Lowry honors businesses and agencies for pollution prevention efforts

OLYMPIA - Seven businesses, a military base and a college were honored today by Gov. Mike Lowry for their efforts to prevent pollution and protect the environment. The winners of the annual Governor's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Pollution Prevention, are:

Rainier Ballistics, Tacoma (Manufacturer of sport shooting projectiles);

Container-- Care, Seattle (Storage/repair of containers & chassis);

Fleetwood Homes, Woodland (Producer of manufactured homes);

Kaiser Aluminum, Spokane (Aluminum sheet and plate rolling mill);

McChord Air Force Base; and

University of Washington Safety and Environmental Health, Seattle.

Continuing Excellence:

Fluke Corp., Everett (Electronics); and

Johnson Matthey, Spokane (Electronics and semiconductor fabricator).

Honorable mention:

Tidewater Barge, Vancouver (Transporter of grain and petroleum).

Lowry said this year's recipients have shown they can both save money and help preserve the state's quality of life by finding and using techniques that reduce waste at the source.

"Their continuing efforts have demonstrated a tremendous commitment to the environment and a willingness to share their knowledge with the community," Lowry said.

Sponsored by the state Department of Ecology, the annual awards recognize innovation, reductions in pollution, benefits to the environment, health and safety, economic benefits and leadership. Lowry said Washington state puts great emphasis on pollution prevention efforts -- including requiring most large industries that produce hazardous waste to write annual plans for waste reduction. Some of the award winners began adopting pollution prevention measures through state required planning, with technical assistance from Department of Ecology staff.

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For further information, contact Bonnie Meyer, (360) 407-6740 or Jerry Gilliland, (360) 407-6149, at the state Department of Ecology.

Recipients of The Governor's Award

for Outstanding Achievement in Pollution Prevention

Rainier Ballistics: Tacoma, manufacturer of "sport shooting projectiles," 22 staff.

"Rainier has, after extensive research and at considerable cost, taken a number of steps to reduce the use of hazardous materials in many of its operations and has taken steps to substantially reduce the generation of hazardous waste at every step of its manufacturing process."

Through their pollution prevention efforts, they are saving tens of thousands of dollars every year. Rainier Ballistics showed that taking technical risks can reap rewards. When Rainier first wrote a pollution prevention plan as directed by Ecology, they were sending a full tanker truck of cyanide waste to Portland every week. Ecology staff showed them process alternatives and a broad class of source reduction methods, which they later adopted. In addition, they now have zero waste water discharge.

Container Care -- Seattle: Dock facility for the storage and repair of intermodal containers and chassis, 65 staff.

Container Care demonstrates leadership by sharing knowledge about innovations. They now have lower material disposal costs, reduced permit costs and more efficient production. There is less time spent on clean-up and a decreased risk of worker exposure to hazardous substances. Container Care maintains an excellent relationship with regulators and has appreciated technical assistance visits and materials supplied by Ecology's toxics reduction staff. The company is proactive in its approach to pollution prevention.

Fleetwood Homes -- Woodland: Producer of single family manufactured homes, 223 staff.

"Fleetwood is committed to minimizing the impact of its operations upon the environment. The plant established a long list of goals to meet the challenge of protecting the environment." Using a quality improvement process they meet their goals. Primary among them was a switch to non-toxic and less toxic products in the manufacturing process. They also examined process re-engineering opportunities, taking advantage of new painting techniques that resulted in large reductions toxic air emissions. By welcoming staff suggestions and firm policy to manage materials, reduce, reuse and recycle the company has saved more than $153,000.

Kaiser Aluminum -- Trentwood Works: Spokane. Integrated aluminum sheet and plate rolling mill, 1,400 staff.

The company says it was motivated by two things to implement its pollution prevention plans:

"We all live in the community and want to have a clean environment; and survival as a business.... From a cost savings standpoint, pollution prevention savings are opportunities that we cannot ignore and expect to compete as a business."

