MSU Extension is now accepting 2017 pollution prevention award nominations

By: 
Star Staff

In recognition of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pollution Prevention Week, held Sept. 18-24, Montana State University Extension is accepting applications and nominations for the 2017 EcoStar award, which highlights the efforts of small businesses, as well as public entities, in making pollution prevention a cornerstone of sustainability.

Pollution prevention is any practice that reduces, eliminates or prevents pollution at its source, according to Jenny Grossenbacher, coordinator of MSU Extension’s Montana Pollution Prevention Program. Reducing the amount of pollution produced means less waste to control, treat or dispose, Grossenbacher said. She added that less pollution means fewer hazards to public health and the environment.

The EcoStar awards, now in their 17th year, recognize Montana small businesses and organizations that are creating more environmentally and economically sustainable communities by reducing solid and hazardous waste, conserving resources such as water, energy and clean air, and serving as role models for the state with their pollution prevention efforts. The deadline for nominations and applications is Dec. 31, according to a news release from MSU Extension in Bozeman.

Pollution prevention reduces both financial costs, such as waste management and cleanup, and environmental costs like health problems and environmental damage for individuals and businesses alike, according to Grossenbacher. It protects the environment by conserving and protecting natural resources while strengthening economic growth through more efficient production in industry and less need for households, businesses and communities to handle waste, she said.

“We are looking for Montana’s business and community leaders that are preserving and prioritizing the health of not only our environment but also our economic resources,” Grossenbacher said. “These folks deserve to be honored for their contributions and leadership to the entire region.”

According to Grossenbacher, the EcoStar award winners’ pollution prevention efforts average approximately 7.5 million gallons of water saved, 1.25 billion British Thermal Units of energy conserved, 50,000 pounds of hazardous waste reduced and over $350,000 saved per year.

For more information on the EcoStar award program or to submit an application or nomination, contact Grossenbacher at 406-994-4292 or jenniferg@montana.edu or visit: http://www.mtp2.org/ecostar.html.

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