20 Years of Shaping

Environmental  Policy at EPA

National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy
and Technology (NACEPT)
                          April 2009

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This report has not been reviewed for approval by the Agency, and hence, the contents of this
report do not necessarily represent the views and policies of the EPA, nor of other agencies
in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, nor does mention of trade names or
commercial products constitute a recommendation for use.
                                  EPA 130-R-09-003

                         U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                   Office of Cooperative Environmental Management
                                www.epa.gov/ocem

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          of
Executive Summary
   Introduction	1
   Summary of Findings	2
   Summary of Recommendations	3
   Conclusions	4


   Background	5
       NACEPT Origins and Current Mission	5
       Current Organizational Structure and Procedures	7
       Subcommittees, Workgroups, and Associated Reports	7
   Objectives and Methods	11


   General Management of NACEPT	13
   Procedures and Management of Individual NACEPT Projects	17
       Internal Procedures 	17
       Interaction with Program Offices	18
       Staffing and Support	18
   Impact on EPA Policy and Environmental Quality	20
   Conclusions	23


   General Management of NACEPT	25
       NACEPT's Role	25
       NACEPT Charges	26
       Promoting NACEPT within the Agency	26
       Coordination with Other Groups in the Agency	27
       Council Member Selection  	28
       Collaboration with Past Council Members	28
   NACEPT Procedures	28
   Performance Measurement	29
   Progress on 10-year Report Recommendations	31
Appendix A: Executive Summary of NACEPT Past & Future:
A Decade of Stakeholder Advice (10-Year Anniversary Report)
Appendix B: NACEPT Subcommittees/Workgroups and
Associated Charges	

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Appendix C: Bibliography of NACEPT Publications.
   Bibliography	51
   General Reports of the Council	51
   Advice Letters 	51
   General Agency Policy or Management	53
   Program/Media Specific Policy	55
   Information Management and Technology	56
Appendix D: Individuals Interviewed
Appendix E: Interview Questions

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             five  Summary^
Introduction
Over the last two decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has en-
countered new and unanticipated challenges in safeguarding human health
and environmental quality. The National Advisory Council for Environmental
Policy and Technology (NACEPT) has played a critical role in helping the Agency
meet these challenges. NACEPT provides independent advice to the EPA Admin-
istrator on a broad range of environmental policy, technology, and manage-
ment issues. The Council is a balanced panel of outside advisors who represent
diverse interests from academia, business, and non-governmental organizations,
as well as state, local, and tribal governments.

To mark NACEPT's 20th anniversary and its achievements over the last two
decades, and to ensure that this record of success continues, EPA's Office of
Cooperative Environmental Management (OCEM) led an effort to: (1) Identify
the issues and challenges that EPA will face over the next 10 years; (2) Review
NACEPT's operations and accomplishments since 1988; and (3) Develop a strate-
gic framework for how NACEPT can best serve EPA based on the prospective and
retrospective findings.

Consistent with the second objective above, this report is intended as a retro-
spective survey of NACEPT's accomplishments during its 20-year history. The
primary objectives are to:

  •  Characterize how NACEPT recommendations have influenced EPA policy;
     and
  •  Identify factors that have distinguished successful NACEPT initiatives,
     thereby guiding future NACEPT efforts.

The core information for this report was gathered through a series of detailed
interviews with three major categories of respondents:

  •  NACEPT Council members and other participants who contributed to a
     subcommittee or workgroup;
  •  EPA officials in programs that were the subject of NACEPT recommenda-
     tions; and
  •  Current and former Agency staff involved with NACEPT management.

Council members also provided additional input in a panel session conducted
at NACEPT's November 2008  meeting. Other information sources included past
NACEPT reports and advice letters; a  1999 EPA report reviewing NACEPT's first ten
years of activities; and a retrospective database that compiles information on
NACEPT reports and recommendations, created specifically for this analysis.

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Careful management, adherence to pragmatic operating procedures, and at-
tention to sound recommendations have shaped NACEPT's success in the last
two decades. The vast majority of interviewees offered positive impressions of
NACEPT and the contributions it makes to Agency decisionmaking. Key factors
influencing this success include the following:

   •                A successful NACEPT project begins with development
     of a clear charge. Most interviewees felt that NACEPT charges ultimately
     achieve the needed degree of clarity, although they may require itera-
     tive collaboration between OCEM, the Council, and the affected program
     office(s).
   •          Council             Interviewees praised the diverse and bal-
     anced composition of the NACEPT Council. OCEM has succeeded in
     achieving diversity both in terms of the backgrounds and experience of the
     members, as well as their geographic perspectives.
   •          of                    Interviewees commended the overall
     quality of the Council membership and the positive implications for the
     Council's work environment. In particular, interviewees highlighted the
     recent Chairperson's leadership and willingness to promote NACEPT within
     the Agency. However, interviewees split over precisely what characteristics
     make for the best Council members. While some suggested that Coun-
     cil members should be prominent, recognized leaders in environmental
     policy, others emphasized the need for members who are willing to commit
     time to projects and assist with practical research and writing tasks.
   •                     A greater reliance on smaller workgroups and interim
     work products  has improved the responsiveness and timeliness of NACEPT's
     advice. These more nimble research procedures represent an important
     improvement over early periods when projects progressed more slowly and
     culminated in a single major report.
   •                                   Interviewees highlighted the impor-
     tance of program office staff involvement, from project inception to the
     development of final recommendations. Program office staff can provide
     vital links to Agency expertise; secure buy-in from senior managers and
     other key political actors; and assist in crafting realistic recommendations.
   •                   Many interviewees lauded OCEM's efforts to provide
     various forms of logistical support to  NACEPT projects. Most  notably, OCEM
     often secures contractor support to perform practical subcommittee tasks
     such as note-taking and report editing. Likewise, OCEM has assisted with
     recruiting of ad hoc subcommittee and workgroup members to supple-
     ment the experience of Council members.
   •                             Interviewees identified a wide array of char-
     acteristics that increase the likelihood that EPA will implement specific
     NACEPT recommendations. For example, recommendations that directly
     inform ongoing policy deliberations can be highly influential, so timeliness
     is a key characteristic. Other factors affecting the likelihood of implementa-
     tion include budgetary feasibility; buy-in from the full set of actors affected
     by the advice;  and consistency with  the priorities of current  and/or incom-
     ing administrations.

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Summary of
Although interviewees consistently expressed satisfaction with past NACEPT ef-
forts, refinement of the Council's operations and products would help ensure its
future relevance at EPA. In response to interview questions, interviewees identified
a variety of steps that could improve NACEPT's efficiency and the impact of the
Council's advice:

   •   NACEPT      Most interviewees agreed that NACEPT's membership and
      charter are best suited to broad, multi-disciplinary, multi-media planning
      issues.  Interviewees suggested that NACEPT steer clear of highly technical
      regulatory disputes or document review assignments where NACEPT is one
      voice in a crowded field of reviewers.
   •   NACEPT Charges: Interviewees suggested continued emphasis on collab-
      orative development of charges, with some stressing the need for concise,
      face-to-face discussion.
   •           NACEPT's Visibility: Many interviewees recommended continued
      emphasis on raising NACEPT's profile within the Agency. To ensure that NA-
      CEPT's  expertise and services are understood throughout EPA, OCEM and
      the NACEPT Chair should expand efforts to perform outreach to program
      offices, the regions, and other organizational elements. This outreach is
      especially vital in light of the change in administration and the associated
      turnover in senior management.
   •   Infra-Agency Coordination: NACEPT should better coordinate its efforts
      with those of other Agency advisory boards (e.g., the Science Advisory
      Board,  the Environmental Financial Advisory Board, etc.).  Coordination
      would reduce the potential for redundant research and provide NACEPT
      with information about effective internal procedures used by similar organi-
      zations.
   •   Council                  Most interviewees expressed  satisfaction with
      NACEPT member selection,  but admitted having little understanding of
      how the process works. Specific recommendations for future refinements
      included selecting members in anticipation of specific research initiatives;
      using current or past members as sources of advice on new members; and
      selecting a Chair with whom the EPA Administrator has a strong profes-
      sional relationship.
   •   Collaboration  with     Council          Several individuals suggested
      that OCEM seek input from past Council members whose experience may
      inform  current NACEPT efforts and help improve institutional memory.
   •   Procedural             Interviewees suggested changes that could
      improve the efficiency of NACEPT subcommittees and workgroups. Many of
      the suggestions represent continuation of current practices such as use of
      smaller workgroups and interim advice products. Communications could
      be improved through expanded use of videoconferencing technologies
      and through more frequent face-to-face Council meetings.  In addition,
      some interviewees expressed a desire for a more formalized system of feed-
      back from the program offices to help NACEPT better track where its advice
      is having an impact.
   •   Performance              Most interviewees agreed that the best
      measure of NACEPT's success is whether the Agency implements the
      Council's advice. However,  interviewees' opinions varied on how to as-
      sess this outcome. Some see value in a periodic report that  would exam-
      ine the "success rate" of NACEPT recommendations, i.e., how many are

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     implemented? Others emphasize that NACEPT recommendations range
     widely, from simple action steps to broad policy prescriptions; the latter are
     especially difficult to track with certainty. Therefore, it may be best to assess
     the degree to which Agency actions embrace key concepts promoted by
     NACEPT (e.g., integrated management, cross-program collaboration, at-
     tention to environmental outcomes).

 ,.
In 1999, the NACEPT Council completed a study of its past performance and
future course. Titled Past and Future: A Decade of Stakeholder Advice, the study
determined that, in its first 10 years of operation, NACEPT had been highly suc-
cessful in fulfilling its mission. It concluded that "NACEPT has produced hundreds
of timely and relevant recommendations," and that these recommendations
"have influenced or been directly responsible for subsequent EPA decisions and
actions."

Building on this early success, NACEPT continues to be an important and inde-
pendent source of stakeholder advice. Since the  10-year study, NACEPT has
enhanced its management and operations in a variety of ways. Improvements
include increased reliance on smaller workgroups; use of streamlined interim
advice products; collaborative refinement of charges; consistent involvement of
program office staff in NACEPT projects; provision  of contractor support to work-
groups and subcommittees; and increased outreach efforts to elevate NACEPT's
visibility within the Agency. Many of these changes directly address recommen-
dations in the 10-year study.

In recent years, these management changes have combined to produce no-
table NACEPT successes. NACEPT research in policy areas as diverse as biofuels
planning, environmental indicators, environmental data management, environ-
mental technology promotion, and venture capital partnering have influenced
EPA actions. Furthermore, NACEPT input has helped structure and refine major
Agency publications such as EPA's Report on the Environment. Chapter 2 of
this  report highlights numerous examples of specific NACEPT recommendations
implemented by the Agency.

In the coming years, NACEPT will need to maintain the operational improvements
it has introduced and step up efforts to assess the Council's impact and perfor-
mance. Better feedback from program offices would give NACEPT an improved
sense of how to craft effective, practical recommendations. Likewise, systematic
performance evaluation—either through periodic review of the number of NA-
CEPT recommendations implemented or assessment of the degree to which con-
cepts promoted by NACEPT permeate Agency policies—would help OCEM and
the  Council maximize the value of NACEPT's efforts. Prudent management of the
Council's efforts will  help ensure that NACEPT remains a source of independent
advice for environmental policymakers in the 21 st century.

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                        V
Chapter  1:  Introduction
Over the last two decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has en-
countered new and unanticipated challenges in safeguarding human health
and environmental quality. The National Advisory Council for Environmental
Policy and Technology (NACEPT) has played a critical role in helping the Agency
meet these challenges. NACEPT provides independent advice to the EPA Admin-
istrator on a broad range of environmental policy, technology, and manage-
ment issues. The Council is a balanced panel of outside advisors who represent
diverse interests from academia, business, and non-governmental organizations,
as well as state, local, and tribal governments.

This report describes the activities and accomplishments of NACEPT during its 20-
year history. This introductory discussion is divided into two parts:

   •  First, it reviews how NACEPT has evolved over the last two decades, exam-
     ining changes in the organization's mission; features of NACEPT's current
     structure; and the range of topics addressed by NACEPT subcommittees
     and workgroups.
   •  Second, it explains the objectives of this report and the methodological
     approaches used to characterize NACEPT's achievements.

Subsequent chapters of the report present key findings of the research and rec-
ommendations for enhancing NACEPT's impact on future Agency policy.

Background

NACEPT Origins and Current Mission
In the 1980s, the Agency recognized how formulation of environmental policy
would benefit from increased involvement of non-federal agencies and the pri-
vate sector.1 Simultaneously, legislation such as the Federal Technology Transfer
Act of 1986 encouraged joint government-industry collaboration to develop new
technologies. Consistent with these trends, EPA Administrator Lee Thomas creat-
ed the Task Force on Technology Transfer in 1987. This group recommended how
the Agency could encourage technology transfer and training through coopera-
tive activities with industry, academia, and non-federal government agencies.

Subsequent to these recommendations, the Agency established the National
Advisory Council for Environmental Technology Transfer (NACETT) in July 1988.
NACETT was directed to consult with and make recommendations to the EPA
Administrator, focusing on technology transfer issues. NACETT was designed to
1   Portions of the historical background provided here are based on information provided
   in National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT): Past and
   Future (EPA, 1999) as well as information provided at the NACEPT website (http://www.epa.
   gov/ocem/nacept/).

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promote continuing consultation and debate to ensure mutual understanding
of the differing perspectives, concerns, and needs among environmental man-
agement institutions; maximize the extent to which each institutional participant
understands, accepts, and fulfills its environmental management responsibilities;
facilitate broad public sharing of information on environmental problems; and
promote consideration of alternative strategies for leveraging resources to ad-
dress environmental issues.

From 1988 to 1990, NACETT committees investigated various aspects of technol-
ogy transfer, delivering recommendations on environmental education and
training, state and local programs, and technology innovation issues. NACETT
also sponsored projects that influenced Agency positions on the reauthorization
of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and addressed other
Agency requests on topics ranging from chemical accident prevention to haz-
ardous waste remediation.

As the scope of NACETT's charges broadened, the organization's role in the
Agency evolved. In July 1990, the Council adopted a new mission statement and
became the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology
(NACEPT). The revised mission statement expanded the role of the Council in
forging collaboration and consensus between EPA and its partners in govern-
ment, industry, and academia. The current NACEPT charter highlights several
major objectives for NACEPT:

   •  Identifying approaches to improve the development and implementation
     of domestic and international environmental management policies and
     programs;
   •  Providing guidance on how EPA can most efficiently and effectively imple-
     ment innovative approaches throughout the Agency and its programs;
   •  Identifying approaches to enhance information and technology planning;
   •  Fostering improved approaches to environmental management in the
     fields of economics, finance, and technology;
   •  Increasing communication and understanding among all levels of govern-
     ment, business, non-governmental organizations, and academia, with the
     goal of increasing non-federal resources and improving the effectiveness
     of federal and  non-federal resources directed at solving environmental
     problems;
   •  Implementing statutes, executive orders and regulations; and
   •  Reviewing progress in implementing statutes, executive orders and regulations.