"Trentwood's achievements... would not have been possible without the assistance of several program groups within the Department of Ecology." Ecology staff sent Kaiser materials and met with them to provide technical assistance on toxics reduction.

The company looks for pollution prevention opportunities throughout its facility. The real costs of pollution are weighed using full cost accounting. They have achieved excellent waste reductions and reaped many benefits through innovative pollution prevention.

McChord Air Force Base. Department of Defense installation responsible for the care and maintenance of a fleet of C-141B aircraft, with 8013 members on site.

"McChord focus(es) on environmental challenges as our most important public responsibility beside serving in our country's defense." The base staff have already won awards for their programs to recycle, to purchase recycled and environmentally preferred products, natural and cultural resources management, tree maintenance and participation in "Oil Smart Wednesdays."

McChord supports its Pollution Prevention Working Group, which is a cross-functional team representing the base's major functional areas. The base has adopted many innovative processes. They have also switched to many non-toxic and less-toxics products. In three years this program has diverted 2.2 million pounds of hazardous materials from the waste stream, reduced materials purchases by 20% (saving $100,000 last year). After developing an impressive 200+ page guide, "Qualified Recycling Program" the base has distributed it to over 400 bases and government agencies. Base employees are recognized and rewarded for their contributions. They play a key role in sharing knowledge and identifying pollution prevention opportunities.

University of Washington Environmental Health and Safety Department: Seattle. Assures that the university's 35,000 students and 25,000 staff function in a safe and clean environment in accordance with all regulations. (Two dedicated full-time staff.)

Environmental Health and Safety Department staff developed the tools they need to conduct pollution prevention audits where chemicals are used. These audits will help find ways to reduce pollution at the source at laboratories and shops on campus. Staff also offer waste minimization training's to employees, who have been able to adopt these methods in innovative ways. Of special note is the dramatic conversion of academic chemistry labs to micro scale experiments. The University also has an excellent recycling and materials redistribution program. These successes have been shared with a variety of audiences and have received local recognition.

Award for Continued Excellence in Pollution Prevention (1993 Winner)

Fluke Corporation: Everett. Electronics and printed circuit board fabrication, 1600 staff.

Fluke Corporation has continued to be a leader in its industry and in environmental commitment. They have adopted many innovative pollution prevention ideas and greatly reduced their hazardous waste generation. Fluke has a cooperative philosophy and shares' ideas. The employee recognition and total quality management programs are exemplary. The company has overcome significant barriers and continued to make excellent progress since receiving the Governor's award in 1993.

Award for Continued Excellence in Pollution Prevention (1993 Winner)

Johnson Matthey Electronics: Spokane. Electronics manufacturing and rare metals fabrication for the semi-conductor industry, 500 staff.

This company has continued to look for pollution prevention opportunities and risks trying these methods with great success. The company has reduced hazardous waste disposal costs $170,000 per year as result of their pollution prevention plan. Through 1994 they also have achieved a 44% reduction in hazardous substance use.

According to Johnson Matthey: "Waste minimization staff employed by the Department of Ecology toured the facility and offered technical assistance on reduction opportunities successfully employed at other companies and provided information on material reuse options." Ecology assistance and follow-up materials have helped in process control, process optimization, and waste.

Honorable mention

Tidewater Barge: Vancouver. Marine transporter of grain, petroleum and commodities, 350 staff.

Tidewater's owner Ray Hickey wanted his company to be the first to comply with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and to exceed the standards of the act. Accordingly, Tidewater Environmental Services, was formed five years ago. It's a quick response unit, equipped and staffed to handle environmental emergencies. The group helps train other companies about their methods and procedures. Tidewater is proactive in pollution prevention. It purchased new double hull barges, equipped with spill response trailers and the means to deploy them. It developed a leading edge technology for vapor recovery on its barges, which greatly reduced air pollution. Another pollution prevention strategy adopted is a new coating system. Tidewater Barge Lines has reduced hazardous waste generation by 54% in one year.