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Year 7 Highlights Newsletter
June, 2015

NYSP2I has had a busy and productive year working to make New York State more sustainable. This edition highlights a sampling of our 2014-2015 projects as well as updates and announcements. 

Featured NYSP2I Expert:

Dave Fister, Senior Pollution Prevention Engineer


Areas of Expertise: Metallurgy, Cleaning Technologies, Water Filtration, Plating and Finishing Process Optimization, Material Recovery/Scrap Minimization


Dave Fister has been with RIT for over 16 years, and was recruited to join NYSP2I at its inception.  Prior to joining RIT, Mr. Fister worked for 4 years in manufacturing technology at Eastman Kodak and 13 years at Bausch & Lomb in various areas of manufacturing and research. He has industrial experience in water optimization in food processing, water purification, water recovery, metal plating, powder coating, parts cleaning, and metallurgy. Recent work has focused on parts cleaning in manufacturing, methods of improving water use, and energy recovery and optimization. Mr. Fister holds a BS in biology from Cornell University and an MS in materials science from Vanderbilt University. Dave is an expert in his field and also a bit of a jokester around the office. He has four wonderful sons and lives in Clarkson with his lovely wife. Dave volunteers at the Clarkson Transfer Station, assisting with recyclables. There, Dave also weeds out deposit bottles and Box-tops-for-education labels to donate to a school and church teen group that he leads. Dave also assists with office recycling at NYSP2I.  

Green Chemistry Modules:

Many high school chemistry lab experiments use hazardous chemicals, generate hazardous waste, or use non-renewable feedstocks. In partnership with SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Brockport, NYSP2I developed six green chemistry modules to replace traditional experiments typically used in NYS Regents chemistry courses. See our website for details on how to obtain these modules, at no cost. 


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Table of Contents
"small choices, Big Impact" Video

  A new video produced at Rochester Institute of Technology illustrates the importance of sustainable purchasing decisions, explaining through animation how it matters for people to buy "green" products and how those decisions can impact the environment. This video features NYSP2I's very own Patricia Donohue, senior engineer and sustainable supply chain program manager, who was the P.I. for this project. Produced in part by the Staples Sustainable Innovation Lab (SSIL), located at and sponsored by RIT's Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) with funding from Staples Inc., the approximately two-minute video titled "small choices, Big Impact" was developed as a means to educate viewers on the broad topic of sustainability and the significance of their everyday purchases.


Click here to view the video


Click here to read the full press release


Green Technology Accelerator (GTAC):

NYSP2I expanded it's impact this year by assisting several companies through the GTAC program, helping to accelerate commercialization of new green products and processes, targeting the addition of NYS jobs in the process. GTAC projects ranged across the state including product evaluations in several industrial sectors: transportation, power generation, energy from organics, green building materials and improved building controls.


Highlighted Project: For Paradigm of NY, LLC, NYSP2I provided an independent third-party evaluation of the emissions reduction using their new reactor system, targeting significant particulate emissions reduction for diesel power generation. The GTAC project confirmed >42% reduction in harmful airborne diesel exhaust particulates, as tested on engine at a NYSP2I partner university lab.

"Teaming with NYSP2I under the GTAC program enabled an independent performance evaluation of our new "reactor", designed to reduce pollutants in exhaust emissions for diesel engine applications. NYSP2I used an engine dynamometer and applied statistical analysis to measure changes in PM and other gases. The collaboration with NYSP2I proved very successful and will greatly assist Paradigm in further product optimization and commercialization. We sincerely appreciate this support and are forecasting the creation of 73 jobs over the next 3 years as a result of this team effort."

- John Erbland, CEO, Paradigm of NY, LLC.


Community Grants:

NYSP2I believes that the engagement of community groups such as environment, health, labor, and neighborhood organizations in promoting pollution prevention (P2) in New York State is critical. By providing financial and technical support for projects that raise awareness and understanding of P2, the Community Grants Program (CGP) is one vehicle through which NYSP2I contributes to the improvement of the health, environmental quality, and economic vitality of New York State communities. To date, our program has provided over $850,000 to 64 organizations across New York State. We are proud of the CGP projects completed in our sixth year and the successful projects that have been implemented! NYSP2I will welcome applications in early Fall 2015; make sure to check our website for the 2015- 2016 Request for Applications (RFA). Click here to view project summaries.    


