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RE: Innovative Strategies for Electric Utilities

Dear Fellow P2ers,

This discussion concerns me because too often I have seen companies and even P2 folks take the easy way out of dealing with a waste problem - pollution control.  Often  consulting engineering companies are a large driving force for control technologies because the technologies are known (i.e., proven) and the consultants/vendors can make a lot more money designing a pollution control system versus true P2 solutions. 

We have been focusing this discussion on costs.  Cost is only 1 of 6 critical factors.  I can give several examples of companies who chose pollution control over the P2 option even though it was agreed by everyone involved that the P2 option would save a million $ or more per year and pay back in a short time.  By comparison the control option chosen was shown to never pay back and be more costly.  We used to think it was the companies who were stupid.  Then we looked deeper and found we were not addressing all their concerns.  we needed to change. 

P2 options most often fail because we forget to address the other 5 values necessary for acceptance of change.  Those values are compatibility with existing systems, complexity, observbility, trialability and and technical soundness.  This has been outlined nicely by the NPPR Research and Technology Transfer working group in a white paper they published a few years ago (Pollution Prevention Technology Diffusion White Paper by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable’s Research and Technology Transfer Workgroup - www.p2.org/whitepapers/techdiff.doc)  Tim Lindsey wrote several articles in P2 Review on this topic.

I urge you to read this and Tim's articles and then reconsider your mode of operations.  We have to constantly be on guard to not take the easy way and we must improve our ability to "sell" p2 by addressing all the needs of our customers.  It's time to move beyond the typical P2 assessment model if we are to win the war on waste, truly conserve resources and make manufacturers competitive.

Gary Miller  


At 08:40 AM 7/22/2002 +0200, jlmartinezp@repsolypf.com wrote:
Very interesting discussion

I am writing form Europe. Here, we have a an internal law called IPPC (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control); the idea was to have  something like PPAct but  being a bit more flexible. We are trying to combine  making a trade off between Prevention and Control of the Pollution

I think we, process, design or environmental engineers,  should be able to think about a trade off between  PP or Pollution Control following a case by case procedure.  Does Pollution Prevention pay? The answer should be yes, but applying  concepts like best available technologies not entailing  excessive costs.
I remember a paper form Bob Pojasek titled: "For PP be descriptive not prescriptive" so let us  select scrubbers when necessary  or let us select any source reduction measure when available at economic good conditions

I agree that we should avoid to transfer pollutants from  air to land (for example) but this is not always technical  or economical feasible.
I am studying  petroleum refineries cases and believe me that  it is harder to  decide when  to apply Pollution prevention or pollution control measures that go to your PP recipe book and select one of them

Jose-Luis Martinez

 -----Mensaje original-----
De:     Snyder, Mark [mailto:mark.snyder@moea.state.mn.us]
Enviado el:     viernes 19 de julio de 2002 20:53
Para:   nppr@great-lakes.net; p2tech@great-lakes.net; scott.butner@pnl.gov; 'Mark Johnson'
Asunto: RE: Innovative Strategies for Electric Utilities

This certainly sounds like a good step forward for cleaner air in Texas, but after reading the press release, I'm left with some questions.  Is this project to install scrubbers an example of pollution prevention or is it an example of more stringent pollution control?  Given that scrubbers have been around for a number of years and have been required for a number of facilities in different areas, what exactly makes this permit innovative?  Or is there something I'm missing from the press release?

Mark Snyder
Pollution Prevention Specialist
Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance

> ----------
> From:         Mark Johnson[SMTP:Mark.Johnson@lcra.org]
> Sent:         Friday, July 19, 2002 12:02 PM
> To:   nppr@great-lakes.net; p2tech@great-lakes.net; scott.butner@pnl.gov
> Subject:      Innovative Strategies for Electric Utilities
> A shameless plug for my organization Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and the Texas Natural resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) and EPA Region 6!  

> We recently submitted an application for a Flexible Air Permit to the TNRCC for our 1,500 MW coal fired power plant in La Grange Texas.   The innovative air permit will allow our facility to implement many P2 projects that would have not been possible without the Flex Permit (most of these P2 projects would have triggered NSR).   The Flex permit will be put in motion over the next 10 years. 

> This innovative permit strategy can be followed by most other utilities if the states are able to provide the flexibility.  It can provide some near term benefits and long term reductions without waiting for CAA reforms or implemntation of the Bush Clear Skies initiative.

> For more details please visit this link
> http://www.lcra.org/about/news/2002/07/plan.html

> Mark L Johnson, REM.
> Senior Environmental Coordinator
> Lower Colorado River Authority
> Email: mark.johnson@lcra.org
> Phone (512) 473- 3200 ext 2868
> Fax: (512) 473-3579
> Fax (512) 473-3579

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Gary D. Miller, Ph. D.
Assistant Director
Illinois Waste Management and Research Center
Department of Natural Resources
One East Hazelwood Drive
Champaign, IL  61820

217/333-8942 phone
217/333-8944 fax