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Programs DB

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Policy & Vocabulary
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Last updated:
June 22, 2001




Programs Database Project 

Policy and Controlled Vocabulary

4-Part Descriptive Vocabulary Model
VCard Standard 
Program Type Controlled Vocabulary 
Geo Service Area Controlled Vocabulary  
Services Controlled Vocabulary
Sector Controlled Vocabulary 
Classifying Environmental Assistance Resources
 Adding Terms to P2 Thesaurus

P2Rx white paper dated 4/18/01 - Proposed Controlled Vocabulary Strategy for the P2Rx Topic Hub Project and Programs Database

Services Controlled Vocabulary - approved 6/15/01

Describes the services offered by programs. Three types of services were identified to make this vocabulary easier to use: 1) Area of Expertise, 2) Resources Offered, 3) Clients Served. The following list of terms was generated from vocabulary used by individual Centers in the past, the P2 Thesaurus and Paul Chalmer's method of classifying environmental assistance resources.

Area of Expertise
Resources Offered

Air Monitoring
Biological Assay
Chemical Recovery
Community Development
Conservation of Natural Resources
Cost Accounting
Energy Auditing
Emergency Management
Environmental Law
Environmental Management (ISO 14000)
Environmental Policy
Facility Design
International Markets
Materials Exchange
Occupational Health and Safety
Pollution Prevention
Process Modification
Product Development
Quality Control (ISO 9000)
Risk Management
Technology Transfer
Waste Management
Water Conservation

Bank Loans
Computer Modeling
Hotlines UF Telephone help lines
Intern Programs
Grants in Aid
Information Services
Site Assessments

Clients Served

Administrative agencies UF Government
Educational institutions
Industrial organizations
Non-profit organizations
Small Busines




4-Part Descriptive Vocabulary Model (Discussed and adopted for investigation 2/14/01)

Resources can be described and cataloged more easily and comprehensively when considering 4 categories of descriptors. These categories and preliminary list information is as follows:

  • Sectors (beginning with the list Andy Bray created from the P2 Thesaurus and further relating them to the NAICS system. Fernando Parra agreed to relate them)
  • Materials (Kathy Cardwell pulled material terms from the P2 Thesaurus.) 
  • Processes (NEWMOA pulled broadest process terms from the P2 Thesaurus.)
  • Services (Kathy Cardwell pulled services terms from the P2 Thesaurus.)

Background: Controlled vocabulary relates to both the Programs Database Project and the Topic Hub Project. It affects the projects in three way: 1) how they relate to one another; 2) how data can be shared externally; 3) making data more searchable within the databases (giving more flexibility for results). Existing vocabularies contain terms commonly used to describe pollution prevention including: 

P2 Thesaurus - (
NAICS/SIC (sectors) - 
Alpha List of Topics (EPA) - 
Terms of Environment (EPA) - 
Terminology Reference System (EPA) - 

The difficulty in using any of these collections is their large size which makes cataloging cumbersome, requiring trained personnel with expertise in this area. The four categories help to break down vocabularies into more manageable sizes. (Note: in May, 2001, the web group made the P2 Thesauraus available in both the Programs Database and Top Hub Database for cataloging resources.)

BASIC INFORMATION FIELDS FROM vCard STANDARD ( and Proposed "Program Type" and "Geographic Service Area" Controlled Vocabulary  Submitted 8/4/2000 by Kathy Cardwell, Region 7 P2RIC Librarian

Contact/Program Info  
Prefix Values - Mr., Ms., Mrs., Miss, Dr.
First Name  
Middle Name  
Last Name  
Name Suffix  
Address Subfields: Street Address (3 lines), City, State/Territory/Province, Country, Zip Code
Time Zone Values - PST, MST, CST, EST, AST
Web Site URL  
Descriptive Info  
Program Type Values - Federal, State, Local, Educational Institution, Trade Association, Non-Governmental Organization, Non-Profit Organization, Vendor-Consultant, Small Business Assistance Program, Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP), Recycling and Material Exchange Program
Geographic Service Area Values - National, State, Regional, City, Local (includes county, parish, municipalities, metropolitan areas such Chicago and surrounding suburbs)
Profile/Abstract (not part of vCard standard but basic)


DRAFT POLICY FOR ADDING TERMS TO P2 THESAURUS - submitted 6/14/2000 by Sandy Broda, Region 5 WMRC Librarian

No matter how complete a controlled vocabulary is, it cannot hope to remain viable unless it can be modified to reflect changes in the language of practitioners and new developments in the field. Because the strength of a thesaurus lies not only in the individual terms but in the relationship between terms, the addition (or deletion) of terms from the vocabulary needs to be carefully considered and managed by a single entity that will focus on maintaining its integrity.

