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REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY LINKED TO BETTER ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE BY RHODE ISLAND METAL FINISHERS
Release Date: 09/29/2000
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2000
REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY LINKED TO BETTER ENVIRONMENTAL
PERFORMANCE BY RHODE ISLAND METAL FINISHERS
On Sept. 25, EPA and the major Rhode Island waste treatment operation signed a Project XL agreement to test an innovative way to improve compliance with water quality standards in exchange for regulatory flexibility. The Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC), the publicly-owned treatment facility which treats wastewater in the Providence area, seeks relief from wastewater pretreatment regulations for ten metal finishing companies that currently have good compliance histories. This regulatory flexibility will act as an incentive for metal finishers to maintain their high performance, and also will allow NBC to offer the ten companies reduced compliance inspections, reduced self-monitoring of wastewater effluent, and elimination of self-monitoring for certain substances not currently used within their facility. Providing this regulatory flexibility to high performing metal finishing companies will allow NBC to target its resources at increased compliance inspections, pollution prevention audits, and technical assistance for lower performing companies. Over the six years of this XL project, NBC expects that the increased attention to lower performing metal finishers will lead to a 25 percent reduction in their process water use, total effluents, and the generation of certain kinds of wastes. NBC also expects that lower performing companies will improve their compliance rate with water quality standards by 75 percent.