Save the date for the 2020 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference

The 2020 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference (ECEC20) will be on April 21-22, 2020 at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign, IL.

The conference will feature presentations and posters on the latest in emerging contaminant research, policies, and outreach in the soil, water, and air. In addition, there will be plenty of opportunities for discussion and networking with those interested in all aspects of emerging contaminants in the environment.

Upcoming Dates

  • Call for abstracts opens September 4, 2019
  • Registration opens November 2019

ISTC kicks off Fall 2019 Sustainability Seminars in September

ISTC’s Fall 2019 Sustainability Seminar series kicks off in September with two talks.

On Thursday, September 5, JS Rhodes, Director of Growth at Solar Sun’s Recycling, will share talking points on solar module markets and end-of-life issues. Then there will be opportunities for a two-way discussion on these topics. Follow Rhodes on Facebook with #solarprideworldwide.

On Thursday, September 19, Andrew Turner,Associate Professor in Geochemistry, Pollution and the Environment at the University of Plymouth, UK, will discuss the origin and recycling of hazardous chemicals in plastic consumer products.

All seminars are held in the Steven J. Warner Conference Room at ISTC (One Hazelwood Dr. in Champaign, find directions on our web site). Metered and bike parking are available and the CUMTD’s Yellow bus line stops one block away.

The seminars will also be simulcast as webinars for those unable to attend in person. Register for the webinars here:

View archives of previous sustainability seminars on our web site.

ISTC researcher demonstrates nutrient reduction project at Fulton County Field Day

On July 16, farmers and researchers came together at Fulton County Field Day. The event allowed researchers to showcase peer-reviewed applied science and demonstrate to working farmers that these conservation practices work. Individual farmers could then take aspects of what they learned and apply it in on their land.

ISTC researcher Wei Zheng demonstrated the system he has developed  for using biochar to recycle nutrients from tile drainage systems. The project is funded through a grant from the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC).

The event was hosted by the Illinois Farm Bureau, Fulton County Farm Bureau, Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Prairie Research Institute and University of Illinois Extension. Read more about the event in FarmWeek.

 

 

 

 

ISTC will feature biochar research at Fulton County Field Day

ISTC’s Wei Zheng will showcase his research project “Designer Biochar to Capture and Recycle Phosphorous from Tile Drainage Systems” at the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Fulton County Field Day on July 16.

Zheng and team have proposed to combine a woodchip bioreactor with designer biochar at the tile drain outlet to capture phosphorus within the biochar. The biochar can be removed from the bioreactor system periodically and spread over the field as a form of slow release phosphorus fertilizer. They predict that the system will prevent excess nutrients from the phosphorus from entering local waterways and, if used throughout Illinois farmlands, will help reduce Illinois nutrient load to the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico.

Besides an inside look at Zheng’s research, the Field Day will feature additional research tours on vegetative buffer strips and drainage water recycling at the MWRD site, 15779 County Road 5, Cuba, IL. Registration starts at 11 a.m., followed by the tours from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Attendance is free, and lunch will be provided. Pre-registration is still available by calling the Fulton County Farm Bureau at 309-547-3011 or emailing at fultonfb@att.net.

Food and beverage manufacturers learn new sustainability approaches at ISTC workshop

On June 20, twenty-one people from seven different food manufacturing companies gathered in Champaign to learn how to take sustainability to the next level at a workshop sponsored by ISTC’s Technical Assistance Program, the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC), Ameren Illinois, and Energy Resources Group, Inc.

Speakers updated the  attendees on:

  • energy efficiency opportunities for food manufacturers
  • ways to use renewables to make facilities net-zero enery
  • improving water conservation by ensurinng proper water chemistry in water and wastewater treatment systems
  • case studies highlighting waste reduction and diversion best practices
  • safer sanitation methods through effective alternatives
  • LEAN for food and beverage manufacturing

Two companies requested a free technical assistance visit during the workshop. If you work for a food or beverage manufacturer and want to improve your operating performance, decrease your costs, and use fewer toxic chemicals, schedule your free on-site assessment today.

Download the workshop presentations here.

Highlights from the 2019 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment conference

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant co-hosted the 2019 Emerging Contaminants Conference (ECEC19) on May 21-22 in Champaign, IL. The fourth annual conference featured presentations on the latest in emerging contaminant research, policies, and outreach strategies.

