New home for the GLRPPR Blog

May 22nd, 2018 by

The GLRPPR Blog has relocated to https://publish.illinois.edu/great-lakes-p2/. Visit us there to read our most recent posts.

ESRC’s Sustainable Business Training Series

April 11th, 2018 by

The Environmental Sustainability Resource Center (ESRC), GLRPPR’s P2Rx partner serving EPA regions 3 and 4, is hosting a series of training webinars intended to enhance business operations through applied sustainability strategies. The four-part webinar series is designed to educate commercial and industrial facilities on the business case for environmental sustainability, identify building blocks for a successful program and provide examples and resources to help turn actions into outcomes.

Topics include:

  • Waste minimization
  • The “Cost of Doing Nothing”
  • Chemical substitution, reuse and waste exchanges
  • Evaluation tools and resources
  • Success story presentation
  • Technical assistance

You can find links to these and other P2 training opportunities on the Training Videos and Webinars page of the Pollution Prevention 101 LibGuide.

Minneapolis first ‘perc-free’ city in the nation

February 14th, 2018 by

Minneapolis became the first city in the nation to go entirely “perc-free” as the last dry cleaner switched over to a safer process. With help from the City of Minneapolis, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, East Isles Resident Association and Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association, Osman Cleaners switched its machines over from using perchloroethylene – also called “perc” – to a process using clean solvents safer for employees, neighbors and customers. In less than six years since the City’s cost-sharing program began, Minneapolis has helped the last nine dry cleaners in the city using perchloroethylene replace their equipment to make the switch.

Perchloroethylene is the main chemical solvent used in dry cleaning. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies perchloroethylene as a “likely carcinogen”; it also has the potential to damage the kidneys, liver, immune system and blood system, and affect reproduction and fetal development. A 2015 Minneapolis Health Department study detected 99 occasions of perchloroethylene above levels that are considered health risks over a long period of time in outdoor, ambient air in Minneapolis.

Financial assistance from the neighborhood groups made this and other cost-prohibitive projects possible for small businesses and also laid groundwork for more healthy City-neighborhood partnerships.

The funds for the program come from pollution control fees that businesses pay to the City. Find more information about the City’s green business cost-sharing programs here.

Indiana Partners for Pollution Prevention seeks presentations for 2018 Conference and Trade Show

January 24th, 2018 by

The Indiana Partners for Pollution Prevention (http://www.in.gov/idem/ppp/2329.htm) invites submission of
presentation proposals for the 21st Annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Trade Show on September
19, 2018 at The Marriott North Indianapolis, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The theme of the conference is Sustainability: Pollution Prevention is a Piece of the Puzzle.

The Annual Conference and Trade Show is attended by manufacturers, consultants, not‐for‐profits, government agencies, and vendors interested in promoting pollution prevention efforts in Indiana and beyond. Updated information about the 2018 Conference
will be available at http://www.in.gov/idem/ppp/2334.htm. Presentations from the 2017 conference can be
seen at http://www.in.gov/idem/ppp/2333.htm.

Topics of interest include:

  • wastewater management and success stories in pollution prevention/reduction via
    manufacturing efficiency;
  • green chemistry and engineering;
  • emerging technologies for waste reduction and treatment; and
  • resource conservation.

Presentations that discuss the intersection of sustainability and environmental stewardship with pollution prevention are also sought. Presentations that provide continuing education units (CEUs) for wastewater operator/apprentice, drinking water operator, legal, and professional engineer credits will be given highest consideration.

Submissions must be received by March 11, 2017.

Selection Criteria

Particular consideration will be given to presentations that discuss:

  • Pollution prevention, sustainability, and related concepts
  • Emerging innovations in pollution prevention
  • Success stories, new technologies, and best management practices
  • Economic analyses and life cycle assessments
  • Demonstrated protection of human health and the environment
  • Environmental Management Systems
  • Updates on existing and emerging regulations and government programs and their implications

Please note the definition of pollution prevention used by the Partners: Pollution prevention (P2) means working at the source of pollutants to prevent them from being generated or to reduce the amount generated. It is using materials and energy more efficiently, and conserving natural resources, including water. It is following best management practices, and involving all employees in their implementation, to reduce and prevent pollution. Finally, P2 means also seeing the financial benefits of increased efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water or other resources.

