University of Minnesota
Minnesota Technical Assistance Program


Regulation: Catalyst for Performance

Federal and state regulations governing the quality of our air and water as well as how we dispose of waste have been part of the business landscape for decades. In addition, corporate sustainability, profitability and worker safety goals as well as customer requirements cause businesses to routinely reevaluate processes to reduce waste and improve performance. The ability for corporations to address business sustainability and to meet the benchmarks set by changing regulations requires strategy that includes creative vision, strategically-applied resources, and a commitment to action.

Water scarcity in the land of 10,000 lakes has been making headlines. Specifically, the Metropolitan Council recently reported on options for protecting and managing groundwater supplies in the north and east metro area. Water conservation is among the most cost-effective options for maintaining water supplies in any region of the state as well as avoiding costly infrastructure expansion projects. To help ensure an abundant supply of water to support communities, businesses and economic growth across the state, conservation of water resources is vital. MnTAP has been helping Minnesota businesses reduce water consumption for 30 years. Find some surprising facts about how much water use can cost your business, easy tips for reducing water use, and success stories on how several businesses have saved water and money by implementing recommendations of a MnTAP intern on pages 2 & 3.

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed revisions in the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ground level ozone. In Minnesota, new ozone standards could result in new and costly regulations unless proactive business strategies are implemented for voluntary reductions of air emissions. MnTAP has been working with partners to develop strategies and outreach efforts that encourage voluntary reductions of industrial air emissions to keep Minnesota businesses in compliance with proposed changes and avoid additional regulatory requirements of non-compliance with these federal standards. Turn to pages 4 & 5 for examples of companies that have made significant reductions to their air emissions and improved their bottom line. Learn how your company can decrease air emissions this year through selection of degreasing products, product reformulation and training in painting best practices.

In addition to new air quality standards, the Minnesota Legislature expanded the recycling requirements for Twin Cities businesses in 2014. Commercial buildings in the seven-county metro that generate four cubic yards or more of trash per week must begin recyling at least three materials by Jan. 1, 2016. By increasing recycling, businesses may be able to reduce resource use and costs related to trash collection. Further, a new composting rule published in Dec. 2014 by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency expands options for recycling food waste and other organic/compostable materials. Get step-by-step instructions for implementing a waste reduction strategy at your facility in "Conduct a Waste Assessment" on page 6.

MnTAP can help catalyze improvements in your facility’s water, emissions and resource use. Contact us today!

  • Water Conservation Initiatives - pages 2 - 3
  • VOC Reduction Initiatives -
    pages 4 - 5
  • MnTAP Launches New Healthcare Website - page 6
  • Conduct A Waste Assessment - page 6
  • Materials Exchange - page 6
  • 2014 Interns Identify Opportunities, Solutions & Savings - page 7
  • 11 Intern Projects Highlighted in Solutions Magazine - page 7
  • Calendar - page 8



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