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April 2024

Message from the Chair

by Laura Henne

Planet vs. Plastics - Earth Day is April 22

“Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all living creatures.”

-Gaylord Nelson

Spurred by visiting a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969, and inspired by anti-Vietnam War teach-ins across college campuses, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin (later Governor) created Earth Day in 1970 to show that the public wanted bold steps taken to solve environmental problems. continues this mission.

The theme for 2024 is Planet vs. Plastics. aims to achieve a 60% reduction in plastic production by 2040 through: (1) promoting widespread public awareness of the damage done by plastic and demanding more research be conducted on its health implications; (2) phasing out all single-use plastics; (3) demanding policies ending the vast amount of plastic that fast fashion produces and uses; and (4) investing in innovative technologies and materials to build a plastic-free world.

Beach cleanups and other typical Earth Day events are laudable and necessary, but preventing pollution in the first place is our goal at the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable. We at NPPR join in urging the use of alternatives to plastic. A growing number of states and municipalities have effected plastic bag and single-use plastic bans. If you don’t live in an area with a ban, support legislation for it and in the meantime, just say no! Bring your own reusable bags, utensils, coffee cups and water bottles.  Avoid fast fashion by buying clothes that were built to last, buying less clothing, and buying second-hand. Support companies that don’t use plastic packaging.

For more information on Earth Day, visit these websites:

Please let us know about your successes in reducing plastic use and waste at businesses for a future newsletter!

    P2U Webinars

    Upcoming P2U Webinar

    Illinois's Tim Lindsey, Kentucky's Cam Metcalf, and Massachusetts' Rick Reibstein, are all experts on pollution prevention. To pass along their decades of knowledge and expertise, each of them have become book authors. Attend this P2U webinar and learn how various aspects of their books can bring pollution prevention together for a variety of important decision-makers.

    Previous P2U Webinar

    A good time was had by all at the Mar. 27, 2024 P2U event. If you missed out or want additional information, a recording and presentations can be found by NPPR members at:

    Recording and Presentations

    Latest MVP2 Awards

    Recent MVP2 award winners have been officially recognized in events for their outstanding work and achievements. We are so honored to be able to show them a token of our gratitude. Here are the latest MVP2 events:

    Fred Granek Memorial 

    P2 Ambassador Award: Alicia Wind

    P2 Student Award: Amelia Wagner

    P2 Educator Award: 

    Ramaswamy Nagarajan

    Details Can Be Found Here

    Pollution Prevention Jobs Available Across the US

    Several pollution prevention offices offer student internships every summer, and some of them are still being advertised such as MnTAP and Colorado's Green Business Network. If you also want to spread the word about internships, or another job available by your office, always feel free to notify so that we can share yours, too. Or to see these and other current positions, visit the P2 Job Opportunities page on the website at:

    Current Pollution Prevention Jobs

    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

    The Food & Beverage Workgroup held its most recent meeting on March 20, 2024 where there was an informative presentation by MnTAP's Kevin Philpy on Pollution Prevention Solutions for Dairy Production Facilities in Minnesota. The workgroup is also making plans for the next of their quarterly meetings. Workgroup members can access this presentation and previous ones here:

    Click on "Here"

    From the States

    Region 5

    Minnesota Publishes New Information on PFAS in Products

    The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recently announced that it has published new information concerning per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in products. This includes:

    Region 10

    Recruiting New Safer Choice Certification Recipients Assistance for Product Formulators and Ingredient Manufacturers

    With Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant funding, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is assisting the Pollution Prevention Resource Center support product formulators and ingredient manufacturers, to certify their products through the Certification Assistance Program (CAP). The CAP team conducts outreach to businesses that formulate or sell appropriate products in Oregon, provides technical assistance, and delivers reimbursement for certification costs.

    The CAP team is currently recruiting product and ingredient manufacturers from across the US, that formulate and/or sell these safer product formulations within the state of Oregon: safer household and commercial cleaners, laundry detergents, dish soaps, car care products, and other product lines within the Safer Choice product categories. CAP can assist with applications and provide reimbursement for Safer Choice certification fees. 

    If NPPR members have suggestions of possible manufacturers, contact

    Safer Choice, headed by the EPA, is a third-party certification program to approve and promote products that are safer for the user and the environment. Currently, the EPA certifies cleaning products, dish soaps, laundry products, and car care products and many others (see full list at Safer Choice website), and hopes to expand the program to certify additional product categories in the future.

      US Federal Government News

      EPA Announces Most Energy-Efficient Manufacturing Plants of 2023  

      US EPA recently recognized 103 U.S. manufacturing plants that earned the agency’s ENERGY STAR certification in 2023, a designation reserved for manufacturing plants in the top 25% of energy efficiency in their sector. Together, these plants prevented more than 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the emissions from the electricity use of more than 1.5 million American homes.

          Read More About the Companies

          EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Offers Pollution Prevention in Action Webinar Series

          Join Jennie Romer, EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention, on the second Wednesday of the month to hear from businesses, Pollution Prevention grantees, and other experts about innovations and successes in implementing source reduction strategies to advance sustainability across sectors. The Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention webinar series will run through August 2024, covering key sustainability topics from reducing/eliminating PFAS in products to source reduction solutions in industrial sectors.

