Pollution Prevention Northwest Newsletter
Published by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
Spring 2000

sunny hills What’s ahead for P2 in the 21st century? In this and the next edition, Pollution Prevention Northwest will look at new ways of doing business that are far different and far cleaner than today. We start with a broad overview, then focus the rest of this edition on energy, which has a profound reach over the environment and economy.
        Energy waste costs money, pollutes air and water, and is a factor in climate change. The University of Washington’s climate research team says it’s likely the Northwest will be substantially warmer by the 2020s, stressing water, salmon, forest, and other resources. The demand for energy services will only go up. The Census projects that the region will add 3.5 million residents by 2025.
        In the 21st century, energy use and production faces dramatic transformation. Information technologies could squeeze out inefficiencies – by altering business patterns, by operating artfully designed buildings that are more comfortable and less wasteful, by networking stationary power plants and even cars into an energy web. More and more of the energy itself could come from hydrogen and the sun, the oldest and cleanest energy sources of them all.
        (Next edition: The Three N’s: None, Nano and Natural.)
dot P2 in 2050: Eye on the Crystal Ball
dot Power of IT: Redesigning Business
dot Power of IT: Redesigning Buildings
dot Power of Hydrogen
dot Power of the Sun
dot For Further Research
dot P2 Digest
dot PPRC News
dot About this Newsletter


P2 Focus

P2 in 2050: Keeping Our Eyes on the Crystal Ball
By Marina Skumanich

        With the dawn of a new millennium, it’s a good time to reflect on the future. We are routinely treated to images of the future that show us how we’ll all be wired into cyber-games, or how we’ll have robots doing our laundry. But for pollution prevention practitioners, it seems fitting to ask: What will P2 be like in 2050 – what novel new technologies and approaches might we be using to prevent pollution?
        With caveats, the following are likely developments:

         SENSOR NET – As computing and telecommunications technologies continue to advance, we’re likely to see the growth of an Internet-linked sensor network that will prevent pollution in real time by monitoring and modulating building conditions and industrial processes.
        SMART PLANTS – Plants may be developed that can produce biologically based materials, such as plastics, as alternatives to materials based on petroleum-derived chemicals.
        DISTRIBUTED UTILITIES – The development of smaller, cleaner, more efficient energy technologies will make possible "distributed" utilities located in factories, stores, schools, hospitals, and even home basements.