This year’s conference focused on a variety of pollutants in water, soil, and air ranging from pharmaceuticals, viruses, algal toxins and endocrine disruptors to pesticides, flame retardant chemicals, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and microplastics.

Scenes from the 2019 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference

The conference speakers included:

  • Susan Richardson from the University of South Carolina, who discussed the state of the art and new discoveries in identification and analysis of emerging contaminants;
  • Thomas Bruton from the Green Science Policy Center, who encouraged attendees to move beyond a traditional risk management approach which deals with individual substances to think about emerging contaminants using a class-based approach. This  method would eliminate the need for testing and regulating each individual contaminant in a particular group of chemicals;
  • Robert Hale from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, who explained that microplastics and megaplastics on land are just as big a concern as in water and that the many additives plastics make it very difficult to look at the effects they could potentially have on human and animal health.
  • Krista Wigginton from the University of Michigan, who spoke about new detection methods for viruses in drinking water; and
  • Katie Nyquist from the Minnesota Department of Public Health, who discussed how to effectively communicate with different audiences about the issue of emerging contaminants and the importance of getting good science out in the media to combat misinformation.

Other speakers addressed issues related to the public’s perceptions on plastics pollution; increased development of antimicrobial resistant bacteria; modeling contaminants; and new rapid detection methods for PFASs.

Poster session topics included microplastics as vectors for chemical contamination; concerns about nanoparticles in wastewater effluent; child care providers’ knowledge about environmental influences on children’s health; the impacts of emerging contaminants on amphibians and fish; and pharmaceutical disposal practices among veterinarians.

Learn more about the presentations and posters in the conference program booklet. Slides will be available on the conference website within the next two weeks. Details about specific ISTC research on emerging contaminants can be found on our website.

Illinois EPA Announces Spring 2019 Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events

Illinois EPA has announced scheduled household hazardous waste collections for Spring 2019. Illinois EPA holds household hazardous waste collections  to encourage residents to safely dispose of unused or leftover toxic products commonly found in homes.

Ten collection sites have been confirmed for the spring. IEPA is finalizing an  additional four locations. Details for the additional collections will be announced when they become available.

DATE LOCATION ADDRESS COSPONSOR(s)
March 23, 2019
(COMPLETED)
Gibson City
Ford County
115 South Sangamon Avenue
Gibson City, Illinois
Ford County Soil and Water Conservation District
April 13, 2019 Brookfield
Cook County
Brookfield Zoo, North parking lot
8400 West 31st Street
Brookfield, Illinois
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago;
Brookfield Zoo
April 13, 2019 Griggsville
Pike County
Western Illinois Fairgrounds
516 South Oak Street
Griggsville, Illinois
Pike County Economic Development Corporation
April 27, 2019 Effingham
Effingham County
Village Square Mall parking lot
South Banker
Effingham, Illinois
City of Effingham, Emergency Management Agency
May 4, 2019 Havana
Mason County
Neiman Foods
parking lot
504 South Promenade Street
Havana, Illinois 62644
University of Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit
May 18, 2019 East Moline
Rock Island County
Rock Island County Fairgrounds
4200 Archer Drive
East Moline, Illinois 61244
Rock Island County Waste Management Agency
May 18, 2019 Sparta
Randolph County
World Shooting and Recreation Complex
1 Main Event Lane
Sparta, Illinois 62286
Randolph County
June 1, 2019 Cobden
Union County
Cobden Community Park
Locust Street
Cobden, Illinois 62286
Village of Cobden
June 8, 2019 Sycamore
DeKalb County
TBD DeKalb County Farm Bureau
June 15, 2019 Roanoke
Woodford County
Woodford County Highway Dept.
301 South Main Street
Roanoke, Illinois 61561
Woodford County Health Department
June 29, 2019 Morrison
Whiteside County
Whiteside County Highway Dept.
18819 Lincoln Road
Morrison, Illinois 61270
Whiteside County
TBD East Dundee
Kane County
TBD Lebanon
St. Clair County
TBD Harrisburg
Saline County

 

Note:  One-day collections are open to all Illinois residents and operate from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the above scheduled Saturdays.

What items can I bring for disposal?

