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Winter 2021

Message from the Chair

by Laura Henne

It is with profound sadness that we share the news of the sudden passing of Kenneth A. Zarker on October 10, 2021. Ken was a longtime leader and innovator in pollution prevention, toxics reduction, and waste minimization.

He worked for the Texas state government for 23 years, starting in the Municipal Hazardous Waste Program in the Texas Department of Health. In 2005, he moved to Washington state where he led the Pollution Prevention and Regulatory Assistance Section in the Department of Ecology for nearly 16 years.   

Among his accomplishments, he led the development and implementation of Washington’s toxics in products laws, including the Children’s Safe Products Act, which regulates lead, cadmium, and certain flame retardant chemicals allowed in children’s products and requires manufacturers to report chemicals of high concern to children.   

Ken was a champion of and past chair for the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, where he led the national and international expansion of pollution prevention. He also informally mentored a generation of P2 professionals. We have added his name to the P2 Champion Award to recognize his advocacy on behalf of P2 and NPPR. We encourage you to share your memories of Ken on this virtual memorial board.

We will miss him deeply. 

NPPR announces MVP2 Award winners

NPPR's MVP2 Awards honor the successes of pollution prevention and sustainability innovators. This year's award recipients are:

  • Ken Zarker Memorial P2 Champion: Katy Wolf, Institute for Research and Technical Assistance (IRTA), Pollution Prevention Resource Center, California Dept of Public Health
  • Fred Granek Memorial P2 Ambassador: Liz Harriman, Toxics Use Reduction Institute
  • Multi-media Award: NorTex Metal Finishing, Shelby Wolters, Owner & CEO
  • P2 Volunteer: Laurie Johnson, 5280 Waste Solutions
  • P2 Project: CD AeronPB Elimination for Cleaning Process
  • P2 Educator: TURI Cleaning Lab

Read more about the award winners on our website

The committee chair thanks the nominators, the Awards committee, and the Board members who participated in selection.

Nominations for the 2022 awards are now being accepted.

Nominate someone today!

NPPR presents 2021 P2 Multi-Media MVP2 Award to NorTex Metal Finishing

NPPR Board Member Kurt Middlecoop joined his TMAC colleagues Cyrus Rahimzadeh and Juan Paramo as City of Garland (TX) Mayor Scott LeMay presented the 2021 P2 Multi-Media Award to Shelby Wolters, Owner and CEO of NorTex Metal Finishing.

View the award presentation
2020 P2 Ambassador: Mark Rossi, Executive Director, Clean Production Action

NPPR seeks part-time Communications Coordinator

The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) is seeking candidates who bring strong skills in communications, event coordination, research, writing, and creativity to support the organization's mission.

If you are interested in working with a diverse stakeholder group of state environmental programs, universities,  private businesses, and non-profits to advance pollution prevention throughout North America, this is a great job for you!

This position will be a part-time (20 hours/week) remote work position, reporting to the NPPR's Board of Directors Executive Committee. Applicants are expected to provide their own computer and internet connection. Pay rate is $15/hour.

The successful candidate will:

  • Manage NPPR's social media accounts, including the organization's Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages, effectively communicating information and engaging stakeholders.
  • Help update and regularly review NPPR's website.
  • Assist in the planning, coordination, and execution of NPPR events, including, but not limited to, webinars, roundtable discussions, and in-person conferences and meetings.
  • Provide assistance with review and completion of written documents and resources produced by the organization, including the NPPR quarterly e-newsletter.
  • Assist with executing objectives and activities in support of NPPR's strategic plan.

Interested applicants are requested to submit a resume to If you have additional questions regarding the organization, position, or desired skills, please contact Laura Henne at

Apply now!

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 next meeting of NPPR's Food & Beverage Workgroup will be on January 10, 2022. They will be hosting a speaker who will discuss the use of anaerobic digestion in the food sector, specifically for brewery waste. Look for registration details soon.

Contact Joy Onasch at for more information on this workgroup. 

Leadership & Voluntary Programs

The Leadership & Voluntary Programs workgroup recently participated in a P2U webinar entitled Leadership & Voluntary Programs Driving P2 Initiatives.

View the webinar recording

From the states

Region 1

TURI Director Baskut Tuncak

Toxics Use Reduction Institute names new director

UMass Lowell’s Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) has appointed Baskut Tuncak as its new director, effective November 8, 2021. He has also been nominated as research professor in the Department of Public Health of the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences. 

Tuncak, who served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights from 2014 to 2020, is an attorney, chemist and researcher specializing in minimizing the use of toxic chemicals and preventing pollution.

