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2004 Environmental Excellence Award Winners

Albany Molecular Research, Inc.

Project Name: Groundwater Cooling System

Category: Business/Innovation and Sustainability

Applicant: Albany Molecular Research, Inc., Albany, NY

Description of Project/Benefits: Albany Molecular Research, Inc., a pharmaceutical research and development company, needed an alternative cooling system to handle their cooling needs for the 128,000 square foot building housing its organic chemistry laboratory. To meet this need Albany Molecular installed an innovative open loop, non-contact geothermal cooling system - the first of its kind using ground water as condensing water in a centrifugal chiller. Groundwater at a relatively constant temperature of 52 F is pumped to the chillers and maintains a temperature differential in the chillers at about 35 F. Heated discharge water is recycled from the chillers to the aquifer via an up-gradient infiltration system constructed under the facility's parking lot. The water cools in the ground below the parking lot before again reaching the pumping wells. Groundwater is beneficially used without depleting the aquifer resource or any other adverse impacts. This project demonstrates that groundwater can be used as a resource for conserving energy and also demonstrates that non-conventional, groundwater source cooling systems are a sustainable solution that can be used in lieu of conventional systems, which are less energy efficient and less environmentally friendly.

Constructing storage tanks to regulate demand fluctuations was precluded by the facility's sensitive Pine Bush location. To regulate demand fluctuations, variable frequency drives were installed on each ground water pump, to automatically match the pumping rates at each well to chiller flow and temperature demands. This provided the flexibility needed to maximize the system's energy efficiency.

Groundwater cooling saves approximately 352,000 kWh/year compared to conventional systems. This will result in an eight-year capital investment payback and an annual savings of $35,000/yr. This project clearly demonstrates the readily transferrable benefits of non-conventional, groundwater source cooling systems. The results of the project have been shared with others in the engineering profession through presentations and publications.

Battery Park City Authority

Project Name: Battery Park City Authority - Development of Environmental Guidelines, Construction and Maintenance of Teardrop Park and Construction of the Green Building "Solaire"

Category: Government/Partnership, Sustainability, Innovation

Applicant: Battery Park City Authority, One Financial Center, 24th Fl, New York, NY 10281

Description of Projects/Benefits: The Battery Park City (BPC) Authority developed Environmental Residential Guidelines. The guidelines are divided into five categories: energy efficiency, enhanced indoor environmental quality, conserving materials and resources, operations and maintenance, and water conservation and site management. Developers have to focus on improving the overall building energy performance, reducing operating costs and addressing the environmental impact associated with energy consumption. These guidelines paved the way for the design and construction of the first residential building in the country that adheres to open space and green building requirements know as the "Solaire." Construction has already begun on the second and third green hi-rises in BPC and on parks incorporating sustainable landscape design and operational practices. In addition, using these guidelines the Authority commissioned the design, development and maintenance of Teardrop Park, a park that maintains itself a low cost to the Earth's bank of natural resources. The park uses a majority of native or indigenous plant material and the construction of the park also complied with the green building requirements of using recycled materials, recycling construction waste and using local materials. The park will be maintained by using organic fertilizers and non-chemical pest control practices. It will also employ many other sustainable measures. In creating a community of sustainable buildings and open space, at completion, there will be approximately 3 million square feet of sustainable housing and 2 million square feet of commercial green development, showcasing the feasibility and sustainability of large-scale green building. This new green city will serve as a marketing strategy and the successful employment of these guidelines will produce a model process for developers around the world to replicate, thus easing the risks associated with using the new technologies of green building.

Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council

Project Name: Canandaigua Lake Watershed

Category: Local Government/Partnership, Sustainability

Applicant: Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council

Description of Project/Benefits: Approximately 60,000 people depend on the lake as a source of drinking water, and nearly $100 million are generated from tourism and recreation. In addition, the value of the lake-influenced tax base is approaching $1 billion. Canandaigua Lake is also aesthetically valuable to the region, and recent town surveys have documented that the beauty and quality of the lake are the reasons that most people live in or visit the area. Due to all of these benefits, Canandaigua Lake and its surrounding watershed are considered the lifeblood of the region.

To preserve the lakes beauty and value to the community the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Management Plan was created in 1999 on the accepted recommendations based on a 1994 report (The State of Canandaigua Lake Watershed). This report provided extensive information on the characteristic of the watershed and provided baseline data for six major types of pollutants. This document identified many sources of these pollutants and listed over 100 recommendations for minimizing their impact. As a result fourteen watershed municipalities and non-watershed purveyors signed an agreement to adopt this plan and provide major funding for its implementation.

The goal of the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council is to maintain and enhance the high quality of Canandaigua Lake Watershed through four broad approaches: education, research, restoration/protection, and regulation.

