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Chemical Engineering Branch

 
  Mission Statement
 
The Chemical Engineering Branch resides in the Economics, Exposure and Technology Division of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. The Chemical Engineering Branch's mission is to provide professional Chemical Engineering analysis and technical input in the furtherance of agency programs initiatives and regulatory requirements, and to maintain a current skill base in the science and technology of Chemical Engineering as it applies to P2, Green Engineering, and Industrial Ecology in the quest for an Environmentally sound chemical industry.
 

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  What We Do

EPA's CEB team has five major duties:

  1. Provide technical support to the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics regulatory and non-regulatory activities; including implementing the Toxic Substances Control Act (New Chemicals, Chemical Testing, Existing Chemicals Program), Title III of Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), Pollution Prevention Act, Design for the Environment (DfE) program, and Screening Information and Data Set (SIDS).
  2. Analyze industrial and commercial activities to estimate potential worker exposures to and environmental releases of chemicals.
  3. Evaluate control and green engineering alternatives to minimize chemical exposures and releases.
  4. Lead agency efforts in developing computer-based ranking and prioritization systems (e.g., Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool for the Office of Solid Waste; RCRA Enforcement Prioritization System for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance).
  5. Develop methods and models for estimating exposures and releases and for risk ranking.

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  Current/Ongoing Projects
 

Use Cluster Scoring System (UCSS): Ongoing development of this computerized screening tool designed to systematically identify and screen concerns related to chemicals in commerce.  The UCSS ranks individual chemicals within clusters and then uses these scores to rank the clusters as a whole into high, medium and low concern categories based on readily available information. A cluster is defined as a group of chemical used in similar applications.

Green Engineering: Program goal is to institutionalize green thinking in the design and commercialization of products and processes. Current focus includes curriculum, workshop and software development. Target audiences include engineering students and practicing engineers. Curriculum will be disseminated via partnership with ASEE (American Society of Engineering and Education). Workshops will be conducted by AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers).

Generic Scenario for Biotechnology Premanufacture Notices: Developing scenarios containing standardized approaches for estimating potential worker exposures and environmental releases from closed-loop fermentation processes that involve the use of genetically-engineered microorganisms.

Baltimore Community Partnership: Working with an under privileged located in the midst of several industrial manufacturers.

Design for the Environment (DfE): Provides technical support to the Design for the Environment program. Major contributions include: printing and wiring boards, industrial laundry, CSTA dry-cleaning initiative

Toxic Release Inventory: Provide technical support to the Toxic Release Inventory.

New Chemical Program: Provide technical support be evaluating worker exposure and environmental release of chemicals.

Inventory Update Rule (IUR): Wrote supporting document to upgrade amount and type of information.

OECD/SIDS: Screening information and data.

Waste Minimization Prioritization Tool (WMPT): Technical lead on this project. Computerized system evaluates PBT (persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity) of several high use chemicals.

Pollution Prevention Framework: A series of computer programs that evaluate risk, environmental releases, chemical/physical properties, costs etc. Provide technical support and workshops and conferences for the worker exposure / environmental segments of the framework. Also visit customer sites to apply P2 software tools.

Data Integration: Integrate several computer models and methods into one cohesive, user-friendly system.

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