Pollution Prevention

Opportunity Assessments

P2 Home

Want to conduct a Pollution Prevention Opportunity Assessment (PPOA)?

The BNL Pollution Prevention Program can assist you. Contact the Pollution Prevention Coordinator or your Environmental Compliance Representative (ECR) for assistance.

What is a Pollution Prevention Opportunity Assessment (PPOA)?

As the name implies, a PPOA is a systematic assessment of a process to identify opportunities to reduce or eliminate wastes, to reuse or recycle materials, and to conserve natural resources. The assessment is usually conducted by a team of people familiar with the process. The team should include actual operators of the process, environmental support (ECRs), ES&H Coordinator, QA staff, and others.

BNL uses the a set of process analysis tools developed by Dr. Robert Pojasek, Ph.D. called the "Systems Approach to Pollution Prevention". We have modified the method to include a detailed environmental compliance review in addition to the search for P2 opportunities. Process Assessments have been completed for every industrial process on-site, therefore much of the work has already been done. Refer to the Process Assessment webpage for a listing of processes by Department.

The Systems Approach includes following steps:

  • Develop a Process Map, a schematic depiction of the process showing material inputs and outputs.
  • Identify the Root Causes, using cause and effect diagrams to evaluate causes of the environmental problem related to materials, methods, equipment, and people.
  • Generate Alternative Solutions, brainstorming sessions to get all possible solutions/opportunities on the table.
  • Choose the Best Solution, by comparing solutions and determining cost/technically feasibility.
  • Create an Action Plan, putting your actions in writing and identifying who will do what when.

The Systems Approach is based on proven process improvement tools developed for Quality Assurance programs. The techniques are equally effective in analyzing and improving process environmental conditions.

Completed PPOAs

Integrated Pest Management (IPM): This opportunity assessment was managed by the Environmental Services Division and was completed 7/01. ESD enlisted the help of the Cornell Cooperative Extension to review BNL's pesticide and herbicide practices, document good practices, and suggest opportunities for improvement. Additionally, Cooperative Extension is providing training to BNL applicators. This assessment is funded by the BNL Pollution Prevention Program.

The Process Evaluation Project uses the Process Mapping technique to evaluate BNL industrial processes and certain experiments. The project has developed hundreds of process maps for BNL's industrial processes and has identified possible P2 opportunities for many processes.

Certain lab-wide waste streams have been targeted, and PPOAs have been completed. Those include;
Photographic Waste Batteries (Lead/acid, Ni/Cd, Hg, Li, Alkaline) Mercury and Mercury Containing Equipment Aerosol Cans

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Last Modified: October 23, 2008
Please forward all questions about this site to: Karen Ratel