California and UC Berkeley Win $335,000 in U.S. EPA Grants to Help Students and Businesses Use Green Technology to Design Safer Consumer Products

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded more than $335,000 to the University of California Berkeley and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control for projects to help businesses and manufacturers reduce hazardous chemicals in consumer products and to train a new generation of engineers, chemists, and product designers to use green chemistry for safer products.

“UC Berkeley and DTSC are exploring innovative tools and technologies to make consumer products safer and more environmentally friendly,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “By promoting green chemistry during product design, companies can reduce costs, increase market opportunities and operate more sustainably.”

UC Berkeley’s Center for Green Chemistry received a $230,915 pollution prevention grant to create “Greener Solutions: an Interdisciplinary Safer Design Partnership,” providing student training in green chemistry and helping businesses reduce their use of hazardous chemicals. UC Berkeley will develop a for-credit course to teach 25 students per year in using green chemistry techniques to solve real-world business problems. Students will apply their green training to help five companies find ways to reduce hazardous chemicals and products in their supply chains. UC Berkeley will share innovations from these projects through training materials and pollution prevention case studies.

EPA also awarded a $105,000 pollution prevention grant to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control to help businesses reduce toxic chemicals in consumer products. The Department will work with stakeholders to pilot a new approach to evaluating safer chemical alternatives. The Department will offer training for manufacturers to find safer chemicals to replace specific chemicals of concern in products the public is exposed to on a daily basis, including as children’s products, building materials, and home furnishings.

Last year, EPA’s Pacific Southwest office provided more than $380,000 in pollution prevention grants in California, Hawaii and Nevada.  Pollution prevention grants fund environmental projects that reduce or eliminate pollution at the source, encouraging greenhouse gas reduction, toxic and hazardous materials reduction, resource conservation, efficient business practices and pollution prevention integration activities. Eligible applicants include states, local governments, tribes, and nonprofit organizations.

Today begins national Pollution Prevention Week, this year focusing on pollution prevention for environmental sustainability. This week is an opportunity for individuals, businesses, and governments to explore new ways to reduce pollution at its source, highlight pollution prevention and sustainability activities, expand current pollution prevention efforts, and commit to new actions. By sharing information about pollution prevention, the public and private sectors can become more competitive, save money, and enhance environmental quality.

Learn more about Pollution Prevention Week at: http://www.p2.org/p2-week/

For more information on EPA’s Pollution Prevention grant program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/grants/index.htm#sra

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