The United States Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $40,438 grant to OCSS to provide pollution prevention assistance to organizations throughout the Ozarks. The Source Reduction Assistance grant will allow OCSS to work directly with 13 entities to assess their current environmental impacts, develop solutions to reduce those impacts, and evaluate the results of the implemented projects. Entities participating in the program will include manufacturers, hotels, food suppliers, healthcare providers and municipal government.
Utilizing the Ozarks GreenScore evaluation tool, OCSS staff will work directly with the organizations’ employees to determine the current environmental impacts of their operations. After which, OCSS staff and Drury students will conduct a thorough onsite assessment to identify opportunities for reducing a range of impacts; including, solid waste, hazardous materials, energy, water, wastewater, and carbon emissions. The assistance will also provide an opportunity for OCSS to help organizations develop management strategies for monitoring impacts, implementing solutions, and evaluating results. These management strategies will then allow the entities to identify the current costs of their environmental impacts and then track the cost-savings associated with each implemented solution. Once on-site programs have been established, OCSS will provide on-going technical assistance to each participant. This assistance will include the opportunity to place Drury students on-site to help develop and implement the identified solutions.
During the course of the project, participating organizations will report back to OCSS on the various environmental metrics. In addition, towards the end of the project period, each entity will once again complete an OGS assessment. In doing so, OCSS will be able to evaluate not only the direct reductions in environmental impacts created through the program, but will also be able to determine how the program improved overall environmental performance. The results of the program will be reported in an aggregated form and will be accompanied by 3 in-depth case studies highlighting the successes and challenges of organizational efforts. These reports will be provided to the EPA, and will also be contributed to the National P2 Results Data System .