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By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on September 8, 2022, that it selected 39 recipients that will receive nearly $12 million in pollution prevention (P2) grants made possible by President Joseph Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $100 million program investment. According to EPA, the grants will allow states and Tribes to provide businesses with technical assistance to help them develop and adopt P2 practices to prevent or reduce pollution before it is even created, while also reducing business and liability costs. Proposed projects include reducing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in food packaging and food waste recycling streams, increasing awareness of green cleaning chemicals in businesses and schools, and helping underserved communities implement P2 best practices to reduce waste and emissions from industrial plants.
 
EPA notes that the P2 program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to underserved communities. State and Tribal programs awarded grants will not be required to provide matching funds, as is required by traditional P2 grants.
 
According to EPA, selected and awarded grantees will document and share P2 best practices they identify and develop through these grants so that others can replicate the practices and outcomes. Each selected grantee will address at least one of the National Emphasis Areas (NEA) established to focus resources to achieve measurable results and to create opportunities to share information among P2 grantees and businesses affiliated with similar NEAs. Each selected grantee will also 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 P2 practices could benefit other businesses or P2 technical assistance providers. The NEAs include food and beverage manufacturing and processing; chemical manufacturing, processing, and formulation; automotive manufacturing and maintenance; aerospace product and parts manufacturing and maintenance; metal manufacturing and fabrication; and supporting P2 in Indian country and for Alaska Native Villages.

Tags: P2, PFAS, pollution

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published the draft fiscal year (FY) 2023-2024 National Program Guidances (NPG) for public comment. The NPGs set forth the strategies and actions EPA and its state and Tribal partners intend to undertake to protect human health and the environment. The draft FY 2023-2024 NPGs include an NPG for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). Work in this NPG directly supports Goal 7, “Ensure Safety of Chemicals for People and the Environment,” in EPA’s FY 2022 - 2026 EPA Strategic Plan. OCSPP’s draft NPG also integrates the Strategic Plan’s goal to tackle climate change, advance environmental justice and civil rights, and consider the health of children and other vulnerable populations in implementing its programs. OCSPP’s program priorities include:

  • Pesticide Cooperative Agreements with States and Tribes;
  • Pollinator Protection Efforts;
  • Revised Pesticide Worker Protection Standard Rule;
  • Revised Certification of Pesticide Applicators Rule;
  • Region-Specific Pesticide Priorities on Those Areas of Greatest Need Nationally;
  • Toxics Release Inventory (TRI);
  • Lead Risk Reduction; and
  • Pollution Prevention (P2).

For each priority, the draft NPG includes a description, strategy, activities, and measures. The draft NPG also includes sections on implementing Tribal work; flexibility and grant planning; federal civil rights responsibilities, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and FY 2023-2024 National Program Measures. Comments on the draft NPGs are due July 14, 2022.

Tags: NPG, OCSPP, P2, TRI

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a webinar on September 24, 2021, for stakeholders to learn how to access and use the pollution prevention (P2) information collected by the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program about projects implemented by companies to eliminate or reduce the creation of chemical waste. According to EPA, community members, local government representatives, facility personnel, and others can access this information through multiple online resources and use it to further the identification and advancement of P2 opportunities. The webinar will include a live demonstration of how to find P2 data for specific facilities, chemicals, and industry sectors, as well as:

  • Details on what data facilities are required to report;
  • Examples of P2 projects implemented at manufacturing facilities; and
  • Resources for and benefits of implementing P2 projects at facilities.

The webinar is also part of a series of webinars to mark the 35th anniversary of the TRI Program. Registration is now open.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards from companies or institutions that have developed a new green chemistry process or product that helps protect human health and the environment. EPA states that in support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to tackle the climate crisis, it is adding a new award category to recognize technology that reduces or eliminates greenhouse gas emissions. EPA will hold a webinar during Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, from 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (EDT), to educate stakeholders on the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards and the nomination process. Nominations are due to EPA by December 10, 2021. According to EPA, an independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute will formally judge the 2022 nominations and make recommendations to EPA for the 2022 winners. EPA anticipates giving awards to outstanding green chemistry technologies in six categories in June 2022.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on March 23, 2021, that it is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards.  According to a Federal Register notice scheduled for publication on March 24, 2021, the awards will recognize the leadership contributions of Safer Choice partners and stakeholders who, over the past year, have shown achievement in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals that further outstanding or innovative source reduction.  EPA “especially encourages” award applications that show how the applicant’s work in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of those products promotes environmental justice, bolsters resilience to the impacts of climate change, results in cleaner air or water, or improves drinking water quality.  All Safer Choice stakeholders and program participants in good standing are eligible for recognition.  Interested parties should submit to EPA information about their accomplishments and contributions during 2020.  Submissions are due May 31, 2021.  EPA will recognize award winners at a ceremony in fall 2021.
 
Safer Choice is an EPA Pollution Prevention (P2) program, which includes practices that reduce, eliminate, or prevent pollution at its source, such as using safer ingredients in products.  The Safer Choice program certifies products containing ingredients that have met its “specific and rigorous” human health and environmental toxicological criteria.  EPA notes that the Safer Choice program allows companies to use its label “on certified products that contain safer ingredients and perform, as determined by expert evaluation.”  EPA states that the Safer Choice program certification “represents a high level of achievement in formulating products that are safer for people and the environment.”


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
On March 5, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is seeking grant applications through the Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program from states, federally recognized tribes, universities, local governments, and other groups to support innovative solutions for source reduction or pollution prevention (P2) through research, education, training, or certain other methods.  EPA notes that as it highlights chemical safety during the month of March, “these grants support that goal by providing information, training, and tools to improve public health and the surrounding environment, reduce pollutants, and decrease resource use (e.g., water and energy).”  EPA anticipates awarding individual grants in the range of $20,000 - $200,000 for a two-year funding period (or between $10,000 - $100,000 per year), though award amounts may vary based on EPA region.  EPA anticipates awarding 20 grants in total.  EPA states that grant applications should focus on at least one of the following P2 priority areas, also referred to as National Emphasis Areas (NEA) that support several of the EPA’s Smart Sectors.  Through these grants, technical assistance and projects should encourage businesses to identify, develop, and adopt P2 practices and reduce waste in the following sectors:

  • Food and Beverage Manufacturing and Processing (NEA #1);
  • Chemical Manufacturing, Processing, and Formulation (NEA #2);
  • Automotive Manufacturing and Maintenance (NEA #3);
  • Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing and Maintenance (NEA #4); and
  • Metal Manufacturing and Fabrication (NEA #5).

Proposals are due by April 30, 2020.  Additional information is available on www.grants.gov, under Funding Opportunity Announcement EPA-HQ-OPPT-2020-002.

 

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By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Pollution Prevention (P2) Grant Program has announced the availability of funds to provide technical assistance (e.g., information, training, tools) to businesses to encourage the development and implementation of source reduction practices.  EPA states that source reduction practices can help businesses save money by reducing resource use, expenditures, waste, and liability costs, while at the same time reducing their environmental footprint and helping to protect human health and the environment.  Applications for fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021 are due March 31, 2020.
 
EPA states that it anticipates awarding approximately $9.38 million in total federal pollution prevention grant funding over a two-year funding cycle ($4.69 million in FY 2020 funds and approximately $4.69 million in FY 2021 funds).  According to EPA, P2 grants are expected to be awarded in each EPA region and will be funded in the form of grants or cooperative agreements.  EPA provides the following “quick facts” for P2 grants:

  • Eligibility:  State governments, colleges, and universities (recognized as instrumentalities of the state), federally recognized tribes, and intertribal consortia;
  • Match requirement:  50 percent match; for tribal governments that place P2 grant activities into a performance partnership grant (PPG) agreement, the match for the tribe is reduced to five percent;
  • Review of applications:  Along with other requirements that are noted in the Request for Applications (RFA), applications must address one of the following statutory/regulatory criteria to merit further review:
    • Provide technical assistance and/or training to businesses/facilities about source reduction techniques to help them adopt and implement source reduction approaches and to increase the development, adoption, and market penetration of greener products and sustainable manufacturing practices; and
    • Identify, develop, document, and share P2 best management practices and innovations so this information may inform future technical assistance and these P2 approaches and outcomes may be replicated by others;
  • Range of awards:  Individual grant awards may potentially be in the range of $40,000-$500,000 for the two-year funding period (between $20,000 and $250,000 incrementally funded per year).  Some EPA regions may have lower award caps, however; and
  • Average number of grants issued: 40.

 
EPA will hold an informational webinar on February 19, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST).