Picture taken by Kim Clark, 2009

Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction

What is Source Control?

Photo of Jason Hart, a pollution prevention specialist with the City of Port Angeles.
Jason Hart, a pollution prevention specialist with the City of Port Angeles.

Pollution Prevention at the Source

Source control tackles potential causes of pollution at their source. These potential sources exist inside and outside buildings. There are many pollution-prevention techniques and best management practices that serve to prevent, control, and treat contaminants before they enter the environment. These practices have the potential to save businesses money through conservation of resources, improved worker safety, reduction and avoidance of risk, possible decrease in insurance premiums, and an increase in business efficiencies.

The Local Source Control Partnership is a consortium of municipal jurisdictions in the Puget Sound region, Clark County, and Spokane County. Pollution prevention specialists for the program are hired locally and bring technical knowledge of hazardous waste and stormwater management to the doorstep of small businesses in order to stop pollution before it starts. These on-site visits are voluntary and free.

Historically, most small businesses have had little access to dangerous-waste handling, disposal expertise, or best management practices. During on-site visits, pollution prevention specialists confer with business owners and managers over hazardous and dangerous wastes, stormwater, solid waste, and spill prevention—making every effort to assist those businesses that are not properly managing their waste. They identify options for reduction, reuse, proper disposal, and in some cases elimination of the contaminant from the business process. Businesses and organizations that generate large quantities of dangerous waste in Washington have had access to Pollution Prevention technical assistance for almost 20 years.

Local Source Control Contacts contains contact information for pollution prevention specialists in local communities.

Related Information:

Stormwater This page from Ecology's Water Quality Program provides regulations and technical assistance on all aspects of preventing stormwater pollution.

Nonpoint Pollution This page from Ecology's Water Quality Program is about the prevention of polluted runoff.

The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) is Washington State's regional non-profit Pollution Prevention center for research and technical assistance.

The Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange is the national clearinghouse that coordinates work among regional pollution prevention centers.

Safer Choice, from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), partners with industry leaders to solve source control problems.

EnviroStars is a program that certifies businesses adopting environmentally responsible practices in Washington.