On Tuesday, Blacksburg, Va. became the first municipality to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP). According to an EPA press release, the partnership challenges businesses and manufacturers to become more environmentally aware and to adopt a resource conservation ethic that results in less waste, more recycling and more environmentally-sound products.
One NPEP goal is to reduce the use or release of 31 “priority chemicals” targeted for their high toxicity and penchant for accumulating in living organisms. By partnering with NPEP communities, the EPA hopes to reduce the use or release of four million pounds of priority chemicals by 2011.
Among Blacksburg’s other NPEP initiatives: reducing the use of lead balancing weights on town vehicles, raising community awareness of the need to recycle rechargeable batteries, and encouraging property managers to recycle fluorescent light bulbs, which contain significant amounts of mercury.