In 1999, the NACEPT Council completed a study of its past performance and
future course. Titled Past and Future: A Decade of Stakeholder Advice, the study
determined that, in its first 10 years of operation, NACEPT had been highly suc-
cessful  in  fulfilling its mission. It concluded that "NACEPT has produced hundreds
of timely and relevant recommendations," and that these  recommendations
"have influenced or been directly responsible for subsequent EPA decisions and
actions."  Chapter 3 revisits this analysis  in greater detail to examine NACEPT's
progress in addressing the recommendations from the 10-year anniversary
report. Appendix A provides the executive summary of the 10-year anniversary
report.

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Current
In 1997, a collaborative effort between the Administrator's Office, the Office of
Reinvention, and the Office of Cooperative Environmental Management (OCEM)
resulted in a realignment of NACEPT. The changes included a revised NACEPT
structure that increased the role of program offices in the NACEPT process
through subcommittee management with OCEM oversight.

Today, the NACEPT Council is comprised of a Chair, the NACEPT Designated Fed-
eral Officer (DFO),  and Council members selected by the Administrator or Deputy
Administrator. In selecting members, EPA considers candidates from academia,
industry, non-governmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal govern-
ments. OCEM generally solicits nominations of qualified individuals through a
Federal Register Notice, as well as through referrals from EPA officials and current
or former Council members.

The topics for NACEPT are identified by the Administrator and other senior lead-
ership officials. While each NACEPT effort is unique, a project generally begins
with EPA issuing a charge to the Council or to a subcommittee or workgroup.2 A
charge typically originates in one of the Agency's program offices, but may be
refined through discussions between the office, OCEM, and NACEPT. Projects are
pursued by the subcommittee or workgroup, often with direct involvement of rel-
evant program office staff, and sometimes with contractor support for practical
tasks. Subcommittees or workgroups may not work independently of the NACEPT
Council and must report their recommendations and advice to the Council for
full deliberation and discussion. Once the Council has completed its review,
NACEPT submits recommendations and reports to the EPA Administrator. As dis-
cussed in the findings chapter, NACEPT has  introduced variations and improve-
ments to standard procedures to enhance its responsiveness.


Since 1988, NACEPT has organized a total of 32 subcommittees to develop rec-
ommendations on environmental policy and technology topics. A total of rough-
ly 900 individuals have served on NACEPT subcommittees in the last 20 years,
demonstrating one of NACEPT's prime objectives of involving a  broad array of
stakeholders in environmental policy formulation.

Exhibit 1 provides a timeline of NACEPT subcommittees and helps illustrate the
breadth of topics that NACEPT has explored over the years. Key policy areas
have included (but are not limited to) pollution prevention; chemical accident
prevention; development of effluent guidelines; the use of environmental statis-
tics; community-based environmental protection; Agency reinvention; informa-
tion resource management; Superfund policy; and EPA's role in the development
and commercialization of environmental technologies. Appendix B to this report
provides a more detailed listing of the NACEPT subcommittees and their charges.
The most recent subcommittee under the auspices of NACEPT is the Environmen-
tal Technology Subcommittee.

Additional research is performed by small workgroups. Composed of Council
members with experience in specific policy areas, these workgroups are increas-
ingly responsible for researching and developing advice letters and position pa-
2   Initially, NACEPT issued assignments to "standing committees," although NACEPT now uses
    the term "subcommittees." For simplicity purposes, this report uses the term "subcommittees,"
    regardless of the time period under consideration.

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pers. Recent NACEPT workgroups include Energy and the Environment, Sustain-
able Water Infrastructure, Information Access, EPA's Strategic Plan, and NACEPT
@20.

NACEPT has produced approximately 82 major reports in the last two decades.
Appendix C provides a comprehensive listing of these products. Overall, the
reports have included over 1,500 recommendations for refining Agency policy
decisions.3  The count of NACEPT products is even greater when one incorporates
interim advice letters and other shorter-form materials, of which approximately 22
have been  produced in recent years. A more detailed  discussion of the flow of
reports and recommendations from NACEPT is provided in the Findings section of
this report.
    The specificity of recommendations across reports is not standardized. While some reports
    provide broad, compound recommendations, others provide more detailed, precise recom-
    mendations. A simple count of recommendations overlooks this variation.

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EXHIBIT 1. Timeline of NACEPT Subcommittees and Workgroups:
            1998 Through 2008
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       Workforce Capacity
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       Issues
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Objectives and Methods
To mark NACEPT's 20th anniversary and its achievements over the last two de-
cades, and to help ensure that this record of success continues, OCEM led an
effort to:

   (1)  Identify the issues and challenges that EPA will face over the next 10
       years, highlighting areas where NACEPT may focus;
   (2)  Review NACEPT's operations and accomplishments since 1988; and
   (3)  Develop a strategic framework for how NACEPT can best serve EPA based
       on the prospective and retrospective findings.

Consistent with objective (2) above, this report provides a retrospective survey of
NACEPT's accomplishments during its 20-year history. The primary purpose is to:

   •  Characterize how NACEPT recommendations have influenced EPA policy;
     and
   •  Identify factors that have distinguished successful NACEPT initiatives,
     thereby guiding future NACEPT efforts.

Background research for this report began with a review of existing materials
related to NACEPT's activities and accomplishments. Relevant materials included
the following:

   •  The 1999 report titled  National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy
     and Technology (NACEPT): Past and Future, a compendium of NACEPT's
     achievements and challenges at its 10-year anniversary;
   •  The current NACEPT charter; and
   •  The various reports and papers generated by NACEPT subcommittees and
     work groups. Appendix C presents a bibliography of these publications.

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Using these materials, the researchers developed a detailed, relational database
of NACEPT activities in the last 20 years. Maintained in Microsoft Access, the data-
base features several linked components:

   •  The "sponsor" component of the database houses information on each
     subcommittee's charge, the dates it was active, and the subcommittee
     membership.
   •  A second component summarizes information on the reports generated
     by each committee, including publication date and an abstract of the
     report's objectives and findings.
   •  The database also provides a detailed listing of each report's recommen-
     dations.
   •  Finally, the database summarizes information on EPA's response to the
     subcommittee recommendations.

The core information for this report was gathered through a series of detailed
interviews with three major categories of respondents:

   •  NACEPT Council members and other participants who contributed to a
     subcommittee or workgroup;
   •  EPA staff in programs that were the subject of NACEPT recommendations;
     and
   •  Agency staff previously involved with  NACEPT management.

OCEM identified all of the interviewees, selecting a cross section that ensured
diverse perspectives across multiple research efforts. Appendix D lists the indi-
viduals interviewed.

The researchers contacted each of the interviewees by electronic mail to invite
their  participation and to schedule the interview. Respondents were interviewed
individually in a telephone conference setting, with one researcher guiding the
discussion and a second researcher responsible for note-taking.4

Researchers presented the interviewees with a brief set of open-ended discussion
questions designed to elicit viewpoints on NACEPT's effectiveness (see Appendix
E for  a listing of the questions). Interviewees received these questions in  advance
of the discussion, although no  preparation was  required. The researchers de-
veloped written interview summaries following each interview. Interviewees  were
given the opportunity to review their respective summaries and make corrections
or additions as necessary.

Additional input was gathered at NACEPT's November 2008 meeting, Council
members had an opportunity to comment on a draft version of this report. Sev-
eral current and past members participated in a detailed panel session review-
ing the preliminary report findings  and possible refinements.
    For efficiency purposes, the researchers conducted four of the interviews with pairs of respon-
    dents, rather than with individual respondents.

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                       m
Chapter 2:  Findings
For 20 years, NACEPT has been a source of independent and objective guidance
for EPA decisionmakers. All of the individuals interviewed for this study compli-
mented the diverse viewpoints, professional insight, and productivity of the Coun-
cil. This chapter examines NACEPT's achievements from several perspectives:

  •  First, it considers the overall management of NACEPT, addressing topics
     such as the suitability of charges and the quality and composition of the
     Council's membership;
  •  Second, the chapter discusses the procedures used by subcommittees
     and workgroups  and the impact of these procedures on the quality of
     NACEPT products; and
  •  Finally, the chapter examines the impact that NACEPT has had on Agency
     policy and the factors influencing the implementation of NACEPT recom-
     mendations.
The interviews with NACEPT members and EPA staff form the foundation of the
findings, although the discussion also integrates NACEPT reports and other de-
scriptive information as appropriate.

General Management of NACEPT
NACEPT's  success depends upon prudent and efficient management of the
Council and individual  research efforts. Selecting and accepting appropriate
charges, identifying capable participants, and cultivating NACEPT's reputation
within the Agency all enhance NACEPT's potential for informing policymaking ef-
forts.  The section below discusses how OCEM and the Council have attempted to
ensure smooth and productive operation of NACEPT.

One fundamental management responsibility is to ensure that NACEPT focuses
on appropriate policy issues. While the Administrator takes the lead in identifying
topics for  NACEPT to address, a variety of actors (program offices, the Administra-
tor's Office, and the Council itself) play a role in crafting NACEPT charges. Most
interviewees agree that, over time,  NACEPT has come to focus on issues where
it has a comparative advantage. For instance, one interviewee highlighted how
NACEPT is uniquely suited to advise the Agency on issues that have long time
horizons, primarily because NACEPT is not beholden to short-term obligations and
day-to-day program implementation concerns. Similarly, NACEPT can address
interdisciplinary, multi-media, and cross-office issues because it is unfettered by
the institutional biases that may influence specific offices or programs at EPA.

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                    As a result of this independent perspective, NACEPT can take risks on politically
                    sensitive issues and provide uniquely objective advice.5

                    Many interviewees were quick to highlight the importance of clear charges to
                    NACEPT's performance. While some charges are simple and straightforward
                    (e.g., review and comment on a document), others are initially amorphous and
                    require several iterations to finalize. These iterations may simply focus the lan-
                                guage or they may significantly modify the charge by winnowing
                                the scope down to a set of practical questions or by revisiting the
 /ou have to start with the         overall intent. For instance, one interviewee described how a
charge. The clearer the charge    NACEPT workgroup modified a draft charge to eliminate what it saw
is, the more likely it is that          as a ^as foward a particular research outcome. Direct involvement
the Council will be able to         of NACEPT members in crafting charges is often beneficial, allowing
tackle the project and provide     Council members to align the charge with their background.
recommendations in a timely and  Regardless, most interviewees felt that the time spent refining
efficient manner.                 charges is worthwhile for ensuring that NACEPT's efforts are focused
                                and objective.

                     Most interviewees felt that charges presented to NACEPT ultimately do attain the
                     requisite degree of clarity and focus. Interviewees were asked to identify the com-
                     mon features of successful charges (i.e., charges for projects that proceeded to
                     have a positive influence on policy decisions). This proved difficult to pinpoint.
                     Interviewees felt that NACEPT is capable of handling a variety of assignments,
                     ranging from simple tasks (e.g., commenting on draft reports), to much less
                     structured tasks (e.g., identifying options for integrating stewardship concepts
                     into EPA activities). In short, NACEPT charges can be clear and achievable, even
                     if the assignment incorporates broad concepts and/or leaves significant latitude
                     to the researchers.

                     Another key to NACEPT's success has been attention to diverse membership. The
                     NACEPT charter highlights the objective of "increasing communication and under-
                     standing among all levels of government,  business, non-governmental organiza-
                     tions, and academia..." Available information strongly suggests that NACEPT satis-
                     fies this objective. First, interviewees expressed satisfaction with the heterogeneous
                     makeup of the Council  and commended  EPA for its efforts to diversify the mem-
                     bership. Although interviewees both within and outside of the Agency expressed
                     limited familiarity with the specific process  used to select members, all seemed
                     satisfied with the results. Many emphasized the importance of selecting respected
                     individuals who are prominent in their field, but who also possess the interpersonal
                     skills needed to function in a consensus environment like NACEPT. The feeling is
                     that OCEM and the Administrator's Office have succeeded in this regard.

                     Of the 23 members on  the NACEPT Council, six come from the private sector;
                     six from academia; six  from local/state governments; and five from non-gov-
                     ernmental organizations.6 Therefore, the membership is an excellent reflection
                     of the four major sectors highlighted in the NACEPT charter. As demonstrated
                     in Exhibit 2, the distribution across the four  major sectors has balanced slightly
                     over the past decade.
                        Interviewees also acknowledged a disadvantage to this "outsider" perspective, however. One
                        interviewee noted that because NACEPT can set aside the practical realities of implement-
                        ing its advice, the recommendations sometimes appear to come "from left field," lacking a
                        realistic grasp of budgetary limits or other organizational constraints.
                        Note that NACEPT members frequently change positions during their tenure; hence, the
                        categorization by sector varies over time.These data are based on the NACEPT membership
                        in April 2008.

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         2. NACEPT Council Composition in       and
1999 2008
Business and Industry
State/Tribal/Local Governments
Non-Governmental Organizations
Academia
35%
24%
28%
7%
26%
26%
22%
26%
Sources: U.S. EPA, National Advisory Council for Policy and Technology (NACEPT): Past
and Future, July 1999; and 2008 Council membership available at http://www.epa.
gov/ocem/nacept/members/nacept_members.htm.
NACEPT also strives to achieve geographic diversity in its membership. This goal
is challenging given the concentration of environmental policymaking expertise
in the Washington, DC area. Nonetheless, of the 23 members currently on the
Council, 18 represent organizations outside of the DC beltway.

Another key to NACEPT's success has been steady management of the flow
of reports and recommendations. Exhibits 3 and 4 demonstrate how NACEPT
has maintained a consistent output of reports and recommendations over the
20-year history of the program.7 Maintaining this consistency through multiple
administrations, Agency reorganizations,  and policy transformations suggests
prudent management and leadership from OCEM.
"NACEPT provides a forum where there is a free, open, and honest exchange of
ideas. Members leave any baggage or personal agendas they may have at the
door. They really want to pull together to provide the best possible advice to the
Administrator of EPA."
   The exhibits include final NACEPT reports, advice letters, and interim workgroup products.
   Note that the number of recommendations is restricted to discrete, numbered recommenda-
   tions. Since some smaller NACEPT products do not number individual recommendations, the
   totals in the exhibit may understate the extent of Council advice.

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EXHIBIT 3. Number of NACEPT Reports and Advice Letters

           (by Calendar Year)
 o
 a
 CD
 o;
 CD
 .Q

 E
     10


     9
5 --


4 --


3 --
           i—  CM  CO  ^ LO O 1^  CO
           O(>O(>OOO(>
           oooooooo
                               O •— CM  CO  ^  LO  O 1^ CO
                               ooooooooo
                               ooooooooo
                               CMCMCMCMCMCMCMCMCM
                                 Year


 I Information Management and   0! Program/Media-Specific

  Technology
                                         General Agency Policy or

                                         Management
EXHIBIT 4. Number of NACEPT Recommendations

           (by Calendar Year)
     250
  §  20°
  |  150


  o
  Di


  O
     100
      50
                           JJ

                      0s  0s 0s 0s  0s o o  o o o  o o  o o
                      0s  0s 0s 0s  0s o o  o o o  o o  o o
                      •—  •— •— •—  •— CMCMCMCMCMCMCMCMCM
                                Year
  Information Management and   HI Program/Media-Specific   • General Agency Policy or

  Technology                                      Management
                                O

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Finally, the quality of NACEPT's membership has enhanced its success. First,
strong leadership from the NACEPT Council Chairperson is a factor in overall
management. Interviewees complimented the recent NACEPT Chair's willing-
ness to promote NACEPT throughout the Agency, meeting with EPA senior staff to
explore potential areas of collaboration. In addition, interviewees highlighted the
recent Chair's attentiveness to subcommittee and workgroup products and his
ability to cut through to essential research themes and assist in sharpening the
focus of recommendations. Second, interviewees complimented the proficiency
and professionalism of the Council members. One interviewee emphasized that
the diversity creates a "think tank" atmosphere, where ideas are exchanged
freely and political agendas (to the extent they exist) are left at the door.

