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EPA Awards Grant to Product Stewardship Institute to Reduce Releases of Mercury in Great Lakes Basin

Release Date: 09/19/2012
Contact Information: Peter Cassell, 312-886-6234, cassell.peter@epa.gov

Chicago (Sept. 19, 2012) – The U.S. Environmental Agency announced a $197,022 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant to the Product Stewardship Institute to reduce releases of mercury in the Great Lakes basin. This is one of three GLRI grants focused on pollution prevention that EPA is announcing during National Pollution Prevention Week.

"The Institute will use this funding to partner with industry to prevent mercury releases from discarded auto parts and thermostats in the Great Lakes basin,” said EPA Regional Administrator / Great Lakes National Program Manager Susan Hedman.

The Product Stewardship Institute will use the grant to work with the operators of 380 auto dismantling facilities and 5,400 heating contractors and wholesalers in the Chicago area to promote proper mercury disposal and to provide incentives to participate in collection programs for mercury-containing products.

The two other GLRI grants being announced this week are:

    $100,000 to Hope College (Holland, Michigan) to host workshops to educate industry representatives on the environmental problems associated with the use of toxic flame-retardant chemicals and to promote the use of safer alternatives. The college will also develop a disposal strategy for products that contain the toxic flame-retardant chemicals.
    $150,000 to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (based in Minnesota) to provide businesses that use toxic chemicals with “green chemistry” tools and information about safer alternatives. Workshops will be held for businesses throughout the Great Lakes region.

Over the last three years, GLRI has provided more than $11 million for pollution prevention grants to improve Great Lakes water quality by reducing or eliminating waste at the source, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials.

The GLRI, initially proposed by President Obama in February 2009, is the largest investment in the Great Lakes in more than two decades. More information about the Initiative is available at www.glri.us.

For more information on EPA’s Pollution Prevention Program, visit epa.gov/p2.