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EPA Welcomes its Three Newest Members into its Program for Environmental Leaders
Release Date: 05/29/2008
Contact Information: Michael Ortiz (212) 637-3670, firstname.lastname@example.org
- (New York, N.Y.) SavATree, a lawn care company, MacArthur Waste to Energy, a solid waste processing facility, and U.S. Postal Service in Schenectady, New York have all volunteered to minimize pollution beyond environmental regulatory requirements while reducing landfill, water and energy use. They are among the newest additions to a growing list of facilities that have been accepted into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Performance Track Program. Members commit to develop a set of processes that will reduce environmental impacts, called an environmental management system, and set three-year goals to continuously improve environmental performance, while working closely with their respective communities and reporting publicly on their performance. There are now 34 facilities in New York that have been accepted into EPA’s Performance Track program. Nationally, there are nearly 540 members.
- “As one of EPA’s most successful programs, Performance Track proved to be a terrific example of how government can successfully partner with the private sector,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “Partnering with states and business is a top priority for the Agency and EPA is helping play an important role in changing the way American businesses look at protecting our environment.”
SavATree, a tree, shrub and lawn care company provides services to clients including diagnosis of landscape conditions, pruning, insect and disease management, and fertilization treatments across 19 branches throughout eight states. In 2004, SavATree’s lawn division – SavALawn was recognized by the Department of Conservation and Recreation of Virginia for proper management of fertilizer on lawns to help prevent the accumulation of excess nutrients in ground water. From 2004 to 2006, the company significantly reduced the use of chemical insecticides Talstar and Astro from 13,000 to 800 pounds and increased its use of the organic insecticide Azatrol. SavATree has committed to investing in Green Energy, a commitment which will result in the decrease of a total of 315 net metric tons of CO2 emissions. The company has increased its use of slow release fertilizers which will cut its use of nitrogen applied per property annually from 56,000 to 38,500 pounds. SavATree also has committed to offer an “e-customer” option where correspondence such as bills and service descriptions are sent via e-mail instead of regular mail, as well as commit to purchasing paper with higher recycled content, saving thousands of pounds of paper used per year.
MacArthur Waste to Energy, a facility that processes residential and commercial municipal solid waste at an average of nearly 500 tons per day, turns waste into energy for the town of Islip, New York. The facility utilizes a mass burn technology to reduce the volume of solid waste by approximately 85%. Energy, in the form of superheated steam, is recovered to generate electrical power to operate the facility. Using the latest technology, the facility controls the combustion process to produce the same amount of energy while utilizing less fuel, a reduction of approximately 10,000 million BTUs to 1,500 million BTUs. The facility installed new air pollution control equipment and practiced good operating techniques to steadily decrease its carbon monoxide emissions by approximately 15%. The facility has implemented a Universal Waste program to recycle 100% of its spent fluorescent bulbs, eliminating 144 pounds of landfill waste. Instead of using waste paper generated by the facility as fuel for its waste to energy process, MacArthur Waste to Energy has committed to recycling all of its paper, eliminating the amount of paper incinerated from 12,600 to zero pounds by 2010.
U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in Schenectady, New York is a member of the EPA WasteWise Hall of Fame and the National Environmental Partnership for Environmental Priorities. The facility eliminated the use of oil based paints and required the purchase of latex paints to avoid future generation of hazardous wastes. It had implemented a pollution prevention plan that achieved 100% recycling of all aerosol cans that were previously being disposed of in a landfill. The facility has committed to reduce 22 tons of landfill waste by recycling the solid waste it generates. The USPS used 30% recycled paper content in 2006 and has committed to increase its use of recycled content to 40% by 2010. A plan is underway to switch from gasoline to ethanol fuel for its fleet of 23 vehicles, eliminating its use of 6,600 gallons of gasoline to zero in the next three years.
Since its inception in 2000, Performance Track members have collectively reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 309,780 tons of carbon dioxide, increased the use of recycled materials for production processes by 559,991 tons, and have reduced water consumption by 5.2 billion gallons. Performance track is unique among environmental programs in that it works with members to improve performance among a variety of environmental activities – such as water and energy use, land and habitat protection, air emissions, waste reduction – throughout the product lifecycle, rather than focusing on just one specific pollutant or environmental issues.
In order to be accepted into Performance Track, facilities must have a history of sustained compliance with federal and state environmental requirements. They must also adopt and implement environmental management systems to meet environmental requirements and improve overall performance, demonstrate at least two past environmental achievements and commit to four future improvements. In addition, members are required to have public outreach programs to report their progress to the public. EPA is currently accepting new applications for the program.
Members in the Performance Track program receive a range of incentives, such as public recognition. Facilities are also eligible for several kinds of administrative flexibility and streamlined administrative requirements that reduce costs and enable members to achieve better environmental results. In addition, members benefit from special services, including a learning network composed of top environmental performers that has a mentoring program, tele-seminars, EPA roundtable discussions and newsletters. Program information, summary of member benefits, application guidelines, and a complete listing of facilities that are Performance Track members can be found at: www.epa.gov/performancetrack/.
For more information about the Waste Minimization Partnership, visit: www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/minimize/index.htm08-054