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September 1, 2016

EPA Moves Swiftly to Carry Out New Chemical Reform Legislation
Agency tackles new legislative mandates set forth in first major update to environmental statute in 20 years

WASHINGTON— U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to ensure that the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, signed this June 22, 2016, delivers on the promise of better protecting the environment and public health. This bipartisan bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) outlines a number of responsibilities for EPA that must be completed within a tight timeframe.

The milestones accomplished by the agency include:

•A plan released on June 29, 2016, that outlines activities for the first year of implementing the new law;
•The first determinations completed on seven premanufacture notices under TSCA in July, 2016. The new law requires the agency to make affirmative determinations on new chemical substances before they can enter the marketplace. Additional determinations will be released as they are completed;
•A series of public meetings held from August 9-12, 2016, to obtain comments and feedback from stakeholders on the processes that will be used to establish fees and prioritize and evaluate chemicals under the new law;
•A list of five mercury compounds released on August 26, 2016, that will be prohibited from export as of January 1, 2020. This action will prevent the ability to convert these compounds to elemental mercury after export from the United States.

Additionally, the agency is establishing the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) to provide independent advice and expert consultation on scientific and technical aspects on risk evaluations, methodologies, and pollution prevention measures or approaches. The call for nominations to serve on this committee was issued on August 26, 2016.

The new amendments to TSCA will help bring significant improvements to public health as EPA continues to take the steps necessary for its successful implementation.

More about the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act and EPA’s implementation activities and to sign up for updates, visit: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/frank-r-lautenberg-chemical-safety-21st-century-act[epa.gov]

June 13, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Verdezyne located in Carlsbad and Newlight Technologies in Costa Mesa, Calif., with the Presidential Green Chemistry Award for turning climate risk and other environmental problems into business opportunities. The companies are among five organizations nationwide honored for developing safer chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation of hazardous substances. “Every year, companies develop innovative green chemistry technologies that will result in safer chemical use where we work and live,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA congratulates Verdezyne and Newlight Technologies for creating sustainable solutions which spur innovation and economic development in Southern California.”

The 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards were presented today at a ceremony in Portland, Oregon. The event was held in conjunction with the 20th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference. The California winners and their innovative technologies are:

  • Verdezyne, Inc., an industrial biotechnology company that produces renewable organic chemicals, is being recognized for developing a yeast that produces dodecanedioic acid, a chemical used to make high performance nylons for paintbrushes, hairbrushes, and toothbrushes, as well as adhesives, coatings, fragrances, and automotive and aviation oils. In addition to using a plant-based feedstock and having lower greenhouse gas emissions, this process is also safer because it does not use high temperatures or concentrated nitric acid. The product has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture Certified Biobased label, which assures consumers that the federal government stands behind the accuracy of the percent biobased claim stated on the label.
  • Newlight Technologies, LLC, is being recognized for developing a carbon capture technology that combines air with methane emissions to produce a plastic material called AirCarbon. This new material is now used to make bags, cell phone cases, containers, and furniture, among other products. AirCarbon plastic is net carbon negative, is cheaper than traditional petroleum-based plastic products, and has equal or greater performance. The company has contracts in place in 2015 for almost 30 billion pounds of product and a 50 million pounds per year expansion plant already sold out. The product has been adopted by Dell, Hewlett Packard, KI, Sprint, Virgin, the Body Shop and other firms. Read more

May 9, 2016

U.S. EPA Recognizes Four California Organizations as 2016 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award Winners

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is presenting Levi Strauss & Co., The Ashkin Group, Albertsons Companies (including their Northern California Safeway stores), and Clorox with Safer Choice Partner of the Year awards. They are among 24 winners across 12 states, the District of Columbia and Canada being recognized for outstanding achievement in the design, manufacture, promotion and use of a range of cleaning and other household products that carry EPA’s Safer Choice label.

“Everyone wants products with ingredients that are safer for their kids, pets, communities and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Using technology and innovation to turn challenges into profitable opportunities makes our businesses stronger and more competitive, our families and workers healthier, and our environment cleaner.”

EPA developed the new Safer Choice labels to make it easier for consumers and businesses to choose items that meet EPA’s safer product standards. In addition to meeting stringent safety criteria, every product with the Safer Choice label has met high standards for performance. Safer Choice currently has around 500 formulator-manufacturer partners who make more than 2,000 products for retail and institutional customers. Read more

April 22, 2016

The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable is accepting nominees for the 2016 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) Awards. The MVP2 awards are presented annually during National Pollution Prevention Week.  National Pollution Prevention week is the third week of September, September 19th – 26th, 2016.

Awards are presented in seven categories, Project/Program, Best Multimedia, Champion, Ambassador, Volunteer, Educator and Student of the Year.