        Now for the caveats. Trying to forecast the future can be fun, but beware of those who promise certainty. Judging from past experience, specific predictions are likely to be mostly wrong. Many researchers have observed that forecasts are more revealing about the era in which they were made than about the future.
        Given the innovation of our time, it’s no surprise to see forecasts of a positive future filled with happy people surrounded by technological wonders. One example of this orientation is "The Long Boom: A History of the Future, 1980-2020" (http://www.wired.com/wired/5.07/longboom_pr.html). Yet technology and economics aren’t the only drivers. We only need to turn to the Worldwatch Institute’s annual "State of the World" report (http://www.worldwatch.org) to see that there are many conditions – from global warming to a crisis in clean water to a loss of biodiversity – that may put their own stamp on the future.
        With a fair dose of circumspection, let’s imagine in more detail the three technologies described above. None of these ideas is sure to happen, but there is enough progress being made today at places such as the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNL) and other research centers that it is plausible they might happen.
        SENSOR NET: With increases in computational power and telecommunication speeds, and the promise of nano-processors, we’ll be able to install sensors and controllers throughout the environment, where they will measure, record and modulate conditions, thereby preventing pollution in real time. Some examples:
        dot Intelligent Buildings – Optimum indoor conditions can be provided efficiently through modulation of temperature and light. "Smart" buildings also will give their users the ability to reduce energy costs. Puget Sound Energy, for example, is testing "smart thermostats" that allow homeowners to monitor and adjust their heating systems via the Internet. (Visit PNL’s Buildings Program, http://www.pnl.gov/buildings.)
        dot Precision Agriculture – Sensors and controllers positioned throughout the crop area can provide need-calibrated nutrient delivery, drastically reducing non-point pollution.
        Irrigation scheduling using soil moisture sensors, for example, is being tested in the Northwest. Read a Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance report at http://www.nwalliance.org/resources/reports/E99041.pdf.)
        dot Ecosystem Tracking – An integrated network of environmental sensors could track ambient conditions and provide immediate warnings of problems.
        These kinds of sensing systems might go a long way towards making P2 an automatic part of many operations. But what about the "big brother" privacy issues that a sensor net might generate?
        "SMART PLANTS": By the middle of the next century we may rely on genetically engineered "smart" plants to function as mini-chemical factories that grow products ranging from proteins to pharmaceuticals to plastics. This kind of bio-based production will allow us to move away from fossil fuels as a primary source of industrial chemicals and products. It will have the added advantage of occurring at ambient temperatures, reducing energy use and eliminating pollutants formed in high temperature reactions.
        An alternative scenario is signaled by consumers avoiding foods made with genetically engineered ingredients. Concerns have been raised about "gene smog" and the outbreak of super-pests. What role will differing attitudes about risk play in the development of "smart" plants?
        (To find out more about this issue, visit the July 5, 1999 edition of Scientific American. http://www.sciam.com/explorations/1999/070599plants/index.html.)
        DISTRIBUTED UTILITIES: Today, basic utilities such as electricity, gas, water and sewer service are centralized. But this pattern is changing. We’re seeing a tremendous surge in alternative energy development, including hydrogen fuel cells, solar energy, and other options. By 2050, these changes will likely create a distributed energy world – with modular fuel cells and localized renewable energy generators providing energy for houses and industrial facilities. For example, the Chugach Electric Association plans to install five fuel cells generating 1 megawatt at the U.S. Postal Service’s Anchorage processing center.
        Energy will be followed by development of small-scale systems for water and waste treatment.
        From the present vantage point, the development of distributed utilities based on renewable energy and operating on smaller scales seems like a boon to P2. But will we end up finding that the trouble-free promises of some of these new technologies are belied by unforeseen consequences?
        (To find out more about distributed utilities, visit a summary of a recent Northwest conference at http://www.newsdata.com/edonline/groundhog.)
        Before we get carried away, it’s worth remembering that even as some conditions and technologies will change radically by 2050, others may not end up changing much at all.
        While new challenges and techniques for P2 will surely arise, some of the old P2 strategies will probably still be needed. end

Marina Skumanich is a senior research scientist at the Battelle Seattle Research Center.

P2 Focus

computer chip The Power of IT: Redesigning Business

        It’s Tuesday, June 21, 2050, the first day of summer. Your fuel cell vehicle is tooling down the automated guideway to the office. You glance out the window at the wild nature park, where Grandpa says there used to be buildings he called a "strip mall" – whatever that meant. Turning away from the view, you attend to errands. You open the car’s Net portal and adjust the setting in your refrigerator at home. Then, you order groceries, a birthday gift for your daughter, clothing, and – just for the novelty – an old-fashioned "hard copy" book. You contact the Postal Service, which morphed into a delivery brokerage network after paper mail all but disappeared. Its intelligent package system says the orders will be shipped in two days.