                                   of            NACEPT
The soundness of the NACEPT model is also evident in the degree of satisfaction
with the procedures followed by subcommittees and workgroups. Interviewees
were asked to respond  to a series of questions focusing on the adequacy of
NACEPT procedures and to identify characteristics of the most successful NACEPT
initiatives.

Internal
Most interviewees agreed that current NACEPT procedures are efficient and
effective.  One contributing factor has been increased reliance on more flexible
workgroup procedures  for management of individual projects. While recommen-
dations still require final approval by the full Council, initiatives are often pursued
by smaller workgroups composed of Council members with a focused interest
in a particular issue. This more nimble arrangement works to ensure efficient
progress on research and more timely presentation of recommendations.8 These
procedures clearly improve upon those used in earlier years of NACEPT; a former
EPA official noted that in the past, NACEPT studies could  be "ponderous," affect-
ing the timeliness of the findings.

Efficiency is also enhanced by consistent communication between subcommit-
tees/workgroups and the full Council. NACEPT has had success with a liaison
system whereby a subcommittee member who also serves on the full Council
is responsible for keeping the Council informed of subcommittee progress and
for seeking direction at appropriate times. Interviewees noted how essential this
communication can be when a subcommittee includes a large group of individ-
uals not involved with NACEPT. The system can ensure that subcommittees stay
on schedule and focus on their specific charge. In addition, interviewees felt that
the liaison can be helpful for anticipating how subcommittee recommendations
would be received by the Council, which may help avoid conflicting views in the
late stages of a project.

Finally, interviewees who served as Designated Federal Officers (DFOs) noted
that OCEM and the General Services Administration (GSA) provided high-quality
assistance. In particular, the DFO training course (implemented by GSA) and the
OCEM guidance manual clarified the mechanics of committee management
and made it easier for one interviewee to perform the practical tasks for which
DFOs are responsible.
    Panelists participating in the November 2008 NACEPT meeting further corroborated the idea
    that NACEPT's streamlined procedures have improved the timeliness and relevance of its
    advice.

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      Interaction with Program
      Another major factor affecting the efficiency of NACEPT projects is the consistent
      involvement of staff working in affected program offices. Interviewees noted that
      NACEPT benefits greatly when a program office liaison is included on a particular
      subcommittee or workgroup:

         •   Program office staff can be helpful in refining subcommittee and work-
            group charges.
         •   Involving program office staff helps ensure that the group gets continuous
            feedback and helps guide the project down a realistic path.
         •   Having a sponsor in the program office(s) helps the subcommittee or work-
            group obtain access to key individuals in the Agency. The sponsor can
            play a vital role in identifying players in relevant offices and encouraging
            their attendance at subcommittee meetings or other NACEPT sessions.
         •   Program office staff participation often yields an Agency "champion" who
            will work to implement the NACEPT recommendations after the subcommit-
            tee or workgroup has finished its research.
         •   Program office staff involvement can convey a sense of importance and
            urgency to the research task, demonstrating to the subcommittee or work-
            group members that the effort is not just a theoretical exercise, i.e., that the
            recommendations will be implemented.
NACEPT                      in
In its 2006 report—ERA Technology Programs and Infra-Agency Coordination—
NACEPT's Environmental Technology Subcommittee recommended several
actions designed to refine the Agency's environmental technology programs.
The recommendations included two key organizational enhancements that then-
Administrator Johnson promptly enacted. First, the report highlighted the need
for improved promotion and adoption of innovative technologies in the EPA
Regions. In response, then-Administrator Johnson created a Regional Technology
Advocacy Network (RETAN), establishing a technology advocate in each region.
These advocates identify new technology opportunities in their regions; share
findings with stakeholders in and outside of the Agency; and serve as members
of EPA's Environmental Technology Council (ETC). Second, then-Administrator
Johnson implemented NACEPT's recommendation to create a Senior Environmental
Technology Officer position at EPA Headquarters. This individual serves as Chair
of the ETC; facilitates cross-Agency information sharing related to innovative
technologies; and performs outreach with the business community and other
stakeholders.
Source: Response Letter from EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson to John Howard, NACEPT Chair,
May 20, 2008.
      One interviewee pointed out a drawback of direct collaboration between NA-
      CEPT and the program offices. Sometimes this relationship can be too close,
      with the Council effectively advancing key elements of an Agency staffperson's
      agenda. NACEPT managers must be careful to screen charges and accept as-
      signments that allow the Council to maintain objectivity and the "arms-length"
      relations that characterize most advisory boards.

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Another determinant of NACEPT's efficiency and effectiveness is adequate as-
sistance with day-to-day administrative tasks. Several interviewees highlighted the
important role played by contractors supporting NACEPT research efforts. Contrac-
tors not only assist with note-taking and other logistical
tasks, but can serve a central role in helping the com-
mittee by integrating members' comments into interim
and final reports. For instance, contractors typically
assemble the diverse contributions of subcommittee or
workgroup members into a coherent, readable report.
Contractors can also be used to summarize major
points from discussions, which members may decide
to incorporate in initial drafts of interim products; this
provides a concrete focal point for subcommittee or
workgroup discussions and ensures that momentum
achieved in meetings will not be lost.
                           ions
in
NACEPT's Sustainable Water Infrastructure
workgroup examined how EPA can apply
watershed approaches in addressing
water supply and water quality issues. In
response to the workgroup's initial findings,
the Office of Water (OW)  has pursued new
outreach efforts to advance watershed-
based concepts under its Sustainable
Infrastructure Initiative. These efforts
include expanded collaboration with EPA's
Local Government Advisory Committee as
a means of reaching local officials; use of
the National Estuary Program to promote
watershed approaches to infrastructure
planning; and establishment of a liaison
between OW and the U.S. Department
of Transportation to focus on watershed-
based management.
Source: Response Letter from EPA Administrator
Stephen L. Johnson to John Howard, NACEPT
Chair, April 24, 2008.
The importance of contractor support is subject to
two caveats, however. First, this type of assistance
must be accompanied by practical contributions
from the NACEPT committee members themselves.
One interviewee noted that subcommittees and
workgroups must be staffed by individuals who
embrace a "worker" role. They must be willing to
make practical contributions (e.g., research and
writing) and not restrict their role to participation in
meetings. Second, interviewees observed that the
quality of contractor support has varied consider-
ably. They emphasized that if contractor support is
to be of value to the workgroup or subcommittee,
EPA must select consultants with adequate expertise
in the policy area under analysis. Furthermore, these
individuals must possess good writing and organiza-
tional skills.
The addition of ad hoc members represents another way to enhance the ef-
fectiveness of a subcommittee or workgroup. Distinct from practical contractor
support, these individuals supplement the experience of the existing group. For
instance, one interviewee emphasized contributions made by computer special-
ists who participated on the NACEPT Integrated Modeling Workgroup.

Yet another determinant of subcommittee or workgroup effectiveness is simply
the commitment of the individuals involved with the effort.  Interviewees noted
that Council members and other participants are free to make the most of their
time with NACEPT, and that some individuals are ultimately more effective than
others. As a result, the balance of contributions across participants may be
uneven. Some of the interviewees observed that while certain subcommittee or
workgroup members may be fully engaged with a project, others may remain on
the periphery and make fewer substantive contributions.  This outcome is dem-
onstrated by the experience of one interviewee involved with a workgroup whose
membership changed when there was turnover on the Council. The infusion of
"new blood" brought energy to the project and substantially enhanced the pace
of the effort. The advantages of committed staff are especially noteworthy for
subcommittee and workgroup chairs. A dedicated chair is essential to advance
planning and ensuring that meetings are productive. One interviewee observed

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     that "people don't like to waste time," and that an engaged chairperson is one
     key to making substantive progress.

     Impact on EPA Policy and Environmental Quality
     Ultimately, the primary measure of NACEPT's success is whether its recommen-
     dations influence policy decisions at EPA. However, it is difficult to state defini-
     tively the degree to which NACEPT succeeds in this regard. Recommendations
     vary greatly in scope and complexity, ranging from pragmatic organizational
     "tweaks" to sweeping overhauls of Agency procedures and mission. Not only are
     the latter type more difficult for the Agency to implement, but it is simply harder to
     determine if they are being implemented. For instance, if NACEPT recommends
     creating a position at the Agency, it is easy to determine if the advice was imple-
     mented. However, if NACEPT recommends greater integration of stewardship
     concepts into Agency activities, it may be difficult to assess whether the recom-
     mendation was heeded.

     As a result of these complexities, interviewees noted that the record is "mixed"
     when considering whether NACEPT advice is directly incorporated into Agency
     actions. Nonetheless, numerous success stories exist; text boxes presented
     throughout this chapter highlight several noteworthy instances of EPA policy
     incorporating NACEPT recommendations.
NACEPT Recommendations in Action:
Report on the Environment and Information Access Strategy
NACEPT regularly reviews drafts of major EPA publications, providing
recommendations that reflect the Council's "real-world" perspective. For
instance, EPA's Report on the Environment (ROE) represents a major periodic
effort to describe and analyze important trends in U.S. environmental quality.
NACEPT was asked to review and comment on the 2008 ROE, and several of its
recommendations proved highly influential in improving the accessibility of the
report.  First,  in  response to NACEPT advice, EPA created a stand-alone Highlights
Document summarizing key findings with a minimum of technical detail. In addition,
EPA modified the document to incorporate numerous links to information on how
average citizens can bring about environmental improvements.
Likewise, NACEPT recently made recommendations on EPA's Information Access
Strategy, an effort to improve the quality and accessibility of the Agency's information
resources. Changes made in response to Council suggestions include: (1) greater
emphasis on tools (e.g., Navigate EPA) that train front-line data providers; (2)
clarification  of  the links between environmental data and Agency priorities and
initiatives; (3) expansion of the Strategy's metadata discussion; and (4) articulation of
how EPA can solicit public feedback on the quality of existing  information resources
as well as future information access needs.
Sources: Response Letter from EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson to John Howard, NACEPT
Chair, January 13, 2009; and interview with Mike Fiynn of EPA's Office of Environmenta! information.

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Interviewees pointed to several factors that affect whether EPA implements NA-
CEPT recommendations:
      Timing; To affect policy, recommendations must arrive at crucial decision
      points. NACEPT has improved its ability to deliver advice in a timely fashion
      by relying more on workgroup efforts (as discussed above) and by institut-
      ing a more flexible system of interim products. By allowing interim advice
      letters and other short products—as opposed to preparing only detailed
      final reports—NACEPT increases the likelihood that recommendations
      reach program offices at key decision points. NACEPT's work in the area of
      biofuels provides an excellent illustration of the advantage of the small-
      product approach. Interviewees highlighted the fast-paced and evolving
      nature of the biofuels debate. More fluid and frequent advice is necessary
      to make NACEPT's contributions in this area relevant and effective.
      A related timing issue occurs when NACEPT reviews major agency docu-
      ments. For instance, interviewees noted that while NACEPT provided a
      variety of comments that were readily incorporated into the Report on the
      Environment (ROE), some suggestions were more fundamental and not
      feasible given deadline pressures surrounding the ROE's release.

      Budgetary Feasibility: Not surprisingly, budgetary factors  play a role  in
      whether a recommendation is implemented.  Most obviously, smaller-scale
      recommendations that can be implemented
      at little or no cost to the program office have
      a higher likelihood of implementation. In addi-
      tion, the overall budgetary context in which the
      recommendation occurs also has an influence.
      Interviewees pointed to the example of NA-
      CEPT's Effluent Guidelines Task Force. The Task
      Force developed a theoretically sound system
      for prioritizing best available technology (BAT)
      standards to identify effluent guidelines most
      in need of revision as well as to identify newer,
      currently unregulated categories that needed
      to be addressed. The objective was to help
      structure the daunting task that the Office of
      Water faced in revising the full suite of effluent
      guidelines every three years (as required by
      Congress). However, the overall budget and
      schedule pressure faced by OW made it difficult
      to pause and consider adopting the alternative
      approaches recommended by NACEPT.
      Focus and Tangibility: Interviewees noted that
      successful recommendations are limited in
      number and avoid the temptation to load in
      too many ideas or suggestions.  Likewise, effec-
      tive recommendations identify what office (and
      even individual) in the Agency should respond to each suggestion,  so it is
      clear who needs to act. While exceptions may exist, the best recommen-
      dations are specific and actionable. For instance, one interviewee high-
      lighted how NACEPT's Everyone's Business report features office-specific
      recommendations that operationalize broad themes of the study, enhanc-
      ing Agency interest.
In the 2002 report The Environmental
Future: Emerging Challenges and
Opportunities for the EPA, NACEPT
developed and tested strategies for
recognizing nascent environmental
issues. The report's recommendations
included suggestions for integrating
futures analysis into EPA's strategic
planning process. In response, the
Agency's latest strategic plan includes
sections that address "emerging
issues and external factors" for each
of the plan's major policy areas
(e.g., air, water, ecosystems). These
sections address new challenges
and opportunities likely to face EPA in
coming years.
Source: Response Letter from EPA Associate
Administrator Thomas J. Gibson to Dorothy
Bowers, NACEPT Chair, December 30, 2002.

