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State Innovation Grants

EPA 2005-2006 State Innovation Grants Competition Pre-Proposals

Pre-Proposal for FY 2005 State Innovation Grant
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Project Summary Information

Project Title: Promoting Implementation of Innovative Environmental Compliance Strategies in the Northeast and Use of Common Business Sector Performance Measures

Project Lead State/Applicant: Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in partnership with the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA)

Participating States: Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

Learning States: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Contact Person:
Steven A. DeGabriele, Director
Business Compliance Division
Bureau of Waste Prevention
617 556-1120, FAX 617 556-1063

Focus Areas: Promoting Business Sector Performance Measurement on a Multi-State Basis; Improving Environmental Performance Using Environmental Results Program (ERP) Tools and Methods

Total Funds Requested from EPA:

Funded or Executed with Other Federal Programs: Not applicable

Project Period: 2 years

Special Federal Flexibility needed to implement the project: None

Statement by MA DEP Commissioner of Support for the Project: Faxed separately

Project Narrative

For the past few years, a number of the Northeast states have begun to actively employ a wide variety of traditional and innovative approaches to environmental compliance, enforcement, and assistance. These initiatives involve experimenting with various combinations of regulatory and non-regulatory tools to drive environmental performance improvements within identified regulated sectors and groups. Although state agencies currently collect information about various aspects of their activities and the general performance of certain sectors, there is seldom an accurate basis for drawing group performance conclusions and limited ability to compare the differences in group performance levels between two or more states working on a common sector or group. Adopting a common approach to measuring the environmental performance status of specific business sectors and groups holds great potential for enabling states to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of differing state strategies for improving the compliance and environmental performance that group.

Project Goals and Objectives
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) and the other member state agencies of the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) are seeking EPA assistance to support the development of core performance measures and indicators using the models of innovative compliance strategies, including the Environmental Results Program (ERP) and statistically valid compliance/performance rate approaches for particular business sectors or regulated groups. MA DEP is the lead state and grant applicant. Project goals:

Project objectives:

Anticipated project results:

The project will also enable participating states to better focus their limited resources on specific problem areas and to use those strategies that have been demonstrated to achieve the greatest environmental results improvements in the future.

Of seven Northeast states, five will be involved in this project as full participants: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. These five “participating” states have already initiated an ERP or innovative compliance program and are interested in coordinating on a set of core performance measures. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont are implementing ERP initiatives directed at several business sectors, including printers, dry cleaners, photo processors, small boilers, industrial wastewater holding tanks, dental practices handling mercury, auto salvage yards, auto body shops, and facilities with underground storage tanks. Connecticut and New Hampshire have developed innovative strategies for promoting and improving compliance among RCRA generators by developing methods of evaluating statistically valid compliance rates combined with improved compliance assistance directed toward areas of high non-compliance.

New York and New Jersey will be involved in the project as “learning “states, since they are beginning to consider developing ERPs or similar programs and are eager to learn and benefit from the experience in the other states. This project would be a vehicle for them to more quickly and efficiently develop their initiatives.

The five participating states will evaluate and use, as appropriate, statistical performance measurement methods to enhance confidence in the reliability and accuracy of collected performance data. These statistical methods will enable the participants to accurately evaluate performance data for selected sectors without requiring every facility within groups to be inspected or otherwise evaluated. The statistical methods would also enable the participating states to draw accurate inferences as to each group’s compliance status (with respect to selected indicators) and overall performance level.

Connection to EPA’s Strategic Goals
EPA’s Strategic Goal 5, Objectives 5.1 and 5.2 commit EPA to increase compliance and improve environmental performance through pollution prevention and innovation. This project addresses these objectives by supporting the development of a multi-state approach to implementing and analyzing strategies that effectively combine multi-media compliance improvement and pollution prevention on a sector basis. The ERP approach promotes innovation in permitting by enabling states to implement streamlined programs that emphasize sector-wide performance without the need for site-specific individual permits for large numbers of relatively small entities. It promotes improved compliance by providing the necessary tools for sectors to achieve results and is based on a rigorous statistically valid method for tracking compliance and beyond compliance practices. The compliance assistance and performance measures that states plan to develop and implement through this project would be multi-media and compliance-based, with an emphasis on encouraging pollution prevention and best management practices.

Summary Work Plan

Key steps:

  1. Identify and select up to three business sectors for performance measurement
  2. Select group environmental performance indicators
  3. Decide on use of statistical methodologies
  4. Develop a data management strategy
  5. Collect, evaluate, and report data to NEWMOA for aggregation
  6. Report results to EPA

Step 1: Identify and select business sectors and groups for performance measurement

In FY2004, NEWMOA formed an Innovative Compliance Strategies Workgroup including representatives from each of the NEWMOA state environmental agencies – both “participating” and “learning” states. Members of the Workgroup are actively involved with managing and staffing their states’ innovative compliance strategies projects, including ERP. This Workgroup would play a key role in overseeing and managing NEWMOA efforts on this project.

NEWMOA will survey members of the Workgroup to identify which sectors they are currently targeting for ERP and plan to target as a basis for selecting the business sectors for the focus of this project. NEWMOA will also catalog all of the performance indicators that the states have already developed and are using in their innovative compliance strategies projects.

