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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2007

Contact: Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795

DEP ANALYSIS DEMONSTRATES BENEFITS OF POLLUTION PREVENTION

(07/14) TRENTON - New Jersey's industries are boosting economic output as they dramatically cut the amount of wastes they discharge to the environment, according to an analysis of pollution-prevention trends released today by Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson.

"Pollution prevention encourages the reduction or elimination of industrial waste at the source through the use of better management practices,'' Commissioner Jackson said. "This analysis provides quantifiable evidence that pollution prevention protects the environment and public health while fostering a productive industrial economy.''

New Jersey industries increased annual production by 25 percent while the amount of waste they generated, known as non-product output, declined by 45 percent, or 87 million pounds, according to the report entitled Industrial Pollution Prevention in New Jersey: A Trends Analysis on Materials Accounting Data 1994-2004.

Meanwhile, the overall amount of waste released into the environment decreased from 12.5 million pounds to 2.5 million pounds, or 80 percent, continuing the trend indicated in a DEP analysis released three years ago.

"From the public's perspective, these trends show that New Jersey is clearly moving in the right direction," Commissioner Jackson added.

The report tracks the use, generation and release of hazardous substances at approximately 550 facilities, including petroleum refineries, chemical plants and major manufacturers.

New Jersey is one of only two states that require industries to provide a more detailed view of hazardous substances used in manufacturing than offered by federal Toxic Release Inventory reports.

DEP uses a "production index" to calculate whether waste reductions are due to pollution-prevention measures or result from variations in production, such as those caused by process shutdowns or inefficient operations.

The overall use of hazardous substances dropped four percent, or about 500 million pounds. The report, however, notes that greater reductions have been difficult because petroleum refiners and metal fabricators are limited in their ability to reduce the amount of hazardous substances shipped in their products, compared to other types of industries.

The analysis tracks three separate groups of chemicals of concern - carcinogens, substances that persist in the environment, and Extraordinarily Hazardous Substances. Tracking these substances individually allows DEP to prioritize resources in its enforcement and permitting programs and keeps the public informed about trends in the use of these chemicals.

For a copy of the report, go to: http://www.nj.gov/dep/opppc/reports.html#p2

 

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