July 1991

                            2nd Edition
          United States      Special Projects Office (TS-792A)
          Environmental Protection Office of Toxic Substances
          Agency         Washington, DC 20460

x>EPA   THE 33/50  PROGRAM

                       Printed on Recycled Paper

The 33/50 Program is EPA's voluntary pollution  prevention initiative to reduce
national pollution releases and off-site transfers of 17 toxic chemicals by 33 per cent
by the end of 1992 and by 50 per cent by the end of 1995. EPA is asking companies
to examine their own industrial processes to identify and implement cost-effective
pollution prevention practices for these chemicals. Company participation in the
33/50 Program  is completely voluntary. The Program aims,  through voluntary
pollution prevention activities, to reduce releases and off-site transfers of a targeted
set of 17 chemicals from a national total of 1.4 billion pounds in 1988 to 700 million
pounds by 1995, a 50% overall reduction. The Toxics Release Inventory  (TRI)
(established by federal law, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know
Act of 1986) will be used to track these reductions using 1988 data as a baseline.
As required  by  the  Pollution Prevention  Act of  1990, TRI  industrial  reporting
requirements will be expanded, begining in calendar year 1991, to include informa-
tion on pollution prevention.

EPA announced the 33/50 Program in February 1991 when EPA Administrator
William K. Reilly asked 600 U.S. companies to reduce their releases of these 17
toxic chemicals.  EPA contacted these 600 companies first because TRI data
indicated that these companies were the largest dischargers to the environment of
these chemicals. EPA is also contacting thousands of additional companies that
release these 17 chemicals  and requesting their voluntary participation in the 33/50
Program. All companies are encouraged to participate in the 33/50 Program (even
if they do not receive a letter from EPA inviting them to participate).

While EPA is seeking to reduce aggregate national environmental releases of these
17 chemicals by 50 per cent by  1995, individual companies are encouraged to
develop their own reduction goals to contribute to this national effort. EPA also
encourages companies to reduce releases of other TRI chemicals and to extend
these reductions to their facilities outside the United States. For those companies
that have not yet made a commitment to participate, EPA encourages those
companies to participate in this national pollution prevention initiative. EPA will
periodically recognize those companies that commit to reduce their releases and
transfers of the targeted chemicals, and publicly recognize the pollution prevention
successes companies achieve.

The overall goal of the 33/50 Program is to  promote the benefits of pollution
prevention while obtaining measurable reductions in pollution. Pollution prevention
is the use of materials, processes, or practices that reduce or eliminate the creation
of pollutants or wastes.

Pollution prevention should be considered the first step in a hierarchy of options for
reducing the generation of pollution. The next step in the hierarchy is responsible
recycling of any wastes that cannot be reduced or eliminated at the source. Wastes
that cannot be  recycled should be treated in accordance with environmental
standards. Finally, any wastes that remain after treatment should be disposed of
                                  -1 -

EPA is promoting pollution prevention because it is often the most cost-effective
option to reduce pollution, and the environmental and health risks associated with
pollution.  Pollution prevention is often cost effective because it may reduce raw
material losses, reduce reliance on expensive "end-of-pipe" treatment technologies
and disposal practices, conserve energy, water, chemicals, and other inputs, and
reduce the potential liability associated with waste generation. Pollution prevention
is environmentally desirable for these very same reasons: pollution itself is reduced
at the source while resources are conserved.

The 33/50 Program has three basic goals. First, EPA is aiming to reduce national
aggregate environmental releases of the 17 target chemicals from 1988 levels by
33 per cent by the end of 1992 and by 50 per cent by the end of 1995. Second, EPA
is encouraging companies to use pollution prevention practices (rather than end-of-
pipe treatment) to achieve these reductions. Third, EPA hopes that this Program
will help  foster a pollution prevention ethic in American business whereby
companies routinely analyze all their operations to  reduce or eliminate pollution
before it is created.

The 17 chemical groups are:

Benzene                               Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Cadmium & Cadmium Compounds         Methyl Isobutyl Ketone
Carbon Tetrachloride                     Nickel & Nickel Compounds
Chloroform                             Tetrachloroethylene
Chromium & Chromium Compounds        Toluene
Cyanide & Cyanide Compounds           1,1,1 -Trichloroethane
Lead & Lead Compounds                 Trichloroethylene
Mercury & Mercury Compounds           Xylenes
Methylene Chloride

These chemicals were selected from the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI
is a computerized data base containing public  information on the annual releases
and transfers of approximately 300 toxic chemicals reported by U.S. manufacturing
facilities to EPA and the States. Since  1987 federal law has required facilities to
report the amount of both routine and accidental releases of the 300 listed chemicals
to the air, water and soil, and the amount contained in wastes transferred off-site.

