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NPPR News

April 2022

Message from the Chair

by Laura Henne


NPPR is pleased to welcome Michelle Spitznagel as our new Communications Coordinator.

Michelle was formerly a technical assistance provider with the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance for many years. She previously served on the NPPR Board of Directors as the Region 1 representative, was a workgroup co-chair, and was an active participant in several of NPPR's past in-person conferences.

With Michelle's help, we can advertise your job postings and events, increase NPPR's social media presence, and expand workgroups. If you are interested in forming a new workgroup, please reach out to us at admin@p2.org. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

NPPR presents 2021 MVP2 Awards to Liz Harriman and TURI Cleaning Lab

TOP LEFT: Rick Reibstein, Jason Marshall, and Emily Byrne; TOP RIGHT: Rick Reibstein and Jason Marshall; BOTTOM LEFT: Liz Harriman and Rick Reibstein; BOTTOM RIGHT: Rick Reibstein, Liz Harriman, and Emily Byrne

TOP LEFT: Rick Reibstein, Jason Marshall, and Emily Byrne
TOP RIGHT: Rick Reibstein and Jason Marshall
BOTTOM LEFT: Liz Harriman and Rick Reibstein
BOTTOM RIGHT: Rick Reibstein, Liz Harriman, and Emily Byrne

On March 23, NPPR Board of Directors member Rick Reibstein presented 2021 MVP2 awards to Liz Harriman (Fred Granek Memorial P2 Ambassador Award) and the TURI Cleaning Lab (P2 Educator Award).

Emily Bryne, a representative from Massachusetts Congresswoman Lori Trahan’s office, also presented citations of recognition to both award winners.

About the awards

NPPR established the Fred Granek Memorial P2 Ambassador Award in honor of Fred Granek who passed away suddenly in January of 2014. It is given to an individual who has demonstrated the same passion for pollution prevention that Fred demonstrated throughout his 39 year career in environmental protection. The award also recognizes people who travel beyond their own borders to share information, ideas, and technologies that will avoid, eliminate, and reduce waste.

Nominate someone for the Fred Granek Memorial p2 Ambassador Award.

The P2 Educator of the Year Award celebrates a teacher, professor, or trainer whose work with students has an outstanding impact on pollution prevention in one or more of the following areas: 

  • setting pollution prevention vision and strategies; 
  • creating, advancing or inspiring work in pollution prevention;
  • implementing pollution prevention projects; and/or 
  • achieving significant impact on pollution prevention.

Nominate someone for the P2 Educator Award.

Learn more about the winners and nominate someone for the 2022 awards

Workgroup updates

About NPPR Workgroups

NPPR's workgroups bring together P2 professionals from across the country to share ideas, information, and deliverables. The topical areas coincide with EPA national emphasis areas and other areas of interest to the P2 community.

NPPR currently hosts six active workgroups. They are:

Food & Beverage

During the March workgroup meeting, Massachusetts TURI presented results of their EPA Healthy Communities grant of 2020, which focused on process improvements and P2 at F&B facilities in New England. They used a Lean approach to focus on projects to reduce water, energy, and chemical use as well as food waste reduction.  

The next workgroup meeting will be in early May. Please email admin@p2.org if you are interesting in receiving workgroup notifications.

Webinar recordings are available on the F&B workgroup resource page.

From the states

Region 1

Consortium finds safer alternatives for aerospace and defense

The TURI-led consortium that evaluates safer alternatives to coatings containing hexavalent chromium used in the aerospace and defense industry has published its final results for conversion coatings.

Research Manager Greg Morose, in partnership with Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin, authored the recent article in the Journal of Aerospace and Technology and Management. Test results of three conversion coatings that don't contain hexavalent chromium passed several industry specific performance requirements.

