MDEQ Recognizes 2015 enHance Members

(JACKSON, Miss.) — The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) Thursday accepted two new members and seven renewal memberships into its enHance program for the 2015 class. In addition, two other members upgraded their membership status. The recognition was part of the annual workshop and awards luncheon held in Jackson.

enHance is a voluntary stewardship program begun in 2009 that recognizes committed environmental leaders who accomplish goals beyond their legal requirements. enHance is open to facilities, cities, counties, and other entities who are interested in the program, and applicants can choose from three tiers: Associate, Steward, or Leader.

“It is an honor to recognize these companies that are actively striving to reduce their wastes, reduce their environmental impacts, and improve the quality of life in their communities. Their vision and leadership is to be commended, as their efforts will result in both immediate and long-term benefits for the residents of our state,” said Gary Rikard, MDEQ Executive Director.New members for 2015:


Mississippi Lignite Mining Company (Choctaw County).


Plymouth Tube Company (Eupora).


Renewing members for 2015:


Akzo Nobel Pulp and Performance Chemicals, Inc. (Columbus).
Baxter Healthcare (Cleveland).
Northrop Grumman Corporation (Moss Point).
Nucor Steel Jackson, Inc. and General Recycling of Mississippi, LLC (Flowood).
Super Sagless (Tupelo).

These members upgraded from Steward to Leader:

Ark-Ell Springs, a Division of Leggett & Platt Components Company, Inc. (Houlka).
Hunter Douglas (Tupelo).


DTE PetCoke, LLC (Vicksburg).
City of Hernando.

Details on the projects submitted by the members as part of the application process follow the first page of this release.

There are currently 35 members in the enHance program. Members include private companies, federal government facilities, and local governments. Membership is voluntary, and applications for membership may be submitted each year from July 1 through September 30.

More information about the program is available at


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2015 enHance Members

1. Akzo Nobel Pulp and Performance Chemicals – Leader

Akzo Nobel was one of the charter members of the enHance program and is renewing their membership. Akzo Nobel continues to address waste reduction in wastewater and solid waste. Process changes allowing for re-use of wash water and condensate have been implemented allowing what was previously single pass water to be reused in the process. This reduces chemicals used for pre-treatment and total effluent per ton of produced product. Material has been diverted from the landfill through recycling and reuse. Aluminum oxide, a waste product from manufacturing, is used as a raw material component in sandpaper manufacturing. Each year Akzo Nobel participates in four or more community activities with an emphasis on environmental stewardship.

2. Ark-Ell Springs, a Division of Leggett &Platt Components Company – Leader

Ark-Ell Springs was previously a member at the Steward level and is renewing their membership at Leader level. Ark-Ell Springs participates in the EFEC program, which stands for “enhancing furniture’s environmental culture.” This program is an industry-specific environmental management system. At the corporate level, Leggett & Platt has introduced the Eco Initiative for improved environmental management. Ark-Ell has implemented projects to recycle wood pallets and sinuous gearbox oil. Energy projects include oven insulation to decrease propane usage and improvement of the oven burner tube and flame spreader. As part of Earth Day, a contest was held to see which employee could bring the most recyclables from home.

3. Baxter Healthcare – Leader

Baxter was one of the first companies to join enHance, having previously been a member of the EPA Performance Track program. Baxter has a robust corporate sustainability effort that helps drive local activities. On a corporate level, goals are set for the use of renewable energy, greenhouse gas reductions, and energy and water use reductions. They are striving for zero-landfilled waste. Local energy projects include the addition of a master control for air compressors that will allow operation at their best efficiency points and reduction of leaks in the compressed air system. The target reduction goal for these is 1.5 million kWh/yr. As a Leader, Baxter sponsors Bolivar Earth Day, a community recycling and household hazardous waste collection event.

4. DTE PetCoke – Steward

DTE PetCoke is located in Vicksburg. Though this site has only eight employees, they are all committed to environmental excellence. This requires some innovation for recycling options. Plastic containers and office paper are recycled through a local school. Cardboard and metal are also recycled. Electronic devices are donated to local schools when possible. Energy conservation efforts include relocated photocells on outside lighting for reduced usage of one hour per day and plug load reduction through implementation of sleep mode on computers after 30 minutes of inactivity.

5. City of Hernando – Steward

The City of Hernando has implemented an enhanced curbside recycling program that increased the recycling schedule to weekly from every other week and increased the number of different materials that could be recycled. The program made it easier for residents to recycle, using one single stream 90 gallon bin versus two bins. The city has been awarded a Brownfields grant to assess properties for potential redevelopment. The city has implemented ordinances and policies for environmental improvement, and the mayor has established an advisory commission to address policies on environmental and energy conservation.

6. Hunter Douglas – Leader

Hunter Douglas is renewing their membership and moving from Steward to Leader. Hunter Douglas has had an active waste minimization program for years, reducing hazardous waste, TRI chemicals, and VOC emissions by more than 50%. Solid waste to the landfill has also been significantly reduced; in a recent year 25 tons went to the landfill, while 702 tons was recycled. Hunter Douglas also has an on-going project to reduce the carbon footprint from operations. A recent study to reduce energy consumption involved the use of LED and T5 lighting to replace metal halide in warehouse areas. Hunter Douglas sponsors Adopt-a-Road and Adopt-a-Stream efforts and encourages employees that are not able to recycle at home to bring recyclables to the plant. An average of 5,400 pounds per year has been collected from employees for recycling.

7. Mississippi Lignite Company – Leader

Mississippi Lignite mines six seams of lignite near Ackerman to supply fuel to an adjacent coal-fired power plant. Operations are very focused on protection and restoration of the mined areas. Over 100 acres per year are mined and reclaimed. A quail restoration project was implemented to assist in the rebound of the quail population, which has declined up to 70% over the last 30 years, primarily due to habitat loss. Approximately 2,500 chicks have been raised and released to-date. A stream reclamation project resulted in a stream being reconstructed to a level that exceeded the intent of the Reclamation Act, and in 2014 Mississippi Lignite received one of only two National Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Reclamation Awards given by the Office of Surface Mining. Each year MLMC hosts all of the fourth graders from the Choctaw County School district for Arbor Day, and each child plants a hardwood tree at the mine.

8. Northrop Grumman – Leader

The Moss Point facility is part of the Aerospace Systems sector. The manufacturing debris waste stream is the largest at the site. Since January of 2013, this waste stream has been reduced by 42% through multiple procurement, inventory, and process changes. The site utilizes a Chemical Review Process to select materials that result in lower VOC emissions from operations. The site has reduced VOC emissions by 19%. As a Leader, the facility is involved in a community environmental beach and waterway project.

9. Nucor Steel and General Recycling of Mississippi – Leader

Nucor is also one of the charter members of the enHance program and has demonstrated great support and leadership during their six years of membership. Nucor utilizes an Energy Team to direct a continuous improvement effort to decrease energy intensity per ton of steel produced. Multiple projects are on-going and have resulted in significant reductions in kWh used. Another one of Nucor’s Environmental Management System’s Goals is to reduce consumption of oils in the facility by 3%. Nucor representatives have served as mentors for the enHance program, serving on advisory committees and providing guidance on environmental management systems to other facilities.

10. Plymouth Tube Company – Associate

Plymouth Tube is entering the enHance program this year. Their Manufacturing Excellence is one of the main pillars of their corporate strategy. The Eupora Mill recently worked with TVA and completed a lighting upgrade that is projected to save over 800,000 kWh per year, reduce related emissions from power generation, and achieve a cost savings of $44,000. In addition, as a community service, the facility purchased and distributed compact fluorescent bulbs to local citizens to replace incandescent bulbs currently used in homes.

11. Super Sagless – Leader

Super Sagless is also a member of the EFEC environmental management program. Through this, they have served as a mentor to three other facilities, two of which have gone on to join the enHance program. Their solid waste reduction efforts include a pallet mulching and recycling program; 1,945 cubic yards were converted to mulch and 3,600 cubic yards of pallets were re-used last year. The facility also implemented an air leaks reduction project that is estimated to save about 50,000 kWh per year.