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Pollution Prevention Planning Handbook


This handbook provides information about pollution prevention and the processes and techniques used in implementing pollution prevention practices. The handbook was written to help persons subject to a P2 Planning Notice and persons looking to voluntarily implement pollution prevention practices in their organization. Persons wishing to implement pollution prevention in a non-business setting may find the Pollution Prevention Planning Tutorial very useful.

If you are required to prepare a pollution prevention plan under CEPA you are encouraged to read:

Why Pollution Prevention Planning?

Simply put, reducing pollution can make a company more efficient. Pollution is often the result of process inefficiencies and can be thought of as a raw material that is not becoming a marketable product. Pollution prevention (P2) planning is a process that examines current operations and develops a plan to eliminate or reduce pollution at the source.

How to Use This Handbook

This handbook is divided into six sections. Each section and appendix can be read on its own or together with the others. The first three sections introduce and explain pollution prevention (P2) and provide information on the P2 planning process and glossary terms. The fourth section contains a model P2 Plan template that can be followed to prepare your own P2 plan. The fifth section guides the reader through some of the analytical techniques used in preparing a P2 plan. The final section provides real world case study examples and detailed information for the six most common and effective pollution prevention practices. Throughout the document, Get Technical hyperlinks will appear and should be accessed by those persons preparing a P2 plan for a P2 Planning Notice. Click on these hyperlinks to find out where the information being collected for your P2 plan may be requested in the Declarations you must submit to Environment Canada. 

For ease, you may want to print out the model P2 plan (section 4) and read through both the handbook and model plan together. Both documents reference each other and the handbook should be used as a companion to the model plan.

Getting Started

There are 6 steps in the P2 planning process. The following diagram illustrates these steps. As you proceed through each step of the process in the handbook, the diagram will allow you to track your progress towards completion of all 6 steps.

Diagram depicting the 6 Steps of the P2 Planning Process. See text below.

Step 1 – Commitment and Policy: Establish a commitment to pollution prevention and an overall pollution prevention policy. 

Step 2 – Baseline Review: Conduct a baseline review.  Take a close look and document current levels and sources of inputs (raw materials, energy and water), products and non-product outputs. Note any information gaps associated with a facility, specific product(s) or production line(s).

Step 3 – Planning: Develop the plan: set objectives and targets in your plan and identify, evaluate and select pollution prevention options to meet your selected objectives and targets.

Step 4 – Implementation: Implement the plan.

Step 5 – Monitoring and Reporting: Monitor implementation.

Step 6 – Review, Evaluate and Improve: Evaluate, review and improve the plan.

Persons familiar with the procedures for developing an environmental management system (EMS), according to ISO 14001, will notice that the process for developing and implementing a pollution prevention plan is very similar. Organizations with a formal EMS in place can therefore develop and implement a pollution prevention plan within the framework of their EMS. These organizations may have already completed many of the steps outlined in this handbook.

This handbook presents generic advice on "best practices". Given that each operation is different the P2 options and the associated level of effort will vary. For that reason, you are urged to adapt the information to your own circumstances and, where appropriate, seek advice from other companies that have implemented pollution prevention, from one of the many Internet based resources supporting pollution prevention, from government officials or from qualified consultants. Pollution prevention can provide significant benefits to organizations regardless of their size and nature of operations however, the precise sequence, level of effort, scope of analysis and options reviewed may vary from facility to facility.

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