        A likely scenario? Maybe. The growth of the Internet and e-commerce could result in systemic pollution reduction and improved resource efficiency by eliminating a broad range of infrastructure costs and creating more efficient business patterns: commercial buildings replaced with web sites, warehouses replaced with Internet supply chain management.
        A 1999 analysis by the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, (http://www.cool-companies.org) headed by former assistant Energy Secretary Joseph Romm, says that the Internet could eliminate the need for more than 3 billion square feet of commercial floor space by 2007. By 2010, his study projects that "e-materialization" of construction and paper products could reduce total U.S. industrial energy and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1.5 percent. Better supply chain management could save businesses $250 billion to $350 billion. Better capacity utilization – through, for example, the National Transportation Exchange’s Internet cargo space auctions – would improve efficiency.
        In an October 1999 article in iMP magazine (http://www.cisp.org/imp/october_99/10_99cohen.htm), former INFORM, Inc. research director Nevin Cohen observed that electronic matching of customer wants to production would reduce energy consumed for making unwanted products, transporting them, and storing them in warehouses that must be lit, heated and cooled. Home Depot, for example, uses electronic supply management to move products from manufacturers directly to stores.
        E-commerce allows companies to sell services instead of widgets, providing a built-in incentive to reduce material waste, Brad Allenby, AT&T’s EHS vice president, wrote in The Green Business Letter last year. (Excerpts on line at http://www.cisp.org/imp/october_99/10_99allenby-insight.htm.)
        There are many uncertainties, however. Would replacement of individual shopping trips with e-commerce and delivery trucks reduce or increase pollution? It depends, according to Romm’s study, on how deliveries are organized and which transportation modes are selected. How quickly will customers want delivery? In a life cycle analysis, Patagonia found that overnight delivery nearly quintuples transportation’s share of the total energy consumed to make and deliver a product. Would e-commerce stimulate consumption? Would it slow or hasten sprawl?
        "The questions are unanswerable now," Allenby wrote. "But we do not have the luxury of complaining that they are too complex to try to understand." end



Imagine Power Plants That Work Like the Internet
‘Energy generated with clean sources such as sun, wind and hydrogen at millions of distributed points, all linked in by information technology that manages both power production and use for peak efficiency — this is the emerging picture of a smart Energy Web that parallels the Internet revolution.’
Patrick Mazza,
Climate Solutions,

P2 Focus

cityscape The Power of IT: Redesigning Buildings

        You park the car and couple its fuel cell to the building energy system, turning it into a miniature power plant that earns you a tidy royalty. It’s good to be away from the home office for some much needed "face time" with co-workers. As you step into your reserved work space, sensors note your arrival. They measure daylight streaming in from pipes that distribute sunlight from a rooftop collector. Based on preferences stored in a database, the building management system gives you a bit of filtered artificial light also. More light from a utility room sulfur lamp is sent down pipes made from corn-derived plastic. As the sun waxes, the system backs off the artificial light, and the work space is bathed in all natural light.

        Sound bizarre? Maybe not, if research under way at Oak Ridge National Laboratory pans out. Oak Ridge is researching "hybrid lighting," which, if successful, would improve both the efficiency and utility of building lighting systems by artfully combining natural light with super-efficient electric lamps.
        Commercial and industrial lighting accounts for up to half the nation’s $75 billion lighting bill. Bad lighting has hidden costs. Inefficient lamps throw off heat, which increases cooling loads. Poor quality lighting can impair the comfort and productivity of building occupants, whose labor costs can account for 92 percent of a building’s total life-cycle costs.
        The principle behind "hybrid lighting" is to make optimum use of natural daylight, then supplement it with efficient artificial lighting as needed, using sensors to make automatic adjustments.
        Intriguing research is showing that buildings lit naturally create pleasant environments that enhance productivity. Last year, for example, a study of schools and retail stores found strong correlations between natural light and better performance, as measured by test scores and sales. (See http://www.h-m-g.com, and click on "Daylighting and Productivity.")
        Sulfur lamps are a high-efficiency electric light technology that was recently commercialized. Last year, a sulfur lamp/light guide system was tested in a section of the U.S. Postal Service’s Portland regional distribution center. An analysis by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that the system, combined with optimal fixture placement to ensure lighting of critical work areas, could reduce lighting and maintenance costs. (See http://www.eren.doe.gov/femp/prodtech/sulfur_lamp.html.) end

Find Out More: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, http://www.ornl.gov/ORNLReview/rev29_3/text/contents.htm)


Imagine Buildings That Work Like Trees
‘Imagine ... a building as a kind of tree. It would purify air, accrue solar income, produce more energy than it consumes, create shade and habitat, enrich soil, and change with the seasons.’
William McDonough, ‘The NEXT Industrial Revolution’

