The 2021 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) awards presented by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) celebrate the successes of innovators in the areas of pollution prevention and sustainability.
P2 Project Award: CD Aero – “nPB Elimination for Cleaning Process”
CD Aero was operating a very large vapor degreaser and using nPB, a regulated halogenated solvent, as the cleaning solvent to remove oils and particulates from the capacitor surface, both aluminum and ceramic. The degreaser occupied over 2,000 ft2 of manufacturing space and required 10,000 pounds of solvent to work correctly. Annual fugitive emissions from the degreaser were 5,600 pounds.
CD Aero worked with the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) and the Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) over several years to find a suitable alternative cleaning process to fit their needs. Recently there was a change in ownership and the new owners established replacing nPB with an aqueous alternative as a priority. CD Aero was also motivated to eliminate the use of nPB to improve the
overall work environment and protect the natural environment.
Here is a summary of the results:
P2 Multi-Media Award: NorTex Metal Finishing, Shelby Wolters, Owner & CEO
NorTex Metal Finishing participated in an on-site assessment provided by TMAC through an EPA Region 6 Pollution Prevention grant by delivering an Economy – Energy – Environment (E3) Assessment. The Garland, TX metal finishing facility was evaluated for lean, energy and environmental improvement opportunities and associated cost savings.
TMAC identified heat loss from NorTex’s uninsulated etch tanks and suggested insulating the tanks with “UFO-style” floats while also installing a temperature thermocouple monitoring system to capture the actual energy consumption before and after the insulating spheres were installed. Real time data was collected wirelessly and viewed remotely by TMAC’s Smart Manufacturing team for several weeks. The collected data gave NorTex the actual measurements, supporting the success of implementing the P2 solution.
In addition to the electrical savings from reducing heat loss, the floats also reduced employee exposure to fumes, chemical evaporation, drag out and exhaust system maintenance. This effort identified 85,000 kWh reductions, over $6,000 in electricity cost savings, 31% increase in available etch tank capacity as a result of consistent tank temperature, and a $3,500 sales tax refund from their manufacturing electricity usage.
In recognition of TMAC’s work, NorTex Metal owner Shelby Wolters stated, “It was really great working with TMAC to bring another set of well-trained eyes into our facility. Their ability to provide onsite data collection helped us validate our actions to generate real savings for NorTex. We are looking forward to our continued partnership with TMAC and our efforts to make positive changes to advance our ability to meet the needs of our customers.”
Ken Zarker Memorial P2 Champion Award: Katy Wolf
As Executive Director for the Institute for Research and Technical Assistance (IRTA) in Los Angeles, California for thirty years (April 1990 – April 2020), Dr. Katy Wolf provided many pollution prevention programs with assistance in understanding the hazards of solvents and the feasibility of safer substitution. Dr. Wolf established and operated the Pollution Prevention Center within IRTA which conducted technical P2 and green chemistry projects sponsored by local, state and federal government agencies. The organization also focused on projects that involve finding safer alternatives and demonstrating new and emerging technologies. Today she continues to consult with Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center on an EPA Pollution Prevention grant and with the California Department of Public Health Hazard Evaluation System & Information Service (HESIS) on safer alternatives to n-propyl bromide.
Fred Granek Memorial P2 Ambassador Award: Liz Harriman
As Deputy Director of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell, Liz Harriman has helped lead the TURA program’s development in nearly every respect of implementation and problem-solving, and helped guide difficult public conversations on chemicals to successful conclusions, including the first national demonstration of the practice of alternatives assessment, and the deliberations of the Science Advisory Board and policy responses concerning chemical designations. She continues to manage the operations and technical functions of the Institute, as well as working with the other TURA agencies to set direction for the program. In her more than 20 years of working at the Institute, she has provided technical research and support services to Massachusetts companies with the goal of identifying safer alternatives to toxic chemicals used in manufacturing and products. Liz Recent technical work includes prioritization and hazard evaluation of chemicals, chemical alternatives assessment and flame retardants. Ms. Harriman is a registered Professional Engineer and holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Cornell University in Civil Engineering and a Master's degree in Hazardous Materials Management from Tufts University. (https://www.turi.org/About/Our_Team/Harriman_Liz)
P2 Educator Award: Toxics Use Reduction Institute Cleaning Lab
During the past year, the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) Cleaning Lab has provided more than 15 trainings on safer disinfecting practices and chemicals for combating the spread of COVID-19. As organizations ramped up cleaning and disinfecting practices, and therefore the use of toxic chemicals, the TURI Lab staff offered their expertise on safer products and practices that reduce the risk to the virus. Without their expertise in identifying safer chemicals, many would have gone down a path of preventing one hazard only to switch another. Staff also conducted much-needed performance evaluations for various safer active ingredient-based products. They incorporated their findings on a continuous basis into the virtual trainings to organizations such as schools, businesses, community groups and government agencies across the country.
P2 Volunteer Award: Laurie Johnson, 5280 Waste Solutions
Laurie has been a volunteer member of the Colorado Pollution Prevention Advisory Board (PPAB) for over 3 years setting pollution prevention vision and strategies. Over that time, she has helped the board establish a clear vision and set areas of focus. In 2020, however, Laurie went above and beyond to volunteer to work with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) staff to plan and facilitate a strategic planning session for the PPAB's Assistance Committee. Laurie led the facilitation and continues to volunteer her time to work with the committee to refine the goals/objectives into a cohesive work plan that will guide the program for the next three years.
Additionally, Laurie's leadership on the PPAB has been instrumental in establishing clear PPAB areas of focus and action items that have positively contributed to the work of the Sustainability Unit at CDPHE. Her candor and practical advice help us to improve our green business programs and be more effective.
In times when government resources are scarce and more and more is demanded of staff - having a volunteer spend such a significant amount of time helping us be better is exceptional. Laurie's leadership has inspired staff and board members to establish bold goals backed up with a clear action plan to reach them.