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RE: Industry environmental initiative waning?



Like Melinda, I've always believed that voluntary is not the way to go anymore.  We did a three year project in South Carolina comparing voluntary assistance (pollution prevention) to regulatory (compliance assistance) and found that the voluntary was not effective in the least.  During the first half of the project, companies were approached a minimum of five times through mailings, calls and even onsite visits to educate them on pollution prevention opportunities: p2 implemented - zero.  During the second half of the project, we teamed with our state agency and they did inspections.  Companies were informed of violations and told they could fix problems with basic p2: onsite changes - 144.  All companies are in compliance and we're now back inspecting a year later to see if the ones who used p2 methods are still in compliance.  So far over 85% of the companies that worked with us have kept the p2 programs going.  None of them would even talk to us when regulatory wasn't involved.  

I believe that prevention is the way to go, but most companies won't take the time or effort to try it without being forced into it.  Even our top performers seem to be losing interest in voluntary programs.  Our state is just now starting a flexibility program, but to make everyone agree to support it (politicians, business, activists, etc.) the process to get a program in place looks like it may be long and involved - a year at a minimum.  I'm really not sure how many companies will even stick around for the whole project.  Just my two cents on why regulatory may be the way to go in implementing prevention plans.
LeAnn

-----Original Message-----
From: Melinda Dower [mailto:Melinda.Dower@dep.state.nj.us]
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 9:00 AM
To: NPPR@great-lakes.net; P2Tech@great-lakes.net; Todd_MacFadden@uml.edu
Subject: Re: Industry environmental initiative waning?


Having been a "closet enforcer" for many years, I am heartened to see
everyone's conclusions about the limited effectiveness of voluntary
programs--I feel like I can come out of the closet now. Even here in NJ,
where P2 Planning is mandatory but implementation of P2 measures is
voluntary, I have had numerous corporate representatives comment that
they would be implementing much more P2 if it were mandatory.
Regulations drive corporate behavior far more than anything voluntary
(with the exception of the maybe 10% high performers who are doing great
P2 and have integrated P2 into their own performance measures).
It is also important to note that government has not delivered on its
promises to provide flexibility.

Melinda Dower
Research Scientist
N.J. Department of Environmental Protection

>>> "Todd MacFadden" <Todd_MacFadden@uml.edu> 12/16/02 04:00PM >>>
Hey all,

It's a bit dated now (Nov 23), but I just came across the following NY

Times article in which the late Bill Bilkovich is acknowledged for his
work 
to advance pollution prevention efforts at Dow.

Dialogue on Pollution Is Allowed to Trail Off
By BARNABY J. FEDER

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/23/business/23CHEM.html?tntemail1 

The article suggests a disturbing trend that industry is increasingly 
moving away from voluntary and collaborative approaches to P2 - and the

concomitant gains in environmental protection - abetted by a more 
permissive adminstration. (It was, case in point, published the day
after 
Bush hobbled the New Source Review rules).

I am curious to know what people think about the fate and future of 
voluntary environmental initiatives as a tool to protect the
environment. 
For years, industry has pressed EPA and states for flexibility in
standards 
and more non-regulatory approaches to reduce pollutants. And the
approach 
seems to work - but (it would appear) only to the extent that more 
stringent standards are imminent. Does your experience with voluntary 
programs support this view? Are they just smoke and mirrors?

Todd MacFadden
*:-.,_,.-:*'``'*:-.,_,.-:*'``'*:-.,_,.-:*'``'*:*:-.,_,.-:*'*:-.,_
Todd MacFadden
Training Specialist
Toxics Use Reduction Institute
One University Ave
Lowell, MA 01854

978.934.3391
978.934.3050 (fax)

todd_macfadden@uml.edu 
www.turi.org 

Because not everyone can live upstream.
,.-:*'``'*:-.,_,.-:*'``'*:-.,_,.-:*'``'*:*:-.,_,.-:*'*:-.,_,.-:*'

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