Recent highlights from completed projects include: 

Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester's project leveraged existing research-based outreach materials developed by the NIH-funded Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program to build understanding and awareness of the inter-generational impacts of environmental chemicals on health in the Rochester community. As a result of this project, 35 Public Health Professionals and community members were trained, 120 Nail Salons were visited and a workplace atlas mapped, and over 550 community members were reached. Click here for the BCCR poject summary 


"NYSP2I made it possible for our organization to further educate the Rochester community about reducing chemicals exposure, which can often occur in their workplace. As a result of NYSP2I's support, we were able nearly 600 people through workshops and public events and visit 120 nail salons. This effort will have an impact for years to come, specifically with Rochester women and children. We have enjoyed being part of NYSP2I's Community Grants Program."

- Holly Anderson, Executive Director, Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester   

Click here for the Pratt Center project summary  


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Direct Assistance:

Through the Direct Assistance Program, NYSP2I works with New York State companies on manufacturing process optimization and the development of cost-effective and environmentally preferable solutions. NYSP2I engineers utilize a source reduction approach that goes well beyond end-of-pipe activities. This past year, over 15 projects either started or were completed in a wide range of industry sectors including metal finishing, food (e.g., wineries and a dog treat company), paper & pulp and even a DEC sign shop in Central NY. Newer technologies like Vacuum Cycle Nucleation (VCN) and Ultimo were incorporated into the array of capabilities as test beds that are available to NY businesses looking to reduce toxic chemical use and increase production efficiencies. Two new projects involving these technologies were started in 2015.


Work continued with Perry's Ice Cream in Akron, NY. NYSP2I is helping Perry's find a cost-effective way to reuse some of their water to conserve resources and reduce wastewater discharge (Water Recovery Opportunities for Perry's Ice Cream). Collaboration with researchers at the University at Buffalo is also ongoing to enhance the recovery process, which involves the use of membrane technology (see R&D section below).

Earth Day Student Competition (College & K-12):

 NYSP2I held its 4th Earth Day Student Competition at Rensselaer Polytechnic on April 22, 2015. 

The 1st place graduate and undergraduate teams now have the honor of receiving the  Jeffrey J. Sama Award.  Jeff Sama, retired Director of the Division of Environmental Permits & Pollution Prevention for the NYSDEC, passed away in 2013. Jeff worked in the division for 32 years, and he was instrumental in the foundation of the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute.

Those receiving the 1st place Jeffrey J. Sama Award this year were:

  • The graduate team from State University of New York at Buffalo for retrieving precious metal from waste effluent at Precious Plate Inc. in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
  • The undergraduate team from the State University of New York College at Brockport for its "Eagle Diesel Goal for Sustainability Project."

In all, 12 student teams from eight schools competed, which also included: Clarkson University, RIT, RPI, Siena College, Syracuse University, and St. Lawrence University. All of the reports can be found here.


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens attended the event and delivered the welcoming remarks.


 (photo credit: Kris Qua)


Mark your calendars now-next year's event will be held on Earth Day April 22nd, 2016 at Clarkson University's

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R&D Program:

The Technical Advisory Committee, made up of representatives from RIT, University at Buffalo, Clarkson, and RPI, decide annually on which pollution prevention proposals are to be funded for applied research. Proposals are submitted from the four partner universities mentioned above. In 2015, four new projects will be funded:

  1. "Technology Validation for Collection and Inactivation of Toxic Waste from CMP Processes" - E. Silvana Andreescu, Ph.D. & S.V. Babu, Ph.D.,, Clarkson
  2. "Engineered Yersiniabactin Biosynthesis for Industrial Wastewater Metal Retrieval" - Blaine Pfeifer, Ph.D., University at Buffalo
  3. "Scalable Size Separation Technology to Enhance Recovery of Metals from Electronic Wastes" - Callie W. Babbitt Ph.D. & Gabrielle Gaustad, Ph.D., RIT
  4. "Secondary Applications for Transportation Batteries" - Nenad Nenadic Ph.D. & Gabrielle Gaustad, Ph.D., RIT

