What Is Pollution Prevention?
Pollution Prevention Explained
- Pollution Prevention (often referred to as P2) means more than not producing pollution. It means not producing or lowering the toxicity of wastes that could produce pollution. Click below for a good overview of pollution prevention: Pollution Prevention Explanation.
The ORNL Pollution Prevention Program
- The ORNL Pollution Prevention Program resides in the Environmental Protection and Waste Services Division. Each Division has a Pollution Prevention Representative that acts as the P2 Program's point of contact with each Division. The P2 Program's primary responsibility is providing information and technical assistance, and funds, when available, to waste generators to help them reduce their waste generation. The P2 Program also coordinates the sanitary waste recycling programs, spearheads affirmative procurement, runs an awards program, and tracks waste reduction. A detailed look at the ORNL Pollution Prevention Program is given below:
- UT-Battelle Policy for ORNL: Pollution Prevention
- Employee Responsibilities
UT-Battelle Policy for ORNL: Pollution Prevention We are committed to providing a safe and healthful working environment for all staff, guest scientists and engineers, and visitors; protecting the general public and the environment from unacceptable ES&H risks; operating in a manner that protects and restores the environment; and integrating pollution prevention into planning and decision-making. Entire UT-Battelle Policy for ORNL
If your duties involve purchasing, using, or disposing of hazardous and radioactive material, then it is your responsibility to reduce waste generation whenever possible.
ORNL Employee Pollution Prevention Responsibilities
It is your responsibility to protect the environment and human health by the safe use and management of resources. To this end, all forms of pollution will be prevented at the source whenever and wherever feasible. Waste materials that cannot be eliminated by source reduction will be minimized to the extent feasible; waste that still exists will be recycled, reused or reclaimed. Waste that is nevertheless generated, will be treated to reduce the volume, toxicity or mobility prior to disposal. Reducing or eliminating the generation of waste will be given prime consideration in research, process design and plant operations.
Pollution Prevention is the responsibility of all Laboratory employees and is coordinated by the Pollution Prevention Program in Environmental Protection and Waste Services. The goal of the program will be to systematically eliminate or reduce the generation of waste from site operations. The program will seek to make source reduction and environmentally sound recycling an integral part of the philosophy and operations of this organization. It will also seek to develop in all employees an awareness of environmental problems and encourage their participation in minimizing the generation of waste and responsibly using resources.
ORNL Pollution Prevention Program Strategy
The ORNL Program continues to support the implementation of systems to provide accurate and current waste stream-specific information. This information will provide baseline information to support the identification of the true source of waste generation, will support the implementation of specific pollution prevention techniques and technologies, and will quantitatively monitor the progress of these activities. The Program continues to develop methods for collecting information, evaluating options, and identifying cost-effective pollution prevention techniques. The essential features of the strategy are to:
The strategy focuses on four major elements:
- Maintain an organization that comprises management and staff representatives who continue to develop and administer the Program,
- Continue to identify materials, wastes, discharges, and emissions to be targeted for reduction,
- Continue to develop methods for tracking performance and progress of the Program, and
- Continue to foster and encourage the development of pollution prevention technologies, the awareness of environmental problems, and the philosophy that includes pollution prevention.
- The evaluation of laboratory and support operations for pollution prevention opportunities and associated projects including R&D,
- Pollution prevention promotional activities,
- Tracking activities (including wastes and pollution prevention projects), and
- The exchange of information and technology.
ORNL Pollution Prevention Program Objectives
The overall objectives of the Program are to:
- Foster a laboratory-wide philosophy to conserve resources, reduce the costs of R&D activities, and create a minimum of waste and pollution in achieving site strategic objectives through developing and implementing techniques, technologies, and programs that minimize waste and pollution generation.
- Promote the use of nonhazardous materials in ORNL activities to minimize the potential risks to human health and the environment.
- Reduce or eliminate the generation of waste materials through input substitution, product reformulation, process or laboratory modification, improved housekeeping, on-site closed-loop recycling, and off-site recycling to achieve minimal adverse effects on the air, water, and land when technically and economically feasible and cost effective.
- Comply with federal and state regulations and DOE requirements for waste minimization/reduction and pollution prevention.
The enabling Program objectives, which will support the overall objectives, are divided into five categories: promotional activities, information and technology exchange, tracking and reporting activities, opportunity assessments and projects, and resource allocation.
Promotional activities include:
- Maintain open channels of communication laterally and vertically among the ORNL divisions to enhance awareness and convey pollution prevention objectives, goals, ideas, methods, and successes.
- Involve all employees in the pollution prevention effort by promoting integration and coordination of waste generators and waste management personnel on pollution prevention matters.
- Develop and revise, as necessary, specific goals and schedules for pollution prevention activities.
- Create incentives for pollution prevention, including establishing a program of awards for pollution prevention suggestions and accomplishments and establishing achievable, measurable pollution prevention goals as part of each Division Director's annual measures of performance.
- Develop and implement employee pollution prevention awareness and occupational training programs.
- Support the procurement and use of products containing recovered materials.
Information and technology exchange includes:
- Collect and exchange pollution prevention information through technology transfer, outreach, and educational networks.
- Develop and maintain mechanisms for fully disseminating current technical information to ORNL personnel as applicable.
- Share pollution prevention information with other DOE sites in Oak Ridge and across the DOE complex.
Tracking and reporting activities include:
- Establish tracking and communication systems that are designed and supported to provide waste stream characterization and baseline waste stream generation data and to enable quantitative evaluation of pollution prevention efforts.
- Develop and maintain a system of reporting pollution prevention activities and results of minimization efforts both internally and in accordance with regulatory and DOE requirements.
Opportunity assessments, pollution prevention options, and project implementation include:
- Identify and implement pollution prevention methods and technologies to reduce generated waste volume and toxicity.
- Test and evaluate new pollution prevention opportunities and associated technologies as applicable.
- Target any policies, procedures, or practices that may be barriers to pollution prevention.
- Evaluate progress made in implementation of pollution prevention opportunities identified in previous pollution prevention opportunity assessments (PPOA), previously referred to as process waste assessments (PWA); prioritize ORNL waste streams for future PPOAs as needed; and determine annually if additional future PPOA activities are required.
Resource allocation includes:
- Identify funding requirements, obtain funding and personnel, and establish schedules for the implementation of selected waste stream options and Program activities.
- Track associated resource utilization to allow evaluation of use and needs.