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Pre-Proposal for State Innovation Pilot Grant Program

August 19, 2002

Project Summary Information

Project Title and Location
Next Generation Performance-Based Environmental Permit Model

Name of Applicant
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Project Contact
Harry E. Gregori Jr. AICP
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
PO Box 10009
Richmond, Virginia 23240-0009
Phone 804-698-4374
Fax 804-698-4264

Cooperative Funding
DEQ will investigate the use of Title V and Vehicle Inspection & Maintenance funding for air issues.

Reg. Flex Requirements: To be determined by the research

Affirmation by Director: Robert G. Burnley, Director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, affirms support for the proposal.

Summary Budget Information

DEQ/Other(DEQ In-Kind)

Total Project Budget

Project Narrative

Vision: DEQ seeks to address the concept of "next generation permits" by researching an alternative permitting structure for state and federal environmental regulatory agencies and developing specific alternative permitting protocols and format for implementation. DEQ, EPA Region III and EPA HQ will jointly participate in the development of the protocols and format for model performance-based environmental permits for the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (and their state-level equivalents).

Innovation: The project builds on previous and ongoing work undertaken as a result of the Memoranda of Agreement signed by DEQ and EPA in July 2000 and April 2002, both of which focus on innovation, improved environmental performance and partnerships through the encouragement of environmental management systems and pollution prevention.

Project Goals & Objectives: The goal of the project are to develop, with stakeholder input, a "next generation" permitting structure with a focus on environmental performance and results that complements state and federal environmental excellence/performance track programs. The objectives of the project include the development of 3-6 alternative protocols and format for specific permitting programs, completion of Project Advisory Committee review and comment of all documents developed, and communication of the project's status to stakeholders and the public.

Measurement & Evaluation: Measurement of the project will be done through DEQ's monitoring of the project schedule and deliverables to ensure that the project remains on track throughout the project period. DEQ will integrate the findings of its current environmental measures project with this project. In terms of project evaluation, DEQ will make extensive use of its staff and other stakeholders to assess progress at critical points (i.e., project milestones and completion) throughout the project.

4. Project Schedule and Timeframe

Project Start Date: December 15, 2002
Duration: 3 Years


Outcomes: Assessment of existing permitting programs and development of alternative permitting protocols and format.

Products: Three contractor documents (assessment; draft protocols and format; final document protocols and format) and three study committee review documents (assessment review; draft protocols and format review; final protocols and format review).

Key Activities:

Year 1:

Year 2:

Year 3:

Program Criteria Requirements

Target Priority Environmental Areas
The proposal will address the three major environmental permitting programs (air, water and waste). Implementation through the development of alternative permitting protocols and format is expected to address two or more of the following environmental issues: reduction of greenhouse gases; reduction of smog; improvement in water quality; improved management of toxic waste.

Use of Incentives as a Tool
The proposal builds in the innovative, incentive-based approach of the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP). In its first two years of operation, the VEEP has demonstrated that facilities respond to incentives to move beyond compliance requirements to environmental management systems and pollution prevention. DEQ, given its experience with VEEP and close working partnership with EPA related to VEEP/Performance Track coordination, is in a unique position to begin to build on this success and begin to address alternative permitting approaches. DEQ will use its partnerships and networks (e.g., NPPR, ECOS, Performance Track states network, etc.) to build in lessons-learned from previous innovative permitting projects. As noted above, during the first year of the project, the contractor will research such efforts.

Transferring Innovation
DEQ believes that there is significant potential for environmental improvement from the proposed project based on early results of VEEP and Performance Track, two examples of incentive-based programs that have garnered commitments (and in some cases, results) to environmental improvements beyond compliance requirements. The project, with its focus on affecting change in the traditional environmental permitting programs, has the potential to reach a new audience of facilities.

In terms of replicating the tool in other states, DEQ believes that because its environmental permitting programs are similar or identical to other states and Performance Track exists as a national program, there will be an opportunity for widespread application of the permitting protocols and format developed in Virginia.

Finally, DEQ believes that the proposed project is the next logical step in the transformation of the agency that began several years ago and has included the following steps:

Guaranteeing Measures and Accountability
In terms of evaluating whether the project has met its goals and objectives, DEQ will undertake the following:

DEQ expects that within 2 to 3 years after the completion of the project, there will be adequate experience with the alternative permitting protocols and format that it will see implementation both within Virginia and in other states. Long-term results include the number of alternative permits issued by Virginia, EPA and other states and the environmental results achieved through the alternative approach.

Proposal Budget

The project will be completed in three years.


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