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December 2023

Message from the Chair

by Laura Henne

I’m pleased to announce that Ed and I are continuing our positions on the executive committee and welcome Meghann back. I would also like to deeply thank Joe for agreeing to step in to our long-vacant Treasurer position and Joy Onasch for her assistance in the interim.

Meet your Executive Committee!


Laura Henne, Pollution Prevention Program Manager, Bureau of Sustainability

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Region 2

Vice Chair

Ed Gonzalez, Executive Director

Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center

At Large


Meghann Quinn, Manager, Office of Pollution Prevention

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Region 3


Joe Bolick, Director

Iowa Waste Reduction Center

Region 7

Pollution Prevention Jobs Available Across the US

A number of job postings have come and gone since our last newsletter, so feel free to look at the NPPR website more frequently. Fortunately, a few jobs are still available for another couple of weeks such as Oregon DEQ and NEWMOA. These and other great positions in search of someone you recommend can be found 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:

Workgroups are planning meetings in January, so make sure you're registered on their group's email list if you're interested.

From the States

Region 1

The European Union Loves TURI

Quote from full EU document:

"Enabling substitution by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is a particularly acute need, given their more limited access to technical and financial resources for substitution in comparison to larger entities. Without access to the right technical assistance, companies struggle with substitution, leading to frustrating cases of ‘regrettable substitution,’ where a chemical user substitutes one hazard for the same or a different hazardous property, such as replacing a neurotoxin with a carcinogen. In addition to better supporting SMEs with substitution, there is a glaring need to assist businesses located in toxic pollution hot-spots and countries with less access to technical and financial resources if we are to advance principles of equity and equality, and to create a level-playing field.

Despite an unimpressive record of chemical regulation at the national level, in the U.S. a handful of states have successfully supported substitution. Massachusetts provides arguably the most compelling model for enabling the substitution of hazardous chemicals. In 1989 the Massachusetts legislature created a ground-breaking institution to help enable the substitution of toxic chemicals with safer alternatives – the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI). Based at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, TURI’s staff have successfully helped companies, particularly SMEs, to substitute hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives through collaboration and innovation, including research, direct technical and financial assistance, and a focus on finding alternatives that meet a user’s performance and fiscal constraints.

The results from Massachusetts are noteworthy. From 2000-2020, Massachusetts companies reduced toxic chemical use by 75%, waste by 67% and releases by 91%. Reductions in the use of specific toxic chemicals has been even more remarkable. For example, from 1990 to 2020, the use and release of a known carcinogen (trichloroethylene or TCE) was reduced by 95% and 97%, respectively.

The proposed pilot project would demonstrate the feasibility of a European Substitution Centre modelled after TURI to accelerate the substitution of toxic chemicals with safer alternatives. We propose to identify one or more SVHCs for which safer alternatives could be adopted by businesses in the EU, in particular SMEs. TURI has a long-track record supporting substitution of solvents and surfactants by various industries. In addition, there is the experience of SUBSPORT and various national substitution centres in the EU. We propose to draw on this experience to help enable a transition away from known and suspected hazardous substances to less-toxic alternatives in key industries and sectors, such as the textile and dry-cleaning industries.

    TURI's Response

    CPA Celebrates New UN Framework on Chemicals

    “Critically the Global Framework on Chemicals prioritizes prevention as the most effective and efficient pathway for addressing the adverse effects of toxic chemicals on biodiversity loss, climate change, plastic pollution, and human health. Clean Production Action (CPA) looks forward to partnering with the financial sector and end users of chemicals to achieve the global targets set in the UN’s Global Framework on Chemicals,” said Mark S. Rossi, PhD, Executive Director of CPA.

    “Clean Production Action set the bold goals of a 50% reduction in chemical footprints by 2030 and zero by 2040,” said CPA's Angela Pinilla, PhD, Program Manager, Chemical Footprint Project.

    Complete Article on CPA Website

    Region 2

    NYSP2I Community Grant Awardee Success Story

    Using an NYSP2I grant, Shift2 refurbished 100 laptops and distributed them to 275 people in an environmental justice community, offsetting 475 lbs of e-scraps.

