Introduction to Prevention, Information Clearinghouse, Information Transfer, University Outreach, and Technical Assistance
As a voluntary pollution prevention technical assistance program, information is the most valuable resource available from OPP. Almost all Office activities relate to the transfer of pollution prevention information to its various audiences. In order to meet the demands of the diverse audiences served by the program, OPP uses a variety of information transfer techniques, primarily training, presentations and information products.
When discussing the implementation of pollution prevention, one of the most frequently-cited barriers expressed by both regulators and the regulated community is a lack of information. During the past several years, OPP has found that targeted training (i.e., developed with a specific audience in mind), in the form of workshops and teleconferences, is an effective way to overcome this barrier. To meet this need, OPP has offered a number of training opportunities that have been designed to initiate the process of institutionalizing pollution prevention within Virginia.
Workshops. In September 1993, more than sixty environmental engineers and managers from two state agencies, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Virginia Correctional Enterprises (VCE), participated in a two-day pollution prevention training workshop presented by OPP. VDOT and VCE were targeted for the training because maintenance and manufacturing operations at their facilities seemed to present pollution prevention opportunities. Participants were provided an overview of the pollution prevention opportunity assessment process during the first day. On the second day, participants conducted an assessment of another state agency, the Virginia Department of Military Affairs' Air National Guard facility in Sandston.
Response to the training was very positive. Since the training, OPP has learned of several pollution prevention projects that have been initiated by the two agencies. For example, one VDOT facility manager undertook an evaluation of parts cleaning operations which utilize organic solvents and generate hazardous wastes. VCE has switched from solvent-based coatings to powder coatings, which eliminate volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in their metal operations.
In 1994, the Department received funding from EPA Region III's water program to develop a training program for the state's municipal pretreatment coordinators. In October, 1994, OPP sponsored a pollution prevention training course that was attended by 30 state and municipal pretreatment personnel. The purpose of the training was to educate the participants regarding pollution prevention techniques and ways of integrating pollution prevention into industrial pretreatment inspections, to help facilities meet or surpass regulatory requirements, and to help achieve the Commonwealth's pollution prevention goals.
The first day of the training was classroom instruction, which emphasized techniques for recognizing pollution prevention opportunities when conducting industrial pretreatment inspections. On day two of the training, the participants carried out a pollution prevention opportunity assessment at one of three selected facilities in the Richmond area. The workshop itself was very well received, with participants rating it a 4.3 on a scale of 5. To reinforce the concepts presented at the workshop, six additional site visits are being conducted around the state during the fall of 1994. Because of this program's success, OPP has requested additional funding from EPA Region III to expand the training in the future.
Teleconferences. An ongoing and integral part of OPP training efforts has been the downlink of national teleconferences on pollution prevention topics. The teleconferences have enabled OPP to deliver high-quality presentations from national experts and environmental officials to interested industrial and governmental managers across the Commonwealth. Admission to all broadcasts is free, and videotapes of the teleconferences are made available by request. Marketing for the teleconferences has included newsletter announcements, press releases, and direct mailings of brochures to targeted segments of the Virginia Manufacturers Directory mailing list.
The teleconferences have covered topics of concern to industry and have provided information on the latest technologies and pollution prevention strategies to help reduce waste and cut costs. The teleconferences have originated from reputable and nationally-known organizations. By arranging downlink sites across the state whenever possible (e.g., through the state's community college system), OPP has provided convenient access to the teleconferences for most Virginians and has prevented the pollution that would have been caused by the travel of participants to one central location.
Since January, 1993, the following teleconferences have been broadcast by OPP:
OPP staff has made more than 35 presentations over the past two years to various audiences across Virginia (approximately 15 in 1993 and 22 to date in 1994). These presentations have ranged in length from 15 to 90 minutes. Topics addressed include a general pollution prevention overview, how to conduct a pollution prevention opportunity assessment, and pollution prevention techniques for particular industries. Presentations have been made to several types of audiences, including commercial businesses, manufacturers, planning district commissions, company environmental forums, recycling conferences, federal facilities, state agencies and elementary schools.
In addition to presentations, OPP has developed a table-top display that has been used at conferences and meetings (four in 1993 and four to date in 1994), including the Environment Virginia symposium at Virginia Military Institute and Earth Day celebrations at various locations. The display highlights the benefits of pollution prevention and OPP services.
Examples of occasions at which OPP staff has made presentations include:
One of the primary ways that OPP has promoted pollution prevention is through the production, marketing and distribution of information products. The purposes of these materials are to motivate organizations to adopt pollution prevention strategies and to educate these groups on how to implement pollution prevention projects. OPP has taken a very broad approach to developing informational materials and tries to tailor each item for its intended audience. For this reason, OPP has moved beyond the traditional report format to means such as videotapes, posters and newsletters.
Videotapes. In early 1993, OPP completed the production of its first videotape, "Printers Win Through Pollution Prevention." The ten minute video employs music, graphics and first-hand accounts of pollution prevention successes to motivate medium-sized offset lithographic printers to embrace pollution prevention in company operations. Specific information on the benefits of pollution prevention and guidelines on how to approach this ethic make the video educational as well as motivational. A six-page companion document that lists supplier and association contacts for more information was sent with the video to approximately 200 printers throughout the Commonwealth; printers with more than 20 but less than 250 employees were targeted for this outreach. Subsequently, another 200 videos have been distributed to printers and other interested parties, and the video has been included as part of the environmental curriculum of the national Printing and Graphic Communication Association.
