EPA Releases Sustainable Materials Strategic Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a strategic plan outlining its areas of focus for recycling, source reduction and environmentally minded materials usage over the next seven years.

The EPA document, which has been posted on the website of the National Recycling Coalition, covers the federal agency’s aspirations for sustainable materials management for fiscal years 2017 through 2022.

The concept of sustainable materials management (SMM), described by the EPA as “a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles,” has in recent years taken a more central role in the EPA’s research and reporting on national waste management issues. This year, for instance, the agency changed the name of its annual report on recycling and disposal data to “Advancing Materials Management.”

The five-year strategic plan lays out four SMM objectives: decrease the overall amount of materials disposed, reduce materials’ environmental impacts (such as greenhouse gas emissions) throughout the material life cycles, increase socio-economic benefits, and increase SMM program capabilities at the state and local level.

The first focus area is characterized as the “built environment” and includes construction and demolition (C&D) materials as well as disaster debris and architectural planning. The second focus area is sustainable food management, a realm in which the agency has been particularly active of late. The third area outlined is sustainable packaging – in discussing this point, the report notes a number of anticipated outcomes by 2022.

The EPA’s Strategic Plan document is available to view or download as a pdf.

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Bluegrass Forever Green Sustainability Summit

Bluegrass Forever Green Sustainability Summit will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort & Spa, 1800 Newtown Pike. Cost: $25, includes lunch.

The summit will share information and best practices focusing on maximizing the collective effect of regional governments, organizations, nonprofits, educational institutions and businesses dedicated to environmental sustainability and improving quality of life and economic development as an end product.

For more info, contact Bobby Clark at or (859) 227-0263. To register, go to the registration page.

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Solar Seminar for Professional CE

The Kentucky U.S. Green Building Council is sponsoring a seminar on November 13 in Louisville for professionals in the building and infrastructure, energy, planning, remodeling or design industries who wish to know more about the basics and benefits of solar, designing for solar, tips on choosing an installer, and financial incentives for installing solar. It may also be of interest to those in the residential sector.

Learn more and register for this event.

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Sustainability Summit focuses on air quality

Louisville officials are joining others in the business and environmental communities for a second Sustainability Summit, scheduled for the first week in November.

This year’s focus is on air quality, said Maria Koetter, the city’s sustainability director.

The program features discussions and presentations on air quality and health, citizen-led initiatives, buildings, land use and transportation, alternative energy, natural systems and community engagement.

Louisville’s Office of Sustainability and the Louisville Sustainability Council are sponsoring the event, which includes an opening reception on Nov. 5, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Copper & Kings, 1121 East Washington St. The reception features welcome presentations, hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and special entertainment.

The working program is Nov. 6, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, 1701 West Muhammad Ali Blvd. There, participants will attend plenary and breakout sessions focused on improving Louisville’s air quality.  A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Cost after Friday, Oct. 16, is $75 for general admission. Early general admission is $50, available through the 16th.

Students may attend for $25, and sustainability council members get discounts.

Registration and more information are available through the Sustainability Council’s website.

James Bruggers – Louisville Courier Journal

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Energy Star Express Training Videos

Energy Star has announced the completion of a new suite of eight animated Express Videos to help explain how to benchmark, report, and share information about your properties in Portfolio Manager.

These 5-minute videos are helpful for both new and seasoned users, and make it easier to get the information you need, when you need it. The eight videos cover the following topics:
• Basic Functionality
• Sharing
• Reporting

Take a look at the new videos on Energy Star’s website.

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Owensboro Grain Wins KPPC 2015 ES Award

Owensboro Grain Company has been selected as the Kentucky Pollution PreventionESA-jpeg-SSP Center’s (KPPC) Douglas C. Griffin Environmental Sustainability Award winner for 2015. KPPC created the award in 2009 to recognize those Kentucky companies that have demonstrated a commitment to the principles of sustainability by reducing waste, lowering energy use and practicing environmental stewardship. The award is presented each year in conjunction with National Pollution Prevention Week. The memorial award is named for the late Douglas C. Griffin, KPPC’s Board Chairman from 1999 to 2015.

Take a look at the video of the award presentation and an interview with John Wright on KPPC’s Video page.

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P2 Act Anniversary Retrospective Report Published

25 years preventing pollutionTwenty-five years ago, Congress passed the Pollution Prevention (P2) Act. What prompted the Act? What is the Act’s impact and legacy? And what’s next for pollution prevention?

To help answer these questions, the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) has compiled a P2 Retrospective Report [PDF]. The report dives into the history of pollution prevention, explores a variety of innovative public-private partnerships that the Act helped promote, and considers the future of pollution prevention in concept and practice.  Technical assistance programs from around the country are highlighted that includes two from Kentucky, the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center and the KY EXCEL Leadership Program.

Check it out! [PDF]

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