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Net Zero Community Outreach and Workshops

EPA’s Net Zero efforts are helping communities find ways to reduce their water, energy, and waste footprints while fostering economic growth and promoting citizen health and well-being.

Promoting Sustainable Communities through Net Zero Strategies

The EPA workshop "Promoting Sustainable Communities through Net Zero Strategies" was held in February 2014 where experienced community leaders and Federal agencies gathered to discuss barriers, solutions, and lessons learned from implementing Net Zero water, waste, and energy strategies at various scales. They also discussed ways in which EPA and other Federal agencies can support community sustainability efforts. As a direct result of suggestions from community leaders during the workshop, EPA is pursuing several projects that will aid communities in their Net Zero Water, Energy, and Waste efforts. For example, EPA began developing a web-based search tool that connects users to EPA’s green infrastructure decision-making resources. 

Campus-Community Sustainability Partnerships (CCSP) Workshop

During the ”CCSP Workshop for Advancing Sustainability” held July 23-24, 2015 at San Francisco State University, EPA introduced over 75 university, community, federal, and industry representatives to the successful Campus-Community Sustainability Partnerships (CCSP) model and other EPA tools and approaches for advancing sustainability. In the CCSP model, a university provides direct support to a community to achieve the community’s self-identified sustainability goals. University and local government representatives interested in launching CCSP programs spent time identifying the most appropriate EPA tools for their sustainability projects. Three potential CCSP partnerships were identified between California State Universities and city governments (for example, The City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma State), and EPA will continue meeting with participants interested in adopting the CCSP model and applying EPA tools, like EnviroAtlas, the National Stormwater Calculator, and the Managing and Transforming Waste Streams Tool to their community or university sustainability projects. 

DOE/NSF/EPA Energy-Positive Water Resource Recovery Workshop

U.S. EPA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and U.S Department of Energy (DOE) are exploring opportunities to advance Net Positive water treatment and resource recovery. On April 28-29, 2015, DOE/NSF/EPA jointly hosted the “Energy-Positive Water Resource Recovery” workshop, to promote discussion between municipalities, government, industry, and other key stakeholders on accelerating the development and use of water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs). WWRFs add food waste (including fats, oils, and grease) to under-capacity anaerobic digesters in wastewater treatment plants to produce energy in the form of biogases. This approach potentially enables WWRFs to not only achieve Net Zero Energy, but also Net Positive Energy. One of the primary requests from workshop participants was the need for more test beds to demonstrate these new water resource recovery technologies; EPA/NSF/DOE are investigating ways to make this happen.