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NYS Governor's Awards for Pollution Prevention - Dresser-Rand

Dresser-Rand, Olean Operations, Olean, NY


Dresser-Rand Olean Operations, located in Olean, New York employs more than 1,400 employees. Dresser-Rand is a leading manufacturer of multistage and pipeline centrifugal compressors, power turbine and gas turbine packages and hot gas expanders. These products are used primarily in applications such as oil and natural gas production, transmission, and refining.

Methodologies and Procedures

Dresser-Rand incorporated various pollution prevention programs on a number of processes including painting, metal pickling bath treatment, babbit metal bonding, caustic part cleaners and X-ray inspection. These processes bring a high degree of competitive advantage, but they unfortunately also contribute to the hazardous waste inventory. Dresser-Rand developed improved methods of manufacturing by using environmental management systems, which resulted in higher net yield at a lower cost to the environment.

Dresser-Rand neither developed nor purchased expensive or complex pollution control technology to achieve a significant reduction in hazardous waste generation. Rather, the facility retrofitted and installed current technology to a number of processes to curtail the production of hazardous waste at the source.

Between 1996 and 1999, Dresser-Rand reduced the hazardous waste generation from 70 tons to 3 tons (95 percent reduction) and attained small quantity generator status for the first time in its history. This accomplishment was achieved without eliminating a single process.

Key aspects to this successful environmental program were the planning of an excellent waste minimization program and the support of top management. Waste reduction was accomplished by applying best management practices, initiating maintenance programs, and substituting chemical processes that contributed to the hazardous waste inventory. Dresser-Rand adopted a stringent waste minimization program that included the creation of a monitoring and maintenance program for all hazardous and non-hazardous waste generating processes. Additional vital ingredients for this program included communication of the policy and its goals to the facility's employees coupled with team organization for plan implementation.

Much of the technology in the program that enables it to be so effective is not unique to manufacturing facilities. The major element that provided the greatest contribution to this successful pollution prevention project was the collaboration and cooperation achieved with management and the employees. Dresser-Rand's program can be easily and inexpensively implemented at any manufacturing facility in the country.


Process modifications were recommended and best work practices were developed to reduce the toxicity and quantity of hazardous materials. These reductions served to minimize the potential exposure and eliminated the related health risks associated with hazardous substances.

Dresser-Rand's hazardous waste reduction program estimated a $.75/lb. cumulative cost savings each year. The program is essentially paying for itself on a yearly basis. To date, almost $95,000 has been saved by reducing hazardous wastes.

This project enabled the company to reduce its paint booth VOC emissions by almost 12,000 pounds between 1996 and 1999.

Another critical benefit attributed to Dresser-Rand's waste reduction program is the growing environmental awareness in the work force. Employees have enthusiastically expressed their support and appreciation for the facility's efforts to be a conscientious environmental steward in maintaining and protecting the abundant wildlife in the Olean area.

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