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Winter 2020

Top row (l-r): Michelle Spitznagel, Kurt Middlecoop Bottom row (l-r): Derek Boer, Ben Jarvis

Top row (l-r): Michelle Spitznagel, Kurt Middlecoop
Bottom row (l-r): Derek Boer, Ben Jarvis

Message from the Chair

Meet our new board members!

Michelle Spitznagel provides pollution prevention and compliance assistance to companies in the textile, paper, printing, biotechnology, and polymer industry sectors. She also assists businesses with implementing renewable energy technologies and has experience with coating operations. Michelle’s background includes hazardous materials, underground storage tank regulation, and analytical laboratory work. Michelle has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in environmental science and a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kurt Middelkoop is with the University of Texas at Arlington working for TMAC, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership center for the state of Texas, for the past 22 years. TMAC’s mission is to increase the global competitiveness of the Texas Economy by growing the extended manufacturing enterprise. Kurt presents a holistic, integrated approach advocating sustainable manufacturing practices.

Derek Boer is a Pollution Prevention (P2) Specialist in the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Derek provides P2 technical assistance to businesses, outreach and training to industry, and promotes P2 and sustainability through regional and statewide networks. Derek has a B.A. from the University of Colorado and a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver.

Ben Jarvis has worked as the Pollution Prevention Projects Coordinator at the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality since 2011. During his tenure, he has worked to develop and refine numerous P2 initiatives, including Idaho's Clean Air Zone Program, Pollution Prevention Champions awards, and a Lean Six Sigma Green the Green Belt training for manufacturers. Prior to his work with Idaho DEQ, Ben served as a program analyst for the non-profit Southwest Idaho Council of Governments (Formerly Sage Community Resources), assisting with grants and loans to cities, counties, and businesses impacted by the 2008 financial crisis. He has a bachelors degree in International Political Economy and History from The College of Idaho and a masters degree in Public Administration from Boise State University. He lives in Boise with his wife and daughter.

Pollution Prevention University offers continuing education for P2 professionals

During P2 Week, NPPR launched Pollution Prevention University (P2U), an online training series for P2 professionals. Currently, the webinars are offered at no cost through a partnership with U.S. EPA Region 4.

Three events have been held to date:

The December webinar, entitled Chemical Substitution and Green Alternatives for the Metal Finishing Sector, is a collaboration with the Metal Finishing Workgroup, which focuses on benchmarking education materials, training, and technical assistance programs for metal finishers. 

Featured speakers will be Miguel Rodas, City of Los Angeles Source Reduction Program and Katy Wolf, Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC).

Register today!

NPPR announces 2020 MVP2 Award winners

NPPR has selected the 2020 MVP2 Award winners. They are: 

  • P2 Ambassador: Mark Rossi, Clean Production Action
  • P2 Champion: Rob Reuter, Washington State Department of Ecology
  • Multimedia Award: Brandon and Jennifer SizemoreFounder’s Choice
  • P2 Project: Mike Smothers, USNR
  • Student of the Year: Katherine Gwynn, Oregon State University
  • P2 Educator: Saskia van Bergen, Washington State Department of Ecology
  • P2 Volunteer: Tom Griffin, Virginia Green Travel Alliance

Honorable mentions include:

  • P2 Projects: Middlesex (MA) Sheriff’s Office House of Correction and Jail; Smithfield Foods; Morgan Advanced Materials
  • P2 Volunteer: Laurie Johnson, Colorado Pollution Prevention Advisory Board

Read more about the award winners on our website

The committee chair thanks the nominators, the Awards committee, and the Board members who participated in selection. 

Applications for the 2021 awards are now being accepted. 

Nominate someone today!

Workgroup updates

Food & Beverage

Stacey Snow, PE at ESS Group, presented at the workgroup's December meeting on the many regulatory compliance obstacles companies face, specifically in pollution prevention data tracking and reporting.

Due to updated, proposed, and new regulatory drivers, companies have had to learn how to adapt. Attendees learned how others have embraced these challenges through implementing new ideas, benefiting from economic incentives, and achieving recognition.  

The group also discussed continuing and emerging issues for the F&B Sector including PFAS in packaging and refrigeration leaks.

Listen to the recording and view other links that Stacey provided. 

January's meeting will feature a speaker from CET, while February's will be a roundtable discussion.

Contact Joy Onasch at to be added to this workgroup or have topics of interest. 

View the recording

From the states

Region 1

Aerospace and defense industries find safer alternatives to hexavalent chromium

Led by TURI Research Manager Greg Morose, the Aerospace and Defense Hexavalent Chromium Free Consortium is on the verge of finding safer alternatives to hexavalent chromium for conversion coatings, which is typically the base coating layer applied to bare aluminum. 

The consortium, which includes Boeing, Lockheed Martin, NASA and Raytheon, has been working together since 2012 and has found safer alternatives to hexavalent chromium for sealants and bond primers. If this current phase of research is successful, hexavalent chromium could be eliminated from the entire coating system.

Lockheed Martin in Texas has completed the bare aluminum corrosion, neutral salt spray, and paint adhesion performance testing. NASA has started beachfront corrosion testing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. TURI will conduct statistical analysis on the performance test results. A complete report of testing results and recommended safer alternatives is expected in the first quarter of 2021.

Contact Greg Morose for more information.

Learn more about the project

Morgan Advanced Materials ends use of TCE

Morgan Advanced Materials, a Massachusetts manufacturer of ceramic feedthroughs for medical and aerospace industries located in New Bedford, eliminated the use of TCE used in a vapor degreaser.

The company received a TURI grant to purchase a water-based cleaning system and used TURI lab services to test the effectiveness of various solutions to remove wax from parts.

In September, the company shared information in a one-hour online demonstration, which included their decision-making process, return on investment (with and without the TURI grant) and expected improvements in health and safety and regulatory obligations.

The case study includes details on the process to switch to a safer substance and associated savings.

Learn more about the project

Riverdale Mills reduces toxics in coating process

When companies analyze where and how they use toxic chemicals, they can find opportunities to reduce them.

In the case of Riverdale Mills, the wire mesh manufacturer isolated the problem and used ingenuity to develop an in-house, low-cost solution.

The company designed and built two dual-brush roller systems to isolate chemical baths and prevent contamination so that the chemicals could be pumped back into the process and reused.

View the webinar demonstration and read the case study to learn more about the development of the solution, implementation, expected return on investment and chemical reductions.

Learn more about the project

Region 5

Call for Abstracts for 2021 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment virtual conference

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant seek abstracts for the 2021 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment virtual conference.

They are requesting abstracts on all aspects of emerging contaminants in the environment, including research, public health, policy, management, outreach, and education. Possible topics include detection, fate, transport, effects, remediation, prevention, or other related subjects. The conference will include sessions on:

  • per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) (including PFOS, PFOA, & related compounds)
  • pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) (including naturally occurring hormones)
  • plastics and microplastics (including microplastic fibers)
  • algal toxins
  • agricultural Chemicals
  • other emerging contaminants
Submit an abstract

ISTC is hiring an Environmental Analyst

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, seeks to hire a Visiting Senior Scientific Specialist, Environmental Analyst to compile and analyze research data for studies of material waste streams that have been identified as emerging waste concerns. This includes the evaluation of innovative technologies, programs, policies, and market trends on topics related to renewable energy infrastructures. 

The focus of this position will be to address end of life renewable energy equipment (wind turbines, solar panels, batteries).  

Applications must be received by January 8, 2021

Apply today

Wisconsin DNR launches landfill waste characterization study

This past September, SCS Engineers began collecting and sorting samples of municipal solid waste at landfills across the state as part of a study aimed at better understanding what Wisconsinites are throwing in the trash.

Results of the study will provide a powerful planning tool for waste reduction and minimization efforts across the state, and when compared to prior studies conducted in 2003 and 2009, will help officials identify trends in waste and recycling.  

    Read the news release

    Region 10

    FOG Forum seeks speakers for spring virtual training series

    The FOG Forum seeks speakers for its virtual training series to be held in four four virtual modules from April 12-23. The 2021 theme is Local Approaches in a National Context.

    Potential topics include:

    • case studies
    • FOG Data Management
    • FOG Program Enforcement
    • where the collected FOG really goes
    • innovative policy approaches
    • abatement technologies
    • pumping, collection and disposal
    • small communities & FOG

    The forum's target audience is municipal managers, supervisors, engineers and technicians; consultants, hospitality service providers, pumpers.

    Submit proposals to Please include the name and affiliation of the presenter(s), a brief description, and the target audience.

    Submission deadline: January 15, 2021

      Submit a proposal

      U.S. EPA news

      EPA seeks small businesses input on risk management rulemakings for carbon tetrachloride and TCE

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting small businesses, governments, and not-for-profits to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SERs) to provide advice and recommendations to two Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panels. There will be one panel for carbon tetrachloride and one panel for trichloroethylene (TCE). Each will focus on the agency’s development of proposed rules to address unreasonable risks identified in EPA’s recently completed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluations for these chemicals.

      Under TSCA, EPA is required to evaluate the risks associated with exposure to existing chemicals in commerce using the best available science then take action to address any unreasonable risks identified. The agency issued final risk evaluations for carbon tetrachloride and TCE in November 2020, showing unreasonable risks to workers under certain conditions of use. EPA is now moving to the risk management step in the TSCA process by working to draft regulations to protect public health from the unreasonable risks identified in the final risk evaluations.

      SERs will be selected by the SBAR Panels to provide comments on behalf of their company, community, or organization and advise the panels on the potential impacts of the proposed rules on small entities. EPA is seeking self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rule requirements. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, may also serve as SERs. Self-nominations may be submitted through the links below and must be received by December 14, 2020.

      EPA announces several new regulatory actions related to PFAS

      Recently, EPA released several items related to the regulation of PFAS. They are:

      • memorandum detailing an interim National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting strategy for addressing PFAS in EPA-issued wastewater permits
      • Information on progress in developing new analytical methods to test for PFAS compounds in wastewater and other environmental media.
      • Draft guidance for public comment outlining which imported articles are covered by the July 2020 final rule prohibiting companies from manufacturing, importing, processing, or using certain long-chain PFAS without prior EPA review and approval. Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, EPA will accept comments on the guidance for 30 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2020-0621 on

      New publications

      P2 101 LibGuide: Focus on food manufacturing

      The Pollution Prevention 101 LibGuide offers links to a wealth of information for P2 technical assistance providers.

      The food manufacturing page is a first-stop guide to sustainability in the sector. It includes links to:

      • sector news
      • P2 books and manuals
      • case studies
      • regulations, compliance, and standards
      • training
      Visit the P2 101 LibGuide

      Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability Toward a Toxic-Free Environment

      Chemicals are essential for the well-being, high living standards, and comfort of modern society. They are used in many sectors, including health, energy, mobility and housing.

      However, most chemicals have hazardous properties which can harm the environment and human health.

      The EU already has sophisticated chemicals laws in place, but global chemicals production is expected to double by 2030. The already widespread use of chemicals will also increase, including in consumer products.

      The strategy is part of the EU’s zero pollution goal, which is a key piece of the European Green Deal.

        Download the publication

        DOE Better Buildings Case Studies

        AstraZeneca: Energy and environmental savings through continuous monitoring and advanced energy analytics

        AstraZeneca is a global biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of prescription medicines. The campus in Gaithersburg is one of three of AstraZeneca’s global strategic R&D centers.

        With 9 buildings across the campus, there are significant savings opportunities associated with the operations of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for offices, labs, and manufacturing areas.

        Implementing a continuous HVAC controls and monitoring system using advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities has been identified as a key strategy to achieving higher efficiency and reducing environmental impacts for the campus.

        To implement this strategy, AstraZeneca engaged a third-party vendor through a 3-year energy monitoring contract to provide virtual sub-metering and dashboards for tracking and monitoring energy usage.

        Download the case study

        Arcelormittal USA: Power of 1 contest increases employee engagement and generates low- and no-cost project idea

        As part of the annual ArcelorMittal Energy Fair, the company launched the Power of 1 contest to encourage individual employees and teams to submit new low- and no-cost energy savings ideas for their plants. The winning ideas will save the company on energy costs and provide an opportunity for employee recognition.

