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Innovation Pays: N.H. and R.I. Projects Net $275K Grants

Release Date: 10/30/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Oct. 30, 2008) – The New Hampshire Dept. of Environmental Services and the Narragansett Bay Commission in Rhode Island have each been awarded a $275,000 EPA grant to support innovative approaches for improving environmental permitting programs, which impose limits on pollution emissions to the air, water, and land.

“This funding, part of EPA’s State Innovation Grant program, helps states develop and test leading-edge ideas in environmental protection,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

Both New England grant recipients will test several permitting innovations, including the use of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and an Environmental Results Program (ERP). EMSs allow facilities to continuously improve the management of their environmental performance to achieve superior environmental results and find cost efficiencies through elimination of waste. ERP combines three elements: compliance assistance from state governments, self-certification of compliance by regulated facilities, and auditing of a statistical sample of self-certifications to ensure compliance.

With the EPA grant, the Narragansett Bay Commission, in partnership with the R.I. Dept. of Environmental Management and the University of Rhode Island, will apply EMS and ERP to create a Sustainable Energy Management System for Rhode Island’s wastewater treatment facilities. They will focus on improving energy efficiency and reducing the oil and grease coming in to the facilities from restaurants and food processing operations – with the goal of turning this waste into a renewable fuel source.

The N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services will test the use of incentives such as early technical assistance and integrated/coordinated permitting to encourage adoption of better development practices – integrating storm water and other permits for the construction sector with the goal of development that produces fewer air, water, and ground water impacts and energy and water savings.

EPA is now soliciting grant applications for 2009. This latest competition, which began Oct. 9 and closes Dec.10, also focuses on innovation in environmental permitting programs.

More information:

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State Innovation Grant Program (http://www.epa.gov/innovation/stategrants/index.htm)

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2009 State Innovation Grant Program competition (http://www.epa.gov/innovation/stategrants/currentcompetition.htm)