P2 Focus

hydrogen The Power of Hydrogen

        As you unplug from the office building and head home from work, the car’s fuel monitor indicates you’re running low. The navigation system directs the car to the nearest fueling station. Hydrogen grown from lowly algae is pumped into a storage structure containing microscopic nano-tubes. With enough fuel to provide 1,200 kilometers of range, the car pulls away quietly as the fuel cell engages the electric drive train. You smile as you remember Grandpa’s stories about dipping a stick into – what did he call it? – the "gas tank" to check the fuel level in a heap he drove 75 years ago.

        Cars that don’t burn fuel? Maybe sooner than you think. Automakers, utilities, technology companies, and federal laboratories are investing in the R&D that could make fuel cells a mainstream provider of basic energy services – transportation, lighting, motor drive, heat, and indoor comfort.
        Fuel cells use an electrochemical process to produce electricity from the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. Since there is no combustion, fuel cells emit only heat and water vapor at the point of use. Fuel cells are two to three times as efficient as internal combustion engines.

Hydrogen Extracted from Common Fuels

        Fuel cells can be coupled with "reformers" to extract hydrogen from familiar fuels such as natural gas or gasoline, which leverages existing fuel infrastructure. Emissions reductions vary on a fuel cycle basis depending on the hydrogen source. A fuel cell vehicle running on hydrogen from reformed natural gas would emit 30 percent of the CO2 a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine emits, according to Joan Ogden of Princeton University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Studies. For gasoline, the figure is about 60 percent.
        Both Ford and DaimlerChrysler plan to begin commercial production of fuel cell cars in 2004, through an alliance with Ballard Power Systems, a Vancouver, BC, fuel cell manufacturer. Field testing of fuel cell buses has been completed by the Chicago Transit Authority and is underway in Vancouver. Oil companies are paying attention to fuel cells also. Shell Hydrogen was established in 1999 by Royal/Dutch Shell to pursue fuel cell business.
        Cost/technical, fuel infrastructure and safety perceptions are barriers to widespread commercialization of fuel cell vehicles.
        COST/TECHNICAL: Issues include producing durable materials cheaply, integrating engine systems, and mastering the tricky process of reforming gasoline. (See http://books.nap.edu/books/0309064430/html/index.html for the National Research Council’s latest review of federal research into vehicle technologies.)
        FUEL INFRASTRUCTURE: Methanol is easier to reform than gasoline, but few methanol stations are available. Using hydrogen directly would eliminate the need for reformers, but two issues need to be addressed, a) lack of a widespread hydrogen distribution network, and b) storing enough hydrogen to provide acceptable driving range. Innovative storage methods, such as hydrides and nano-tubes, are being studied.
        Further in the future, hydrogen could be produced from zero-emission renewables, such as wind or solar. Biomass is another possible source. UC Berkeley and National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers have found that a common one-celled plant can produce hydrogen.
        SAFETY PERCEPTIONS: The 1937 Hindenburg disaster gave hydrogen an image problem. Like all flammable fuels, including gasoline, hydrogen requires careful handling. A 1997 Ford Motor Co. study found that fuel cell vehicles would be as safe or safer than gasoline-powered vehicles, if engineered properly.
        Gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles could be bridges to the fuel cell future. Honda has a 65-mpg hybrid, the Insight, on the U.S. market. Toyota will introduce the Prius in the fall.