A committee will be formed to review additions, modifications and deletions. Terms may be submitted to the committee members at any time, but the committee will act on changes at a predetermined time (either when a certain number of terms have been suggested or on a specific date). The committee may also remind members that changes can be made and attempt to solicit new terms.

Once the terms have been suggested, the committee can meet to act on them by conference call or via e-mail. Decisions should be based not only on the value of the term, but  by its relationship to other terms already in the thesaurus. For example, is the term within the scope of the thesaurus? Does it duplicate another term already in use?


SUGGESTED VOCABULARY FOR  "INDUSTRIAL SECTOR" - Submitted June 21, 2000, by Andy Bray, NEWMOA, Regions 1&2 - Centers decided to use terms available in the P2 Thesaurus for the Topic Hub and Programs Database projects. Andy's list is a helpful starting point. The ability to use NAICS terms is also available. For an overview of this system, see

The list below for Industrial Sector terms is based on the P2 Thesaurus which may be found at There are three terms in the Industrial Sector list below that are not included in the P2 Thesaurus (see footnotes). If this standard is adopted, a petition would be submitted to the P2 Librarians listserv to modify the P2 Thesaurus to reflect these changes.

This shared vocabulary might be used by cataloguers to describe the industrial sector expertise of a given assistance program. This might be done by adding the industrial sector descriptor terms to a field in a database, or might be encoded into web pages using some form of XML.

Although this list has been developed with programs databases in mind, it may very easily be used to describe other types of information that P2 programs and others collect and publish online. Examples of other types of information that might be described using this proposed vocabulary are: activities, news items, training, research and publications.

Adhesives Industry and Trade
Administrative Agencies
Aerospace Industry
Agricultural Chemicals
Animal Industry
Armed Forces
Automobile Industry and Trade
Automobiles - Auto Body
Automobiles - Maintenance and Repair
Beverage Industry
Biomedical Materials
Cement Industry and Trade
Chemical Industry
Cleaning Industries
Coatings Industry
Construction Industry
Demolition Industry
Defense Industry
Educational Institutions
Electronic Industry
Electroplating Industry
Energy Industries
Farm Produce
Food Industry and Trade
Forest Products
Furniture Industry and Trade
Garment Care
Glass Industry and Trade
Hospitality Industry (1)
Information Technology
Ink Industry and Trade
Jewelry Industry and Trade
Landscaping Industry
Laundry Industry
Leather Industry and Trade
Machinery Industry and Trade
Medical Care
Metal Fabrication
Metal Finishing Industry (2)
Metal Industry and Trade
Mineral Industry and Trade
Municipal Services
Paint Industry and Trade
Painting Industry
Petroleum Industry and Trade
Pharmaceutical Industry
Photographic Processing
Plastics Industry and Trade
Pulp and Paper Industry
Real Estate
Refuse and Refuse Disposal
Retail Trade
Rubber Industry and Trade
Stone Industry and Trade
Textile Industry and Trade
Wastewater Treatment (3)
Water Use
Woodworking Industries

(1) Not currently in the P2 Thesaurus, but often used in the P2 community to describe activities with hotels, inns, motels, and bed and breakfasts.

(2) The Thesaurus suggests using Metal Plating Industry instead of Metal Finishing Industry, however, there is a difference between electroplating and metal finishing.

(3) The Thesaurus suggests using Sewage Treatment or Water Treatment for Wastewater Treatment, neither of which describe Industrial Wastewater Treatment. The term Wastewater Treatment encompasses both industrial and municipal treatment.

Proposed Standard for Classifying Environmental Assistance Resources

submitted 9/27/00 by:  Paul Chalmer, NCMS, (734) 995-4911
See also: 

Purpose and scope  |  Classification System  |  Rationale

The purpose of this standard is to help users who are seeking environmental assistance resources to locate items appropriate to the users' needs.  By providing a comprehensive framework for classifying environmental assistance resources, it will also help funding agencies formulate strategies and evaluate programs designed to enhance the environmental assistance opportunities available to individuals and businesses.

