Today's News

  • Montana Pollution Prevention Program among recipients of the EPA's nearly $12 Million in Pollution Prevention Grants Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

    September 9, 2022 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of 39 recipients across the country that will receive nearly $12 million in pollution prevention (P2) grants made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s historic $100 million program investment. These grants will allow states and Tribes to provide businesses with technical assistance to help them develop and adopt P2 practices to prevent or reduce pollution before it is even created, while also reducing business and liability costs.

    Proposed projects include reducing PFAS contamination in food packaging and food waste recycling streams, increasing awareness of green cleaning chemicals in businesses and schools, and helping underserved communities implement P2 best practices to reduce waste and emissions from industrial plants.

    “The grant selections announced today and made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will reduce air and water pollution in communities in need,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Many of the grants selected support the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to addressing environmental justice concerns in overburdened communities and the impacts of climate change.” 

    The P2 Program advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which aims to deliver at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain government programs to underserved communities. State and Tribal programs awarded grants will not be required to provide matching funds, as is required by traditional P2 grants. The ability to waive the match requirement under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in addition to the new National Emphasis Area (NEA) for businesses in Indian country, helped to broaden and diversify the applicant pool. Many grants selected will support implementing pollution prevention practices in Indian country.

    The United States produces billions of pounds of pollution each year and spends billions of dollars per year controlling this pollution. Preventing pollution at the source, also known as P2 or source reduction, rather than managing waste after it is produced is an important part of advancing a sustainable economic and environmental infrastructure. P2 can lessen exposure to toxic chemicals, conserve natural resources, and reduce financial costs for businesses, particularly costs associated with waste management, disposal and cleanup. These practices are essential for protecting health, improving environmental conditions in and around disadvantaged communities, and preserving natural resources like wetlands, groundwater sources, and other critical ecosystems.

    Selected and awarded grantees will document and share P2 best practices they identify and develop through these grants so that others can replicate the practices and outcomes.  Each selected grantee will address at least one of the NEAs, which were established to focus resources to achieve measurable results and to create opportunities to share information among P2 grantees and businesses affiliated with similar NEAs. Each selected grantee will also develop at least one case study during the grant period on P2 practices that are new or not widely known or adopted, or where detailed information on the P2 practices could benefit other businesses or P2 technical assistance providers.

    These grants are the first of five P2 grant programs over the next five years that will be funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. EPA has announced two other new P2 grant opportunities funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. One will encourage products, purchasing, and/or supply chains that are safer, more sustainable, and environmentally preferable and the other will encourage businesses that are working in, or working with, underserved and disadvantaged communities to adopt P2 practices. Later this year, EPA also anticipates awarding traditional P2 grants administered by the agency as it has for over 25 years.

    EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied. Grants supported with Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds will be fully funded at the time grants are awarded. 

    A full list of the entities selected to receive funding through the grants funded under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law can be found below.

    Read more about P2 and the P2 Grant Program.

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  • The Health risks of Pollution

12 million deaths across the world are associated with environmental risk factors every year, according to a Pan American Health Organization assistant director. This includes causes like cardiovascular and respiratory diseases due to high temperatures and pollution, consequences from wildfires and droughts, and the health risks associated with poor air quality.

 

  • In celebration of National P2 Week the 2021 EcoStar Pollution Prevention award winners announced

    September 20, 2021, BOZEMAN — Montana State University’s Pollution Prevention Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have recently presented awards to small businesses across the state highlighting their pollution prevention efforts and statewide leadership.

    The EcoStar awards program, now in its 20th year, recognizes Montana businesses that support environmentally and economically sustainable communities by preventing pollution, or “P2,” through efforts such as conserving water, energy and clean air. 

    “Pollution prevention efforts have positive results for businesses, including creating a safer working environment, reducing hazards to public health and the environment, improving their public image and saving money,” said Jennifer Grossenbacher, director of the Montana Pollution Prevention Program for MSU’s Institute on Ecosystems

    This year’s award winners represent 13 communities across Montana. They are GTUIT in Billings; Boulder Hot Springs Inn, Spa & Retreat Center in Boulder; Happy Trash Can Curbside Composting, Mint Dental Studio, Highline Adventures and Bridger Bowl Ski Area in Bozeman; Vilicus Farms in Havre; Farmented Foods in Kalispell; Soil Cycle in Missoula; Philipsburg Brewing Company in Phillipsburg; and MacKenzie River Pizza Co., which has locations in Bozeman, Belgrade, Billings, Butte, Helena, Missoula, Great Falls, Polson, Kalispell and Whitefish.

    “Each year that we apply for the EcoStar Award, the process helps us reflect on the pollution prevention measures we already have in place and how we can continue to improve our green practices,” said Kerri Kumasaka of Boulder Hot Springs.

    Grossenbacher said this year the winners cumulatively saved 6.1 million gallons of water, conserved 304,795 kilowatt hours of electricity, eliminated the equivalent of 52,214 metric tons of carbon dioxide and saved $573,837 through their pollution prevention efforts.

    Examples include Bridger Bowl Ski Area’s 50-kilowatt solar array and LED retrofit, which will reduce electricity usage by 156,340 kilowatt hours, saving 111 metric tons of CO2 equivalent and $21,192. Additionally, Soil Cycle in Missoula sequestered over 32,000 pounds of CO2 with their bicycle-led composting program, and Havre’s Vilicus Farms eliminated 2,044 metric tons of CO2 equivalent and saved $468,000 by practicing organic farming methods of cover cropping and utilizing green manure rather than synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

    “These EcoStar award winners have once again proven to be leaders in Montana,” Grossenbacher said. “Their P2 work is making a significant impact on Montana’s environment as well as its economy and their own personal pocketbooks. Even more notable than the numbers are their vision, leadership and innovation as well as their inspiration to others, particularly during this challenging past year.”

    According to Adrienne Huckabone of Happy Trash Can Curbside Composting, despite COVID-19 and the hardships of the past year and a half, the company has expanded its efforts to grow composting in the Bozeman community and close the local food loop. 

    “We have begun a working relationship with Bozeman Solid Waste to optimize their compost operations while continuing to grow our own business,” Huckabone added. “We thank all of our Happy compost customers in helping expand our growing network of food waste diversion and local compost creation and distribution.” 

    Montana small business interested in applying for the EcoStar award in the coming year can email Grossenbacher at [email protected] for additional details. 

    This story is available on the Web at: http://www.montana.edu/news/21453

  • MSU Extension calls for pollution prevention award nominations                                     

    January 27, 2020, BOZEMAN — Montana State University Extension is accepting applications and nominations for the annual EcoStar award, which highlights the efforts of small businesses and organizations that embrace and advance pollution prevention as a key component of their business. The deadline for nominations and applications is March 1.

    Pollution prevention is any practice that reduces or eliminates pollution at its source, according to Jenny Grossenbacher, coordinator of MSU Extension’s Montana Pollution Prevention Program. Reducing the amount of pollution produced means less waste to control, treat or dispose, said Grossenbacher. She added that less pollution means fewer hazards to public health and the environment.

    The EcoStar awards, now in their 19th year, recognize Montana small businesses and organizations that are creating more environmentally and economically sustainable communities by reducing solid and hazardous waste, conserving resources such as water, energy and clean air, and serving as role models for the state with their pollution prevention efforts.

    Pollution prevention reduces both financial costs, such as those incurred through waste management and cleanup, and environmental costs like health problems and ecosystem damage for individuals and businesses alike, according to Grossenbacher. It protects the environment by conserving natural resources while strengthening economic growth through more efficient production in industry and less need for businesses, households and communities to handle waste, she said.

    “We are looking for Montana’s business and community leaders that are preserving and prioritizing the health of not only our environment but also our economic resources,” Grossenbacher said. “These folks deserve to be honored for their contributions and leadership to the entire region.”

    According to Grossenbacher, last year’s 22 EcoStar award winners represented 18 Montana communities, saved approximately 31 million gallons of water, conserved 179,000 kilowatt hours of energy, reduced 56,000 pounds of hazardous waste and saved $355,172 through their pollution prevention efforts. This year’s winners will be recognized by Gov. Steve Bullock in a ceremony at the Capitol in April. 

