EPA Awards Grants to New York State Pollution Prevention Institute

Federal money headed to RIT for Great Lakes restoration work




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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a total of $304,192 to the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute for two grants, which are part of 70 grants totaling nearly $30 million that EPA is awarding under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2011.

“The federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, combined with New York’s new ecosystem-based management programs, provides for coordinated action to restore the region’s water, land, air, wildlife and human communities,” says DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “DEC is proud to partner with the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute to help businesses and communities lower operational costs and reduce toxic releases into the Great Lakes basin.”

The institute, housed at Rochester Institute of Technology, will use the grant funds to help lower the footprint of paper manufacturing companies as well as educate homeowners on hazardous materials.

“The EPA has long been committed to programs that affect local and regional sustainability efforts,” says Anahita Williamson, director of New York State Pollution Prevention Institute. “We’re honored that EPA would recognize the institute for our pollution prevention efforts and look forward to working with local businesses and members of the community on critical projects impacting the Great Lakes basin.”

The institute, which is funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, will receive $200,000 to identify opportunities to reduce toxic chemical releases, energy consumption and water usage, along with lowering operational costs at four paper manufacturing companies. An additional $104,192 will help fund workshops to educate homeowners on green cleaning, household hazardous waste and pharmaceuticals, and household products.

Funded projects will advance the goals and objectives of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan, which EPA administrator Lisa Jackson released in cooperation with 15 other participating agencies and several governors in the Great Lakes region in February 2010.

The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute is a partnership between RIT, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University at Buffalo and is funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The institute works to make New York more sustainable by assisting companies in reducing toxic chemical use, solid and hazardous waste generation and overall emissions to the environment. It also encourages industry to efficiently and effectively utilize raw materials, energy and water.

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