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Iowa City VA Health Care System Receives EPA Region 7 Pollution Prevention Award

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Jenn Little (

Environmental News


image of ICVAHCS P2 awardees 2020Iowa City VA Health Care System recipients of EPA Region 7 2020 P2 Award(Lenexa, Kan., Aug. 11, 2020) - The Iowa City VA Health Care System (ICVAHCS) was recently selected to receive an EPA Region 7 2020 Pollution Prevention (P2) Award. The award will be formally presented during ceremonies at the Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference later this year (Dec. 1-2).

Pollution prevention (P2) is any practice that reduces, eliminates or prevents pollution at its source. The EPA Region 7 P2 Awards recognize organizations across the Heartland who have successfully implemented pollution prevention projects.

Also a 2018 awardee, ICVAHCS has integrated P2 into their facility design and engineering standards. Past projects include the installation of water bottle filling stations, LED lighting upgrades, and medical fluid waste management systems. For this award period, EPA Region 7 is recognizing their new, state-of-the-art Operating Room Department. This facility upgrade includes improvements for patients and staff, while also reducing the facility’s environmental impact and providing cost savings.

P2 features include new utility and fluid management systems in the Operating Room Department that have been instrumental in eliminating unnecessary packaging and supplies. These changes have reduced medical waste by 12.8 tons and saved approximately $29,948 since being implemented.

Additionally, ICVAHCS has installed a fully automated blood analysis system that has reduced hazardous chemical solvent wastes by nearly 900 pounds and saved roughly $1,000 per year. The organization is also in the process of optimizing the facility’s chiller plant by replacing two, older low-pressure chillers with high-pressure units. Once completed, this upgrade is estimated to provide an annual energy savings of $135,272 and offset approximately 4,809 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

“The Pollution Prevention Awards Program recognizes organizations that have taken the initiative to prevent pollution at the source,” said Jim Gulliford, EPA Region 7 administrator. “Region 7 celebrates these forward-thinking organizations that have reduced their environmental impact, improved the quality of life in their communities, and often realized cost savings as an added benefit.”

Since 1952, ICVAHCS has been improving the health of the men and women who have served the United States. It consists of a comprehensive Tertiary Care Level I VA Medical Center, 10 VA Clinics, and two Homeless Veterans Outreach Centers. In total, the system serves more than 50,000 veterans residing in 50 counties spread throughout eastern Iowa, western Illinois, and northern Missouri. ICVAHCS currently employs approximately 2,000 professionals and is affiliated with the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine for residencies and education.

In addition to ICVAHCS, three other entities have received EPA Region 7 2020 P2 Awards:
  • Clow Valve Company in Oskaloosa, Iowa
  • JBS Pork in Ottumwa, Iowa
  • Washington University in St. Louis

P2 is a successful, non-regulatory approach to energy conservation, water conservation, reduction of toxic materials used, and cost savings. This awards program is designed to recognize P2 successes and encourage others to consider P2 approaches.

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