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        ift 9nnn                                        ROBERT L. RHODES
        i8' /UUU                                        202-202-457-5943
                                                       Internet Address:
                                                       rrhodes@hklaw.com
Administrator Carol M. Browner
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios South
Room 3000
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
 Washington, D.C. 20460

Dear Administrator Browner:

      I am pleased to forward  to you the NACEPT Compliance Assistance
Advisory Committee's (CAAC) consensus recommendations on the Draft FY2001
Compliance Assistance Plan. The  enclosed  information contains  suggested
improvements  for  the final  version  of the  plan  and recommendations  for
strengthening future compliance assistance plans.

      The Committee's  initial efforts  focused on helping EPA with three
compliance assistance projects called for in the Agency's "Aiming for Excellence"
report;   the  Compliance  Assistance  Plan;  the  Compliance  Assistance
Clearinghouse; and the Compliance Assistance Forum. With their advice and
input, EPA sponsored a successful Forum in March 2000, published the Agency's
first  annual draft Compliance Assistance Activity Plan,  and designed  and
established  a national web-based Compliance Assistance Clearinghouse which
should be operational in September.

      The CAAC "applauds EPA's efforts  to catalogue compliance  assistance
activities and  providers  through the  Clearinghouse  and its commitment  to
develop compliance assistance guidance for economically significant regulations
and other issues of interest." The Committee recommends that EPA:

      In the final FY01 Plan, identify all Memoranda of Agreement priorities -
for both OECA and the program offices; and

      Discuss  its plans  for  developing data  quality assurance tools  for  the
 Clearinghouse and explain how  compliance and enforcement activities will  be
coordinated and integrated into future Plans.

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Administrator Carol M. Browner
August 18, 2000
Page 2
      The CAAC also provided comments  on the development of compliance
assistance plans for FY02 and beyond, and recommended that EPA:

      •  Develop guidance  and tools  which  go  beyond  the current
         "economically significant" criteria  used for  selecting areas for
         compliance assistance tool development;

      •  Institutionalize the Plan  within all EPA program offices and
         regions and  ensure  the support of senior  agency  management in
         development of the Plan;

      •  Provide specific  guidance  to  ensure  that  enforcement  and
         compliance  assistance are complementary  (not competing) functions,
         and that expanded compliance assistance activities should not exist at
         the expense of enforcement;

      •  Elicit early  feedback from stakeholders in the development of
         future Plans (prior to publication of draft plans); and

      •  Identify compliance assistance resource needs  and ensure that
         resources are provided for activities and projects identified in the plan;

      •  Revisit the definition of "compliance assistance" and determine
         whether a broader definition would help institutionalize compliance
         assistance across the agency.

      Over  the next several months,  the CAAC has committed to providing
further recommendations on broader compliance assistance issues to ensure that
it  is institutionalized across the Agency and integrated with enforcement as
appropriate.

      I hope that you will agree with these recommendations. The CAAC and
NACEPT Council welcome your review and response to their work.
                                  Sincerely,
                                   Robert L. Rhodes
                                   Chair, NACEPT
RLR-.nct
Enclosure

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   National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology
                Compliance Assistance Advisory Committee

Comments Regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's
    Draft Fiscal Year 2001 Annual Compliance Assistance Activity Plan
Authority

The National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology's
(NACEPT) Compliance Assistance Advisory Committee (CAAC) was established
within the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the
NACEPT charter approved pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act
(FACA) by the Administrator and the General Services Administration.

In 1994, EPA sought to improve the effectiveness of its compliance monitoring and
enforcement operations at headquarters by consolidating these operations into one
office the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA). A number of
Regions implemented similar reorganizations. These reorganizations resulted in
changes, both in substance and structure, to EPA s enforcement and compliance
assurance program. EPA recently undertook a five-year review to assess how well
the reorganization improved its effectiveness. This assessment included soliciting
input from EPA s state partners and stakeholders on how EPA can further improve
public health and the environment through its compliance assurance efforts.

Committee Charge

The purpose of the CAAC is to create a multi-stakeholder working group that can
provide advice to the Administrator (through the NACEPT Council) on the design
and implementation of several new projects. The initial work of the CAAC 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
(Activity Plan) that will outline EPA s priorities and commitments for compliance
assistance activities (first plan for Fiscal Year [FY] 2001); 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.