"Users" includes both those directly needing the services, and technical assistance providers locating resources on their behalf.

"Resources" includes:

  • information resources such as guidance documents, regulations, interpretations, and technical information, in both electronic and hard copy format
  • commercial service providers such as vendors, consultants, laboratories, and engineering services
  • non-commercial assistance providers, such as pollution prevention and compliance assistance organizations
  • communications resources such as list serves, bulletin boards, and interest groups

The standard specifies a classification scheme for types of environmental assistance.  It is intended to provide a basis for:

  • user interfaces for databases and directories of environmental assistance resources
  • document type definitions for XML standards relating to environmental assistance
  • evaluation of overall strategies for, and outcomes of, environmental assistance initiatives and programs, by funding agencies
  • identification of gaps in coverage of environmental assistance programs available to small business sectors

Classification system

Environmental assistance resources are classified according to two independent criteria, with a set of categories is assigned to each criterion.  Every environmental assistance resource is assigned to one category of each of the two criteria.  By listing the categories for one criterion in a row, and the categories of the other criterion in a column, the sets of all possible assignments can be represented in a matrix.

The two criteria and their associated categories are as follows:

  • Toward which business function is the assistance directed?
    • Operations
    • Administrative and regulatory ("administration")
    • Executive and financial ("executive")
  • To what extent is the assistance constrained by past or ongoing business activities?
    • Not constrained ("before")
    • Constrained by ongoing activities ("during")
    • Constrained by past activities ("after")

The matrix of possible combinations appears as follows.  Each cell of the matrix contains the designated name for the resource type.

  Operations Administration Executive
Before Source reduction Permit assistance New capacity
During Waste minimization Compliance assistance Modernization
After Pollution control Remediation Crisis assistance

Designated names are also assigned to certain combinations of these elementary types, in accordance with typical usage.  Names recognized by this classification system are:

  • "Pollution prevention", referring to the source reduction or the waste minimization categories
  • "Business assistance", referring to the new capacity, modernization, or crisis assistance categories

The following guidelines may be used to assign resources to categories according to the business function criterion:

  • The Operations category includes assistance directed toward manufacturing processes, including materials, equipment, and operating procedures.
  • The Administration category includes assistance directed toward dealing with regulatory agencies, recordkeeping and reporting.
  • The Executive category includes assistance directed toward business planning, strategic decision making, and financing.

The following guidelines may be used to assign resources to categories according to the business activity constraint criterion:

  • The "before" category includes assistance directed toward design of new products or processes, where choices of materials, equipment and operating procedures are not limited by existing practices.
  • The "during" category includes assistance directed toward increasing efficiency of minimizing waste of ongoing operations, for which a significant number of the currently used materials, equipment, or procedures cannot be significantly modified.
  • The "after" category includes assistance directed toward the consequences of past operations.


There are many conceivable schemes for classifying types of environmental assistance.  The scheme proposed in this standard has the following properties:

  • It is based on information about the user's situation, and requires no specialized knowledge or assumptions about technical or regulatory environmental issues.
  • It attempts to provide mutually exclusive (unambiguous) and exhaustive (comprehensive) categories.
  • It embodies a preference hierarchy consistent with generally accepted environmental principles.

The first property (scheme based on user's situation) is intended to make the classification system particularly suitable for user interfaces.

The second property (mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories) is intended to avoid ambiguity in assigning resources to categories.  It should be considered an ideal to be approached rather than a goal actually achieved by this system, since completely eliminating ambiguity is probably unattainable.  But the scheme is based on some underlying principles which are rooted in common practice:

  • The categories of the business function criterion are based on the distinction between intentions and actions.  The Executive category covers assistance directed toward business owners and executives for creating the plans and providing the means to establish the intended business activities.  The Operations category covers assistance directed toward the engineers, designers, and operators who carry out those intentions.  The Administrative category covers those who mediate between the two, and who are responsible for ensuring that the translation of intentions into action are carried out in conformance with external requirements.
  • The categories of the business activity constraint criterion are based on the distinction between past, present, and future.

The third property (preference hierarchy) is intended to embody the "ounce of prevention" philosophy.  It is preferable to choose assistance as far "up" the matrix as possible, consistent with the economic and regulatory constraints on the user's activities.