IC2 Member Spotlight: Lisa Heigh

This issue's member spotlight shines on Lisa Heigh, Metro (Portland, OR).

Photograph of Lisa Heigh
IC2: Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Lisa: I have been a member of the IC2 since the organization's beginning. Metro is a founding member along with our Oregon State partners, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Oregon Health Authority. I am now serving as the chair of the IC2's Database Workgroup.

I came to toxics reduction and pollution prevention work through a background in the forest industries sector, natural resource management, and coastal watershed planning. In my earlier public service life I was a scientist, educator, and planner on the Oregon coast; working first with the Tillamook Bay National Estuary Project and later with the Lower Columbia River Watershed Councils. Earlier still, I worked in the labs of an Oregon fiber board mill and cruised timber, monitored bats, and surveyed the old growth forests of Northern California for a land management consultant. For the last 15 years, I have worked as a Waste Reduction Planner with a special emphasis in toxics reduction.

I am a founding member of the Oregon Chemicals Policy Roundtable, past president of the NW Chapter of NAHMMA, and a current member of NAHMMA's National Policy committee. For something completely different, for seven years I was the environmental chair of the Portland/Southwest Washington Race for the Cure and am now a member of the Oregon Department of Forestry's state forest advisory committee.
IC2: What is your job at Metro?
Lisa: I am a senior solid waste planner for Metro, and in this capacity I work in a variety of areas, but most especially on internal sustainable operations, chemicals policy, and evaluation. A few of the projects I am working on now are managing Metro's Integrated Pest Management Program, identifying and developing evaluation methods and indicators for our waste reduction programs, and assisting Oregon Health Authority on their Rules Advisory Committee for Oregon's Toxics Free Kids Act. I also work with our DEQ partners on a project in reuse, repair, and product extended life.
IC2: What is your involvement in promotion of safer alternatives?
Lisa: I promote safer alternatives in a number of very different ways, for example, with King County and Thurston County, WA, Metro created Grow Smart, Grow Safe, an online pesticide review tool for residents. From a sustainable operations perspective, we use chemical information from safety data sheets (SDS) to track toxicity of products used in Metro operations. Metro uses a toxicity assessment tool (TAT) developed in partnership with KHA-Online SDS, which is also the host for Metro's online SDS database. The toxicity assessment tool uses a variety of regulatory chemical lists cross referenced with the information contained in the SDS to make toxic hazard determinations. Using the TAT, an initial 179 products were identified as scoring high hazard in all areas of chemical hazards: health; environmental; physical; and persistent, bioaccumulative, and inherently toxic. Over the next three to six months alternatives to the most toxic and highest risk chemicals from this 179 product list will be identified. My partners in this work include Metro Procurement and Metro Risk Management.
IC2: What do you like most about your job?
Lisa: I love the diversity of my work and all the people I work with.
IC2: What is your vision for the IC2 over the next two years? What do you hope it will accomplish?
Lisa: I would really like to see us grow as an organization, bringing in more states and local governments and especially reaching out to Tribes. No matter what happens at the federal level with TSCA, data collection and dissemination will be challenging. I would like to see the IC2 become the go-to site for chemical information sharing.
IC2: What is one fun thing that most people in IC2 don't know about you?
I am a cowgirl at heart, and three years ago I decided to keep horses. I love to ride, especially long distances through wild landscapes. I have a nine-year-old Arabian horse that is just barely bigger than a pony. 
IC2 News
Chemical Hazard Assessment Database Additions

The IC2 has added seven new GreenScreens® to the IC2 Chemical Hazard Assessment Database. The latest additions provide detailed hazard assessment information for acetaldehyde, benzene, benzyl chloride, isopropanol, n-butanol, n-propyl bromide, and titanium dioxide and bring the total number of hazard assessments publicly available in the Database to 109. The IC2 thanks the Washington State Department of Ecology for generously providing these assessments.
Chemicals Policy Database

