November 2018                                                       
NEWMOA's Leadership
Meet Ron Gagnon, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, 2019 NEWMOA Chair & Long Term NEWMOA Board Member

NEWMOA: Tell us about yourself and your background.

Ron: I have a BS in Civil Engineering and an MBA from the University of Rhode Island.  I started my career in Los Angeles with the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS), moving back to Rhode Island in 1984.  I spent four years working as a consultant on transportation and land development projects. I joined the RI Department of Environmental Management  in 1989  as the    Solid Waste Program Supervisor and was soon assigned to the NEWMOA Solid Waste Workgroup managed at that time by Carol Ansheles. I have been involved with NEWMOA since that time in different capacities as my career at DEM has gone from waste management to technical assistance. This will be the third time I have had the opportunity to serve as the NEWMOA Chair.

NEWMOA: What do you do at RI DEM?
Ron:  I am Chief of the Office of Customer and Technical Assistance. We provide pollution prevention and compliance assistance through several programs that include the Environmental Results Program Sectors (including auto body, auto salvage, and Underground Storage Tanks, and ongoing development for small quantity generators and stormwater construction compliance), green hospitality, and sea level rise resiliency for petroleum and chemical above ground storage tanks. We also provide permitting assistance through pre-application meetings and our Permit Application Center. 
In This Issue
Click on the here to read more about Composting Food Waste.
NEWMOA: What are your priorities for NEWMOA? What do you hope it will accomplish?

Ron: I hope to help achieve a stable funding process for the organization and the pollution prevention (P2) program through a more intensive partnership with EPA. I think we can bring stability to the P2 program through a more efficient use of the EPA funding that is available without asking for any further increases.
NEWMOA: What's one thing you would like people to know about you?
Ron: I hope to retire in about six years so that I will have time to enjoy the New England environment that we all work so hard to protect (and before the NEWMOA Chair cycle returns to RI!).

Thanks to Lois for 30 Years of Service!
If you've ever called the main number at the NEWMOA office, it's likely that you've spoken with Lois Makina. She is our long serving Office Manager. Lois was NEWMOA's first full-time employee and has been dedicated to the Association since 1988. Lois is known for her infectious laugh and positive outlook. She is always eager to help and endeavors to make all of NEWMOA's events run  smoothly. She does so many different things to help the organization operate effectively, and we appreciate her dedication and hard work. In case you haven't met Lois, we thought you might want to get to know her! 

NEWMOA:  Tell us about yourself and your background.
Lois:  I graduated from Belmont University, Nashville, TN with a degree in Business Administration. After graduation, I came to Boston to visit my sister in January of 1988 and made the decision to come back to Massachusetts in the summer of 1988. I have been with NEWMOA for 30 years. NEWMOA had only two employees then, the Executive Director and myself. At the time NEWMOA worked on hazardous waste issues.

NEWMOA: What do you do at NEWMOA?  
Lois: I provide administrative and operational support to the Executive Director and staff.

NEWMOA:  What's one thing you would like people to know about you?

Lois: I enjoy travelling and have visited Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. I have two children who have also enjoyed travelling on different African safaris with me. Recently, I took my six-year old granddaughter on her first airplane ride to Virginia. These travels are a lot of fun and the memories last a life time.

Board of Directors
NEWMOA's Board of Directors met in September to discuss state and EPA waste and toxics issues, PFAS challenges, and pollution prevention programs and NEWMOA's FY 2019 projects, funding, and strategic priorities. They discussed many of the projects that are described below. 

Pollution Prevention & Sustainability Program
Greening the Cleaning Industry in Southern New England
In the coming year, NEWMOA is partnering with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to promote green cleaning practices in the commercial janitorial cleaning sector, with a goal of creating healthier work environments and improved indoor air quality. The program will engage the janitorial community in Rhode Island and Southern New England to: 1) provide training and education on the hazards of conventional cleaning chemicals, 2) provide information on safer substitutions for conventional cleaners, and 3) advocate for the implementation of policies that initiate company- or institution-wide changes to safer chemical use. Training and outreach will focus on human exposure, efficacy of green cleaning products, and source reduction techniques.   This effort is funded by an EPA Region 1 Pollution Prevention Grant.
For more information, contact Andy Bray

Solid Waste & Sustainable Materials Management Program
NEWMOA-NERC Partnership
In 2017, NEWMOA and the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) agreed to partner on implementing a Strategic Action Plan  (  and have successfully completed the first year of activities. The Action Plan focuses on five areas of mutual interest, including:
  • Food waste
  • Product stewardship
  • Recyclables collection strategies and impacts on manufacturing/end-users
  • Construction and demolition waste
  • Climate and materials
For a full report on the success of the first year of this partnership, visit 

Joint Briefing Paper on Recycling
NEWMOA and NERC recently released an October 2018 briefing paper on the " Challenges Facing Recycling in the Northeast" - The paper identifies some of the challenges facing residential recycling programs in the northeast. It describes the overall economic benefits of recycling for the region and focuses on paper, glass, and plastic as key materials. 
Food Waste Reduction
This fall, NEWMOA is conducting workshops to promote food recovery and donation  in rural areas of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Similar workshops can be offered in other parts of the region. The USDA-funded project is helping residents to reduce the generation of food waste and to start or expand backyard composting. NEWMOA has developed  outreach materials  for residents and promoted them at local events over the summer.