    For more information on the EcoStar award program or to submit an application or nomination, contact Grossenbacher at 406-994-4292 or [email protected] or visit: http://www.mtp2.org/ecostar.html.

    Contact: Jenny Grossenbacher, MSU Extension Housing and Environmental Health, 406-994-4292 or [email protected]
  • September 16-22, 2019 is National Pollution Prevention (P2) week!  See how you can make a difference at home and at work with the EPA links below:   

  • ECOSTAR AWARD WINNERS RECOGNIZED  

    April 24, 2019: Montana State University Extension and Gov. Steve Bullock recently recognized this year’s EcoStar award winners for their pollution prevention efforts and statewide leadership.

    The EcoStar awards program, now in its 18th year, recognizes Montana businesses that support environmentally and economically sustainable communities by conserving water, energy and clean air and which serve as role models by surpassing state and federal requirements to reduce solid and hazardous waste.

    “Pollution prevention efforts have positive results for businesses, including creating a safer working environment, reducing hazards to public health and the environment, improving their public image and saving money,” said Jenny Grossenbacher, director of the Montana Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Program for MSU Extension.

    This year’s 22 award winners represent 18 Montana communities. The awardees, who were honored during a reception with the governor at the Montana Capitol on April 24, included businesses in the agriculture, food, manufacturing, hospitality, medical and service industries, as well as an MSU Extension agent.

    "This year, the 22 EcoStar award winners saved over 32.4 million gallons of water, conserved 448,768 kilowatt hours of electricity, reduced 2.2 million pounds of solid waste and 6,690 pounds of hazardous waste, eliminated the equivalent of 80,213 metric tons of carbon dioxide and saved $518,449 through their pollution prevention efforts,” Grossenbacher said. 

    Those contributions are noteworthy, she added. Examples include MacKenzie River Pizza Co.’s “straws upon request” program to reduce plastic waste and a new director of sustainability position; Loren’s Auto Repair in Kalispell using a waste oil-fired boiler system to heat the shop, reuse waste oil and save electricity; and Triple Dog Brewing’s donation of spent barley to the city of Havre, which the city then uses instead of chemicals in its waste water treatment plant. 

    “These EcoStar award winners are leaders for our state, and their efforts are making a significant impact on Montana’s environment and economy,” Grossenbacher said. “Even more notable than the numbers are their vision and leadership, as well as their innovation and inspiration.”

    Bullock said during the event that he was impressed by the awardees.

    “The pollution prevention work you do is not just the right thing to do for the environment. You do it for all the right reasons, but ultimately, you know it’s also, long-term, the right thing to do for your bottom line,” he said. “Making your business energy efficient is the smart thing to do. It’s smart for your business. It’s smart for our state, and it’s also smart for the generations like the third graders I just met with before coming out here to honor you.”  

    This year's award winners include 22 businesses from 18 communites:  Bayern Brewing, Boulder Hot Springs, Bozeman Brewing Company, Bruce Smith-MSU Extension, Delaware North, EcoMontana, Farmented Foods, 406 Bistro, Glacier Guides, Glo Luxury Oils, GTUIT, Happy Trash Can Curbside Composting, Loren's Auto Repair, Mackenzie River Pizza, Montana Ale Works, Mint Dental Studio, Sasquatch Fuel, Shaggy Bear Farm, Simms Fishing, Triple Dog Brewing, Vilicus Farms, Xanterra.
  • The MT Pollution Prevention (P2) program recently won a $989,000 two-year grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  

    With funds from the grant, the Montana Pollution Prevention Program and MMEC will offer onsite technical assistance and training, including source reduction techniques, best management practices, safer chemical use and pollution prevention outreach and educational activities for small businesses. A portion of the facilities working with the program and MMEC will receive energy audits from the National Center for Appropriate Technology to identify energy conservation opportunities. To share results and transferability of programming throughout the state, the grant will also allow the Montana Pollution Prevention Program to expand its partnerships network for the cumulative benefit of statewide stakeholders.  

