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New Web Series Highlights Pollution Prevention Accomplishments

2014 July 17

For many toxic chemicals and industry sectors, reported TRI releases have trended downward considerably in recent years.  In such cases, TRI’s Pollution Prevention (P2) Search Tool is a great resource for identifying the P2 activities or other environmentally-friendly practices that have contributed.

To spur discussion of these practices, we looked at how the metals industry reduced their use, waste generation, and releases of a recognized carcinogen (trichloroethylene). We examined the P2 information that fabricated metals facilities submitted to the Toxics Release Inventory, and also followed up with one of the facilities with the largest reductions to find out more about what they did.

Check out our findings in our first P2 Accomplishments Bulletin and let us know what you think. Should EPA offer more of these analyses? Which other chemicals and sectors are worth highlighting from the standpoint of P2?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. Brian DeLucenay permalink
    August 1, 2014

    At Fort Recovery Industries we ahve implemented the easy or most common methods to reducing waste in our operation. We ar interested in the less common methods as well. We look for methods that we can implement in smaller chunks to get us to a zero discharge of waste water to the tributary. A brief discussion or listing with links for more information would be valuable to us.

  2. Edmond Moreau permalink
    August 21, 2014

    Great communication tool. Also very informative.
    One question that could be addressed is that some companies want to replace TCE but their customers dictate that they use TCE so they are locked in its use.

    • sswenson permalink*
      August 25, 2014

      Thanks, Edmond. I’ll share your comment on TCE use with our Pollution Prevention coordinator.

    • Daniel Teitelbaum, TRI P2 Coordinator permalink*
      August 29, 2014

      For the 2012 reporting year, TRI’s online reporting application began prompting facilities to describe barriers to pollution prevention if they wished to do so. So we do have some information pertaining to your question, and it turns out that “customer demand” is one of the more frequently-cited reason for why specific toxic chemicals continue to be used. For TCE, for example, an aerospace facility noted that reductions were not feasible at this time due to customer and/or government specifications.

      If you’d like to learn more about the barriers that facilities encountered with respect to P2 in 2012, there’s a tab with this information in the “2012 P2 Data Tables” available for download at http://www.epa.gov/tri/p2.

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