Winter 2015                                                            
Welcome to news@NEWMOA

news@NEWMOA is designed to help our members and colleagues keep informed about the Association's projects and activities. You are receiving this e-newsletter because you are a member of a NEWMOA working group, committee, program, or listserv; an invitee to NEWMOA events; a colleague at EPA or a related organization; connected to the Association in some other way; or have expressed interest in our work. If you have questions about the e-Newsletter, contact Lois Makina, (617) 367-8558 x312.


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Board of Directors

NEWMOA's Board met via webinar in December to share updates from EPA and state programs, and review and discuss NEWMOA's activities and plans.  This news@NEWMOA highlights many of the Board's priorities and initiatives.
Cross Program Initiative

Dry Cleaning

On December 2, NEWMOA held a cross-program meeting to "Develop Strategies to Reduce the Impacts of Traditional Dry Cleaning" at the EPA Region 1 Lab in Chelmsford, MA. The purpose of this multi-program regional meeting was for participants to share experiences addressing environmental and public health challenges associated with dry cleaning and discuss the scope of a potential regional initiative. Meeting participants included those from state waste site cleanup, pollution prevention, hazardous waste, and air toxics programs. The meeting was well attended and included substantial time for discussion. The participants brainstormed a number of possible strategies to advance the transition from using perchloroethylene (Perc) to professionally clean clothes toward safer alternatives, including wet cleaning.


There are more than 25,000 dry cleaning operations in the U.S., approximately 70 percent of which use Perc as the primary cleaning solvent. However, there are a number of adverse health effects associated with the use of Perc, including dizziness, headaches, impaired judgment, and cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has designated Perc as a "probable human carcinogen". Perc from dry cleaning operations can be a source of groundwater contamination, and EPA and state environmental agencies consider it to be a toxic air contaminant. As a result, EPA and OSHA regulate Perc to control potential exposures and releases. Furthermore, dry cleaners, insurance companies, and financial institutions may have liability concerns related to use of Perc.   

Wet cleaning is an effective and safer alternative from a public health, environmental, and economic perspective. Resistance to adopting wet cleaning technology is often based on concerns about garment shrinkage, damage, or other harm; length of time of the process; customer satisfaction; expense of the process; and the initial training that is required. However, the experiences at facilities that have switched to wet cleaning as part of the
Massachusetts Toxic Use Reduction Institute's Community Grant Program demonstrates that all of these concerns can be more than adequately addressed. A number of garment cleaners have now switched, and their experience proves that wet cleaning can be a 100 percent replacement for traditional Perc dry cleaning.

The benefits of switching from Perc dry cleaning to wet cleaning include: comparable cleaning of garments; elimination of hazardous waste generation; reduced potential for Perc exposure by communities, employees, and customers; and lower use of water, natural gas, and electricity - all of which saves money.


NEWMOA's Board will be following up on the ideas generated during the recent meeting and preparing a proposal for funding of a regional initiative designed to accelerate the adoption of wet cleaning and other safer garment cleaning alternatives. 
In This Issue
Waste Site Cleanup Program

Upcoming Workshop 

DNAPL Investigation & Remediation: The Evolving State-of-Practice Workshop on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at the Hotel Coolidge in White River Junction, VT will provide the latest information on investigation and remediation of sites with dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) contamination, including:

  • DNAPL properties and behavior in the subsurface
  • Determining data needs
  • High resolution site characterization
  • Matrix diffusion and mass flux concepts
  • Establishing realistic remedial goals
  • Remedial approaches and technologies
  • Evaluating compliance
  • Practical strategies for smaller sites
  • Guidance and tools developed by the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) DNAPL Site Characterization Team 

To be added to the NEWMOA email list for notices about future waste site cleanup workshops, email Jennifer Griffith

Hazardous Waste Program

Hazardous Waste Training

Over the past few months, NEWMOA held regular conference calls on such hazardous waste topics as:

  • Containers and tanks
  • State paint stewardship programs
  • Acute hazardous wastes and regulatory requirements for pharmacies

These training calls are for state and federal hazardous waste inspectors and other compliance and enforcement staff and regulatory development staff.  

