Cleaning up the Chesapeake is a serious business and the 10 recipients of the 2002 Businesses for the Bay Achievement Awards have shown that they are up to the task.
Businesses for the Bay is a voluntary program that assists businesses, government facilities and other organizations in preventing pollution by reducing or eliminating waste at its source. Since its inception in 1997, members have reported reducing or recycling more than 6 billion pounds of wastes. In turn, these practices have helped them save more than $177 million.
More than 500 organizations throughout the Bay region belong to Businesses for the Bay, including 54 that joined in 2002.
“Businesses for the Bay members are committed to preventing pollution at its source—and they are succeeding,” said Mary Lynn Wilhere, the program’s coordinator. “The program’s members are proving that organizations can help the Bay while saving money.
The 2002 winners are:
Significant Achievement Award For Small Business (tie)
Scuderi Auto Body, Rockville, MD. In conjunction with D&M Distributors, Scuderi Auto Body has designed and developed a paint spray gun cleaning process—the Bonny Marlin System—which involves a self-contained recycling unit and does away with the need to use lacquer thinner as a cleaning solvent. This completely eliminates the generation of hazardous waste.
K&L Plating Company, Inc. Lancaster, PA. By implementing methods to forgo cyanide use in its plating and cleaning processing, K&L Plating eliminated 2,000 pounds of zinc and sodium cyanide annually as well as an estimated 18,500 pounds of sodium hypchlorite solution used to treat the cyanide. These actions reduced annual waste treatment costs by $5,000. Another annual savings of $6,000 was achieved by eliminating hexavalent chromium plating process wastewater by using atmospheric evaporation in a closed loop system. In addition, a new boiler and heating system that reduces natural gas and water usage by 3.3 million gallons annually will save $12,000 a year.
Outstanding Achievement for Small Business
Easton Corp., Williamsport, MD Plant. This manufacturer of profile-exuded plastics is ISO 14001 certified. Activities include a process change that eliminates the disposal of used resin and an increase in the energy efficiency of air compressors through the “Air Champions” program, which encourages employees to find, fix and report air leaks. The plant annually recycles more than 20,000 pounds of mixed paper, aluminum cans cardboard, ink cartridges and wood. Workers contribute through environmental teams and the company names an “Environmental Employee of the Quarter.”
Outstanding Achievement for Medium Business
Wenger’s Feed Mill, Inc., Rheems, PA. Wenger’s Feed Mill has pioneered the use of phytase in its feeds, representing a shift from a nitrogen-based to phosphorus-based approach to nutrient management. Phytase reduces phosphorus up to 30 percent in animal feed and 15–20 percent in poultry and swine manure. The company is also developing methane digesters and bio-remediation units to minimize energy and water use.
Significant Achievement Award for Large Business
Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company, Mehoopany, PA. Although its nitrogen discharge was well within permitted limits, the Procter & Gamble Mehoopany facility, after discovering that its potential for nitrogen discharge was mostly associated with ammonium bi-sulfate pulping operations, took actions that included installing a state-of-the-art pulp washing machine; segregating and recovering several higher nitrogen-containing wastewater streams; reusing air-pollution scrubber wastewater as a nutrient source for its biological treatment plant and improving the control of routine treatment plant nutrient addition. Nitrogen discharge per ton of product was reduced 42 percent, or 252,000 pounds, with only a slight pulping production decrease. It later left the pulp production business, resulting in further reductions in its ammonia nitrogen discharge. Its total reduction in ammonia nitrogen discharge to the Susquehanna River from process modification and pollution prevention is greater than 600,000 pounds. per year.
Outstanding Achievement for Large Business
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance System–Marine Systems, Baltimore, MD. The facility is ISO 14001 certified, a member of the EPA’s Performance Track Program and an active member in Clean Air Partners, whose members commit to taking measures to reduce air emissions on Ozone Action Days. It eliminated all Class II Ozone depleting chemicals in 2001 and reduced hazardous waste by 19 percent, which produced a savings of $5,000. Lockheed also reduced their solid waste generation by 34 percent and implemented a cardboard recycling program. They recycled a total of 59 tons of waste in 2001.