    “We are honored, once again, to be awarded the EPA pollution prevention grant to continue this integral work with small businesses,” Grossenbacher said. “This program can benefit an assortment of stakeholders, including breweries, wineries, distilleries, malters, coffee roasters and food manufacturers, including sugar beet, cereal grain, meat, dairy and pulse crop processors. We encourage any business in the food and beverage industry to reach out to us for assistance.”

    Grossenbacher noted that onsite technical assistance will be capped at 10 businesses per year, but the insights gained and lessons learned will be available via a webinar series to help other businesses unable to participate in the hands-on training. 

  • September 17-23 is National Pollution Prevention (P2) week!  See how you can make a difference at home and work with the links below.   

  • CLEAN ENERGY FAIR 2018:  Saturday, Aug. 11 @ the Gallatin County Fairgrounds 

    Please join the Montana Renewable Energy Association for ythe8th Annual Montana Clean Energy Fair on Saturday, August 11, 2018 from 9a-4p at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds (901 N. Black Ave.) in Bozeman, MT.  The fair will include workshops on solar, wind, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and other clean energy technologies; exhibits by clean energy businesses; and an electric car show. Plus there will be food vendors and kids' activities including a bouncy castle, solar ovens, and model solar car races.
  •  Ecostar Pollution Prevention award winners recognized                                    “It is a great honor for me to get to recognize the meaningful differences that you are making,” Bullock said at the awards reception. “It is not just the right thing to do for some ethereal reason; it is also the most efficient thing to do. It’s a way to build our businesses and protect our environment, and it’s the economic thing to do. You are the leaders making a contribution to the greater good for all of Montana from all corners of the state.”  "Thisyear, the EcoStar award winners saved over 30 million gallons of water, conserved 179,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, reduced 1.6 million pounds of solid waste and 56,276 pounds of hazardous waste, eliminated 177 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and saved $335,172 through their pollution prevention efforts," said Jenny Grossenbacher, director of the Montana Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Program for MSU Extension.  “These are clearly significant impacts on the state of Montana’s environment and economy, but it’s not just about the numbers. It is also about (the businesses') vision and leadership, as well as their innovativeness and inspiration. They are leaders for our state,” Grossenbacher said.
  •  MSU environmental scientist wins grant to determine what effect forest management decisions have on forest ecology from local to regional to continental scales.  

    Most of the world’s forests are managed at relatively local scales to provide goods and services such as wood, biodiversity and purified water, Kleindl said. But at large scales, forests play an important role in things like regulating weather or providing connections between biomes, large naturally occurring communities of flora and fauna.  “As a result, cumulative changes in management practices that influence forest structure and productivity also influence climate, hydrology and biodiversity,” he said. “Yet, little is known about how these cumulative forest management decisions influence forest ecology from regional to continental scales.”

 

 

  • MSU Extension calls for pollution prevention award nominations                                                                         “We are looking for Montana’s business and community leaders that are preserving and prioritizing the health of not only our environment but also our economic resources,” Grossenbacher said. “These folks deserve to be honored for their contributions and leadership to the entire region.” According to Grossenbacher, the EcoStar award winners’ pollution prevention efforts average approximately 7.5 million gallons of water saved, 1.25 billion British Thermal Units of energy conserved, 50,000 pounds of hazardous waste reduced and over $350,000 saved per year.

 

  • Celebrate National Pollution Prevention Week: Sept 18-24, 2017 

    Pollution prevention (P2) means reducing or eliminating sources of pollution to prevent damage to the environment while also eliminating the need for costly controls and cleanup.  During Pollution Prevention Week, we congratulate our state partners, industry and citizens - pat yourself on the back for the progress you've made!  https://www.epa.gov/p2week 

 

  • EPA's Power Profiler

    With just a few clicks of your mouse and a zip code, consumers can see how their individual energy use is affecting the Earth. EPA's Power Profiler calculates how much air pollution results from individual electricity and how to reduce the impact. http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/powerprofiler.htm

 

  •   Computers left on at night cost U.S. businesses $1.7 billion

    Nearly half of all corporate PCs in the US are not regularly switched off at night, costing US businesses $1.72 billion in energy and causing emissions of 14.4 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to recently released PC Energy Awareness report.  http://www.greenercomputing.com/news_third.cfm?NewID=35310