Items that will be accepted include chemical cleaners, oil-based paints, thinners, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, kerosene, weed killers, insecticides and pesticides, old or outdated medication, and similar hazardous household products. Fluorescent and other high-intensity discharge lamps may also be brought to the collections.

Items not accepted include latex paint, explosives, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, agricultural chemicals and business wastes.

IEPA has a complete list of household hazardous wastes that are and are not accepted at http://www.epa.illinois.gov/topics/waste-management/waste-disposal/household-hazardous-waste/acceptable-wastes/index.

Are there year-round collection facilities?

The following long-term collection facilities are available for disposal of household hazardous waste throughout the year:

For questions concerning the Illinois EPA’s one-day or long-term collections, please contact the Waste Reduction Unit of the Agency at 217-524-3300.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Schedules are also available on the Illinois EPA website at https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/waste-management/waste-disposal/household-hazardous-waste/Pages/collections.aspx.

How do I schedule a collection event in my community?

If your community wants to host a collection event, download an application or apply online.

IEPA accepts applications each fiscal year, keeps them active indefinitely, and DOES NOT CHOOSE on a first come, first serve basis.

IEPA categorizes applications into potential large, medium or small events then ranks them by a point system based on certain criteria. They choose events each spring and fall by using the ranking system. They determine the number of collections based on available funding.

For more information, visit https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/waste-management/waste-disposal/household-hazardous-waste/Pages/default.aspx.

Food and beverage manufacturers discover new efficiency approaches at ISTC workshop

On March 27, twenty-five people from thirteen Illinois companies met in Collinsville to learn how to take sustainability to the next level at a workshop sponsored by ISTC’s Technical Assistance Program, the Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC), Ameren Illinois, and Energy Resources Group, Inc.

Speakers updated the  attendees on:

  • energy efficiency opportunities for food manufacturers
  • ways to use renewables to make facilities net-zero enery
  • improving water conservation by ensurinng proper water chemistry in water and wastewater treatment systems
  • case studies highlighting waste reduction and diversion best practices
  • safer sanitation methods through effective alternatives
  • LEAN for food and beverage manufacturing

All attendees were offered the opportunity for a free on-site assessment.

Another workshop is planned for the Champaign-Urbana area later this year.

GLRPPR co-hosts spray paint efficiency webinar

On March 28, the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable, the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center, and the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center co-hosted a spray paint efficiency webinar. The webinar was funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Attendees learned about EPA’s 6H surface coating regulation and the spray efficiency techniques required. They also learned how simpler refinements in techniques can improve paint quality and maximize transfer efficiency.

The event benefits painters, supervisors, trainers, and technical assistance providers and offers the opportunity to receive a certificate of course completion for painters valid for five years from the date of issue.

Find the webinar recording and links to additional information on the GLRPPR Archive LibGuide.

Registration is Open for Emerging Contaminants Conference

Join us on May 21-22 for the 2019 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference (ECEC19). Registration will be open until May 3. View the draft agenda on the ECEC19 website.

About the Conference

ECEC19 will be held on May 21-22, 2019, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign, IL. This year the conference will expand beyond the aquatic environment to also include air and soil studies along with effects on human and animal health.

The conference will feature presentations and posters on the latest in emerging contaminant research, policies, and outreach. In addition, there will be plenty of opportunities for discussion and networking with those interested in all aspects of emerging contaminants in the environment.

Researchers, educators, businesses, government officials, regulatory agencies, policy makers, outreach and extension professionals, environmental groups, members of the general public, and medical, veterinary, and public health professionals are encouraged to attend the conference.

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant are cohosting this conference.

Keynote Speakers

  • Thomas Bruton – PFAS Research and Policy Lead, Green Science Policy Institute
  • Robert C. Hale – Professor of Marine Science, Virginia Institute of Marine Science
  • Susan D. Richardson – Arthur Sease Williams Professor of Chemistry, University of South Carolina

Read more about the keynotes.

Panelists

  • Thomas Burton – PFAS Research and Policy Lead, Green Science Policy Institute
  • Iseult Lynch – Professor and Chair of Environmental Nanosciences at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham
  • Yujie Men – Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Katie Nyquist – Principal Planner for the Contaminants of Emerging Concern Initiative at the Minnesota Department of Health
  • Heiko Schoenfuss – Director of Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory and Professor of Anatomy at St. Cloud State University
  • Krista Wigginton – Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan

Read more about the panelists.