EPA REGION VI
Southwest P2 InfoSource

P2 INFORMATION NETWORK


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In Partnership with

Arkansas Industrial Development Commission

Border Environment Cooperation Commission

Department of the Air Force

EDM International

Environmental Institute for Technology Transfer (University of Texas at Arlington)

Industry Network Corporation

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality

Lower Colorado River Authority

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs (University of Texas at Austin)

New Mexico Department of Environment

North Texas Small Business Development Center

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality

Railroad Commission of Texas

Texas Hazardous Waste Research Center (Lamar University)

Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center

Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission



April 28, 1997
FY 97 GRANT PROPOSAL


Submitted By:

Institute for Manufacturing and Materials Management
University of Texas at El Paso
WWW.UTEP.EDU/IM3/P2



POLLUTION PREVENTION INFORMATION NETWORK
Southwest Pollution Prevention InfoSource
Partnerships in Pollution Prevention

FY 97 PROPOSAL


LEAD AGENCY SUMMARY

The Institute for Manufacturing and Materials Management (IM3) at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) will be the lead agency responsible for the grant project in partnership with fifteen regional partners, including members of the Region VI Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

All five states in EPA Region VI and the Border Environment Cooperation Commission have indicated support for this proposal and the following matching partners will provide a 50 percent in-kind match to the project:

EDM Internatinal, Environmental Institute for Technology Transfer, Texas Hazardous Waste Research Center, Institute For Manufacturing and Materials Management, Lower Colorado River Authority, Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission.

The following volunteer partners have agreed to participate in the project, however, the voluteer partners are not able to provide a match to the project, because they are 100% committed to programs receiving federal funds or are currently unable to match:

Arkansas Industrial Development Commission, Border Environment Cooperation Commission, North Texas Small Business Development Center, New Mexico Department of Environment, the Railroad Commission of Texas, Department of the Air Force, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

STATE/TRIBAL AND FEDERAL FUNDING

The total cost of this proposal is $374,817, of which $184,861 are federal funds and $79,956 are state/tribal funds. The matching partners in this project are providing $110,000 in-kind match to support the project.

PROJECT PERIOD

The Institute for Manufacturing and Materials Management (IM3) at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in cooperation with the regional partners will conduct this proposed project over a 24-month period, beginning October 1, 1997 and ending September 30, 1999.

STATEMENT OF ISSUES/PROBLEMS

The Region VI Pollution Prevention Roundtable was formed in November 1992 and is composed of pollution prevention and waste reduction program managers, regulatory and non-regulatory program staff, tribes, small business assistance providers, non-profit organizations, universities and colleges, and technical assistance providers from Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The Roundtable meets twice each year to share information, develop pollution prevention strategies, recognize businesses and industry for excellence in pollution prevention, and coordinate grant-funded projects.

In April of 1995, the Roundtable formed the Information Clearinghouse Workgroup to identify strategies for exchanging pollution prevention information within the Region and to implement an information network for Region VI states and tribes.

Information Clearinghouse Workgroup Results

The Information Clearinghouse Workgroup conducted a regional information needs assessment in November 1995 which resulted in a regional pilot project to develop an information clearinghouse for Roundtable members. In October 1996, the Region VI Roundtable though Region VI, awarded a $50,000 competitive grant to UTEP to assist the Information Clearinghouse Workgroup: 1) develop a five year strategic plan for information dissemination in Region VI, 2) to standardize pollution prevention case study formats, and 3) to establish a P2 Web site.

As of April 1997, the pilot project has resulted in the initial strategic planning meeting and drafting of the five year regional P2 Strategic Plan, a recommendation for the clearinghouse case study format, and the Regional P2 Internet Web Site known as Resources and Information for Pollution Prevention in the Southwest (RIPPS) at http://www.utep.edu/im3/p2.

Statement of Issues / Challenges

The goal of this project is to support assistance providers in the region and to distribute pollution prevention information to a broader audience. As states / tribes have developed regional expertise in pollution prevention there has been a significant increase in the amount of technical information available, including pollution prevention case studies, innovative technologies, state partnerships, voluntary programs, and technical assistance workshops and training.

