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K-State, MSU, Missouri S&T, UNL, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources selected for grants

LENEXA, KAN. (SEPT. 8, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of five recipients in Region 7 that will receive pollution prevention (P2) grants made possible by a historic $100 million program investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Region 7 Selections:

  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources in Des Moines – $350,000
  • Kansas State University in Manhattan – $350,000
  • Missouri State University in Springfield – $300,000
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla – $350,000
  • The University of Nebraska-Lincoln – $320,000

These grants will allow the organizations to provide businesses with technical assistance to help them develop and adopt P2 best practices to prevent or reduce pollution before it is even created, while also reducing business and liability costs.

“Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the pollution prevention grant selections in our region will improve the environment and public health in our communities by reducing pollution,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “These funds will support P2 internships and facilitate partnerships between universities and manufacturers to promote environmental justice and P2 best practices throughout the region.”

The Region 7 P2 grants will allow these grantees to:

  • Hire an additional engineer for P2 staff to facilitate P2 assessments and internships in Iowa Industrial facilities; hold virtual training events and webinars; and develop a P2 university online training portal to generate P2 improvements in Iowa industries within targeted National Emphasis Area (NEA) sectors and environmental justice communities.
  • Partner with the Toxic Use Reduction Institute (TURI) to provide P2 strategy workshops, training, internships, and funding for P2 project implementation that will address P2 in Kansas. Additionally, a community-based project will partner with the two largest cities in Kansas to host industry and community events that will focus on understanding environmental justice issues and the impact of climate change.
  • Provide on-site P2 technical assistance and training to Missouri manufacturing companies in the food and beverage, automotive, aerospace, and metal manufacturing and fabrication industries. Missouri State University will also work with the Missouri Association of Manufacturers to develop a Missouri-wide sustainability network to promote P2 best practices.
  • Work with the copper electrowinning industry to prevent acid mist-related pollutions through research on pollutants and alternative chemicals; develop three case studies; host two workshops; and create an environmental justice educational teaching module. Additionally, this project aims to identify environmentally friendly acid mist suppressants for the electrowinning industry, which will offer chemical alternatives to replace the discontinued fluorochemical reagent FC-1100, a “forever chemical.”
  • Focus on the reduction of water, energy, and material use; wastewater generation; and other waste streams through process assessments of Nebraska businesses – focusing on food processors, chemical manufacturers, and metal manufacturers and finishers. This project will focus efforts on manufacturers in underserved communities, as well as developing materials that will promote P2 best practices for these sectors.

The P2 Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40% 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 traditional P2 grants. The ability to waive the match requirement under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in addition to the new NEA 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.

The United States 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, improving environmental conditions in and around disadvantaged communities, and preserving natural resources like wetlands, groundwater sources, and other critical ecosystems.

Selected and awarded grantees will document and share P2 best practices they identify and develop through these grants, so that others can replicate those practices and outcomes. Each selected grantee will address at least one of the NEAs, which were established to focus resources for achieving measurable results and to create opportunities to share information among P2 grantees and businesses affiliated with similar NEAs. Each selected grantee will also develop at least one case study during the grant period on P2 practices that are new or not widely known or adopted, or where detailed information on the P2 practices could benefit other businesses or P2 technical assistance providers.

These grants are the first of five P2 grant programs over the next five years that will be 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. The other will encourage businesses that are working in, or working with, underserved and disadvantaged communities to adopt P2 practices. EPA also anticipates awarding traditional P2 grants later this year, which have been administered by the Agency for over 25 years.

EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied. Grants supported with Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds will be fully funded at the time grants are awarded.

Read more about P2 and the P2 Grant Program.

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