Original Date: 05/01/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Pollution Prevention Program
Northrop Grumman Defensive Systems Division’s (DSD’s) Pollution Prevention (P2) program evolved from a waste minimization subcommittee initiated by the Environmental, Health, and Safety Management (EHSM) in 1987. In the early days of the program, the company lacked a dedicated budget for capital and expense improvements. P2 projects were proposed to area management, and approvals were based on the availability of labor and funding. Later, the EHSM established a general protocol for reducing hazardous materials usage and waste, and after analyzing the site’s chemical usage information, the EHSM planned and coordinated the projects to reduce waste and emissions. Today, Northrop Grumman DSD has taken its P2 program a step further by developing the Annual Environmental Operating Plan (AEOP).
The AEOP integrates the procedures, projects, and goals which make up the P2 strategy. This plan is inclusive and encompasses an array of P2 projects (e.g., bussing, car pooling, energy management, reduction/recycling of materials) used at the facility. To fund these efforts, EHSM submits P2 proposals for Environmental Technical Assistance (ETA) funding. Projects receiving ETA funding are prioritized based on metrics such as hazard levels of chemicals used; size of wastestreams; or highest environmental, regulatory, or contractual impacts. EHSM then gives the P2 project a dedicated source of funding from the ETA pool of funds.
Since implementing the AEOP in its P2 program, Northrop Grumman DSD has significantly decreased its hazardous waste, non-hazardous waste, and air emission pollutants. The company reduced hazardous waste disposal from 492 tons in 1989 to 8.2 tons in 1999; non-hazardous waste disposal from 28 tons in the 1995 to 1997 time frame to 5 tons in 1999; and air emission pollutants from 62.5 tons in 1992 to 13 tons in 1999. Projects which influenced the waste disposal reduction include installation of sludgeless wastewater treatment system for printed wiring board (PWB) manufacturing; re-evaluation of chemical shelf lives; and recycling of PWB etchant solution. Projects which influenced the air emissions reduction include elimination of Freon from manufacturing processes; conversion of low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints for manufacturing operations; conversion of Humiseal to a non-regulated conformal coating; and conversion of the degreasing solvent used in the Jetclean machines to a mixture of alcohol and Axarel 2200. The company posts this information on its Intranet website.
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