Once this survey is completed, NEWMOA will convene a face-to-face meeting of the Workgroup to review results, make plans for the project, and select up to three sectors for regional performance measurement. The initial business sectors that have already been discussed as possibilities are RCRA generators, automotive facilities (including auto body, repair and salvage shops), and facilities with underground storage tanks. In an initial survey of NEWMOA states, these business sectors appeared to have the highest degree of common interest. If selected, the RCRA generators “sector” would focus primarily on hazardous waste. However, the other sectors would be focused on improving multi-media environmental performance.

The “learning” states– New Jersey and New York – will participate in conference calls, meetings and related project activities to learn more about measurement tools and uses to increase overall state capability to develop and implement performance measurement-based programs. In the future, the “learning states” may join the participating states’ work and use similar measurement approaches.

After the initial meeting, NEWMOA will compile and summarize for the seven states and EPA all of the available checklists, guidance documents and other project materials related to state ERP and innovative performance-based compliance projects in the selected sectors. Based on the business sectors that are selected, the Workgroup will form sub-groups of key staff working on each business sector for more in-depth information sharing, coordination and development of key performance measures. Throughout the rest of the first year of the project, NEWMOA will convene Workgroup conference calls every two to three months or more frequently, as needed.

Step 2: Select group environmental performance indicators

Once NEWMOA has compiled and shared all of the performance measures that states have developed for the selected business sectors in Step 1, the association will review them to identify common characteristics and potential gaps.

Each of the business sector sub-groups will convene one or two conference calls to review in detail the list of sector performance measures and decide upon a final core list for the full Workgroup’s consideration and adoption. The proposed measures will also be shared with and reviewed by the NEWMOA Board of Directors during one of its regular meetings. The Workgroup may modify the sector lists based on NEWMOA Director feedback.

Step 3: Decide on use of statistical methodologies

A contractor retained by MA DEP supported by EPA OECA funds has recently completed development of four ERP analysis automation tools: inspection checklist data management and analysis, environmental performance results presentation, environmental performance statistical analysis, and environmental outcome analysis. MA DEP will share these software tools with the Workgroup. NEWMOA will convene a training session for the Workgroup and other interested state staff to learn statistical techniques and software tools. NEWMOA will procure the services of a contractor to help with this training and to assist individual states as they implement statistical methods. MA DEP and NEWMOA staff will also be available to assist states with software tools and statistical approaches.

Once the states have become familiar with the basics, the Workgroup will review the various options for which statistical approaches are the most appropriate for measuring sector performance levels.

If needed, the contactor will provide assistance through NEWMOA to states for specific issues and questions that may arise as they implement the statistical methods and use the new tools.

Step 4: Develop a data collection and management strategy

The Workgroup will provide a forum for states to share information and techniques for data collection and management. Several states, including MA DEP and Rhode Island, have devised strategies for data collection and management under their ERPs. Connecticut recently hired a contractor to assist its efforts to evaluate compliance trends among RCRA generators in the states. These and other experienced states will share their methods with partner states and address any questions or concerns during face-to-face meetings of the Workgroup.

Step 5: Collect, evaluate, and report data to NEWMOA

By the end of the project, NEWMOA will have a clear idea of the data elements and formats each state has used to collect and manage information, and will develop a strategy for collecting and aggregating data regionally. NEWMOA proposes to coordinate with the states on implementing this method for at least one of the targeted business sectors, with the assistance of a contractor. Data may be aggregated on a secure portion of NEWMOA’s Web site and will be reported to EPA.

Step 6: Report results to EPA

MA DEP and NEWMOA will prepare a project report for EPA that summarizes:

Drafts of this report will be shared with the Workgroup and NEWMOA Directors for review and comment prior to submission to EPA.

MA DEP’s Role in the Project

NEWMOA’s Role in the Project

The project team (participating states and NEWMOA) to the greatest extent possible will use existing participating state and EPA expertise, performance measurement, and other support ools and materials to undertake this project. However, grant funds will be needed to engage consultant(s) to assist states in implementing statistical methodologies and methods for data management, analyses, and reporting. NEWMOA and the contractor(s) will not use grant funds to develop new software applications.

Participating and Learning States’ Role in the Project:

The “participating” states will:

The “learning” states will not directly participate in developing and implementing performance measurement strategies, but will participate in conference calls, meetings, and related project activities to learn more about the measurement tools and their uses to increase overall state capabilities. In the future, these states may join participating states’ project work and use the measurement approaches.

Contractor(s)’ Role in the Project:

Project Reporting & Measurement:

MA DEP will provide p eriodic project status reports to EPA, at least every six months or more frequently if required. MA DEP will present group performance results as described in the project narrative above to EPA in these reports and in the final project report. In the final report, MA DEP and NEWMOA will present aggregated performance measurement outcome data for at least one of the targeted sectors.

Project Milestones: (assuming project starts October 1, 2005 and end September 30, 2007)

Pre-Proposal for FY 2005 State Innovation Grant Budget
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Budget Period: October 1, 2005 – September 30, 2007

[Budgetary information removed by EPA]

NEWMOA is a non-profit, non-partisan interstate governmental association. Their membership is composed of state environmental agency directors of the pollution prevention, hazardous and solid waste, and waste site cleanup programs in CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, and VT. NEWMOA’s mission is to develop and sustain an effective partnership of states to explore, develop, promote, and implement environmentally sound solutions for the reduction and management of materials and waste, and for the remediation of contaminated sites, in order to achieve a clean and healthy environment. For more information visit: www.newmoa.org.

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