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The CAAC conducted open meetings during November 1999, January and May
2000, in Washington, B.C. Working with OECA, the CAAC also convened Forum
2000: Building Compliance Assistance Partnerships (Forum 2000) in Atlanta,
Georgia, during March 2000. More than 230 compliance assistance providers from
around the country attended Forum 2000, which featured presentations and
feedback sessions regarding both the Clearinghouse and the Activity Plan.

Comments

The comments contained herein represent a consensus opinion of the CAAC
members and are organized into three discussion areas:

1. Comments regarding EPA s FY 2001 Activity Plan, including feedback from
compliance assistance providers received at Forum 2000.

2. Recommendations for EPA Activities to be included in FY 2002 Activity Plan
and beyond The CAAC identified four issue areas within the FY 2001 Activity Plan
for clarification and/or additional detail

3. Issues that the CAAC intends to study during FY 2001 (CAAC Work Plan)

FY 2001 Activity Plan

The CAAC identified four issue areas within the FY 2001 Activity Plan for
clarification and/or additional detail.

1. Clearinghouse Data Collection and Quality Assurance

The CAAC wishes to applaud EPA s efforts to catalog Compliance Assistance (CA)
activities and CA providers through the Clearinghouse. Recognizing the value of the
information currently being uploaded into the Clearinghouse as well as information
to be uploaded during FY 2001, the CAAC recommends that EPA develop data
quality assurance tools  for the Clearinghouse, to ensure that data remain current
and accurate. A general discussion of quality assurance concerns regarding the
Clearinghouse should be included in the FY 2001 Activity Plan, as well as the
identification of any quality assurance plans and approaches to be developed during
FY 2001 and out years.

Because CA information included in the Clearinghouse will include materials
developed by regulatory and CA partners outside EPA, the CAAC recommends that
tool development include a document cover sheet that explicitly identifies the origin

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of each CA tool (EPA, state, tribe, local government, CA provider), whether the tool
addresses federal, state, tribal or local regulatory issues.

Early review of CA information already posted to the Clearinghouse indicates that
there is some duplication of information being posted, as well as conflicting CA
information being posted to the Clearinghouse (e.g., regulatory interpretations). The
CAAC concluded that some duplication among materials in the Clearinghouse
might be appropriate - for example to reflect regional or state differences but that
entries on the same topic should be consistent. The CAAC recommends that the FY
2001 Plan include a commitment to develop quality assurance tools for review of CA
materials posted to the Clearinghouse by EPA to ensure (1) that unnecessary
duplication does not appear, and (2) that where duplication is necessary, that the
duplicate information is consistent.

2. CA Tool Development Activities and Guidance

The  CAAC also applauds EPA s commitment to develop CA guidance for
economically significant regulations and other issues of interest during FY 2001. To
facilitate the timely development of effective guidance materials for new
regulations, the CAAC recommends that EPA develop CA tool development
guidance for tool developers both within EPA and at other regulatory partners
(states, tribes and local governments) that will be developing CA materials for
inclusion in the Clearinghouse.

3. Institutjonalization

Because the FY 2001 Activity Plan is the first of its kind within EPA, the CAAC
believes that it is vital to the success of the FY 2001 and future Activity Plans that
CA become institutionalized within all Program Offices and Regions of EPA. The
CAAC recommends several actions to promote institutionalization.

All Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) priorities between Headquarters (OECA and
Program Offices) and Regions should be identified in the Activity Plan, along with a
discussion of the CA needs related to the priorities.

Senior EPA management should ensure that Headquarters and Regional FY 2001
outreach activities aimed at CA providers are identified in the final Activity Plan.

Senior EPA management should ensure that all Headquarters and Regional FY
2001 CA tool development activities  are identified in the final Activity Plan.

EPA should actively enlist the early participation of states, tribes, local
governments and CA providers hi tool  development activities planned for FY 2001.

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EPA needs to develop a long-range plan to maintain and update the Clearinghouse
and ensure that adequate funding and resources are provided for Clearinghouse
activities throughout the Agency.

