Two manufacturers, an auto dealers group and the NFTA won honors Tuesday from Erie County and certificates from County Executive Gorski for significantly reducing unhealthy emissions.
Buffalo Color Corp. put up a 50-foot steel stack, lined with brick, to burn off 99 percent of the gases created in producing dyes and pharmaceuticals at its South Buffalo facility. That translates to 250 tons of hazardous organic pollutants no longer going into the air.
David Sauer, environmental manager, said the flare, as the stack is called, cost Buffalo Color $1.6 million.
"That goes a long way to cleaning up hazardous organic contaminants," Gorski said.
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority changed the way it paints buses, reducing lead paint waste by 77 percent and paint thinner waste by 67 percent. The cleaner process is expected to save $25,000 a year.
A joint effort by the Western New York Automobile Dealers Association and Rochester-based Finger Lakes Chemical eliminates distribution of brake-cleaning solvent in aerosol cans.
Ewald Blatter, founder and president of the chemical company, said aerosol cans with solvent residue often ended up in the sewer system.
Now Finger Lakes distributes its solvent in five-gallon pails that are poured into a wheeled recycling drum. It is estimated that the newer system eliminates 8,437 pounds of air-borne carcinogens, Gorski noted.