California Green Business Program Coordination
EFC9 worked with the Bay Area and California Green Business Programs since 2000 and acted as the Region IX Coordinator since 2003. The primary focus of that effort was two-fold, 1) to work with new counties and states to help them develop their programs along Bay Area lines and 2) to help the California Green Business Counties develop a governance structure so that they could coordinate themselves and counties establishing new programs. Since that time, EFC9 helped the California Programs develop their own bylaws and meeting guidelines and they have been running their own coordinated efforts for several years. In addition, in 2009, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has stepped up their support and provided staff to travel to counties starting new programs to support their efforts. In short, our work proved successful over the years, and the California program is now thriving and growing.
To learn more about starting a Green Business Program, visit our Green Business Page.
California Chemical Policy
EFC9 organized and held the California Chemical Policy Symposium on March 16-17, 2006. This symposium built on a series of meetings that explored integrated chemical policy initiatives including the European Union's REACH initiativ, green chemistry, and, more broadly, comprehensive environmental planning and investment approaches at the state, national and international levels. Over 120 members of the nonprofit, industry and government communities attended from throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Extensive breakout discussions were held and a number of action items were identified including continuing the dialogue, connecting the participants and providing educational information. In order to provide follow-up and keep the conversation flowing, EFC9 will continue to assist Symposium participants and other interested stakeholders in those areas.Electronic Waste Initiative - Brominated Flame Retardants
EFC9 and U.S. EPA Region 9 Pollution Prevention (P2) Team and P2 and the Solid Waste Section held two multi-stakeholder charrettes in 2002 and 2003 focused on brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and their alternatives in the electronic and foam furniture industries. Brominated flame retardants are a class of brominated chemicals used in electronics to reduce flammability. Some of the brominated flame retardants have established adverse health effects and there is increasing concern about the levels of BFRs found in human and animal blood and tissue. The primary purpose of the meetings was to facilitate a wide and open exchange of information on the uses and potential environmental and human health impacts of, and alternatives to, brominated flame retardants in electronics.
Alameda Center for Environmental Technologies (ACET).
EFC9 helped establish the Alameda Center for Environmental Technologies; a small business incubator focused on the promotion of environmental technology. The incubator has been open for over two years and accommodates twelve private environmental companies and three non-profit organizations including EFC9.
Phoenix Brick Yard - Arizona
In 2003, USEPA and Maricopa County asked EFC9 to organize a charrette to address problems between the South Phoenix Community and the Phoenix Brick Yard (PBY). The Phoenix Brick Yard sits in the middle of a low-income neighborhood in which residents have complained of odor and respiratory distress. PBY's primary emissions of concern are hydrogen fluoride (HF) and hydrogen chloride (HCl). HF and HCl gas are formed and emitted during the brick firing process and can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory tract at elevated levels; neither compound is considered a carcinogen. The community believes that the Phoenix Brick Yard may be a factor in health issues experienced by nearby neighbors.
On May 24, 2004, concerned stakeholders met in a Phoenix Arizona charrette to discuss financial and other solutions to HCL, HF and particulate emissions from the Phoenix Brickyard. As a result of the charrette a number of action items were proposed and follow up meeting dates have been set. EFC9 has facilitated these meetings, and tracked the progress of proposed actions and will continue to do so until the major issues have been resolved.
Arizona Green Business Program Facilitation
EFC9 is assisted EPA Region IX in its efforts to serve state and local governments that are searching for new approaches to improve their business assistance and P2 programs. EFC9 began this program by helping the State of Arizona launch their Green Business Program.
Sustainable Urban Environments Initiative
In 2000, EFC9 hosted a charrette to explore opportunities to attract environmentally favorable development to the Bayview/Hunters Point community of San Francisco. As follow-up to this program EFC9 worked to establish an Environmental Incubator in the Bayview community.
EPA/EFC9 Mini-Grants Program for Local Government
In partnership with USEPA, EFC9 administered the 2001/2002 EPA-EFC9 P2 "Mini-Grants" Program for Local Government. The purpose of the EPA-EFC 9 "Mini Grants" program was to promote Pollution Prevention in local government. Grant recipients included:
- Marin County, CA, to develop the Novato Green Business Program.
- City of Los Angeles to develop a Mercury Medical Equipment Product Substitution Project.
- Humboldt County, CA to develop a Multi-agency Mercury Reduction Assistance Program.
Clean Air Investment Fund
Partnering with the New Mexico EFC, EFC9 worked with USEPA Region VI to help develop a Clean Air Investment Fund (similar to emissions trading) in the El Paso/Juarez/Las Cruces airshed. The project was a joint US/Mexico effort to reduce emissions from industry on both sides of the border.Barriers and Incentives to Printers' Participation in the Bay Area Green Business Program
Partnering with the Bay Area Green Business Program, Alameda Green Business Program, Department of Toxic Substances Control, and the Integrated Waste Management Board, EFC9 examined the barriers and incentives to printers' participation in the Bay Area Green Business Program. The report is available on our publications page.
Wet Cleaning Projects
Promoting a Vocational Wet Cleaning Training Program in State Correctional Facilities
EFC9 worked with Soledad Correctional Facility to identify and secure program funding for a vocational wet cleaning training program. The program was launched in June, 2001.
Preparing a Bay Area Wet Cleaning Guide
To promote consumer awareness about the value of wet cleaning and to increase the number of wet cleaning establishments in the Bay Area, EFC9 prepared the first ever Pocket Guide to Bay Area Wet Cleaners. The Guide's production was supported by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and over 24,000 Guides have been distributed in the Bay Area.
Building on our initial success with wet cleaning, EFC9 prepared a report for State correctional facilities that details State pollution programs and provides guidance for training and initiating P2 programs.
- EFC9 provided leadership and guidance for the national EPA sponsored Strategic Goals Program.
- EFC9 worked with numerous stakeholders to help create a pollution prevention loan program for metal finishers in the Los Angeles area.
EFC9 worked to secure financial support from the Home Depot in order to rehabilitate a vacant lot adjacent to the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House. The new Children's Garden directly serves about 60 children from the nearby Potrero Hill Housing Projects as well as the surrounding Potrero Hill neighborhood.
Working with the Alameda Center for Environmental Technology (ACET) and Savoie Technolac, a French technology innovation Centre, EFC9 helped establish an environmental technology trade initiative between San Francisco Bay Area and French environmental entrepreneurs.
In cooperation with ACET and the Department of Energy, EFC9 co-sponsored the December, 2000 conference – Land Transfer and Long Term Management of Contaminated Federal Facilities. EFC9 session reports are available on our website.
Working with the Syracuse University EFC as the lead, EFC9 and the New Mexico EFC traveled to Vermont in July 2000 to:
- Review and assess funding programs available for water and wastewater systems, and
- Assess how programs can be delivered more effectively.
In December 1997, EFC9 held its first charrette series that focused on the process of environmental technology transfer between the National Laboratories located in East San Francisco Bay and small environmental entrepreneurs. Building on the results of that charrette, EFC9 in partnership with the Alameda Center for Environmental Technologies (ACET), has been working with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop an effective model to transfer environmental technologies from the National Laboratories.
As part of our efforts to provide services to the environmental industry, EFC9 has tracked venture capital investment in the industry since 1997. Our venture capital report is updated annually.