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Virginia Companies Commit to Reduce Waste and Chemical Use

Release Date: 11/01/2007
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (November 1, 2007) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mid-Atlantic region recognized Aetna Wire, Virginia Beach; Brenco, Petersburg; the Defense Logistics Agency, Richmond; Philip Morris USA, Richmond; and U.S. Army Fort A.P. Hill, Fort A.P. Hill; for committing to reduce waste and manufacture more environmentally-sound products.

“EPA commends these organizations for enrolling in the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities program,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. “More and more private and public organizations are voluntarily going well beyond their compliance thresholds to help reduce pollution. Their efforts to be more environmentally-responsible are a model for others.”

EPA created the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities program, one of several voluntary partnership programs to reduce 31 highly toxic, priority chemicals found in our nation’s waste. The agency’s goal is to work with industry and the public to reduce the presence of these chemicals in waste by 10 percent by the year 2008, compared to amounts generated in 2001.

Aetna Wire, Virginia Beach, Va., is a manufacturer of premium power and control cable. The company offers a lead-free PVC insulation alternative to its customers. This initiative will reduce the amount of lead used by 27,800 pounds in one year.

Brenco, Petersburg, Va., is a manufacturer of railroad wheels, bearings and assemblies. Brenco has a continuous replacement program in place to remove all mercury-containing gauges and thermostats that control its process and facility temperature. The company estimates it can eliminate 22 pounds of lead in one year. Brenco is also committing to eliminate the use of PCB ballasts in its fluorescent lighting products.

Defense Logistics Agency, Richmond, Va., supplies almost every consumable item America’s military services need to operate from food to jet fuel. The Richmond facility specializes in aviation items. It removes 15,000 fluorescent lamps every year. Through the use of a bulb crusher, the agency intends to capture and recycle approximately 2.1 pounds of mercury every year from the bulbs.

Philip Morris USA, Richmond, Va., is the nation’s leading cigarette manufacturer, and for more than 20 consecutive years has had the highest market share in the U.S. cigarette business. The company has committed to a continuous replacement program to replace 1,750 T12 fluorescent lamps with low mercury T5 lamps in a two-year period. Since June 2007, Philip Morris has been directing 100 percent of its sludge from its wastewater treatment plant to composting. It is also recycling 100 percent of the boiler ash.

U.S. Army Fort A.P. Hill, Fort A.P. Hill, Va., is a world class training facility meeting many training and range qualification requirements. Fort A.P. Hill provides joint and combined arms training to the U.S. military and is participating in a trial program to recover 900 pounds of lead from projectiles fired on its ranges by September 2008. A device, called an environmental bullet catcher, will be used to capture the bullets, and the lead ammunition will be mechanically separated out of the bullet catcher.

For more information, go to: http://www.epa.gov/rcc/resources/rcc-npep.htm