Title

A comparison of pollution prevention (P2) programs across the U.S..

Date of Award

5-1-2016

Document Type

Thesis

School

College of Liberal Arts

Degree Name

Bachelor in Arts

Abstract

Industrial pollution is a major environmental and human health concern that is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) was established under the Community Planning and Right-to-Know Act and mandates that industrial facilities report their emissions to the government in a database that is accessible by the public. To regulate these industrial emissions, national emissions and pollution prevention standards have been enforced, and states have developed supplemental forms of pollution prevention policy. Among these state policies are those that place regulations at the state level, facility level, or remain voluntary. This study aims to compare these forms of pollution prevention policy and their impact on the number of pollution prevention activities that a facility participates in and their associated emissions. I found that both pollution prevention actions and emissions decreased over time and that state legislation is associated with a significant decrease in both of these factors while voluntary and required facility policy were not. This study offers an important piece of guidance for states moving forward in pollution prevention policy. I suggest that states develop and implement emissions-reduction policy rather than allowing industrial facilities to maintain their autonomy.