P2 Results Task Force
The Results Task Force was formed following the National OPPTS meeting in Boston in November 2003. Membership in the Task Force is comprised of representatives from State P2 programs, EPA Headquarters and Regions, P2 Resource Exchange Centers (P2Rx), and the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR). Their task was to develop a National Pollution Prevention Results Data System, which could be easily aggregated at the Regional and National levels.
The vision of the National P2 Results Data System (the System) is creation of an efficient and effective way for analyzing and presenting the results of pollution prevention (P2) for the regions and the entire country. This system would be based on data that is collected, managed, and synthesized by individual state and local programs, non-profits, companies, and other P2 organizations. The Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) Regional Centers would aggregate P2 data for their regions and share this with NPPR and P2Rx for use in preparing a biennial report on the national progress of P2.
Underlying this framework is a general agreement among the participants on a core set of P2 measures - the Data Dictionary. These measures were compiled from several P2 data systems and include a range of outcome, behavior change, and activity metrics. They are not meant to be mandatory, and most likely, many P2 programs will only be able to report on some of these measures.
This proposed System is not designed to directly address each individual program’s effectiveness; rather the focus is on the effectiveness of P2 overall, particularly the environmental, public health, and economic outcomes. A related goal is to enhance collaboration among the varied P2 programs in collecting and compiling useful measurement data to improve overall effectiveness of P2 strategies.
Purpose and Benefits
The purpose and benefits of the National P2 Results System are to:
Ø Demonstrate that publicly-supported P2 programs are delivering value for their clients, the public, and taxpayers;
Ø Assist policy makers and others with assessing P2 and understanding which P2 efforts are effective as they set priorities, program goals and objectives;
Ø Help government agencies and others evaluate progress toward P2 goal achievements;
Ø Facilitate P2 programs to continually improve their activities; and
Ø Exhibit to potential P2 users the tangible environmental and economic benefits that are being achieved around the country
Environmental Measurement: Reasons to Measure Environmental Performance
Pollution prevention or source reduction projects, investments, and programs that are not tracked lose out on some very important information and insight.
Four overarching benefits of measuring environmental performances are:
Ø Gain perspective on what’s working and what’s not working;
Ø Understand and prove progress toward sustainability, environmental goals and environmental quality;
Ø Create an essential feedback and learning mechanism to support management decisions and effectively apply future effort(s) and investments in environmental improvement; and
Ø Market effectiveness of programs and opportunities
For examples and additional benefits of measuring, visit the Environmental Measurement Topic Hub.
The scope of the National P2 Results Data System begins with the definition of P2 from the U.S. Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. P2 means “source reduction,” which is any practice that:
Ø “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; or
Ø reduces the hazards to public health and the environment associated with the release of such substances, pollutants, or contaminants.”
The U.S. EPA has further defined P2 to include other practices that reduce or eliminate the creation of pollution through:
Ø increased efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water, or other resources; or
Ø protection of natural resources by conservation.
NOTE: The term “source reduction” includes: equipment or technology modifications, process or procedure modifications, reformulation or redesign of products, substitution of raw materials, and improvements in housekeeping, maintenance, training, in-process recycling or inventory control.
The national aggregation of P2 results data adheres strictly to this definition. Uploads of data from the regional level only include information from elements which meet the EPA definition. The System includes an identification of the core elements that are reported, if available, from the regional P2 Resource Exchange (P2Rx) centers.
Each regional P2Rx center may include additional data elements in their aggregation tool beyond what is needed to report to the System. These data elements may contain data from activities such as materials reuse, recycling, or energy recovery. It may also include behavior change or activity measures. Reporting of data for these activities will be voluntary and aggregated at the regional level.
Each state program may include any data elements that are appropriate for their particular program. This may include solid waste and hazardous waste recycling as well as materials which are sent to an incinerator for energy recovery. The information on the data elements which the state program provides to the regional aggregation tool will be determined through agreement between the state program and the regional P2Rx center.
More on the Results Task Force
Result Task Force Members
This group meets the second Thursday every other month at 12 ET. Contact the co-chairs for additional information on how to join this group.
Andy Bray, Co-Chair