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Land, Waste and Emergency Management Innovations

Year 2004 Innovations Pilots

OSWER Innovation Projects
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2004


Characterizing Environmental Contamination through Airborne Hyperspectral Imaging
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 72K)

Sponsors: EPA Region 7; EPA Office of Emergency Preparedness, Prevention and Response - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partners: Missouri Department of Natural Resources, University of Missouri at Columbia

Overview: The goal of this project was to determine whether a remote-sensing technology, hyperspectral imagery, could be used to conduct large-scale characterization of contaminants of concern. By collecting data from known contaminated sites, the project analyzed and interpreted the information to create “signatures” of specific contaminants or environmental conditions. This project explored hyperspectral capabilities in the event of an environmental emergency or disaster.

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Costilla County Biodiesel Waste-to-Energy Demonstration
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 139K)

Sponsor: EPA Region 8 - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partner: Costilla County (Colorado) Economic Development Council

Overview: This project tested small-scale biodiesel production using locally grown crops (e.g., canola seed) and used restaurant cooking oil to demonstrate the viability of producing this renewable energy at a local level. Additionally, once in full production, the project recovered methanol from the pre-treatment process, which can be reused in the production of biodiesel, produce glycerol as a valuable byproduct, and create jobs by adding value to local agricultural products (e.g., manufacturing canola oil). Benefits include expanding the availability of renewable energy from waste oil, reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and reducing toxicity and associated health risks.

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Deconstruction for Urban Revitalization
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 263K)

Sponsor: EPA Region 3 - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partners: Institute for Local Self-Reliance; Hamer Center (Pennsylvania State University); City of Philadelphia Neighborhood Transformation Initiative

Overview: This project evaluated the cost-effectiveness of an innovative approach to dismantle row-house buildings. A mechanized and panelized approach to deconstruction allowed for the most efficient reuse of roof and floor structural lumber, enabled quicker access to properties by redevelopers, and reduced overall costs by using a “hybrid” of hand and mechanized labor working together.

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Design for Disassembly in the Built Environment
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 223K)

Sponsor: EPA Region 4 - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partner: Community Housing Resource Center

Overview: More efficient home design could save enough material for construction of 2/3 of the houses built in the next 50 years. This project was developed to reduce waste generated from residential building design and demolition. The project extended the Design for Disassembly (DfD) concept to construction of residential housing by convening an expert group to formulate innovative DfD principles, building a case-study house, documenting research and results, and promoting the incorporation of these principles into future housing design.

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Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response in Smaller Communities
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 140K)

Sponsors: EPA Region 8; EPA Office of Emergency Preparedness, Prevention and Response - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partner: Jefferson County (Colorado) Local Emergency Planning Committee

Overview: This project developed tools for smaller communities to assess risks at chemical-handling facilities to improve chemical-emergency preparedness. Many smaller communities were unaware of existing information sources on conducting risk assessments and lacked the resources and training necessary to use available information.

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Expanding Pharmaceutical Waste Management in Hospitals
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 140K)

Sponsor: EPA Region 1 - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partners: Health Care Without Harm, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, H2E Champion PharmEcology Associates, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, New Hampshire Hospital Association

Overview: This project broke new ground by taking a systematic approach to looking at how pharmaceutical wastes in hospitals are generated, how they can be minimized, and how they should be managed in order to develop best-management practices for healthcare organizations and to improve regulatory compliance. The approach was expected to be readily transferable to the entire healthcare sector. Reducing pharmaceutical generation and implementing proper waste-management systems benefit patients, staff, visitors, and the surrounding communities by improving environmental performance in the healthcare sector.

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Improving Management of Household Prescription Medication Waste
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 175K)

Sponsor: EPA Region 1 - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partners: Northeast Recycling Council, American Plastics Council, CVS Corporation, GENCO ATC, National Expired and Unused Medication Drive, PharmEcology Associates, Dillon Environmental Associates, Clean Harbors; Franklin County Solid Waste Management District (MA); Pemi-Baker Solid Waste District (NH); Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, Strong Pharmaceutical Services (formerly)

Overview: Through partnerships with private- and public-sector businesses and organizations, this project developed and implemented collection programs for household prescription-medication waste (HPW) and bulk compounding chemicals. There were no widely available solutions for proper management of HPW. In conjunction with retail-based, senior-center, and other household hazardous-waste programs, this project developed practical strategies for collecting HPW and ensuring their proper end-of-life management. Additionally, the project developed best-management practices for plastic medication-associated containers.

