Introduction to Prevention, Information Clearinghouse, Information Transfer, University Outreach, and Technical Assistance
Pollution prevention programs at the local, state and federal levels across the nation often are frustrated in their attempts to measure the impacts of their efforts. Like any prevention program, measuring pollution that did not occur is problematic at best. In addition, because so many forces are acting to reduce the amount of waste generated by industry, governments and citizens, such as the increasing costs of disposal and liability as well as a greater understanding of our impacts on the environment, it is difficult to quantify the amounts of avoided pollution that may be attributed to any particular action. Given this scenario, it is necessary to look for other types of program results and feedback for an indication of OPP's performance.
Anecdotal evidence of the program's effectiveness is always helpful, but it is neither comprehensive nor easily quantifiable. Two other types of qualitative feedback in particular have been useful to OPP's evaluation process in the past two years: a survey of program clients and interaction with the program's advisory committee.
In January, 1993, a survey was sent to 127 industry and government representatives, as well as private individuals, who had made inquiries to OPP during 1992 (OPP was then known as the Waste Reduction Assistance Program). Thirty-eight, or 30 percent, of these surveys were returned. In July 1993, an analysis of the responses was compiled as a report entitled, "Waste Reduction Assistance Program Client Survey," which was distributed to interested parties in the Department. The primary conclusions from the survey were:
The pollution prevention legislation adopted by the General Assembly in 1993 authorizes the formation of advisory panels to assist the Department in administering its pollution prevention program. In early 1994, the Department created the Virginia Pollution Prevention Advisory Committee, a 23-member panel that consists of representatives from industry, education, environmental and public interest groups, and local, state and federal government organizations (a membership list is included as Appendix F).
The advisory committee meets on a quarterly basis. Three subcommittees have been formed to concentrate on the following issues:
The advisory committee has discussed program directions with OPP staff and the DEQ Director. Presentations from other organizations involved in promoting pollution prevention within Virginia have included: Virginia Power's ConserVision Program; the Institute for Environmental Negotiation and the UVA Darden School's project for small businesses, undertaken with the Management Institute for Environment and Business; update from EPA Region III staff; the Institute for Cooperation in Environmental Management's retired engineer technical assistance project in the Philadelphia area; and the Chesapeake Bay Pollution Prevention Program.
The Advisory Committee has made several suggestions to the Department regarding pollution prevention activities. According to the committee, the Department needs to:
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Last Updated: October 11, 1995