Spray Paint Efficiency Training to be offered in Indianapolis on August 23

This training will help painters and managers in any kind of paint shop save money and protect worker health.

This hands-on training will help participants reduce paint material costs, save money, improve air quality, and meet environmental standards. Participants also receive a five year 6H Certification as well as an understanding of NESHAP and 6H surface coating regulations.

A virtual paint booth will be utilized to improve technique.

The training is for painters and paint shop managers of all kinds and sizes—from collision repair and auto shops to industrial paint shops and fleet management facilities. The training is in English, but Spanish language services are available.

Upon completing the training, painters improve their spray efficiency by an average of 20 percent. For most shops, this improvement makes a significant difference. In 2014 PPRC’s spray efficiency program saved businesses over one million dollars in material and other costs as well as preventing over 18,000 pounds of air emissions. An average shop of 10 painters can expect VOC reductions of about 2600 pounds and annual savings of 5,000 to 50,000 dollars.

The head trainer, Ken Grimm, has provided train-the-trainer courses to more than two dozen Community and Technical Colleges in the Pacific Northwest, as well as training to more than 150 collision repair shops and industrial facilities.

Two sessions are offered: an afternoon session from noon to 4:00 p.m. EDT (registration and lunch at 11:30 a.m.); and an evening session from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. EDT (registration at 4:00 p.m and dinner at 6:00 p.m.)

Both sessions will be held at:

Speak Easy Downtown
47 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN

Website: https://speakeasyindy.com/

Registration fee is $130 per person for each session. Registration deadline is August 20, 2018.

This training event is being offered through funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) through the collaboration of P2Rx centers facilitated by the Environmental Sustainability Resource Center (ESRC) and the Great Lakes Region Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR), presented by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC), and hosted by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM).

Sustainability 101: Storytelling

As a relative newbie to the concept of sustainability, I knew that were would be a whole set of beliefs and expectations I had never encountered before. However, I didn’t anticipate just how many layers and facets there are. My findings this week establish how sustainability exists not only as a measured attempt to avoid the unnecessary consumption of natural resources, but also a verifiable business method.

In The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s webinar Rebuilding Customer Trust with Stronger Sustainability Communication, Mike Hower of Edelman’s Business + Social Purpose Practice describes how organizations can use sustainability as a communications strategy to improve their overall brand reputation. The discussion hinges on “sustainability storytelling,” or the way in which positive sustainability practices can be packaged and promoted to engage customers and local communities on sustainability and improve the company’s bottom line.

Sustainability storytelling covers a lot of ground, from energy to waste management to climate change to water supply to pollution. In his presentation, Hower breaks it down into specific takeaways. These principles are distinct threads that can be looped together to create a marketable, mainstream image of sustainability. This “story” allows an organization to not only meaningfully contribute to a healthier environment, but also significantly boost its public image. However, successfully telling this story in an engaging, thoughtful, and convincing manner can be a difficult task.   

In his presentation, Hower discusses the importance of avoiding puffery. It’s easy to create a dramatic, Shakespearean campaign that appeals to the general public’s fear of a big-budget disaster movie finally becoming reality. However, images of tsunamis and volcanic eruptions will only cause momentary distress, not inspire legitimate action. Encouraging the implementation of sustainability involves effective, open communication that aims to inform, not to depress. Marketing can’t feel like a cash-grab. It can’t be portrayed as an intangible, abstract concept that capitalizes on sustainability ’s trendiness, because you’ll lose your audience’s trust. Instead, you need to be as accessible and transparent as possible. You’ll have failures and times when it feels like more trouble than it’s worth, but the results in the long-run will enrich your company and your customers.

The Bottom Line

My biggest takeaway from this webinar is the surprising connection between sustainability and social awareness. Both for-profit businesses and not-for-profit organizations, as well as individuals who promote the importance of sustainability, help create workplaces that educate, bring awareness, and inspire action. As it happens, the financial incentives and boost to your company’s image aren’t so bad either.

