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When You Need Pollution Prevention Information, Contact P2 Rx

P2Rx is a national network of regional centers working to provide access to quality pollution prevention information, research and expertise. Visit P2Rx on the web at: http://www.p2rx.org

Information is only as useful as the means of getting it into the hands of its intended users.

Libraries, databases, filing cabinets, and Rolodexes around the country are filled with high-quality pollution prevention (P2) resources and contacts that businesses and technical assistance providers could put to good use. Until recently, there was no system in place to coordinate these resources and provide easy, efficient access. Consequently, potential users were unaware of them.

That system is now in place, thanks to the establishment of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx), a coordinated effort of eight regional pollution prevention resource centers that are funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. Each of the centers offers a range of services that may include information for specific industry sectors, trainings, library resources, referrals and research. Through P2Rx, the centers are laying the groundwork for a seamless national network of easily accessible P2 information that has been screened for quality. Among the benefits of P2Rx are reduced duplication of effort in preparing P2 materials, improved collaboration of technical assistance providers, creation of information distribution channels, and promotion of standardized formats to facilitate information exchange.

The roots of P2Rx lie in a survey of technical assistance providers that EPA conducted in 1994. EPA surveyed more than 300 state and local government environmental programs about an information network’s services that would best serve their needs in providing P2 technical assistance. The responses showed that assistance providers want a network that makes information searches easy; collects, synthesizes, and updates technical information; and provides contact information for experts and other sources.

In 1997, EPA initiated a grant program to start a national network of P2 information centers, four existing ones and five new ones. A key to making P2Rx work is the recognition that all of the centers operate differently and serve different needs reflecting their regions. To learn more about P2Rx and current activities, visit the P2Rx web site at http://www.p2rx.org.

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