The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College (UTB/TSC) partners with The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to provide pollution prevention and compliance assistance for U.S. based small to medium sized entities (SME’s) located in the Lower Rio Grande Valley border region of Texas. It is anticipated that this training would evolve into environmental management system certification for these entities. This paper discusses pollution challenges and environmental initiatives between Texas and Mexico to confront these challenges and the ongoing cooperative efforts between UTB and TCEQ to enhance the economic and environmental health of the Lower Rio Grande Valley region.
There are several stories involving the industries that pledge themselves for the environmentally conscious manufacturing practices. Paradigms for environmentally conscious manufacturing are associated with one of the aspects of environmental quality, protection, resource management, commitment or sustainability. The engineering rules of thumb that can easily be adopted by aspiring companies need identification. The underlying thread that unifies the efforts of environmentally conscious manufacturing companies, in offering the environmentally safe products to the world, is grouped and presented in the paper as paradigms for successful practices. The various ways in which a start up company, that wants to excel in environmentally conscious manufacturing, can position itself based on the paradigms is also discussed in the paper.
Traditional economic analysis methods for manufacturing decisions include only the clearly identified immediate cost and revenue streams. Environmental issues have generally been seen as costs, in the form of waste material losses, conformance tests and pre-discharge treatments. The components of the waste stream often purchased as raw materials, become liabilities at the "end of the pipe" and their intrinsic material value is seldom recognized. A new mathematical treatment of manufacturing economics is proposed in which the costs of separation are compared with the intrinsic value of the waste materials to show how their recovery can provide an economic advantage to the manufacturer. The model is based on a unique combination of thermodynamic analysis, economic modeling and linear optimization. This paper describes the proposed model, and examines case studies in which the changed decision rules have yielded significant savings while protecting the environment. The premise proposed is that by including the value of the waste materials in the profit objective of the firm and applying the appropriate technological solution, manufacturing processes can become closed systems in which losses approach zero and environmental problems are converted into economic savings.