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State Innovation Grants

EPA 2005-2006 State Innovation Grants Competition Pre-Proposals

Project Title: Encouraging Superior Environmental Performance Through Management Systems, Recognition, and Rewards.
Location: Statewide, New Hampshire
Applicant: New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES)
Robert P. Minicucci II, PE
29 Hazen Drive, PO Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095
(p) 603-271-2941
(f) 603-271-2456

RCRA: This project is not focused on hazardous waste management and permitting under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Other federal program involvement: As proposed, this project is not being implemented in cooperation with, or funded by, any other federal program.

Federal regulatory flexibility: Federal regulatory flexibility is not anticipated to implement this proposed project. If the project is successful and new programs are started, regulatory flexibility may be sought at a later time.

Endorsement: The work described in this pre-proposal is contained within an identified “Area

for Collaboration” in the approved 2005-2007 NHDES-USEPA Performance Partnership Agreement (PPA), which can be found at: http://www.des.nh.gov/ppa/pdf/FFY2005-2007PPAFinal_02.25.05.pdf Exit Disclaimer. The Area of Collaboration, titled “Encourage Systematic Management for Better Environmental Performance” is on page 26 of the PPA.

This pre-proposal was chosen through a competitive process by an internal review team comprised of the NHDES Assistant Commissioner, Public Information Officer, and Chief of Planning and Policy. Four projects were considered. If this pre-proposal is selected as a finalist, a letter expressing senior leadership endorsement will be included with the final application and proposal.

Summary Budget Information

State: New Hampshire
Agency: New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES)
Robert P. Minicucci II, PE
29 Hazen Drive, PO Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095
(p) 603-271-2941
(f) 603-271-2456
Project Title: Encouraging Superior Environmental Performance Through Management Systems, Recognition, and Rewards.

[Budget information removed by EPA]

The State leverage funds listed represent non-federal, in-kind, staff salaries and benefits which will be used to help carry out this project.

Pre-Proposal Summary

This pre-proposal is being submitted under the category “National Environmental Performance Track Program and State Performance-Based Environmental Leadership Programs.” The proposed work plan articulates NHDES’ intentions to encourage systematic environmental management for better environmental performance, within and outside of those areas traditionally regulated, and specifically addresses the agency’s intentions to establish a New Hampshire-based Environmental Leadership Program. It should be noted that NHDES staff have supported EPA’s Performance Track Program since its inception, have participated in past environmental management system-based initiatives, and remain very active regionally, and nationally, notably in the Multi-state Working Group. This grant opportunity is timely in that the 2005-2007 NHDES/USEPA PPA, signed in March 2005, includes an “Area for Collaboration” dedicated to a broad array of environmental management system-based initiatives. There is internal staff enthusiasm and interest in this area to be tapped, in addition to an extensive network of state and federal environmental management system and environmental leadership program experts. The State Innovation Grant provides critical financial resources which will afford NHDES staff the time and attention necessary to build the program as envisioned in the current PPA and in the proposed work plan below. Over the anticipated three-year project period, NHDES will work to:

Proposed Project Work Plan

( Note: Tasks listed from simple to more complex)



1. Update and publicize NHDES’ policy on encouraging systematic environmental management.

Grant Award + 30 days

2. Establish enhanced NHDES website resources for EMS-related information.

Grant Award + 90 days

3. Establish and maintain an Advisory/ Stakeholder group. Re-establishes previous group that was active in 1997–2000. May morph into a NH Sustainable Business Roundtable. Meetings held at least quarterly.

Group established by Grant Award + 90 days, then ongoing throughout grant period.

4. Offer assistance in EMS implementation, separately for public and private sectors. See discussion below.

Depends on strategy chosen for delivering the training, but should start by Grant Award + 9 months, then ongoing throughout grant period.

5. Take actions to improve management skills in the SME sector. See discussion below, under Task 4.

Start by Grant Award + 90 days, then ongoing.

6. Encourage larger organizations to mentor smaller ones. May include “greening the supply chain” projects, but not necessarily limited to this area. See discussion below.

Start by Grant Award + 180 days, then ongoing.

7. Establish a multi-tiered Reward and Recognition Program, one tier of which would be equivalent to the existing National Environmental Performance Track. Current working title “NH Environmental Sagamore Program.” See discussion below.

Start by Grant Award + 90 days, then ongoing.

Legislation modeled on NH RSA 125:C-6a in 2006 or 2007 session.

8. Project Reports.

Quarterly and at the close of the project period.

