[Post author: Wayne Duke]
To encourage Indiana manufacturers to identify opportunities that can reduce pollution, conserve raw materials and save money, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is offering industry and communities free, confidential pollution prevention opportunity assessments. New to the program is a special impetus to encourage the reduction of toxic chemicals and the opportunity to receive funding for qualifying projects.
This year, IDEM was awarded funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to fund pollution prevention grants that reduce toxics in Indiana. Indiana facilities with ideas for pollution prevention projects, including those identified by an assessment, are eligible to submit a pre-application for an Indiana Pollution Prevention Grant by June 11, 2010.
Projects that reduce the use of any chemical on the Resource Conservation Challenge Priority Chemicals list or the Regional Priority Chemical list or replace a listed chemical with a less toxic substance will receive additional points toward their overall score when evaluated for funding. Also, projects identified by an IDEM assessment conducted between June 2009 and June 2010 will receive additional points toward their overall score when evaluated for funding.
“This new grant offers a wonderful opportunity for businesses and communities to re-evaluate where in their processes positive change can be made,” said IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly. “Pollution prevention opportunity assessments do not cost businesses anything except time, and there are so many benefits that can be achieved from this effort.”
Assessments are provided on-site and can help facilities do a number of positive things, such as: identify ways to minimize risk by reducing or eliminating toxic chemicals, reduce operating expenses, use fewer raw materials, conserve energy, reduce wastes and emissions, meet regulatory requirements, and improve employee safety.
“An added bonus from undergoing a pollution prevention assessment is the positive company image that may result from implementing some of the recommendations,” said Commissioner Easterly.
Expenses such as ongoing program costs, permanent building structures, capital improvement or equipment and site improvements will not be funded through the Indiana Pollution Prevention Grant Program.
To schedule a free, confidential pollution prevention opportunity assessment, contact IDEM at (800) 988-7901. A complete list of priority chemicals can be found at www.idem.IN.gov/5224.htm.