Sustainability 101: A Novice Perspective

Let me create a scenario for you. You’re standing in a group at a casual dinner party, drink in hand, the rhythmic drone of music and conversation in the background. You hit all the traditional conversational topics– how’s your semester going, what are your plans, how’s your significant other, your family, etc.– and then the topic drops. The one topic that’s timely, important, a consistent fixture in the current news cycle. The one that brings out that nervous sweat on the back of your neck, that makes you smile politely as your eyes glaze over and think, “Maybe if I just throw in a slight, robotic nod every few minutes, they’ll just stop talking.” The one topic that you just can’t seem to connect with, no matter how many step-by-step YouTube tutorials you view or National Geographic miniseries you watch.

For many people, that topic is sustainability. It’s easy to let the extent of your sustainability savvy be restricted to the “reduce, reuse, recycle” jingle you learned in elementary school. But why is that? Why are so many people still uninterested in learning more about the environment and sustainability?  

Maybe it has to do with stereotypes. Some people still think being environmentally conscious means tying yourself to a tree to prevent its destruction, eating an extreme amount of granola, and busting your entire paycheck at Whole Foods. Or maybe it has to do with the way in which “going green” is typically presented. “101 Ways To...” social media articles and eco-documentaries that insist we’ve doomed the Earth can both be overwhelming and foster a sense of hopelessness. 

I think it has to do with a subtle sense of fear of change, a hesitancy to see just how much everyday behavior contributes to the deeply destructive depletion of natural resources. Ignorance is bliss and that’s the route that many people choose to follow. Sustainability is a completely new world for me, but that’s what makes it intriguing. Sometimes, all it takes to understand sustainability is the shared experiences of someone who is just as new and fearful of change as you are.

The Bottom Line

In the coming weeks, I’ll be doing my own deep dive into the realm of sustainability by highlighting specific topics and people that strike a chord with me along the way. I’m going to cover communications strategies, green marketing, consumer behavior/consumption, disaster risk reduction, post-consumer recycling, environmental tourism, and urban development. Hopefully, I can provide an accessible, alternative perspective that helps makes things a little clearer, so that at your next dinner party, if sustainability becomes the topic, you’ll be good to go.

—-

Author Bio: Trent Esker is a journalism major currently attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the ISTC team in June as a communications intern for the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. Trent is new to sustainability, but is looking forward to furthering his knowledge of the topic through blogging, social media, and closed captioning transcription for GLRPPR. He begins his senior year in the fall.

Upcoming National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) Briefing webinars

Is there going to be National P2 Conference? Does NPPR still have workgroups? Are there plans for P2 Week? What kind of advocacy is NPPR doing at the federal level?

WHAT:  The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) is hosting a webinar this summer to highlight current activities and future plans for the organization.

WHO:  The FREE webinar is open to anyone interested in learning more about the organization and how all stakeholders can work together to better advance and share our pollution prevention (P2) knowledge, successes and opportunities.

WHEN:  There are two separate occasions to participate. Join us on one of the following interactive sessions to learn more:

NPPR:  As the only membership organization in the United States devoted solely to Pollution Prevention (P2), NPPR acts as a window on the P2 community and offers a national forum for promoting the development, implementation, and evaluation of efforts to avoid, eliminate, or reduce pollution at the source.

NPPR’s members are comprised of the country’s preeminent P2 experts from state and local government programs, small business assistance networks, non-profit groups, industry associations, federal agencies and academia, along with representatives from industrial and commercial facilities and interested individuals. There’s a membership level for everyone!

Visit www.p2.org to learn more about NPPR.

Oil and Gas Wastewater Use in Road Maintenance is a Potential Pollution Source

Did you know that at least 13 states–including IL, IN, MI, NY, OH, & PA bordering the Great Lakes–allow wastewater from oil and gas extraction to be used in a variety of road maintenance applications? The high salt content of oil and gas well wastewaters makes them  effective for use in deicing or retaining road moisture for the purposes of dust suppression. At first blush, this arrangement seems like a win-win, saving the well operators money in terms of wastewater treatment, and saving local government funding that might otherwise need to be spent on deicing and dust control fluids. The cost-effectiveness of this arrangement could be particularly important for rural communities with limited budgets.