The MVP2 Project/Program, P2 Champion, and Best P2 Multimedia are open to all levels of government, industry, small business, non-profit, and academia.

The awards are designed to recognize outstanding and innovative P2 projects/programs. As in years past, awards are judged on the following five broad criteria: innovation, measurable results, transferability, commitment, and optimization of available project resources.

The deadline for applications is July 15, 2016.

Information on past recipients and this year’s application are available at www.p2.org.

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Regional News

May 9, 2016

U.S. EPA Recognizes Four California Organizations as 2016 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award Winners

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is presenting Levi Strauss & Co., The Ashkin Group, Albertsons Companies (including their Northern California Safeway stores), and Clorox with Safer Choice Partner of the Year awards. They are among 24 winners across 12 states, the District of Columbia and Canada being recognized for outstanding achievement in the design, manufacture, promotion and use of a range of cleaning and other household products that carry EPA’s Safer Choice label.

“Everyone wants products with ingredients that are safer for their kids, pets, communities and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Using technology and innovation to turn challenges into profitable opportunities makes our businesses stronger and more competitive, our families and workers healthier, and our environment cleaner.”

EPA developed the new Safer Choice labels to make it easier for consumers and businesses to choose items that meet EPA’s safer product standards. In addition to meeting stringent safety criteria, every product with the Safer Choice label has met high standards for performance. Safer Choice currently has around 500 formulator-manufacturer partners who make more than 2,000 products for retail and institutional customers. Read more

EPA News

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced eight contracts to small businesses to develop innovative technologies to protect the environment, funded through EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. “The green technologies that these SBIR companies are developing will help us address some of today’s most pressing environmental and public health issues” said Dr. Thomas A. Burke, EPA’s Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. The phase II contracts announced today provide the companies $300,000 to further develop and commercialize their products and ideas. Phase II awards are only available to companies that previously submitted research proposals for their innovative technologies and were awarded phase I contracts up to $100,000. Today’s recipients include:

  • Aspen Products Group, Inc. – Marlborough, Mass. for developing a filtration device to control emerging contaminants in drinking water supplies.
  • Environmental Fuel Research, LLC – Philadelphia, Pa. for developing a system to produce biofuel from grease trap waste.
  • ETSVP-JV, LLC – Roanoke, Va. for developing innovative filters using nanomaterials to remove gaseous pollutants and particulates from contaminated air streams.
  • Lucid Design Group, Inc. – Oakland, Calif. for developing technology to drive behavior energy savings in commercial buildings.
  • MesoCoat, Inc. – Euclid, Ohio for developing corrosion-resistant coatings on steel to replace current more hazardous methods.
  • Precision Combustion, Inc. – North Haven, Conn. for developing regenerable high efficiency filter technology to remove gaseous pollutants from indoor air.
  • Sustainable Bioproducts, LLC – Bozeman, Mont. for developing a low-cost, simple, and scalable microbial process for conversion of municipal solid waste to fuels using fungus.
  • Vista Photonics, Inc. – Las Cruces, N.M. for developing an inexpensive, high-performance, portable air pollution monitor to continuously measure atmospheric ammonia.

EPA funds many environmentally-minded small businesses so they can bring their innovative technologies to market. A previous SBIR winner, GVD Corporation, created an environmentally friendly mold-release coating that makes indoor air healthier in manufacturing facilities by reducing the use of harmful chemicals. Okeanos Technologies is developing a new energy-efficient seawater desalination technology that could provide clean and affordable water where it is needed most. Providence Photonics is working to develop a real-time monitor that optimizes flare operation and reduces overall air toxics emissions from flaring activities in industrial facilities across the United States. EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program, which was enacted in 1982 to strengthen the role of small businesses in federal research and development, create jobs and promote U.S. technical innovation. To be eligible to participate in the SBIR program, a company must be an organized, for-profit U.S. business and have fewer than 500 employees. For more information on EPA’s SBIR Phase II recipients, visit http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipients.display/rfa_id/615/records_per_page/ALL[cfpub.epa.gov] Learn more about EPA’s SBIR program at www.epa.gov/sbir.

H2Otelwatersense_logo

WaterSense & Energy Star webinars

WaterSense® is teaming up with ENERGY STAR® to host a new webinar series in the United States on water and energy efficiency for commercial and institutional facilities.

Each webinar features content from WaterSense at Work and ENERGY STAR resources that can help organisations save water, energy, and money in different areas of their facilities.

The first instalment, “Tackling WaterSense–Sanitary Fixtures and Equipment,” is scheduled for January 28, 2016, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Attendees will learn best management practices to help reduce water and energy use in restrooms and commercial laundries.

Attendees are encouraged to register for any of this year’s webinars and share the information with anyone interested in learning about water-efficient best management practices.

If you have any questions about the new webinar series, please contact the WaterSense Helpline at (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) or watersense@epa.gov.

