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GLIN==> IISG NEWS: Workshop to Highlight New Waste Disposal Resource Kits

October 20, 2006
Source: Susan Boehme (312) 353-4383; boehme.susan@epa.gov
Workshop to Highlight New Waste Disposal Resource Kits
URBANA--Two new community awareness campaigns on backyard burning and medicine disposal will be highlighted in an upcoming workshop at the State of the Lakes Conference (SOLEC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 1-3. New resource kits developed by the U.S. EPA and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, under the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration provide key tools for communities that want to address these waste disposal concerns.
During this three hour workshop, Erin Newman of the U.S. EPA Air Resources Division will speak about the environmental concerns of backyard burning, offer alternatives to burning, and provide resources that can be used by communities and tribes to build infrastructure to provide burning alternatives.
Susan Boehme of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant will introduce the emerging issue of unwanted medicine disposal. "Approximately 4,600 tons of drugs are discarded annually in this country," said Boehme. "Pharmaceuticals make their way to our local lakes and streams, posing a potential environmental concern. In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey sampled downstream from wastewater treatment plants in 30 states and found at least one pharmaceutical in 80 percent of 139 streams."
In addition, representatives from several cities and states will explain their programs to provide effective alternatives for disposing of unwanted medicine. Participants will have opportunity to ask them directly about how to start similar programs in other communities.
The workshop is titled "Working with Communities to Develop Pollution Prevention Strategies in the Great Lakes Basin" and takes place on November 3, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. On November 2, during the afternoon session focused on chemical integrity, scientists from the U.S and Canada will present current research on the impacts of pharmaceuticals on aquatic species and ecosystems.
SOLEC is a multi-agency effort led by the U.S. EPA and Environment Canada as part of the bi-national Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (revised in 1987). Every two years since 1994 the current conditions of the lakes are assessed using key indicators. These indicators, such as chemical and bacteria concentrations, status of fish and wildlife populations, and water usage in the region, are tools to monitor change over time. This year's conference focus is chemical integrity.
For more information about SOLEC or this year's agenda, visit http://www.solecregistration.ca/en/default.asp. For more information about the new resource kits, contact Erin Newman at 312- 886-4587 or Susan Boehme at 312-353-4383.
The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program is one of more than 30 National Sea Grant College Programs. Created by Congress in 1966, Sea Grant combines university, government, business and industry expertise to address coastal and Great Lakes needs.  Funding is provided by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U. S. Department of Commerce, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Purdue University at West Lafayette, Indiana.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
Two States Caring for one Great Lake

Irene Miles
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
376 NSRC
1101 W. Peabody Dr.
Urbana, Il 61801
(217) 333-8055
FAX (217) 333-8046