's cleanout, sorted and organized them, and launched the Center on Earth Day 2009. Extra non-state property like the three-ring binders received from permit applicants or the plastic spirals from reports are donated to schools and non-profits for art projects and other uses. The ReSupply Center has saved the State hundreds of dollars by avoiding purchase of new office supplies and eliminated the pollution caused by creating and transporting new supplies.

CT DEP joined the Northeast States Electronics Challenge in 2008, refreshing its old computers with over 700 "green" computers that meet the Silver Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) rating. Since purchasing is the responsibility of the Department of Information Technology (DOIT), CT DEP's Green Team requested that DOIT change the bid requirements for state purchased computers so that at a minimum, all state purchased computers meet the Silver EPEAT rating. An end-of-life contract is covered by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), and the Green Team will be working with them to ensure the highest standards for recycling of the state's electronic components.

Other Products
Finally, the Green Team seeks to increase the amount of environmentally preferable products (EPP) purchased by CT DEP and other state agencies. The DAS website is a resource to identify these items, including cleaners that must meet Green Seal or Ecologo standards and copy paper with 30 percent minimum post-consumer recycled content. In the upcoming year, the Team will be expanding the list of items purchased in-house that meet EPP criteria, including lined notepads, sticky notes, and correcting fluid.

For more information, contact: Connie Mendolia, CT DEP (860) 424-3243; Mary Sherwin, CT DEP (860) 424-3246.

In 2003, Maine enacted in statute the goals established in the 2001 Agreement among the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers to reduce GHGs, ultimately by 75 percent to 80 percent from 1990 levels. Maine's 2003 Climate Act directed the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) to develop at least 50 agreements with businesses, institutions, municipalities, and non-profit organizations to voluntarily reduce their GHG emissions. The ME DEP has reached out to prospective participants through personal contact, the internet, workshops, and other means. As a result of these efforts, 70 participants, representing 140 businesses, municipalities, and institutions, have joined the Governor's Carbon Challenge and have committed to reduce their GHG emissions. Participants are required to establish an emissions baseline and measure and report their energy usage annually. ME DEP has developed a computer model that converts their annual energy consumption into annual carbon emissions. ME DEP's Office of Innovation and Assistance provides technical assistance to participants, including determining baseline data and conducting level one energy audits. In addition, the Office connects participants with other programs that provide energy efficiency equipment incentives and rebates.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) P2 Program Manager reviews all vendor contracts and requests for proposals to ensure that they meet what the State considers to be "environmentally preferable products," based on the following nationally-recognized certification programs and policies: