Archive for the 'Minnesota' Category

Use of Formaldehyde and HBCD in Minnesota

Monday, October 7th, 2013 by

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has completed a project with the Stratford Companies to work with the MPCA to assess the presence and use of formaldehyde and Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in Minnesota’s composite and fabricated wood building and furnishing products by manufacturers, architects, engineers and contractors (the value chain). Links to summaries of the findings from these surveys are below. Copies of the final white papers are available by request to Mark Snyder.

More information on the ongoing project is available here.

Minnesota Puts Spotlight on Green Chemistry and Design

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 by

The GLRPPR Blog is pleased to welcome Phyllis Strong, Pollution Prevention Coordinator for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). She’s written a guest post about MPCA’s green chemistry and design projects. If you’d like to contribute a post to the GLRPPR Blog, please contact Laura Barnes at l-barnes at illinois.edu.

Over the past four years, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has worked on specific projects to promote green chemistry and design practices. These projects build on green design work we had done in the past. Green chemistry and design involves formulating or designing new products (or reformulating or redesigning existing ones) to reduce environmental, workplace, human health, and energy use impacts over the product’s entire life-cycle. Our goal is to promote its practice in the state and beyond.

We recently completed the following projects:

Demonstration Projects
Cortec, Ecolab, and Salo recently completed demonstration projects. Their case studies are posted here. Cortec developed two new metal primers. Ecolab developed five new hard surface cleaners and addressed their sustainable packaging. Salo investigated the use of styrene-free resin in its manufacture of bathing systems.

Curriculum Projects
University of Minnesota – Duluth, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, University of St. Catherine, and Winona State University completed curriculum development for undergraduate course work. They modified, created, and supplemented chemistry courses to include green chemistry and design principles. They developed and improved chemistry activities. They adapted engineering courses. Their case studies and a webcast are posted here.

Green chemistry curriculum development is currently underway at two universities. Northwestern Health Sciences University is developing a consistent program of chemistry laboratory lectures and experiments featuring an emphasis on green chemistry for undergraduate chemistry courses. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities is developing an experiment that illustrates the synthesis of a block copolymer which incorporates at least one renewable monomer, is biodegradable in the environment, and has tangible characteristics students can explore. Progress on these projects will also be posted on our Green Chemistry Curriculum Project web page.

Composites project
Project activities focused on operational requirements and performance of a styrene free resin system for the Minnesota fiber reinforced plastics sector. We faced challenges as we completed the project. We shared these challenges as well as reasonable next steps. The case study and a webcast are posted here.

The following projects are currently in progress:

BPA in Thermal Paper project
The goals for the project are to:

  • determine how much BPA is contained in the thermal papers used by participating partners in the hospitality sector,
  • estimate how much BPA is contained in Minnesota’s recycled papers,
  • promote switching to paperless point-of sale systems, or as a second-choice option, to switch to BPA-free thermal papers or a non-thermal paper system, and
  • promote use of paperless systems or BPA-free or non-thermal papers to other Minnesota businesses

Formaldehyde in Building Products project
We will be conducting outreach to determine the extent of remaining uses in Minnesota.

NP and NPE in Detergents project
We are conducting outreach to determine the extent of remaining uses of nonylphenol (NP) or nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE) in detergents at commercial and institutional laundries.

Register for GLRPPR/EPA Region 5 Webinar

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 by

Join the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR) and U.S. EPA Region 5 for a webinar on May 12.  Space is limited. Reserve your webinar seat now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/440261202.  After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The GLRPPR/EPA Webinar provides an opportunity to hear about P2 Programs in the region, ask questions and stay connected.

Agenda:

  1. Opening comments by Julie Guenther, Region 5 EPA
  2. Presentation by IL: a. GLRPPR – Bob Iverson; b. I-CORE – Mike Springman
  3. Presentation by MN – Phyllis Strong: a. P2 Grant work; b. Green Chemistry and Design program; c. P2 integration program
  4. Presentation by MI – Karen Edlin: a. Economy, Energy and Environment (E3); b. Michigan’s Sustainable Hospital Initiative; c. Advancing Green Chemistry
  5. Presentation by IN – Jennifer Schick

Title: GLRPPR/EPA Region 5 Forum
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2011
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM PDT  

System Requirements:

  • PC-based attendees–Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
  • Macintosh®-based attendees–Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Contact Bob Iverson, GLRPPR Executive Director, for further information or questions.

Our thanks to Donna Walden, Regional Coordinator at the Western Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Network (WSPPN), one of our sister P2Rx Centers, for assisting with the set up and administration of this webinar.

Program Director – Minnesota Technical Assistance Program

Friday, October 8th, 2010 by

The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) at the University of Minnesota is seeking a Program Director to provide technical outreach and program oversight. MnTAP is an outreach and assistance program helps Minnesota businesses develop and implement solutions that prevent pollution at the source, maximize efficient use of resources, and reduce energy use and cost. The director will be responsible for developing programs to meet business’ needs, pursing funding opportunities for program activities, collaborating with multiple in-state and national programs, managing staff, and providing technical assistance to businesses within one or two manufacturing sectors. Candidates must have a master’s degree or equivalent experience in a technical field; 8-10 years of experience in program development, budgeting, and project management; and excellent communication skills. To apply, visit employment.umn.edu, click “Search Postings,” and search for job posting #168670.

MnTAP Director Leaving After 25 Years

Friday, October 8th, 2010 by

After 25 years of leading the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP)‘s efforts to assist Minnesota businesses and help improve the environment, MnTAP Director Cindy McComas is retiring at the end of the year. Cindy started at MnTAP a few months after the organization was founded and was named director shortly after joining the program. Upon her retirement, she is looking forward to pursuing new adventures, continuing to teach a pollution prevention course at the University of Minnesota, and spending more time with her family.

We offer Cindy our best wishes for her retirement, and hope she knows that many of her colleagues throughout the region will miss her!

Call For P2 Results Data, Calendar Years 2007, 2008 & 2009

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 by

The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) / Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) P2 Results Task Force requests that your agency/program submit P2 results data for the calendar years 2007, 2008, and 2009 to your regional P2Rx center (GLRPPR for U.S. EPA Region 5) for input into the P2 Results Data System per the P2 Results Memorandum of Understanding. The P2 Results Data collection will begin on August 1, 2010 through September 30, 2010.

Click here to read the rest of the article

MnTAP celebrates 25 years of pollution prevention assistance

Friday, July 2nd, 2010 by

This year the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) will mark 25 years of providing waste management, pollution prevention, and energy efficiency assistance to Minnesota’s businesses. 2010 is also the 20th anniversary of the Toxic Pollution Prevention Act (TPPA).

On Thursday, August 19th, a 25th Anniversary reception to celebrate MnTAP’s success will follow the annual intern presentations at the McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota. The Intern presentations will be held from 1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. and the reception will be held from 4:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.

For more information or to RSVP visit http://www.seek.state.mn.us/calendar_detail.cfm?ID=6164.

Happy birthday MnTAP!

New GLRPPR Sector Resource on Electronic Waste

Friday, May 22nd, 2009 by

Recently Indiana became the 19th state in the U.S. to enact electronic waste regulations with the signing of HB 1589. The group of states with such regulations also includes Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois in the Great Lakes region. According to the Electronics Take Back Coalition, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New York will be considering e-waste legislation in 2009. At the local level, New York City also has electronic waste regulations. At the federal level, H.R. 1580, the Electronic Waste Research and Development Act, has been voted upon by the U.S. House of Representatives and been received by the Senate.

Given this trend, it seems appropriate to launch a resource collection on the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR) site focused specifically on e-waste issues. The GLRPPR Electronic Waste Sector Resource will include links to relevant legislation, news, events, funding opportunities, and contacts. This resource list is under development, so if you are aware of resources for e-waste programs in your state, please feel free to send links to Joy Scrogum for potential inclusion in this new resource list. An RSS feed is available for the Electronic Waste Sector Resource so you can be aware of new resources as they are added.

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) a national network of pollution prevention information centers. Another P2Rx center, the Western Sustainability Pollution Prevention Network (WSPPN) has also developed a P2Rx Topic Hub on Electronic Waste. This is linked to within the new Sector Resource on the GLRPPR site and is also available on the main GLRPPR Topic Hub page.

January 2009 Site of the Month: MnTAP Metal Finishing Pages

Thursday, January 1st, 2009 by

The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) provides resources for various industries on its web site. The section of the MnTAP site focused on Metal Finishing provides pollution prevention ideas with pages on cleaning, paint pretreatment, and plating. Links are also provided to training and professional associations, as well as links to relevant regulatory information.

Be sure to explore MnTAP’s A to Z Waste Topics as well, which is a list of common waste materials that provides links to fact sheets, reference lists and other information. A link to this list is provided on the main Metal Finishing page, as well as on all the other industry sections of MnTAP’s site.

July 2008 Site of the Month: Minnesota GreenStar

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 by

Minnesota GreenStar is a green building standard and voluntary certification program for both existing and new homes that promotes healthy, durable, high performance homes. The architect, designer, MN GreenStar Logobuilder or remodeler is provided green building training, registers the project, completes a checklist, designs the project, gets construction plans reviewed, and the project is built. Before, during and after construction, a third-party rater tests the home and verifies performance to MN GreenStar standards. Upon passing, the home receives Minnesota GreenStar certification at either a bronze, silver or gold level of achievement.

The program’s checklist and manual for both new and existing homes is available online. The web site also provides information on registering your project, including a registration fee schedule and the cost of training. Though not yet available, case studies will apparently be included on the site under “About GreenStar” in the future. In the meantime, check out the “Project Spotlight” section under “News & Media,” which currently features one gold and two bronze-level projects with photos from the sites. The gold-level project–Live Green, Live Smart’s Sustainable House–is Minnesota’s first remodeling project to achieve Minnesota GreenStar Gold Certification and the nation’s first home remodel to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The home achieved the highest level of efficient design in both programs.