IC2 staff have updated the IC2 Chemicals Policy Database with legislation that was enacted in 2015 and are working to implement some improvements to the Database.
Upcoming Events
Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) Planner Continuing Education Conference
April 14, 2016
Chicopee, MA

This spring's TUR Planner Continuing Education Conference will feature sessions on water conservation, ISO standards related to toxics, and a special session on process modernization and process safety being developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Chemical Technology Alliance. The program is still under development, so check the TURI events calendar for updates.
11th Annual GC3 Innovators Roundtable
Hilton Burlington Hotel, Burlington, VT
May 24 - 26, 2016

The GC3 Innovators Roundtable brings together leading experts in business, government, and not-for-profits to:
  • Learn about new business strategies and emerging policy issues that influence the application of green chemistry in industry
  • Network and discuss challenges and solutions to mainstreaming green chemistry
  • Form new business partnerships
  • Design and get involved in strategic, collaborative GC3 projects
Roundtable attendees connect across supply chains and sectors and focus on developing practical solutions in a safe, collegial environment. GC3 members and non-members are welcome to attend.
Member Updates
Children's Safe Product Act (CSPA) Reporting for Washington

The next deadline for reporting chemicals in children's products for Washington State is February 29th. Any Submitted Reports in the database will become Official Reports as of that time. The reporting deadline applies to manufacturers who first reported in February 2013 and are submitting annual reports.

Washington State Department of Ecology's (Ecology) reporting database:

Ecology's Reporting Guidance and help files for the database:

Ecology has also posted guidance related to the CSPA limits on cadmium, lead, and phthalates
Supporting Member Updates
Release of Alternatives Assessment Software

EcoValuate has released a public version of its alternatives assessment software. The tool allows users to visually evaluate and share with stakeholders how alternative product development strategies perform in terms of hazards, economics, exposure potential, materials/life-cycle, performance, and any other relevant factors.

For more information, contact Joanna Malaczynski, (503) 914-9577.
GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals Practitioner Program

Clean Production Action is now accepting applications for the 2016 GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals Practitioner Program. This is the most advanced training available for individuals who are interested in becoming licensed as Authorized GreenScreen Practitioners. The program offers product designers, engineers, toxicologists, environmental health and safety experts, chemists, and others a unique opportunity to strengthen their professional portfolio while simultaneously helping their companies lead the way through the design of products that are safer for humans and the environment. As the need for alternatives assessment increases globally, in-house expertise in applying chemical hazard assessments will be an important measure of success and competitive advantage.

The GreenScreen Practitioner Program provides personalized coaching and hands-on experience performing GreenScreen assessments in a small workshop format, to give participants experience evaluating and using a wide variety of data sources.
U.S. EPA Updates
Transforming Tox Testing to Improve Chemical Screening

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and NIH's National Toxicology Program (NTP) within the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) are announcing a new challenge that will award up to $1 million to improve the relevance and productivity of data generated from automated chemical screening technology used for toxicity testing.

Out of thousands of chemicals in commerce today, very few have been fully evaluated for potential health effects. Scientists from EPA, NIEHS/NTP, and NCATS are using high-throughput screening (HTS) assays to evaluate the potential health effects of thousands of chemicals. High-throughput screening uses automated methods that allow for a large number of chemicals to be rapidly evaluated for a specific type of biological activity.

Current HTS assays do not fully incorporate chemical metabolism, so they may miss chemicals that are metabolized to a more toxic form in the body. The Transform Tox Testing Challenge: Innovating for Metabolism, is calling on innovative thinkers to find new ways to incorporate physiological levels of chemical metabolism into HTS assays. This will help researchers more accurately assess effects of chemicals and better protect human health.

Teams will compete in three stages for a total award of $1 million. The first stage seeks designs that may be fully implemented. Up to ten submissions may receive a prize of $10,000 each and an invitation to continue on to the next stage.

