Lean and Green: How Production Efficiency Aids the Environment (PDF)


Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

U.S. EPA has been preaching the gospel of “less is better” for years. The agency has been saying this through the law,
policy and practice of pollution prevention. EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) is charged
with administering, among other statutes, the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA), which reflects Congress’
commitment to reduce or minimize pollution at the source through changes in production, operation and raw materials
usage. EPA has been aggressive in achieving Congress’s goals.

In addition to administering the PPA, EPA has created and manages a wide range of innovative programs intended
to minimize or reduce pollution, and in so doing gives expression to the PPA.  These programs include, to name a few,
the Chemical Right-to-Know Initiative; the New and Existing Chemicals programs;  Design for the Environment
(DfE); the Green Chemistry program; the Environmentally Preferable Products Program; and the lead, asbestos
and PCBs programs.

In many ways, EPA’s implementation of these programs has had a profound influence on product reformulation in
diverse markets. This is because key aspects of EPA’s implementation of various programs have expressed a strong
bias against chemicals that are defined as persistent, bioaccumulative and/or toxic (PBT), as well as a growing number
of other chemicals believed to pose risks to the environment. PBTs include DDT, PCBs, dioxins and mercury.

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