Summary Of The Southwest Ohio Local Government Pollution Prevention Collaborative
August 25, 1999
The Southwest Ohio Local Government Pollution Prevention Collaborative helps local governments save money and resources while improving the environment through pollution prevention. The Collaborative is a networking group of local government representatives and others organized for the ongoing training and discussion of pollution prevention topics that are relevant to local government operations and outreach efforts.
The Office of Pollution Prevention and Ohio EPA's Southwest District Office assisted the City of Cincinnati and the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Sciences (an Ohio Edison Center) in establishing the Southwest Ohio Local Government Pollution Prevention Collaborative in January 1997. Startup funding was provided by the Ohio Environmental Education Fund. Each month a training session is held for representatives of local government in areas such as purchasing, vehicle maintenance, utility engineering, air pollution inspection and community landscaping. Information sharing on initiatives and successes among southwest Ohio local governments is also a key component of this effort. Examples include the City of Cincinnati's efforts to reduce air pollutants in traffic paints and encouraging citizen participation through programs such as Waste-Free Fridays.
A primary focus of the Collaborative's effort is an annual training event for local governments in southwest Ohio. This training is provided free of charge and focuses on pollution prevention. The first of these annual training events was held in February, 1998. This training provided for participants with a common background in pollution prevention to help them with future Collaborative activities. The focus was on pollution prevention practices that would be relevant to the diverse local government operations sector. Specific sessions included: What is Pollution Prevention, Pollution Prevention for Local Government Operations, A Group Exercise (Building upon information discussed during the Local Government Operations Session), Pollution Prevention with Industry and Residents, Pollution Prevention Resources (With an emphasis on Internet resources), and a closing panel discussion with local governments sharing their pollution prevention experiences. The training also provided an excellent mechanism to allow people to see how the Collaborative operates and join in its subsequent activities.
The second annual training event was titled "Environmental Compliance and Pollution Prevention for Local Governments and Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Practices" was held in January, 1999. The purpose of this training was to provide timely information on the integration of pollution prevention techniques into operating practices as a tool to achieve environmental compliance. The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, Local Government Workgroup in conjunction with the U.S. EPA, Offices of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance & Pollution Prevention and Toxics provided travel expenses for speakers from across the country for this exercise. The training also represented the first program roll out the U.S. EPA's "Profile of Local Government Operations" Sector Notebook. The notebook provides information on common compliance issues faced by the local government sector in combination with pollution prevention practices which can help to achieve compliance. Breakout sessions were also conducted and topics for the sessions were developed from Sector Notebook chapters. Members from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, Local Government Workgroup who worked on these chapters lead the breakout sessions and Ohio EPA regulatory staff were present to provide regulatory advice as appropriate during the breakout session. The breakout sessions provided an excellent opportunity for information sharing and participants spoke highly of them in the program evaluations.
A third annual training event is scheduled for September 1999 to coincide with National Pollution Prevention Week.. In addition to annual training events, smaller scale training sessions lasting two hours or less are held on the first Wednesday of each month. These monthly training sessions are held at various locations throughout southwest Ohio.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org of Ohio EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention at (614) 644-2930 if you are interested in attending Collaborative events or would like additional information.
A printed copy of the Office of Pollution Prevention publications distribution list, "Pollution Prevention Information Available from Ohio EPA", may also be ordered by calling (614) 644-3469.