Ecology wins national Pollution Prevention awards

Celebrating 30 years of Pollution Prevention

It's Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of the federal Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. Its intent is to reduce or eliminate sources of pollution to prevent damage to the environment while also eliminating the need for costly controls and cleanup. 

Washington takes home four of seven awards

Since 1995, the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable has recognized the very best in pollution prevention results with its annual MVP2 (Most Valuable Pollution Prevention) awards. These national awards profile the many accomplishments to stop pollution before it’s even created, and Washington state took a number of top honors in 2020.

  • Ecology’s Rob Reuter received the 2020 P2 Champion Award for his work as the lead engineer, saving businesses — according to their own estimation — $56 million and hundreds of thousands of pounds of hazardous waste.
  • Ecology’s Saskia Van Bergen received the 2020 P2 Educator Award for being a leader in the field of K-12 green chemistry education and pollution prevention training. Over the past several years, Saskia has developed educational curricula designed to create interactive educational instruction related to chemistry in partnership with educators.
  • The P2 Multimedia Award went to Brandon and Jennifer Sizemore of Founder’s Choice, a family-owned company in Tacoma, WA, that manufactures custom cabinetry and accessories. Seeking improvement, the company requested help from Ecology’s Lean and Green program, resulting in a cost savings of $112,000, a 20% reduction in VOC air emissions, a hazardous waste reduction of 7,000 pounds, and significant benefits in energy efficiency to the facility.
  • And the P2 Project Award went to Mike Smothers of USNR, a company based in Woodland, WA, that supplies equipment and technologies to the wood processing industry. With technical assistance from Ecology’s toxics reduction program — led by Ecology’s Dr. Ifeanyi Isigwe — transitioned from solvent-based paints to water-based paints, which eliminated 4,000 pounds of solvent-based product annually.

four pictures: a man, a woman, a building, and inside a factory

Rob Reuter, Saskia Van Bergen, Founder's Choice, and USNR

By reducing the use and production of hazardous substances, and by operating more efficiently, we’re helping to protect human health, strengthen economic well-being, and preserve the environment. Learn more about these award winners at

Safer Choice label
EPA's Safer Choice program

Something we’re featuring this Pollution Prevention Week is the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice program. If you’ve ever wondered about the safety of cleaning products you use in your home or office, EPA's Safer Choice program offers shoppers and businesses an easy way to find out. Products that use the safest chemicals available feature the Safer Choice logo, which means manufacturers have submitted the chemical ingredients in their products for an independent review that measures them against strict human health and environmental criteria. Learn more at