Three major research areas are targeted in the cross-cutting research component of pollution prevention research. Cross-cutting issues have been selected because of their importance in furthering the science of pollution prevention and the agency's ability to promote and implement pollution prevention as the preferred approach to environmental protection. Cross-cutting issues include (1) tool development, (2) application of tools, and (3) measurement of progress.
A balanced cross-cutting research program addresses the development of innovative tools for pollution prevention including technological, informational, and evaluative tools. The cross-cutting research strategy for tools development focuses on performing industry-specific pollution prevention assessments, incorporating pollution prevention factors into process simulation models, developing and testing LCA methodology, and improving the agency's understanding of how individuals and corporations make decisions and the factors that affect their behavior.
Demonstrating the effectiveness of pollution prevention approaches is critical to increasing reliance on this preferred approach to environmental management. The application of the tool research area focuses on incorporat ing pollution prevention considerations into the EPA's rule-making process, developing and demonstrating innovative pollution prevention technologies, transferring timely information on pollution prevention approaches, and determining the most effective ways to use incentives and education to promote prevention.
Continued environmental progress depends upon knowing what has worked and how well and what has been less successful and why. Environmental engineers can then use this information to identify areas for additional research, improve approaches, and develop new approaches. The development of techniques to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of pollution prevention approaches is critical to determine which approaches effectively prevent pollution and which approaches fail. These techniques are useful for measuring progress and establishing priorities for research and other activities.
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