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                 Organizational Buy-In: Another factor affecting policy impact is
          the receptiveness of all affected agencies and offices. First, the NACEPT
          project must have an immediate audience, i.e., an individual in the
          Agency who asked for the study and is anxious to hear the advice. Further-
          more, a NACEPT project may progress with the involvement and blessing
          of a particular sub-office, but recommendations may affect other organi-
          zational elements at EPA. These other groups may be less receptive to the
          recommendations because of entrenched interests and preference for sta-
          tus quo, potentially undermining the chances of implementing NACEPT's
          advice.
          Changes in Administration: In instances where NACEPT recommends
          large-scale changes in Agency procedures or mission, the  likelihood
          of implementation can be affected by cyclical changes in  presidential
          administrations. For example, the Everyone's Business report recommends
          reframing EPA's mission to make stewardship a central concept. Interview-
          ees noted that an outgoing Administrator is unlikely to pursue such sweep-
          ing changes. Likewise, interviewees suggested that a new administration
          may be "out of sync" with a Council selected and directed by a previous
          administration, and consequently may pay less attention to the advice.
          Likewise, another interviewee stressed the importance of continuity of
          senior management. This individual pointed to a NACEPT product that had
          a limited policy impact because the Assistant Administrator championing
          the effort left the Agency.
                               in                     the
         Community
In April 2008, NACEPT's Environmental Technology Subcommittee completed the
report EPA and the Venture Capital Community: Building Bridges to Commercialize
Technology. The study explores how EPA and the investment community can
partner to facilitate private sector investment in the commercialization of
environmental technologies. A key recommendation is to "forge and sustain
communications with the early-stage investment community." Responding to
this advice, EPA recently hosted a "brown bag" discussion that brought together
senior Agency officials, members of the Environmental Technology Subcommittee,
and representatives of the venture capital community. In addition, a November
2008 workshop further considered the commercialization and deployment of
environmental technologies.
Source: Interviews with Phil Helgerson and Dan Watts, members of the NACEPT Subcommittee on
Environmental Technology.
    Interviewees stressed that the likelihood of recommendations being implemented
    increases with attention to these factors. The chair of one subcommittee ob-
    served that EPA has shown progress on virtually all of his group's recommenda-
    tions because explicit attention is paid to crafting realistic, attainable recommen-
    dations that are easily tracked.

    Some interviewees emphasized that NACEPT's impacts extend beyond the
    primary mission of influencing specific EPA policies. First, NACEPT members may
    have an indirect influence on Agency practices. EPA interviewees noted that
    interaction with non-EPA experts can bring fresh thinking and information to
    the program office's activities. Indeed, in some cases, research completed by
    NACEPT may free up program office staff to pursue other aspects of a problem.

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                                  in
   Since 2006, NACEPT's Energy Workgroup has been developing guidance on how EPA
   can encourage the use of renewable fuels and ensure fheir sustainable development.
   EPA is currently implementing several recommendations found in NACEPT's first two
   advice letters (issued in 2007). First, then-Administrator Johnson appointed EPA's Science
   Advisor (who also serves as the Assistant Administrator of the Office of Research and
   Development) to the federal multi-agency Biomass Research and Development Board, a
   group tasked with coordinating federal R&D activities related to biobased fuels, power,
   and products. Then-Administrator Johnson also directed several senior EPA officials to
   convene an Agency-wide meeting to develop an internal biofuel strategy. This strategy
   is being organized around a five-stage biofuel supply chain framework recommended
   by NACEPT. All of these actions play a role in the Agency's efforts to reduce greenhouse
   gas emissions and increase energy efficiency.
   Source: Response Letter from EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson to John Howard, NACEPT Chair,
   September 26, 2007.
In addition, NACEPT reports have been used in college curricula. Specifically, the
2002 Futures Report and the Greening of World Trade report have been used in
college classrooms.

Conclusions
The considerations examined above—prudent management of NACEPT, sound
procedures for addressing charges, and positive impacts on Agency policy—
combine to produce a compelling picture of NACEPT's success in its first 20 years.
The vast majority of interviewees praise NACEPT's management and contribu-
tions, and NACEPT's reputation for insightful, timely recommendations has grown
steadily over time. Key factors influencing this success have included:

   •  Development of clear charges, often focusing on Agency-wide manage-
     ment questions which NACEPT is especially well-equipped to address;
   •  Diverse and balanced composition of the NACEPT Council;
   •  Nimble research and reporting procedures, including workgroup arrange-
     ments and interim advice letters;
   •  Consistent involvement of EPA program office staff;
   •  Strong contractor support to cover practical tasks; and
   •  Increasingly pragmatic and actionable recommendations that acknowl-
     edge budgetary constraints, political realities, and other factors.

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                       w
Chapter  3:  Recommendation:
Although interviewees consistently expressed satisfaction with NACEPT's perfor-
mance, refinement of the Council's operations and products would help ensure
its future relevance at EPA. In response to interview questions, NACEPT stakehold-
ers identified a variety of steps that could improve NACEPT's efficiency and the
impact of the Council's advice. The sections below discuss these recommenda-
tions, organizing them into three major topics:

   •  The first set of recommendations reviews how OCEM and the Agency at
     large can better manage NACEPT and fortify its role at EPA.
   •  The second set of recommendations focuses on refinement of NACEPT's
     internal procedures.
   •  The final set of  recommendations examines performance measurement
     and options for evaluating NACEPT's impact in the Agency.

General Management of NACEPT

NACEPT's Role
Interviewees were asked to discuss how NACEPT can best assist EPA in the future,
i.e., what is the appropriate role for NACEPT in the Agency? Several points arose
in this assessment of  the Council's comparative advantage. First, although the
Council has the background and experience to field a
variety of charges, its composition and perspective may
be best suited to broad, Agency-wide policy or manage-
ment questions involving synthesis of disparate informa-
tion. Interviewees advocated this kind of support in the fu-
ture, noting that the Council has proven itself well suited
to cross-office, inter-media, interdisciplinary problems that
have longer-term time horizons; examples include futures
planning, strategic planning, and sustainability. Similarly,
interviewees and panelists at the November 2008 NACEPT
meeting observed that EPA already receives extensive
input from industry and NGOs on specific rulemakings or
programs. In contrast, NACEPT is one of the few sources
of advice on Agency-wide management and planning considerations, and this
broad perspective is  one of the Council's comparative advantages.

Interviewees also encouraged continued emphasis on the Council's knowledge
of innovative technology and its applications in environmental policymaking.
One interviewee stressed that, in this era of rapid technological change, NACEPT
should be at the forefront of efforts to make the Agency more proactive with
technologies related to information management, pollution control, and clean
energy. Similarly, another interviewee noted that NACEPT may have the great-
est impact in cutting-edge fields that are in earlier, more malleable develop-
plenty of people are willing
to give us advice about this
or that particular program or
regulation. But NACEPT is able
to look across what EPA is doing
and give us some broader
reflections...! think that is quite
valuable."

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ment stages. The ongoing biofuels strategy provides a good example of NACEPT
exploiting this comparative advantage. Collaboration between NACEPT and
groups such as the Office of the Science Advisor and the Environmental Financial
Advisory Board could help steer NACEPT toward areas such as high technology
and alternative energy.

One interviewee emphasized the need for NACEPT to be relevant to the new
administration. To be relevant, NACEPT must respond to the policy priorities of the
new administration, supporting emerging initiatives. Likewise, NACEPT needs to
continue evolving to meet new procedural demands, e.g., provision of more real-
time advice to policymakers.

Interviewees also identified  roles that NACEPT may want to avoid in the future.
Most notably, one interviewee advised that NACEPT steer clear of reviewing  and
commenting on reports that already attract numerous reviewers (e.g., EPA's Stra-
tegic Plan).9 In addition, another interviewee stressed that NACEPT should not be
used as an arbitrator to settle contentious problems.


Interviewees also stressed the continued need for clear NACEPT charges. As
the starting point for NACEPT research, charges are vital to ensuring productive
operations and useful recommendations. As such, interviewees noted that time
devoted to crafting charges is always well spent. Collaboration between pro-
gram office staff, as well as between the program office and the NACEPT Council,
may take time, but the iterations refine the charge and ultimately pay off in a
more focused research effort.10 One interviewee recommended that the process
of refining charges could be simplified by "getting everyone in a room" and ham-
mering out the charge. Interviewees also emphasized the value of having senior
program office staff involved with crafting charges, ensuring broader office buy-in
to the direction and  ultimate recommendations of the project.

Also, OCEM may want to consider soliciting charges from segments of the
Agency with which NACEPT does not traditionally interact. In particular, interview-
ees noted that to date, the EPA regions have played a limited role in generat-
ing charges for NACEPT. As such, the regions may represent a new "client" for
NACEPT.

Finally, OCEM and the program offices should continue to screen charges care-
fully, selecting those that will be most useful and applicable within the Agency.
One interviewee suggested that this type of oversight would help ensure that NA-
CEPT is not inadvertently working to advance the agenda of individual EPA staff.
Screening will ensure that NACEPT maintains the objectivity and independence
essential to any advisory group.

                         fhe
Interviewees recommended that NACEPT promote itself more systematically with-
in the Agency. Some interviewees felt that NACEPT's visibility is inadequate, with
one suggesting that few groups beyond the Administrator's Office are aware of
9  This is not to say that NACEPT should avoid all review and comment assignments. Many such
   projects have proven successful. In particular, one reviewer noted that NACEPT can often
   serve as a "microcosm of the general public" when offering comments on documents such
   as EPA's Report on the Environment.
10  While all charges are developed by EPA and ultimately approved by senior-level Agency of-
   ficials, program office staff may seek input from individual NACEPT members.

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NACEPT and the services it provides. Interviewees complimented efforts by OCEM
staff and the NACEPT Chair to perform outreach at EPA by informing program of-
fices of NACEPT's strengths and identifying possible areas for collaboration. Con-
tinuing and possibly expanding this practice would be beneficial. Interviewees
and panelists at the NACEPT November 2008 meeting emphasized that similar
outreach to groups such as EPA's Innovation Action Council and the EPA regions
would help raise NACEPT's profile among senior-level executives at EPA.

One interviewee stressed the need for NACEPT to market itself now, in response
to the new administration. This individual stressed that OCEM and the Council
should familiarize incoming senior managers with NACEPT's strengths and capa-
bilities in a proactive fashion, rather than waiting for senior managers to request
the Council's services.

Despite these suggestions, interviewees acknowledged that awareness of NA-
CEPT as a  resource is a two-way street. While NACEPT can do more to promote
itself, EPA staff—particularly senior political appointees—should have working
knowledge of NACEPT and the other advisory resources available at the Agency.

                               in the
Interviewees were asked whether there are existing internal mechanisms at the
Agency with which NACEPT should be better coordinated. Most respondents
focused on other advisory boards and NACEPT's role among these other entities.
First, interviewees suggested closer collaboration between NACEPT and groups
such as EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB), Office of the Science Advisor, the
Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB), and EPA's Farm,  Ranch, and
Rural Communities Advisory Committee.11 Coordinating the use of these groups
would help focus NACEPT's role, avoid redundant research, and ensure that the
advisory boards collectively serve EPA's needs. Coordination would also provide
NACEPT with the opportunity to learn from other advisory panels; this shared
knowledge could be especially helpful for structuring and organizing NACEPT's
internal procedures (e.g., selection of topic areas for Council research).  Likewise,
coordination with the newly created Regional Technology Advocacy Network
(RETAN) would serve both the goal of using internal mechanisms as well  as the
regional outreach goals cited above.

One interviewee suggested applying this same brand of coordination internally
among NACEPT workgroups and  subcommittees. For instance, the interviewee
observed that topics such as biosolids management occur at the intersection
of the biofuels workgroup and the water infrastructure workgroup. Recognizing
these synergies may help NACEPT work more efficiently and leverage the Coun-
cil's expertise in new areas.

Finally, as noted above, collaboration with senior managers involved in EPA's In-
novation Action Council (IAC) may be beneficial. Beyond simply raising NACEPT's
profile within the Agency, one interviewee noted that IAC could recommend
emerging  issues that the Administrator may wish to consider for NACEPT initiatives.
   This type of coordination is already partly underway. SAB representatives served on NACEPT's
   workgroup reviewing EPA's Report on the Environment. Similarly, members of EFAB and EPA's
   Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) participated on the NACEPT Environmental
   Stewardship Workgroup. Likewise, NACEPT has recently designated an SAB liaison.

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Council
While nearly all interviewees highlighted the quality and expertise of the NACEPT
Council members, some offered recommendations for improving the process
by which Council members are selected. First, some respondents observed that
Council members sometimes appear to be selected before NACEPT's research
agenda for the coming period is established. As a result, Council expertise may
not align directly with the projects at hand. Coordination of the research agenda
and Council member selection would help ensure a better fit between  research
demands and Council expertise.

Second, one interviewee suggested that EPA consult with former Council mem-
bers for input on prospective Council members. Attractive NACEPT candidates
should have a strong reputation and presence in their respective fields; in  many
cases, peers in that community (i.e., former Council members) may have direct
experience working with the candidate, and may be able to offer insights on the
candidate's fit with Council needs.

Third, one interviewee suggested selecting a NACEPT Chairperson who has an
established relationship with the EPA Administrator. NACEPT could potentially be
more effective and influential if the Chair has "walk-in" status with the Administrator.

Fourth, one interviewee recommended shorter terms for Council members.
Shorter terms would allow OCEM to identify members who are over-committed
or otherwise not contributing to the group, transition them off the Council,  and
replace them with more active members.

Finally, echoing findings about the effectiveness of workgroups and subcom-
mittees with committed "workers," interviewees suggested screening Council
members for this trait. One interviewee noted how it may be tempting to select
prominent members who "look good on paper," but who view their role as being
limited to  meeting attendance. However, this advice directly contradicts other
interviewees who stressed the need for high-status NACEPT members who garner
respect at EPA. Overall, when selecting members, OCEM and the Administrator
should seek a balance between reputation and commitment to practical  re-
sponsibilities.

Collaboration         Council
At NACEPT's November 2008 meeting, several current and past Council members
recommended that NACEPT more frequently solicit  input from individuals whose
formal term on the Council has ended. They noted  that past members  are often
willing to review documents or otherwise lend their expertise to Council delibera-
tions. These individuals would approximate "council emeritus" status. Their con-
tributions would help improve NACEPT's overall institutional memory, an essential
function given the long time frame sometimes necessary to develop, issue, and
implement Council recommendations.



While interviewees expressed satisfaction with the internal workings of NACEPT
projects, they identified a variety of possible steps for improving efficiency.  Sev-
eral of these suggestions essentially call for continuation (and possibly  expan-
sion) of current practices:

   •  NACEPT should continue performing projects with smaller workgroups
     to harness the enthusiasm of the most interested Council members and

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     respond more fluidly to Agency needs. Along these lines, one interviewee
     recommended that NACEPT specifically consider a more streamlined sys-
     tem of document review to recognize situations where comments are time
     critical. Finally, NACEPT should continue its use of interim products (e.g.,
     advice letters) to address appropriate segments of charges in a timely
     fashion.
   •  NACEPT should continue involving EPA program office staff in workgroup
     and subcommittee efforts, using these representatives to get access to
     Agency expertise and to craft more effective recommendations. One inter-
     viewee noted that this practice may involve re-interpretation of the NACEPT
     charter language requiring that the Council report exclusively to OCEM
     and the Administrator. This interviewee felt strongly that EPA staff learn from
     the process of NACEPT deliberations and that this learning may be even
     more valuable than the final advice provided by the Council on any given
     topic.
   •  As a means of enhancing communication among subcommittee and
     workgroup members, NACEPT should take more frequent advantage of
     technologies such as videoconferencing and web-based meetings. These
     same technologies could be used to improve coordination among the full
     Council. Somewhat in contrast, one interviewee emphasized the need for
     subcommittees and the full Council to hold more face-to-face meetings.
     This individual felt that OCEM should attempt to secure more travel fund-
     ing for NACEPT participants. To the extent that face-to-face meetings are
     feasible, one interviewee stressed the value of meetings held outside of
     Washington D.C. (e.g., at an  EPA regional office).