Education

  • Partnership with Rochester Committee for scientific Information and the local citizen group
  • Creation of a website
  • Brochures, publications, workshops, kiosks, and surveys
  • Work with middle school kids to install 900 storm markers that read "Don't pollute - drains to lake"

Within the next five years, the Council will continue past projects and take on additional efforts.

  • Continue educational outreach to local schools
  • Continue to distribute publications, host workshops, update current lakeside kiosks, install new kiosks, circulate the information video, and promote the website
  • Seek out additional educational opportunities through partnerships with county and regional agencies.

Research

  • Comprehensive water quality monitoring program
  • The completed land cover inventory, encompassing the entire watershed

Restoration/Protection

  • Formation of a committee of farmers to voluntarily implement an agricultural environmental management program
  • Dredging and restoration of Sucker Brook
  • 10 Miles of road bank stabilization in four towns
  • Purchase of three thousand stream bank plants and assistance to NYSDEC and local school groups
  • $400,000 sewer extension grant to replace failing septic systems
  • Several monetary commitments
  • Stream buffer installation
  • Construction of a walking trail
  • Green space preservation efforts
  • Wetlands protection
  • Storm water management on public roads
  • Increased Waste water management

Regulation

  • The Council has been assisting its member municipalities in reviewing and monitoring development projects for their water quality impacts
  • The Council received a state grant to work with consultant, the Soil and Water Conservation District, and the southern watershed towns
  • The Council, in conjunction with the Ontario County Planning Department, has also convened the six lakeshore municipalities in order to review and update the existing docks and moorings law.

Clean Air Communities, Inc.

Project Name: Clean Air Communities, Inc.

Category: Non-Government't Organization/Innovation Partnership

Applicant: Clean Air Communities, Inc. (Glenn P. Goldstein, Program Director)

Description of Project/Benefits: Clean Air Communities (CAC) Inc. is an initiative of NESCCAF and NESCAUM to implement community-based pollution reduction and energy efficiency projects. Partners include NYSDEC, Consolidated Edison of NY, Inc., and NY Power Authority. They have submitted for approval a series of efforts, including:

  1. Advanced Truck Stop Electrification at Hunts Point Coop Market (Bronx, NY)
  2. Grid-Integrated Commercial Photovoltaic Power System, Greenpoint Mfg and Design Center, (Brooklyn, NY)- employing a photovoltaic roof system
  3. Diesel Emissions Reduction Demonstration, Seven WTC (Lower Manhattan, NY)
  4. Central Steam Conversion, Seward Park Coop Housing Corp (Manhattan, NY).

The project provides multiple benefits to multiple areas, in reducing air pollution on a regional basis. It is a great example of what a partnership can do to reduce air pollution emissions on a local, community, and even regional basis. The objectives of the ongoing partnership are to convene diverse partners in the interest of mutual benefits which include reducing urban air pollution and improving energy efficiency.

The Clean Air Communities effort provides technical, engineering, and legal expertise to local groups in order to effectively implement pollution-reducing projects. The staff solicits emission reduction project ideas from local community groups throughout New York City. The broad range of projects undertaken by a diverse regional group to improve air quality from mobile and stationary sources is exemplary of the efforts needed to improve such a large and complicated airshed.

Corning Incorporated Erwin Manufacturing Complex

Project Name: Waste Reduction/Energy Conservation/Water Conservation

Category: Business/Innovation

Applicant: Corning Incorporated Erwin Manufacturing Complex, Erwin, New York

Description of Project/Benefits: Activities at Corning Incorporated Erwin Manufacturing Complex include the receipt and handling of ceramic raw materials in preparation for producing catalytic converter components. Materials are combined, extruded, dried, and fired in ceramic kilns. The finished products are then packed for distribution. Corning Erwin developed innovative environmental improvement projects that resulted in waste reduction, and energy and water conservation. These projects include:

  • Die plating process elimination and cleanup project resulted in the development of a stainless steel die (completed in 2002). With the implementation of the new dies, the die plating process was no longer needed at the facility. This resulted in the reduction of hazardous wastes (from 65,200 lbs in 1998 to 400 lbs in 2003) that were generated as a by-product of the process.
  • Beneficial partnerships for reuse of reject-fired ware. Ceramic ware that did not met quality standards was previously disposed of as solid waste. This reject-fired ware is now used for material in highway construction projects and as a daily landfill cover (saving the landfill $43,000 annually in labor and material costs).
  • Internal reuse of reject green ware. In 2003, approximately 5.6 million pounds of reject green ware was reused, which resulted in raw material savings, a reduction in landfill waste, and reduced waste disposal costs.
  • Increase material utilization rate. By re-engineering the size of the logs in which the ceramic material is used, resulted in reduced waste generation of 390,000 pounds. Extrusion hardware changes are required when switching the extrusion process to different production runs. After a hardware change, it is necessary to purge air from the system to produce acceptable logs. One of Corning's identified EMS targets was to reduce the amount of purge time/purge material. Reducing the amount of material that was purged through the system has resulted in a reduction of 45,000 pounds of waste in 2003.

Corning has also pursued numerous innovative environmental improvement projects to reduce energy and water consumption. Energy conservation projects were identified for both facility utilities and various production related activities. Water conservation projects were identified on the production site that reduced water consumption and minimized wastewater. These projects have resulted in conserving over 105 million standard cubic feet of natural gas annually, in reducing water consumption by over half a million gallons of water per day, and annually saving an estimated 4.28 million kW of electricity.

Rochester Institute of Technology

Project Name: Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies

Category: Non-Government/Innovation

Applicant: Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York

Description of Project/Benefits: The Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies (CIMS) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has been providing technical assistance and applied research and development to companies, trade associations, and government agencies interested in re-manufacturing and resource recovery since 1992. CIMS has recently created and implemented a unique and innovative process for recovering parts used in copiers around the world, thereby conserving natural resources and reducing solid waste transferred to landfills. The basis for this project began with a research project conducted by CIMS that investigated the reusability of two components that are typically replaced in the toner cartridge re-manufacturing process.

One of the components under investigation was the toner cartridge wiper blade. The wiper blade is a sheet metal stamping with a bonded urethane or silicone blade. The function of the wiper blade is to clean undeveloped toner from the imaging drum. The Wiper Blade Edge Analyzer is a patent pending device developed by CIMS that inspects the working edge of the urethane wiper blade for minute defects that are invisible to the naked eye and enables the reuse of this part. The wiper blade is routinely discarded as part of the re-manufacturing process since no cost-effective method to assess the component quality was previously available. CIMS licensed the inspection technology to a NYS imaging products vendor. The reclaimed wiper blade is an innovation for several reasons.

First, the idea that a wiper blade is reusable met significant resistance within the toner cartridge re-manufacturing industry. The knowledge that blades could be easily damaged and the absence of any proven inspection technology generated many skeptics. The independent and unbiased nature of CIMS was instrumental in convincing customers to pilot the system. Secondly, research at CIMS has shown that a reclaimed wiper blade reduces the amount of wear on the organic photoconducting (OPC) drum. The reclaimed blade's less aggressive edge does not abrade the OPC drum as much as a new blade. Based on the reduced wear, the possibility of reusing the OPC drum is now being investigated.

The third aspect of innovation demonstrated during this project is the collaboration between academia and industry to simultaneously create new technology, create new jobs and expand the tax base, all while reducing the amount of material going to landfills. As of July, 2004, the Wiper Blade Edge Analyzer has enabled nearly 600,000 wiper blades to be diverted from landfills. In the four facilities that are analyzing and recovering these wiper blades, an average of 100,000 blades are being processed every month. This translates into almost 24 tons of metal per month.

Waste Management & Recycling Products, Inc.

Project Name: Waste Management & Recycling Products, Inc.

Category: Business/Partnerships

Applicant: Waste Management & Recycling Products, Inc., Schenectady, New York

Description of Project/Benefits: Established in 1989, Waste Management & Recycling Products (WMRP) has helped hundreds of organizations to establish recycling programs for electronic waste. These programs have resulted in the diversion of thousands of tons of this rapidly growing stream of electronic waste.

WMRP recovers and recycles surplus computers and electronics through a comprehensive process of evaluating, sorting, demanufacturing, testing, refurbishing, reselling and recycling. In September 1999, the company opened "The Technology Surplus Store" that has become a low cost retail outlet for a wide variety of reusable electronics equipment. In March 2003, the company announced the start of a new recycling program for fluorescent bulbs and ballasts which are a source of mercury and tend to be problematic if disposed of in a landfill. WMRP expanded its services to include data destruction, an increasing need to guard against identity and intellectual property theft.

WMRP expects to recycle approximately 1,500 tons of electronics material in the year 2004 and, since its inception WMRP has recycled over 5,000 tons of electronic waste that may have otherwise been land filled or disposed of by other less environmentally sound means. The current recycling process consists of using a semi-automated demanufacturing line and an improved technical evaluation area that has greatly reduced the cost per ton to recycle this material. Conveyors, material handling equipment, and state-of-the-art tools maximize the efficiency of the demanufacturing process. This equipment allows disassembly workers to stay at their workstation in an ergonomically sound position.

WMRP serves state agencies, local school districts, universities, hospitals, industrial, manufacturing and retail, and individual consumers. In addition, WMRP has held collection events for a number of municipalities. WMRP has also developed strategic partnerships with other electronic recyclers, which allows the company to provide services on a national basis.


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