Kansas E-Tips
PPI News and Events
If you have environmental compliance questions, call 1-800-578-8898 or email us
PPI is still accepting applications from companies that could benefit from a brief intern assessment. These free assessments may involve reviewing projects focused on hazardous materials reduction, water or energy conservation, sustainable material management (SMM), or waste diversion. Our trained engineering interns can work with you on one or two projects to identify cost and environmental impacts that are documented in a short report. This year, PPI is offering two types of circuit rider interns:

  • A pollution prevention (P2) intern will focus on projects related to source reduction such as water and energy conservation, and hazardous material reductions
  • An SMM intern will focus on projects related to reducing, reusing, and/or recycling solid waste.

Interested companies should apply today. Circuit rider interns are offered at no cost to the company, and space is limited to 6-8 companies for each type of intern.
Intern Training

The 2023 cohort of PPI interns came to Manhattan for training May 22-25. Training covered topics such as sustainability, pollution prevention, energy efficiency, climate change and environmental justice. Interns also learned about P2 equipment, got more focused training related to their host company assignments, made local site visits and had a fun and relaxing cookout.

Founded in Wichita in 1998, RedGuard is a blast-resistant modular building manufacturer. The company has 23 locations across the U.S. with eight divisions employing more than 420 people. RedGuard supplies blast-resistant buildings to governments and private parties around the globe with a key emphasis on petroleum refineries.

RedGuard is actively working toward ISO 14001 certification, which requires consideration of all environmental issues related to production with a strong emphasis on continual improvement. As a result, RedGuard identified five waste streams for the 2022 intern to investigate with the goal of diverting waste from landfills: wood, cardboard, paint, solvents and abrasive blast media.

Compliance Corner:
EPA proposes a 10-year phaseout for the use of perchloroethylene in dry cleaning

The EPA recently proposed a ban on all consumer uses and some commercial applications of perchloroethylene (PCE), a chemical known to cause serious health risks such as neurotoxicity and cancer. 

PCE is a solvent that is widely used for commercial applications such as dry cleaning and in many industrial settings. The EPA is proposing a two-year phase-out for all consumer uses and a 10-year phaseout for the use of PCE in dry cleaning, with compliance dates depending on the type of dry cleaner machine in which PCE is used. This phaseout period would provide dry cleaners, many of which are small businesses, time to transition to an alternative process, and stakeholders have already noted an overall year-to-year decline in the use of PCE in dry cleaning. 

In addition, President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget request proposed funding for new pollution prevention grants that would support small businesses with transitioning to TSCA compliant practices and mitigate economic impacts. If implemented, these grants could be used to support small businesses like dry cleaners in their transition away from PCE.

Learn more about this proposal here. The Small Business Environmental Assistance Program, or SBEAP, can provide free on-site assistance to small businesses who need help understanding environmental compliance requirements. Contact SBEAP at 800-578-8898 or email sbeap@ksu.edu.

KDHE offers Environmental Stewardship Awards annually to businesses, industries and organizations that have made significant improvement in protecting our environment by preventing pollution. This noncompetitive annual award program recognizes projects that eliminate or reduce the generation of pollutants or wastes at the source, or projects that conserve natural resources.

Applications for the 2023 Environmental Stewardship Awards must be received by June 30, 2023. 

EPA strengthening enforcement in communities with environmental justice concerns

In order to address environmental concerns to overburdened communities, the EPA has planned an enforcement and compliance focus for businesses within disadvantaged communities, as part of the environmental justice movement, or EJ.

Beginning now and potentially into the next few years, the EPA is planning a 5% increased rate of inspections each federal fiscal year. These inspections will focus on six national compliance initiatives, or NCIs, related to air permits, hazardous waste generation, and/or water and stormwater permits and discharges.

If you are or know of a small business in need of compliance assistance, contact the Small Business Environmental Assistance Program at 800-578-8898 or sbeap@ksu.edu for free and confidential help. 

Kansas Environmental Conference Aug. 9–10

Save the date of the Kansas Environmental Conference! The conference will be held Aug. 9-10 in Manhattan. Registration and hotel bookings are now open. For questions, please contact Julie Finn or call 785-296-1526.