Learn more about TURI's new director

TURI research shows safer solvents exist for pharmaceutical manufacturing

Safer solvents used to separate active pharmaceutical ingredients widely used in the pharmaceutical industry were identified and tested, according to a new study published in Separations journal.

UMass Lowell researchers conducted the study in partnership with Johnson Matthey with funding from a TURI Academic Research Grant. The goal was to find safer alternatives to methylene chloride used in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The research team used thin-layer chromatography to investigate if an alternative solvent or solvent blend could show comparable separation performance to methylene chloride.

After identifying safer options, the research team evaluated dissolution power, safety and price, and found nonhazardous replacements to methylene chloride.

The study is available for free download. For more information, contact Greg Morose.

Download the study

Region 5

Illinois agencies help POTWs become more energy efficient

Since 2018, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Energy has partnered with the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) to help municipalities reduce energy and costs for water and wastewater treatment.

Funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, SEDAC and ISTC provide no-cost energy efficiency opportunity usage assessments to publicly owned water and wastewater treatment facilities. Similar assessments would cost between $6,000 and $12,000.

The cost of wastewater treatment can be a significant burden for municipalities, especially when the infrastructure is aged or inappropriately sized for the community it serves. This partnership helps municipalities identify ways to improve their systems and realize cost savings for their communities.

Since the program began, total recommendations made by ISTC and SEDAC, if fully implemented, represent a savings of 39.7 million kWh, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions at 32,590 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, and $3,000,000 in total cost savings.

Communities that have benefited from this assistance include Caseyville, Annawan, and Henry.

    Learn more about the Public Water Infrastructure Plant Efficiency Program

    ISTC studies end-of-life impact of renewable energy equipment

    In 2018, ISTC began to mobilize a team of diverse experts to address renewable energy technologies end-of-life  recovery challenges and opportunities. Since then, the Renewable Energy Equipment Recover-Reuse Program has expanded from focusing specifically on solar module reuse and recycling to creating additional partnerships with organizations involved in wind energy and electric storage technologies and systems.

    The program recently released the following publications:

    Learn more about the Renewable Energy Equipment Recover-Reuse Program

    Region 10

    Washington State Department of Ecology releases Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Chemical Action Plan

    On November 3, the Washington Department of Ecology published its final PFAS Chemical Action Plan, which provides a roadmap for addressing uses and releases of those chemicals in Washington State to protect human health and the environment. The plan contains recommendations intended to reduce both industrial and consumer uses and releases of PFAS into the environment.

      Read the final PFAS Chemical Action Plan

      U.S. EPA news

      Bipartisan Infrastructure Law gives additional $100 million to fund P2 projects

      Following the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, EPA announced that it will be making significant investments in the health, equity and resilience of American communities. The law delivers considerable funding to EPA, including an additional $100 million over 5 years for grants to states and tribes to provide P2 technical assistance to businesses.  

      The additional P2 grant funding will particularly emphasize using P2 to address environmental justice in under-served communities. With this funding, more businesses will be able to get assistance to reduce toxic pollutants, cut water usage and lower costs, which will improve their operations while cutting greenhouse gas emissions and better protecting the communities in which they operate.

        Read more about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and EPA

        EPA announces comprehensive national strategy to confront PFAS pollution

        U.S. EPA recently announced the agency’s comprehensive Strategic Roadmap to confront PFAS contamination nationwide by:

        • increasing investments in research,
        • leveraging authorities to take action now to restrict PFAS chemicals from being released into the environment, and
        • accelerating the cleanup of PFAS contamination.

        The Roadmap lays out:

        • Aggressive timelines to set enforceable drinking water limits under the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure water is safe to drink in every community.
        • A hazardous substance designation under CERCLA, to strengthen the ability to hold polluters financially accountable.
        • Timelines for action—whether it is data collection or rulemaking—on Effluent Guideline Limitations under the Clean Water Act for nine industrial categories.
        • review of past actions on PFAS taken under the Toxic Substances Control Act to address those that are insufficiently protective.
        • Increased monitoring, data collection and research so that the agency can identify what actions are needed and when to take them.
        • A final toxicity assessment for GenX, which can be used to develop health advisories that will help communities make informed decisions to better protect human health and ecological wellness.
        • Continued efforts to build the technical foundation needed on PFAS air emissions to inform future actions under the Clean Air Act.  
          Download the roadmap

          EPA launches P2 search tool

          EPA has launched a new search tool on its website to connect visitors to P2 resources such as case studies, webinars, articles about P2 solutions, practices, and technologies. The tool allows searches by keyword, sector, and process type.