Some interviewees recommended that NACEPT and OCEM institute more formal
systems of feedback between the program offices and the Council. Some mech-
anisms already exist for informing the Council of the status of their recommenda-
tions. For instance, in addition to response letters from the Administrator, one EPA
interviewee noted how Council members met with the program office to discuss
NACEPT's recommendations and steps that EPA was taking to implement them.
In general, however, interviewees asserted that more systematic feedback would
be useful  and potentially would enhance the commitment and engagement
of the Council members. The practice of periodically tracking recommendation
implementation (see below) may directly address this suggestion.



The interviews with NACEPT stakeholders included a series of questions focusing
on how NACEPT can best assess its  own success in the coming decade. Nearly
all interviewees  began their response with the same general observations: (1) For
NACEPT, "success" equates to the extent to which the Agency implements the
Council's recommendations; and (2) NACEPT needs a better system for deter-
mining which of its recommendations are implemented, which are not, and why.

In one sense, tracking the "success rate" for NACEPT recommendations would
appear straightforward. However, as discussed, NACEPT recommendations
run the gamut from practical, incremental advice to sweeping reorientation of
Agency mission and procedures. Therefore, interviewees suggested several forms
of retrospective assessments that differ somewhat in scope and objectives:

   •  One interviewee recommended performing a detailed retrospective study
     of several specific  NACEPT projects, examining the reasons why recom-
     mendations were or were not implemented. This study would serve as the

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     basis for crafting a formal system of feedback between NACEPT and the
     program offices that could be applied on all future NACEPT projects.
   •  Several interviewees suggested that NACEPT develop a periodic report—
     i.e., every one or two years—assessing the extent to which NACEPT rec-
     ommendations have been implemented. Such a study could be used to
     refine the issues NACEPT addresses and the type of recommendations it
     provides. The study could either be developed internally (at OCEM) or by
     an independent contractor. Given that the nature of recommendations
     varies greatly, it may be best to implement this type of study only for a spe-
     cific subset of NACEPT projects. Projects that produce a finite set of discrete
     recommendations may lend themselves better to such an evaluation than,
     for example, assignments wherein NACEPT reviews and comments on an
     EPA document.
   •  Short of a periodic report, NACEPT could occasionally reconvene sub-
     committees to assess the extent to which recommendations have been
     implemented. Some interviewees suggested that these procedures include
     meetings with program offices to hold follow-up discussions on the status of
     the recommendations.

To facilitate these kinds of retrospective studies, NACEPT may wish to pay explicit
attention to the "trackability" of its recommendations. The goal would be to formu-
late recommendations that can be evaluated easily in the future. An interviewee
with detailed knowledge of the Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB)
noted that EFAB explicitly considers this type of clarity in its recommendations.

Interviewees also suggested options for gauging the impact of NACEPT advice
without explicitly tracking each individual recommendation. The basic objec-
tive would  be to assess the degree to which major themes inherent in NACEPT
recommendations are evident in EPA management actions. Major themes might
include the following:

   •  Consider whether EPA is implementing an iterative management process
     that integrates strategic planning, financial  management/budgeting,
     and environmental results. One interviewee argued that the Agency could
     more fully integrate these three major management exercises.
   •  Assess the degree of cross-program collaboration at the Agency. One
     interviewee observed how even the NACEPT project itself may demonstrate
     progress with respect to this indicator; that is, involvement of individuals
     from multiple program offices on the NACEPT subcommittee or workgroup
     will improve cross-office coordination.
   •  Gauge the degree to which EPA measures the environmental impacts of its
     programs and regulations. For various reasons, evaluations tend to focus
     on measuring program inputs, program outputs, and readily observed out-
     comes, with  less attention paid to environmental improvements. Interview-
     ees acknowledged that all EPA offices are under pressure from GPRA to
     measure true impacts, and are struggling to identify and implement these
     more meaningful measures.
   •  One interviewee stressed that another yardstick to gauge NACEPT's effec-
     tiveness would be the degree to which it moves EPA into the technology
     fields where it currently lacks a presence. Because alternative energy is  a
     key to reducing greenhouse gases, the interviewee suggested that EPA
     may wish to consider expanding its role in the alternative energy field (e.g.,
     wind, solar, biofuels).

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As framed by one interviewee, all of fhese measures would reflect how NACEPT's
advice helps EPA "change the way it does business." Some interviewees felt that
such measures would be more effective than simply tracking the rate at which
recommendations are adopted.

Other suggestions for performance measurement include the following:

   •  One interviewee suggested assessing the "durability" of the recommenda-
     tions. Specifically, the most successful reports are those that are still rel-
     evant and useful several years after publication. In this way, a new admin-
     istration can take advantage of the Council's earlier work.
   •  Finally, NACEPT may wish to consider demand for its services as an indi-
     cator of success. If program offices, regions, and other segments of the
     Agency present a large number of charges to NACEPT, it demonstrates
     that NACEPT's advice is highly valued.

          cn T
NACEPT's 1999 report Past and Future: A Decade of Stakeholder Advice consid-
ered the successes associated with the Council's first 10 years of operation. The
study compiled 14 recommendations for the Council and OCEM, with the goal
of improving the impact and value of NACEPT in the coming years. It is useful
to reflect on the extent to which the Council and OCEM have addressed  these
recommendations in the last decade and identify areas where further work may
be needed.

Exhibit 5 summarizes the progress made against the 10-year recommendations.
The interviews  conducted for this study demonstrate marked progress on many
of the recommendations. Themes stressed throughout this  report include: (1)
more streamlined NACEPT response to Agency needs; (2) improved NACEPT vis-
ibility throughout EPA, including  with EPA Regions and groups such as the IAC;
(3) more direct collaboration  with EPA program offices; (4) improved support
for subcommittees and workgroups (e.g., through contractor assistance  and
arrangement of ad hoc membership); (5) improved guidance for new Council
members and DFOs; and (6) encouragement of more systematic  feedback on
NACEPT's performance and its recommendations.

In some instances, NACEPT has explored the 10-year recommendation and cho-
sen to move in a different direction. For example, the Council has  experimented
with formal facilitation but has found that the Chairperson is more effective at
managing meetings.

Finally, some of the 10-year recommendations focus on refinement of formal sub-
committee procedures. Because NACEPT has  moved toward greater reliance on
smaller, informal workgroups,  some of these recommendations are less relevant
to current practices.

Overall, NACEPT has succeeded in satisfying the majority of the recommenda-
tions set forth in the 10-year report.

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EXHIBIT 5. Progress on Recommendations Provided in NACEPT
             10 Year Study
 Recommendation in 10-Year Study  Progress Based on Interviews and OCEM Input
 NACEPT should more actively engage
 in strategic planning to identify the
 policy issues which NACEPT standing
 committees address.*
NACEPT has focused on being responsive to Administrator and
program office demands; less emphasis on suggesting policy issues
for the Council to address.
NACEPT produced the 2002 report The Environmental Future:
Emerging Challenges and Opportunities for EPA to assist the
Agency in identifying upcoming policy challenges.
NACEPT produced the 2009 report Outlook for EPA, recommending
significant changes in EPA's focus and operations.
 NACEPT should better publicize itself and
 its work to all parts of the Agency and
 beyond.
Interviewees noted recent efforts by NACEPT Chair and OCEM staff
to meet with program offices, regions, and other segments of the
Agency. For instance, OCEM has recently briefed Regions 2 and 10
on NACEPT, with additional briefings planned.
Interviewees also noted coordination with groups such as EPA's
Innovation Action Council.
 NACEPT should streamline the
 process of developing and delivering
 recommendations.
Interviewees highlighted use of smaller workgroups and reliance on
shorter interim products such as advice letters.
 NACEPT should conduct an evaluation of
 standing committee processes upon the
 completion of the standing committee's
 work.
OCEM staff routinely follow up with program offices to gauge
satisfaction with completed NACEPT efforts. However, no formal
evaluation has been completed, owing to resource constraints and
the need to hire outside, neutral evaluators.
NACEPT has increased its reliance on simpler, streamlined
workgroup-based efforts, rather than creation of full subcommittees.
Hence, limited need exists for a review of committee procedures.
 NACEPT should take responsibility
 for maintaining contact with its past
 members.
Studies such as the current retrospective and prospective analyses
have relied extensively upon input from past members, seeking
their perspective on past performance and future NACEPT
directions.
Interviewees and participants in NACEPT's November 2008
meeting recommend selective reliance on past Council members'
experience to inform ongoing NACEPT efforts.
 Standing committees should prioritize
 their recommendations and include
 suggested schedules and performance
 targets for implementation of each
 recommendation.
Workgroups routinely prioritize their recommendations. However,
the Council has chosen not to dictate schedules and performance
targets, leaving these decisions to the program offices.
 Standing committees should request
 a formal response from the Agency to
 standing committee reports.
The program offices typically respond to NACEPT
recommendations. In particular, feedback from the EPA
Administrator and Assistant Administrators on NACEPT products is
more consistent than in the past.
 OCEM should ensure productive
 interaction between NACEPT standing
 committees and relevant Agency
 program offices.
Interviewees highlighted how direct involvement of program office
staff has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of research
projects. In particular, senior program office staff are able to
shepherd NACEPT recommendations because of their level of
experience and knowledge of EPA.
 OCEM should ensure that standing
 committee work is adequately planned
 and managed by the DFO and standing
 committee chairperson to achieve the
 committee's goals in an efficient manner.
Interviewees commended the appointment of liaisons to report
from subcommittees and workgroups to the larger Council.
NACEPT has increased its reliance on workgroup-based efforts,
rather than full subcommittees.

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Recommendation in 10-Year Study
OCEM should inform program offices of
the qualifications needed to be a DFO
and provide training to appointed DFOs.
OCEM should develop better ways for
NACEPT members to communicate
between meetings.
OCEM should establish an enhanced
formal method for the establishment of
standing committees.
OCEM should improve the NACEPT
standing committee orientation process
for new members.
OCEM should develop a formal
facilitation program to ensure proper
support for each standing committee.
Progress Based on Interviews and OCEM Input
• Interviewees commented favorably on the guidance manual that
OCEM produced for DFOs.
• The General Services Administration provides FACA training for DFOs.
• OCEM has increased its use of teleconferencing to facilitate
communication between NACEPT meetings. In addition, smaller
workgroups have led to increased meeting frequency.
• While some interviewees felt that formal and informal meeting
frequency was adequate, others recommended fostering more
frequent communication.
• A memorandum of understanding is created when a
subcommittee is established.
• OCEM hosts an orientation session for new members, which
includes an overview of FACA, NACEPT, EPA, procedures, travel
policy, and other relevant issues. OCEM has also arranged
presentations by past Council members to orient new members.
• The Council has chosen to limit its reliance on formal facilitation,
instead relying on the NACEPT Chair to perform this function.
• Interviewees commented favorably on OCEM efforts to provide
contractor support and willingness to recruit ad hoc committee
members when supplementary experience is needed.
* Note that while the 1 0-year recommendations make frequent mention of "standing committees," NACEPT has
moved toward greater reliance on smaller workgroups.

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Appendix A: Executive Summary of JACEPT
Past & Future: A Decade of Stakeholder Advice
(10-Year Anniversary Report) ,
The Executive Summary begins on the next page.

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                             Executive Summary
Abstract of Study
The National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) was
established in 1988 to provide advice to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on
issues related to environmental management and policy.  NACEPT provides a forum for public
discussion and the development of independent advice and counsel by taking advantage of the
respective experiences, strengths, knowledge, and responsibilities of a broad range of Agency
constituents and stakeholders. Since 1988, the Council has convened and directed the work of 26
standing committees, each established to address a specific issue. Over the last decade, these
standing committees, comprised of over 700 stakeholder representatives, have addressed Agency
issues related to information management, program activities, and general management and
policy. The Council, in turn, has approved and published over 50 major reports containing over
1,000 recommendations to the EPA Administrator. In recognition of the 10-year anniversary of
NACEPT, the Council undertook a study to evaluate its past performance and to chart a course
for its future by identifying ways to  better serve the Agency.

This study found that NACEPT has undoubtably been a success,  NACEPT's standing
committees have produced hundreds of timely and relevant recommendations responding to
requests made by the EPA Administrator. Many of these recommendations have influenced or
been directly responsible for subsequent EPA decisions and actions. In addition, the volume and
range of topics addressed by NACEPT has increased during this time, reflecting the value placed
on the Council by EPA's leadership.

This report, entitled NACEPT: Past and Future, presents the results of this study.  Other key
findings of the study are:

       *      NACEPT recommendations have had significant impacts on Agency decision-
             making as demonstrated by the creation of new programs such as the U.S.
             Environmental Training Institute, the establishment of new Agency offices such
             as the Technology Innovation Office, and incorporation into formal Agency
             policy such as the EPA's IRM Strategic Plan.

       »•-     NACEPT's recommendations have fulfilled the requests for advice made to
             Council by the EPA Administrator.
       *•      Membership on NACEPT is balanced and representative of diverse points of
             view.   Feedback to standing committees on the impact of their recommendations
             and their implementation has been limited.
       *      Standing committees have adequate direction, support, and resources to complete
             their work although enhancements in communication and facilitation support are
             desirable.
                                                       NACEPT: Past and Future • ES-l

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Based on these findings, NACEPT has undertaken several strategic planning initiatives including
                   C5                                    O   t      C?                 C*
the development of a strategic action plan, which identified future and emerging issues relevant
to environmental decision-making. In addition, this report includes recommendations related to
NACEPTs operations, its standing committees, and EPA's Office of Cooperative Environmental
Management, which provides management and administrative support to the Council.  These
recommendations range from implementing a structured evaluation of each standing committee
on completion of its work to requesting a formal response from the Agency to all standing
committee reports.  The full list of study findings and recommendations is presented in the
following Exhibits ES-l and ES-2.

Exhibit ES-l.
                             PRINCIPAL FINDINGS

  1.     NACEPT provides valuable input and advice to the Agency from a wide variety of
        stakeholders.

  2.     Recommendations are timely for Agency decision-making and fulfill standing
        committee charters.

  3.     Standing committee membership is a balanced representation of points of view.

  4.     Standing committees are given adequate direction to fulfill their missions; early
        agreement on purpose and goals may help to improve efficiency.
  5.     Standing committee recommendations are developed in a timely, inclusive fashion.

  6.     Most respondents have not received feedback from the Agency on the impact of their
        standing committee's recommendations.

  1'.     Communication between standing committee members is adequate but improvements
        are needed for communications between meetings and to the Council.
  8.     Standing committee meetings are generally well-planned and structured yet
        improvements can be made in defining the consensus process, ensuring equitable
        participation, and keeping  decisions on track.
  9.     Standing committee members were generally positive about receiving timely and
        useful background and technical materials to make informed decisions.

  10.    More frequent meetings and improved communication between meetings could
        improve standing committee effectiveness.
  11.    Better meeting support can be achieved through increased use of technology and
        facilitation.
                                                        NACEPT: Past and Future * ES-2

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Exhibit ES-2.
                            RECOMMENDATIONS

 The NACEPT Council should:
     •   Do more strategic planning to identify the policy issues which NACEPT standing
        committees address.
     •   Better publicize itself and its work to all parts of the Agency and beyond.
     •   Streamline the process of developing and delivering recommendations.
     •   Conduct an evaluation of standing committee processes upon the completion of the
        standing committee's work.
     •   Take responsibility for maintaining contact with its past members.

