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How to Create a Safer and More Sustainable Lab Through Green Chemistry

September 10, 2015

globe with an arrow circling it

Incorporating the principles of green chemistry into your lab can do more than lessen your ecological footprint.  Join David Finster and Jeffrey Whitford as they share how to adopt sustainable strategies that inherently produce a safer lab and chemical facility in both commercial and academic settings.

What You Will Learn

  • How adopting the strategies of green chemistry inherently produces a safer lab and chemical facility.
  • How green chemistry strategies can be viewed as the first step in complying with OSHA regulations.
  • How green chemistry aligns with inherently safer design principles for chemical engineers.
  • Why green chemistry education is a key contributor to changing the implementation of Green Chemistry

Webinar Details

  • Date: Thursday, September 10, 2015 @ 2-3pm ET
  • Fee: Free to Attend
  • Download Slides: Available on the Day of Broadcast

SFE article for April newsletter

On March 25th, the San Francisco Department of the Environment (SFE) conducted a presentation for La Colectiva, a collective of women who provide house cleaning services throughout the City. SFE staff presented in Spanish during one of La Colectiva’s weekly meetings in the Mission district, which was attended by 40-50 women. La Colectiva prides itself on providing eco-friendly cleaning. Homemade recipes, highlighted in the Department’s Easy and Safe Cleaning factsheet, are very popular with the women of the collective.

SFE has trained more than 300 custodians on green cleaning products and practices as part of their Custodial Green Cleaning program. This expertise was used to highlight tips and techniques for green cleaning. The presentation motivated them to continue using their homemade products and encouraged them to adopt some of the green cleaning practices highlighted in the multi lingual videos shown to them. The modules covered included dusting and polishing, mopping, kitchen and restroom cleaning. The women were given various Green Cleaning resources like factsheets and flashcards they could take with them on the job.

After the presentation, the Department staff answered questions about products and tools, and learned more about health concerns and other unique issues the women face in their work. A big constraint the women face is using their clients’ products, which are not always green products. Future presentations will include tips to educate their family, friends and clients.

In the last year, SFE has honored many companies who successfully completed the Custodial Green Cleaning pilot program. Theirs is the first Green Business program in the nation focused on protecting custodial worker health by providing live hands on training and switching from harmful cleaning products to greener products and methods.

If you are a custodial/janitorial company interested in becoming a Green Business, please register and apply here, or call (415) 355-3700

To learn more about La Colectiva, please visit lacolectivasf.org

If you are interested in learning more, call (415)-355-3700.

 

p2roundtable

Join the pollution prevention colleagues from the Mississippi River basin for a multi-regional roundtable that includes:

  • Training
  • Sharing of program innovations
  • Implementations and results of P2 projects
  • Networking with other P2 professionals as well as businesses interested in sustainability
  • Inspiration to lead and continuously improve your effective technical assistance program

The meeting will be held on the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden, a leader in sustainability and business assistance in St. Louis. Training includes pollution prevention assessments for Craft Breweries – the fastest growing segment of food processing and Lean & Green Training for businesses.

This event is presented by the TRIPLE REGIONAL P2 ROUNDTABLE hosted by the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR), Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center (P2RIC), and Zero Waste Network. Register by March 27.

For more information: http://nbdc.unomaha.edu/2015Roundtable/index.htm

The City of Los Angeles and NPPR announce the availability of the Green Chemistry Guide collaborated on by renowned university professors, industry professionals and the City of Los Angeles’s engineers. This manual provides state agencies and technical assistance providers with tools and resources to better serve their clients who are looking for information and to support greening their operations, supply chains, processes, and products. WSPPN will announce a series of webinars to begin in May that will cover the content of the manual chapter-by-chapter.

Download Manual

By Patrick Bryan

Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District

Patrick discusses the history of storm water regulation in California with a focus on the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District’s municipal storm water basins.  Part 2 will discuss the 2015 changes to California’s storm water regulations and what that means to businesses throughout the state.  WSPPN news letter artical Part 1 (with Photos)

A new certificate program from the University of Washington will help chemists, environmental and  sustainability professionals, health and safety professionals and product managers make informed  product decisions that take into account sustainability, toxicity and human health concerns. The  certificate in Green Chemistry & Chemical Stewardship will be offered through the Professional and  Continuing Education program at the University of Washington.

There will be three online courses in the certificate and individuals can sign up for a single course on a  space available basis:

  • Sustainability, Toxicology and Human Health
  • Principles of Green Chemistry
  • Assessment Tools for Safer Chemical Decisions  

The certificate program will be offered online and is intended to give professionals working in  chemicals management experience using comparative chemical hazard assessment tools for product  selection. The classes will be offered sequentially, beginning in January, 2015, and concluding in  August, 2015. Students will complete a capstone project requiring them to evaluate a chemical or  product within a sustainability framework.

Go to http://www.pce.uw.edu/certificates/green-chemistry-chemical-stewardship.html to learn more  about the certificate program.

Fire Prevention Week is a great time to promote best burn tips to help keep homes warm and healthier. It’s also a great opportunity to share the health and safety benefits of replacing an old wood stove with cleaner, more efficient home heating.

Approximately 10 million wood stoves are currently in use in the United States, and 65 percent of them are older, inefficient, conventional stoves. Just 20 old, non-EPA certified wood stoves can emit more than 1 ton of fine particle pollution (PM2.5) into your area during the cold months of the year.

Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces contain a mixture of harmful gases and small particles. Breathing these small particles can cause asthma attacks and severe bronchitis, aggravate heart and lung disease, and may increase the likelihood of respiratory illnesses.

