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Measuring Pollution Prevention

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What Does Pollution Prevention Measurement Mean?

Measuring results is an essential component of any successful P2 program and is one way to determine the success of a technical assistance or training effort. Different types of activities will lead to different outcomes or results of P2 program activities. Outcomes may be knowledge-based, behavioral, health-related, or environmental in nature. Ultimately these outcomes can lead to improvements in environmental or environmentally-based health-risk conditions.

Short-term P2 outcomes reflect changes in knowledge, attitude or skills, for example: increased awareness of P2 practices or increased knowledge of how to implement P2 options. Intermediate outcomes include adoption of P2 practices or developing a P2 plan. Ultimately these changes can result long-term outcomes such as conservation of natural resources, decreased exposure to toxics, decreased release of toxics to the environment, and cost savings.

P2 Calculators

P2 Calculator spread sheets are designed to help measure the environmental and economic performance results of P2 activities. These calculators can demonstrate the unique multi-media perspective that P2 brings to reduce GHG reductions and cost savings.

The Pollution Prevention Division presented, via webinar, a training module describing the two P2 calculators and the conversion spread sheets (PDF) (44 pp, 5.3M, About PDF). Updated January 2013.

P2 Greenhouse Gas Calculator
The P2 GHG Calculator calculates GHG emission reductions from electricity conservation, green energy, fuel and chemical substitutions with lower GHG-intensities, water conservation, and improved materials and process management in the chemical manufacturing sector. This tool will assist program participants to submit higher-quality data for the program measure, and demonstrates the unique multi-media perspective that P2 brings to reduce metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e).
MS Excel format P2 Greenhouse Gas Calculator (104K, XLS). Updated October 2012.

Frequently asked questions about the P2 GHG calculator (PDF) (4 pp, 108.6K, About PDF). Updated October 2012.

P2 Cost Savings Calculator
The P2 Cost Calculator assesses cost savings associated with reduced costs for hazardous inputs in a facility process, reduced costs for handling hazardous waste, reductions in annual air permitting fees that are based on actual emissions, reduced water discharge treatment costs based on gallons discharged, reduced charges for water usage, reduced fuel costs, and reduced costs for electricity. Understanding potential cost savings presents a big incentive for action and collaboration to program beneficiaries.
MS Excel format P2 Cost Savings Calculator (104K, XLS). Updated March 2013.

Gallons to Pounds Converter
This is designed to provide conversions from units commonly encountered in business to units needed for P2 Program measures. It is not uncommon for hazardous materials to be measured in gallons for business purposes gallons of paint, and gallons of waste water, for example. For program purposes, all these gallon measures need to be converted to pounds of hazardous materials for the program measure "pounds of hazardous materials reduced."
MS Excel format: Gallons to Pounds Converter (117k, XLS).

Who Is Using P2 Measures?

P2 Grantees: Pollution prevention and source reduction grants support state and tribal organizations that facilitate the adoption of pollution prevention practices by businesses, government, universities, hospitals, and other organizations. These grants produce annual environmental results in pounds of hazardous materials reduced, BTUs of energy saved, gallons of water saved and dollars saved (as required in the EPA strategic plan). In 2006, the Pollution Prevention Program began publicly reporting the environmental results of grants, on an individual grant basis and on a regional and an aggregate basis.

P2 Grants Results for FY 2006 (PDF) (4 pp, 22.7K, About PDF)
P2 Grants Results for FY 2007 (PDF) (4 pp, 23K, About PDF)
P2 Grants Results for FY 2008 (PDF) (3 pp, 21.5K, About PDF)
P2 Grants Results for FY 2009 (PDF) (3 pp, 24.3K, About PDF)

Read more information on how P2 outcomes can be determined as described in the P2 Grant Program RFP Appendix C (PDF) (8 pp, 56.4K, About PDF).

State and Local P2 Programs measure P2 to demonstrate that their programs are delivering value for their clients, the public, and taxpayers. Measuring the results of these programs help state and local policy makers understand the impact of P2 efforts and set priorities, goals and objectives.

State and Local P2 programs use the National P2 Results Data System to track and summarize the success of their programs. The National P2 Results Data System was created in a partnership between the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable and its members under a grant from EPA. This databse provides an efficient and effective way for analyzing and presenting the results of P2 programs in states, regions and the entire country. For more information about the workgroup, the Memorandum of Agreement which State P2 programs have signed to commit to providing data and to learn who is on the workgroup visit www.p2.org/workgroups/results-task-force Exit EPA Disclaimer.

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Why Measure P2 Program Impacts?

A major reason that we measure P2 outcomes is to fulfill EPA's requirements for its Strategic Plan. On the agency level, EPA's strategic plan identifies the measurable environmental and human health outcomes the public can expect over the next five years and describes how EPA intends to achieve those results. The Agency has established five long-term, results-based goals, each developed with the advice and participation of our governmental partners and stakeholders. By focusing efforts on a small number of outcome-oriented goals, EPA hopes to achieve better environmental results, stronger and better partnerships with federal, state, tribal, and local government entities, and wiser use of tax dollars.

Goal 5, Objective 5.2 states the outcomes for improving environmental performance through pollution prevention and other stewardship practices.

In addition to helping EPA, states and tribes tailor their programs, the Government Performance Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) and the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) require the measurement and reporting of program results, and outcomes.

The performance of Federal programs are evaluated by the Office of Management and Budget using the "Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART)" to determine if the Federal programs are effective and achieving their strategic goals. In 2006 the Pollution Prevention program was reviewed by the OMB and was determined to be "moderately effective."

Following the OMB review, EPA's science advisory Board was consulted regarding some P2 measurement issues (PDF) (17 pp, 159.7K, About PDF).

EPA Office of the Inspector General (OIG)

Following the 2006 OMB review, EPA's Office of Inspector General issued a more in-depth review of the measurement and reporting results in January 2009: Measuring and Reporting Performance Results for the Pollution Prevention Program Need Improvement Report No. 09-P-008 (PDF) (39 pp, 339K, About PDF). Later that year, the Office of Pesticides, Prevention and Toxic Substances responded to the OIG recommendations in this memorandum: April 22, 2009 (PDF) (4 pp, 19.2K, About PDF).

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