Additional Information:

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Measuring the Environmental Benefits of Federal Electronic Equipment Management Practices
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 257K)

Sponsor: EPA Region 10 - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partners: EPA Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, EPA Office of Administration and Resources Management, EPA Region 5, EPA Region 9, Office of the Federal Environmental Executive, Department of Defense, General Services Administration, Federal Network for Sustainability

Overview: This project developed tools to measure the impact on the environment and economy from environmentally sound management of electronic equipment. No assessment tool existed to determine the environmental benefits of purchasing, operating, reusing, and recycling electronics. This project allowed the federal government to measure and promote the environmental and financial benefits of proactive electronics management.

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Reducing Production Costs and Nitrogen Oxide Emissions from Biodiesel
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 73K)

Sponsor: EPA Region 9 - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partners: University of Nevada at Reno (UNR); Washoe County District Health Department (Nevada); Applied Research Initiative; Nevada State Department of Agriculture

Overview: Recognizing that biodiesel provides numerous environmental advantages over petroleum diesel, the project produced a more cost-effective biodiesel formulation that reduced the amount of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emitted during the biodiesel- production process. The University of Nevada at Reno (UNR) utilized a large-scale mobile continuous process unit, using ethanol for the production of biodiesel to meet all of UNR’s diesel-energy needs.

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Unidocs Hazardous Materials Online Inventory Reporting Project
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 142K)

Sponsors: EPA Region 9; EPA Office of Emergency Preparedness, Prevention and Response - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partners: County of Santa Clara Department of Environmental Health, Santa Clara County Fire Chief’s Association

Overview: This project demonstrated the ability and value of online reporting and data management of SARA Tier II reports using an existing online hazardous materials reporting system. It expanded an existing Web portal that managed the electronic reporting of facility records for storage of hazardous materials, eliminating the duplication of data entry by local agencies and providing first responders with real-time access to facility information.

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Using Auto Shredder Residue as Cement Manufacturing Feedstock
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 252K)

Sponsor:: EPA Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partners: California Department of Toxic Substances Control; University of California at Berkeley; Mitsubishi Cement Corporation; Hugo Neu-Proler Company

Overview: Finding alternatives to landfilling auto shredder residue (ASR)—which consists of glass, rubber, plastics, and textiles that remain after metals have been removed from discarded automobiles—could reduce landfill waste by over 4 million tons annually. This project examined the value of ASR as a fuel and mineral supplement in cement kilns by identifying the parameters and mechanical means necessary to process ASR into material appropriate for substitution of coal and mineral feedstocks. Generated ASR could provide 8% of the cement industry's energy needs as supplemental fuel, conserving over 2 million tons of coal and minerals each year in the United States.

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Using Composts to Reduce Lead and Arsenic Soil Contamination
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 138K)

Sponsor: EPA Region 10 - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partners: University of Washington; Washington Department of Ecology; Wenatchee School District; Chelan-Douglas Health District; Washington Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development

Overview: This project tested the effect of different compost mixtures on reducing lead and arsenic concentrations in contaminated soils. It examined a potential cost-effective remedial option that would reduce real and perceived risks associated with the presence of lead and arsenic in soils.

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Waste to Energy Geographic Planning Tool
Summary and Results (PDF) (2 pp, 71K)

Sponsor: EPA Region 6 - Fiscal Year: 2004

Partner: N/A

Overview: This project collected data from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), solid-waste landfills (SWLFs), and publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping tool. The GIS tool, along with the development of a Web site, enabled a user to identify single/clusters of facilities that could be prime candidates to use waste directly or indirectly to generate electricity. This innovative Waste to Energy (WTE) project brought together information on biomass quantities and energy-distribution systems.

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