Patrick Administration Recognizes Champions of Toxics Use Reduction
BOSTON - Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Commissioner David Cash, honored companies, community organizations and an academic researcher for their work in reducing the use of toxics in the Commonwealth at the Annual Champions of Toxics Use Reduction Awards ceremony at the State House yesterday.
"The Patrick Administration is committed to a cleaner and healthier Commonwealth and recognizes that this can be achieved simultaneously with maintaining a strong business climate," said Commissioner Cash. "The Toxics Use Reduction Act Program exemplifies this belief. By requiring companies to take a critical look at the how and why and the full costs of using chemicals, and providing them with technical assistance, education and research programs in toxics use reduction, the Act has lead companies to find and voluntarily adopt measures that both reduce toxics use and pollution, protect public health and the health of workers, and improve their bottom line."
The Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) program has overseen significant reductions in the use of harmful chemicals in Massachusetts. Between 2000 and 2012, Massachusetts companies reduced their total use of toxic chemicals by 23 percent and the direct release of toxics to the environment by 73 percent.
"The TURA program has been instrumental in helping businesses in the Commonwealth reduce the use of hazardous chemicals in the Commonwealth," said Rich Bizzozero, Director of the TURA Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA). "By recognizing the work of the honorees, we continue to ensure a cleaner healthier state for future generations."
"Everyone we are recognizing is a model for others in the Commonwealth and the nation for finding innovative solutions that can reduce toxic chemical use at the source," says Michael Ellenbecker, director of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell.
"The Toxics Use Reduction program supports a clean and healthy Commonwealth by reducing the use of chemical substances and their impact on workers, consumers and the environment," said Senator Marc R. Pacheco, Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. "The individuals, businesses and organizations that we are honoring are keeping Massachusetts clean and healthy for future generations."
Below are the Champions of Toxics Use Reductions Award honorees:
Andover / Raytheon
Installed a new ozonated water system that cleans, sanitizes and deodorizes without toxics.
Walpole / KMK Cleaners
Reduced electricity costs by 40 percent and water use by 50 percent by switching from a toxic perchloroethylene system to professional wet cleaning.
Lowell / Professor Sammy Shina / UMass Lowell
Started the New England Lead-free Electronics Consortium to help Massachusetts manufacturers find alternatives to lead to keep them competitive in a highly regulated international market.
Barnstable / Barnstable County Cape Cod Cooperative
Working to raise awareness with art studios and the public about art supplies containing harmful toxic chemicals.
Greenfield / Franklin Regional Council of Governments
Created the Green Cleaning for Food Service Project to help local businesses investigate safer alternatives.
Woburn / Full Circle Earth
Worked to help citizens achieve healthy lawns and landscapes without the use of pesticides or harmful fertilizers.
Jamaica Plain / Jamaica Plain New Economy
Looking for ways to eliminate carcinogens while supporting the transition to a sustainable and prosperous neighborhood.
Beverly / La Chic Mentoring Plus
Created the Healthy Girls Model Healthy Products to help middle and high school girls make safer choices for beauty products.
The Commonwealth established itself as a leader in chemical policy by adopting TURA in 1989. Massachusetts was first in the nation to harness market forces through a mandatory reporting and planning process that provides incentives for companies to reduce toxic chemical use. The TURA program activities are implemented by three agencies: MassDEP, the Office of Technical Assistance and Technology and the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell. The TURA program continues to support sustainable economic growth in the Commonwealth by helping businesses reduce their reliance on toxic chemicals and achieve greater operational efficiency.