By EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Deputy Assistant Administrator Jennie Romer
As a sustainability expert, author, and the first-ever Deputy Assistant Administrator for Pollution Prevention at EPA, I’m thrilled to announce the opening of nominations for the 2023 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are a way for EPA to bring attention to groundbreaking scientific solutions that are making a positive impact on human health and the environment.
These awards wouldn’t be possible without the partnership of the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute. ACS continues to be a true change agent, working to integrate green chemistry across the field of chemistry.
Over the past 26 years, the innovative technologies recognized by these awards have – each year – eliminated the use of nearly one billion pounds of hazardous chemicals and solvents and saved over 20 billion gallons of water, a remarkable achievement that we should all be very proud of. These technologies have also eliminated nearly eight billion pounds of annual emissions of carbon dioxide and its equivalents, helping to combat climate change.
These achievements have real impacts in our communities. Too many of our communities, particularly those whose residents are predominantly of color, indigenous or low-income, continue to suffer from disproportionately high pollution levels and the resulting adverse health and environmental impacts.
Jennie Romer. Photo Credit: EPAI’ve seen this inequity firsthand. I grew up in Richmond, California, which is home to a lot of heavy industry, including one of the biggest oil refineries in the United States. Those industries employ a lot of people in my hometown, but many have also left a legacy of pollution that has impacted some people a lot more than others.
It was this history of environmental injustice that led President Biden, on his first day in office, to issue an executive order directing federal agencies to embed equity and environmental justice into their programs and services. We’re very happy to be part of the effort to find innovative solutions to address this critical issue.
The Green Chemistry Challenge Awards are part of a broader commitment to prevent or reduce pollution before it’s created in order to protect human health and the environment.
I ask that each of you continue to support us in our efforts to right these historic wrongs and to help shape and advance green chemistry and the field of pollution prevention. This work has the greatest impact in the communities that have suffered the most from pollution.
I look forward to receiving your nominations for the 2023 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. EPA will accept nominations until December 9th. We’ll announce the winners next summer.
EPA has many resources to help those looking to apply this year. Visit the EPA Green Chemistry webpage to learn about past award winners, view recorded webinars with more details on how to apply, and read directions on how to submit entries.
We’ll also be conducting a webinar on Wednesday, September 28, 2022 to educate stakeholders on the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards and the nomination process. Register for the webinar here.
I look forward to learning about the pioneering technologies you and your colleagues have produced and how they have positively impacted human health and the environment. I wish all of you good luck on the 2023 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards!