more carefully their use of hazardous materials, and consequently has reduced the amount of waste generated.

Recent passage of the Federal Facility Compliance Act provides additional financial incentive to minimize hazardous material use and waste generation by removing the federal exemption from some Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements. This act now exposes federal installations to potential fines and penalties for notices of violation (NOVs) issued by federal, state, and local environmental jurisdictions for mismanagement of hazardous materials and waste. The rules governing storage, handling, and paperwork requirements for hazardous materials and waste are complex and administratively cumbersome. Approximately 50 percent of all Air Force NOVs are for these types of violations. These represent potential financial liability for having hazardous materials on Air Force installations. Pollution prevention offers an avenue to reduce or eliminate these materials. Organizational accounting procedures that force polluters to pay their own environmental costs, fines, and penalties are a powerful technique for reducing waste generation and improving the corporate bottom line.

Performance Incentives

The metrics for the Pollution Prevention Program are based on installations reporting their baseline figures and updating these figures annually. The data are aggregated at major commands and ultimately at Air Force Headquarters. Score-cards, based on the data, are reported to the Air Force Environmental Protection Committee and rate all commanders on their progress toward meeting the objectives. Each installation, each major command, and Air Force headquarters conduct EPC meetings quarterly. The committees are headed by the commander or vice commander and include key staff from all functional areas. At Headquarters Air Force, the committee is cochaired by the deputy vice chief of staff and deputy assistant secretary for environment, safety, and occupational health. The EPC also regularly advises the chief of staff and secretary on the health of the program and current issues. This EPC provides an opportunity for leadership at all levels to assess the performance of the environmental programs of subordinate levels. Because of the emphasis senior leadership places on pollution prevention, these scorecards have become a basis for competition. Every commander wants to have the best program.

Changing External Behavior

Changing the behavior of suppliers is more difficult. The only control over the private sector is through incentives embodied in the contracting process. This influence can, however, have some effect by virtue of the size of the Air Force budget. For example, in fiscal year 1991, the Air Force executed nearly 5 million contracting actions totaling nearly 50 billion dollars. Throughout the Department

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement