EPA Funds Pollution Prevention Projects in New Jersey and New York

From funding smart meters on college campuses, to reducing hazardous chemicals in high school laboratories, to promoting alternatives to dry cleaning, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making its pollution prevention grants count across New Jersey and New York. The EPA has awarded more than $600,000 in grants to fund projects that help prevent pollution in these two states.

“EPA’s pollution prevention grants help businesses, colleges and state agencies identify strategies to reduce the use of toxic materials, save energy, protect human health and save money,” said Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “These grants will fund programs that reduce or eliminate waste at the source, instead of treating pollution after it is generated.”

EPA awarded the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology a $69,000 grant to promote wet cleaning in dry cleaners throughout the state. Traditional dry cleaning uses an environmentally hazardous solvent, while wet cleaning uses water-based biodegradable detergents. The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute will select two dry cleaners as case studies, and will provide technical assistance and funding to defray equipment costs for converting to wet cleaning. Information will be shared with other dry cleaning businesses.

EPA is providing the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation $180,000 to train college students to work as interns in pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities conducting pollution prevention assessments of their operations. The goals will be to achieve measurable reductions in energy and water use, minimize contaminants present in wastewater discharges, and reduce operational costs. EPA is also providing NYSDEC with $90,000 to reduce hazardous chemicals being used, stored and generated by New York State high school laboratories by providing assistance with chemical inventories, the development of chemical hygiene plans and the distribution of green chemistry guides.

Rowan University will use a $106,194 EPA grant to assist the pharmaceutical industry in implementing source reduction, pollution prevention, and green engineering design through an engineering clinic program. In these clinics, Rowan professors and students will demonstrate to industry representatives how they can reduce energy consumption, water consumption, hazardous material releases and save money in their manufacturing processes. 

With the help of a $50,000 EPA grant, the Rutgers University Center for Advanced Energy Systems will implement a smart electrical metering system on their Busch and Livingston campuses in Piscataway, New Jersey. Smart meters record energy consumption and communicate that information to utilities and their customers. This system will allow Rutgers to identify ways to achieve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption, while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and energy costs. Rutgers will demonstrate the results of the smart metering system to other universities in the state system and neighboring universities.

EPA is additionally providing Rutgers University with a $150,000 grant to recruit high school students as “Water Champions” to lead water conservation changes throughout their communities. These students will educate their communities about water conservation, recruit local retailers to participate in selling water efficient devices, gather data and calculate water saved from installations of water efficient devices, share project results and encourage participation from other organizations.

These grants are part of the approximately $4 million in grants EPA awards each year aimed at preventing pollution across the nation. For more information on EPA Region 2’s pollution prevention program, visit http://www.epa.gov/region02/p2/

In support of pollution prevention, EPA will be hosting a one-day conference entitled "Unleashing Green Chemistry and Engineering in Service of a Sustainable Future," on Friday, Sept. 23, 2011 at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. The event will highlight and encourage green chemistry and engineering innovations, investments, applications, and policies which can lead to improved human health and the environment and a more sustainable economy.

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