United States              Solid Waste and         EPA530-F-99-016
               Environmental Protection Agency   Emergency Response           July 1999
                                    (5305W)              http://www.epa.gov
              Office of Solid Waste
               Fact  Sheet
               EPA Releases WIN/INFORMED Initiative
               Program Evaluation Program Area
               Analysis (PE PAA) Report
What is the WIN/INFORMED Initiative?
   The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the states
established  the  Waste Information  Needs/Information Needs  for Making
Environmental Decisions (WIN/INFORMED) initiative to conduct a reassessment of
the information needs of the hazardous waste management program and to design,
develop, and/or implement changes to information management. This effort will
make high-quality hazardous waste information more readily available to EPA,
states, and tribes, who can use the data to support more effective implementation
of the hazardous waste program.  This effort will also result in more accurate and
understandable information being made available to the public.

How is the WIN/INFORMED Initiative Structured?
The WIN/INFORMED initiative has five phases:
!  planning,
\  analysis,
\  design,
!  construction, and
!  implementation.
The planning stage  which was completed in the fall of 1996 resulted  in the
development of Information Strategy Plans (ISPs).  An ISP is designed to identify
natural groupings of program functions and information needs, which are referred
to as "program areas." The states and EPA chose to conduct separate planning
phases to capture their own information needs.
In their ISPs, both states and EPA identified priority improvements to be made in
the information and the information systems used to support program implementa-
tion. The state ISP identified three priority program areas for analysis:

!  Universe Identification (UID),
!  Waste Activity Monitoring (WAM), and
!  Handler Monitoring and Assistance (HMA).
These areas all cover specific program implementation activities.

   EPA's ISP included Permitting and Corrective Action (PCA) activities in their
program  implementation program area.  Additionally, EPA selected Program
Evaluation  (PE) as a priority program area. States and EPA agreed to form a
partnership to conduct the remaining phases for the program areas. The Program
Evaluation  Program Area Analysis (PE PAA) is the first Program Area Analysis
(PAA) conducted under the partnership.

What Is  a  Program Area  Analysis (PAA)
A Program Area Analysis (PAA) examines each program area in detail, considering
the adequacy of current information and information management procedures
relative to identified program activities and information needs. This examination
identifies specific areas where information and information management are not
meeting current or anticipated information needs for program activities. The end
goal of a PAA is threefold: (1) to recommend a baseline of data elements to track
in the recommended automated systems, (2) to identify and recommend automated
systems that will meet the needs of the program area, and (3) to identify process
improvements that both streamline current processes and reduce  burden. The
analyses  culminated  in a report outlining findings and recommendations for
consideration for implementation.

What is  the Purpose of this Report?
   The purpose of this report is to present the results and recommendations of the
analysis phase of the PE program area, covering plans, grants, and evaluations.
The report  is designed to communicate an  overview of results  of the PE PAA,
including the specific data requirements related to hazardous waste program plans,
grants, and evaluations.

   This report also conveys  general recommendations for managing information
more effectively (e.g., user system requirements) and identifies potential process
improvements for hazardous  waste program activities related to plans, grants, and

   Overview of PE  Findings and Recommendations
   The PE  Team conducted interviews in which States, EPA Regions and HQ
Offices of Solid Waste and Enforcement and Compliance Assurance participated.
The  interviews gathered information  to  determine  what information  and
information management mechanisms are needed to fulfill programmatic activities
associated with grants, plans, and evaluations.  The Team also queried inter-

viewees on potential improvements to current processes. The findings and related
recommendations gathered from the interviews follow.

Findings and Recommendations
!  Data Needs
   - Need base set of consistently defined national data for grants, plans and
   evaluations: Adopt data element list (see report appendices) as the current
   minimum set of data needs.
!  Information System Needs
   - Develop a program accomplishments tracking system (PATS)
   - Investigate the Partnership 2000 system curently under development as a
   means to automate grants activities.
   - Continue improvements to current systems (RCRIS/BRS Oracle migration).
!  Business Process Needs
   - Integrate and rank national (OSW and OECA) hazardous waste program
   - Issue national guidance concur- rently, and to a wider audience.
   - Streamline program planning process.

The PE Final Report was submitted to an Executive Steering Committee consisting
of states and EPA regions and HQ executive  management  for review  and
acceptance of these recommendations. See Appendix C of the Report for a summary
of the ESC's review.

For More Information
The Program Evaluation PAA Final Report, this fact sheet, and other related
materials are available in electronic format on the Internet through the EPA Public
Access Serve http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/data/win and the Association
of States and Territories Solid Waste Management Organization (ASTSWMO)
website http://www.astswmo.org.  For additional information or to order paper
copies of any documents, call the RCRA Hotline. Callers within  the Washington
Metropolitan  Area  must dial  703-412-9810 or TDD  703-412-3323 (hearing
impaired). Long-distance callers may call 1-800-424-9346 or TDD 1-800-553-7672.
The RCRA Hotline operates weekdays, 9:00  a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Write to the RCRA
Information Center (5305W), US EPA, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460.