Potential for Stationary Markets

        Stationary fuel cells also could be used for "distributed" generation – on-site power plants that avoid transmission line losses. Distributed generation may advance as high-tech companies demand reliable, high-quality, uninterruptible power, according to a recent report from the research firm Frost & Sullivan.
        The Northwest is on the leading edge of fuel cell development efforts. Avista Labs in Spokane, a subsidiary of Avista Utilities, is developing fuel cells for home and small commercial markets.
        The City of Portland has installed a 200-kilowatt fuel cell at a sewage treatment plant, using methane from the treatment process as the hydrogen source. (See http://www.ci.portland.or.us/energy/FuelCell.pdf.) At the Alaska National Guard Armory in Anchorage, two fuel cells reduced energy costs $67,000 per year from 1996 to 1999, according to Department of Defense estimates. (See http://www.dodfuelcell.com/richardson.php3.) end

Find Out More: National Fuel Cell Research Center, http://www.nfcrc.uci.edu/aboutnfcrc_index.htm


OK, But What About Traffic?

Travel a La Mode
The Internet could serve as the nervous system of a seamless transportation system with mobility service companies matching needs with modes – transit, shared cars, even electric bicycles. Find Out More: CalStart, http://www.calstart.org, click on Car Sharing and Mobility Services paper.

Back to the Future
The ‘New Urbanism’ is a return to past urban forms – placing homes in proximity to destinations and transit lines, laying out tree-lined streets in pedestrian and bike-friendly grids. Find Out More: Smart Growth Network, http://www.smartgrowth.org


‘The investment community has begun to realize there’s enormous potential value in these emerging alternative technologies.’
Lisa Leff, Trillium Investments

P2 Focus

sunraysThe Power of the Sun

        Home from work at last. The afternoon was beastly, another hot, dry day in the Northwest. But there’s one consolation. This is the season when the rooftop solar shingles work overtime, producing surplus kilowatt-hours that your net metering contract allows you to store on the electricity distribution network for use next winter. The sensor-controlled network is fed by thousands of small power plants – rooftop solar arrays like yours, wind turbines on remote farms, fuel cells in cars and factories, microturbines in office buildings. Inside, the home is cool because of the ingenious passive solar techniques that went into the design. There’s no need for one of those clunky cooling machines that Grandpa called an "air conditioner." The super-efficient shingles were a little pricey, but you made up the costs by replacing your old vehicle with a more fuel-efficient model. Besides, they look great.< /p>

        Paying for a solar house by buying a car. Now there’s an example of "outside-the-box" thinking. As Mike Nelson, photovoltaic manager for the Washington State University Cooperative Extension Energy Program, puts it: "You can’t piecemeal the solutions."
        The family of solar technologies is not new. Wind, which is created by uneven solar heating, has been harnessed for centuries. Solar photovoltaics, which produce electricity when sunlight strikes a semiconductor, were first put to practical use in the space program. Often derided as uneconomical for everyday electricity generation, they are finally achieving cost reductions and efficiencies that are bringing commercialization closer.

Efficiencies Improving

        "Continued improvement of photovoltaic material efficiencies and production methods will support continuation of this trend," the Northwest Power Planning Council reported in a 1998 paper. (See http://www.nwppc.org/solaroof.htm.)
        Solar’s prospects are attractive enough to have drawn the interest of large energy companies that make most of their living from fossil fuels – BP Amoco, Shell, and Enron. Both Shell and BP Amoco foresee renewables supplying half the world’s energy by mid-century. (See a summary of Shell energy scenarios at http://www.shell.com/royal-en/content/0,5028,25551-51054,00.html.)
        Photovoltaics are a $1 billion industry, and sales growth is in double digits, bringing cost-reducing economies of scale. A potentially huge market is electrifying rural villages overseas. A Cornell University paper suggests targeting markets such as schools to build demand, and to overcome cost and institutional barriers. Solar energy is big business in the Northwest. Four major plants are located in Washington. Siemens Solar makes 20 percent of the world’s solar cell crystals in Vancouver. Heart Interface in Kent and Trace Engineering in Arlington make current inverters, and Applied Power in Lacey sells solar system packages.
        Solar efficiencies are improving. Researchers are improving "thin film" cells that could be built with pennies’ worth of cheap material. Since 1980, the energy conversion efficiency of thin film cells has more than doubled. PV system costs are forecast to drop by a factor of five between now and the 2020-2030 period, according to the latest federal PV research plan. (See http://www.nrel.gov/ncpv/pdfs/25847X.pdf.)
        An attractive option is integrating solar panels into building facades. For example, Nelson estimates that an amorphous silicon facade panel costs $180 per square meter. An aluminum facade panel costs only $110 per square meter, but does not earn its keep producing electricity as the PV panel does. A study by BP Solarex calculated that integrating PV into building facades is economically attractive today in areas with high electricity costs and especially if the solar panels are replacing costly building materials such as polished stone.

