The Bay Program recently announced the recipients of it Businesses for the Bay Excellence Awards for 2001. The annual awards recognize voluntary efforts by businesses and governments to reduce the amount of pollution entering the Bay.
“Businesses for the Bay members are not only talking about protecting the Bay, they are actively taking steps to protect it, said Chesapeake Bay Program Acting Director Diana Esher. “By preventing pollution at its source, these businesses are committing to being part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
The awards are judged on environmental and social significance of work in pollution prevention activities, the technical value and transferability to other sectors and facilities, the degree of commitment, and originality and innovation. The program is coordinated by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. The winners, and highlights of their efforts are:
Jim Houstoun, of Pretreatment Information Exchange — 2001 Mentor of the Year. PIX promotes pollution prevention and mutual assistance to POTWs and their indirect dischargers in Pennsylvania. A member of the Pollution Prevention and Point Source Businesses for the Bay workgroups, Houstoun is helping to develop the Voluntary Mixing Zone Phase Out Strategy under the Toxics 2000 Strategy and is preparing a strategy to develop an active interface between PIX and Businesses for the Bay that would link mentoring, education and outreach activities.
Ernest Hartman — Achievement Award. Hartman contributed to Businesses for the Bay mentoring activities and the Pollution Prevention/Businesses for the Bay Workgroup.
Steve Farkas — Leadership Award. Farkas, chair of the Pollution Prevention/ Businesses for the Bay Workgroup from 1996-2001, was instrumental in its formation and management for the last five years.
Siemens Automotive Corp., of Newport News, VA — Outstanding Achievement/ Large Business. Siemens’ Deka VII fuel injector weighs 76 percent less than the Deka I injector, enabling more precise fuel targeting and delivery to the engine, leading to less automobile emissions. As facility production from 1988 to present increased more than 1,000 percent, off-site disposal of waste and hazardous waste per product produced decreased 92 percent and 95 percent respectively.
Merck & Co. Inc., Cherokee Facility in Danville, PA — Significant Achievement Award/Large Business. Merck scientists found that a byproduct of one chemical reaction could be recovered for use elsewhere in the process as a substitute for fresh raw material. In 2000, water use for the deionized water system was reduced by 18 million gallons, 15.4 million of which would have been treated in the facility’s on-site wastewater treatment plant; 740,709 pounds of solvent were recovered; and 8,533 pounds of other raw materials and catalyst were recovered.
Proctor & Gamble Cosmetics, Hunt Valley, MD — Significant Achievement/ Large Business. Procter & Gamble is the only three-time Businesses for the Bay award winner. In 2000, it reduced nail polish bulk hazardous waste by 307,587 lbs. (93 percent) and reduced nail polish finish stock hazardous waste by 290,598 lbs. (83 percent). Nitrogen gas was eliminated and replaced respectively by clean dry air and helium. As a result, Proctor and Gamble eliminated a bulk outside liquid nitrogen storage tank associated atmospheric discharges.
GKN Sinter Metals Inc., Emporium, PA — Honorable Mention/Large Business P2 Project. When a powered metal part containing zinc sterate is heated in the sintering process, zinc oxides are emitted to the atmosphere via the furnace’s stack. Working with the Pennsylvania Departmentof Environmental Protection and other powered metal companies, GKN Sinter replaced zinc sterate with Acrawax, an organic compound that contains no metals. Benefits realized from this substitution include the elimination of 12,000 pounds of hazardous waste and the associated $15,000 in disposal costs; annual savings of $125,000 as a result of eliminating the fabric collectors that were collecting zinc oxide dust in the stacks; and capital avoidance of $400,000 in the new furnaces.
Lee’s Carpets Plant in Glasgow, VA — Honorable Mention/Large Business P2 Project. Lee’s has begun evaluating and using tackifier resins from the forestry products industry, specifically, a coproduct of the Kraft pulping process. The use of a resin based on renewable forest products has reduced their dependence on raw materials from petrochemical products by almost 20 million pounds in the last 24 months.
Target Corp., based in Minneapolis, MN — Outstanding Achievement Award/ Retail Business. Target is committed to product package reduction. Almost 100 percent of the clothing sold arrives without excess packaging. Its ‘De-trashing Project’ tracks waste weights and old corrugated cardboard (OCC)/ fiber weights. In 2000, the 22 stores in Pennsylvania recycled 3,538.51 tons of OCC. The EcoLogic newsletter acknowledges employees who expend extra efforts in waste reduction. In 2000, Target incorporated training for its new buyers to increase awareness of recycled content products.
Acme, an Albertson’s Inc. Company, Malvern, PA — Significant Achievement/ Retail Business. Albertson’s helped the Fibre Box Association develop a corrugated box for shipping produce to replace the waxed corrugated boxes that had been the industry standard for decades and are not recyclable. The new corrugated package is more durable and fully recyclable. The common footprint produce box has varying heights to accommodate different commodities, reducing the handling of produce as these boxes are display-ready, which results in less food waste. Acme and Albertson’s are encouraging other retailers, producers, growers, and packers to use the box, which is manufactured from 40-60 percent recycled paper. In 2000, the 11 Acme Chesapeake Bay watershed stores recycled 572 tons of OCC.
