Pollution Prevention Institute Launched in New York

Pete Grannis, Commissioner of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation, hosted an open house today at Rochester Institute of Technology, showcasing the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, also known as NYSP2I. This new institute intends to help New York state businesses be more sustainable by applying cleaner production and product stewardship practices. These practices have proven to reduce environmental impact, while enhancing the economic viability of industry.

The open house included technology demonstrations of pollution prevention methods being developed by the institute as well as an information session on current training, technology transfer and tools and resources available to New York state industries. The open house was preceded by the first meeting of the institute’s advisory board, which includes industry, government and environmental leaders from across the state.

“With the launch of this cutting-edge research center, we will combine state investment, academic innovation and business leadership to transform manufacturing processes and propel New York businesses to the forefront of the global green economy,” Grannis said. “And by doing so, we will ensure a better environment and a greener bottom line.”

“This is truly a unique and unprecedented opportunity for statewide collaboration around a common purpose, and I know that I speak for all of our partners in our commitment to its resounding success,” said RIT President Bill Destler. “The competition for the institute was intense, and the track record of success that we were able to demonstrate, including the outstanding team of experts within RIT and our partner universities, were key factors in the selection.”

RIT was named host of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute in February and is partnering with the University at Buffalo, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and New York’s Regional Technology Development Centers to create a statewide network for technology development and information dissemination in the areas of pollution prevention and sustainable design and manufacturing.

This network will utilize 16 research and development test beds, or technological laboratories, across the state. Capabilities of these test beds will include environmental engineering of nanomaterials and printing applications at RIT, green processing and biofuels testing at Clarkson, polymer processing and testing at Rensselaer and sustainable chemical processes at the University at Buffalo.

As sustainability grows in importance, the greener New York's businesses become, the better they'll be able to maintain a strong position in the global economy," said Clarkson University President Tony Collins. "Clarkson University is pleased to partner with these three institutions and the state."

“The University at Buffalo is proud to be able to bring to the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute its many, interdisciplinary assets in green chemistry, sustainable water use, conservation and toxicology and risk reduction,” said Harvey G. Stenger, Jr., dean of the university’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “This new venture allows us to strengthen our partnerships with industries throughout New York state with the goal of achieving more sustainable and more efficient operations.”

“Rensselaer is proud to be part of the Pollution Prevention Institute,” said Joel Plawsky professor of chemical and biological engineering and lead researcher for the NYSP2I at Rensselaer. “Here at Rensselaer, we will be focused on educating businesses around the state on how to improve their current processes and to develop new processes to insure minimal environmental impact.”

In 2005, the Federal Toxics Release Inventory reported that New York companies generated 312 million pounds of toxic-chemical waste, indicative of the type of materials used in products and manufacturing processes. NYSP2I will help industry address these issues by applying best practices and targeted research, development, and diffusion to make technology and manufacturing greener while also bringing pollution reduction processes to market, that both increase environmental quality and enhance economic efficiency and productivity.
“This open house is the first step in introducing the resources and services of the NYSP2I to the state’s industry and manufacturing communities,” added Edwin Pinero, director of the NYSP2I. “Through the broader adoption of sustainable manufacturing practices we can better attain the twin goals of enhanced environmental quality and increased economic competitiveness for New York state industry.”

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