 NACEPT Standing Committees should:
     •   Prioritize their recommendations and include suggested schedules and performance
        targets for implementation of each recommendation.
     •   Request a formal response from the Agency to all standing committee reports at an
        appropriate interval.

 The Office of Cooperative Environmental Management should:
     •   Ensure productive interaction directly between NACEPT standing committees and
        relevant Agency program offices.
     •   Ensure that standing committee work is adequately planned and managed by the
        Designated Federal Officer (DFO) and standing committee chairperson to achieve
        committee goals in an efficient manner.
    •   Make clear to the program offices the qualifications needed to be a DFO and provide
        training to appointed DFOs.
    •   Develop better ways for NACEPT members to communicate between meetings.
    •   Establish an enhanced formal method for the establishment of standing committees.
    •   Improve the NACEPT and standing committee orientation process for new members.
    •   Develop a fprmal facilitation program to ensure proper support for each standing
        committee.
                                                      NACEPT: Past and Future • ES-3

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                              Summary of Report
Overview of NACEPT
In 1988, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) founded the National Advisory
Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) [previously known as the
National Advisory Council for Environmental Technology Transfer (NACETT)].  NACEPT was
established to provide an ongoing stakeholder advisory group to recommend ways the Agency
could encourage technology transfer through cooperative activities with industry, academia, and
non-federal government agencies.

In its first decade of operation, NACEPT has involved over 700 stakeholder representatives from
a variety of sectors including business and industry, state, local, and tribal governments, and
academia,  who have participated  in 26 standing committees in addition to the Council. Each
standing committee is established to address a specific charge within a set timeframe. As such,
the Council serves as a steering committee, reviewing and approving the reports and
recommendations of the standing committees.

The number of NACEPT standing committee investigations has increased over the past decade as
NACEPT has increased the scope of issues on which it provides the Agency advice, as shown in
the Exhibit ES-3  below. These committees, identified in Exhibit ES-4, have held hundreds of
open meetings in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), produced over
50 major, published reports, and put forth over 1,000 recommendations related to information
management,  program activities,  and general Agency policies.

              Exhibit ES-3. Number of Standing Committees by Topic Area
                  12
                       Ull  111* 1110  1111  1112  1»»J  1*14 1115  tilt  M17  1»1«

                          H General Agency policy or management
                          (_] Program/media specific
                          |§2 information mafiafiement/irtforroation technology
                                                        NACEPT: Past and Future • ES-4

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 Exhibit ES-4.  Timeline of NACEPT Standing Committees by Topic Area
-ft
L.
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           1988     1989
                                1991     1992     1993     1994
                                                                            1996     1997
         Em Education and Training Cniie
                                 [Pollution Preveniion Educiinon Cnue   |
        Stare and Loc^l Program:) Cnue
                                                     J
        Technology Innovation and Economjcs Cinte
         International Env Cmte  [Trade and Em Ctnte.
                IF.FAB
                                                         IESEC
                                                         IEITC
                                                                 IEIET
           Administrator Thomas
           establishes NACEPT in
           1988
                                                                         ICBEP
                                                                      |Reiiiveillion Cnlena Cnue
                                                                                         [TITLE VI
                                                                                         [ECMC
                         Env. Measures/Chemical Arndent Prevention C'mlt.  '
          Renamed NACEPT in July
          1990 lo reflect the scope of
          us mission and activities.
                                   Administrator Reilly asks
                                   NACEPT lo help the Agency
                                   promote polluiion prevention.
    c
  =  ™ ^
  O  — M

  111
  £  II
  •S  = H
                                      \Env. Statistics Cmte.
                               Adminisiraior Browner asks
                               NACEPT to expand its chaner
                               10 incorporate a wider range of
                               ideas and issues.
                                                      \Env. Info, and Assessments Cm/
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and current NACEPT members; and (3) detailed one-on-one interviews with a selected sample of
NACEPT members and EPA officials. Additional details on the study methodology are included
Appendices F, G, H, I, K, and L.

Principal Findings	

Several tests of effectiveness were used in this study to assess NACEPT's impact, including the
extent to  which the Council and its standing committees had:

       »•      fulfilled their charges;
       *•      brought new, outside perspectives to EPA;
       *      provided timely and relevant advice and recommendations; and
       *•      influenced the outcome of Agency policy decisions and/or course of program
             activities.

By all of  these standards, NACEPT has been a success.  Principal findings of the study are
summarized in Exhibit ES-l on page ES-2.

Through  its standing committees, NACEPT has produced over 1,000 recommendations presented
in over 50 major reports.  In addition to informal advice, counsel, and insight were provided
directly to EPA officials in the course of NACEPT meetings.  Both NACEPT members and
Agency officials interviewed attest to the new perspectives that NACEPT has brought to issues
put before it and to the quality and timeliness of its recommendations on these issues. By a
significant margin, past and current NACEPT members valued their service on NACEPT and
rated their standing committee's work as valuable to EPA. For example,


       *•      Survey respondents were very positive about the value of the NACEPT process
             and the advice NACEPT provides EPA decision-makers.
                                                          *
       *•      Respondents particularly value the diversity of perspectives captured within the
             NACEPT process.
       *      Over three-quarters of respondents indicated that they would serve on NACEPT
             again if asked.1

Agency officials echoed these views and, as shown in Exhibit ES-5, there is an extensive list of
Agency decisions and actions that can be traced back to recommendations made by NACEPT.
This list,  which is  only a partial list of NACEPT's impact, indicates the considerable influence of
NACEPT on Agency policies and actions over the last decade.
       1 NACEPT members volunteer their expertise and time and are not compensated although travel costs are
reimbursed.

                                                        NACEPT: Past and Future • ES-6

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Exhibit ES-5.  Impacts of NACEPT by Topic Area
 INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
     Standing Committees
                       Impacts on EPA Policy
    Environmental Information
    and Assessments Committee
    Environmental Statistics
    Committee
    Information Resources
    Management Strategic
    Planning Task Force
    Environmental Information
    and Public Access
    Committee
    Information Impacts
    Committee
OJRM management incorporated NACEPT recommendation into the Agency's
Strategic Management Plan.
EPA launched the Facility Identification Initiative to streamline access and
reporting by establishing a uniform set of facility identification data.
EPA's IRM Strategic Plan incorporated much of the language contained in the
IRM Task Force recommendations.
Consistent with NACEPT advice, the Agency has created a Chief Information
Officer to oversee the Agency's information management.
Advice of the Information Impacts Committee was cited in a June 1998 Agency
audit of the Office of Water's Data Integration Efforts
Recommendations of the Environmental Information and Assessment Committee
influenced the Agency's Office of Research and Development's management
strategy for scientific data.
EPA established a Center for Environmental Information and Statistics as
recommended by the Environmental Statistics Committee,
 PROGRAM/MEDIA SPECIFIC POLICY
     Standing Committees
                       Impacts on EPA Policy
    Environmental
    Measures/Chemical
    Accident Prevention
    Committee
    Superfund Evaluation
    Committee
    Food Safety Advisory
    Committee
    Total Maximum Daily Load
    Committee
    Effluent Guidelines Task
    Force
    Waste Isolation Pilot Plarft
    Review Committee
    Toxic Data Reporting
    Committee
    Tolerance Reassessment
    Advisory  Committee
The advice of EMCAP has been used in the measurement process in the
Agency's pollution prevention program.
 EPA's Superfund Administrative Reforms adopted many of the concepts
embodied in the SEC's recommendations.
The Integrative Environmental Justice Model Demonstration Approach developed
by SEC was incorporated into the OSWER Environmental Justice Action Agenda
developed by the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC).
EGTF recommendations have led to limitations on the use of synthetic-based
drilling fluids, an examination of rules addressing coal mining operations, and
revisions to the feedlot category as well as a commitment from the Agency to
write regulations for dams.
EPA now recommends that states publish their methodology for TMDL listings
and establish related data quality assurance measures.
The Agency has incorporated earlier stakeholder participation  in the development
of specific Effluent Guideline Rules.
EPA has used approaches developed by FSAC to make FQPA regulatory
decisions.
EPA is currently utilizing the framework developed by TRAC to investigate
science policy areas related to FQPA and tolerance reassessment.
                                                                    NACEPT: Past and Future « ES-7

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                                   Input from the TDR committee has led to revisions to Form A reporting
                                   requirements and resulting procedures.
                                   NACEPT advice was incorporated into the Agency's compliance criteria for
                                   WIPP.
                                   EPA now recommends the establishment of community groups to increase public
                                   involvement in the remediation of radiation contaminated sites.
GENERAL AGENCY/ POLICY/MANAGEMENT
    Standing Committees
                           Impacts on EPA Policy
    Environmental Education
    and Training Committee
    Pollution Prevention
    Education Committee
    State and Local Programs
    Committee
    Technology Innovation and
    Economics Committee
    Trade and Environment
    Committee
    International Environmental
    Committee
    Environmental Financial
    Advisory Board
    Ecosystems Sustainable
    Economies Committee
    Ecosystems Implementation
    Tools Committee
    Environmental Information,
    Economics, and
    Technology
    Community Based
    Environmental Protection
    Committee
    Reinvention Criteria
    Committee
    Environmental Capital
    Markets Committee    4
    Title VI Implementation
    Advisory Committee
*   EPA developed of a guidebook to help develop more sustainable economic
    systems.
*   EPA created of a new U.S. Environmental Training Institute.
*   EPA formed of EPA's Office of Environmental Education.
*   EPA created of non-profit organizations addressing environmental education and
    needs of industry.
*   EPA improved delivery of environmental information to college students and
    young adults.
*   EPA established of a Technology Innovation Office (TIO) to facilitate the
    transfer of technologies developed in the Superfund Innovative Technology
    Evaluation program.
*   EPA has addressed "environmental education" in a proactive manner.
*   EPA developed programs which focus on educating businesses on how to
    implement environmental programs.
*   EPA developed Enviro$en$e, an electronic library of information on pollution
    prevention, technical assistance, and environmental compliance.
*   The Agency has supported of projects to build state and local capacity for risk-
    based planning.
*   EPA established of a the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee by the Office of Air
    and Radiation.
*   EPA implemented of comparative risk and strategic planning in EPA Regions.
*   EPA increased cooperative agreements.
*   EPA increased use of performance evaluation based on outcomes.
*   EPA conducted pre-congressional consultations on the Agency's GPRA plan.
*   EPA incorporated technology incentives into the Agency's pollution prevention
    strategy.
*  EPA developed techniques for ecosystem valuation.
*  EPA developed final guidance for implementation of the data elements required by
   the Pollution Prevention Act.
                                                                   NACEPT: Past and Future • ES-8

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 At the same time, although largely satisfied with the process, many past and current NACEPT
 members recommended improvements in certain aspects of NACEPT and standing committee
 operations. Most importantly, few NACEPT members indicated knowing what EPA had done
 with their standing committee's recommendations, which impedes the Council's ability to
 provide continuing advice and counsel on that topic.  Nearly one-quarter (24%) of respondents
 did not know whether the Agency had taken actions as a result of the standing committee's
 advice. The other principal findings are as  follows:

       »•      While adequate direction is given to guide the work of a standing committee, an
              initial agreement between the standing committee and relevant Agency offices on
              the specific purpose and goals of the standing committee would improve
              efficiency of the standing committee's work.

       »•      Standing committees  would benefit from more support (e.g., background
              materials) on technical issues. In addition, in the case of a few standing
              committees, respondents stated that agendas and meeting materials were not
              distributed in a timely way.

       *•      The efficiency of standing committee work could be improved by more frequent
              meetings of the committee and improved communication between meetings to
              allow the committee to advance its work between meetings.

       *•      Better meeting management is often needed.  Specifically, clear and agreed on
              processes for reaching consensus need to be identified, equitable participation
              must be ensured, and  facilitation is needed to keep discussions on-track.

       •"      Deliberations could be improved by having technical advisors on hand at all
              meetings as well as better clerical support and equipment for real-time
              collaborative group work (e.g., laptop computers to draft recommendations).

       >      While communication is effective between standing committee members,
              communication between the Council and standing committees is limited.

Recommendations	

Based on the findings summarized above and described in greater detail in the remainder of this
report, recommendations were developed in three areas related to: (1) Council operations; (2)
standing committee activities; and (3) OCEM support. These recommendations are presented in
Exhibit ES-2 on page ES-3 and described briefly below.

Recommendations For improving the NACEPT Council

       »•      NACEPT should engage in a strategic planning effort to identify pressing or
              emerging policy issues which standing committees might address.  The results of
              these efforts should be transmitted to the EPA Administrator on an annual basis.

                                                        NACEPT: Past and Future * ES-9

-------
       »•     NACEPT should streamline the recommendation review process to ensure that the
             advice of standing committees is approved by the Council and transmitted to the
             Agency in a timely fashion.

       •>     NACEPT should conduct post-committee evaluations.  Such evaluations would be
             led by the standing committee chairperson and DFO and would attempt to identify
             which aspects of the process worked well and where improvement or change is
             needed,

       »     NACEPT should better publicize itself and its work to all parts of the Agency and
             to external audiences,

       *     NACEPT should make a concerted effort to maintain contact with  its past
             members.  This contact should include communication  regarding the actions
             which have been taken by the  Agency as the result of NACEPT's advice.

       »     For cases in which the Agency has committed to implement NACEPT
             recommendations, NACEPT should request formal updates on the status of
             implementation  of those recommendations,

Recommendations for improving the NACEPT Standing Committees

       *     Standing committees should be encouraged to prioritize their recommendations
             and include, where appropriate, implementation schedules and milestones for each
             recommendation.

       »•     Standing committees should request that the Agency provide a formal response to
             NACEPT on the Agency's disposition toward standing  committee
             recommendations at a mutually acceptable interval. (For most standing
             committees, the  schedule of 60 days after transmittal seems reasonable.)

Recommendations for OCEM's management of NACEPT

       +     OCEM should maximize direct interaction between standing committees and
             Agency  program offices. This could be accomplished by establishing a program
             office-standing committee  liaison. Such a liaison would be encouraged to attend
             standing committee meetings, contribute to the development of agendas and
             background materials, and serve as the key intermediary on technical issues.
                   t
       *•     OCEM should ensure that standing committee work is adequately planned and
             managed by the  Designated Federal Official (DFO) and chairperson to achieve the
             standing committee goals in an efficient manner.  Such  planning would include
             the initial development of clear objectives and timelines to guide the
             investigation, as well as milestones and performance objectives by which to assess
             progress.

       *     OCEM should develop and implement a formal facilitation program to ensure
             proper support for each standing committee.

                                                      NACEPT: Past and Future • ES-10

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              OCEM should develop better ways for standing committee members to
              communicate between meetings.  Options provided by the Internet and
              telecommunication systems should be considered.

