Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center Programs
Example of adult training:
The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) is currently providing Spray Technique Analysis and Research (STAR®) and NESHAP training to painters and paint instructors. The STAR® program was developed by the Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) at the University of Northern Iowa and is dedicated to improving the overall efficiency of manual spray coating operations by enhancing the techniques of spray technicians. Increased efficiency reduces the amount of volatile organic compounds entering the atmosphere and also reduces the cost of materials used in spraying.
Helping small to medium-sized manufacturers:
The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) is committed to promoting improved environmental operations via lean manufacturing activities. Our goal is to be a networking and referral hub for lean and environment, serving the lean community in Washington and elsewhere in the Northwest. PPRC staff works with "Lean" process improvement specialists to identify pollution prevention strategies for manufacturers. Staff also complete pollution prevention assessments for businesses that are interested in making improvements--at a reduced rate.
Free technical assistance to assist businesses that may not have access to experts:
The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) conducts free research for operations and sustainability managers, technical assistance providers, and other professionals in Washington and the Northwest. This PPRC service seeks to answer an environmental question, or at a minimum, find sufficient leads, contacts and resources to help the requestor find the desired information. The service may include consultation with engineers, a host of listserv resources, technical experts, and on-line or library searches.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The partnership among U.S. EPA, PPRC, Interstate Distributor Inc., and Freight Wing is a two-year project that will be completely implemented by Sept. 30, 2012. It is a significant success and has received considerable media attention.
The partnership developed and managed by PPRC through a grant from U.S. EPA provides rebates to Interstate Distributor Inc. of Tacoma for installing aerodynamic trailer "skirts" or fairings built by Freight Wing (a Seattle company). Interstate Distributor is also providing a $2.1 million cost share in the project.
The EPA and PPRC predict a seven percent reduction of diesel fuel consumption and emissions for over 2,000 trailers in the Interstate fleet, resulting in estimated annual savings of 1.1 million gallons of diesel. Over the product life-span, this will result in a total savings of approximately 16 million gallons of fuel, $45 million, and prevent 182,633 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
The project is one of the largest implementations of the EPA’s SmartWay-verified aerodynamic technologies on heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and will provide additional jobs for local Puget Sound communities. This partnership is helping to establish EPA Region 10 as a global leader in the development and use of the new technology.
These results now have an even larger impact on protecting human health. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), recently classified diesel engine exhaust as a Group 1 carcinogen based on new evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.
One of organization's current needs:
PPRC was created on the "Public Provider" funding model. The organization relies on federal and state grants and contracts for its operating expenses. While PPRC continues to operate in a "lean" fashion and works diligently to secure projects and funding, that project funding usually will not fully fund the communications and outreach activities needed to promote PPRC's services. A vibrant communications and outreach plan would result in the building of PPRC's brand and the increase in opportunities for additional projects and programs. In addition, one grant fund that has funded the creation of information services provided by PPRC and other pollution prevention centers around the country is being reorganized by U.S. EPA and may result in the loss of funding for PPRC's communications efforts.