The following expands on some of the above-listed tasks:

Task 4: In order to offer assistance in EMS implementation, we will:

Task 6: “Greening the Supply Chain” projects are a current interest at EPA Region 1 and also at NHDES. While it is envisioned that the mentoring project described in Task 6 would be broader than just supply-chain relationships, we intend to use this vehicle to support supply-chain projects. It may turn out that establishing mentoring relationships outside of the supply chain is beyond our reach at this time.

Task 7: There are several key sub-steps in establishing the envisioned reward-and-recognition program that are described below:

Program Benefits

We anticipate that the work to be carried out under this proposal would fully support EPA’s Strategy for Determining the Role of Environmental Management Systems in Regulatory Programs, EPA’s Innovations Strategy, and the January 2005 ECOS report Survey of State Support for Performance-Based Environmental Programs and Recommendations for Improved Effectiveness to Administrator Leavitt on National Environmental Performance Track.

NHDES proposes to address the actions outlined above on a continuum that extends from small and simple, to larger and more complex. All of these actions are focused on the following goals for NHDES:

Measures of Effectiveness:

As measurements of effectiveness, two areas are proposed. Administrative measures (i.e., “outputs”) would include: 1) the number of trainings offered; 2) the number of parties attending provided training opportunities; 3) the diversity and participation of the proposed stakeholder group; 4) the number of organizations entering mentoring relationships; 5) the participation rate in the new Rewards and Recognition Program and Performance Track Program; 6) the number of voluntary environmental projects initiated by program participants; and 7) other qualitative and quantitative measures of success associated with implementing a state Rewards and Recognition Program.

Environmental/Results-based measures (i.e., “outcomes”) are envisioned to follow the pattern set by the National Environmental Performance Track (“Performance Track”) program, which would allow better comparability and aggregation of data between the agencies. We anticipate linking facility-specific measurements with already established national (EPA), regional (EPA Reg 1) and DES priorities wherever possible. We also anticipate examining the new Facilities Reporting Project (offline as of 09-04-12) to see if that could be used.

The following is offered specifically in reference to criteria in Section 5.2 of the Solicitation Notice:

Quarterly program reports, and a full project report, including environmental outcomes to date, will be prepared and submitted to EPA, as required. We anticipate this work will be disseminated through the stakeholder group, which will play an advisory role in its preparation, through the New England-regional media organizations and the New England Governors’ Council, through MSWG’s and Performance Track’s networks. There will also be a press release at this stage. We hope that this will help build the momentum experienced around the country for adding reward-and-recognition programs to the mix of government environmental programs.

This project will help build lasting change within NHDES, and elsewhere, and will create renewed energy and focus around a cutting edge topic. The attention garnered by this project will hopefully create additional benefits not directly addressed by this proposal. For instance, this project may prove helpful in developing a proposed “Green State Initiative” for state agencies and for advancing sustainability concepts at NHDES. Refer to the DES/EPA PPA, page 26. We hope it will provide evidence that looking beyond media-specific programs can yield better results, and we are prepared to carry the message forward by consulting and/or mentoring with other states.

The actions proposed in this document support the core environmental quality goals in both EPA’s and NHDES’s Strategic Plans, and as such, will help both agencies meet their respective missions. Further, like all EMS-related projects which are fundamentally holistic in scope, this work will support several cross-media/cross-goal objectives/sub-objectives for both agencies. Based on experience, especially through Performance Track, we anticipate being able to document environmental performance beyond regulatory requirements in the areas described in the EPA Goals of Clean Air and Global Climate Change (#1); Clean and Safe Water (#2); and Compliance and Environmental Stewardship (#5). Specifically, building a NH-based Environmental Leadership (Rewards and Recognition Program) directly supports EPA Sub-Objective 5.2.3 - Business and Community Innovation: “Through 2008, achieve measurably improved environmental performance through sector-based approaches, performance-based programs, and assistance to small business.” Several objectives from the NHDES Strategic Plan are also positively influenced by the proposed work. The work outlined above directly relates to NHDES Objectives 8.2.1, 8.2.2, 8.2.3, and especially 8.3.3, “By July 2005, develop and implement a program to encourage all organizations to move toward sustainability and fully institutionalize an environmental ethic through the use of formal environmental management systems.” In all instances, we will seek qualitative information in addition to quantitative.

In the mere course of building NH’s first Environmental Leadership Program, new, lasting relationships will be forged with the business community, real environmental improvements will be gained in regulated and non-regulated areas, effective partnerships will be created with a diverse set of stakeholders, and a new level of two-way communications and problem-solving will be achieved, both within NHDES, and between NHDES and EPA. Thank you for the opportunity to apply for funding for this work.

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