Doug Neidigh
OCSS Director
Office: (417) 873-7641

Pollution Prevention Internship Program

Connecting P2 Resources with Organizations in the Ozarks

The OCSS Pollution Prevention (P2) Intern Program provides organizations with the resources necessary to research, and even implement, a specific project to help the entity conserve energy and/or reduce its waste streams (i.e. air emissions, water emissions, solid waste or hazardous waste). These efforts not only reduce environmental impacts, but they also allow the business to save money.

Companies benefit from receiving the much needed resources to investigate and implement opportunities, while students receive the “hands-on” experience to assist them in their future professions. Undergraduate or graduate students from area colleges serve as the program’s interns and have the opportunity to earn academic credit for their efforts.

How the Program Operates

Organizations wishing to participate in the P2 Intern Program will need to have a specific pollution prevention project in mind. In order to assist with project development, OCSS staff can provide preliminary P2 services to help identify possible projects for use in the P2 Intern Program.

Once a project has been selected, the organization will need to submit a brief application to OCSS’ offices. Once an application has been received, OCSS staff will select student(s) to potentially work on the project. The entity will then have the opportunity to make the final selection of the intern. Prior to beginning work, the intern will receive P2 training from OCSS staff to help ensure the highest quality outcome as possible.

Participant Obligations

Organizations hosting a P2 intern will have discretion on whether or not to provide monetary compensation for the student. Nonetheless, the host entity must be willing to provide an on-site supervisor for the student intern. This on-site supervision will be accompanied by continual oversight of the intern by OCSS staff. The host entity will also need to provide the student with a minimum of 300 hours of work over the course of the semester and/or summer break.

Interns will be required to present and submit a final project report to both the hosting organization and OCSS. This report will include a summary of the work completed, as well as final recommendations. More specifically, the report should cover the necessary monetary and other resources, projected cost savings, return on investment projections, and volume of waste or energy reduced.

OCSS will provide an initial pool of interns from which the entity may choose. In addition, OCSS will provide pre-project training and off-site supervision of the intern during the project period.

Program Results

St. John’s Hospital – Springfield

During the summer of 2009, St. John’s Hospital (SJH) in Springfield, MO hosted a P2 Intern. SJH is a 1.7 million square feet facility and is licensed for over 1,000 patient beds. The student was a Drury University Environmental Sciences major. The goals of the internship were to:

  • Formalize energy baselines for the hospital
  • Evaluate existing energy and waste reduction projects
  • Recommend energy conservation and waste reduction opportunities
  • Develop an environmental statement

The results of the internship included:

  • The completion of a formal energy consumption baseline for the hospital that tracks energy efficiency per square footage and Adjusted Patients Days (APD). The tool will be used as an annual metric and includes consumption of electricity, natural gas and water.
  • A project to reduce the consumption of over 7,125,000 gallons per year of water by reusing condensate from 7 air handling units for make-up water in cooling towers. This project has a payback of 6.5 months.
  • Identification of other waste reduction opportunities included modification of building entry procedures to improve use of revolving door to reduce energy consumption, rain water harvesting opportunities during future renovations or expansions, and improved paper and plastic recycling for the facility. Recommendations for the building entry opportunities were implemented during the internship.
  • Development of an Environmental Policy for use with the facility mission statement.

"The program was a tremendous success. We have shared some of the highlights of the recommendations and findings with some of our other hospitals; they are delighted. For the summer of 2009 the intern has worked at St. John's Health System to formalize our energy and waste baselines, evaluate existing energy and waste reductions projects and quantify those reductions. The intern also developed an environmental/sustainability statement and aided in development of our policy."

David Gollhofer
Director of Maintenance and Engineering
St. Johns Hospital

How to Participate

OCSS is currently looking for companies interested in participating in this program.

For more information contact:
Doug Neidigh, REM
Program Manager
Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions (OCSS)
Drury University
(417) 873-7641