National Pollution Prevention Week in Santa Cruz

Photo by Charlie Witmer

From KSBW News

Santa Cruz is celebrating the eighth year of successful diversion of pharmaceuticals from the local Wastewater Treatment Facility and recreational and drinking water sources during National Pollution Prevention Week.

The City’s Environmental Compliance Program in association with the California Water Environment Association will be hosting the Santa Cruz Pollution Prevention Awards Event 2015 on Thursday, Sept. 17, at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn.

The invitation-only awards event will recognize four local citizens for their leadership and enabling roles in helping Santa Cruz to become the first municipality in California to create a program to safely divert unwanted pharmaceuticals from local wastewater treatment facilities and recreational and drinking water sources.

The diversion program reduces the amount and types of trace organic chemicals that would otherwise affect fish and other aquatic wildlife in surface water.

Honorees include County Supervisor Joe Simitian of California District Five for his sponsorship of Senate Bill 966, the 2007 state law that enables municipalities to operate safe and responsible collection of unwanted pharmaceuticals.

Also recognized will be Pharmacist Mark S. Wilson of Horsnyder Pharmacy, the first local business to enroll in the program and to have consistently led efforts since 2007; Chris Moran, previous publisher of One Person’s Trash, a City newsletter that was pivotal to the successful launch of the program in October 2007; Jeff Smedberg, retired County of Santa Cruz recycling programs coordinator who transformed the program into countywide Sharp Solutions in 2008; and the Santa Cruz Police Department for hosting the first and continuing collection vault for returning unwanted pharmaceuticals since 2007.

The event will also recognize 44 Santa Cruz businesses for their continuous participation in the Clean Ocean Business program.

The COB was created in 2001 as an incentive program for businesses to comply with best management practices that protect the City’s sanitary sewer and storm water systems from pollution.

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Megan Barillo

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