Wind Energy Growing Fast

        The wind business is growing also. In 1999, wind generating capacity grew 36 percent worldwide, to about 13,400 megawatts. Enron Wind Corp. is forecasting that worldwide wind capacity will more than double by 2003, to 30,000 megawatts. At a cost of 4 to 4.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, Enron believes wind is cost-competitive today with coal and, in some cases, with gas, the cheapest competing fuel.
        Portland General Electric, BPA, PacifiCorp, and Eugene Water & Electric Board are Northwest utilities that buy wholesale power from commercial wind plants. (Find U.S. commercial wind plants at http://www.awea.org/projects/index.html.)
        The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is working collaboratively with manufacturers, such as Wind Turbine Co. of Bellevue, Wash., to improve turbine efficiencies. NREL predicts that the next generation of turbines will be 20 percent cheaper. end

FIND OUT MORE: National Renewable Energy Laboratory, http://www.nrel.gov


Package Deal
On-site combined heat and power (CHP) makes use of 80 percent or more of input energy by putting "waste heat" to work providing process heat, compressed air, space heat, and cooling. With the development of small, efficient turbines, CHP is becoming practical for commercial buildings. Find Out More: http://www.


What’s Net Metering?
Under net metering, owners of small-scale power systems can send their surplus electricity into the grid and draw back that surplus when they need it. Net metering is available in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Find Out More: http://www.


1839 Was Big Year for High Tech
1839 was the year an amateur Welsh scientist, Sir William Grove, built the first fuel cell. 1839 was also the year that the photovoltaic effect, the basis of producing electricity directly from sunlight, was first described, by French physicist Edmund Becquerel.

P2 Focus
For Further Research


"Natural Capitalism," by Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins and Paul Hawken

"The NEXT Industrial Revolution," by Bill McDonough

"Information Technology and the Environment: Choices and Opportunities"

Future Information Technology



Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory


Fuel Cells 2000

Hydrogen Information Network

National Hydrogen Association


American Solar Energy Society

American Wind Energy Association

WSU Coop. Extension Energy Program


p2 digest P2 Digest      

Idaho Road Show
        The Idaho Division of Environmental Quality is hosting a series of Small Business Information Fairs across the state this year. These events will be a one-stop source of information for people with questions about their businesses, or planning to start businesses. Here is the schedule:
        Pocatello – April 18
        Boise – May 4
        Coeur d’Alene – May 18
        Caldwell – Aug. 3
        Twin Falls – Aug. 10
        Lewiston – Sept. 28
        Boise – Nov. 2
        Idaho Falls – Nov. 9
        For information, contact Charley Rains at 208-373-0112 or crains@deq.state.id.us.

Mortgages Against Sprawl
        The Location Efficient Mortgage, or LEM, is an innovative mortgage product designed to prevent urban sprawl. People willing to rely on public transportation rather than own a personal vehicle can qualify for a home mortgage that is several thousand dollars larger than the traditional mortgage.
        Currently, LEMs are available in Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago. They will be available soon in Portland. For more information, or to use a mortgage calculator, visit http://www.locationefficiency.com.

