Region 6 Pollution Prevention Roundtable

Teleconference 01-28-2005





Audree Miller – Arkansas DEQ

Dianne Wilkins – Oklahoma DEQ

Chuck Handrich – Louisiana DEQ

Clinton Twilley _Louisiana DEQ

Tom Ledford – Louisiana DEQ

Grace Hsieh – Texas CEQ

Kelly Coleman – Texas CEQ

Ken Zarker - Texas CEQ

David Greer - Texas CEQ

Michelle Vattano – New Mexico Environmental Department (NMED)

Susan Roothaan – Nurtured World

Javier Ballí  - EPA Region 6

Kelvin Spencer – EPA Region 6

Linda Thompson – EPA Region 6

Thomas Vinson – Southwest Network for Zero Waste (minute taker)

Upcoming Events

EPA – Javier Ballí


Javier discussed what he knew about the State and Tribal Authorization Grant (STAG) funds available for the FY 2005 P2 grants.  Nothing is final.  However, Congress had allocated $7 million in STAG funds for 2004, and has only allocated $5 million for 2005 for P2 national efforts. 


Using a proportional cut, he predicted that Region 6’s share would go from $476,000 in 2004 to $340,000.  Therefore, 71% of what was received last year.  Ken Zarker mentioned that he had heard 15%.  After some more discussion the participants agreed that we should anticipate cuts. Yet, it is too early in the budget process to know the extent of those cuts.


For the upcoming PPG grants, Javier is proposing some modifications to programmatic conditions for 2005.  EPA will be asking recipients to post their results on the Zero Waste website. He is also planning to eliminate the requirement that reports be sent to headquarters.  The purpose of his proposal is to not have ‘dead data’ from projects that are not made available to the public.  He would like for funds to have a multiplier effect on the community.  Javier will send conference call participants his proposed programmatic conditions.


Javier stated that HQ is still trying to get the solicitation notice out “in the next two weeks.”  HQ is working with a March 28 deadline for initial applications made to the regions by applicants.  Source reduction grants will also be reduced. 

Javier is reviewing regional guidance from last year.  Comments on it would be appreciated.


Javier mentioned an initiative by Office Depot on taking back electronics.  Dianne Wilkins also mentioned similar programs from Staples.


H2E – Kelly Coleman


Kelly gave an update on the H2E. It is a national program which is part of Hospitals Without Harm.  TCEQ is working in partnership with EPA under the umbrella of Clean Texas Cleaner World program.  The Texas program is emphasizing:

  • Mercury reduction
  • “Red Bag” medical waste

They have 67 partners in the program so far.  Working with Hospitals in the El Paso region by doing P2 workshops and site visits.  These efforts are focusing reducing mercury and red bag waste and mercury.  They want to recruit more members.


Audree Miller asked several questions because she is in the process of planning three H2E workshops for Arkansas.  She is looking for any resources that can help her.  Kelly offered all the materials, and would share what worked, and what didn’t.


Dianne Wilkins said she was looking at doing an H2E project in conjunction with pretreatment coordinators. 


Thomas Vinson noted that the roundtable should emphasize this at the pretreatment conference.  Cecilia De La roche of H2E in D.C. is going to be there. 

Kelly mentioned that the El Paso pretreatment coordinator was at her conference.  The coordinator was useful in teaching hospitals about the effects on the POTW.  Many hospitals did not consider what goes down their drains.  She also noted that they targeted infection control, but thought it would be more effective to also include the hospital engineers. 

The group discussed how to reach hospital engineers and include them in H2E.   There were no specific suggestions, and the group agreed they needed to find out who the influencers were (trade groups, leaders)


Michelle Vattano discussed how she brought in regulators in the morning, and then presented P2 in the evening.  Thomas and several others said this was a good strategy.   Pollution prevention seems like a viable and good option to regulation.


Any facilities wishing to participate can join through H2E  Website


Small Scale Chemistry


Javier mentioned the Region 6 Small Scale Chemistry (SSC) project in Oklahoma.  Effort came about when Dr. Gerald Carney and Eli Martinez were asked to propose a multi-media tribal project due to funds available for a multi-media tribal project.  A $60,000 award was made to the Texas Educational Service Center in Wichita Falls to establish a SSC program with tribes in OK.  Javier had sent out a website ( and introductory material on 01/24.  Dr. Carney is working with  the Riverside Native American School in Anadarco, OK.  The same grant will service twelve publics school districts surrounding Anadarco.  Each school has a high percentage of Native American students. 


Previous SSC projects with school districts were funded with Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) funds that came from case settlements in Region 6.  The regional office has had SSC projects and train-the-trainer workshops in all five of Region 6’s states. 


Javier mentioned that Lisa Price would be joining Kathleen Aisling with the Resource Conservation Challenge program now that Melissa Galyon has moved to the Toxics Section to work on children’s health issues.