    Learn more about the research

    Region 9

    California releases Statewide Microplastics Strategy that includes pollution prevention

    In response to increasing concern about pervasive and persistent pollution caused by microplastics, California recently released the Statewide Microplastics Strategy, which outlines a two-track approach to comprehensively manage microplastic pollution:

    • a list of immediate actions and multi-benefit solutions to reduce and manage microplastic pollution
    • a comprehensive research strategy to enhance the scientific understanding of microplastics in California and inform future action.   

    Solutions include: 

    • Pollution prevention: Eliminate plastic waste at the source (products or materials from which microplastics originate). 
    • Pathway interventions: Intervene within specific pathways (ex: stormwater runoff, wastewater, aerial deposition) that mobilize microplastics into California waters.
    • Outreach & education: Engage and inform the public and industries of microplastic sources, impacts, and solutions.
    Read the strategy

    Region 10

    Washington PFAS law takes aim at consumer goods

    On March 31, 2022, Washington’s Governor signed into law a bill that significantly accelerates the state's initiative to develop regulations for various consumer goods that contain PFAS.

    It requires the state's Department of Ecology (DOE) to name PFAS-containing firefighting gear a priority product under the state's Safer Products For Washington initiative. The bill also allows the DOE to name as a priority product any product named in the 2021 PFAS Chemical Action Plan. These include nonstick cookware, personal care products, cleaning agents, water-repellant clothing and gear, automotive products, and waxes and sealants for floors, skis, and cars.

    In addition, the bill allows the DOE flexibility to designate additional products as priority products. The Department of Ecology has until 2024 to evaluate alternatives for PFAS in the listed products and develop regulations. Final regulations will be required by 2025.

    Read the full story in the National Law Review

    Western States Alliance to host 2022 Virtual FOG Forum

    Every year, the Western States Alliance (WSA) coordinates and hosts a Fats, Oil, and Grease (FOG) Forum. The event informs and trains wastewater and pretreatment professionals, restaurant owners, plumbers, and others on the latest FOG issues including, but not limited to: upcoming rules and regulations, reporting requirements, data measurement approaches, and newest technologies.

    The virtual training will be held in four parts:

    • Wed, May 25, 2022 - 9 AM to 1 PM PDT
    • Thur, May 26, 2022 - 9 AM to 1 PM PDT 
    • Wed, June 1, 2022 - 9 AM to 1 PM PDT
    • Thur, June 2, 2022 - 9 AM to 1 PM PDT

    The registration fee is $150 for the entire event. CEUs will be available in the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Please contact jwaters@pprc.org about coordinating CEUs in other states.

    Limited registration scholarships are available for programs servicing rural, communities with a population less than 10,000. If your community is larger than 10,000 residents, but provides wastewater treatment service to smaller communities of less than 10,000, then you are also eligible for a registration scholarship. Please contact Jean Waters at jwaters@pprc.org about scholarship opportunities.

    Get more information and register

    U.S. EPA news

    EPA announces new Science Advisory Board process to strengthen science supporting EPA decisions

    U.S. EPA recently announced the implementation of a new process by which the Science Advisory Board (SAB) will assess the science that informs decisions regarding Agency proposed rules.

    The new process strengthens peer review at EPA by:

    • restoring the SAB’s role by having structured opportunities to conduct peer review of critical scientific and technical actions developed by EPA.
    • strengthening the independence of the SAB’s role by scoping and identifying the peer review need for EPA decisions.
    • ensuring EPA considers and develops peer reviewed science early in their rule-making development process.
    • restoring public faith in the EPA by ensuring the use of peer reviewed science to inform decision making.
      Read the memo

      EPA announces P2 EJ Facility Mapping Tool

      To support the Agency's environmental justice (EJ) goals and the Biden administration's Justice40 Initiative in pollution prevention (P2) grant work, EPA has developed a mapping tool that allows uses to identify industrial facilities located in or adjacent to communities with EJ concerns.

