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Pollution Prevention

Pollution Prevention > Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence > The Definition of Pollution Prevention The Definition of Pollution Prevention

Pollution Prevention Includes:

  1. Any practice that (these practices are known as "source reduction"):
    • Reduces the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant entering any waste stream or otherwise released into the environment (including fugitive emissions) prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal, and
    • Reduces the hazards to public health and the environment associated with the release of such substances, pollutants, or contaminants.
  2. Other practices that reduce or eliminate the creation of pollutants through:
    • Increased efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water, or other resources, or
    • Protection of natural resources by conservation.
  3. Equipment or technology modifications; process or procedure modifications; product reformulation or redesign; substitution of raw materials; or improvements in housekeeping, maintenance, training or inventory control.

To consider in-process recycling a pollution prevention activity, it must serve a productive function with the making of the commercial product for which the original process was designed and must be an integral part of that process (i.e., the production process cannot function without the recycling process).

Pollution Prevention Does Not Include:

  • Energy recovery;
  • treatment of a waste stream;
  • disposal;
  • recycling;
  • any practice that alters a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant once it is generated;
  • a practice that is not necessary for production;
  • or practices that create new risks to human health or the environment.