EPA Selects Five New England Organizations for Pollution Prevention Grants
Nearly $900,000 in funding for projects in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont
BOSTON - Today, during Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that five organizations in New England are among 42 organizations across 39 states to receive grant funding totaling $9.3 million, supporting pollution prevention across the country. In New England, almost $900,000 will fund projects in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The grants will fund projects that provide businesses and other facilities with information, training, on- and off-site technical assistance, and tools to help them develop and adopt cost-effective changes in production, operation, and use of materials to reduce toxic pollutants, costs and the use of water, energy, and other natural resources.
"As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act, we are proud to announce more than $9 million in P2 grants which will help businesses in communities across the United States protect the environment, increase sustainability, and reduce waste and costs," said US EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "The work done as a result of EPA’s P2 grants will create best practices that current and future organizations can use to cut pollution and advance innovation and economic growth."
"New England is home to many forward-leaning businesses who embrace innovations to accomplish their work in ways that reduce their environmental footprint and make good economic sense," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "We are very pleased that food and beverage manufacturers in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, and that companies in the metal and aerospace sectors in Vermont will soon benefit from technical assistance to enhance their operations."
The projects selected to receive award funding in New England are:
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, $200,000
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will provide pollution prevention technical assistance to medium to large sized businesses throughout the state that manufacture or process foods and beverages. The focus will be on reducing the environmental footprint and costs of these businesses. Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will use on-site technical assistance to reduce energy and water use and water discharges and to eliminate hazardous chemicals in the manufacturing processes. In addition, they will offer off-site technical assistance to businesses, conduct roundtables, training and webinars and develop written assistance materials. These materials, as well as best practices identified during on-site and off-site assistance, will be disseminated widely so that additional businesses and other states can benefit from them.
University of Southern Maine, $127,435
The University of Southern Maine will provide technical assistance and implement pollution prevention strategies and tools at food and beverage manufacturers in Maine and will incorporate "service-learning" opportunities for tomorrow's leaders. The work will include process mapping and on-site technical assistance, application of pollution prevention strategies and tools at food and beverage producers in Maine, service-learning opportunities and promotion of EPA programs.
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, $190,000
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services will provide pollution prevention technical assistance to the New Hampshire brewery, winery and beverage distillery industries to reduce the strength and volume of discharges of wastewater pollutants and to implement energy efficiency, water conservation and hazardous waste reduction projects. They will partner with the New Hampshire electric and gas utilities to provide on-site technical assistance and the Brewers' Association, New Hampshire Craft Spirits Organization and the University of New Hampshire to offer training and educational materials.
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, $200,000
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management will develop a pollution prevention program in Rhode Island to provide technical assistance to breweries, wineries and distilleries. Goals of the project include providing technical assistance to reduce water use in manufacturing and reduce wastewater discharges leading to reduction of biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, acidic and basic pH, and phosphorus to publicly owned treatment works. The project will reduce energy use via partnership with the state's electricity supplier and an energy auditing firm, reduce usage of hazardous materials in cleaning operations and use webinars, trainings and roundtables to amplify this work within the brewery, winery and distillery community.
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, $181,662
The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation will focus on using source reduction approaches to reduce per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in wastewater generated from industries of the aerospace product and parts manufacturing and maintenance sector and the metal manufacturing and fabrication sector. Both are pollution prevention national emphasis areas. The goal of the project is to reduce the environmental impact of these persistent bioaccumulative toxic substances on receiving waters, groundwater and soils by using pollution prevention techniques to improve the quality of wastewater effluent and biosolids produced at publicly owned treatment works.
For these grants, EPA emphasizes the importance of grantees documenting and sharing P2 best practices that are identified and developed through these grants, so that others can replicate these practices and outcomes. Each grantee will be required to develop at least one case study during the grant period on P2 practices that are new or not widely known or adopted, or where detailed information on the P2 practices could benefit other businesses or P2 technical assistance providers. The work done under these grants will focus on at least one of the five P2 priority areas, also referred to as National Emphasis Areas and support several of the agency's Smart Sectors. These areas include food and beverage manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, aerospace product/part manufacturing, and metal manufacturing.
This year marks 30 years since the passage of the Pollution Prevention Act, which focuses industry, government, and public attention on reducing the amount of pollution through cost-effective changes in production, operation, and raw materials use. This week is also P2 Week, a time to celebrate the diverse and creative ways businesses, academic institutes, local governments, and other organizations are working to prevent pollution. In support of the Pollution Prevention Act and P2 Week, these grant awards encourage businesses and other stakeholders to find ways to prevent pollution from entering any waste stream, furthering EPA's mission to protect public health and the environment.
Read more about P2 and the P2 Grant Program.