- Since its establishment in 1990, the Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA) has provided a host of non-regulatory, strictly confidential services that have helped more than 1,400 Massachusetts facilities use less toxic processes and boost their economic performance. OTA has been instrumental in reducing the use of millions of pounds of toxic chemicals and saving companies millions of dollars in operating costs.
- OTA greatly expanded the energy services it provides industry in response to the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) amendments of 2006, which allow TURA filers to address energy use in toxics use reduction planning. To help Massachusetts businesses address energy challenges, Commonwealth Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) have been formed as a one-stop resource. OTA has been designated the lead agency for the manufacturing sector.
- In accordance with EOEEA's goals, the Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) offers a range of assistance and information to help facilities improve water use efficiency, comply with federal and state regulations, reduce wastewater discharge and implement other effective water conservation measures. These services include site visits to facilities by OTA staff, workshops designed for facilities and for municipalities, and publications such as a list of best management practices for industries and case studies, which highlight successful water conservation attempts by industry.
- To address Massachusetts' changing business profile, the Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA) has expanded its focus to serve high-growth life sciences, renewable energy and other burgeoning industries critical to the state's economic future. OTA's engineers and scientists offer a unique combination of scientific, engineering and business expertise related to toxics use prevention and reduction, pollution prevention, and energy and water conservation. Through its Right From the Start Program, for example, OTA can provide businesses locating in or expanding their local presence with technical and regulatory support that maximizes environmental compliance and economic competitiveness.
- OTA's work with emerging companies evolved, in part, from its traditional role in providing toxics use reduction expertise to well-established Massachusetts businesses. Assisting those clients to adopt innovative technology has been a notable aspect of OTA's work. Over the years, for example, the office has supported research on pollution prevention, energy efficiency or water conservation and other issues for which there is no known or readily apparent commercially available solution. OTA staff worked with companies to develop these issues into potential research projects for proposal to OTA's academic partners, including the four UMass research centers, for funding consideration. OTA has leveraged more than $2.5 million of public funding to support technology development or demonstration projects to benefit Massachusetts manufacturers.
- Every day, OTA teams help improve the environmental and economic performance of Massachusetts companies. Our technical staff draws upon an extraordinary breadth of hands-on manufacturing experience in helping businesses address issues related to toxics use reduction, pollution prevention, energy efficiency and water conservation. Most staff members have held plant operation responsibilities during their careers. They understand the technical issues related to implementing pollution prevention or energy efficiency strategies, the regulatory implications and potential impacts on the company's bottom line. Underscoring the quality of their work, OTA personnel have made over 3,600 site visits to Massachusetts facilities and over 50 percent of the time companies have asked them to return to help solve new problems!
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