Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 22, 1999) – In honor of National Pollution Prevention Week, September 19-25, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is kicking off a new program offering free, on-site pollution prevention technical assistance to Maryland businesses.

MDE has arranged, under a federal grant, for businesses to receive a free, confidential, non-regulatory evaluation of pollution prevention opportunities through the University of Maryland Technology Extension Service (TES). Under this arrangement, a TES representative will tour the facility with the owner or operator to discuss processes and pollution prevention opportunities. Following the site visit, TES will provide a follow-up report summarizing the recommendations for appropriate best management practices and waste reduction opportunities.

Pollution prevention measures aim to reduce or eliminate waste streams before they are created, and may include process changes, equipment modifications, material substitutions, improved housekeeping, preventive maintenance, and inventory control. These modifications may increase efficiency of using energy and raw materials, reduce waste disposal and handling costs, reduce regulatory concerns, improve worker safety, and provide businesses a greater competitive edge.

Interested businesses are encouraged to call MDE’s pollution prevention coordinator in the department’s Environmental Permits Service Center at 1-800-633-6101 (ext. 4119) to schedule a visit. Visits will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Initially, assistance will be focused on businesses such as vehicle maintenance and repair shops, printers, wood finishers, and metal finishers in the Baltimore Harbor watershed area.

"Of course, the benefits of pollution prevention aren’t limited to industry," said MDE Secretary Jane Nishida. "The concepts can be applied at home to save money and reduce our impact on the environment. Make a commitment during this year’s National Pollution Prevention Week to explore changes you can make in your lifestyle and product choices."