Approved by the Energy, Environment, and Water Policy Committee on January 20, 2022
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on April 27, 2022
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 22, 2022
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recommends that national, state, and local governments develop and implement policies and plans for pollution control with a comprehensive, multisource, (e.g., air, soil, water, and biotic) and holistic perspective consistent with the principles of sustainable development.
ASCE recognizes that management methods directed at pollution originating in a single air, land, water, or biotic resource may result in residuals or other aspects of that pollution being directed into another resource. Thus, to be most effective, pollution control must be viewed from a broad multisource perspective, with control strategies implemented to minimize adverse effects to all of the resources through which pollutants may move or react.
The best solution is to this problem is to eliminate the source of pollution. If that is not possible, the next best approach is to neutralize, reduce, or eliminate the pollutant itself. When this is not possible, the final approach is to move the pollutant from one resource to a resource where it would have less impact or be easier to control.
Single resource environmental management strategies that have traditionally been used are based on the practice of solving a single problem (e.g., reducing water pollution) using solutions that may protect that resource at the expense of another (e.g., increasing air pollution). A multifactor or systems management philosophy recognizes that environmental impacts arising from pollution problems are not confined to a single resource and that tradeoffs exist between the uses of the various resources.
Pollutants cannot be controlled effectively unless one knows how they are transported, accumulated among resources, and transformed. Multifactor management approaches integrates control of air, water, land, and biotic pollution by implementing more holistic solutions that better reflect the underlying nature of a complex environment.
Multifactor management emphasizes the development and use of regulations as well as, processes and methods that result in the least adverse impact on the environment, and often cross existing regulatory agency and departmental boundaries. Therefore, this policy statement is directed at seeking the broadest possible viewpoint, agency cooperation, and appropriate management perspective to deal effectively with problems of environmental pollution.
This policy has worldwide application
ASCE Policy Statement 362
First Approved in 1990