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NYS Governor's Awards for Pollution Prevention - Loral Federal Systems

Loral Federal Systems, Owego, NY

Background

Loral Federal Systems (LFS), located in Owego, provides advanced technology solutions in research, hardware and software development, systems integration, manufacturing and logistics support for a variety of federal, commercial and international programs. Approximately 3300 employees staff the 1.7 million-square-foot campus. The incorporation of pollution prevention principles throughout the facility has enabled Loral Federal Systems to significantly reduce wastewater discharges, air emissions, and both solid and hazardous waste.

Methodologies and Procedures

Ion Exchange

A new industrial wastewater treatment plant was installed utilizing ion exchange technology for primary treatment which provided significant benefits. The use of chelating ion exchange as the primary treatment for the bulk of the wastewater flowing to the industrial wastewater treatment plant provides significant benefits over the lime precipitation - solids contact clarification process previously used. The ion exchange process treats water without the addition of large quantities of treatment chemicals which results in the sludge being higher in copper concentration; the effluent being lower in solids content, i.e., cleaner; and the plant being easier to operate. Additional sludge processing capabilities dry the sludge to between 70 and 90% solids which greatly reduces the quantity of sludge being shipped. The high copper concentration allows the sludge to be reclaimed for its metals. The treatment process has proven itself so effective the treatment plant now treats all industrial wastewater from the site's plating operations, including complexed copper bearing wastes, which had been previously sent for off site treatment.

Reduction of Ozone-depleting Substances

The reduction, and subsequent elimination, of Ozone Depleting Substances required a coordinated effort among engineering and manufacturing personnel, along with customer negotiations. Eliminating the manufacturing use of chlorofluorocarbons and other Class I Ozone Depleting chemicals involved efforts on several different fronts. Manufacturing and process engineering personnel combined their work to reduce the number of places these solvents were used and to lower emissions from each. However, to eliminate the use of these solvents, the Department of Defense had to change the Military specifications which required the use of specific cleaning solvents. LFS was an active member of the Joint Electronic Device Engineering Council Committee on Microcircuit Technology, and its ad hoc Committee for Ozone Depleting Chemical Elimination, which was instrumental in convincing the Department of Defense to change these requirements from chemical-specific, to performance oriented standards of cleanliness.

Incentive programs have rewarded cash to employees for ideas which result in money savings for any aspect of business operations, including pollution prevention. Quality Improvement teams, comprised of employees from various areas, have investigated overall processes, such as chemical ordering and stocking, waste accumulation and disposal, as well as individual manufacturing or facility processes. Smaller "mini-teams" have focused on individual department or area processes to reduce any costs associated such as electrical energy, water usage, chemical usage or fuel consumption. All LFS employees are directly involved with the site's solid waste recycling program, which has reduced the quantity of solid waste sent to the landfill by 74% from 1988 to 1994. Through a variety of communications channels, employees are instructed on proper recycling procedures and encouraged to participate in the program.

Benefits

From 1990 to 1994, LFS had documented more than $2,8000,000 in savings related to reduced or eliminated chemical usage, reduced off site waste disposal, and chemical substitution.

The pollution prevention programs have resulted in cleaner water, emissions reductions, and less landfill space used.

Any comments or questions?
Contact us at: 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1750;
518-402-9469 (phone); 518-402-9168 (fax)

This page was last modified March 8, 1999


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