DEEP: Connecticut Pollution Prevention Programs

Office of Pollution Prevention Programs

Partnering with Business, Government and Institutions For a Cleaner, Greener Connecticut

  {Picture of a woodland scene with river}
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Office of Pollution Prevention (P2) manages programs in support of the statewide pollution prevention plan. Projects are implemented based on available funding and vary from year to year. Several of our current projects are funded in part by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
 
Ongoing Projects
Past Projects

The DEEP and the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism are promoting a free certification program for lodging facilities called "Connecticut Green Lodging-Accommodating You and Our Environment", a free certification program for CT lodging facilities. 

The program is based on accumulating points associated with environmental practices at the lodging facility. The points are recorded in the Connecticut Green Lodging Self-Certification Workbook. Certification as a CT Green Lodging facility is awarded based on acquiring at least 100 points.
 
For more information, contact Kim Trella
 

The P2 Office coordinates CHER. CHER provides a setting for hospitals and other health care facilities to learn from each other by sharing ideas, presenting success stories, keeping up-to-date on available resources and discussing issues that affect the industry. Recent topics have included measuring waste and recycling, and serving health, local food.

If you would like to be on the mailing list and receive information on future events, contact or Connie Mendolia.

Green Cleaning

DEEP is partnering with the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) on the Healthy Homes Initiative, helping assure that every Connecticut resident lives in a healthy and safe home environment. Staff from DEEP's Office of Pollution Prevention participated on a webinar entitled “Green Cleaning in the Home: Breathe Easy While Cleaning Program” on March 13, 2012. The audience of almost 90 people--from CT as well as 18 other states--was local officials such as environmental health field staff and supervisors, housing specialists and public health nurses.

DEEP and DPH have also produced a CD of the Breathe Easy While Cleaning Program. The program includes a display, available for loan from agencies in 8 regions of the state, a sample presentation to be used with the display, a PowerPoint that gives borrowers an overview of the program and additional resources, including recipes (Spanish version), to help participants/audiences start making their own greener, healthier cleaning products for the home.

The DEEP P2 Office has also presented the program as a training workshop in partnership with a variety of organizations (e.g., Literacy Volunteers, Lead Action for Medicaid Primary Prevention (LAMPP)). For more information, contact Mary Sherwin at DEEP or Joan Simpson at DPH.

More information on green cleaning .

Greening Connecticut State Agencies

DEEP is charged with protecting Connecticut's environment and we "walk the talk" by making the DEEP green , too. We are using our experience to assist other CT state agencies in greening their operations, such as education about environmentally preferable purchasing and creating green meetings and training. 
 
A "Going Green Makes Sen$e" workshop was held at DEEP headquarters on Sept. 28, 2011. This event featured a presentation and panel discussion outlining the experiences, lessons learned and results of implementing various sustainability measures at DEEP. More information
 
For general information on greening your office or forming a green team, contact Connie Mendolia  or Mary Sherwin.
 

The P2 Office has been providing towns with information and assistance on greening turf through organic land care  techniques. OLC is a whole system approach that relies on reinvigorating soil health so that turf can be managed without conventional fertilizers and pesticides. Our goal is to help municipalities maintain quality turf while complying with the pesticide prohibition on K-8 school grounds which became effective July 2010.

We began our efforts in 2006 by distributing over 1000 copies of our "Organic Land Care" video to towns and individuals. From 2007 through 2009, DEEP partnered with the Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association (CT NOFA) to conduct pilot projects with the towns of Manchester and Watertown to help them transition from conventional to organic turf management. Manchester was successful at implementing the organic approach because they were able to purchase organic fertilizers and compost teas and apply quality compost made at the town landfill. They stopped using conventional pesticides on the soccer field during the 3 year pilot and reduced the use on the adjacent two fields. Watertown eliminated the use of pesticides on Deland Field, a 5 acre field with 3 baseball diamonds during its two year pilot.

