The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) recently announced the winners of the Fifth Annual Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) Awards. The MVP2 Awards honor the most innovative and successful pollution prevention (P2) programs in the country.
The First Place MVP2 Award was awarded to the Sanitation District of Los Angeles County, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, and the National Pediculosis Association for its Lindane Usage Reduction Project. Lindane is a persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemical used in prescription medication for head lice and scabies. A single treatment for lice contains enough Lindane to pollute six million gallons of water below the California water-quality standards. The program targeted those parties who either treat or provide advice on the treatment of lice and scabies: doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, school nurses, day care centers, hospitals, and correctional institutions. It was the first major program to convince physicians to change the medications they prescribe based on environmental concerns. Average Lindane concentrations dropped 50% in the Long Beach and Burbank outreach areas. A bill to ban the medical uses of Lindane was passed in the California legislature as a direct result of the Lindane Usage Reduction Project.
The City of Seattle, Washington won the second place award for their Pesticide Reduction Program. The program targeted employees of greenhouses, specialty gardens, roadsides and medians, and golf courses. Employees were asked to identify and reduce the environmental impacts of their jobs, which resulted in employee driven innovations to lower pesticide use. The city achieved a 46% reduction in pesticide use in 2000 as compared to the average for the previous five years.
The third place award winner is International Chemical Products, Inc. of Huntsville, AL and the United States EPA Office of Research and Development for developing a process to reduce the volume of hazardous and toxic waste streams produced from metal surface finishing operations. The process, named Picklex, eliminates up to eleven steps in metal finishing processes which each emit pollution.
Abbott Laboratories and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and tied for fourth place. The Abbott Advanced Technology Group in the Pharmaceutical Research and Development area developed a new, state-of-the-art technology, which eliminated the use of hazardous materials, such as acetonitrile and methanol, in the purification of pharmaceuticals. This new technology, named Supercritical Fluid Chromatography (SFC), is now available for use in the drug industry, and is used to eliminate hazardous waste and employee exposure.
NYS DEC collected over 5,000 Automotive Mercury Switches found under automobile hood and trunk lids and developed a low-cost system for the recovery of mercury. A program to replace the light mercury switches with non-mercury switches in on-the road vehicles was implemented with the help of used-car dealerships, automotive service establishments, government fleets, and commercial fleets.
A distinguished panel of representatives from both the public and private sectors judged the MVP2 Awards. The wide range of panelists from various organizations included the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Canadian Center for Pollution Prevention, National Chemical Safety Board, Florida DEP, City of San Diego Environmental Services, TDC Environmental, University of Michigan, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Rohm and Haas Company, and the U.S. EPA. Applications were judged on a variety of characteristics, including innovation, measurable results, transferability, level of commitment from the parent organization, and the optimization of available resources.