      The P2 EJ Facility Mapping Tool helps prospective P2 grant applicants, grantees, and interested stakeholders geographically target facilities in or adjacent to underserved communities within the framework of the P2 program's five industrial sector-based National Emphasis Areas (NEAs). The tool allows users to identify industrial facilities that may be contributing to pollution levels in a selected area, including communities with environmental justice (EJ) concerns.

        Learn more at EPA's website

        EPA continues to take actions to address PFAS in commerce

        EPA recently announced two actions regarding products containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). First, as part of EPA's effort to identify, understand and address PFAS contamination leaching from fluorinated containers, the agency is notifying companies of their obligation to comply with existing requirements under the Toxics Substances Control Act (TSCA) to ensure unintentional PFAS contamination does not occur.

        The agency will also remove two PFAS from its Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL) following a review of these substances (which were added to that list in 2012).

          Read the news release

          EPA seeks comment on draft document Modernizing the Process and Bringing Innovative Science to Evaluate New Chemicals Under TSCA

          In February 2022, EPA launched a new effort under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to modernize the process and bring innovative science to the review of new chemicals before they can enter the marketplace.

          Through this effort, the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) is proposing to develop and implement a multi-year collaborative research program in partnership with the Agency’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) and other federal entities focused on approaches for performing risk assessments on new chemical substances under TSCA.

          EPA is holding a virtual public meeting on April 20 and 21, 2022, from 1:00 PM to approximately 5:00 PM (EDT) to provide an overview of the TSCA New Chemicals Collaborative Research Program and give individual stakeholders an opportunity to provide input. Written comments on the draft document are due April 26, 2022.

            Read the document and submit comments

            EPA's ECHO Notify provides public with customized updates on local enforcement and compliance activities

            EPA recently announced the release of ECHO Notify, a new web tool that empowers members of the public to stay informed about important environmental enforcement and compliance activities in their communities. Through ECHO Notify, users can signup to receive weekly emails when new information is available within the selected geographic area, such as when a violation or enforcement action has taken place at a nearby facility.

            ECHO Notify provides information on all EPA enforcement and compliance activities as well as activities of state and local governments under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

              Read the news release

              New Toxics Release Inventory data show decline in releases of certain chemicals

              EPA recently released its 2020 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis, which shows that environmental releases of TRI chemicals by facilities covered by the program declined by 10% between 2019 and 2020. The report summarizes TRI chemical waste management activities, including releases, that occurred during calendar year 2020.

              The analysis is enhanced to make data more useful and accessible to communities, particularly those with environmental justice concerns. It also includes a new profile of the cement manufacturing sector and greenhouse gas reporting information in certain sector profiles. Users will be able to track greenhouse gas emissions for electric utilities, chemical manufacturing, cement manufacturing, and other sectors. This section will also include information on the benefits of source reduction in these industries.

              The 2020 Analysis is also the first to feature reporting on the 172 per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) added to TRI by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

              Information on facility efforts to reduce TRI chemical releases is available at www.epa.gov/tri/p2.

                  Explore the 2020 TRI National Analysis

                  New publications

                  P2 101 LibGuide: Focus on training videos and webinars

                  The Pollution Prevention 101 LibGuide offers links to a wealth of information for P2 technical assistance providers.

                  The resources on the Training videos and webinars page include links to archived P2 101 and Green Chemistry 101 training conducted by NPPR, as well as webinars hosted by green business and pollution prevention organizations. The page also includes links to upcoming events.

                  Visit the P2 101 LibGuide

                  Biden Administration rolls out new climate, economic, and environmental justice tools

                  The Biden Administration recently released two tools to help identify areas of focus for environmental justice (EJ). On February 18, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released the beta version of its Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), which helps agencies identify disadvantaged communities in order to direct federal benefits, as well as measure the percentage of benefits that are being directed to those communities.

                  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also recently released EJSCREEN 2.0. The update includes new environmental justice indices, such as an underground storage tank indicator and an unemployment indicator, as well as updated environmental and demographic data down to the block group level (i.e., about every 1200 persons).

