Mtech Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2006
Joint State/University Environmental Program for Companies Wins National Pollution Prevention Award
COLLEGE PARK, Md.—A joint state/university environmental assistance program for Maryland companies today received a Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) Project/Program Award from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.
The winning program, called the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)/University of Maryland Manufacturing Assistance Program Environmental Management System (EMS) Implementation Assistance Program, has worked with 30 companies in the state in adopting environmental management system (EMS) programs.
Criteria for the award included program innovation, measurable results, transferability, commitment, and optimization of available project resources. The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable presented the award today as part of National Pollution Prevention Week.
The MDE/UMMAP program, subsidized by grant funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, takes groups of three to five businesses at a time through EMS implementation, from start to finish, in six months or less. While such a service costs companies $15,000 or more through the private sector, the MDE/UMMAP program is free.
"Maryland's program was a tremendous help for us," said Reggie Prime, director of environmental affairs at Coca Cola Enterprises. "We're now in a position to prepare an EMS template for our other bottling facilities, and we couldn't have done it without this program. I encourage other Maryland businesses to take advantage of this valuable service."
An EMS program offers a systematic approach for organizations to bring environmental considerations into decision-making and day-to-day operations. It also establishes a framework for tracking, evaluating and communicating environmental performance, as well as helping to ensure that major environmental risks and liabilities are identified, minimized and managed.
The MDE/UMMAP program works with each group of companies through four workshops, meeting with companies on-site 8-12 times, and offering technical assistance ranging from identifying environmental aspects and pollution prevention opportunities to establishing reliable means of monitoring and measurement. At the conclusion, the facility is offered a free, informal EMS audit.
The MDE/UMMAP program spends an average of 150 hours on site with each participating company.
"One $80,000 project took 18 businesses through the program with 16 workshops and 146 site visits," said MDE Pollution Prevention Coordinator Laura Armstrong. "The pollution prevention results for this group were 7.5 million tons of waste reduced during the first year alone."
Many companies completing the MDE/UMMAP program elect to apply for ISO 14001 certification, a standard that helps organizations minimize how their operations negatively affect the environment and comply with various environmental requirements.
Five companies participating in the program have since won Businesses for the Bay Awards, given to companies in the Chesapeake Bay watershed achieving pollution prevention success.
Paul Gietka, manager of the environmental engineering program at UMMAP, provides technical assistance to program companies in the form of pollution prevention assessments, measuring and monitoring, and environmental compliance assistance-all of which help companies improve the quality of their EMS.
Companies interested in participating in the program should contact Paul Gietka at 410-706-3445, or by e-mail.
About MDE (www.mde.state.md.us)
The mission of the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water, and land resources, while fostering smart growth, economic development, healthy and safe communities, and quality environmental education for the benefit of the environment, public health, and future generations.
About UMMAP (www.ummap.org)
The University of Maryland Manufacturing Assistance Program, a program of the University of Maryland Manufacturing Assistance Program in the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering, enhances the competitiveness of Maryland manufacturers by providing best practices and solutions, as well as optimization, implementation, and innovation assistance.
About the National Pollution Roundtable (www.p2.org)
The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) is the largest membership organization in the United States devoted solely to Pollution Prevention (P2). The mission of the Roundtable is to provide a national forum for promoting the development, implementation, and evaluation of efforts to avoid, eliminate, or reduce pollution at the source (i.e. source reduction instead of traditional end-of pipe methods). NPPR's members are comprised of the country's preeminent P2 experts from regional resource centers, state and local government programs, small business assistance networks, non-profit groups, industry associations and federal agencies.
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