Methodology Upgrade

The EPA methodology has evolved from a method for conducting assessments to a comprehensive pollution prevention program. It will probably evolve again as experience with its application grows. Joint projects between the EPA and industry, such as the Chambers Works Project (U.S. EPA 1993), provide input to future iterations. The EPA is well-placed to develop an industry standard for pollution prevention methodologies.

An important strength of the current methodology is its recognition that pollution prevention requires participation from all levels of an organization. It contains well-articulated prescriptions about management commitment.

Conventional Methodology Upgrade Methodology

Conventional Methodology Upgrade Methodology

FIG. 3.2.6 Comparison of conventional and upgraded methodologies.

Figure 3.2.5 shows a suggested methodology update (U.S. EPA 1993). One unique feature is that all steps must be performed at all organization levels. This concept is illustrated in Figure 3.2.6. Most methodologies consist of a series of steps: the first few of which are performed at the highest organization levels, and the last of which are performed at the line organization. However, the new methodology prescribes that each step of the plan be performed at each level of the organization.

The activities recommended for each step consider the limited time and resources available for pollution prevention. Instead of prescribing "how-tos", the methodology provides a variety of tools from which local sites can choose. The hope is that waste reduction opportunities can be identified quickly, leaving more time for people to perform the implementations that actually reduce waste.

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