Merck & Co., Inc. Stonewall Plant, near Elkton, VA — Outstanding Achievement/ Nutrient Reduction. In July 2000, the Stonewall Plant completed a major capital improvement project that replaced coal as the primary fuel for steam generation with cleaner burning natural gas. Total NOx emissions prevented in 2000 by the powerhouse conversion were 135.2 tons. In subsequent years, when the plant is operating exclusively on natural gas, the amount of NOx emissions prevented on an annual basis will be approximately doubled. As part of the EPA’s Project XL, Merck has agreed to voluntarily accept a permit with a total criteria pollutant emissions cap facilitywide set at a level 20 percent below recent actual emissions levels, resulting in 300 tons of air pollutant emissions being permanently retired.
Beers/Heyward & Lee Construction Company, Richmond, VA — Outstanding Achievement/Medium Business. As part of their parent company, they were the first U.S. construction company to become ISO 14001 certified for their Environmental Management System. Beers/Heyward & Lee reduced materials from coming onto job sites by eliminating material requirements and reusing materials already on site. Examples of resource conservation and waste minimization include: minimizing soil disturbances and erosion; the reuse of wood siding; minimizing the clearing of trees and protection of existing trees from construction activities; reusing wood floors removed during remodeling; and reusing approximately 6,000 linear feet of 2x4s in 2000. Their projects have recycled more than 15,660 pounds of metal and reused more than 100 cubic yards of concrete.
Struever Brothers Eccles & Rouse, Baltimore, MD — Significant Achievement/ Medium Business. Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse specializes in the adaptive reuse of underutilized and/or historic sites. In 2000, Struever Bros.’ Commercial Development team focused on redeveloping Tide Point — a former soap-making plant of Procter & Gamble that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Struever Bros. obtained input from the community to ensure that future goals were met. As a result, Tide Point is now a mixed-use, urban campus and a prime example of the intent of Maryland’s Smart Growth Program. The project, which is considered a brownfield, is located in an Enterprise Zone Priority Funding Area in Baltimore City. Green space sprinkled throughout various elevations of the landscape help to control runoff.
Watercolor Lavender Farm, White Hall, MD — Outstanding Achievement/Small Business. Watercolor Lavender Farm is adjacent to a stream that flows into Deer Creek. Previous farms on the land resulted in of all topsoil eroding into the stream, leaving only a subsoil surface layer. To stop soil runoff, all of the previously plowed areas were grassed and a fence was installed to prevent horses from reaching the stream. Two acres of the 12-acre farm were set aside for stream buffer and wildlife habitat. To minimize erosion, lavender is planted between 6-foot grass strips. Only the planting areas are plowed and the plants are double-cropped. The farm does not use pesticides and limits its use of herbicides.
Electro-Platers of York Inc.,Wrightsville, PA — Significant Achievement/ Small Business. EPY installed a closed-loop water refrigeration system to control the temperature in five plating baths that decreased the use of raw well water and reduced wastewater. By maintaining the proper operating temperature in the baths at all times, EPY has reduced plating bath chemical use by: 14.4 percent for tin-plating chemicals; 30.5 percent for alkaline zinc plating chemicals and 8.1 percent for trivalent chrome plating chemicals. EPY also eliminated the wastewater flow from the trichrome and tin plating baths and reduced the amount of F006 hazardous waste sludge generated.
Southern States, Chesapeake Facility —Significant Achievement/Small Business. Southern States Chesapeake Fertilizer plant is located on the southern branch of the Elizabeth River. To reduce runoff to the river, the plant installed a stormwater retention pond. Being nutrient rich, the plant now uses the retention pond water in its manufacturing process, reducing the water needed from the city by 150,000 gallons. A recycling program includes parts, cleaning solvent, cardboard and paper. Traditional industrial degreasers were replaced with a non-toxic, phosphate-free degreaser.
Marine Corps Base, Quantico, VA — Outstanding Achievement/Federal Government. Hazardous waste generation has decreased more than 71 percent since 1992. Parts are cleaned using a less hazardous solvent and a filter/cyclonic system to extend solvent life. The number of part-cleaning machines has also been reduced, leading to a 90.1 percent reduction in volatile emissions. The base’s wastewater treatment plant uses ultraviolet lamps instead of chlorine to disinfect prior to discharge, eliminating regular chlorine usage at the plant. Approximately 5,000 gallons of raw chemicals per year have been eliminated from photo processing, saving many thousands of gallons of potable water each year. Plastic beads are used to remove paint in place of hazardous phenolic strippers. Printing processes have switched to dry processes using soy-based inks, eliminating the use of perchloroethylene inks. The Central Heating Plant converted from coal and residual oil to natural gas and distillate oil reducing overall air emissions by 92 percent. Quantico owns 27 alternatively fueled, non-tactical vehicles.