Map of US highlighting states with regulations for spreading oil and gas (O&G) wastewaters on roads.
From Tasker et al., 2018. Environmental Science & Technology, 52 (12), pp. 7081-7091.

However, a report published in a recent issue of Environmental Science and Technology highlights the potential environmental and human health ramifications of using oil and gas wastewater in this fashion.  From the article’s abstract: “Analyses of O&G wastewaters spread on roads in the northeastern, U.S. show that these wastewaters have salt, radioactivity, and organic contaminant concentrations often many times above drinking water standards. Bioassays also indicated that these wastewaters contain organic micropollutants that affected signaling pathways consistent with xenobiotic metabolism and caused toxicity to aquatic organisms like Daphnia magna. The potential toxicity of these wastewaters is a concern as lab experiments demonstrated that nearly all of the metals from these wastewaters leach from roads after rain events, likely reaching ground and surface water. Release of a known carcinogen (e.g., radium) from roads treated with O&G wastewaters has been largely ignored. In Pennsylvania from 2008 to 2014, spreading O&G wastewater on roads released over 4 times more radium to the environment (320 millicuries) than O&G wastewater treatment facilities and 200 times more radium than spill events. Currently, state-by-state regulations do not require radium analyses prior to treating roads with O&G wastewaters. “

The researchers propose the following means to reduce potential harmful impacts from using oil and gas (O&G) wastewater for road treatment. Note that “DRO” stands for “diesel range organics” and “GRO” is “gas range organics” which is indicative of the total petroleum hydrocarbon present (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_petroleum_hydrocarbon for further information).  “1) Only O&G wastewaters that have been treated at wastewater treatment facilities should be considered for road spreading. The high calcium, sodium, and magnesium concentrations in O&G wastewaters are important for suppressing dust. In addition to the high salt concentrations, these wastewaters contain lead, radium, and organic compounds that could be potentially toxic. Wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove the high salt concentrations in O&G wastewaters. However, they can effectively remove radium, oil and grease, and other trace metals. 2) O&G wastewaters approved for road spreading should contain <60 pCi/L radium and <10 mg/L of total DRO and GRO, similar to other industrial wastewater effluent standards. No induction to human cell receptors was observed at DRO and GRO concentrations below 10 mg/L. In most cases, the chemical composition of O&G wastewater intended for road spreading must be submitted and approved before use. However, requirements for these chemical characterizations are relatively modest, vary widely between states, and currently do not include radium. Having chemical standards for O&G wastewaters that can be spread on roads could help reduce the potential toxicity concerns associated with this practice. 3) Affordable nontoxic dust suppressants should be developed and used.”

In other words, they recommend development and use of cheaper, nontoxic alternatives for the benefit of communities with limited road maintenance budgets, and in instances where oil and gas wastewaters are used, those substances should be treated first to remove potentially toxic trace metals, as well as tested and confirmed as having levels of radium and petroleum hydrocarbon levels deemed safe based on industrial wastewater treatment standards.

Read the full article at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.8b00716.

Citation: T. L. Tasker, W. D. Burgos, P. Piotrowski, L. Castillo-Meza, T. A. Blewett, K. B. Ganow, A. Stallworth, P. L. M. Delompré, G. G. Goss, L. B. Fowler, J. P. Vanden Heuvel, F. Dorman, and N. R. Warner. 2018. Environmental and Human Health Impacts of Spreading Oil and Gas Wastewater on Roads. Environmental Science & Technology, 52 (12), pp. 7081-7091. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b00716.

#BeatPlasticPollution on World Environment Day

Today is an important “holiday” of sorts for those of us who are sustainability professionals. On this day in 1972, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm Sweden, began (June 5-16, 1972). The purpose of that conference was to discuss human interactions with the environment, as well as encouraging governments and international organizations to take action related to environmental issues and providing guidelines for such action. This was the UN’s first major conference on international environmental issues, and it culminated in what’s commonly called the “Stockholm Declaration”—the first document in international environmental law to recognize the right to a healthy environment. Two years later, in 1974, the first World Environment Day was held on June 5 with the theme of “Only One Earth.” Since then, World Environment Day has been celebrated annually on June 5th. Each year has a theme around which activities center, and beginning in the late 1980s, the main celebrations began to rotate to different cities around the globe. Learn more about the UN Conference on the Human Environment at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/milestones/humanenvironment and the history of World Environment Day at http://worldenvironmentday.global/en/about/world-environment-day-driving-five-decades-environmental-action.