Significant Achievement Award for Government Facility
Department of Health and Human Service, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. Even though their research workload increased, the NIH reduced their generation of mixed wastes by more than 99 percent. They exceeded Toxic Release Inventory chemical goals with a 58 percent reduction from 1998 levels. Its “Mad as a Hatter? Campaign for a Mercury Free NIH” has led to the replacement of several thousand mercury thermometers and an increase in alternatives for biomedical reagents containing mercury. Employees volunteer to educate the public at schools and other community outreach activities. At its Poolesville, MD facility, the installation of a state-of-the-art reclamation system permits the reuse of 100,000 gallons of water per day.
Outstanding Achievement Award for Government Facility
U.S. Army Transportation Center and Fort Eustis, VA. In 1997, Fort Eustis was the first Army installation on the East Coast to partner with another service to establish the centralized management of hazardous materials, or Hazmart. The Hazmart controls and manages materials for more than 12,700 people, an arrangement that saves money because fewer hazardous materials, including products containing TRI chemicals, are purchased. Between 1994 and 2001, the pounds of TRI chemicals purchased decreased 51 percent. Between 1993 and 2001, the total volume of hazardous waste decreased 32 percent and overall, pesticides have been reduced 56 percent. Energy use per building square foot has been reduced 30 percent between 1985 and 2001. During that same period, about 31 percent of Fort Eustis’ solid waste was recycled.
Significant Achievement Award for Nutrient Reduction
Southern States Cooperative, Inc., Chesapeake, VA Fertilizer Plant. In the past, stormwater runoff from buildings, parking lot and equipment from its fertilizer plant on the southern branch of the Elizabeth River washed down into the surrounding area. Now, stormwater is collected in a retention pond and diked area and later reused in the manufacturing process. In 2001, 140,895 gallons of water were recycled in this manner. Wash down pads next to the diked area eliminate oil, grease and fertilizer runoff. The plant has switched from industrial degreasers containing toxic substances to nontoxic, environmentally friendly ones; recycles about 10,000 pounds annually; and recycles solvents used for parts cleaning. Its fertilizer bags educate users about how the incorrect or excessive use of fertilizer can harm local waters and the Bay.
Outstanding Achievement Award for Nutrient Reduction
Osram Sylvania Inc., Towanda, PA. After discovering that 80 percent of its nitrate release into the Susquehanna River came from two production processes that manufacture lighting technologies to purify molybdenum oxide for metal and produce calcium fluoride, it immediately acted to make adjustments. Nitric acid use was reduced 48 percent and simultaneously produced a high-quality end product for less cost. The company found a way to use an alternative source for calcium fluoride in the manufacturing of phosphors. A natural source of calcium fluoride was located that met 50 percent of the phosphor needs. In 2001, this resulted in a reduction of approximately 460,000 pounds of nitrate. These combined actions resulted in annual savings of $295,000 and reduced nitrates entering the Susquehanna watershed by 1 million pounds annually.
Businesses for the Bay Mentor of the Year
Bill Acher, environmental coordinator for Wenger Feeds. Acher volunteered to serve as a mentor for nutrient management as well as joining Businesses for the Bay workgroup meetings. He serves on the South Central Pennsylvania P2 Regional Steering Committee, and when the state’s Department of Environmental Protection expressed interest in examining phytase, Wenger’s feed additive, more closely to obtain greater recognition for its use, Acher pledged the company’s cooperation to quantify and document results. He has also enlisted other businesses and encouraged the continued involvement of existing members. Acher is committed to directing the implementation of Wenger’s Environmental System and to obtain a goal of zero release at its Spring Glen facility.
Businesses for the Bay is coordinated by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay through the Chesapeake Bay Program. For information about Businesses for the Bay, call Christopher Conner, Bay Program communications director at 410-267-5758 or visit