P2 information resource

Information is only as useful as its accessibility for its intended users. Libraries, databases, filing cabinets and Rolodexes around the country are filled with high-quality pollution prevention (P2) information resources and contacts that businesses and technical assistance providers could put to good use. Until recently, there was no system in place to coordinate these resources and provide easy, efficient access. Consequently, potential users were unaware of them.

That system is now being put in place due to the establishment of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx), a coordinated effort of nine regional pollution prevention resource centers funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Each center offers a range of services, providing information for specific industry sectors, training library resources, referrals and research. Through P2Rx, the nine centers (see P2Rx centers and contacts) are laying the groundwork for a national network of easily accessible, high-quality P2 information.

P2Rx is expected to provide many benefits to technical assistance providers. For example, how many file drawers are filled with parts cleaning fact sheets from different agencies, all containing the same information? P2Rx will reduce duplication of effort by improving collaboration. Information exchange hindered by incompatible information formats will also be reduced, through the promotion of standardized formats. Finally, troves of valuable P2 information squirreled away inside heads, libraries and databases will be shared, as P2Rx helps create information distribution channels.

Serving programs' needs
The roots of P2Rx lay in a survey of technical assistance providers conducted by EPA in 1994. EPA surveyed more than 300 state and local government environmental programs about designing an information network that would best serve their needs in providing P2 technical assistance. The responses showed that assistance providers want a network that makes information searches easy; collects, synthesizes and updates technical information; and provides contact information for experts and other sources.

In 1997, EPA initiated a grant program to start a national network of P2 information centers, including four existing centers and five new ones. The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC), which serves the EPA Region 10 states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, was selected as the initial P2Rx coordinator. The coordinator role will rotate among the centers.

Regional specialization
A key to making P2Rx work is the recognition that all of the centers operate differently and serve needs reflecting their regions. For example, the P2 center in the Great Lakes has a wealth of information about the primary metals industries. The Southeast center is the place for textile manufacturers to turn for P2 ideas. A shipbuilding question can be handled by the Northwest center.

As the initial coordinator, PPRC has helped the centers identify areas of common interest and find convenient ways of working effectively together. The idea is to encourage the regional centers to share information and begin building a coordinated national P2 information network.

Over the past year, the nine regional centers have met three times to work on common approaches to issues such as marketing the centers' services, measuring service usage, assuring resource quality and developing a standard format for bibliographic references. Another task has been collaborative development of P2 materials on hospitality and metal fabrication.

Sharing information
Through regular communications, the centers have been getting into the habit of sharing information and learning from each other. For example, one of the most useful aspects of the P2Rx collaboration has been a regular "clinic," at which centers share information on common concerns, such as outreach strategies and copyright issues. By working together on projects of common interest, P2Rx is laying a foundation for a national P2 information network that will promote waste reduction across the United States.

You can reach the P2Rx center nearest you by visiting www.epa.gov/p2/p2rxdir.htm. Go to the colored map, click on your state and you will be sent to a baseline Web page of the center serving that state.

P2Rx centers and contacts

EPA Regions 1-2: CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT
Northeast Regional P2 Information Center
Andy Bray
New England Waste Management Officials Association (NEWMOA)
129 Portland St., Suite 602
Boston, MA, 02214-2014
Ph: 617-367-8558, x308; Fx: 617-367-0449
Web site: Pending

EPA Regions 3-4: AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, KY, MD, MS, NC, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV
Waste Reduction Resource Center
Mike Heaney
Waste Reduction Resource Center
PO Box 29569
Raleigh, NC 27626-9569
Ph: 919-715-6511; Fx: 919-715-6794
E-mail: mike_heaney@p2pays.org
Web: http://wrrc.p2pays.org/about.htm

EPA Region 5: IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI
Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention
Information Center
Lisa Merrifield
Illinois Waste Management & Research Center
1 E. Hazelwood Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Ph: 217-244-6061; Fx: 217-333-8944
E-mail: merrifld@wmrc.hazard.uiuc.edu
Web: www.glrppr.uiuc.edu/AboutUs/reg5baseline.htm

EPA Region 6: AR, LA, NM, OK, TX
Southwest P2 Information Center

Conrad Soltero
University of Texas, El Paso
500 W. University
Burges Hall, Room 400
El Paso, TX 79968
Ph: 915-747-6273; Fx: 915-747-5437
E-mail: conrad@utep.edu
Web: http://p2.utep.edu/maribel/baseline2.html

EPA Region 7: IA, KS, MO, NE
Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center

Richard Yoder, PE
University of Nebraska, Omaha
Nebraska MEP/NBDC
1135 M St., Suite 200
Lincoln, NE 68508-2124
Ph: 402-472-1183; Fx: 402-472-3363
E-mail: ryoder@unomaha.edu
Web: http://p2ric.unomaha.edu/about/baseline.cfm

EPA Region 8: CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY
Peaks to Prairies Pollution Prevention Information Center

Dr. Michael Vogel
Montana State University Extension
Service Ð Montana P2 Program
Bozeman, MT 59717
Ph: 406-994-3451; Fx: 406-994-5417
E-mail: acxmv@montana.edu
Web: www.montana.edu/wwwpeaks/baseline.htm

EPA Region 9: AZ, CA, HI, NV
Western Regional Pollution Prevention Network

Isao Kobashi
Western Regional Pollution Prevention Network
3120 DelaCruz Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Ph: 408-566-4560; Fx: 408-748-7388
E-mail: wrppn@cats.ucsc.edu
Web: www.westp2net.org/p2rxstrt.html

EPA Region 10: AK, ID, OR, WA
Northwest Pollution Prevention Network

Catherine Dickerson
Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource
Center (PPRC)
1326 5th Ave., Suite 650
Seattle, WA 98101
Ph: 206-223-1151; Fx: 206-223-1165
E-mail: cdickerson@pprc.org
Web: www.pprc.org/pprc/about/pprc.html

Islands (AS, GU, HI, PR, VI)
P2 Information Center for Islands
Peter Rappa
Sea Grant Extension
2525 Correa Road, HIG 237
Honolulu, HI 96822
Ph: 808-956-2868; Fx: 808-956-2858
E-mail: rappa@hawaii.edu
Web: www.hawaii.edu/morav/baseline.html

Click here to post comments about this topic, and read what others have to say.

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/1999 issue of Environmental Protection.

comments powered by Disqus