Pollution prevention: Technical assistance programs
Technical assistance is available for existing and new businesses that seek to improve environmental performance and prevent pollution.
- Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP)
SBEAP provides free, non-regulatory, confidential environmental assistance to small businesses. The focus is on compliance assistance with an additional emphasis on pollution prevention opportunities to reduce regulatory burdens for small businesses.
- Environmental Audit Program (EAP)
EAP encourages industries, businesses, and governments to examine how well a facility's operations are complying with local, state, and federal environmental regulations, and correct any problems that are identified. The program focuses first on technical assistance and compliance, rather than enforcement, with the thought that organizations that conduct environmental audits are likely to take the necessary actions to correct problems, before the problems can develop into major environmental or public health issues.
- Environmental Management Systems
Many Minnesota facilities already have quality management systems such as ISO 9000 or environmental management systems like ISO 14000 in place. Staff at MPCA have been trained in ISO systems so that pollution prevention can be integrated into existing programs.
- One Stop Program
In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, MPCA can help businesses navigate through the various environmental regulations they may face in the expansion or creation of their business. The goal is to make regulatory compliance a smoother, friendlier, more efficient experience for Minnesota businesses.
The MPCA provides financial support to several technical assistance providers in Minnesota, including strategic partnerships with the University of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP), located on the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus, focuses on pollution prevention assistance to manufacturing and service industries. Telephone and on-site assistance is provided by engineering staff with many years of technical and financial expertise across a wide array of facilities. These industry specialists help identify efficiency gains for manufacturing processes and material/chemical substitutions that result in less risk. MnTAP's services are designed to help businesses reduce costs by preventing pollution at its source. Call MnTAP at 612-624-1300 or 800-247-0015 in Greater Minnesota.
In 2010, MnTAP helped clients eliminate 105,552 pounds of waste and pollution, reuse 57,457 pounds of materials, and conserve 17.4 million gallons of water. In addition, energy efficiency activities resulted in a savings of 3.5 million kWh and 307,210 therms. Total cost savings to business was $1.3 million.
- Minnesota ReTAP
Minnesota ReTAP focuses on waste reduction assistance to non-manufacturing commercial and service facilities. The assistance is provided by retired engineers, scientists and managers, each with 30-40 years experience in business, technology and waste reduction. Upon request, a team of 2-3 retirees will tour your facility looking for ways to minimize waste and improve the energy efficiency of your operations. Minnesota ReTAP is funded by MPCA and housed in the MnTAP offices. For more information or to request a FREE assessment, call 612-624-1300 or 800-247-0015 toll free and ask for the retired engineer program.
- Minnesota Waste Wise
Minnesota Waste Wise is a non-profit assistance program of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. It is designed to help businesses develop effective waste reduction and recycling programs and find new markets for waste materials. Benefits of membership include newsletters, a guidebook, site visits and individualized assistance. Membership is $200. For more information, call 651-292-4681 or toll-free 800-821-2230.
- Minnesota Materials Exchange
The Minnesota Materials Exchange is a free service that connects businesses that have reusable goods to those who can use them. The Materials Exchange can help you find low or no-cost materials, save money on disposal costs and find new markets for surplus materials. Contact the exchange by calling 612-624-1300, or in Greater Minnesota, 800-247-0015.
- Enterprise Minnesota helps small and mid-sized manufacturers develop and implement strategies to grow business. Whether walking through the lean manufacturing process or advising on the latest management strategies, they help your business compete and grow profitably. They have industry experts are located across Minnesota to help you achieve your goals and become a world-class manufacturer.
- Green Enterprise Assistance Team
Starting a green business? Looking for expansion or relocation opportunities for your clean-technology or renewable energy company? Want to improve your company's efficiency? Let Minnesota's Green Enterprise Assistance team put you on the right track. A collaboration of several state agencies, the Green Enterprise Assistance team can help you cut through the thicket of programs, services, and agencies to find the right answers and right resources for your company. From financial assistance to navigating legal and regulatory matters we'll guide you to the resources and expertise you'll need.
- Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES)
MCES endorses pollution prevention in the workplace for sustainability and the betterment of the metropolitan region and its resources. MCES also encourages and assists with pollution prevention initiatives by industrial users through its Pollution Prevention Team.
- Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
GLRPPR is a professional organization dedicated to promoting information exchange and networking to P2 professionals in the Great Lakes regions of the United States and Canada. Members include federal, state and local environmental and business development agencies, industry and associations, labor unions, environmental advocacy groups, nonprofit research centers and technical assistance providers.
- National Pollution Prevention Roundtable
The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable is the largest membership organization in the United States devoted solely to pollution prevention (P2). The mission of the Roundtable is to provide a national forum for promoting the development, implementation and evaluation of efforts to avoid, eliminate or reduce pollution at the source.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan GreenBiz.com works to harness the power of technology to bring environmental information, resources and tools to the mainstream business community. Its principal mission is to provide clear, concise, accurate and balanced information, resources and learning opportunities to help companies of all sizes and sectors integrate environmental responsibility into their operations in a manner that combines ecological sustainability with profitable business practices.
- Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Research Center
Database of pollution prevention research projects, including fact sheets on more than 500 projects from around the country. Other sections include financial assistance resources, analyzing pollution prevention technology and listing related publications.
- WasteWise (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
WasteWise is a free, voluntary, EPA program through which organizations eliminate municipal solid waste, benefiting their bottom line and the environment. The program is flexible, allowing partners to design their own solid waste reduction programs tailored to their needs.