EPA Awards $9.3M in Pollution Prevention Grants

Sept. 24, 2020

As part of Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently selected 42 organizations across 39 states to receive grant funding totaling $9.3 million, supporting pollution prevention across the country. These grants will fund projects that provide businesses and other facilities with information, training, and tools to develop and adopt cost-effective changes in pursuit of pollution prevention.

“As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act, we are proud to announce more than $9 million in P2 grants, which will help businesses in communities across the United States protect the environment and reduce waste and costs,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The work done as a result of EPA’s P2 grants will create best practices that current and future organizations can use to cut pollution and advance innovation and economic growth.”

Arizona State University’s (ASU) $376,344 grant will provide technical assistance to food and beverage manufacturing and aerospace manufacturing companies in Arizona, focusing on reducing water and energy use. ASU will create a demonstration and training tool related to water quality, quantity and flow sensors to illustrate how a company can implement real-time water audits to reduce water use. In addition, the project will deliver online, on-demand information and practical guidance to increase water and energy efficiency.

In California, UC Berkeley’s Greener Solutions program has been selected as one of the national grantees. This initiative partners students with companies interested in adopting sustainable chemistry. UC Berkeley’s $194,832 grant will help identify alternatives to chemicals of concern currently used in the carpet and food packaging industries, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals commonly used in consumer and industrial products, which are known to have adverse health effects through continued exposure above specific levels.

In Nevada, Western Nevada College (WNC) has been selected as one of the national grantees. WNC will partner with the Nevada non-profit greenUP! to help food and beverage manufacturers and processors and automobile repair and maintenance businesses implement pollution prevention. They will use the $345,108 grant to train 40 manufacturers on safer chemical alternatives, water reduction, energy efficiency and environmental best practices. They also will recruit 10 WNC college interns to conduct onsite visits and provide technical assistance to these manufacturers.

EPA anticipates that it will award these individual grant projects ranging in the amounts of $25,000 to $498,000 once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied. The projects will focus on helping businesses implement changes in production, operation, and use of materials to reduce costs and the use of water, energy, and other natural resources.

For these grants, EPA emphasizes the importance of grantees documenting and sharing P2 best practices that are identified and developed through these grants, so that others can replicate these practices and outcomes. Each grantee will be required to 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 the P2 practices could benefit other businesses or P2 technical assistance providers. The work done under these grants will focus on at least one of the five P2 priority areas, also referred to as National Emphasis Areas and support several of the agency’s Smart Sectors. These areas include food and beverage manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, aerospace product/part manufacturing, and metal manufacturing.

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