In addition, projects that were funded in previous years, some of which were completed in 2015, include advancements that can help specific industries. For example, Dr. Michael Shur at RPI was able to demonstrate how UV-LED lighting may help reduce food spoilage in fruits; Dr. Haiqing Lin at UB is working on increasing water filtration performance in membranes to make this technology more cost-effective for companies looking to clean and reuse water like Perry's Ice Cream (mentioned above in the Direct Assistance section). 


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Chemical Prioritization Framework Tools:
NYSP2I and SI Group , a leading developer and manufacturer of chemical intermediates headquartered in Schenectady, developed the Chemical Risk Prioritization Framework , a risk assessment tool focused on evaluating the environmental footprint of chemical products. The Framework was developed to systematically evaluate twelve components of intrinsic environmental health and safety hazard, precautionary risk, and strategic risk associated with chemical substances. It provides a method for chemical manufacturers to identify high risk substances and prioritize them for action and incorporates ease of substitution of a chemical.


The Framework helps guide decision making within chemical companies to improve the sustainability of their product portfolios. This ensures companies spend their time and resources on those chemicals which contribute the most risk and targets those for replacement or reduction first. Chemical product design in the chemical industry is also supported as well as other industries that use chemical products. 


View the case study here.

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Parenting Workshops:
Chemicals from consumer products, such as flame retardants in furniture, have been found in the blood of pregnant women 1,2 and studies have shown that toxic chemicals in mothers can pass to their unborn babies 3 . These chemicals can affect children's development as they grow. NYSP2I addressed exposure to these chemicals by providing educational workshops and information to identify and reduce the use of those consumer products linked to environmental health through our Environmental Education for Young Children and New Parents  Workshops.


Almost 300 pregnant women, parents of young children, and caregivers attended 24 workshops in the last two years. Participants gained the knowledge and skills to reduce the risk of exposure from chemicals that may be found in household and children's products in order to enable parents to make informed decisions about household and children's products.


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Staff Update:

Dr. Anahita Williamson, director of NYSP2I, has helped shape the Institute into a leading sustainability resource for New York State, and her hard work and dedication have led her to a position with the United States Environmental Protection Agency as senior executive service, director of environmental science & assessment. We all wish Anahita the best in her new position, and we appreciate her passionate work, leadership and dedication over the past several years.

Rajiv Ramchandra has been an integral team member of NYSP2I over the past 6 years. Rajiv has served as both a senior pollution prevention engineer and more recently as NYSP2I's interim business manager. Rajiv has been extremely successful in his roles and will be sorely missed. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors overseas.    


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NYSP2I's Team Grew This Year!
Kate McArdle came on as the community outreach specialist . Read more about Kate on her bio page.
Kim Bawden came on as a pollution prevention engineer. Read more about Kim on her bio page.
Ava Labuzetta came on as a pollution prevention engineer. Read more about Ava on her bio page.


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Upcoming Event:

Digital Manufacturing - Transforming the Manufacturing Value Chain

An Industry/University Workshop

July 15, 2015, 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies Conference Center


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If your industry or organization would like assistance from the experts at NYSP2I, please contact us.
New York State Pollution Prevention Institute | (585) 475-2512 | | 111 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623

[1] Woodruff TJ, Zota AR, Schwartz JM 2011. Environmental Chemicals in Pregnant Women in the US: NHANES 2003-2004. Environ Health Perspect. Doi:10.1289/ehp.1002727

[2] Schreder, Erika, Earliest Exposures, Washington Toxics Coalition, Commonwealth Biomonitoring Research Center & Toxic Free Legacy Coalition.

[3] Needham et. al. Partition of Environmental Chemicals between Maternal and Fetal Blood Tissues, Environ Sci Technol, 2011, 45 (3), pp 1121-1126, doi:10.1021/es1019614