Regional Highlights Pacific Northwest
Pollution Prevention Roundtable
June 16-17, 1999 in Olympia, Washington — Roundtable Report Digest

The following information is summarized from the June 1999 Northwest Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable meeting. A full meeting report is also available.



Meeting goals were to: 1) foster networking between pollution prevention practitioners and wastewater treatment operators, and 2) identify opportunities for the two communities to work together on mutually beneficial projects that prevent pollution, and 3) build understanding of market tools to achieve pollution prevention. The Audience included pollution prevention technical assistance providers (TAPs), P2 program managers, permit writers, wastewater treatment plant operators.



Toxics in Wastewater: Laying the Groundwork

Judy Kennedy, Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology)

Discussion Participant:
Dave Galvin, King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program (LHWMP)

Judy Kennedy: Hazardous waste discharges to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) are increasing. Toxics in wastewater can cause POTWs to violate sludge disposal standards and NPDES permits, upset the treatment process, damage equipment, endanger plant personnel, force plants to obtain costly Clean Air Act operating permits, and increase vulnerability to Superfund liability. Reducing toxic discharges to wastewater through P2 will protect the public’s investment in POTWs, improve treatment and cut costs, in addition to preventing pollution.

Dave Galvin: The concept of "super-inspectors" knowledgeable about all media and their regulations is not practical, but different media programs, POTWs, and fire departments should communicate regularly and coordinate activities.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


Strategies for Small Dischargers

Freda Tepfer, Snohomish County Solid Waste Management

Discussion Participants:
Gail Savina, LHWMP - 206-263-3062,
David Wigglesworth, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) – 907-269-7582,
Judy Kennedy, Ecology – 360-407-6744,

Gail Savina: King County has undertaken a dental outreach program to prevent improper disposal of mercury in amalgam waste. Lessons learned in this campaign are: 1) Change takes time, 2) Programs should promote changes that will make a big difference, 3) Campaigns should work with existing sector leaders and communications channels, and 4) Campaigns should try to create role models in the targeted audience.

David Wigglesworth: Alaska DEC has begun an assistance campaign on the Kenai Peninsula to prevent groundwater pollution from improper disposal of non-domestic wastewater into shallow injection wells. DEC is working with property owners, businesses, and local governments to seek implementation of prevention-based best management practices.

Shallow Injection Well Resource:
EPA Underground Injection Control Program

Judy Kennedy: Ecology has undertaken campaigns to help small businesses and institutions reduce waste and properly manage wastes that they do generate. In all the business campaigns, well more than half of the visited shops adopted at least some of the recommended changes.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


Strategies for Working with Large Dischargers

Hugh O’Neill, Ecology

Discussion Participants:
Chuck Hopkins, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) – 503-229-6528,
John Greeley, Clayton Brown, Unified Sewerage Agency – 503-844-8922,, 503-844-8923,
Judy Kennedy, Ecology – 360-407-6744,

Chuck Hopkins: The Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies (ORACWA) was formed to provide P2 and other educational services to wastewater and stormwater agencies. Cooperative relationships fostered by ORACWA have been helpful in integrating P2 into pretreatment programs.

John Greeley and Clayton Brown: The Unified Sewerage Agency uses a patient, persistent approach to educate customers about P2. The P2 message must be reinforced at every opportunity, with both agency staff and customers.

Judy Kennedy: Regulatory tools POTWs can use to keep toxics out of wastewater include notification provisions in federal pretreatment regulations, sewer ordinances, spill prevention planning, and solvent management plans.

Hugh O’Neill: There are numerous opportunities for P2 and pretreatment programs to work together: planning of new industrial facilities, proposed expansions of industrial facilities, treatment plant upsets, permit renewals, or industrial sector campaigns. P2 and pretreatment programs should share facility lists and contacts, notify each other of pending industrial projects, meet, share information, and develop joint strategies.

P2 & Pretreatment Resources:
Oregon DEQ
EPA Office of Wastewater Management
Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies
Water Environment Federation
P2 for Wastewaters

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


Water Efficiency: Overview of Opportunities

Ray Hoffman, Seattle Public Utilities

There are four reasons why the Northwest needs to be concerned about water efficiency: 1) Social: Efficiency looks after the interests of future generations, 2) Environmental: Conserving water is good for salmon, 3) Legal: Endangered species listings are forcing the region to rethink management of its water resources, and 4) Economic: Water efficiency reduces business costs and defers costly investment in water supply development and sewage treatment capacity expansions. Climate necessitates efficiency—water demand peaks in the summer, when rainfall is lowest.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


Water Efficiency Part 1: P2 Examples

Discussion Participant:
Christa Colouzis, Ecology

Ecology’s Toxics Reduction Engineer Exchange program (TREE) offers intensive technical assistance to companies needing site-specific technical and economic analyses of pollution prevention opportunities. In the most recently completed project, TREE helped Basin Frozen Foods identify and implement water efficiency measures that freed up water for a french fry production line while reducing wastewater discharges.

Water Efficiency Resources:
Seattle Public Utilities
BEST Case Studies
Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington
Cooling Tower Institute

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


Water Efficiency Part 2: Water Reuse

Discussion Participant:
Tom Fox, King County Department of Natural Resources

Reclaimed water is not a universal solution for improving water efficiency, but can be used in place of fresh water in certain applications. Elsewhere in the U.S., reclaimed water is mainly used for irrigation.

