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Performance-Based Measurement System (PBMS)

Performance-Based Measurement SystemEPA is actively working to implement the President's program for "reinventing" government and reforming regulatory policy. As part of this program, EPA has been working to break down barriers to using new monitoring techniques.

One barrier that the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR) is tackling is the requirement to use specific measurement methods or technologies in complying with Agency regulations. EPA's environmental monitoring community, members of the regulatory community, and Congress all agree that EPA needs to change the way it specifies monitoring requirements in regulations and permits. There is broad acceptance for use of a performance-based measurement system (PBMS). ORCR strongly supports this position and is committed to using this approach in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) monitoring program, to the extent feasible.

Benefits of PBMS

The PBMS approach would provide many benefits to both regulators and the regulated community, including:

Where PBMS is implemented, the regulated community will be able to select an appropriate analytical method for use in complying with the RCRA regulations, including a method not found in EPA-published manuals that is cost-effective and meets the particular project criteria.

PBMS conveys "what" needs to be accomplished, but not prescriptively "how" to do it. EPA defines PBMS as a set of processes wherein the data needs, mandates, or limitations of a program or project are specified, and serve as criteria for selecting appropriate methods to meet those needs in a cost-effective manner. The criteria may be published in regulations, technical guidance documents, permits, work plans, or enforcement orders. Under a performance-based approach, EPA would specify:

For more information, read the Federal Register Notice (PDF) (3 pp, 115K, about PDF) - October 6, 1997

What is EPA Doing to Implement PBMS?

OSWER PBMS Implementation Plan

The Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) developed a plan (PDF) (55 pp, 152K, about PDF) to implement PBMS in its programs.  Wastes is a part of OSWER and contributed to the plan.  The plan describes OSWER-wide goals for PBMS and actions for overcoming any obstacles to PBMS implementation.  For each office within OSWER, the plan also provides details regarding completed and on-going PBMS implementation projects.

As part of EPA's effort to implement the PBMS approach, the following actions are being taken:

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