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Pollution Prevention Trends

Organization(s) New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection
Project Description In January and March 2007 respectively, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) Office of Pollution Prevention and Right to Know released two reports entitled Community Right To Know Annual Report for Reporting Year 2004, An Analysis of Community Right To Know Data for 2004 and Industrial Pollution Prevention in New Jersey: A Trends Analysis of Materials Accounting Data, 1994 to 2004.

The "Community Right to Know Annual Report" provides summaries and analyses of the 2004 hazardous substances inventory data and the facility chemical throughput, environmental release, on-site waste management, and off-site transfer data reported by New Jersey companies. The report represents a landmark 20th year of collecting hazardous substances inventory data in New Jersey.

The "Trends Report" reviews statewide trends for the use, non-product output (NPO), and releases for several different universes of facilities and hazardous substances. The primary purpose of this report is to provide information to the residents of New Jersey on the use, generation, and release of hazardous substances. To estimate impacts from changes in economic activity, the report quantifies use, NPO, and releases using two different metrics. The first tracks the sum of the "unadjusted" data as it is reported by the facilities. The second uses a Production Index (PI) to adjust the reported quantities for changes in production. Tracking both quantities presents a more complete picture for hazardous substance trends. The unadjusted quantities are needed to address concerns of potential risks and exposure from hazardous chemicals in communities regardless of production levels at the facilities. The adjusted quantities are useful for assessing whether changes are due to increases or decreases in production, or whether they are more likely attributed to improvements in process efficiency and pollution prevention.

Highlights of the "Trends Report" include:

-New Jersey facilities have achieved substantial statewide reductions of NPO. For the Historic Core Universe 1994-2004, NPO decreased by 45 percent while production increased by 25 percent. For the Recent Core Universe 2000-2004, NPO decreased by 43 percent while production increased by 7 percent. This indicates that facilities achieved statewide reductions by improving efficiency and implementing pollution prevention measures.

-New Jersey facilities have made substantial progress in reducing releases of hazardous substances – For the Historic Core Universe 1994-2004, releases decreased by 80 percent when adjusted for production. The Recent Core Universe 2000-2004 decreased releases by 44 percent when adjusted for production. Because these reductions occurred after treatment, it is difficult to determine if these regulated New Jersey facilities have become more efficient or if the control technology has improved. Regardless of why these reductions occurred, New Jersey residents and the environment have benefited by these reductions.

-Overall, New Jersey facilities have made less progress reducing the use of hazardous substances compared to NPO and releases For the Historic Core Universe 1994-2004, use decreased by only 4 percent. For the Recent Core Universe 2000-2004, use decreased by 13 percent. The lack of progress for reducing hazardous substance use is due to the fact that use is dominated by the quantity of chemicals shipped as/or in product. In 2004, hazardous substances shipped as/or in product accounted for over 77 percent of all hazardous substance use. Industries, such as petroleum refineries and metal fabrication, account for over 90 percent of the quantities in products. These types of facilities have limited options for reducing use compared to other types of industries.

More Info www.nj.gov/dep/opppc/reports.html#p2
 
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Source
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 17 No. 1, Spring 2007 [PDF]

 

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