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As the Great Plains-Rocky Mountain Hazardous Substance Research Center celebrates its 10th anniversary of its annual conferences with the theme, "10 Years of Progress: Solving Old Problems and Preventing New Ones," this paper presents industry perspective on environmental management history and shows how Corporate America is responding to regulatory challenges and public pressure.
This paper consists of three parts. The first part deals with a brief regulatory history particularly relative to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approach on end-of-pipe controls vs. pollution prevention. The role of Emergency Planning and Community-Right-to-Know Act and Toxics Release Inventories in moving the environmental management direction towards pollution prevention is highlighted.
The second part of this paper presents "Environmental Management Continuum" (Continuum) describing how the regulated industry has responded to the evolving regulations. Different phases of the Continuum including denial, avoidance, compliance and pro-action are illustrated. A discussion on how the environment has become a strategic issue (rather than just a compliance problem) for Corporate America is presented.
Finally, this paper presents a 10-step approach to achieving environmental excellence, the final stage in the Continuum. Examples of industry leaders that are successfully applying elements of this approach are provided.
regulations, pollution prevention, environmental management, environmental excellence
This paper is from the Proceedings of the 10th Annual Conference on Hazardous Waste Research 1995, published in hard copy and on the Web by the Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Hazardous Substance Research Center.