To ensure that adequate funding is provided for CA-related activities at the state,
tribe and local levels, EPA should include CA activities and funding as components
in state and tribal Performance Partnership Agreements and Grants (PPAs and
PPGs), and other MOAs with regulatory partners.

In consideration of the CAAC s Work Plan for FY 2001, the Activity Plan should
include an EPA-wide commitment to discuss how CA and enforcement activities
should be coordinated across the agency and in future year Activity Plans.

4. Plan Formatting

To streamline the presentation of detailed CA activities reported in the Activity
Plan, the CAAC recommends that EPA limit the presentation tables in Appendices
D through J to only tables sorted by industry sector and media, with the notation
that presentation tables sorted by other criteria (e.g., regional focus) would be
available through the EPA s Clearinghouse.

FY 2002 and Long-Term Recommendations

The CAAC identified several issue areas that it would like to see EPA address in
FY2002 and beyond.

1. Revisit the definition of Compliance Assistance

A number of times during its meetings in FY2000, the CAAC questioned whether
EPA s  definition of CA is sufficiently broad enough to include activities that (1)
prevent compliance issues from arising (pre-emptive assistance) and (2) move
facilities beyond compliance (performance assistance). The CAAC recommends that,
during FY2002, EPA comprehensively revisit its definition of CA and whether a
broader definition would help institutionalize CA across the Agency.

2. Institutionalize

Beyond the FY2001 activities recommended earlier, the CAAC recommends
additional FY2002 activities to institutionalize CA across the Agency.

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Increase Program Office and Regional, tribal and state participation in both CA
Plan preparation and CA tool development through explicit discussion in MOAs,
PPAs and PPGs. Promote senior EPA management participation and support to
ensure that the Activity Plan is an agency-wide effort and is not an OECA-only
document.

EPA and providers at all levels will need to identify CA resource needs and ensure
that resources are provided for activities and projects identified in the Activity Plan.
EPA should provide specific guidance that enforcement and CA are complementary
(not competing) functions and that expanded CA activities should not come at the
expense of traditional enforcement activities.

3. Prioritization and Targeting

The CAAC also recommends that EPA and its partners give increased attention to
prioritizing CA activities to address the  issues identified as most critical by
Program Office and Regions.

EPA, states, tribes, and local governments should look at CA both retrospectively
(who needs help) as well as prospectively (what are the emerging issues identified
by Program Offices, Regions, states, tribes, and local governments and who is
impacted), and the Activity Plan should reflect both approaches.

Incorporate root causes analysis in determining what causes compliance problems.
EPA, states, tribes, and local governments should give priority to problem areas
where regulatory complexity and insufficient guidance are identified as contributing
factors.

EPA should establish detailed prioritization criteria which go beyond the current
economically significant criteria for selecting areas for CA tool development

CA tool development should be coordinated with EPA's Sector Strategy.

CA tools should be consistent with the principles and hierarchy of the Pollution
Prevention Act.

4.  Outreach

The CAAC identified a number of activities that EPA should undertake to enhance
outreach to stakeholder groups relative to CA.

Expand the Clearinghouse beyond EPA to include tribal, state, local and private
sector CA contacts and tools, and systematically maintain and update all
Clearinghouse information. EPA should also identify desirable attributes of CA

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contacts to enhance selecting partners for CA development. EPA will need to
develop a long-range quality assurance plan and quality assurance tools for use by
CA partners posting information to the Clearinghouse.

Involve intermediary entities at all levels in CA tool development and delivery,
including tribes, states, local governments, private consultants, professional and
trade associations and Federal agencies and facilities.

Elicit early feedback from the expanded CA community, including national
Pollution Prevention groups, small business associations and others, in the
development of future year CA Activity Plans (prior to publication of draft CA
Activity Plans).

Performance Measurement

While the CAAC intends to address approaches to measuring CA performance in its
own FY2001 activities, EPA should identify and collect currently measurable
outcome information that may be useful in assessing both the current state of CA as
well as improved performance in future years. When developing CA performance
measures, EPA should remain cognizant that CA and enforcement are independent
(yet complimentary) activities, and that enforcement activities should not simply be
repackaged as CA for measurement purposes.

If EPA s CA efforts are truly effective, then compliance should improve across the
country, and the opportunities and need for enforcement actions should decrease.
EPA s  performance metrics should allow for reduced enforcement activities where
such reductions are the result of improved compliance. OECA should receive credit
for improved compliance, whether it is the outcome of enforcement action or CA.