                    Read a comparison of the tools in the National Law Review

                    FOG Triage [video]

                    This video from the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center is a how-to guide to executing a FOG triage program, which will help improve overall compliance and increase operational efficiency. 

                    Triage includes prioritizing activities to reduce FOG discharges and accumulation in sewer lines in the shortest amount of time and with available resources.

                    The Western States Alliance has additional FOG resources.

                    Watch the video

                    Interview — How does Europe get to zero pollution?

                    The European Union has embarked on ambitious plans to drastically reduce emissions and pollution over the coming decades. Part of this includes the recently launched Zero Pollution Action Plan which will focus on cutting air, water and soil pollution to levels no longer considered harmful to human health and the environment.

                    The European Environment Agency sat down with Ian Marnane, an EEA environment, health and well-being expert who is working on an upcoming EEA report on Zero Pollution, which is expected to be published later this year.

                    Read the interview

                    Paying the Apathy Tax: How Climate Inaction Will Cost Companies

                    This study of business leaders, conducted by NEXT Energy Technologies, shows that business leaders believe they are doing their part to protect the planet, although concrete scientific evidence shows that there is still work to be done. The authors warn that late climate adaptors risk financial growth, workforce and partnerships in the wake of change.

                    Read the full report

                    Presentations and recordings from 2021 Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Conference

                    The American Association for an Energy Efficient Economy's Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change (BECC) conference is the premier conference focused on understanding human behavior and decision making and applying that knowledge to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future. Presentations and recordings from the 2021 BECC conference are now available.

                    Access the presentations

                    ProPublica profiles Michal Freedhoff, Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

                    ProPublica recently profiled Michal Freedhoff, Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. She oversees the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, the Office of Program Support, and the Office of Pesticide Programs.

                    Read the interview

                    Rising Leaders on Social and Environmental Sustainability: A Global Survey of Business Students

                    This report from Yale University and the Global Network for Advanced Management surveyed 2,035 students at 32 top business schools across six continents. They found that future corporate leaders see global warming as a business issue and they believe that companies can and should step in to help solve social and environmental problems.

                    Download the report

                    Road to Zero Emissions: 55 Companies on Net Zero Progress

                    This report from As You Sow assesses the progress of 55 of the largest U.S. corporations in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line achieving net zero emissions by 2050. The primary finding from the analysis is that the overwhelming majority of companies assessed have neither established comprehensive, 1.5 degree-aligned GHG reduction goals nor demonstrated progress in reducing their emissions in alignment with net zero goals.

                    Download the report

                    SME Climate Hub

                    The SME Climate Hub is a global initiative that empowers small to medium sized companies to take climate action and build resilient businesses for the future. Resources on the site are free and include a Business Carbon Calculator and access to free courses.

                    The Hub is an initiative of the We Mean Business Coalition, the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, and the International Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Normative and the Net Zero team at Oxford University.

                    Learn more about the Hub and access their resources

                    Solar Energy Technologies Office Photovoltaics End-of-Life Action Plan

                    This plan from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) outlines how they aim to reduce the environmental impacts of solar energy. It also outlines research activities that can enable safe and environmentally sound handling of PV EOL materials.

                    Download the report

                    The Global Assessment of Private Sector Impacts on Water

                    This report from Ceres reveals how industry practices are driving five critical threats to global freshwater systems – groundwater depletion, metal contamination, plastic pollution, water diversion and transfer and eutrophication.

                    Download the report

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                    Upcoming events

                    2022 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference
                    Apr 24-28, 2022

                    Learn more

                    2022 Emerging Water Technology Symposium
                    May 10-11, 2022

                    Learn more

                    2022 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit
                    May 17-19, 2022

                    Learn more

                    2022 Virtual FOG Forum
                    May 25, May 26, June 1, June 2, 2022

                    Learn more