This year’s World Environment Day theme, chosen by the host nation, India, (New Delhi is the host city) is “beating plastic pollution,” with the tagline “If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.” According to the World Environment Day web site: “While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over reliant on single-use or disposable plastic – with severe environmental consequences. Around the world, 1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute. Every year we use up to 5 trillion disposable plastic bags. In total, 50 per cent of the plastic we use is single use. Nearly one third of the plastic packaging we use escapes collection systems, which means that it ends up clogging our city streets and polluting our natural environment. Every year, up to 13 million tons of plastic leak into our oceans, where it smothers coral reefs and threatens vulnerable marine wildlife. The plastic that ends up in the oceans can circle the Earth four times in a single year, and it can persist for up to 1,000 years before it fully disintegrates. Plastic also makes its way into our water supply – and thus into our bodies. What harm does that cause? Scientists still aren’t sure, but plastics contain a number of chemicals, many of which are toxic or disrupt hormones. Plastics can also serve as a magnet for other pollutants, including dioxins, metals and pesticides.”

To combat the environmental and human health issues associated with the global addiction to single use plastics, the UN Environment Programme is encouraging people to join the global game of #BeatPlasticPollution tag. Here’s how to play:

  1. Choose which type of single-use plastic you’re ready to give up.
  2. Take a selfie (photo or video) showing yourself with the reusable alternative that you’re ready to embrace.
  3. Share your selfie on social media and “tag” three friends, businesses or high-profile people to challenge them to do the same within 24 hours. Be sure to use the #BeatPlasticPollution hashtag and mention @UNEnvironment.

So what single use plastic item will you pledge to give up today—plastic straws, disposable plastic shopping bags, disposable coffee pods, plastic water bottles, or something else? For inspiration, see http://worldenvironmentday.global/en/get-involved/join-global-game-beatplasticpollution-tag.

Image of the #beatplasticpollution poster, outlining the steps for playing the global game of "tag" described in this post.

This post was written by Joy Scrogum, ISTC Sustainability Specialist.

ESRC’s Sustainable Business Training Series

The Environmental Sustainability Resource Center (ESRC), GLRPPR’s P2Rx partner serving EPA regions 3 and 4, is hosting a series of training webinars intended to enhance business operations through applied sustainability strategies. The four-part webinar series is designed to educate commercial and industrial facilities on the business case for environmental sustainability, identify building blocks for a successful program and provide examples and resources to help turn actions into outcomes.

Topics include:

  • Waste minimization
  • The “Cost of Doing Nothing”
  • Chemical substitution, reuse and waste exchanges
  • Evaluation tools and resources
  • Success story presentation
  • Technical assistance

You can find links to these and other P2 training opportunities on the Training Videos and Webinars page of the Pollution Prevention 101 LibGuide.

Minneapolis first ‘perc-free’ city in the nation

Minneapolis became the first city in the nation to go entirely “perc-free” as the last dry cleaner switched over to a safer process. With help from the City of Minneapolis, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, East Isles Resident Association and Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association, Osman Cleaners switched its machines over from using perchloroethylene – also called “perc” – to a process using clean solvents safer for employees, neighbors and customers. In less than six years since the City’s cost-sharing program began, Minneapolis has helped the last nine dry cleaners in the city using perchloroethylene replace their equipment to make the switch.

Perchloroethylene is the main chemical solvent used in dry cleaning. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies perchloroethylene as a “likely carcinogen”; it also has the potential to damage the kidneys, liver, immune system and blood system, and affect reproduction and fetal development. A 2015 Minneapolis Health Department study detected 99 occasions of perchloroethylene above levels that are considered health risks over a long period of time in outdoor, ambient air in Minneapolis.

Financial assistance from the neighborhood groups made this and other cost-prohibitive projects possible for small businesses and also laid groundwork for more healthy City-neighborhood partnerships.