For more information, contact Jennifer Griffith

Waste Site Cleanup Program
NEWMOA recently held a "Data Collection and Interpretation: State of Practice and Lessons Learned" workshop for about 175 participants in three locations from September 26-28. This workshop targeted site managers and their staff to help ensure that data collection best practices for soil, groundwater, and vapor intrusion are used and that laboratory data is understood. The workshop provided an opportunity to learn about:
  • Accessing the subsurface
  • Collection methods and techniques for soil sampling, groundwater sampling, and vapor intrusion sampling
  • Understanding and using laboratory data
To view the presentations, visit:
NEWMOA thanks our workshop sponsors: 
To learn more about sponsoring future NEWMOA workshops, visit:

For more information, contact Jennifer Griffith

Hazardous Waste Program
NEWMOA held workshops for 120 hazardous waste inspectors in EPA Regions 1 and 2 in June. The workshops focused on the implementation of the e-manifest system, documenting inspections, Land Disposal Restrictions, and other topics.
Over the past year, NEWMOA has also been supporting a joint initiative with EPA Region 1 focused on improving compliance at Treatment, Storage, and Disposal facilities (TSDFs). As a result of this effort, NEWMOA has formed a RCRA Permit Writers Workgroup. This effort has also resulted in a joint states and EPA Region 1 letter to the commercial TSDFs in the region, which summarizes key compliance issues that have been observed by EPA and the states and the ongoing states and EPA communications on this topic. This is the first time that New England states and EPA as a group have coordinated on outreach to TSDFs regarding compliance.

For more information, contact Terri Goldberg

Interstate Mercury Education & Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC)
Mercury-added Products Reporting
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) has received a grant from EPA's National Environmental Information Exchange Network (NEIEN) in partnership with IMERC to upgrade the online  mercury-added products e-filing system  and  public search database .
This funding will enable IMERC to update its online reporting cycle to conform to EPA's timeline, which was announced in their final  Mercury Reporting Rule. The most significant change for companies and states will be accelerating the next round of triennial notifications so that the data reported to IMERC is for calendar year 2018 - rather than calendar year 2019. However, this alignment with the national reporting requirements means that IMERC will have a more complete, national mercury inventory, which will support the data requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
Additional enhancements to the e-filing system will include co-locating companies' information on mercury-added product labeling, phase-out exemptions, and collection plans with the online notification reports, as well as improving the overall usability and functioning of the system.
Upgrades to the public Mercury-Added Products Database will improve accessibility, as well as data quality because users will have more options for search queries and data presentation. Users will be able to more easily download raw data for their own needs and analyses.

For more information, contact Rachel Smith.

NAHMMA National Conference
In August, Terri Goldberg made a presentation on mercury-added thermostat collection programs in the IMERC states at the  North American Hazardous Materials Management Association's  (NAHMMA) National Conference in Portland, ME. She emphasized how interstate coordination benefits states. For example, by sharing information and working together to develop joint comments to organizations, such as the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC), states have been able to achieve better results.

For more information, contact Terri Goldberg.

Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2)
NEWMOA's Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse  (IC2) has selected Eastern Research Group (ERG) to provide information technology (IT) development support for its High Priority Chemicals Data System (HPCDS) Project. The HPCDS will facilitate greater efficiency and cost effectiveness for states with reporting programs for manufacturers of children's products, including Oregon, Washington, and Vermont; reduce reporting burdens and provide better service for manufacturers; increase opportunities for interstate involvement in data analysis and presentation; improve access to robust data for federal, state, and non-governmental stakeholders; and enhance the sharing of reported information with the public. The IC2 and ERG are documenting the requirements for the HPCDS and beginning to design the system. Development will continue over the coming months, and we expect to launch the reporting system in the spring of 2019 .
On October 31st, approximately 15 IC2 members gathered in Sacramento, CA, for a day-long strategic planning meeting hosted by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. The group took advantage of the opportunity afforded by the 2nd International Symposium on Alternatives Assessment to gather in Sacramento to discuss the IC2's challenges and opportunities in the coming years.
Over the coming year, IC2 will also support the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's implementation of its  Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program, including establishing an online system for companies to affirm compliance with New York's reporting rules for cleaning products.

For more information, contact Topher Buck
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, or program; invitee to NEWMOA events; a colleague at a related organization or EPA; connected to the Association in some other way; or have expressed interest in our work.

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Newsletter contributors: 
Andy Bray, Topher Buck, Terri Goldberg, Jennifer Griffith, Lois Makina, and Rachel Smith.