The benefits of pollution prevention are immense in every setting – local, state, and federal government; industry; and institutions like hospitals. Pollution prevention (P2) saves money in costs related to materials, operations, and waste management, treatment, and disposal. When P2 principles are applied in day-to-day operations, the use of human, raw materials, equipment, energy, and water resources is more efficient. In industrial settings, work environments become safer when less toxic materials are substituted for products that may be harmful to human health and the environment. Indoor air quality improves, harmful air emissions are eliminated, and the requirements for pollution controls and safety equipment are reduced or eliminated. Businesses benefit from lower risks and liability costs for their operations. Perhaps the most significant and valuable outcome of P2 activities is the likelihood of decreased regulatory requirements, including air pollution permits; pretreatment requirements for wastewater discharge; and reduced monitoring and reporting costs. Finally, P2 improves community relations, demonstrates a commitment to sustainability, and improves employee attitudes, company image, and brand loyalty.
Versar has provided P2 services to clients throughout the US and internationally. In fact, Versar developed EPA’s first pollution prevention opportunities assessment handbook, which was designed to identify and evaluate alternative methods for discharging waste. Versar's extensive experience with P2 initiatives in every setting – local, state, federal, and industrial – ensures our customers will accomplish all of their objectives related to pollution prevention.
Pollution prevention opportunity assessments (P2OAs) represent the preferred methodology identified by EPA and other federal agencies to identify waste streams, examine the processes that generate waste, and discover ways to reduce waste and save money.
Versar has performed numerous P2OAs since 1997, saving millions of dollars of waste disposal, labor, and materials-related costs. We have provided P2 services to many customers on a cyclic basis with outstanding results. Our customers are surprised that even after we have successfully identified and they have captured the "low-hanging fruit," we recognize follow-on P2 actions that result in added waste minimization, cost avoidance, and new, innovative approaches for further enhancement of the P2 efforts.
Conducting a P2OA consists of selecting a team of experts (solid waste engineers, chemical engineers, wastewater and regulatory specialists, and economists) that gather data on the waste generating activity, brainstorm pollution prevention opportunities, research those opportunities, and make final recommendations. Versar's technical team documents the P2OA process by identifying, evaluating, and prioritizing potential P2 opportunities, selecting one or more of them for possible implementation, and then calculating a return on investment that defines the payback period and potential cost savings for the selected initiative.