Printing Industry Pollution Prevention Workshop a Success

On May 4, 2001, the University of Arizona (UA) Dean Carter Binational Center for Environmental Health Sciences and Superfund Research Program (SRP), in conjunction with the Sonora Environmental Research Institute, Inc. (SERI), hosted “Printing Industries and the Environment: Pollution Prevention Advisory Workshop.” The workshop was funded by the US EPA Pollution Prevention Grant Program that was awarded in 2008 to both SERI and the UA.  The mission of the grant is to “reduce the amount of hazardous substances entering the environment, conserve energy and water, and improve the environmental health of the community.”  The outreach component focuses on promotoras, or community health advocates, who work with the UA and SERI to educate local businesses on pollution prevention issues.  A total of 23 local members of the printing industry, comprising business owners and print-shop workers, came from Tucson and Phoenix to learn more about “greener” printing.

The workshop was moderated by Mónica Ramírez-Andreotta, UA SRP graduate trainee, and Denise Moreno Ramírez, Outreach Coordinator for the UA SRP and Binational Center. Sandi Neuman, President of Printing Industries Association, Inc. of Arizona gave an overview of pollution generation in the printing industry, and described ways that printers can reduce their environmental impact. Jamison Brown, Program Assistant for the City of Tucson’s Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development gave a presentation on the steps required for local businesses to achieve the City of Tucson’s “Green Business Certification,” and described the benefits of the certification. Workshop participants had the opportunity to ask the presenters questions, as well as generate discussion among themselves on what are often perceived as conflicting goals of running a small business while working to reduce their environmental impact.

The workshop generated media attention, and Ms. Moreno Ramírez recently participated in a panel discussion on the Arizona Public Media (PBS) “Arizona Illustrated” newsmagazine program. Ms. Moreno Ramírez, Jim Brush of Arizona Lithographers, and Anna Spitz of SERI were interviewed about the Pollution Prevention grant, the promotora model, the printing workshop, and the topic of “green” printing.