The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is honored to win the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2023 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award with the Pollution Prevention Resource Center for leadership in advancing safer chemicals and the EPA Safer Choice program.
On Oct. 2, 2023, EPA announced 30 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners, recognizing their achievements in the design, manufacture, and the selection and use of cleaners, detergents, and other products with safer chemicals. EPA states that the Safer Choice program helps consumers and purchasers of facilities, such as schools and office buildings, find cleaning and other products containing chemical ingredients that are safer alternatives for people, pets and the planet.
“The award recognizes the work DEQ has done with the Pollution Prevention Resource Center to protect Oregon’s environment by finding alternatives to chemical products on shelves at stores around the state through,” Lisa Cox, DEQ’s senior toxics reduction analyst said.
DEQ’s Toxics Use Reduction Program finds projects that can reduce harmful environmental effects of chemicals by managing hazardous materials through all stages of their life. “Partnering with Safer Choice supports DEQ’s goal to protect people in Oregon from toxic chemicals by driving the adoption of safer ingredients in products,” said Cox.
DEQ’s Safer Choice award projects provided direct assistance to businesses for:
- Certifying six new products under Safer Choice.
- Certifying four ingredients in CleanGredients, a database of chemical ingredients pre-approved to meet EPA’s Safer Choice Standard.
- Providing direct technical assistance to fifteen manufacturers and one retailer.
- Providing guidance in reformulation to two product manufacturers.
- Reimbursing four manufacturers $17,500 total to support them with profiler fees.
- Reaching more than 100 manufacturers.
- Building a database of relevant manufacturers and distributors in Oregon.
According to EPA, this program has successfully transformed the marketplace by incentivizing major brands and retailers to reformulate their products with safer alternatives.
Watch this fun video from the staff who accepted the award on behalf of DEQ and PPRC.
Jennifer K. Flynt, public affairs specialist