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TRI reduction



Hi Mark:

I worked on the Ohio Prevention First initiative for three years before I transferred to Ohio EPA's Division of Hazardous Waste Management. You can find information about the program at :

http://www.epa.state.oh.us/opp/opf/opfi.html 

Based on my experience, I'm not convinced that voluntary initiatives are the real driver for reductions. Minnesota probably saw huge reductions in TRI chemicals during the first years of the TRI. The TRI itself caused large initial reductions because of the publicity, because the chemicals being reported were more noticeable, etc. Companies have picked the low hanging fruit. Now, they're challenged with reducing the final percentages which will be very difficult. What will happen to your program if companies can't make further reductions?

Have you talked to your governor, manufacturer's associations, trade associations, chamber of commerce? They will be key players in your strategy, and can help develop the program at this stage. If you can get the Governor on board, and call it the Governor's program, and have the Governor send invitation letters to the CEO, you could get a lot of participation. However,  you need to make sure that the plant level people know about the program and the goals are realistic before their CEO require them to turn water into wine (or MEK into water).  

Finally there's the problems with using the TRI for measurement. I'm not familiar with all the details, but my impression is that it is difficult. It's good that you are thinking about measurement at this stage, though. Maybe you can come up with other options. Ohio Prevention First used TRI, hazardous waste and solid (non-hazardous) waste.

Of course, good things can happen. Our office has developed an impressive database of companies that implemented P2, positive relationships with industry, and loads of networking opportunities. I really think voluntary initiatives are very useful.

I could go on and on about this, but I'll stop here to spare the rest of the list server.  I'd love to read/comment on any drafts, etc.

I wish you luck! 

Vanessa Hinkle
Ohio EPA - HWM
Lazarus Government Center
122 S. Front Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

vanessa.hinkle@epa.state.oh.us 


(614) 644-2974