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Ohio EPA Issues 2018 Encouraging Environmental Excellence Awards
Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler presented five Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Platinum Level awards today at the Agency’s Compliance Assistance Conference in Columbus.
Ohio’s E3 Program recognizes businesses, nonprofits and government agencies for going above and beyond compliance with requirements while demonstrating environmental excellence. Platinum Level is the highest level award. Platinum recognizes organizations that have expanded their environmental programs beyond their own facility to make a positive impact on the surrounding community.
The E3 program also provides Gold, Silver and Achievement levels of recognition. An organization can work through levels of recognition including Achievement at the base level; Silver Level recognizing outstanding accomplishments in environmental stewardship; and Gold Level recognizing comprehensive environmental stewardship programs. All levels require a commitment to meet or exceed environmental regulatory requirements.
PLATINUM LEVEL: Five organizations are being recognized at the Platinum Level.
- American Municipal Power, Inc. (Columbus) – American Municipal Power (AMP) is a non-profit wholesale power supplier and service provider. The company improved energy and operational efficiency and uses efficient coal and natural gas technologies to generate power, which reduces emissions, water usage and need for landfill space. By 2016, AMP had reduced its CO2 emissions rate by 22 percent and since 2013 has reduced its volatile organic compound emissions rate by 57 percent. AMP has a diversified power supply portfolio. It has brought more than 300 megawatts of new hydropower online on the Ohio River, added solar facilities in Bowling Green, Marshallville, Napoleon and Prospect and has a wind farm in Bowling Green. AMP’s Efficiency Smart energy efficiency program and EcoSmart Choice program, allowing member communities to offset part of their monthly electric usage with renewable energy choices, resulted in avoiding over three million tons of airborne emissions in 2017. AMP has implemented a carbon management program which has reforested 467 acres of state forests.
- General Motors Toledo (Toledo) – The General Motors Toledo transmission operation plant manufactures and assembles GM’s six-speed and eight-speed rear-wheel-drive and six-speed front-wheel-drive transmissions. The facility is landfill-free and has a 90 percent recycling rate. GM works to reduce the mass of its transmissions through part casting and transmission design to increase the fuel efficiency of its vehicles. Increased fuel efficiency also produces environmental benefits. Reducing the casting mass increases manufacturing efficiency, requiring less energy to machine and produces less metal waste. Aluminum chips from the facility go to another GM plant to be reintroduced into its foundry, increasing manufacturing efficiency. GM reduced carbon emissions by 33.6 percent in 2017. GM plans to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy sources by the end of 2018 through its rooftop solar, wind power purchase agreement and use of landfill gas in its boilers. GM Toledo actively manages six acres of its land as a natural habitat and has provided funding to support The Nature Conservancy and metroparks tree planting. GM also holds local educational events to promote household recycling and support pollinators such as the Monarch butterfly.
- Ohio University (Athens) – Ohio University is a large, primarily residential public university. Ohio is diverting more than 60 percent of its solid waste with a goal of becoming a zero waste to landfill organization. As students move out at the end of the school year, Ohio partners with community organizations and the city of Athens to send an estimated four tons of food, more than 2,400 articles of clothing and 20 tons of reusable items to help 800 local families rather than sending the unwanted items to a landfill. Ohio’s Energy Infrastructure Projects Initiative achieved a 23 percent reduction of energy usage from June to October 2015. In 2015, it composted more than 600 tons of organic materials in the largest in-vessel system of any university in the U.S. Ohio has incorporated sustainability education into its curriculum and works with Athens and the Appalachian region on sustainability projects, including fostering sustainable environmental and economic development. One project cleans up acid mine drainage that pollutes streams in the region’s coal mining communities. The engineering and art departments used the orange mineral-laden water to develop a paint pigment for artists.
- Washing Systems (Loveland) – Washing Systems is the leading provider of environmentally sustainable products and services in the North American and European laundry processing industry. Its Clear Path technology process produces accelerated cleaning results with less energy and water usage. Clear Path is completely nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) and phosphate free. It is estimated that converting to Clear Path saves customers $30,000 per year based on reduced operating hours, increase cleaning capacity, reduced water and gas usage. Eliminating NPE and phosphates from the detergent has prevented more than 21.6 million pounds of NPE and 1.5 million pounds of phosphates from being discharged into the water environment. The benefits of removing these chemicals from detergents is significant. NPE are known to be harmful to the aquatic environment and phosphates contribute to harmful algal blooms. In 2018, the company introduced new technology called TruPath that further reduces the use of harsh chemicals, such as alkali, in the environment.
- YSI Inc. (Yellow Springs) – YSI manufactures sampling and monitoring instruments for environmental and in-process monitoring, including equipment widely used to track water quality conditions and trends. The company implemented conservation and efficiency programs at its Yellow Springs facility and its employees take their expertise into the local and worldwide community to educate people about water quality and protect water resources. YSI eliminated the use of nickel-cadmium batteries and is transitioning away from alkaline batteries in its water monitoring instruments. These batteries can contaminate water if they leak. The company is transitioning to lithium-ion batteries to protect water quality. YSI began a take-back program for its equipment. These instruments are repaired to extend their lifecycle. Instruments that can’t be repaired are recycled, along with other solid waste, resulting in about 1,000 pounds of materials diverted from landfills each month. At its Yellow Springs facility, the company switched to LED lighting and improved the HVAC system. YSI expects this to achieve at least a 55 percent reduction in electricity use.
Seven other organizations are being recognized this round at the Gold and Silver levels.
GOLD LEVEL: Five organizations are being recognized at the Gold Level.
- Ford Ohio Assembly Plant (Avon Lake) – The company greatly improved cooling tower efficiency using technology first piloted at the Ohio Assembly Plant that has become the template for Ford’s global operations.
- Honda Transmission Manufacturing of America (Russells Point) – Honda began a grinding oil recovery and re-use project that recycles 9,000 gallons of oil annually and a die lube reclamation system that eliminates the generation of about 1.5 million gallons of wastewater per year.
- Kent State University (Kent) – The university has a storm water management program encompassing vegetative roofs, constructed wetlands, permeable pavers, rain gardens and more and its airport was one of 20 nationally selected by the Federal Aviation Administration for sustainability project funding.
- Kenworth (Chillicothe) – The company reduced waste produced per truck built by 78 pounds, or 2.7 million pounds less waste annually, and is recovering 70 percent of its solvent stream, becoming a benchmark for all PACCAR Company manufacturing sites.
- Nestle (Dublin) – Nestle added two autoclaves in 2014 that in two years eliminated the infectious waste sent off-site for disposal and introduced new testing methods that reduced the water being used from 10 liters to one liter for every 30 samples.
SILVER LEVEL: Two organizations are being recognized at the Silver Level.
- Delta Systems (Streetsboro) – Delta’s projects include using recycled plastic in its products, improving its molding system to eliminate plastic scrap and sending defective parts to be recycled.
- Samuel Packaging Systems Group (Heath) – SPSG installed a one-of-a-kind heat treating line that uses non-toxic metal as a quench medium, preventing the release of 1,885 pounds of lead particulate into the environment and reducing hazardous waste generated by 18,000 pounds per year.
For more information about Ohio EPA’s Encouraging Environmental Excellence program and the recognition levels, visit www.epa.ohio.gov/ohioE3.aspx.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.