            View the Schedule

            EPA Announces Final Rule to Slash Toxic Emissions of Ethylene Oxide

            US EPA recently announced final amendments to the air toxics standards for ethylene oxide (EtO) commercial sterilization facilities. The final rule will address emissions at nearly 90 commercial sterilization facilities that are owned and operated by approximately 50 companies. EPA is finalizing the following amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants that:

            • Establish standards for currently unregulated emissions, such as building leaks (“room air emissions”) and chamber exhaust vents, to reduce cancer risk and account for technological developments in pollution control.
            • Strengthen standards that are on the books for sources such as sterilization chamber vents and aeration room vents.
            • Require continuous emissions monitoring and quarterly reporting for most commercial sterilizers that will provide communities, states, Tribes, and local governments, and EPA with data to ensure EtO emissions are not entering the outdoor air.
            • Ensure that sterilizers are subject to emission standards during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction so there is continuous clean air protection.
            • Other clarifying items including electronic reporting and technical revisions.
                Read the Full News Release

                EPA Finalizes Standards to Limit Air Toxic Pollution at Gasoline Distribution Facilities

                US EPA recently announced its action to reduce toxic air pollution from gasoline distribution facilities, including storage tanks, loading operations and equipment leaks. These rules, which exclude gas stations, are expected to reduce emissions of air toxics, including benzene, hexane, toluene, and xylene, by 2,220 tons per year, and emissions of volatile organic compounds by 45,400 tons per year. 

                This action will require gasoline distribution facilities to adopt cost-effective practices and control technologies to reduce emissions from storage tanks, loading operations, and equipment leaks. EPA is also finalizing New Source Performance Standards for Bulk Gasoline Terminals to reflect the best system of emissions reduction for loading operations and equipment leaks. Because the rules will reduce air emissions, such as leaks at these facilities, EPA projects that some of these reductions will result in annualized cost savings—a win-win for companies, consumers, and environmental justice communities. The final action includes revisions related to emissions during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction; monitoring and operating provisions for control devices; and electronic reporting.  

                    Read the Final Rule

                    EPA Announces Winners of People, Prosperity, and the Planet Student Competition

                    US EPA recently announced nearly $1.2 million in funding to 16 college student teams to research and develop innovative solutions that address environmental and public health challenges as part of the Agency’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Program.

                    EPA's P3 program features a competition that offers teams of college students hands-on experience to turn their creative design and engineering ideas into reality, while also helping solve real-world environmental challenges. The 16 recipients will receive grants of up to $75,000 to fund a two-year project. Students will propose innovative and sustainable ideas and concepts and carry them through the research, design and demonstration stages. During the second year of the award, student teams will have the opportunity to showcase their designs at EPA’s National Student Design Expo. 

                        Read More About the Winners

                        EPA Launches New Office to Strengthen Engagement with Agricultural and Rural Communities

                        US EPA recently announced that it is establishing a new office to expand engagement opportunities with agricultural and rural communities. The new Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will be led by Rod Snyder, who has served as Administrator Regan’s Senior Advisor for Agriculture since October 2021. The new office will expand on the work of the Ag Advisor and increase coordination with a network of existing agriculture policy advisors located in all ten EPA regional offices across the country.

                            Read EPA's News Release

                            New Publications

                            Clean Water, Sanitation, and the Built Environment

                            This report from the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Consultative Council focuses on the way in which commercial and residential buildings access and use water resources and makes recommendations to inform decisions about how to plan for, mitigate, and potentially solve water access issues from the perspective of the built environment.

                            Download the Report

                            From Ripples to Waves: The Value of Corporate Water Stewardship

                            This white paper from the UN Global Compact Network USA. discusses the value of water and serves as a call to action for businesses to address water challenges proactively. Delving into the practices of six companies across various sizes and sectors – including PepsiCo, Microsoft, Gotham Greens, Cargill, S&P Global, and Xylem – the white paper provides tangible examples of effective water stewardship.

                            The companies’ case studies showcase how they integrate water risk as a core consideration, establishing a compelling business and environmental case for actions involving diverse stakeholders and driving positive water impacts. Through these examples, the report highlights how the private sector can make a demonstrable contribution to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: Clean Water and Sanitation for all.

                            Sign Up to Download the Report

                            Carbon Dioxide Removal: Best-Practice Guidelines

                            The Energy Management Systems Insights Database developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is a platform to improve your understanding of and access to global successes in energy management. The database is a repository of case studies, which offer detailed insights into real-world implementations, providing information on the energy, emissions, and cost savings of successful energy management systems.

                            Access the Case Studies

                            RMI X-Change Reports 

                            Rocky Mountain Institute's X-Change report series, produced in partnership with the Bezos Earth Fund and a contribution to Systems Change Lab, analyzes the exponential growth of renewable energy technologies, demonstrating why and how major areas of the global energy system are achieving faster change than many realize. The reports include:

                            Submit a story 

                            Do you have a new project, publication, or event you want to promote to your NPPR colleagues?

                            Share it in the newsletter!

                            Upcoming Events

                            Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference (ECEC24)
                            April 24-25, 2024

                            Learn More

                            Food Safety Summit 2024
                            May 6-9, 2024

                            Learn More

                             NPPR P2U Webinar:   Famous Pollution   Prevention Book Authors
                             May 22, 2024 (1pm ET)

                            Coming Soon!