              OCEM should review and enhance the method by which new standing
              committees are established. Specifically, better definition of the purpose and a
              more rigorous membership selection process are needed.

              OCEM should improve the orientation process for new members.  Improvements
              could include enhanced focus on past NACEPT work to provide committee-
              specific background, as well as the development of new ways to provide training
              on FACA guidelines such as online tutorials or a brief video.
Conclusion
Over its first decade, NACEPT has addressed an extensive and varied set of issues at the request
of the EPA Administrator and provided valuable recommendations, advice, and counsel on these
issues and topics.  Equally important, NACEPT's recommendations have had a significant and
lasting impact on the Agency's decision making, policies, and program activities. These impacts
attest to the value of the expertise and perspectives that NACEPT is able to bring to an issue.  In
addition, the usefulness of NACEPT to the Agency is demonstrated by the  number of standing
committees and range of issues addressed by NACEPT at the Administrator's request in the last
decade.

NACEPT has demonstrated that it is EPA's most unique federal advisory committee. This study
has identified NACEPT as having developed a niche for providing valuable advice on broad,
cross-media issues. At the same time, NACEPT has displayed the flexibility to address specific
programmatic issues that are of a high priority or urgent in nature. This flexibility has enabled
NACEPT to be responsive to EPA, even as issues and priorities change.

At present, NACEPT is taking the strategic initiative to reinvent itself, thereby increasing its
value to EPA. Evidence of this includes this study, the creation of the NACEPT Council's
strategic plan, customer focus and partnering, and improved processes.  NACEPT's future is
filled with possibilities and promise, based on the past 10 years' exemplary record of service to
EPA and .the citizens of the United States.
NACEPT is indebted to Nancy Tosta, Gerard Bulanow ski, Bill Sonntag, Tom Davis, and Patricia
Bauman who, as the members of the Study team, directed this study and developed its findings
and recommendations. Their insights, efforts, and enthusiasm were instrumental to the success
of this study.
                                                       NACEPT: Past and Future - ES-11

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Appendix B: NACEPT
Subcommittees/Workgroups
and Associated Charges
Subcommittees

	
Environmental Education and
Training Committee/Pollution
Prevention Education Committee
State and Local Programs
Committee
Environmental Financial Advisory
Board
Technology Innovation and
Economics Committee
Trade and Environment
Committee
Environmental Measures/
Chemical Accident Prevention
Committee
Effluent Guidelines Task Force
Environmental Statistics
Committee
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Review
Committee
Superfund Evaluation Committee
Toxic Data Reporting Committee
;:;;•

1 988-1 993
1 988-1 993
1 989-1 990
1 989-1 993
1 989-1 993
1 990-1 996
1992-2003
1 992-1 997
1 992-1 999
1 993-1 994
1 993-1 999
Established to promote an environmentally conscious and responsible
public through three major objectives: (1 ) heighten public sensitivity
to the environmental consequences of our individual and collective
actions; (2) educate youth and train future environmental management
professionals; and (3) aid public and private executives in making
informed and responsible decisions.
Established to advise the Administrator on enhancing of state and local
governments' ability to carry out their environmental management
responsibilities and on building cooperation among government,
business, academia, and the public interest.
Established to advise the Administrator on environmental financing,
related taxation issues, innovative financing approaches, legislative
and regulatory options, public/private partnerships, local and regional
infrastructure issues, and accounting disclosure standards.
Established to examine (1) the effectiveness of governmental
"environmental systems" in ensuring a suitable climate for technological
development and (2) the adequacy of market forces to stimulate the
development of environmentally beneficial technologies.
Established to assist the Administrator to clarify EPA's trade position,
advance the integration of environmental and trade policy making, and
identify key policy issues and recommendations.
Established to provide policy advice on ways to obtain the
measurements and other information that EPA needs to make its
chemical accident prevention programs work.
Established to assist the Agency in implementing the Clean Water Act,
advising the Administrator on the long-term strategy for the Effluent
Guidelines Program, and making recommendations on a process for
expediting the promulgation of effluent guidelines as well as ways the
Agency could expedite the rulemaking process.
Established to provide advice to EPA on ways to make its environmental
statistics available, the use of statistics to measure environmental
progress, and the development of environmental and economic
indicators of progress.
Established to provide advice on the Agency's decision to approve the
Department of Energy's Test and Retrieval Plans for the Waste Isolation
Pilot Plant (WIPP); the development of compliance criteria implementing
the High Level and Transuranic Waste Disposal Standards; and the
decision to certify WIPP's compliance with 40 CFR 191.
Established to examine stakeholder values, seek proposals for change,
and develop a creative proposal for changes that are consistent with
and help to foster capacities for state and local control over Superfund
investment decisions and actions.
Established to form recommendations for definitions and guidelines
under the Pollution Prevention Act of 1 990 from 1 993 through 1 995. In
1 997, the Committee was charged with developing recommendations
related to EPA's proposed improvement of the Toxics Release Inventory
(TRI) program.

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 Name
Ecosystems Implementation Tools
Committee
Years in     Charge
Operation
1994-1995
Established to evaluate opportunities for EPA to reorient its statutory
and regulatory responsibilities to a community-based approach to
environmental protection (CBEP). In addition, the Committee was
responsible for identifying opportunities for the Agency to develop
partnerships with state and tribal co-regulators and land resource
management agencies.
Ecosystems Sustainable
Economies Committee
1994-1996
Established to examine the defining elements of sustainable economies
and opportunities for harmonizing environmental policy, economic
activity, and ecosystem management. Specifically, the Committee was
charged with examining responsibilities and opportunities related to the
following three types of activities: 1) consensus-building; 2) measurement
and expansion of knowledge base; and 3) development of an incentive
structure.
Environmental Information and
Assessments Committee
1994-1996
Established to develop a strategy to implement a Community-Based
Environmental Protection (CBEP) approach, focusing specifically on
the information and science requirements of such an approach. The
committee was asked to examine the availability, access, and use
of environmental information in support of place-based ecosystems
protection, as well as how science could be brought to bear in support
of CBEP implementation.
Information Resources
Management Strategic Planning
Task Force
1994
Established to provide expert input on how to prioritize the Agency's
information resource management budget in support of the Agency's
strategic vision, the integration of information, and working relationships
with external partners.
Environmental Information,
Economics, and Technology
Committee
1995-1996
Established to review the data sources, methodologies, weighting
systems and approaches proposed in two reports, "Analysis of Cost-
Based Environmental Technology Gaps" and "Resource-Based Method
for Identifying  Environmental Technology Priorities." The Committee was
also asked to  provide recommendations to the Office of Policy Planning
and Evaluation (OPPE) as to the appropriate methodology to use in the
selection process of the industrial sectors in which the demand for more
efficient environmental technologies was strongest.
Community Based Environmental
Protection Committee
1996-1997
Established to focus on the availability of information, measures
of success, public incentives, and private incentives required for
community-based environmental protection.
Food Safety Advisory Committee
1996
Established to provide strategic, policy-level advice and counsel to the
EPA Administrator to facilitate quick implementation of the Food Quality
Protection Act (FQPA).
Information Impacts Committee
1996-1997
Established to provide advice on the Agency's current and proposed
processes for managing information resources, particularly in terms of
place-based environmental protection, the Common Sense Initiative,
Performance Partnerships, One-Stop Reporting, and Project XL.
Reinvention Criteria Committee
1996-1999
Established to identify and recommend criteria EPA could use to
measure the progress and success of its environmental regulation
reinvention activities; to assist the EPA in its reinvention efforts, often by
addressing specific questions asked by the Agency.
Total Maximum Daily Loads
Committee
1996-1998
Established to develop advice on new policy and regulatory directions
for the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) program regarding its roles
in watershed protection, the identification of impaired waters, the pace
of TMDL development, the science and tools needed to support the
program, and the roles and responsibilities of state, tribes, and EPA in
implementing the program.
Environmental Capital Markets
Committee
1998-1999
Established to identify concrete actions that EPA, on its own or in
cooperation with other federal or state agencies, could take to help the
financial services industry incorporate environmental information into its
core credit, investment, and underwriting decision-making processes.
Environmental Information and
Public Access Committee
1998-1999
Established to examine EPA information management policy and
implementation issues, including the long-term role of the Center for
Environmental Information and Statistics, the EPA Information Resources
Management Strategic Plan and the Re-Inventing Environmental Action
Plan, and the effective implementation of Environmental Monitoring for
Public Access and Community Tracking within the Agency's information
management model.

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 Name
Title VI Implementation Advisory
Committee
Years in      Charge
Operation
1998-1999
Established to advise EPA on the implementation of Title VI of the Civil
Rights Act through the development of a process which incorporates
environmental justice into EPA planning. More specifically, charged with
aiding EPA in handling and preventing complaints that state or local
pollution control permits violate federal civil rights laws.
Tolerance Reassessment Advisory
Committee
1998-1999
Established to provide advice and counsel to the EPA Administrator on a
strategic approach for the reassessment of organophosphate pesticide
tolerance regulations.
Subcommittee on Sectors
1999-2001
Established to provide advice and recommendations on EPA's
implementation of the sector approach to environmental protection,
informing EPA's Sector Program Plan 2001-2005.
Committee to Advise on
Reassessment and Transition
2000-2002
Established to provide advice and counsel to the Administrator of EPA
and the Secretary of Agriculture regarding strategic approaches for pest
management planning and tolerance reassessment for pesticides as
required by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996.
First Compliance Assistance
Advisory Committee
2000-2001
Established to create a multi-stakeholder working group that can
provide advice to the Administrator on the design and implementation
of several new projects. Initial work centered on three activities: (1) The
development of a Clearinghouse for compliance assistance materials
from federal, state and private sector providers; (2) The development of
an annual EPA-wide compliance assistance activity plan that will outline
EPA's priorities and commitments for compliance assistance activities;
and (3) Convening a national forum of compliance assistance providers
to share information on compliance assistance activities, provide
focused feedback on the Clearinghouse and the Activity Plan, and to
identify priority areas for compliance assistance activities.
Endocrine Disrupter Methods
Validation Subcommittee
2001-2004
Established to provide advice and counsel to the EPA on scientific
issues associated with the conduct of studies necessary for validation
of Tier 1 and Tier 2 assays for the EPA's Endocrine Disrupter Screening
Program (EDSP) (63 FR 71542). It was created to provide advice and
recommendations regarding: the development and choice of initial
protocols; prevalidation study designs; validation study designs; and the
integration of prevalidation and validation study results into EDSP Tier 1
and Tier 2 methods documents suitable for external peer review.
Second Compliance Assistance
Advisory Committee
2002-2004
Established to advance the work done by the first Compliance
Assistance Advisory Committee. The original charge was modified to
focus on three key areas: (1) the EPA-wide integration of compliance
assistance (CA) into the Agency's mission, goals and activities; (2)
the development of parameters which will enable EPA to successfully
measure CA results; and (3) the optimization of the CA network across
EPA and other environmental assistance providers.
Superfund Subcommittee
2002-2004
Established to spur a national dialogue on the role of the National
Priorities List (NPL), mega sites, and program performance measures in
the context of other federal, state and tribal waste cleanup programs.
Subcommittee on Environmental
Technology
2004-2008
Established to investigate two questions: (1) how can EPA better optimize
its environmental technology programs to make them more effective?
And (2) what other programs should the Agency undertake to achieve
this goal? Efforts included analysis of how EPA and the investment
community can partner to facilitate private sector investment in the
commercialization of environmental technologies.
                                        o

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Workgroups
Name Years in Charge
Operation
Workforce Capacity Workgroup
Emerging Trends and Issues
Workgroup
EPA's Report on the Environment
Workgroup
Strategic Plan Workgroup
Sustainable Water Infrastructure
Workgroup
Energy and the Environment
Workgroup
Integrated Modeling Workgroup
Information Access Workgroup
NACEPTO20 Workgroup
2000-2001
2000-2002
2003, 2005,
2008
2003, 2006,
2008
2006-2008
2006-Present
2008
2008
2008
Established to help the Agency focus its strategic planning for human
resource development. Charge includes comparing EPA human
resources planning to private sector practice and review of OARM's
Workforce Assessment Project and Strategy for Human Capital.
Established to: (1 ) Enhance EPA's ability to identify emerging trends and
issues that will affect EPA over the next five to ten years; and (2) Identify
emerging issues and trends, assign priorities, and prepare issue papers
for presentation to the NACEPT Council.
Established to review various editions of EPA's Report on the Environment,
suggesting changes that could help the document achieve its
objectives and providing editorial comments to improve the clarity of the
presentation.
Established to review and comment on drafts of EPA's 2003-2008, 2006-
201 1 Strategic Plan, and 2009-2014 Strategic Plan Change Document.
Established to identify the ways the Agency can better advance
sustainable approaches to water resource management and
infrastructure to meet watershed goals.
Established to provide EPA with views on how the Agency can best
organize and act to encourage the use of renewable fuels and to help
ensure that the fuels are developed in ways that are sustainable in the
long term.
Established to provide a critical review of the Agency White Paper
"Integrated Modeling for Integrated Environmental Decision Making."
Established to review EPA's Strategy for Improving Access Environmental
Information to determine: (1 ) If the strategy clearly articulates the
environmental information access priorities of EPA's major audiences;
(2) If the strategy balances the perspectives expressed by EPA's major
information audiences; and (3) If the strategy is clearly written and
understandable for members of EPA's information audiences.
Established to: (1 ) identify the issues and challenges EPA will face over
the next five to ten years, and (2) develop a strategic framework for
NACEPT to help the Council provide future administrations with timely
and relevant advice.

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Appendix  C: Bibliography of
NACEPT  Publications

Bibliography12

General Reports of the Council
National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology: An
      Overview September 1990.

Progressive Environmental Management: Leveraging Regulatory and Voluntary
      Action March 1993.

Promoting Innovative Approaches to Environmental Protection: A Summary
      of Recommendations from the National Advisory Council for
      Environmental Policy and Technology June 1996. (Developed as a result
      of the NACEPT Ecosystems Implementation Tools Committee.)

National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology: Past &
      Future July 1999.

The Environmental Future: Emerging Challenges and Opportunities for EPA
      September 2002.

Everyone's Business: Working Towards Sustainability Through Environmental
      Stewardship and Collaboration March 2008.

Outlook for EPA March 2009.

Advice Letters
Advice Letter: Comments Regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection
      Agency's Draft Fiscal Year 2001 Annual Compliance Assistance Activity
      Plan August 8, 2000.

Advice Letter: Fiscal Year 2002 Enforcement Grant Program May 23, 2001.

Advice Letter: National Environmental Technology Competition August 5, 2002.

Advice Letter: Update of NACEPT Activities August 15, 2002.

Advice Letter: Process to Identify Emerging Trends and Issues September 30,
      2002.
12  This bibliography lists NACEPT reports produced since 1988.The inventory of older docu-
   ments (pre-2000) relies on the bibliography produced for NACEPT's 10-year anniversary
   report (National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT): Past
   and Future, EPA, 1999). While efforts have been made to identify relevant materials, the list is
   not exhaustive.

