Denver, CO Pollution Prevention (P2)

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Denver, CO, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Initiated in 1999

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Pollution prevention (P2) is the process whereby businesses (primarily) reduce the amount of or change the materials they use in their day-to-day activities in order to reduce the amount and type of waste produced. This is often done instead of or in addition to reducing, changing, handling, and or disposing of waste after it is produced. The common wisdom is that it is cheaper and more environmentally-friendly to engage in pollution prevention activities than to clean up emissions or waste after it is produced.

The Environmental Quality Division (division)--being a regulatory agency--always prefers to educate and provide technical assistance to regulated entities as opposed to using enforcement. P2 is another method to gain compliance as an alternative to enforcement. As such, beginning in 1999, the division will launch a P2 effort for select business groups in geographical areas of the city to be determined. The thrust of this initiative is three-fold. First, we will use the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Environmental Leadership Program to encourage businesses to become more responsible. Second, using a P2 grant through the Preventative Health and Health Services Block Grant Program and in cooperation with the Northeastern Colorado Regional Pollution Prevention Program, we will receive P2 training and approach targeted, regulated businesses in Denver with innovative ways to implement P2 into their daily operations. Third, the division will be promoting certification to an international environmental standard (ISO 14001) as the basis and mechanism for companies pursuing P2.

The results of these efforts should result in fewer waste products being introduced into the environment and provide an economic benefit to businesses as well.