Water Reuse Resources:
Draft King County Regional Wastewater Services Plan, Executive’s Preferred Plan (see Page 18)
Tucson Reclaimed Water Page
WateReuse Association of California
Reclaimed Water in Austin

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


Water Efficiency Part 3: Tools You Can Use

Discussion Participant:
Al Dietemann, Seattle Public Utilities

Per-capita annual demand and per-capita peak demand have fallen in Seattle Public Utilities’ service area since 1989. Seattle uses four water efficiency strategies: 1) Seasonal pricing, 2) Plumbing codes, 3) Incentives, and 4) Leak repairs. Seattle pays businesses to install approved water efficiency measures. It’s worth it to pay for water efficiency, if the cost of freeing up water through efficiency is less than the cost of developing new water supplies.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


EPA Headquarters Update

Discussion Participant:
Dave Kling, EPA Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics

The presentation covered numerous topics on programs and projects under way at EPA Headquarters. Highlights included:
"Aiming for Excellence:" EPA will issue a report this summer benchmarking 25 to 40 facilities using innovative approaches to environmental performance.
Kids: EPA has opened a children’s health protection office ( Information: EPA is reorganizing its information services to make it easier for the public to obtain data (
Chemical Right-to-Know: The goal of the Chemical Right-to-Know program is to expand availability of basic toxicity data for high production volume chemicals (
Technical Assistance: Small Business Development Centers are seeking a leading role in providing environmental technical assistance. A bill to that effect, HR 296, has been introduced in Congress. (See Thomas for a copy of the bill,
PBT Initiative: Funding for the PBT Initiative may be shifted to regions and states in the next fiscal year.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR)

Discussion Participants:
David Wigglesworth, Alaska DEC, NPPR at-large board member
Marianne Fitzgerald, Oregon DEQ, Region 10 representative on NPPR board

NPPR brings together organizations, constituents and individuals to collaborate on P2, resource efficiency and environmental management. NPPR has workgroups that can help P2 practitioners network with others who share their interests. Visit NPPR at

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


Using Market Tools to Achieve P2: Overview of Opportunities

Rob Greenwood, Ross & Associates

Globalization has greatly increased the fluidity and power of markets. In light of this change, agencies need to try out market-based instruments for achieving environmental goals. Advantages of market-based instruments for business include saved time, predictability, and higher profits. Costs of changing behavior must be carefully considered. Think broadly of audiences and drivers when promoting market-based instruments.

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


Market Tools Part 1: Procurement for P2

Discussion Participants:
Shirli Axelrod, Seattle Public Utilities
Karen Hamilton, King County Procurement Services Division

Shirli Axelrod: The city is developing an environmental purchasing program. Tips for implementing a program include: 1) Work with people willing to implement change rather than relying on written policies, 2) Use resources already available, 3) Pre-qualify vendors that sell green products, and 4) Deal with disposal issues up front.

Karen Hamilton: Tips for implementing an environmentally preferred purchasing program include: 1) Write a statement of intent, 2) Work cooperatively with departments to get them to try new products, 3) Share information, 4) Document outcomes.

Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP) Resources:
King County Environmental Purchasing Bulletin
Energy Star
National Association of Counties
Co-op America Green Pages

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


Marketing Tools Part 2: Certification or Eco-Label Programs

Discussion Participants:
Carole Skeeters, The Food Alliance
Larry Nussbaum, SmartWood

Carole Skeeters: The Food Alliance conducts independent evaluations to certify foods from farms that meet standards for pest and disease management, soil and water conservation, and safe and fair working conditions for farm employees. Consumer education is necessary, because there are a number of food labeling programs in operation. Consumers need help understanding what labels are telling them and exactly what they’re getting when they buy certified food.

Sustainable Agriculture Resources:
The Food Alliance
Organic Alliance
Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
Sustainable Agriculture Network

Larry Nussbaum: SmartWood is a network of 13 regional organizations that provide third-party certification of forest practices on tropical, temperate and boreal timberlands. The SmartWood label helps consumers find wood products that originated in sustainably managed forests. There are two types of forest certification: 1) Forest practices management, and 2) Chain-of-custody, which assures that products which manufacturers and other "middlemen" advertise as certified actually originated from certified forests.

Forest Certification Resources:
Forest Stewardship Council
Scientific Certification Systems
American Forestry and Paper Association

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


Market Tools Part 3: Extended Product Responsibility (EPR)

Discussion Participants:
David Stitzhal, Full Circle Environmental
Viccy Salazar, EPA Region 10

EPR is a matter of accounting for and reducing environmental costs throughout product life cycles, rather than shifting environmental costs onto society at large. In Europe, EPR is being carried out through government action. In the U.S., action is largely in the private sector. A tenet of EPR is changing the nature of transactions to buying services instead of products. Another tenet is shifting the point at which disposal costs are paid, creating a disincentive to wasteful packaging.

A key to building demand for sustainable products is procurement—locking green criteria into purchase contracts. Consumer behavior can be influenced, but it can be a tricky process. Credible certification programs help. Another EPR opportunity is supply chain management, in which large buyers work with vendors to help them manage their costs and environmental issues.

EPR Resources:
EPA Emerging Strategies (under construction) –
President’s Commission on Sustainable Development, 1996 EPR Workshop Proceedings

Additional details on this topic are available in the full meeting report.


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