While these successes have been instrumental in promoting pollution prevention, it has also created a problem in sharing, standardizing, and accessing information. Each regional partner is developing expertise in pollution prevention that can be transferred to other state and tribal programs, but there has not been a good mechanism to coordinate this and make it more widely distributed. In addition, Mexico plays an important role in pollution prevention along the U.S. / Mexico and Region VI has been active over the past four years to promote P2 along the Texas/Mexico border, including producing P2 case studies for the maquiladoras.

The Internet is making it possible for programs to increase their potential to reach new customers with pollution prevention information thus leveraging limited resources. Further supporting the RIPPS web site will help distribute P2 information, assist P2 technical assistance providers, and reach customers.

Project Goals and Strategies

This is a two year project with several goals: 1) to implement the five year P2 Regional Strategic Information Dissemination Plan; 2) to support a regional network coordinator and online librarian to support the regional partners; 3) to inventory and coordinate the distribution of P2 case studies, fact sheets, success stories, vendor information, and other information by Region VI states/tribes; 4) to promote partnerships with the national P2 network provider, other regional P2 information networks, and partners in northern Mexico; 5) to maintain the RIPPS pollution prevention web site that can be accessed by industry, government, and the public; and 6) to coordinate regional P2 information training.

Emphasis will be placed on measuring the effectiveness of these activities in reducing pollution, measuring the results of this project, and identifying areas of success and problems encountered.

A primary goal of this proposal is to help sustain multimedia pollution prevention programs :

1. Promote greater cooperation among environmental and business assistance providers - Regional VI Roundtable members recognize it is essential for pollution prevention assistance providers to coordinate with other organizations, including small business assistance programs (SBAP), the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Centers, Small Business Development Centers, Oil & Gas assistance programs, agriculture, federal facilities, the Department of Defense, and universities. This project brings together these partners to provide a forum to coordinate technical assistance to business and industry; to collect and analyze data to evaluate project effectiveness, promote technology transfer between industrial sectors, and identify regulatory and non-regulatory incentives to implement pollution prevention programs leveraged through multiple organizations.

2. Advance Region VI overall environmental goals as defined in the Performance Partnership Agreements (PPA) - Many of the existing and proposed PPAs in Region VI have included pollution prevention to track P2 progress through a combination of technical assistance, public education, partnerships and regulatory integration opportunities. This grant proposal will assist the regional partners to develop pollution prevention measures and environmental indicators by coordinating pollution prevention technical assistance efforts.

3. Regional, National & International P2 Networks Development - A critical aspect of this proposal is to continue existing partnerships with other regional P2 information networks. Over the past two years, Region VI Roundtable members have been coordinating efforts with the Northeast Waste Management Officials Association (NEWMOA), the Hazardous Waste Research and Information Center (HWRIC), the University of Wisconsin - SHWEC, the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) and EPA Region IX.

This project involves a new international partner - the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC), a binational organization created to assist communities along the U.S./Mexico border region in coordinating and developing environmental infrastructure along the border. This partnership offers a unique opportunity to promote pollution prevention along the U.S / Mexico border and assist in a developing interest in pollution prevention in Mexico and Latin America.


PROJECT GOALS AND STRATEGIES

Program Element: Southwest P2 InfoSource Advisory Team

Objective No.1: The objective of this program element is to implement elements of the Regional P2 Plan.

Task 1.1: Establish a Southwest P2 InfoSource Advisory Team with partnership representatives to coordinate activities associated with the regional information dissemination project.

Task 1.2: Conduct strategic planning meetings every six months in conjunction with the Region VI Pollution Prevention Roundtable to monitor implementation of the Regional P2 Information Strategic Plan. Provide a forum for technical assistance providers to engage in dialog to review the strengths and limitations on the information center=s products and services.

Task 1.3: Revise the strategic plan periodically to reflect new opportunities for P2 dissemination.

Program Element: P2 InfoSource Coordinator & Online Librarian

Objective No. 2: Hire a full-time Regional P2 Information Coordinator and support an on-line environmental librarian.

Task: 2.1 Develop a job description, recruit and hire a full time regional P2 Information Coordinator to manage daily information center activities, implement the strategic plan, coordinate InfoSource Advisory Team meetings, coordinate with the national information network, support the Internet site, and regional members information needs.

Task 2.2 Provide a communications network to keep Region VI P2 technical assistance providers and other interested persons of current activities, meetings, products, and tools.

Task 2.3 Coordinate with the Gulf Coast Environmental Library to provide an Internet reference librarian service modeled after the Northeast Business Environmental Network.

Deliverables: One full-time regional coordinator, support an on-line librarian, and provide regional communications network.

Objective No. 3: To inventory and coordinate the distribution of P2 case studies, fact sheets, success stories, vendor information, and other information by Region VI states/tribes.

Task 3.1 Conduct an inventory of Region VI, national, state and regional P2 projects and expertise to identify pollution prevention sources of information.

Task 3.2 Gather and disseminate information on new P2 technology by providing reference service, links to existing partners' websites, and/or documentary delivery. Identify data gaps in the region and prioritize for further development.

Task 3.3 Compile P2 Case Studies for inclusion on the Internet site and data base engine.

Task 3.4 Prepare compendiums of standard operating experiences for outreach programs to improve the delivery of services of our clients. This is a form of marketing for the Information Center and for our clients. It may cover how to organize events (e.g., breakfasts, evening seminars, teleconferences), how to distribute materials, etc.

Task 3.5 Copy reports of searches and availability of new materials to all members.

Task 3.6 Continually keep the system updated including Region 6 material, and links to other systems. Partners will be encouraged to provide continuous feedback on materials that have become outdated and links that should be added or deleted from the system.

Task 3.7 Compile a list of industry and education experts and coordinate efforts with the national P2 Experts database.

Task 3.8 Maintain and organize a clearinghouse of regional publications (this includes both archived material and material available at other locations).

Deliverables: Deliverables from this objective include the a regional inventory of P2 sources of information and expertise, research on P2 technology, P2 Case Studies, a compendium for the delivery of outreach programs and events, a listing of industry and education experts, and a listing of regional publications.

Objective No. 4: To promote partnerships with the national P2 network provider and other regional P2 information networks.

Task 4.1 Create regional partnerships and points of contact with other providers of information (SBDC, Department of Commerce, trade associations, MEPs, TAPs and DOD) and other clearinghouses.

Task 4.2 Participate and coordinate with the National Pollution Prevention Information Network.

Task 4.3 Create P2 partnerships along the U.S. / Mexico border.

Deliverables: Regional partnerships, participation in the national pollution prevention network, and Mexico P2 partnerships .

Objective No. 5: To maintain RIPPS, a regional pollution prevention web site that can be accessed by industry, government, and the public.

Task 5.1 Coordinate and develop case studies, written materials and fact sheets for inclusion on the regional and/or national P2 network. Support regional partners by converting existing case studies or provide links to existing partners web sites. Encourage a standardized case study formats.

Task 5.2 Develop a list of services provided by the regional information site (and other sources of supporting services). Support a regional-based list server and contribute to the national VENDINFO, TECHINFO, and other standardized data base projects.

Task 5.3 Market and promote the regional and national P2 Network by attending conferences, creating logos and promotional items.

Task 5.4 Promote the Region VI Excellence in Pollution Prevention Recognition Program. Prepare case studies that describe the outstanding experiences of firms in the region that have received awards under the Region 6 P2 Roundtable and other state programs; and post electronically

Task 5.5 Translate pollution prevention case studies into Spanish, as appropriate, for inclusion on the regional web site.

Deliverables: Active web site - RIPPS, P2 standardize case studies, marketing the national and regional P2 Information Network, supporting the regional P2 Recognition Program, translation and posting of selected P2 case studies into Spanish on the web site.

Objective No. 6: To coordinate a regional P2 Technical Assistance Training event.

Task 6.1 Coordinate regional training on a six month bases in cooperation with the Region VI P2 Roundtable.

Task 6.2 Train assistance providers and end users (e.g., small business persons) on access to the information system.

Deliverables: Two regional training events in coordination with the regional P2 roundtable.


MEASUES of SUCESS

Measures of success will include:
1. Track Internet traffic by monitoring the type of client and area of environmental interest.
2. Survey users to document environmental improvements that have resulted from information provided. These savings may be in resources saved, reduced regulatory costs, productivity improvements and performance partnership indicators. This data will be used to improve the delivery of services and to design training to improve the effectiveness of the clients use of the site.
3. Identify effectiveness of the information clearinghouse in serving their clients with the information center products.
4. Measure use of the on-line reference librarian.
5. Identify potential environmental performance indicators.

POLLUTION PREVENTION INCENTIVES FOR STATES MILESTONE SCHEDULE

October 1, 1997 - September 30, 1999