Use It Again
        Product reuse is the topic of a Seattle meeting to be held Friday, April 28, at the King Street Center, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Discussion topics will include revisions to Minimum Functional Standards for building materials stores, online exchanges, transfer station collection programs, textile collection efforts, reusable packaging, and internal office supply exchanges.
        Julie Rhodes, executive director of the Reuse Development Organization (http://www.redo.org) will be the featured speaker, and will describe how reuse programs around the country are forming creative partnerships.
        For more information, or to request discussion of certain topics, contact Tom Watson at 206-296-4481 or tom.watson@metrokc.gov

See Alt Fuel Vehicles in Portland
        Transportation 2000: Options for a New Millennium is an April 20-21 conference and vehicle exhibit in Portland that will feature the latest information on alternative fuel vehicles, efficient fleet operations, and other transportation alternatives.
        For more information, call the Oregon Office of Energy at 503-378-4040.


Greening Downtown Seattle
        The city of Seattle has committed to build all public buildings larger than 5,000 square feet consistent with the silver rating of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System.
        The city plans to build a $222 million civic campus including a city hall, justice center, and central plaza.
        For more information about Seattle’s strategic plan, visit http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/util/
. For more information about the LEED standards, visit http://www.usgbc.org.

Got Old Computers?
        Between April and July 2000, businesses and residents in King County can donate used computer equipment for repair, reuse and recycling. Selected vendors and non-profit organizations in King County have agreed to accept computer equipment and monitors.
        Computer equipment contains hazardous materials, including lead and cadmium.
        For a list of vendors and other information, contact Green Works at 206-296-8800 or greenworks.swd@metrokc.gov.

Kempthorne Lauds P2 Efforts
        Mountain Home Air Force Base received an award Feb. 24 from Governor Dirk Kempthorne for membership in the Idaho GEMStars program. Mountain Home, the first GEMStars member, has excelled at making pollution prevention a top base priority. Examples include use of wastewater effluent for grounds irrigation, and xeriscaping to conserve water.
        Idaho GEMStars is a statewide pollution prevention education and recognition program. For more information, contact Heather Cataldo at 208-364-4038 or gemstars@uidaho.edu.

Buses Switched to Re-Refined Oil
        King County has changed its transit fleet to re-refined motor oil, the first large urban transit system in the U.S. to make the switch.
        The change was made after evaluations showed re-refined oil to be equal in price and performance to virgin oil. Visit http://www.metrokc.gov/exec/
to find out more. end

For Future Reference

1. What is a "reformer"?

A. A device that converts the DC current produced by photovoltaic cells to AC current typically used by lights, motors and other appliances.
B. A device that extracts hydrogen from hydrocarbons for use in fuel cells.
C. A noisy creature that emerges from hibernation once every four years. Behavior patterns not well understood.

2. How much floor space could be eliminated through efficiencies made possible by Internet supply chain management?

A. 100 million sq. ft.
B. 500 million sq. ft.
C. 1 billion sq. ft.

answers below
P2 News

New Resource for Semiconductor ‘Fabs’
Spotlights Energy, Water Efficiency Opportunities and Obstacles

        SEMICONDUCTOR EFFICIENCY: Semiconductor fabrication plants, or "fabs," use enormous amounts of electricity and water to manufacture the microchips that are the foundation of information technology. PPRC’s newest topical report, "Energy and Water Efficiency for Semiconductor Manufacturing," is a resource that fab EHS staff and technical assistance providers can use to explore the cost saving and productivity opportunities available by using energy and water more efficiently.
        Water and energy efficiency provide synergistic benefits. Reducing water consumption also reduces the energy consumed in preparing, pumping and handling water inside fabs. There are also product quality benefits, since more efficient operation of air handling systems increases filtration efficiency and reduces chances of product contamination.
        Here is what readers can expect to see in the report:
         A basic summary of how semiconductors are manufactured
         Energy efficiency benefits, obstacles and opportunities
         Water efficiency benefits, obstacles and opportunities
         A list of on-line and printed resources containing additional information.
        Read the report at http://www.pprc.org/pprc/pubs/topics/semicond/semicond.html.
        For more information, contact Catherine Dickerson at cdickerson@pprc.org.