        Download the case study

        Ford Motor Company: Dearborn campus uses a digital twin tool for energy plant management

        A digital twin is the virtual representation of a physical object or system across its life cycle. Ford uses this technology to accurately detect energy losses, pinpoint areas where energy can be conserved, and improve the overall performance of production lines.

        At Ford’s Dearborn Research and Engineering Campus Central Energy Plant (CEP), the digital twin helps operators and engineers manage energy and operational risks by monitoring the CEP’s energy systems, including the combined heat and power (CHP) system, heat recovery chillers, electric centrifugal chillers, thermal energy storage, and other equipment. 

        Download the case study

        Kilroy Realty Corporation boosts engagement with green janitor education program

        Kilroy Realty Corporation sought to find ways to engage janitorial staff in helping the company reduce energy and water consumption and increase recycling rates across its 13.2 million-square-foot commercial real estate portfolio.

        The solution was to participate in a Green Janitor Education Program, a joint effort by the U.S. Green Building Council Los Angeles Chapter, the Building Owners & Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles, Building Skills Partnership, and the Service Employees International Union.

        Download the case study

        Construction and Demolition Materials Composition Study

        This study by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency characterizes the generation and composition of construction and demolition (C&D) materials originating in Minnesota and disposed of at permitted solid waste facilities with C&D disposal areas.

        Download the publication

        MnTAP Solutions: 2020 Intern Project Summaries

        The 2020 MnTAP Solutions magazine highlights the projects led by twenty-one interns and the companies that supported their recommendations to reduce waste, water, energy. These projects resulted in proposed solutions that could save the companies $4,250,000 annually and will have a significant environmental impact.

        Download the publication

        The Retailer's Guide to Safer Chemicals and Materials

        This how-to guide, developed by Clean Production Action, helps retailers address consumer concerns with hazardous chemicals in products and meet consumer preferences for products made with the safest and healthiest chemicals and materials.

        Retailers are often caught by surprise and need to react quickly to customer concerns, campaigns from environmental groups, and new chemical regulations but knowing what actions to take can be challenging.

        The guide lays out the rationale for moving beyond regulatory compliance to safer chemicals in retail through five modules.

        Download the guide

        Saving Energy: A QuickStart Guide for Small to Medium Manufacturers

        This DOE QuickStart Guide is an introduction to energy efficiency for small and medium manufacturers and connects readers to the tools and resources available from DOE to help them drive energy savings and sustain their progress.

        Download the guide

        Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Recycling and Reuse Program

        The design life of a solar module is 30 years. In the next 5-10 years, states will begin to see a sharp spike in the number of modules that will need to be reused or recycled. Solutions include:

        • Early engagement on module takeback models with national, state, and local stakeholders
        • Feedback loops with public utilities and contractors for resource and system planning
        • Consideration for impacts on landfills, collection and transportation for reuse, recycling, and secondary material markets
        • Education and outreach to businesses & communities

        Download the publication

        Wastewater Energy Management Toolkit

        This toolkit is a collection of resources that enables water resource recovery facilities to learn and benefit from the work of DOE's Better Buildings Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure of the Future (SWIFt) Accelerator.

        Toolkit resources support best practices and innovative approaches successfully used by wastewater facilities to establish and implement energy management and planning.

          Download the toolkit

          Submit a story 

          Do you have a new project, publication, or event you want to promote to your NPPR colleagues?

          Share it in the newsletter!

          Upcoming Events

          P2U: Chemical Substitution and Green Alternatives for the Metal Finishing Sector
          Dec 15, noon-1:30 pm EDT


          U.S. EPA Public Webinar: Trichloroethyene (TCE) Risk Evaluation and Rosk Management
          Dec 15, 1-2:30 pm EDT


          Virtual FOG Forum 2021
          April 2021

          Learn more

          2021 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment virtual conference
          Apr 27-28, 2021

          Learn more

          USDA FOG (Fats, Oils and Grease) Virtual Trainings 2021
          Multiple dates, 2021

          Learn more