The second stage requires a prototype that demonstrates the proposed idea in use. Up to five participants may be awarded up to $100,000 each and invited to participate in the final stage. The final stage requires a commercially viable method or technology for EPA and its partners to demonstrate and test. Based on this testing one participant may be awarded up to $400,000 for delivery of a method or device that will result in technologies that can provide metabolic competence to HTS assays.

All segments of industry, government, academia, non-governmental organizations, and others are encouraged to enter.
Recommendations of Specifications, Standards, & Ecolabels

In March, the President issued Executive Order 13693, directing EPA to provide federal purchasers with recommendations of specifications, standards, and ecolabels to use in identifying and procuring environmentally preferable products and services. EPA has released interim recommendations of standards and ecolabels to help federal buyers green their purchases. These recommendations include standards and ecolabels for construction, adhesives, flooring, insulation, paint, wood, custodial products, electronics, grounds/landscaping materials, office supplies, operations, fleets, shipping, and a host of other products and services. For more information, see EPA's Recommendations of Specifications, Standards and Ecolabels.
2014 Toxics Release Inventory Report

In 2014, 84 percent of the 25 billion pounds of toxic chemical waste managed at the nation's industrial facilities was not released into the environment due to the use of preferred waste management practices like recycling, energy recovery, and treatment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis. The remaining 16 percent was released to the air, water, or placed in some type of land disposal. Most of these releases are subject to a variety of regulatory requirements designed to limit human and environmental harm.

The 2014 TRI data show a 6 percent decrease in total disposal or other releases to the environment from 2013 to 2014. Notably, air releases from industrial facilities decreased by 4 percent during this period, mainly due to decreases from chemical manufacturing facilities and electric utilities. Air releases have decreased 55 percent since 2003.

For information on facility efforts to reduce toxic chemical releases, visit Pollution Prevention (P2) and TRI.
IC2 e-Bulletin
The Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) is an association of state, local, and tribal governments that promotes a clean environment, healthy communities, and a vital economy through the development and use of safer chemicals and products.

The purpose of the IC2 e-Bulletin is to inform IC2 members and others of the activities of the Clearinghouse, its members, and related national and international programs. It is published approximately three times per year and is provided free. Funding for the e-Bulletin is provided by the IC2 membership. Previous issues are available.

The IC2 is a program of the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA). NEWMOA provides management and staff support for IC2 and serves as its fiscal agent.
Membership Invitation

The IC2 invites businesses, non-governmental organizations, academic researchers, consultants, and others to join the Clearinghouse. Supporting Members sign a Memorandum of Agreement demonstrating support for the principles of the Clearinghouse and provide annual dues to help fund baseline activities. All IC2 Supporting Members are eligible to participate in the IC2 Council, in IC2 Workgroups, and in webinars.

For more information, contact Topher Buck, (617) 367-8558 x309.
IC2's Workgroups

If you work for an IC2 Member or Supporting Member, consider becoming active in an IC2 Workgroup. These provide a great opportunity to work on critical projects and to collaborate with others that are insightful and dedicated to improving public health and the environment through the development and use of safer chemicals and products.

Alternatives Assessment Workgroup
The IC2 Alternatives Assessment Workgroup supports state and local development of alternatives assessment (AA) methods, coordinates with other organizations involved in AA activities, and makes resources, common protocols, and results available to the IC2 membership.

Database Workgroup
The IC2 Database Workgroup assesses the chemical data needs and priorities of the IC2 membership and develops IC2 data and information systems to address those priorities. The Workgroup has reviewed a variety of chemicals databases and has developed several online systems.

Governance, Outreach, & Recruitment Workgroup
The IC2 Governance, Outreach, and Recruitment Workgroup maintains the Clearinghouse's governance framework, including membership criteria, member contributions, Board structure, and overall goals and objectives. The Workgroup also leads member recruitment and outreach efforts.

Training Workgroup
The IC2 Training Workgroup plans informational and technical training sessions for the IC2 members. These trainings, in conference call and webinar formats, are presented approximately four times per year.

If you are interested in any of these groups, visit the IC2 website or write to Topher Buck.
Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse | (617) 367-8558 x309| theic2.org