This week at an event in Portland, Oregon, EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention Jennie Romer announced that Oregon, Idaho, and the Knik Tribal Council have been awarded a total of $751,550 in pollution prevention (P2) grant funding. P2 grants allow states and tribes to provide businesses with technical assistance to help develop and adopt practices to prevent or reduce pollution before it is even created, while also reducing business costs. The grants announced today are in addition to $12 million in P2 grants announced in September under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic $100 million program investment in EPA’s P2 program.
“For more than 30 years, EPA’s Pollution Prevention grants have helped businesses implement P2 practices that reduce air and water pollution in communities, including those that are overburdened and vulnerable,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention Jennie Romer. “Pollution prevention is an important way to help advance President Biden’s ambitious environmental goals of taking action on climate change and delivering on environmental justice.”
“We’re proud to support businesses, states and Tribes that are dedicated to preventing pollution in all of its forms,” said EPA Regional Administrator Casey Sixkiller. “And we appreciate Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention Jennie Romer coming out to the Northwest to see firsthand our partners’ important P2 work.”
“EPA’s presence today in Portland signifies a continued commitment to a program that’s good for the economy, public health and the environment to prevent pollution before it happens,” said Leah Feldon, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Interim Director. “Oregon DEQ’s P2 program helps local businesses become more sustainable and provides financial support to underserved communities.”
The U.S. produces billions of pounds of pollution each year and spends billions of dollars per year controlling this pollution. Preventing pollution at the source, also known as P2 or source reduction, rather than managing waste after it is produced is an important part of advancing a sustainable economic and environmental infrastructure. P2 can lessen exposure to toxic chemicals, conserve natural resources, and reduce financial costs for businesses, particularly costs associated with waste management, disposal, and cleanup. These practices are essential for protecting health and improving environmental conditions in and around disadvantaged communities.
EPA’s P2 funding supports the following programs and projects in Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska:
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality ($350,000)
Oregon DEQ will continue the Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience P2 Internship Program, with program partner Oregon Sea Grant, to connect environmental science, chemistry, and engineering students with Oregon businesses to conduct P2 research projects. P2 projects focus on reducing toxic chemicals, energy, water use and waste; jointly benefitting the businesses’ bottom line and preventing pollution. DEQ will also expand the successful EcoBiz certification program to provide direct technical assistance to automotive businesses in underserved communities. With P2 program partner Pollution Prevention Resource Center, DEQ will develop a regional green chemistry collaborative and support work with chemical manufacturers to help them gain EPA’s Safer Choice label.
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality ($71,550)
Idaho DEQ will continue its successful P2 for Businesses program to provide technical assistance to local facilities through industry roundtables, webinars, and onsite support to increase efficiency and reduce waste, emissions, and chemical use. As part of this program, DEQ will connect P2 technical assistance providers with businesses to develop P2 action plans specific and appropriate for each facility to increase efficiency, improve workplace safety, and reduce operating costs. Participating businesses will commit to implementing P2 actions that result in measurable reductions of the identified priority pollutant.
Knik Tribal Council ($330,000)
The Knik Tribal Council will partner with the Alaska Forum Green Star for Businesses program to support P2 outreach and technical assistance efforts at businesses located in rural and underserved Alaska communities and tribal villages. This program will support and promote the use and local sale of EPA Safer Choice-certified products.
The P2 Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to underserved communities. State and tribal programs awarded grants will not be required to provide matching funds, as is required by previous P2 grants. The ability to waive the match requirement under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in addition to the new National Emphasis Area for businesses in Indian country, helped to broaden and diversify the applicant pool. Many grants selected will support implementing pollution prevention practices in Indian country.
These grants are awarded from the first of five annual P2 grant installments funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA has announced two other new grant opportunities funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. One will encourage products, purchasing, and/or supply chains that are safer, more sustainable, and environmentally preferable and the other will encourage businesses that are working in, or working with, underserved and disadvantaged communities to adopt P2 practices. On Oct. 13, EPA announced the selection of 32 recipients that will receive over $9 million in traditional P2 grants.
Read more about P2 and the P2 Grant Program.