    Two Minute Success Story

    Region 5

    MnTAP Publishes 2023 Solutions Report

    MnTAP is proud to announce the publication of 2023 Solutions. This annual report highlights the results from their summer internship program. This year, the group of 17 talented and industrious interns identified environmental reductions and process improvements that could save their companies:

    • 68,000,000 gallons of water, saving $542,000
    • 1,240,000 kWh electricity, saving $156,000
    • 718,000 therms of energy, saving $572,000
    • 3,600,000 pounds of waste, saving $729,000
    • 80,100 pounds of chemicals, saving $133,000

    Combined, these reductions have the potential to save companies $2,132,000 annually.

    These results translate into real environmental impacts equivalent to eliminating CO2 emissions from 800 passenger vehicles and powering 130 Minnesota homes. Saving water is equivalent to the water use for approximately 3,000 Minnesota residents and eliminating 160 55-gallon drums of chemical use.

    Read MnTAP's 2023 Solutions Magazine

    Resources for Recycling Expanded Polystyrene

    Joy Scrogum highlights a few places across the US that accept expanded polystyrene (EPS) for recycling. Most of the recycling ranges from companies taking back their own products and recycling companies that charge a high fee. There are other options discussed, though. And if you're aware of other EPS recycling programs, they encourage you to share your knowledge with their zero waste team at

    Polystyrene Recycling Options

    Resources ISTC Provides Food Waste Technical Assistance to Small Businesses in the Chicagoland Area

    In the fall of 2022, University of Illinois Extension received funding from the Extension Foundation USDA-NIFA New Technologies in Ag Extension (NTAE) program for the expansion of its “Building a Culture of Composting in Greater Chicagoland” project. The goal was to divert food scraps and organic waste from landfills through educational efforts on the benefits of composting. Extension asked the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center’s Technical Assistance Program (TAP) to partner with them to provide food waste technical assistance to small businesses in the Chicagoland area.

    TAP recruited five small businesses to receive assistance in communities overburdened by environmental issues and lacking resources. TAP’s zero waste team did an initial on-site assessment for each business, followed by a food waste audit. Then they prepared a report and worked with each company to help them implement recommendations. Participants were eligible for up to five months of funding to contract with a commercial compost hauling service.

    The four companies that contracted with the commercial compost hauler said that they would continue paying for the service after the grant funding expired. The businesses also identified implementation challenges that they faced. These included lack of physical space in the kitchen, consistent communication between staff, and lack of a champion to lead their food waste reduction efforts.

    Read the New Case Study

    US EPA News

    EPA Releases New Food Waste Reports

    US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released two new reports quantifying methane emissions from landfilled food waste and updating recommendations for managing wasted food.

    The reports’ findings emphasize the importance of both reducing the amount of food that is wasted and managing its disposal in more environmentally friendly ways. Based on these findings, EPA is releasing an update to its Food Recovery Hierarchy, a tool to help decision makers, such as state and local governments, understand the best options for managing food waste in terms of environmental impacts. The release of the new ranking – called the Wasted Food Scale – marks the first update since the 1990s, reflecting more recent technological advances and changes in operational practices.

    The two reports are:

        EPA Launches New Community-Based Initiative to Help People Access Resources for Local Climate and Environmental Justice Solutions

        The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the launch of the Community, Equity & Resiliency initiative, a groundbreaking effort to help communities across the nation navigate EPA’s Inflation Reduction Act investments and other new funding opportunities made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. Through this new initiative, EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation and Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights will facilitate community-driven partnerships and provide a space for communities to learn, connect, and cultivate ideas on how to access these resources, especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

        As part of the initiative, EPA will host live virtual and in-person events, including panel discussions and fireside chats featuring environmental leaders and their peers, to help community-based organizations, their community partners, and potential grant applicants navigate funding opportunities. These engagements are designed to spark ideas on how to take advantage of Investing in America programs while taking into account each community’s unique context when confronting the climate crisis and advancing environmental and climate justice.

        EPA’s new Community, Equity & Resiliency website offers information on multiple funding opportunities and resources to ensure community-driven partnerships can inspire meaningful change in their communities.

          Improving Recycling and Management of Renewable Energy Wastes: Universal Waste Regulations for Solar Panels and Lithium Batteries

          EPA plans to propose new rules to improve the management and recycling of end-of-life solar panels and lithium batteries. EPA is currently at work on a proposal to add hazardous waste solar panels to the universal waste regulations found at Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 273 and to establish a new, distinct category of universal waste specifically tailored to lithium batteries. The agency indicated that the proposal might be ready for publication by the summer of 2025.

              EPA's Guidance for Handing These Materials

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