DEQ is firmly committed to encouraging and empowering Idaho citizens, businesses and communities to engage in behaviors to protect public health and preserve Idaho's environment. One of the major ways we seek to achieve this goal is to build the capabilities of Idaho citizens to incorporate pollution prevention practices into the workplace and their daily lives.
The best way to reduce waste and other pollution is to avoid producing it in the first place. Pollution prevention (P2) is any activity—including the use of materials, processes, or practices—that reduces or eliminates the creation of pollutants or waste at the source. Instead of trying to manage the wastes or pollutants through treatment or disposal methods, P2 aims to prevent the initial generation or reduce the toxicity of wastes and pollutants such as hazardous waste, air pollutants, solid waste, wastewater, etc.
P2 also includes any activity that reduces the toxicity of materials purchased or reduces the consumption of resources such as raw materials, water, energy, or fuel. By employing pollution prevention practices, stakeholders can enhance productivity, save money, improve workplace safety, reduce liability, and conserve natural resources.
Strategies to achieve this objective include:
- Plan, develop, and implement projects that provide stakeholders with effective tools to prevent pollution, minimize waste, and conserve energy and resources.
- Partner with the Idaho TechHelp Program to incorporate P2 techniques into technical assistance visits.
- Provide technical assistance to avert potential violations of environmental laws, rules, and programs; enhance compliance; and encourage above-and-beyond compliance actions to protect public health and preserve the environment.
- Recognize the P2 achievements of stakeholders, with an eye toward encouraging others to replicate these successes.
DEQ also seeks to lead by example by developing and practicing internal policies and procedures to prevent pollution, conserve resources, and mentor stakeholders on how to pursue and achieve similar results.
Pollution prevention can be employed by businesses, citizens, local governments, and schools. It's not difficult. In fact, in many cases, it's just plain common sense!
P2 for Businesses
Pollution prevention pays! Businesses can achieve increased productivity and lower operating costs as well as safer conditions for workers and reduced future liability. Learn more.
P2 for Citizens
We can all reduce our environmental footprint by practicing pollution prevention. Actions as simple as driving less, using pesticides and fertilizers sparingly, and conserving electricity and water can have a big impact! Find out ways you can participate.
P2 for Local Governments
Communities can be pollution prevention leaders by making a few easy changes to their internal operations and adopting policies to encourage citizen awareness and participation in pollution prevention. Learn more.
P2 for Schools
Many pollution prevention opportunities are available to schools and students. DEQ's Chemical Roundup Program is aimed at helping schools rid themselves of dangerous laboratory chemicals, while the Clean Air Zone and Waste-Free Lunches Programs will help control air pollution and minimize waste at schools. Learn more.