Three workshops on organic land care were co-sponsored with the University of Connecticut Plant Science Department and CT NOFA. Over 30 officials from 21 towns attended along with 15 private landscapers. Workshop participants received a free soil test of a municipal field and were educated about soil testing and how to interpret the results. The attendees learned how to develop a practical organic land care plan within the town’s budget and took a field trip to Wethersfield’s compost facility for a demonstration on compost screening and topdressing.

Pit Stops Fact Sheets For the Vehicle Services Industry
 
The Pit Stops Fact Sheets outline basic regulatory requirements and best management practices for the vehicle services industry. Topics covered include hazardous waste management, recycling, shop wastewater, parts cleaning and more.  DEEP staff will completely update the fact sheets by Spring 2012.
 
For more information contact Judy Prill.
 
Ongoing Projects

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)

The P2 Office and the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services (DAS) work together to increase the purchase of EPP products by state agencies. State purchasing officials can learn about the DAS EPP program, products, state contacts, statutes and policies that guide EPP efforts in Connecticut. Contact DAS at (860) 713-5095.

Reducing Toxics in Packaging

The Toxics in Packaging Law was passed in 1990 to reduce the amount of toxic materials used in packaging that is manufactured and/or distributed in Connecticut. The levels of certain heavy metals found in packaging are of concern because packaging is short-lived by design and makes up one third of our solid waste stream. These heavy metals may leach out of wastes in landfills, escape as air emissions from trash-to-energy facilities or remain as contaminants in the fly or bottom ash residue from these facilities. The law specifically addresses four heavy metals identified as known health and environmental hazards (cadmium, lead, mercury, and hexavalent chromium). 

For more information, contact David Westcott.

Past Projects

The P2 Office hosted the Hartford Neighborhood Environmental Partnership, a group of community organizations and city agencies in Hartford that worked on environmental issues and events. This project was initially funded by the federal EPA from 1996-2001. The P2 Office worked with four partner community organizations to promote quality of life improvements and enhanced economic opportunities in Hartford neighborhoods. Training sessions on topics critical to urban residents and businesses such as asthma and air pollution, solid waste facilities, pesticide management, recycling, preventing pollution from household cleaners, and where to go for environmental help were held. In addition to environmental outreach to Hartford residents, the program provided direct technical assistance to Hartford's small businesses to achieve environmental compliance and practice pollution prevention.

For more information contact Mary Sherwin or Judy Prill.

Mercury Outreach and Education  

This program included an educational exhibit titled "Exposing Mercury" along with a poster, brochure and support materials. A state-wide mercury collection campaign was held through 2001 in which over 2001 pounds of mercury were collected. The collection included: thermometer exchanges where mercury-containing thermometers were turned in and digital thermometers were given out in their place, collection of unused bulk mercury from dentists, household hazardous waste collections, and school clean-outs.

For more information about the project, contact Kim Trella.
For general information about mercury, contact Tom Metzner.

 Connecticut State Technology Extension Program (ConnSTEP)

On-site pollution prevention assistance for small manufacturers in the State was provided through a partnership with the DEEP and the Connecticut State Technology Extension Program (ConnSTEP). They performed an initial site visit, documented and evaluated the facility processes, made recommendations, assisted the manufacturer with implementation and evaluated the outcome

ConnSTEP works with manufacturers of fabricated metals, electronic equipment, industrial machinery, plastics, instrumentation, and transportation industries to help them improve their industrial competitiveness. 

Assistance with Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy

The DEEP is a member of the Governor's Steering Committee (GSC), which is charged with leading a collaborative effort to implement the Climate Change Action Plan for Connecticut. The GSC is made up of leaders from key state agencies including the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Public Utility Commission, Transportation, Administration Services, the Office of policy and Management, and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. Staff from these agencies are actively working with state government, business, municipalities, colleges/universities, non-profit organizations, and the faith-based community to educate the public about climate change and implement green house gas reduction in CT. 

Content Last Updated on September 2012