The Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC) has been selected to receive approximately $160,000 over two years as one of five Pollution Prevention grants being awarded by EPA’s New England Regional Office for the FY2016-FY2017 Pollution Prevention Grants cycle.
Pollution Prevention grants fund programs or projects that measurably reduce the environmental footprints of local and regional businesses through projects that significantly reduce or eliminate pollution from air, water and/or land prior to relying on recycling or waste clean-up. In total EPA is awarding approximately $689,000 for Pollution Prevention grants in New England over the next two years.
“EPA is pleased to support our partner VT DEC by funding these effective and well-designed projects,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Our Pollution Prevention Grants reduce pollution at its source, which is the best way to create a cleaner environment and sustainable economy.”
Under this grant, VT DEC’s pollution prevention staff will conduct three projects:
- Provide assistance through the Vermont Green Business Program (VGBP) and Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention – VT DEC will focus its efforts in these two recognition programs on helping businesses, particularly restaurants, comply with Vermont’s newly enacted Universal Recycling Law (Act 148), which bans organics (leaf, yard and clean wood debris, and food waste) in phases, requiring restaurants and other food establishments to prevent, recover, and separate food waste. It will continue to administer the Governor’s Award program and partner with the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) to modernize the VGBP to motivate more businesses to participate. NERC will assist the VTDEC in revamping marketing materials for content and presentation, distributing materials to more businesses, direct outreach to targeted businesses (restaurants and dairy processors, and highlighting the VGBP in their social media outlets.
- Outreach to Dairy Processors – VT DEC will initiate an outreach and assistance initiative targeting dairy processing operations. VT DEC will do an assessment of outreach and education needs in the dairy processing sector, develop outreach materials, and deliver materials through webinars and site visits.
- Outreach to Conditionally Exempt Hazardous Waste Generators (CEGs) – VT DEC will provide information on Vermont hazardous waste management regulations and pollution prevention to these generators of small quantities of hazardous waste, in a manner that is accessible and brings the information directly to them. The project is intended to both increase compliance with these regulations and reduce hazardous waste generation and pollution. VT DEC will revise and publicize an updated compliance handbook for CEGs, offer in-person training, host webinars or YouTube videos on topics of interest for on-demand viewing by busy small businesses, update the online CEG tutorial, and offer compliance assistance visits.
More information on EPA’s Pollution Prevention Grant Program: https://www.epa.gov/p2/grant-programs-pollution-prevention .
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