Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local and Tribal Governments

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EPA and state environmental agencies offer supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) as an option for partial settlement of violations of environmental regulations. A SEP allows the regulated entity to develop an environmentally beneficial project in lieu of part of its fine. Primary benefits must be to public health or the environment, although the violator is not prohibited from receiving profits or other secondary benefits. Some states have made a concerted effort to encourage SEPs that incorporate energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Some examples of SEPs include a Maryland utility installing photovoltaic cells (solar electricity generation) at two schools and a local environmental center; a New Jersey oil refinery installing electrical hookups to decrease pollution from truck idling; and a Colorado industrial gas compression company agreeing to purchase wind power from its servicing utility over a five-year period. EPA held a Technical Forum call on this topic in February 2005.

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