EPA Burn Wise offers the following tools to encourage best burn tips and to help improve the air and health of your community. To help reduce wood smoke in your area, share these tools with local media, partners and others to promote on social media, websites and newsletters.

Additional Health Resources and Tools: http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/kit.html

More Video and Radio PSAs: http://www.epa.gov/burnwise/psas.html

Contact Herrington.leigh@epa.gov to order free Burn Wise brochures and posters.

Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EPABurnWise

@epaburnwise on Twitter: https://twitter.com/epaburnwise

2014 MVP2 WinnersThe 2014 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) awards presented by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) celebrate the successes of innovators in the areas of pollution prevention and sustainability. The MVP2 awards are presented annually during National Pollution Prevention (P2) Week.

The 2014 MVP2 recipients represent a broad range of backgrounds including academia, industries, non- profits and individuals that have demonstrated significant accomplishments in pollution prevention. Together, these programs and projects reduced hazardous materials by 2.2 million pounds, non-hazardous materials by 919,000 pounds, water use by 86.5 million gallons, air emissions by 2 million pounds, and energy use by 5.8 million kWh, saving these companies a total of over $3 million according to NPPR. These prestigious awards were presented at a ceremony in Washington, DC on September 17, 2014.

Awards are presented in five categories.

Phyllis Strong with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency took home the award for P2 Champion.

Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Audree Miller, with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

This year’s winners for the Projects/Programs Award: Crown Equipment, Dassault Falcoln Jet, Eco Chemical, GM – Toledo, IBM Vermont, Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute, Madison Precision Products, Prince William County Fire & Rescue, PVI Industries, SABIC, Saint-Gobain Corporation, and Washing Systems.

Honorable Mentions went to Cintas Corporation, GOJO Industries, IBM Fishkill, Maryland Department of Environmental Protection, Phoenix Contact, Pratt & Whitney, and SABIC.

One of the award winners, General Motors’ Toledo transmission manufacturing facility, has committed to making pollution prevention and recycling a facility-wide priority. The plant’s effective energy conservation program was implemented as part of its “drive to zero” program. The program was recognized by the U.S. EPA for lowering greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 percent and subsequently avoiding nearly 40,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

GM Toledo hosts the largest rooftop solar array in the state of Ohio and uses landfill gas, which combined provide 19% of the facility’s energy use from renewable energy sources.  GM Toledo is also a landfill free facility, sending no waste from daily operations to landfill – all waste is reused, recycled or converted to energy.

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“Our reductions in carbon emissions from improved energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives at the Toledo facility are made possible through the ongoing collaborative work with local utilities, state and local environmental service organizations and other private businesses,” said Laura Bartling, GM’s Midwest environmental group manager. “They’ve demonstrated what can be achieved through a holistic and community-engaging approach at reducing our environmental footprint.”

This year marks the first year of the Fred Granek P2 Ambassador Award, in memory of Fred Granek of the Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention. The Fred Granek P2 Ambassador Award was awarded to Bruce Taylor of Enviro-Stewards, Inc.

For more information on the MVP2 Awards and NPPR, visit www.p2.org

What:      Symposium: Assessing and Managing Toxic Risk from Alternative VOC Compound

Where:      SCAQMD Headquarters in Diamond Bar, California

When: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Link for more details.

In the ongoing effort to meet more stringent federal ozone standards, the South Coast Air Quality Management District in Diamond Head, California continues to seek VOC emissions reductions from stationary and area sources in the South Coast Air Basin.

One strategy to achieve this goal is to continue to lower limits on the VOC content of coatings, solvents, adhesives, sealants, lubricants, inks and other VOC containing products. Manufacturers have responded by reformulating their products to meet new VOC limits, in many cases using alternative compounds that have been exempted from the definition of VOC. These exemptions are based primarily on evidence that the compound does not significantly contribute to ozone formation, but may also consider other factors such as toxicity and climate impacts.

Recently, the SCAQMD has been faced with a variety of issues regarding the potential toxic risk posed by compounds proposed for exemption, or otherwise anticipated to have increased use, when proposed rules are analyzed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). These issues include aspects of both risk assessment and risk management.

This symposium will include presentations from experts from the regulatory, industrial, academic, and environmental communities exploring these critical issues from different perspectives. The objective is to provide SCAQMD with expert advice and potential future direction regarding the analysis and mitigation of potential toxic risks associated with alternative VOC compounds. Please use the following link to sign up for the mailing list for this symposium (please note, the webpage does not display properly in Internet Explorer version 9 or earlier): 
http://www.aqmd.gov/home/regulations/compliance/vocs/optintoxsymp

2014 P2 Week Poster-2

Pollution Prevention Week begins the third Monday in September each year. The week is an opportunity for individuals, businesses, and government to emphasize and highlight their pollution prevention and sustainability activities and achievements, expand current pollution prevention efforts, and commit to new actions.

Pollution Prevention Week is the time when businesses, environmental groups and citizens can join forces for a common cause. By sharing information about pollution prevention (P2), businesses can become more competitive, businesses and government can realize cost savings, and environmental quality can be enhanced.

NPPR prepared a toolkit to assist organizations in their planning and communication for Pollution Prevention Week. This toolkit contains ideas for social media messages, links to websites with information about safe chemicals, sample press releases, recipes for home cleaning and alternative yard care. Here are the themes for each day of the week:

  • Day 1 – P2 and Clean Air
  • Day 2 – P2 Results
  • Day 3 – EPA and green house gases
  • Day 4 – Energy Efficiency and Renewables
  • Day 5 – Climate Change

Download the P2 Week Toolkit.