Pollution Prevention

​​​Energy Northwest maintains a pollution prevention program to reduce the use of hazardous materials and the generation of wastes. Our pollution prevention program addresses energy efficiency and conservation, water efficiency and conservation, waste minimization, spill prevention and chemical management​.

Key program activities include developing an strategic action plan for the en​vironmental stewardship objectives and targets, increasing employee awareness and communication of pollution prevention activities, and providing technical assistance on new pollution prevention related initiatives.​

Columbia hazardous waste generation

Through the Pollution Prevention program, Energy Northwest continues to set aggressive targets to reduce all types of waste including hazardous and mixed waste. The P2 program prioritizes minimizing waste through job planning and substitution of products with more environmentally friendly chemicals. Through these efforts, Columbia Generating Station went from a large quantity generator status (> 2,200 lbs./month) to medium quantity generator status (220 – 2,200 lbs./month). Emphasis is now on achieving small quantity generator status (< 220 lbs./month), which would be unique in the industry.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Energy Northwest continues to divert waste from landfill disposal by its on-going focus on recycling and waste minimization for many years. Recycling of plastic, paper, and cardboard has been infused into the culture across the agency along with aggressive implementation of technology, creating an essentially paperless work environment wherever possible. Even large celebrations have been planned that generate little or no waste disposal. The agency also recycles large quantities of used oils, batteries, and fluorescent bulbs.

Energy use

Energy Northwest continues to set aggressive targets to reduce the amount of energy consumed at agency facilities. Since 2014, Energy Northwest has been upgrading facilities to increase energy efficiency through lighting upgrades, installing occupancy sensors, and replacing aging equipment. Application of state-of-the-art technologies, such as LED lighting and variable speed motors has led to increasing energy efficiency by hundreds of megawatt-hours.​​​​​ Pictured above, an electrician replaces one of the 62 lights in Columbia Generating Station's transformer yard with LED-style lights.