Regulatory Background

Three key federal programs have been implemented to address pollution production: the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 33/50 Voluntary Reduction Program, and the Clean Air Act Amendments' (CAAA's) Early Reduction Program for Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT). Table 3.1.2 compares the features of these programs, from which the following key points are noted:

Air toxics are used as a starting point for multimedia pollution prevention (that is consistent with two-thirds of the reported 3.6 billion lb released into the air). Reductions in hazardous air pollutants will occur incrementally during different years (1992, 1994, 1995, and beyond).

Flexibility or variability in the definition of the base year, the definition of the source, and credits for reductions are possible.

The Pollution Prevention Strategy focuses on cooperative effort between the EPA, industry, and state and local governments as well as other departments and agencies to forge initiatives which address key environmental threats. Initially, the strategy focused on the manufacturing sector and the 33/50 program (formerly called the Industrial Toxics Project), under which the EPA sought substantial voluntary reduction of seventeen targeted high-risk industrial chemicals (see Table 3.1.3).

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