            Access the P2 Resources Search tool

            EPA releases National Recycling Strategy

            U.S. EPA recently released the 2021 National Recycling Strategy to tackle major recycling challenges facing the nation and to create a stronger, more resilient, and cost-effective municipal solid waste recycling system.

            This is the first time EPA’s recycling strategy will address the climate impacts of producing, using, and disposing of materials and focus on the human health and environmental impacts of waste and waste-related facilities in overburdened communities, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to delivering environmental justice.

              Download the strategy

              EPA releases report series on emerging issues in food waste management

              EPA recently developed several publications summarizing published science about contamination in food waste streams, the effects of this contamination on composting and anaerobic digestion (two common ways to recycle food waste), and potential risks to human health and the environment of applying compost or digestate (the product from anaerobic digestion) made from food waste streams to land as soil amendments.

              They are:

              EPA also recently released a new report on the climate and environmental impacts of producing, processing, distributing, and retailing food that is ultimately wasted. The report also projects the environmental benefits of meeting the US goal to prevent 50 percent of food waste by 2030.
                  Find more information and links to additional studies on food waste management

                  New publications

                  P2 101 LibGuide: Focus on P2/Environmental Cost Accounting

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

                  The resources on the P2/environmental Cost Accounting page help companies calculate the financial impact of pollution prevention projects and the true cost of their current operations. Although many of the publications are older, the techniques they describe are still valuable for today's practitioners.

                  Visit the P2 101 LibGuide

                  Brewing Up Energy Savings

                  In this episode of DOE's Direct Current podcast, the team checks in with Deschutes Brewery in Oregon to discover how the brewery produces beer that tastes awesome and is also good for the planet.
                    Listen to the podcast episode

                    Driving Climate Action: A Net Zero Roadmap for Travel & Tourism

                    This report from the World Travel and Tourism Council describes the current climate action status of travel & tourism businesses within selected industries, as well as current challenges, opportunities and needs. It also provides a decarbonization corridor framework that demonstrates what net zero journeys could look like for different types of businesses and gives guidance and recommendations on potential climate action.

                    Download the report

                    Green Paper: The Road to PFC Free Footwear

                    In 2014, KEEN began a detox initiative to remove the most toxic chemicals found in their footwear supply chain. One of the first targets in this initiative was a proactive, voluntary approach to entirely phase out the family of toxic forever chemicals commonly known as PFCs. It took them four years to phase out PFCs from the footwear manufacturing process. This green paper is the first of a series that explains what they learned during the process. It also includes links to partner resources, including those in their supply chain.

                    Dowload the paper

                    Moody's reports on impacts of climate change on the industrial sector

                    In two recently released reports, global integrated risk assessment firm Moody’s explores the anticipated climate-related impact over the coming decades to companies across geographies and sectors, including risks and opportunities from the emerging climate transition and the exposure of companies to the threats posed by physical hazards resulting from climate change.

                    National Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program - Basic Training

                    The National Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program training module is designed to provide a high-level overview of the Clean Water Action (CWA) Section 319 Nonpoint Source (NPS) program for State and Territory NPS Programs.

                    The first half of the training provides general information applicable to a wide variety of audiences interested in learning more about the NPS program, while the second half of the module is more specific information that would be beneficial to grantees. Future updates to the module will include information specific to Tribes.

                    Access the training

                    PFAS Central

                    PFAS Central provides current and curated information about PFAS, including press, peer-reviewed scientific articles, data, chemical inventories, meetings, job listings, and consumer information.

                    Content is provided by a partnership between the Green Science Policy Institute and the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern University. 

                    Visit the portal

                    Renewable Energy for Agri-food Systems

                    This report, jointly developed by the International Renewable Energy Agency and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, analyses the role of renewable energy in agri-food systems and the opportunity they offer to advance energy and food security objectives as well as contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

                    Download the report

                    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

                    Safer Cleaners & Degreasers for Electronics
                    Dec 15, 2021, 11 am EST

                    Register today

                    Food & Beverage Workgroup meeting
                    Jan 10, 2022, 1 pm EST

                    Register forthcoming

                    Energy Storage for Manufacturing and Industrial Decarbonization Virtual Workshop
                    Feb 8-9, 2022

                    Register today

                    Breaking the Plastic Wave: Solving the Plastic Pollution Problem
                    Mar 10, 2022, 1 pm EST

                    Register today

                    Trichloroethylene (TCE) Alternatives Project
                    Apr 14, 2022 1 pm EST

                    Register today

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

                    Learn more