City of Chula Vista adopts pollution prevention policy

provided by the Environmental Health Coalition
ast month the Chula Vista City Council voted to adopt a municipal Pollution Prevention Policy. The Policy will require city departments to evaluate their use of toxic and hazardous materials and develop plans for reducing their use of these substances, reducing toxic exposures to city workers and the public. The Policy is the culmination of a multi-year Municipal Pollution Prevention project conducted by the city in partnership with Environmental Health Coalition (EHC). Chula Vista is the first city locally, and one of the first in the country, to formally adopt pollution prevention as a city policy.
EHC obtained a grant from Jesse Smith Noyes Foundation in 1993 to: (a) audit the use of toxic products in City operations; (b) make recommendations for reducing the use of toxic materials used in City operations; and (c) create a model for other cities to follow. EHC selected the City of Chula Vista for the project because of its record of environmental leadership.
Pollution Prevention is the best environmental strategy because reducing or eliminating the use of toxic materials reduces their hazards at every stage: manufacturing, transportation, use and disposal. Most pollution prevention initiatives are aimed at manufacturing industries or businesses such as auto shops that use toxic materials in their work. However, use of toxics occurs in substantial quantities in other settings, such as municipalities, churches and hospitals. Toxics typically used by cities include pesticides for buildings and parks, chlorine gas for swimming pool disinfection, lead-based street paints and heavy-duty cleaners. The benefits of reducing institutional use of toxics include a healthier working environment for employees and the visiting public, a contribution towards improved environmental quality and encouraging the growth of businesses which provide least-toxic services and products: The Policy was adopted by a unanimous vote of all Council members present: Mayor Shirley Horton and Councilmembers Scott Alevy, Steve Padilla and Jerry Rindone. Councilman John Moot was not present for the vote. Environmental Health Coalition applauds the Chula Vista City Council and staff for continuing environmental leadership.