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MONTANA POLLUTION PREVENTION PROGRAM

Michael P. Vogel
Director

Jon Hudson Ted Lange
Technical Specialists

Joanne Wilke
Resource Technician


PRIMARY ACTIVITIES:

EcoStar: The Montana P2 Program's recognition program for small businesses is now in its sixth year, and preparing to honor approximately twenty firms for their efforts in waste reduction and resource conservation. During the last grant year, the biggest EcoStar event in the history of the program occurred on August 29 when Governor Judy Martz honored the EcoStar recipients with a reception at Montana's Capitol Building. This was a significant occasion for most of the EcoStars, as most had never met the Governor or been invited to the capitol. We received excellent statewide press coverage for the event, and generated interest among several new businesses. Barring scheduling conflicts with the Governor, we anticipate repeating this as an annual event.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing: In a cooperative effort with the Pollution Prevention Bureau of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, the Montana P2 Program presented a half-day workshop on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing in November, 2001. Rob Guillemin, who organized and started the environmentally preferable purchasing program for the New Hampshire Department of Administration, presented EPP concepts and strategies to state and local government purchasing and contract officials. The workshop was broadcast on the Montana Educational Television Network (METNET) to sites in Helena and Bozeman to accommodate those interested. The Montana Association of Counties also cooperated in presenting this workshop.

Pollution Prevention in Fleet Maintenance: Reaching out to vehicle fleet operators, state and local governments, and vehicle maintenance businesses statewide, the Montana P2 Program presented an 8-hour workshop on pollution prevention in fleet maintenance operations in June of 2002. Instructors for the event were Leif Magnuson and John Katz from EPA Region VIII. An additional speaker from our workshop partner, the Pollution Prevention Bureau of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, informed participants of alternative fuels developments in Montana. Broadcast to five separate locations via METNET, the workshop addressed a variety of waste-reducing and compliance-enhancing techniques, products, and strategies. Extremely positive feedback from the participants has also resulted in several requests for on-site consultations. Classroom materials and videos have been sent to many interested businesses who were unable to attend the workshop. The Montana Department of Transportation, Montana Automobile Dealers Association and the Montana Local Technical Assistance Program were helpful in recruiting interested participants.

Small Business Contacts and Collaborations: The Montana P2 Program continues to develop working relationships with a variety of trade associations and other organizations. We have continued our participation with the Aeronautics Division of the Montana Department of Transportation at the annual Montana Aviation Conference. This event brings a variety of aircraft technicians and aircraft maintenance business owners together in one place, and provides a ready forum for distribution of pollution prevention materials and discussion of techniques and strategies for waste reduction. We hope to elevate our participation to present a technical session in the future.

We continue to develop our relationship with the hospitality industry in Montana. This includes working directly through the Montana Innkeepers Association (MIKA) and developing a partnership with the Montana Department of Commerce "Travel Montana" program. We have also contacted the board of the Montana Bed & Breakfast Association, and they are enthusiastic about having us attend their annual convention in early November. Our on-site visits continue with lodging businesses that learn of the services we offer through MIKA, our EcoStar recognition program, or other channels.

The Montana P2 Program is a member of MIKA, and MIKA's executive director sits on our P2 advisory committee. We attend MIKA's annual convention in November, where we have a display table with factsheets and signup sheets for MIKA members interested in being on our mailing list and participating in on-site P2 visits. In our second consecutive year at the MIKA annual convention in November 2001, we roughly doubled the number of lodging businesses signing up for follow-up information and site visits. Additionally, the MIKA newsletter has published two articles that we prepared on energy conservation, as well as an article on energy audits for lodging facilities.

We have developed a strategic action plan for increasing our impact in the Montana lodging industry. This action plan includes potentially organizing an advisory working group made up of individuals from the industry; continuing to work with industry trade associations including MIKA, the B&B Association, the Dude Ranchers Association, and the Restaurant Association; introducing our program and services to Montana ski resorts; offering workshops for lodging businesses, possibly including sessions on the new Montana Materials Exchange, and on energy efficient lighting in partnership with the Lighting Design Lab, which is a project of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, a non-profit group of electric utilities, state governments, public interest groups and efficiency industry representatives; creating a Montana lodging industry P2 e-mail list in partnership with MIKA and others; and sending out a mass mailing introducing our program and services using the mailing list provided to us by Travel Montana of all facilities in the state that pay the state "bed" tax.
Montana Material Exchange: The Montana P2 Program is nearing completion of the first stage of a two-part strategy designed to greatly increase usage of the Montana Material Exchange. The first stage is a total redesign of the Material Exchange web site. The programming and web site design faced a number of delays over the course of the year; however, following the hiring of a new programmer the project has been moving rapidly toward completion. We hope to have the new site up and running by early September. The new site is designed to be as automated and interactive as possible, with online forms and a database searchable by keyword and by geographic locations. This should make the MME much more user-friendly, and much more efficient for us to administer.

The second stage of the strategy is a promotional campaign, which will focus on developing partnerships with other federal, state, and local government entities, and targeting business sectors (such as construction) that are most likely to use the service. The promotional campaign will include coverage in the business and trade press, presentations, public service announcements, distribution of promotional literature and other strategies.

Lewis & Clark Project: The Montana P2 Program is partnering in a multi-agency project that is developing an environmental stewardship public education campaign targeted at the visitors expected to pass through Montana during the bicentennial of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Interpretive signs, brochures and other strategies are being developed to target adults on the Lewis & Clark trail, but there have been no plans to develop materials targeted toward the many children that will be accompanying their parents, school groups, church groups, and similar organizations as they retrace the route of Lewis and Clark.

The Montana P2 Program plans to fill this niche with the help of a $10,000 EPA grant. In partnership with the multi-agency Montana Tourism and Recreation Initiative (MTRI) Lewis & Clark Focus Group, the Montana P2 Program is developing a series of Lewis & Clark Bicentennial trading cards targeted toward youth in the late grade-school through junior high age group. One side of these colorful cards will feature images connected to Lewis & Clark's travels in Montana, while the reverse side will feature interesting facts and stories about the Montana that Lewis and Clark experienced, along with environmental stewardship messages relevant to the Montana and the United States of today. The stewardship messages will focus on various P2 themes, as well as themes being developed by MTRI focusing on issues such as noxious weeds, wildlife habitat, and cultural resources. A web page with more detailed information on each theme will supplement the cards. The text of the cards is largely completed and we are currently focusing on the images and overall design. We plan to work closely with MTRI to distribute these materials.

CONTINUING PROJECTS:

The Bridge quarterly newsletter
Youth Awareness Program for P2
P2 Resource Library
Free on-site pollution prevention consultations for small businesses
Technical assistance to small businesses and individuals
MTP2/SBA joint presentation of "Outstanding Achievement in Pollution Prevention" award.
Montana P2 Program Web Site


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