Instructions for Submitting Proposals

You may submit more than one presentation idea. All submissions must be received by March 11, 2018.

For each proposed presentation, please submit the requested information to Steve Leeper via email
(stephen.leeper@evonik.com) or U.S. Mail to the address below:
Steve Leeper
Evonik Corporation Tippecanoe Laboratories
Mail Stop TL72
1650 Lilly Road
Lafayette, IN 47909‐9201

Presenter(s):
Name(s) of Author(s):
Title(s) of Author(s):
Organization(s):
Address(es):
Phone Number(s):
Fax Number(s):
Email(s):
Biography for each author (Limit: 125 words – per author):

  1. Presentation Title:
  2. Abstract (Limit: 200 words – to be printed in the conference materials and included on the conference web
    site, for accepted presentations):
  3. Intended Audience:
  4. Learning Objectives (i.e., knowledge and skills conveyed by your presentation):
  5. Previous presentation of this material, if any (When and Where):
  6. Audio Visual Needs (beyond microphones, screens, projectors, and laptop computers):
  7. Planned Duration (either 25 or 50 minutes, including time for questions and discussion):

All submitters will be notified of the decisions of the Executive Committee by mid‐April 2016.

The Executive Committee reserves the right to accept or reject presentations based on fit with the overall conference agenda. Submission of a proposal does not guarantee participation in the conference program.

For accepted presentations, a draft presentation MUST be submitted to the Partners by June 1, 2018. Draft presentations will be reviewed and comments provided to provide presenters with insight into the conference audience and to ensure that presentations are strategically focused.

Final presentations MUST be received (PowerPoint and/or pdf) to Partners by September 1, 2018.

Please address any questions to Steve Leeper (stephen.leeper@evonik.com; 765‐477‐4302). Backup contacts are Ben McKnight (bmcknight@electro‐spec.com; 317‐738‐9199 ext 935) and Jennifer Collins (jcollins1@idem.in.gov; 317‐234‐9730).

New data summary reports available: Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Fabricated Metals Industry

December 13th, 2017 by

In 2015, the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR) began a project to analyze data from U.S. EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI)Greenhouse Gas Emissions database, and the Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns database to determine the impact of manufacturing on the economy and environment of the six states in U.S. EPA Region 5. The following fact sheets are currently available:

The full report, The Economic and Environmental Impact of Great Lakes Manufacturing: Snapshot of Emissions, Pollution Prevention Practices, and Economic Impact Using Public Data, is available in IDEALS, the University of Illinois’ institutional repository.

Rethinking the holidays

December 12th, 2017 by

This post originally appeared on Environmental News Bits.

It’s that time of year again. The days are at their shortest, the temperature has plummeted (at least here in Illinois), and the stores are hitting all of us with messages to buy, buy, buy.

Whether you’re tired of the commercialization of the season, want to lighten up your environmental footprint, or just don’t have a lot of money to spend on gifts, here are some alternatives to consider.

New Dream’s guide to simplifying the holidays is a good place to start.  The site includes SoKind, an alternative gift registry that encourages the giving of homemade gifts, charitable donations, secondhand goods, experiences, time, day-of-event help, and more. It also features a catalog of low-cost, non-material gift ideas and a printable coupon book, an easy-to-use template that you can print out, customize, and give to family and friends of all ages.

Looking to give the gift of experience instead of stuff? The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s list of 50 things you can give that are more about experience is a great place to start. Although some of the suggestions highlight Minnesota experiences, they can help spark ideas that are local to you (or your recipient).

Finally, you can give the gift of charity this holiday season. Make a gift contribution to an organization that does work that’s important to your friends and family.

