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Land, Waste and Emergency Management Innovations

Year 2011 Innovations Pilots

OSWER Innovation Projects
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Pilot Years

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Communicating with Color – Color Coding Data and Risk at Three Region 6 Remedial Sites

Sponsor: EPA Region 6

Fiscal Year: 2011

Partners: Office of Superfund Remediation & Technology Innovation (OSRTI), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

Overview: As part of EPA’s strategic plan, this proposal has selected three Superfund sites to test color coding data that will assist local communities and stakeholders meaningfully participate in government decisions on land cleanup, emergency preparedness and response. Findings will be used to look for trends, lessons learned/shared and challenges to share with the HQs and the Regions.

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Designing Storm Water Management into Solar Arrays on Contaminated Land

Sponsor: EPA Region 8

Fiscal Year: 2011

Partners: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Solar Gardens Institute (SGI)

Overview: This project will research cost-effective methods for using solar arrays as part of a system for diverting precipitation away from the engineered covers of landfills or other waste repositories. The project will use an already constructed solar array on an inactive (possibly Superfund) landfill and will use funding to design and install pilot-scale, low-tech, runoff controls. At least four different configurations will be tested of runoff controls and perform measurements to quantify the amount of precipitation that is diverted away from the landfill cap via the runoff controls.

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Food Donation Magic

Sponsor: EPA Region 3

Fiscal Year: 2011

Partners: Feeding America, Weis Markets, Philabundance

Overview: Life Cycle Assessments for food have been well studied, except for food destined for food donation. This proposal will identify areas where grocery store donation logistics can be optimized and upstream sources can be reduced. Grocery stores, community groups and local governments can use these tools and the gathered information to help increase donations, reduce food waste and greenhouse gas emissions while conserving landfill space.

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Getting to Zero: A Resource Management Guide for New England Communities

Sponsor: EPA Region 1

Fiscal Year: 2011

Partners: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Central Vermont Solid Waste District, New England Municipal Sustainability Network

Overview: Zero waste initiatives are catching on with cities across the US, but efforts have been spotty and inconsistent. This project will develop a web-based guide or e-tool specifically focused on helping towns and cities across New England become zero waste communities. The guide will educate New England municipal sustainability directors about zero waste goals; identify options for moving toward zero waste in New England; assemble templates for zero waste planning and communication; create a network of interested communities in New England; and identify zero waste pioneers. EPA’s Waste Wise program will be able to use the materials developed in this project to meet the objectives aimed at zero waste for local governments as detailed in the sustainable materials management plan.

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Improving Access to Healthcare at Superfund Sites: Redevelopment Opportunities for Medically Underserved Communities

Sponsor: Office of Superfund Remediation & Technology Innovation (OSRTI)

Fiscal Year: 2011

Partner: City of Jacksonville, FL (EJ Showcase Community)

Overview: The Superfund Redevelopment Initiative (SRI) has conducted reuse assessments at many sites, yet these assessments have never before specifically included an analysis of the community’s access to healthcare. Adding an assessment of the community’s access to, and need for, healthcare resources to a Superfund reuse assessment that would also address data analysis endpoints relevant to funding criteria required by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) would give communities a new and innovative tool to bring public health concerns to the table when considering options for revitalization and redevelopment.

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Miners Engage in Idaho Mercury Roundup

Sponsor: EPA Region 10

Fiscal Year: 2011

Partners: Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, Idaho Department of Water Resources

Overview: Small-scale gold miners in Idaho tend to hoard mercury, a by-product of mining, and often store it in non-secure locations where it risks being discovered. This project will work directly with the miners and through their associations to collect and dispose of elemental mercury. Currently, there is a financial disincentive for miners to properly dispose of any mercury collected while mining. Besides the obvious human health issues, there are many streams in Idaho and throughout the west with fish consumption advisories for mercury.

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Recovered Packaging Material Database

Sponsor: EPA Region 4

Fiscal Year: 2011

Partner: Office of Resource Conservation & Recovery (ORCR)

Overview: This project will develop an interactive, online database exchange resource for recovered packaging materials. The database will connect end users with suppliers and also allow them to request desired materials and specifications, in order to streamline the use of recycled materials into packaging or other uses. This project is one of the eight optimization projects request by our state partners as part of the ongoing EPA, State, and industry Sustainable Financing for Municipal Recycling of Packaging Dialogue.

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Recycle City 2.0

Sponsor: EPA Region 9

Fiscal Year: 2011

Partners: San Francisco Department of the Environment, Professor from St. John’s University, Sustainable Materials Management Team

Overview: This proposal will create EPA’s most fully interactive Web site for the public, making use of rapidly evolving online technologies to create a vivid virtual environment for learning about, experimenting with and taking action on the lifecycles and environmental footprints of the goods and materials that are part of our lives. It will expand off a current site, EPA’s Recycle City, to move beyond basic waste generation and management issues to the deeper implications of our choices in consuming and disposing of various resources.

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Source Reduction 2.0: Integrating Capacity within WasteWise to Measure and Track Upstream Food Waste Source Reduction and Serve as a Value-Added Auditing and Tracking Tool for Our Partners

Sponsor: EPA Region 7

Fiscal Year: 2011

Partners: US EPA Region 1, US EPA Region 9, US EPA Region 10

Overview: Building off the tool created in last year’s "Food Fight" project, this project will develop a methodology for auditing, measuring and tracking food waste source reduction activities. The current Wastewise program and tracking tools do not provide adequate guidance for food recovery challenge participants. Leveraging current toolkits and workgroup efforts, this project will help to understand attribution from the EPA food waste and recovery initiatives.

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