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ETV Program Case Studies: Demonstrating Program Outcomes
Volume I (117 pp, 2.78 MB) (EPA/600/R-06/001) January 2006
Volume II (PDF) (134 pp, 2.39 MB) (EPA/600/R-06/082) September 2006
Volume III (EPA/600/R-10/119) September 2010

Since 1995, EPA's Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program has provided high-quality data on the performance of new environmental technologies. This information helps businesses, communities, regulators, and other decision makers respond more effectively to the technology choices available to them. It has also helped them identify solutions to the environmental problems and issues they face, including:

ETV produced an outstanding record of accomplishment by collaborating with public and private sector organizations to bring high-quality, objective information to the environmental technology marketplace. These collaborations and a commitment to quality ensured that ETV products are responsive to the needs of the environmental community. ETV data are used by:

ETV's accomplishments can be measured in many ways, including the numbers of technologies verified and verification protocols developed. Ultimately, the most significant outcome was ETV's contribution to the success of EPA's mission to protect human health and the environment. ETV outcomes contributing to this mission included:

Technology Acceptance and Use

Verification led to improvements in sales and technology grants. For example:

  • Over 1,300 heavy-duty diesel vehicles (often school buses) have been retrofitted with ETV-verified devices using federal and state grants.
  • Sales of verified microturbines have increased since verification, resulting in an additional 190 to 220 installations.
  • Business tripled for a residential nutrient reduction technology vendor after his technology was verified, one third of which the vendor attributed to verification.

Verification was also used by many vendors to market their technologies, an indirect indication of ETV's impact on sales.

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Pollutant or Emission Reductions

ETV verified over 180 technologies that can reduce pollutants, greenhouse gases, or other emissions, as well as remove chemical and biological contaminants in drinking water. Pollutant or emission reductions have been realized from the application of these technologies. For example, ETV estimates that:

  • Methane emissions are being reduced by 280 million standard cubic feet per year because 11 facilities with oil and natural gas storage tank batteries have installed verified vapor recovery units.
  • Particulate matter emissions are being reduced by up to 9 tons over seven years because 1,300 heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses have been retrofitted with verified technologies.

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Human Health and Environmental Improvements

Reductions in contaminant releases and exposures, and subsequent reductions in disease and death may be realized from verified technology use. For example, ETV estimates that:

  • Between 0.49 and 0.70 cases of premature mortality will be avoided over a seven year period by retrofitting 1,300 heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses with verified technologies.
  • Up to four to five cases of lung and bladder cancer, and up to two to three deaths from these cancers, could be avoided if 980 small drinking water systems install a verified technology in order to comply with the new arsenic drinking water standard of 5 parts per billion.

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Regulatory - Use in New Regulation

ETV data helped in the development of the Clean Air Mercury Rule. The California South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 1156 provided incentives for cement manufacturing facilities to use ETV-verified baghouse fabrics to control particulate emissions by reducing compliance monitoring requirements. ETV-verified technologies helped reduce state- and program-specific testing that is needed to evaluate diesel retrofit devices.

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Regulatory - Use in Guidance Documents

The ETV test/quality assurance plan for membrane filtration was identified in EPA's guidance manual under the Long-Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule as being able to meet the testing requirement of the rule.

The State of Washington has required that alternate technologies for surface water treatment undergo a stand-alone approval process, and indicated that ETV verification protocols could be used to demonstrate adequate performance under this process.

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Economic Benefits

Economic benefits realized from reduced incidences of illness and death, energy and resource conservation, reductions in permitting requirements, and improvements in operational efficiency. ETV estimated that:

  • Each year, $6 million worth of natural gas is being recovered from the 11 U.S. facilities that have installed verified vapor recovery technologies.
  • By retrofitting 1,300 heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses with verified technologies, over $4 million in adverse heath and environmental impacts could be prevented over seven years.

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Resource Conservation

ETV verified six microturbines and two fuel cells that can be used to generate electricity at the point of use. This reduces power transmission losses and reliance on centralized power generation, and can also reduce reliance on conventional heating technologies and improve overall efficiency when used within a well-designed combined heat and power application. ETV estimates that a capacity of 13 megawatts (MW) of verified microturbines have been installed since verification. If sales continue at the 2005 rate, ETV anticipates that up to 55 MW will be installed after 5 years. This corresponds to carbon dioxide emissions reductions of up to 150,000 tons per year and nitrogen oxide emissions reductions of up to 530 tons per year.

A verified laser targeting device helps spray painters maintain a consistent distance to the surface being coated, thus improving transfer-efficiency, and reducing paint overspray and usage. ETV estimates that the automotive finishing industry could save approximately $120 million dollars in paint per year if 25% of the industry uses the Laser Touch technology. This translates to reductions of up to 7,800 tons per year in solid waste generation and 7,800 tons per year of volatile organic compound emissions.

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Abby Waits (513) 569-7884

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