We are pleased to report that on April 20, 2018, the American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute (GCI) announced the opening of the 2018 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. Readers will recall that funding for this essential program was zeroed out in the last several budget proposals advanced by the Trump Administration. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enacted budget apparently includes the resources to continue to support the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, and we are thrilled this effective, high-profile, well-recognized program will continue, as will another program that could have been victim to budget cuts but will also continue, notably the Safer Choice Program. On April 25, 2018, EPA announced that it is seeking applications for the 2018 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards. EPA developed the program in 2015 to recognize Safer Choice stakeholders that have advanced the goals of the Pollution Prevention Act by reducing pollution at the source through safer chemistry. Both programs are discussed below.
2018 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
The ACS GCI announcement states that EPA “supports the continuation of the awards program for 2018 under the sponsorship of the ACS GCI,” and “[t]o ensure continuity, the awards categories and guidelines are remaining the same, only the timing of the awards cycle is changing, and the ACS GCI will be managing the awards program and making final decisions about award winners.” The award guidelines and nomination package will be posted on the ACS GCI website by April 30, 2018; submissions will be accepted from April 30, 2018, through July 2, 2018; award winners will be notified no later than August 31, 2018; and the awards ceremony will be held in Washington, D.C. in October 2018.
Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards Program
At the 2018 Partner of the Year Awards, EPA’s Safer Choice program will recognize stakeholder organizations from five broad categories:
- Formulators/Product Manufacturers of both Consumer and Institutional/Industrial products;
- Purchasers and Distributors;
- Supporters (e.g., non-governmental organizations); and
- Innovators (e.g., chemical manufacturers).
The notice provides the following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes to help readers determine whether this award program could apply to them:
- 325510: Paint and Coating Manufacturing;
- 325611: Soap and Other Detergent Manufacturing;
- 325612: Polish and Other Sanitation Good Manufacturing;
- 325910: Printing Ink Manufacturing;
- 325992: Photographic Film, Paper, Plate, and Chemical Manufacturing;
- 325998: All Other Miscellaneous Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing;
- 561210: Facilities Support Services;
- 561720: Janitorial Services;
- 561740: Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services;
- 611310: Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools;
- 8123: Dry Cleaning and Laundry Services; and
- 921190: Other General Government Support.
All applications and accompanying materials must be received by Wednesday, June 27, 2018. Award winners will be recognized at a ceremony in the fall of 2018. EPA also recently announced that it will be hosting the Safer Choice Partner & Stakeholder Summit 2018 on May 14, 2018, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, that will “build off of the previous Summits, exploring topics of importance to stakeholders and the program. The Summit will include informational sessions, and also breakout sessions with a focus on dialogue and developing solutions that can advance Safer Choice.” Registration is available online.
EPA is to be commended for soldiering on and maintaining these important programs. Both have enjoyed significant stakeholder support, and we are thrilled these programs will continue in 2018 despite budget cuts. Our clients, friends, and other stakeholders are urged to consider participating in these programs and submit nominations by the above noted deadlines.