Solid Waste & Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Program


NEWMOA has published a brochure, called "Fair Pricing Strategies for Trash", promoting "pay-as-you-throw" (PAYT). PAYT, also known as "SMART" (save money and reduce trash), "variable rate pricing", or "unit-based pricing", is an effective way to incentivize residents to reduce waste disposal and increase recycling. The brochure includes four case studies and quotes from community leaders. 

NEWMOA's website also provides a 
SMART Toolkit, an essential resource for PAYT information. These resources were developed with funding from a Department of Agriculture solid waste grant.


Regional Solid Waste Programs Meeting

NEWMOA will hold a workshop in January for state solid waste program staff to learn about and discuss solid waste facility challenges. Agenda topics include:

  • Landfill post 30-year closure financial assurance and performance criteria
  • Municipal solid waste facility issues and strategies for improving compliance
  • Construction and demolition materials challenges and strategies for improving compliance at processing facilities
  • Anaerobic digestion and other conversion technologies - experience handling post-consumer inputs 
Pollution Prevention & Sustainability Program
Grocery Initiative

NEWMOA launched a Regional Sustainable Grocers Initiative in 2012 to develop a model regional recognition program that states could use in acknowledging sustainable leaders in the industry. NEWMOA's Sustainable Grocers Workgroup oversees the project and facilitates information sharing and coordination.


A number of grocery chains in the region, including Shaw's, Market Basket, Price Chopper, and Stop & Shop operate in multiple states making an interstate approach to the sector sensible and efficient for state programs and grocers. A number of NEWMOA's members are in the process of working with stores to pilot a model Sustainable Grocers Initiative workbook.


NEWMOA staff have developed a methodology for estimating environmental outcomes from sustainable practices in the sector. When the Workgroup review is completed in early 2015, NEWMOA will release it for external review. The measurement methodology will enable the state programs to estimate the environmental outcomes achieved by grocers that qualify for recognition. 

In the coming months, the Workgroup will test and pilot a software system that will enable grocers to apply online for recognition. The system is based on one that was developed and is used by the California Green Business Network. It will help state programs to review and approve applications and facilitate any needed follow-up. This system will also include built-in calculators based on the measurement methodology, which will help programs to report on the outcomes of program participants. NEWMOA plans to launch the online system in 2015.

Zero Waste Connection

NEWMOA has launched a professional network of zero waste program managers and staff from federal, state, and local
programs and independent experts that support these programs. 

The Network:

  • Promotes pollution prevention and sustainable consumption as the preferred methods of achieving zero waste goals
  • Provides forums for zero waste professionals to share information on program development and implementation
  • Fosters innovation through the exchange of ideas in real time
  • Increases the adoption of practices among practitioners
  • Increases awareness of opportunities and resources
  • Elevates the profile of zero waste programs

Become a network member so you can join the conversation.

Interstate Mercury Education & Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC)

Mercury Product Labeling  

The IMERC Labeling Workgroup has been busy over the last few months, reviewing applications for alternative labeling plans for mercury-added products, particularly lamps. These discussions resulted in the Workgroup approving an alternative label to conform with a new Federal Trade Commission (FTC)-mandated label for screw-based compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). These types of lamps are used mainly by consumers, and the Workgroup is pleased that the product label will clearly indicate that mercury is in the bulb and it requires proper disposal. The Workgroup will continue its review of applications throughout the winter and spring.


NEWMOA staff has updated the IMERC webpages to include more detailed information about the standard labeling requirements and the process for manufacturers to submit alternative labeling.

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To develop, lead, and sustain an effective partnership of states that helps achieve a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment by exploring, developing, promoting, and implementing environmentally sound solutions for:

  • Reducing materials use and preventing pollution and waste
  • Properly reusing and recycling discarded materials that have value
  • Safely managing solid and hazardous wastes
  • Remediating contaminated sites

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