Tom Ledford  was also considering pursuing this project.


Thomas gave an update for Chris Campbell’s project to propose a regional presentation. Our panel discussion was squeezed into a 20-minute talk.  We will only have time for a couple of speakers.  The focus will be on the diversity of our region.  Chris will be coordinating this talk.  Other roundtable members are encouraged to attend and participate.



ADEQ – Audree Miller

Two B ills have been proposed for this legislative session that involve ADEQ . One  of the  B ill s involves the procurement of bio-based products by Arkansas State agencies.  In the proposed Bill, ADEQ is designated as the certifying authority for bio-based products.  The certification process would be a big undertaking for ADEQ and would most likely fall under the jurisdiction of the P2 Program. The agency is opposing  the Bill due to a lack of resources.   The Arkansas State Plant Board has been suggested to certify the products since that agency already does product testing. The USDA  is proposing to establish guidelines for designating items from bio-based products that would be afforded Federal procurement preference .   Audree said that she has been serving on a legislative task force for a Bill that will require all new state funded buildings to be green.  The Bill also requires that an Office of Sustainability be established at ADEQ to oversee the green building process. The green building B ill is supported by the agency.

Audree is continuing her work on the  State agency group purchase of hybrid  electric vehicle s .   She said that all of the State agency directors received a hybrid vehicle package in the mail with a cover letter signed by ADEQ's director.  Audree said she mailed over 200 packages.  She said that the hybrid vehicle survey results being returned to the Office of State Procurement have been favorable.

Audree said that she is planning several H2E seminars for Arkansas for the spring/summer of 2005. 

ADEQ's EMS core team is still hard at work .   The software for the agency's EMS has been installed. The  core team  is currently work ing on  refining the performance measurement s so that they can be implemented .

The P2 Program is  also working with  the Southwest Network for Zero Waste  and TCEQ to establish a  secondary materials resource exchange web site for Arkansas .   The web site will be run from ADEQ's Recycling Section.

ODEQ – Dianne Wilkins


Working on Case Studies, with Zero Waster.  They are also working with RCC and ona performance and recognition program.  Partnering with Environmental federation   Calling Dr. Pojasek to do a training.


April 8 sustainability conference in Stillwater, OK.  She plans to  incorporate site visits into the conference which will give a broader view of industrial strategies at the conference.


Dianne is working with Keep Oklahoma Beautiful on the Great American Cleanup. 

LDEQ – Chuck Handrich


Chuck reported on a January 11-12 Cost Cutting Through Waste Minimization workshop.  They use a team approach on day one with system analysis; day two they gave the participants specific resources.  They had 14 attendees from several companies.  It cost them $500 to do, but they believe it will yield good results.


Preparing for Gov. award, in late March or early April.


Chris Pealer will be in charge of Mercury reductions program.


Julian Thrower will be the main point of contact for P2 programs in Louisiana.

Nurtured World -- Susan Roothaan


Did three trainings.

  • Fort Worth Audoban society
  • Dallas, did a city of Dallas training. 
  • LCRA, private citizens, AMD, and students to take.


Susan will be meeting with OPPT Region 6, the P2 Programs


Susan will be presenting at the Oklahoma Sustainability conference in April.


Nurtured World is  doing EMS/ Consumer Conservation workshops in other states and wants to work with roundtable to coordinate trainings.

TCEQ – Grace Hsieh


Several programs are underway including:


  • a program to collect mercury switches from Autos before they go into milling.  March meeting
  • Online training for FOG for food service and employees.  Draft scheduled by end of February.  If interested in seeing contact Grace. 

Three day EMS training. February, March and June.  Contact Grace if interested.


Will be having a Performance Track.  There is no registration fee.


Post meeting note: Registration is limited to members of Clean Texas or Performance Track. Others (like state programs) may come, but should confirm.  

NMED  - Michelle Vattano


They conducted an H2E in Las Cruces with the national program.  They had 30 participants.


They also conducted training in early March for the Maquiladores to assist them in setting up waste management plans.


She is working on making contacts with PROFEPA.  


March 21-22 MSWG New Mexico.  The focus will be on Biofuels. 


They are continuing work on the seven Generations tribe.



Southwest Network for Zero Waste – Thomas Vinson-Peng


Thomas reported that the center has an events calendar up and running and asked the programs to work with him to get any events they hear about, or are conducting up on the website.  He also asked for them to forward any news stories of interest to him for posting on the website.


In regards to the measurement required under the grant, Thomas said that this year he would work with them to get the data in the system.  He asked for all the case studies they could get.  This will help us, as a region, promote our success and secure, even expand our funding.  Thomas also noted that these follow up activities would lead to better results from the organizations we work with, and lead to other organizations participating. 


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