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Advice Letter: Comments Regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection
       Agency's Draft 2003 Strategic Architecture January 31, 2003.

Advice Letter: Response to EPA's Draft 2003-2008 Strategic Plan April 25, 2003.

Advice Letter: Roll-out of EPA's Report on the Environment July 14, 2003.

Advice Letter: Comments on EPA's 2003 Report on the Environment November
       6, 2003.

Advice Letter: National Environmental Indicators Database January 2005.

NACEPT Comments on EPA's Draft 2006-2011 Strategic Plan Architecture March
       29, 2006.

NACEPT Comments on EPA's Draft 2006-2011 Strategic Plan July 14, 2006.

Advice Letter: NACEPT's Initial Thoughts on Environmental Stewardship
       December 22, 2006.

Advice Letter: NACEPT's Initial Thoughts on EPA's Role in Biofuels February 20,
       2007.

Advice Letter: Strategic Framework for EPA and InterAgency Biofuel Efforts July
       13,2007.

Advice Letter: Expanding EPA's Stewardship Role in Biofuel Development
       November 19, 2007.

NACEPT Comments on EPA's 2007 Report on the Environment: Highlights of
       National Trends January 2008.

Advice Letter: Integrated Modeling for Integrated Environmental
       Decisionmaking September 2008.

Advice Letter: Review of EPA's Strategy for Improving Access to Environmental
       Information November 2008.

Advice Letter: NACEPT's Fourth Advice Letter to the Administrator on Biofuels
       December 2008.

Advice Letter: NACEPT's Comments on  EPA's Draft  2009-2014 Strategic Plan
       Change Document December 2008.

Advice Letter on NACEPT's Role April 2009.

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General Agency Policy or Management

Community Based Environmental Protection Committee
Report and Recommendations of the Community-Based Environmental
      Protection Committee 1997.

Compliance Assistance Advisory  Committee
Maximizing Compliance Assistance: Recommendations for Enhancing
      Compliance Assistance Opportunities at EPA and Through Other
      Providers August 13, 2001.

Recommendations for Enhancing EPA's Compliance Assistance Program:
      Report of the Second Compliance Assistance Advisory Committee
      June 2004.

Ecosystems Implementation Tools Committee
Interim Report of the NACEPT Implementation Tools Committee on EPA's Place-
      Based Approach to Ecosystem Management January 1995.

Ecosystems Sustainable Economies Committee
NACEPT Ecosystems Sustainable Economies Committee FY 1995 Activities and
      Recommendations June 1996.

Environmental Capital Markets Committee
Green Dividends? The Relationship Between Firms' Environmental Performance
      and Financial Performance May 2000.

Environmental Information, Economics,  & Technology Committee
Peer Review of Analysis of Cost-Based Environmental Technology Gaps June
      1996.

Peer Review of Resource-Based Method For Identifying Environmental
      Technology Priorities July 1996.

Environmental Education & Training Committee/Pollution Prevention Educa-
tion Committee
National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology: The Urban
      Environmental Education Report December 1990.

National Advisory Council for Environmental Technology Transfer: Report
      and Recommendations of the Environmental Education and Training
      Committee 1990.

Pollution Prevention Education and Training for an Environmentally Sustainable
      Future: Report and Recommendations of the Academic Focus Group of
      the Pollution Prevention Education Committee October 1992.

Partnership-Building to Promote Pollution  Prevention: Industry Focus Group
      Report October 1992.

Partnerships for Pollution Prevention Education and Training December 1992.

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Environmental Financial Advisory
Environmental Tax Policy Statement Draft Recommendations March 1990.

Small Communities Financing Strategies Workgroup Draft Recommendations
       March 1990.

Public Financing Options Workgroup Draft Recommendations March 1990.

Private Sector Incentives Workgroup Draft Recommendations March 1990.


Letter to the Deputy Administrator: Preliminary Findings and Recommendations
       October 22, 1996.

Letter to the Deputy Administrator: Preliminary Findings and Recommendations
       April 18, 1997.

Recommendations on EPA's Draft Strategic Plan July 1997.

Interim Report of the Reinvention Criteria Committee March 1998.

Final Report and Recommendations of the Reinvention Criteria Committee:
       Identification of Evaluation Criteria for EPA's Reinvention Programs
       September 1999.

Final Report and Recommendations of the Reinvention Criteria Committee:
       Incentives to Promote Environmental Stewardship December 1999.

     &
Report and Recommendations of the State and Local Programs Committee
       February 1990.

Implementation of Recommendations October 1990.

State and Local Programs Committee Recommendations March 1991.

Building State and Local Pollution Prevention Programs December 1992.

              on
Report and Recommendations: EPA Sector Program Plan 2001-2005 December
       11,2000.

Petroleum Refinery Sector Workgroup: Refinery Air Information Reporting
       System (RAIRS) October 2000.

Technology Innovation &
Report and Recommendations of the Technology Innovation and Economics
       Committee January 1990.

Permitting and Compliance Policy: Barriers to U.S. Environmental Technology
       Innovation: Report and Recommendations of the Technology
       Innovation and Economics Committee January 1991.

Improving Technology Diffusion for Environmental Protection: Report and
       Recommendations of the Technology Innovation and Economics
       Committee October 1992.

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How Best to Promote Industrial Pollution Prevention Through the Effluent
       Guidelines Process: Report of the Technology Innovation and
       Economics Committee/Industrial Pollution Prevention Project Focus
       Group February 1993.

Transforming Environmental Permitting and Compliance Policies to Promote
       Pollution Prevention: Removing Barriers and Providing Incentives
       to Foster Technology Innovation, Economic Productivity, and
       Environmental Protection: Report and Recommendations of the
       Technology Innovation and Economics Committee April 1993.

Report and Recommendations for Action: "EPA's Technology Innovation
       Strategy and Program Plans for the Environmental  Initiative" August
       1994.

Title VI Implementation Advisory Committee
Final Report of the Title VI Implementation Committee April 14, 1999.

Trade & Environment Committee/International Environmental Committee
The Greening of World Trade February 1993.

Workforce Capacity Workgroup
Report and Recommendations: Evaluation of EPA's Workforce Assessment
       Project and Strategy for Human Capital April 2001.

Program/Media          Policy

Environmental Measures/Chemical Accident Prevention Committee
National Environmental Information Goals and Objectives for the 21st Century:
       Draft Interim Recommendations of the Environmental Statistics
       Subcommittee April 1992.

Report of the Pollution Prevention Measurements Subcommittee June 1992.

Measuring Progress in Chemical Accident Prevention: Recommendations of
       the Chemical Accident Prevention Subcommittee September 1992.

Establishment of a Center for Environmental Statistics at EPA: Interim

Effluent Guidelines Task Force
The Effluent Guidelines Program: Selection Criteria for Preliminary Industry
       Studies July 1994.

Effluent Guidelines Task Force Workgroup 1 - Issue Paper: Design of Preliminary
       Studies September 1996.

Fostering Pollution Prevention and Incorporating Multi-Media Considerations
       into Effluent Guidelines Development September 1996.

Removing the Bottlenecks from the Effluent Guidelines Process October 1996.

Recommendations on Streamlining the Effluent Guidelines Development
       Process: Draft Report May 1998.

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Toxic Data Reporting Committee
Issues and Concerns for the Definitions and Guidance for the Requirements
      of 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act; Summary of Discussion of the
      Toxics Data Reporting Subcommittee of the National Advisory Council
      for Environmental Policy and Technology January 1994.

Report of the Toxics Data Reporting Committee on the Toxics Release
      Inventory Program December 1998.

food Safely Advisory Committee
Summary Report of Food Safety Advisory Committee December 1996.

Total Maximum Daily Load Committee
Report of the Federal Advisory Committee on the Total Maximum Daily Load
      (TMDL) Program July 1998.

Tolerance Reassessment Advisory Committee
Framework for Addressing Key Science Issues Presented by the Food
      Quality Protection Act (FQPA) as Developed Through the Tolerance
      Reassessment Advisory Committee (TRAC) October 1998.

Framework for Refining FQPA Science Policy October 1998.

Schedule for Release of Guidance on Science Policy Issues October 1998.

Superfund Subcommittee
Final Report: Superfund Subcommittee of the National Advisory Council for
Environmental Policy and Technology April 12, 2004.

Sustainable Water Infrastructure Workgroup
National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and  Technology's Initial
      Findings and Recommendations on EPA's Sustainable Infrastructure
      Watershed Pillar July 2007.

Encouraging Regional Solutions to Sustaining Water Sector Utilities March 2009.

Information Management and Technology

Environmental Statistics Committee
FY 1995 Recommendations of the Environmental Statistics Subcommittee 1995.

Environmental Information and Assessments Committee
Findings and Recommendations of the Ecosystems Information and
      Assessments Committee June 1996.

Information Resources Management Strategic Planning Task Force
Interim Recommendations March 1994.

Using Information Strategically to Protect Human Health and the Environment:
      Recommendations for Comprehensive Information Resources
      Management August 1994.

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Information        Committee
Interim Report January 1997.

Managing Information as a Strategic Resource: Final Report and Recommendations of the
      Information Impacts Committee January 1998.


Report and Recommendations of the Environmental Information and Public Access
      Committee April 28, 1999.

              on
EPA Technology Programs and Intra-Agency Coordination May 2006.

EPA Technology Programs: Engaging the Marketplace May 2007.

EPA and the Venture Capital Community: Building Bridges to Commercialize Technology April
      2008.

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Derry Allen
Sonia Altieri
JoAnne Berman
Dorothy Bowers
Rob Brenner
Michael Brody
Angela Carasea
Mike Flynn
George Gray
Hank Habicht
Bob Hardaker
Phil Helgerson
John Howard
Mark Joyce
Stan Meiburg
Erik Meyers
James Morant
Arleen O'Donnell
Donna Perla
Abbie Pirnie
EPA, Office of Policy, Economics, and
Innovation
Designated Federal Officer, NACEPT, EPA
EPA Office of Enforcement and
Compliance Assurance
Former VP of Environmental Programs for
Merck & Co.
Director, Office of Policy Analysis and
Review, EPA Office of Air and Radiation
EPA, Office of Policy, Analysis, and
Accountability
EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency
Response, Office of Superfund
Remediation and Technological
Innovation
Director, Office of Information, Analysis
and Access, EPA Office of Environmental
Information
EPA, Assistant Administrator, Office of
Research and Development
Managing Partner, SAIL Venture Partners
Retired
Computer Sciences Corporation
Partner, Vinson & Elkins, LLP
Associate Director, OCEM
EPA Region 4, Deputy Regional
Administrator
The Conservation Fund, Vice President of
Sustainable Programs
EPA Office of International Affairs
Massachusetts Environmental Trust
EPA, Senior Advisor to the Director of
Sustainable Development, Office of
Research and Development
American Association of Retired Persons
Working with NACEPT on stewardship and
sustainability issues
Working with Council since 2000; since 2004,
served as DFO on a variety of NACEPT initiatives
Served as Designated Federal Officer for
NACEPT's Compliance Assistance Advisory
Committee
Former NACEPT Chair (2002-2005, approximately)
Worked with NACEPT on stewardship and venture
capital
Working with NACEPT on futures and strategic
planning
Served as DFO on NACEPT's Superfund
Subcommittee, 2003-2004
Worked with NACEPT on Report on the
Environment and EPA's Strategy for Improving
Access to Environmental Information
Working with NACEPT on biofuels and
environmental technology issues
Worked with NACEPT while EPA Deputy
Administrator (1989-1993); has addressed
Council on technology topics
Involved with NACEPT precursor organizations
beginning in 1988; served as OCEM Director from
1990-1991
NACEPT Environmental Technology
Subcommittee Chair
NACEPT Chair, January 2006 - January 2009
Since 1992, served as DFO on a variety of NACEPT
initiatives
Collaborated with NACEPT on Environmental
Stewardship report; broad knowledge of advisory
board procedures through extensive EFAB work
Current NACEPT Council member. Interim
NACEPT Chair
Served as DFO on NACEPT's Environmental
Statistics Committee in the early 1990s
Current NACEPT Council member
Working with NACEPT on biofuels issues
Served as OCEM Director from 1991-1995

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Gordon Schisler
Joseph Sierra
Richard Sustich
Dan Watts
Gwen Whitt
EPA, Deputy Director, Office of Civil Rights
EPA Office of Environmental Information,
Chief of Information Strategies Branch
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Executive Director, New Jersey
Institute of Technology, York Center for
Environmental Engineering and Science
EPA Office of the Administrator, Office of
Executive Services
Deputy Director and Acting Director of OCEM
from 1991 to 2002
Served as DFO on a variety of NACEPT initiatives
from 1993 until 1998, with a focus on information
resources management
Former NACEPT Council member
Current NACEPT Council member
Served as DFO on a variety of NACEPT initiatives
from mid-1990s until 2002
* Each individual's current position and relationship to NACEPT are based on the date which individuals
 were interviewed.

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APPENDIX  E: Interview
Questio
Questions for NACEPT Retrospective Analysis
1 .  Please describe your role with NACEPT (committee member, EPA, OCEM).
2.  How would you describe your experience with NACEPT?
3.  What is your opinion on whether NACEPT's charges from EPA are clear and
4.
   provide adequate direction?
   How would you describe the timeliness and quality of NACEPT's advice?
5.  Based on your knowledge, to what extent were the recommendations
   implemented?
6.  How have NACEPT's recommendations and advice impacted the Agency's
   decision-making and actions?
7.  Based on your experience, what factors influence whether or not EPA acts on
   specific recommendations?
8.  Based on your experience, what NACEPT projects have been most and least
   effective?
9.  What factors do you think have an effect on whether the project is effective or
   ineffective?
10. What would you recommend to make NACEPT more efficient and effective?
1 1 . What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of the system for selecting
   NACEPT members?
1 2. Given NACEPT's strengths and capabilities, how can NACEPT best assist EPA?
13. Are there any existing internal mechanisms that NACEPT should utilize?
14. How can EPA best identify new policy issues for NACEPT to consider?
1 5. Over the next ten years, how would you define success for NACEPT?
1 6. What measures would indicate success or failure for NACEPT in the next ten
   years?
1 7. What are some ways in which the Agency can better track and measure the
   effectiveness of NACEPT?
1 8. Is there anything else you would like to add?

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EPA's Office of Cooperative Environmental Management (OCEM) wishes to thank
all the individuals who contributed to this retrospective study. In particular, we thank
the interviewees listed in Appendix D of this report for their valuable insights. We
also acknowledge the contribution of NACEPT Council members who reviewed and
commented on the report in its draft stages. We thank Andrew Schwarz, Maggie
Clary, and Colin Mahoney of Industrial Economics, Inc. (lEc) for technical assistance
in the development of the report, as well as EC'S subcontractor, Robert Black, who
served as the lead author of the study. Finally, we thank lEc's subcontractor Eastern
Research Group for their report design and layout services.
Sonia Altieri
Designated Federal Officer
National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy & Technology (NACEPT)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1601M)
Office of Cooperative Environmental Management
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

Tel. (202) 564-0243
www.epa.gov/ocem/nacept

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