Safer ChoiceCall for Applications: 2016 Award Cycle Now Open

2015 Partner of the Year Award Winners

Awards were presented at the Partner of the Year Awards Ceremony on June 22nd, 2015 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. Read more about the 2015 Award Winners.[epa.gov]

The second annual Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards recognize program participants for advancing the goal of chemical safety through exemplary participation in or promotion of the Safer Choice Program. Please apply by January 29, 2016 to be considered.[epa.gov] Award winners will be announced at a ceremony in late spring of 2016 in Washington, D.C.

Safer Choice Program participants are continually driving innovation to make chemical products safer. Our program currently labels more than 2,000 products, used by consumers, institutions and industry, that meet our Safer Choice Standard[epa.gov].

Award Categories

EPA will present at least one award in each of these five categories:

  • Product and Chemical Manufacturers
  • Purchasers and Distributors
  • Retailers
  • Supporters
  • Innovators

Within these categories, we may give additional awards in the subcategories of “small business” and “sustained excellence.”

You may apply in more than one award category, but must complete individual application packages for each.

Eligibility

Any current or past program participants in the Safer Choice Program are eligible to apply for the awards. Candidates must complete the application form(s)[epa.gov] and have it signed by an appropriate company or organization official (e.g., CEO, vice president for governmental affairs, division head, or other authorized signatory).

How to Apply

Complete and submit the application materials[epa.gov] by January 29, 2016. The application may be submitted via email to SaferChoice_Support@abtassoc.com. Supplemental documents (e.g., photos, pamphlets, advertisement videos, audio files) may be sent with your application as PDF files (each file must be less than 12 MB). Please refer to the application materials for instructions on how to submit paper copies.

Selection Criteria

For the 2016 awards, we will recognize program participants who have demonstrated leadership in:

  • furthering safer chemistry and products throughout the past year; and
  • promoting the new Safer Choice label.

Program participants that submit complete applications will be evaluated against the following five criteria:

  1. Participation in the Safer Choice Program
  2. Use of the Safer Choice label
  3. Promotion and use of products using the Safer Choice label
  4. Outreach and education on the Safer Choice Program to consumers and end-users
  5. Innovations in safer chemistry and other efforts to advance the Safer Choice Program

Responses will be weighted and points assigned based on the applicant/award category.

November 4, 2015

EPA Calls for the 21st Presidential Green Chemistry Award Nominations

Program promotes environmental and economic benefits of using novel green technologies in chemical design, manufacture, and use

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its request for nominations for its 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards for companies or institutions that have developed a process or product that better protects public health and the environment.

“For more than two decades, we have seen creative innovations making our manufacturing processes and products better and safer,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Our efforts to speed the adoption of revolutionary and diverse disciplines have led to significant environmental benefits, innovation and a strengthened economy.”

Since the start of the program, EPA has received more than 1,500 nominations and presented awards for 104 new technologies that have reduced more than 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals and solvents, savings 21 billion gallons of water, and eliminating 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide releases.

EPA is sponsoring the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards in partnership with the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute® and members of the chemical community including industry, trade associations, and academic institutions.

Nominations are due to EPA by December 31, 2015.

Next June, EPA expects to give five awards for outstanding green chemistry technologies in traditional categories and a sixth award for a green chemistry technology that addresses climate change. The award areas include:

  • Greener Synthetic Pathways
  • Greener Reaction Conditions
  • Greener Chemical Products
  • The Design of Greener Chemicals
  • Small Business (for a technology in any of the three focus areas developed by a small business)
  • Academic (for a technology in any of the three focus areas developed by an academic researcher)
  • Specific Environmental Benefit: Climate Change (for a technology in any of the three focus areas that reduces greenhouse gas emissions)

More information on past award winners and how to submit entries can be found at: http://www2.epa.gov/green-chemistry[www2.epa.gov]

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with Lynx Enterprises, a metal finishing firm in Tracy, Calif., for its failure to comply with federal hazardous waste management regulations. The company agreed to pay a total of $28,750 in civil penalty and spend an additional $108,000 to develop hazardous waste training materials.

In October 2010, an EPA inspection discovered that the facility was in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. In addition to paying the penalty, Lynx has agreed to develop a hazardous waste management training program designed to assist at least 20 metal finishing companies to understand hazardous waste management compliance requirements.

“We are pleased that Lynx Enterprises has adopted an innovative approach to resolve this case,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The training program will help the metal finishing industry to properly manage hazardous waste to prevent harm to human health and safeguard the environment.”

Lynx, via a qualified independent contractor, will also develop a training video that will summarize federal, state, and local hazardous waste regulatory requirements. The video will be available to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and to 83 local agencies, known as Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA), for their use and distribution and an internet link to a version of the video will be accessible to the general public within a year. Read more