The funds for the program come from pollution control fees that businesses pay to the City. Find more information about the City’s green business cost-sharing programs here.

Indiana Partners for Pollution Prevention seeks presentations for 2018 Conference and Trade Show

The Indiana Partners for Pollution Prevention (http://www.in.gov/idem/ppp/2329.htm) invites submission of
presentation proposals for the 21st Annual Pollution Prevention Conference and Trade Show on September
19, 2018 at The Marriott North Indianapolis, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The theme of the conference is Sustainability: Pollution Prevention is a Piece of the Puzzle.

The Annual Conference and Trade Show is attended by manufacturers, consultants, not‐for‐profits, government agencies, and vendors interested in promoting pollution prevention efforts in Indiana and beyond. Updated information about the 2018 Conference
will be available at http://www.in.gov/idem/ppp/2334.htm. Presentations from the 2017 conference can be
seen at http://www.in.gov/idem/ppp/2333.htm.

Topics of interest include:

  • wastewater management and success stories in pollution prevention/reduction via
    manufacturing efficiency;
  • green chemistry and engineering;
  • emerging technologies for waste reduction and treatment; and
  • resource conservation.

Presentations that discuss the intersection of sustainability and environmental stewardship with pollution prevention are also sought. Presentations that provide continuing education units (CEUs) for wastewater operator/apprentice, drinking water operator, legal, and professional engineer credits will be given highest consideration.

Submissions must be received by March 11, 2017.

Selection Criteria

Particular consideration will be given to presentations that discuss:

  • Pollution prevention, sustainability, and related concepts
  • Emerging innovations in pollution prevention
  • Success stories, new technologies, and best management practices
  • Economic analyses and life cycle assessments
  • Demonstrated protection of human health and the environment
  • Environmental Management Systems
  • Updates on existing and emerging regulations and government programs and their implications

Please note the definition of pollution prevention used by the Partners: Pollution prevention (P2) means working at the source of pollutants to prevent them from being generated or to reduce the amount generated. It is using materials and energy more efficiently, and conserving natural resources, including water. It is following best management practices, and involving all employees in their implementation, to reduce and prevent pollution. Finally, P2 means also seeing the financial benefits of increased efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water or other resources.

Instructions for Submitting Proposals

You may submit more than one presentation idea. All submissions must be received by March 11, 2018.

For each proposed presentation, please submit the requested information to Steve Leeper via email
(stephen.leeper@evonik.com) or U.S. Mail to the address below:
Steve Leeper
Evonik Corporation Tippecanoe Laboratories
Mail Stop TL72
1650 Lilly Road
Lafayette, IN 47909‐9201

Presenter(s):
Name(s) of Author(s):
Title(s) of Author(s):
Organization(s):
Address(es):
Phone Number(s):
Fax Number(s):
Email(s):
Biography for each author (Limit: 125 words – per author):

  1. Presentation Title:
  2. Abstract (Limit: 200 words – to be printed in the conference materials and included on the conference web
    site, for accepted presentations):
  3. Intended Audience:
  4. Learning Objectives (i.e., knowledge and skills conveyed by your presentation):
  5. Previous presentation of this material, if any (When and Where):
  6. Audio Visual Needs (beyond microphones, screens, projectors, and laptop computers):
  7. Planned Duration (either 25 or 50 minutes, including time for questions and discussion):

All submitters will be notified of the decisions of the Executive Committee by mid‐April 2016.

The Executive Committee reserves the right to accept or reject presentations based on fit with the overall conference agenda. Submission of a proposal does not guarantee participation in the conference program.

For accepted presentations, a draft presentation MUST be submitted to the Partners by June 1, 2018. Draft presentations will be reviewed and comments provided to provide presenters with insight into the conference audience and to ensure that presentations are strategically focused.

Final presentations MUST be received (PowerPoint and/or pdf) to Partners by September 1, 2018.

Please address any questions to Steve Leeper (stephen.leeper@evonik.com; 765‐477‐4302). Backup contacts are Ben McKnight (bmcknight@electro‐spec.com; 317‐738‐9199 ext 935) and Jennifer Collins (jcollins1@idem.in.gov; 317‐234‐9730).