A video entitled, "Pollution Prevention and the Virginia Manufacturer: Making a Difference," was produced in the spring of 1994 by Virginia Military Institute Research Labs under a grant from OPP. The 18-minute video presented case studies in pollution prevention from five Virginia companies. Advertised through the newsletter, OPP has received more than 50 requests for the video (see Section IV for more information).
Posters. To promote pollution prevention better on shop floors and among the general public, OPP used federal grants to produce and to distribute two attractive 21" x 25" posters on pollution prevention in early 1994. The posters were designed to be displayed prominently (i.e., on facility bulletin boards).
Featuring an illustration of a sleek red sports car, a three-color auto maintenance poster was developed with the title, "Prevent Pollution: Stop Driving Up Your Costs." The poster lists pollution prevention options for many operations, such as oil changing, brake maintenance, and parts cleaning. The poster was mailed initially to over 3,600 auto service centers and local, state and federal transportation facilities within Virginia. A second mailing of over 2,800 posters to auto dealers, auto parts stores and utilities will be completed in late 1994. In addition to the first direct mailing, approximately 1,200 copies have been distributed by OPP to date per requests.
With the title, "Pollution Prevention: It's Not Just A Drop In The Bucket," the second poster is four-color and was developed for general industrial audiences. This poster shows a pipe leaking into a bucket. Through special effects photography, the bucket is shown turning over, spilling out money in the forms of coins and bills. This poster was sent to 2,700 medium and large-sized manufacturers and has been requested by an additional 250. A second printing of the poster is expected to be completed by the end of 1994.
Newsletter. OPP produces a four-page quarterly newsletter with stories that feature OPP activities and pollution prevention news of general interest; the first issue was distributed in March, 1994. The newsletter, entitled Pollution Prevention Virginia, also highlights the successes of programs through its regular "Pollution Prevention Leaders" column, which details how, why and to what extent a company, local government or other organization has pursued pollution prevention. The newsletter is sent to approximately 5,000 companies, governmental officials, associations, environmental groups, media contacts, and individuals in Virginia as well as across the country. As the sole source of pollution prevention information for a large number of Virginians, the newsletter has generated a significant level of positive comment. Future issues will be expanded to six pages.
Fact Sheets. OPP first printed a series of fact sheets in 1991 with consolidated information on a broad range of subjects, including managing empty containers and lead batteries. The purpose of the fact sheets is to provide a concise, easily understood overview of a number of pollution prevention topics and issues. Thousands of the fact sheets have been distributed since they first were introduced; most of the more than 750 people who have requested information from OPP have received at least one fact sheet from the series.
In the fall of 1994, OPP initiated the first major expansion of the fact sheets with a "Financial Fact Sheet" series that details ways by which organizations may overcome financial barriers to pollution prevention. The first fact sheets in this series have described federal grant programs; future topics will include total cost accounting, financial analysis software developed to facilitate pollution prevention, and investment payback estimation. By the end of 1994, the entire fact sheet series will be revised to reflect new regulations, technology and topics that are of leading interest. It is expected that the revised and expanded fact sheet series will continue to be popular with OPP audiences.
Reports. To provide in-depth information and analyses on topics of particular interest in Virginia, OPP recently has developed two detailed pollution prevention technical reports. In October, 1993, a manual and guide on pollution prevention for wood furniture finishers was produced, entitled Pollution Prevention in the Finishing of Wood Furniture: A Resource Manual and Guide. The manual/guide was developed in anticipation of stricter air emission standards, currently under development for wood furniture finishers as a result of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. The manual/guide presents a number of pollution prevention options presently available to finishers, from new application techniques to alternative coating formulations. A list of equipment and coating vendors, recent articles highlighting case studies and new technologies, and several in-depth reports on specific subjects such as solvent alternatives also are included.
Cogeneration of Steam and Electric Power: Pollution Prevention Opportunities and Options was produced by OPP in the fall of 1994. Cogeneration, the simultaneous production of electricity and useful thermal energy from a single source, is inherently energy-efficient and, therefore, represents a means of pollution prevention. The report is intended to be used as a guide for regulators, cogeneration power plant planners, independent power plant planners, and others to assist them in identifying pollution prevention opportunities and options related to power generation by fossil fuel combustion.
Innovative Technology Grants. OPP has worked with the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Center for Innovative Technology in the review of National Industrial Competitiveness through Energy, Environment and Efficiency (NICE3) grant applications submitted by Virginia companies. The NICE3 grant program was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and EPA to promote innovative technology projects that have economic, energy and environmental benefits. Two proposals, reviewed by the Department and submitted to the national program in 1993, were not funded by the federal government. However, OPP staff has worked with one potential NICE3 grant recipient this year in preparing a proposal and will continue to promote the program through its outreach efforts, particularly the program newsletter. For example, OPP has promoted other federal grant programs, such as the Agriculture in Concert with the Environment Program; and two programs from DOE, the Innovative Concepts Program and the Energy-Related Inventions Program, through the "Financial Fact Sheet" series described previously in this section.
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Last Updated: October 11, 1995