This month's cover indicates that this is the annual pollution prevention issue. The photograph was taken in Yellowstone National Park. The stream is an agglomeration of run-offs from geysers and hot springs in the area of Old Faithful. The scene is beautiful and serene; however, if you look closely at the background you can see the devastation caused by the fires during past years. What you cannot see is the new growth sprouting up between the burnt-match trees. You cannot see the elk and bison moseying in the field.
You also cannot see the thousands of cars puttering through the park every day. You cannot see the garbage left behind or the vandalized rocks and trees. I think pollution prevention is in a lull in the public sector. I am grateful finishers have not become bored with it.
Finishers are working on new programs in the Metal Finishing Sector of the Common Sense Initiative. The newest program is the Strategic Goals Program. The program was developed by EPA and industry leaders. The program is designed to develop meaningful and achievable facility-based goals, reduce hazardous emission and increase economic payback while decreasing compliance costs. This project will be covered more thoroughly in the September issue.
The National Paint and Coatings Association (NPCA) has actively opposed the U.S. EPA proposed revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and particulate matter. NPCA contends that the current ozone and particulate matter standards are adequate to protect human health and the environment. The potentially negative impact of the EPA proposals on the whole economy prompted NPCA to join the National Association of Manufacturers umbrella organization, the Air Quality Standards Coalition. The group lobbies Congress and testifies at hearings.
Even though it appears the general public has "lost interest" in pollution prevention, the finishing industry has not. Bob Benson of the EPA said that the metal finishing industry is small but it is a major example to other industries of what can be done in the areas of hazardous waste reduction and pollution prevention. Perhaps we could be an example to the general public as well.