The chemicals listed above were selected for the 33/50 Program because: a) they
are produced in large quantities and subsequently released into the environment in
large quantities; b) they are generally identified as toxic or hazardous pollutants;
thus there may be significant environmental and health benefits from reducing their
releases to the environment; and c) of the potential to reduce releases of these
chemicals through pollution prevention.

The 33/50 Program complements EPA's traditional command and control approach.
The key attributes of this new approach are:
    Success will be measured according to whether
    reductions have been achieved nationwide, rather
    than for each company or facility. The reductions
    also will be looked at as an aggregate  total
    releases of all chemicals rather than for each one.

    Companies are free to decide if and how to partic-
    ipate in the program by: a) committing to meet their
    own specified  reduction  goals; and b) making
    good faith voluntary efforts to identify and imple-
    ment cost-effective prevention measures. Any
    steps taken to reduce targeted toxics will not be
    enforceable, unless these activities are otherwise
    required by law or regulation.

    The reduction goals apply to total releases and
    off-site transfers to air, land, and water.
PREVENTION-ORIENTED   EPA's objective is to encourage these reductions
                           through pollution prevention. However, compa-
                           nies are encouraged to participate in the 33/50
                           Program even if all of their reductions are not
                           achieved through prevention.

EPA's voluntary 33/50 Program is designed to benefit:
 By significantly reducing the amount of pollution
   released to the environment.

 By getting faster reductions than might be achieved
   by waiting for statutes or regulations to take effect,
   and  by achieving permanent solutions where
   source reductions occur.

 By promoting a pollution prevention ethic in
   American business which will lead to long-term
   reductions in pollution.

 By creating clear expectations in  the form of a
   national goal for the targeted  chemicals, and
   providing the  flexibility to choose cost-effective
   environmental solutions  which may  result in
   improved efficiency and net economic benefits.

                         By  providing  positive incentives through  public
                           recognition of efforts. All companies which commit
                           in writing to EPA to participate in the 33/50 Program
                           will receive official  public recognition of their

                         By  creating prestigious national awards  which
                           companies may apply for to recognize exceptional
                           pollution prevention achievements in reducing
                           releases of the targeted chemicals.

GOVERNMENT          By promoting pollution prevention and assisting in
                           the identification of regulatory and nonregulatory
                           impediments to pollution prevention. The Pollution
                           Prevention Act of 1990 requires EPA to promote
                           pollution prevention  and  report to Congress  on
                           barriers, incentives and disincentives to pollution
                           prevention. EPA, through its regional offices, will
                           be  working  with the states to coordinate
                           implementation of the 33/50 Program.

EPA is contacting thousands of companies to provide them with information on the
33/50 Program and to solicit their participation. Each company is being asked to
examine its processes to identify and implement cost-effective pollution prevention
practices that will reduce or eliminate releases of the 17 chemicals. In addition,
companies are being asked to submit a letter to EPA publicly stating their reduction
goals and how they plan to achieve them. All companies wishing to participate in
the 33/50 Program and receive official public recognition of their commitments are
encouraged to supply EPA with information on their reduction goals.

Guidance on how a company can participate in the 33/50 Program is available upon
request. For copies of this commitment guidance and other 33/50 documents, fax
your request to the TSCA Assistance Service at (202) 554-5603. For more informa-
tion on the 33/50 Program, contact the TSCA Hotline at (202) 554-1404, (8:30 am
to 4:00 pm).

Information on pollution prevention (and the 33/50 Program) is available through the
Pollution Prevention Information Exchange System (PIES), a free computer bulletin
board associated with EPA's Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse. To
learn how to use the Clearinghouse and the PIES, call (703) 821 -4800. To access
the PIES using a PC, a modem, and communications software, call (703) 506-1025
(set your communications software to no parity, 8 data bits, and 1 stop bit).
                                 - 4 -
                                  ^                    tHJ.S. GPO: 1991-0 525-513