1994 Pollution Prevention Report - Future Directions

Introduction to Prevention, Information Clearinghouse, Information Transfer, University Outreach, and Technical Assistance

IX. Future Directions

Pollution prevention has become accepted widely as the management strategy of choice for an increasing number of environmental problems. Pollution prevention's mutual goals of promoting environmental quality and economic growth become evident from the cost savings, increased efficiency, and greater environmental benefits that result once this approach is implemented. For these reasons, pollution prevention has been adopted as a primary strategy to confront the environmental problems that currently challenge Virginia.

A. Chesapeake Bay Program

On October 14, 1994 the signatories to the Chesapeake Bay Agreement (which is comprised of the Governors of Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland; the Mayor of the District of Columbia; the Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission; and the Administrator of EPA), signed the "Chesapeake Bay Basinwide Toxics Reduction and Prevention Strategy." The plan resulted from a reevaluation of the original toxics reduction strategy, which had been adopted in 1987. This analysis found that, while significant steps toward controlling and reducing toxics have been made, toxics problems continue to exist in the Bay. To address this impact, the following goal was adopted:

Our goal is a Chesapeake Bay free of toxics by reducing or eliminating the input of chemical contaminants from all controllable sources to levels that result in no toxic or bioaccumulative impact on the living resources that inhabit the Bay or on human health.
As outlined in the strategy, four areas of concern are emphasized: regional focus, directed toxics assessments, regulatory program implementation and pollution prevention.

The signatories recognized pollution prevention "as the preferred approach to reducing risks to human health and living resources due to exposure to chemical contaminants within the Chesapeake Bay watershed and as the principal means to offset increases in loadings due to land use changes and pollution growth in the Bay basin."

Building on existing state and federal pollution prevention programs, the strategy includes the following objective:

Promote pollution prevention education and technical assistance programs within all levels of government -- federal, state, and local -- throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and aid commercial and industrial establishments [in] incorporating pollution prevention actions into their daily business activities.

Specific commitments integral to the strategy involve the following:

The Toxics Subcommittee has begun implementation of the strategy. As a first step, the membership and workgroup structure will be reviewed to ensure that appropriate groups, such as industry and state pollution prevention programs (including Virginia's), are represented. A Pollution Prevention Workgroup will be established to help implement the tasks delineated in the plan.

Additionally, the Bay Program's budget includes funds to support contractor services, to assist in the implementation of the strategy's pollution prevention commitments. Specific tasks will include:

B. Future Grant-Funded Projects

The Department expects to continue competing for EPA's funding of pollution prevention initiatives and to work in developing cooperative efforts with other organizations. For instance, in the fall of 1994, the Department submitted a letter of support regarding the Department of Economic Development's (DED) proposal to empower Virginia's 23 small business development centers in providing pollution prevention information to their clients. In this case, only the small business development centers were eligible for the funding, which was offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Department's letter of support enhanced the proposal, and if implemented, the project will strengthen the Department's ability to disperse pollution prevention information to Virginia's small businesses. At the same time, the project will help DED and the Department leverage their resources through cooperation toward common goals.

OPP staff also is working with the Pollution Prevention Advisory Committee to explore federal funding opportunities outside of EPA. For instance, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is building a network of manufacturing extension centers throughout the country that are intended to increase manufacturing efficiency. NIST has recognized that pollution prevention is a key strategy in achieving efficiency and is promoting actively the cooperative efforts between state pollution prevention programs and NIST-funded centers. OPP will be working with DED, the A.L. Philpott Manufacturing Center and the Center for Innovative Technology to insure cooperation within Virginia.

DOE also has indicated that significant sources of federal funding will be available to support the development of pollution prevention technologies. While the Department may not be the appropriate establishment to perform research and development, OPP will work with those organizations, such as universities, that may be interested in competing for this funding.

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Last Updated: October 11, 1995