Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA Announces Innovative Approaches to Reduce Waste and Improve Emergency Preparedness

Release Date: 07/14/2004
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, (202) 564-7873 /

(Washington, D.C.- July 14, 2004) EPA has funded seven new innovative projects aimed at making the Agency's waste programs more effective. A total of $465,490 will fund projects ranging from reducing NOx emissions from biodiesel production, to applying an emerging technology to emergency response and reducing waste while deconstructing old residential rowhouses.

Today's announcement marks the second round of innovative project funding for 2004. The program tests innovative ideas to make EPA's waste programs more efficient and effective, better measure and analyze the results, and then publicize the projects around the country so others can learn from the experiments. To date, EPA has selected 44 projects totaling approximately $2 million. For more information on all the innovation pilot projects, go to:
The seven projects are:

Characterizing Environmental Contamination Through Airborne Hyperspectral Imaging ($75,000)
EPA Sponsor: U.S. EPA Region 7, EPA Office of Emergency Preparedness, Prevention, and Response
Partners: Missouri Department of Natural Resources; University of Missouri, Columbia
Overview: The goal of this pilot is to determine whether hyperspectral imagery--a remote sensing technology--can be used to conduct large-scale characterization of contaminants. By collecting data from known contaminated sites, the pilot will analyze and interpret the information to create "signatures" of specific contaminants or environmental conditions. This project will explore hyperspectral capabilities in the event of an environmental emergency or disaster.

Reducing Production Costs and Nitrogen Oxide Emissions from Biodiesel ($69,110)
EPA Sponsor: U.S. EPA Region 9
Partners: University of Nevada at Reno (UNR); Washoe County District Health Department, NV; Applied Research Initiative; Nevada State Department of Agriculture
Overview: Recognizing that biodiesel fuel provides numerous environmental advantages over petroleum diesel, this pilot will produce a more cost-effective biodiesel formulation that should reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emitted during the biodiesel production process. The University of Nevada at Reno (UNR) will utilize a large-scale mobile continuous process unit using ethanol for the production of biodiesel to meet all of UNR's diesel energy needs.

Improving Management of Household Prescription Medication Waste ($70,750)
EPA Sponsor: U.S. EPA Region 1
Partners: Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.; American Plastics Council; CVS Corporation; Capital Returns, Inc.; National Expired and Unused Medication Drive; PharmEcology Associates, LLC; Dillon Environmental Associates; Clean Harbors, Inc.; Franklin County Solid Waste Management District (MA); Pemi-Baker Solid Waste District (NH); Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation; Strong Pharmaceutical Services.
Overview: Through partnerships with private and public sector businesses and organizations, this pilot will develop and implement collection programs for household prescription medication waste(HPW) and bulk compounding chemicals. At present there are no widely available solutions for proper management of HPW. In conjunction with retail-based, senior center, and other household hazardous waste programs, this project will develop practical strategies for collecting HPW and ensuring their proper end-of-life management. Additionally, the pilot will develop best management practices for plastic medication containers.

Using Auto Shredder Residue as Cement Manufacturing Feedstock ($43,000)
EPA Sponsor: U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste
Partners: California Department of Toxic Substances Control; University of California at Berkeley; Mitsubishi Cement Corporation; Hugo Neu-Proler Company
Overview: Finding alternatives to landfilling auto shredder residue (ASR), which consists of glass, rubber, plastics, and textiles that remain after metals have been removed from discarded automobiles, could reduce landfill waste by over 4 million tons annually. This pilot will identify the parameters and mechanical means necessary to process ASR as a substitute for coal and mineral feedstocks in cement kilns. ASR could provide 8 percent of the cement industry energy needs as supplemental fuel, conserving over 2 million tons of coal and minerals each year in the United States.

Waste-to-Energy Geographic Planning Tool ($65,000)
EPA Sponsor: U.S. EPA Region 6
Overview: This pilot will collect data from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), solid waste landfills (SWLFs), and publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping tool. The GIS tool, along with the development of an internet Web site, will enable a user to identify single/clusters of facilities that could be prime candidates to use waste directly or indirectly to generate electricity. This innovative Waste to Energy (WTE) project will bring together information on biomass quantities and energy distribution systems.

Design for Disassembly in the Built Environment ($69,030)
EPA Sponsor: U.S. EPA Region 4
Partner: Community Housing Resource Center
Overview: More efficient home-design could save enough material for construction of 2/3 of the houses built in the next 50 years. This pilot was developed to reduce waste generated from residential building design and demolition. The pilot will extend the Design for Disassembly (DfD) concept to construction of residential housing by convening an experts group to formulate innovative DfD principles, building a case study house, documenting research and results, and promoting the incorporation of these principles into future housing design.

Deconstruction for Urban Revitalization ($73,600)
EPA Sponsor: U.S. EPA Region 3
Partners: Institute for Local Self-Reliance; Hamer Center at Penn State University; City of Philadelphia Neighborhood Transformation Initiative
Overview: This pilot will evaluate the cost-effectiveness of an innovative approach to dismantle row house buildings. A mechanized and panelized approach to deconstruction will allow for the most efficient reuse of roof and floor structural lumber, enable quicker access to properties by redevelopers, and reduce overall costs by using a "hybrid" of hand and mechanized labor working together.