CAAC Work Plan

During FY2001, the CAAC intends to address three major issue areas that it
believes are critical to the enhancement of CA at the national level.

1. Integration into EPA s overall mission

How can the role of CA be enhanced at EPA and generally across the county?

How can CA be coordinated with other strategies / tools and under what
circumstances?

2. Product selection, development and delivery

How are the CA needs of end users characterized and evaluated?

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How do EPA and other providers prioritize activities from among competing needs
demands?

What are the most effective CA delivery methods and under what circumstances do
differing methods work best?

3. Performance measurement

What outputs and outcomes should be measured in evaluating CA development and
delivery?

What should EPA's measurable goals for incorporation into its long-range CA
Strategic Plan?

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Appendix A


           Compliance Assistance Advisory Committee Members
Richard C. Sustich (Co-Chair)
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
111 East Erie Street
Chicago, IL 60611
312-751-3030 (phone)
312-894-1180 (fax)

Richard Desanti (Co-Chair)
Mobil Business Resources Corporation
3225 Gallows Road
2D2106
Fairfax, VA 22037
703-846-5813 (phone)
703-846-5872 (fax)

Gordon Arbuckle
Patton Boggs, LLP
Attorneys At Law
2550 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
202-457-6000 (phone)
202-457-6315 (fax)   "

Dorothy Wyatt
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037

Subroto Mitro
Washington Navy Yard
Building 212
901 M Street, SE
Washington, DC 20374
202-685-3297 (phone)
202-433-7018 (fax)

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Rick Reibstein
Office of Technical Assistance
Room 2109
100 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02202
617-626-1083 (phone)
617-626-1095 (fax)

Charlotte Read
Save the Dunes Council
444 Barker Road
Michigan City, IN
219-879-3937 (phone)
219-872-4875 (fax)

Daniel Cardenas
City of San Antonio
114 West Commerce Street
6th Floor
San Antonio, TX 78251
210-207-8021 (phone)
210-207-4406 (fax)

Robert Barkanic
PA Dept. of Environmental Protection
Office of Pollution Prevention
215 Mine Road
Hershey, PA 17033
717-772-3612 (phone)
717-783-0546 (fax)

Richard Person
Solid Waste & Recycling Programs
City of St Paul
25 W. 4th Street, #600
St. Paul, MN 55102
612-266-6122 (fax)
651-298-4559 (phone)

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Rick Koelsch
Depts. Of Biological Systems Engineering
& Animal Science
University of Nebraska
213 L.W. Hall
Lincoln, NE 68583-0726
402-472-4051 (phone)
402-472-6338 (fax)

Gary Hunt
NC Div. of Pollution Prevention &
Environmental Assistance
1639 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1639
919-715-6508 (phone)
919-715-6794 (fax)

Pamela Christenson
WI Business Clean Air Assistance Program
Department of Commerce
P.O. Box 7970
Madison, WI 53707
608-267-9214 (phone)
608-267-0436 (fax)

Kim Clausen-Jensen
Oglala Sioux Tribal Office of
Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 2008
Pine Ridge, SD 57770
605-867-5236 (phone)

Diana Eichfeld
The Associated General Contractors
of America
333 John Carlyle Street
Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-548-3118 (phone)
703-548-3119 (fax)

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Tom Van Arsdall
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
50 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
202-879-0821 (phone)
202-626-8722 (fax)

Richard Wasserstrom
American Forest and Paper Association
1111 19th Street, NW
Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036
202-463-2582 (phone)
202-463-2052 (fax)

Lenny Siegel
c/o PSC
222B View Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
650-961-8918 or 650-969-1545 (phone)
650-968-1126 (fax)

Dave Ouimette
CO Dept. of Public Health and
Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
303-692-3178 (phone)
303-782-0278 (fax)

Christian Elias
Silicon Valley Manufacturing Programs
226 Airport Parkway
San Jose, CA95110
408-501-2852 (phone)
408-501-7861 (fax)

Sue M. Briggum
Waste Management
601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Suite 300, North Building
Washington, DC 20004
202-639-1219 (phone)
WASl #862371 vl

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