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The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 requires the Environmental Protection Agency to establish an Office of Pollution Prevention, develop and coordinate a pollution prevention strategy, and develop source reduction models. The act requires owners and operators of manufacturing facilities to report annually on source reduction and recycling activities, and authorizes EPA to collect data collection on pollution prevention.
Enactment of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 marked a turning point in the direction of U.S. environmental protection policy. From an earlier focus on the need to reduce or repair environmental damage by controlling pollutants at the point where they are released to the environment, Congress enacted this law with the goal of achieving pollution prevention through reduced generation of pollutants at their point of origin. Broad support for this policy change was based on the notion that traditional approaches to pollution control had achieved progress, but may in the future be supplemented with new approaches that might better address cross-media pollution transfers, the need for cost-effective alternatives, and methods of controlling pollution from dispersed or nonpoint sources of pollution.
Pollution prevention, also referred to as "source reduction," is viewed by its advocates as the first in a hierarchy of options to reduce risks to human health and the environment. Where prevention is not …