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Pollution Prevention Program

The Pollution Prevention Program, located within the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability at Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, is dedicated to promoting and supporting long-term process improvements and best management practices that reduce or eliminate waste before it is generated in household, commercial and industrial scenarios. The pollution prevention program's responsibilities include:


  • Providing outreach and technical assistance on sustainability concepts to businesses, the regulated community, the public and CDPHE;
  • Integrating sustainability concepts and expertise into CDPHE regulatory programs; and
  • Developing and promoting strategic and innovative pollution prevention projects and sustainable practices within Colorado businesses and CDPHE.


Our Mission:
To make pollution prevention the environmental management tool of first choice in Colorado.


What is Pollution Prevention?


Pollution prevention  is reducing or eliminating the volume or toxicity of pollutants or wastes at the source, through using less hazardous raw materials or using more efficient practices or processes. Pollution prevention includes reducing the use of energy, water, and other resources through increased efficiency or through conservation. 


Pollution prevention is not add-on pollution control or waste treatment, off-site recycling, burning waste, or shifting waste from one media to another (even though any of these may be warranted in certain cases). 


Don't wait until you've got a mess on your hands . . . .
Use PREVENT POLLUTION, and you'll also 

  • reduce production costs 
  • eliminate or reduce waste management costs 
  • lower risk and liability costs 
  • free up resources by reducing your regulatory burden and costs
  • reduce energy use and costs


Pollution Prevention and Environmental Management


   P2 Grants Program  

Environmental management is evolving rapidly in both the private and public sector.  Even as the private sector moves to integrated environmental management systems and concern about offsite impacts, agencies responsible for regulatory oversight around the world are relying more on incentives-based partnerships to keep up with the challenge of environmental protection. 

  • Prevention (First choice)
  • Reuse
  • Recycling
  • Treatment
  • Disposal (Last choice) 


The Colorado Pollution Prevention Act of 1992, passed as a result of a bi-partisan coalition effort.  The Act set state policy that “pollution prevention shall be the management tool of first choice,” i.e. that whenever feasible, pollution or waste should be prevented or reduced at the source. If the pollution or waste cannot be prevented, reuse or recycling is the next preferred approach.  Treatment, disposal or other release into the environment should be employed as a last resort. In addition, the use of recycled products rather than raw materials should be encouraged whenever feasible. Reducing material, energy and water usage through improved efficiency is also considered pollution prevention.

Many businesses implement pollution prevention practices to reduce costs and to reduce their environmental impacts at the same time. Taking a larger view, pollution prevention helps to preserve the environment’s capacity to support us by reducing the use of natural resources and the generation of wastes and pollution, while being economically beneficial at the same time. Pollution prevention is typically implemented through one or more of the following strategies:

  • Equipment and/or technology modifications
  • Process and/or procedure modifications
  • Product reformulation and/or redesign (Green Design or Design for the Environment)
  • Raw materials substitution (Green Chemistry)
  • Improved housekeeping
  • Improved operation & maintenance
  • Training, inventory control
  • In-Process recycling
  • Energy efficiency, energy conservation, and/or alternative energy
  • Water efficiency and/or conservation
  • Working with suppliers (Greening the Supply Chain) and/or customers


The leading practitioners of pollution prevention now are integrating pollution prevention into environmental management systems (EMSs) so the approach is more systematic and enduring in their organizations. For more information on pollution prevention, see the documents in the general section of the pollution prevention library listed below, look at the links at the end of this web page, or contact the pollution prevention program.


  P2 Library 




Call 303-692-2976 or email cdphe.ppp2@state.co.us