For other tips on reducing holiday waste, see:

Presentations from the Toxic Use Reduction Institute’s Fall 2017 Continuing Education Meeting now available

December 5th, 2017 by

The Massachusetts Toxic Use Reduction Institute recently hosted an continuing education meeting. The presentations from that event are now available on their web site. They include:

Strategies for Life Cycle Thinking and Product Sustainability at GE Plenary Speaker: Bill Flanagan, Aspire Sustainability
Partners Update – November 16, 2017
Session A
Materials Accounting Refresher Jeff Bibeau, Tighe & Bond
Session B
Reducing Chemicals in Water Demineralization Systems Maura Hawkins, Berkshire Environmental Consultants
Session C
Business Value of LCA at GE Bill Flanagan, Aspire Sustainability
Leveraging LCA to Improve TUR Tom Gloria, Industrial Ecology Consultants
Product Sustainability: An Intro to Life Cycle Assessment & Circular Economy Sebastian Birke, ThinkStep
Marketing Sustainability via LCAs Raymond Lizotte, Schneider Electric
Session D
Improved Operations and Maintenance:
The Low Hanging Fruit
Heather Tenney, Toxics Use Reduction Institute
A Workers Perspective; Transitioning  to Safer Chemicals Steve Gauthier, Gauthier Safety Consulting
Session E
Resource Conservation Planning & Saving Energy with Metering Tools Rich Bizzozero, MA Office of Technical Assistance
Saving Energy With Meter Data Lauren Mattison, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Session F
Pollution Prevention Options Analysis System Jason Marshall, Toxics Use Reduction Institute
Using P2OASys Alicia McCarthy, Toxics Use Reduction Institute
Options Evaluation Tool Pam Eliason,  Toxics Use Reduction Institute
P2OASys Activity 1
P2OASys Activity 2

Regional U.S. EPA P2 grant project summaries now available on the GLRPPR web site

November 15th, 2017 by

Project summaries highlighting recent work by U.S. EPA Region 5 P2 grantees are now available on the GLRPPR web site. They include:

We’ll be updating the page as EPA releases new summaries.

 

Current issue of MnTAP Source now available

November 9th, 2017 by

The latest issue of MnTAP Source is now available. The current issue includes case studies in which MnTAP has partnered with Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, Minnesota Department of Commerce, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to work with Minnesota municipal wastewater treatment facilities to identify significant energy efficiency (E2) projects.

The complete table of contents appears below:

  • Wastewater Treatment Plant Project: Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Generation – pg 1
  • Opportunities: What’s New – pg 2
    • Tune Up Your Food Processing Act!
    • Cleaning the Air in North Minneapolis
    • MnTAP’s Website Got a Makeover!
  • Safer Products:  – pg 3
    • Cleaner Brake Cleaners in Duluth, MN
    • Foundry Sand Silica Alternatives
  • Wastewater Energy Efficiency – pg 4
    • Large Energy Savings Found in Saint Peter and New Prague WWTPs
  • Energy Efficiency Impacts the Bottom Line & Climate Health – pg 5
    • Staff Snapshot: A.J. Van den Berghe
    • Operating Sustainably at Pine River
  • Results – pg 6
    • Applying E3 to Fiber Reinforced Plastics
    • Good Advice from 2003 – Tight as a Drum
    • Minnesota Materials Exchange
  • Symposium – pg 7
    • 2017 Interns Identify Over $1,514,000 in Savings
  • How can we help you? – pg 8

You can read past issues of the newsletter here.

Green Events Guide

November 7th, 2017 by

The Green Events Guide is geared to support planning and action around seven focus areas common to public events:

  • Food and Food Service
  • Venue
  • Communications and Event Materials
  • Vendors
  • People
  • Transportation
  • Housing

It is intended to assist community-based, volunteer event planning leaders and teams, especially folks in rural areas. This FREE online resource was developed by the EarthWays Center of Missouri Botanical Garden, with support from the U.S. EPA. The completed guide includes a webinar recorded on 10/20/17.