        WHAT’S NEW IN P2 ON LINE: PPRC’s What’s New in P2, a monthly e-bulletin for Northwest technical assistance providers, is now on line at http://www.pprc.org/pprc/pubs/pubs.html#whatsnew. The bulletins provide bite-size summaries of new P2 resources, P2 initiatives, conferences, trainings, funding opportunities and job openings. Try your hand at the P2 Factoid Quiz of the Month. Available on line are the current month’s bulletin and archived bulletins dating back to April 1999.
        For more information, contact Jim DiPeso at jdipeso@pprc.org.

        COMING SOON – THE PORTAL: PPRC is developing a comprehensive "portal" site that will be a one-stop shop for Northwest businesses and technical assistance providers looking for comprehensive information on pollution prevention, resource efficiency and sustainability.
        The portal will include search functions; databases of contacts and resources; and gateways to regional and national partner networks, including the Waste Information Network (WIN), Industrial Technical Assistance Providers (ITAP), and the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx).
        We’ll let you know when the portal is ready to open. For more information, contact Chris Wiley at cwiley@pprc.org. end


Parting Thought
‘Numerous case studies show that companies leading the way in implementing changes that help protect the environment tend to gain disproportionate advantage, while companies perceived as irresponsible lose their franchise, their legitimacy and their shirts.’ Amory & Hunter Lovins, and Paul Hawken, in Harvard Business Review, May-June 1999

Quiz Answers

1. The correct answer is "B." If you picked "A," you were thinking of an "inverter." To find out more about clean energy technologies, visit the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Network at http://www.eren.doe.gov.

2. The correct answer is "C." Find out more at http://www.cool-companies.org/ecom/pr2.cfm


Editor & Designer: Jim DiPeso
Technical Editors: Madeline M. Sten
Web Version Format: Crispin Stutzman

Pollution Prevention Northwestis published bimonthly by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center. To receive a free electronic subscription, link to the newsletter order form or contact the PPRC, 1326 Fifth Ave.,
Suite 650, Seattle, Washington 98101
Phone: 206-352-2050; Fax: 206-352-2049
E-mail: office@pprc.org

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About the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
       The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) is a nonprofit organization that is the region's leading source of high quality, unbiased pollution prevention information. PPRC works collaboratively with business, government and other sectors to promote environmental protection through pollution prevention. PPRC serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and also takes part in projects with benefits beyond the Northwest.
       Financial support for PPRC is broad-based, with contributions from organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Northwest states, The Boeing Company, Intel Corporation and others. The PPRC accepts environmental settlement moneys to further its work on pollution prevention.
       Significant in-kind support has been provided by organizations such as: Hewlett-Packard Company, Battelle/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Battelle Seattle Research Center, Microsoft Corporation, Ross & Associates Environmental Consulting, Ltd. and The Fluke Corporation.

Staff: Madeline M. Sten, Executive Director; Catherine Dickerson, Technical Lead; Chris Wiley, Industry Outreach Lead; Jim DiPeso, Communications Director; Crispin Stutzman, Research Associate; Cathy Buller, Research Associate; Mark Sten, Project Manager - Northwest Business Survey; Scott Allison, Chief Financial Officer; Allison Greenberg, Administrative Assistant

Board of Directors: Richard Bach, President, Stoel Rives, Portland, Ore.; Joan Cloonan, Vice President, J.R. Simplot Company, Boise, Idaho; Kirk Thomson, Vice President, The Boeing Company, Seattle, Wash.; Dana Rasmussen, Secretary, Seattle, Wash.; William June, Treasurer, On Point Communications Strategists, Portland, Ore.; Rodney Brown, Marten & Brown, LLP, Seattle, Wash.; Charles Findley, U.S. EPA Region 10, Seattle, Wash; Scott Forrest, Forrest Paint Co., Eugene, Ore; Tom Korpalski, Hewlett-Packard, Boise, Idaho; Langdon Marsh, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Portland, Ore; Alan Schuyler, ARCO Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska; Jeff Allen, Oregon Environmental Council, Portland, Ore.

© 1999, Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
phone: 206-352-2050, web: www.pprc.org