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Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection

Letter from Thomas D'Avanzo to Robert Bois


May 16, 1996

Robert Bois Bureau of Waste Prevention
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
One Winter St. Boston, MA 02108

Dear Bob:

Thank-you for submission of the Massachusetts XL proposal for the Environmental Results Program and the One-Stop Reporting System. As we've discussed, I have been named as the regional coordinator for review of the proposal, and I wanted to give you some current informal information about the status of EPA's review of the project and relay in writing some of the comments I've passed on to you in our meetings.

First, we welcome Massachusetts' leadership and initiative in developing the ERP and One-Stop Reporting programs. Both initiatives have the potential to achieve better environmental results at reduced costs, and we look forward to identifying ways in which Project XL can be used to further its goal. States have played, and will continue to play, pivotal roles in shaping the XL program and developing specific XL projects such as this one.

The proposal has entered the national XL review process, and is currently still at the "triage" stage. This is the first stage in XL review and its purpose is to screen XL submittals before they go on for a more comprehensive review.

In discussing the state's submission with Cynthia Cummis, the national coordinator for this project, the following issues were identified during this initial review.


1) Additional information on what regulations will be affected by the proposal. Since XL is intended to provide regulatory relief when there is an environmentally preferable alternative, additional information is needed to address which regulations the state is requesting flexibility from. This does not have to be a detailed analysis. For ERP, some of its information may be coming out of the technical workgroups that are developing industry specific performance standards. For One-Stop Reporting, this could include a listing of which federally required reporting programs would be affected.

2) Additional Information On Environmental Benefits One of the most important criteria for an XL project is that it achieve environmental performance that is superior to what would be achieved through existing regulations. While the proposal does discuss environmental results for both ERP and One-Stop Reporting, the information is somewhat general. Again, a detailed analysis is not required, but some additional documentation on measurable environmental benefits would be helpful.

For ERP, these benefits appear to be mainly in the form of increased resources and increased efficiency for compliance and enforcement work, an increase in resources that could be shifted towards high environmental priorities, and procedural improvements in making regulatory decisions. Does DEP have more information on the type of resources that will be shifted into these activities and how that shifting will be done? While the information provided does not have to be detailed, it should provide an independent reviewer with the sense that the environmental benefits are real and could be measured when the project is implemented. This same criterion applies to the benefits of the One-Stop Reporting program.

3) Shifting The Risk Burden The state should provide some assurance that the project will not involve a shifting of risk burdens from one community to another. Although the proposal does discuss shifts among media, shifts in risks among communities are not specifically mentioned.

I would be happy to meet with you again to discuss these comments and any reaction you have, and include other regional or national contacts in that discussion as well. In addition, I understand that Commissioner Struhs will be meeting on June 12 with our Regional Administrator John DeVillars to discuss the proposal.

The next step to move the project along would be for the state to submit supplemental information to EPA that address these issues. To expedite our review, you can send the information directly to me, and I will send it to our national XL Office and the official docket. Once it is out of "triage", EPA will have a self imposed deadline of one month to undertake a more extensive review and give the state a decision. If accepted as an XL project, we would then work together to identify the process to develop and finalize the Project Agreement.

I hope these comments are helpful, and I look forward to working with you to take this proposal through the XL approval process. Please call me at 565-3277 if you want to discuss these or other issues. Thank-you.


Thomas D'Avanzo,
Deputy Director Assistance and Pollution Prevention Office
cc: George Hawkins Jane Downing Cynthia Cummis David Webster

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