United States
            Environmental Protection
            .Office of Policy,
            Planning and
 October 1996

Proceedings of the National
Advisory Council for
Environmental Policy and
Technology (NACEPT) Meeting

Environmental Statistics
            September 10 and 11, 1996 -
            Hal! of States, Washington, DC
             • Printed on recycled paper



National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and
            Technology (NACEPT) Meeting

        Environmental Statistics Subcommittee

                   September 10-11, 1996
                       Hall of States
                 444 North Capitol Street, NW.
                      Washington, DC
                      Darlene Cockfield
                       Program Analyst
               Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation
               U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                      401 M Street, SW.
                     Washington, DC 20460
                        October 1996


September 10,1996:

  8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

  9:30 - 9:45 a.m.

 9:45-10:00 a.m.
10:00- 10:15a.m.
10:15-11:00 a.m.
 1:40-2:00 p.m.

                             Environmental Statistics Subcommittee
                                   September 10-11,1996
                                       Hall of States
                                444 North Capitol Street, NW.
                                     Washington, D.C.



       Past Accomplishments of the Committee
       Committee Chair Vision & Objectives
       Operating Style of Current Committee
       Role of Current Committee
       Expectations for Current Group

EPA Overview - David Gardiner AA/OPPE, Presenter

                                               James Morant
                                               Diana Borja
                                        N. Phillip Ross
                                        N, Phillip Ross
                                        Arthur Koines
                                        Arthur Koines
U.SJMexico Border
Environmental Information Acquisition Plan
Customer Service

Open Discussion

Public Comment


       OPPE Overview - Frederick (Deny) Allen, Presenter
       Ecosystem Management
       Sustainable Development
       Center for Environmental Information and Statistics
       Environmental Technology
       Economic Development
       Common Sense Initiative
       National Environmental Goals Project

Open Discussion

Public Comment


                                     AGENDA (Continued)

September 10,1996 (Continued):

                       National Environmental Performance Partnership Systems

                      Presentation — Chuck Kent
 2:15-2:45 p.m.

 2:45-3:15 p.m.

3:15-3:45 p.m.

3:45-4:15 p.m.

September 11,1996:

9:10-10:00 a.m.

10:00-10:30 a.m.
10:30- 10:50 a.m.

10:50-11:10 a.m.

11:10-11:40 a.m.

11 .-40-12:10p.m.
12:10-12:30 p.m.
Assessment ofNEPPS
- Dan Tunstall, Small Group Lead
- Andrew Solow
-- Dorothy Kellogg

Open Discussion ofNEPPS

Public Comment

       Assessment of Day 1 Progress
       Review of Agenda for Day 2



       Environmental Indicators on the Internet

       Presentation — Nathan Wilkes, Chap Gleason, Kim Devonald

       Assessment of Indicators on Internet
       " Sharon Newsome, Small Group Lead
       -- Joel Schwartz
       — Edward Spar

       Open Discussion of Indicators on Internet

       Public Comment


Data for the Public:  Environmental Indicator Bulletins

       Presentation — Tim Stuart

       Assessment of Bulletins
       — Richard Gilbert, Small Group Lead
       — Naihua Duan
       — Louise Ryan
       - Linda Young

       Open Discussion of Bulletins

       Public Comment

       Next Steps
       Delegation of Assignments
       Next Meeting

NACEPT Environmental Statistics Subcommittee
Diana Borja
Office of Border Affairs and Environmental Equity
Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
(5 12) 239-3939 (fax)
Vice Chairperson
Daniel B. Tunstall
Deputy Director
Center for International Development & Environment
World Resources Institute
(202) 662-2583
(202) 638-0036 (fax)
Designated Federal Official
James C. Morant
Associate Director
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(202) 260-2266
(202) 260-4968 (fax)
Environmental Statistics Subcommittee Members
Naihua Duan, Ph.D.
Richard O. Gilbert, Ph.D.
Sharon Newsome
Associate Director
Louise Ryan, Ph.D.
Linda J. Young, Ph.D. .
Rand Corporation
Batelle-Northwest Labs Washington Office
Commission on Risk Assessment
Department of Biostat
Harvard School of Public Health
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Department of Biometry
Maryland School of Public Health
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
(310) 393-6930 (fax)
(202) 646-5030
(202) 233-9533
(202) 233-9540 (fax)
(617) 632-2444 (fax)
(402) 472-2903
(402) 472-5 179 (fax)
Environmental Statistics Subcommittee Observers
Dorothy Kellogg
Edward Spar
Executive Director
Chemical Manufacturing Association
Council of Professional Associations on
Federal Statistics (COPAFS)
(703) 741-6333 (fax)
(703) 836-0404
Environmental Protection Agency Representatives
Darlene Cockfield
Program Analyst
Judy Calem
(202) 260-4907
(202) 260-4903 (fax)
(202) 260-8638
(202) 260-8550 (fax)

Lawrence Cox
Dona Harris
Program Analyst
Kim Devonald, Ph D.
Nathan Wilkes
Program analyst
Tim Stuart, Ph.D.
Pepi Lacayo, Ph.D.
Chuck Kent
Nicole Meleney
Barry Nussbaum, Ph.D.
Phillip Ross, Ph.D.
Director, CES
Romaine Peters, AARP
(919) 541-7588 (fax)
(202) 260-4904
(202) 260-4910
(202) 260-4903 (fax)
(202) 260-0725
(202) 260-4968 (fax)
(202) 260-4968 (fax)
(202) 260-2462
(202) 260-2 159 (fax)
(202) 260-0998
(202) 260-8550 (fax)
(202) 260-4968 (fax)
(202) 260-2680
Public Observers
Nancy Nickell
Andy Rabbani
Mary Jenkins
Joan Fassinger
Bob Zimmerman
Jean Auit
Management Analyst
Freelance Reporter
DuPont Company
DuPont Company
General Motors
State of Delaware
Dept. of Natural Resources & Quality Control
(202) 986-3812
(202) 986-201 7 (fax)
(302) 774-2394
(302) 774-2458 (fax)
(302) 739-4403
(302) 739-6242 (fax)
(703) 709- 1040 (fax)




Committee Overview	2
Environmental Statistics Subcommittee Role	2
EPA Overview	2
Comments 	3

Topics	5
   US/Mexico Border	5
   Research	5
Comments 	6

Topics	7
   Community-Based Environmental Protection (CBEP)  	7
   Sustainable Development	7
   Environmental Technology Initiative (ETI)	8
   Common Sense Initiative (CSI) 	8
   Center for Environmental Information and Statistics (CEIS)	9
   National Environmental Performance Partnership System (NEPPS)	9
   National Environmental Goals Project	9
Comments 	10

National Environmental Performance Partnership System (NEPPS)  	11
   Summary	11
   Questions	13
   General Questions  	13
   Statistics, Indicators, and Information Questions	13
   Recommendations	14
   General Recommendations	14
   Statistics and Indicators Recommendations	14

                          CONTENTS (Continued)
Environmental Indicators on the Internet	16
   Summary	16
   Questions	16
   Recommendations	17

Data for the Public: Environmental Indicator Bulletins  	17
   Summary	17
   Questions	18
   Recommendations	18

Next Steps & Follow-up Assignments	20

                                          NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
                            EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
       The National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT)
Environmental Statistics Subcommittee (ESS) held a public meeting on September 10-11,1996
at the Hall of States, 444 North Capitol Street, Washington D.C. Ten NACEPT Environmental
Statistics Subcommittee members and observers were present, including Mr. James Morant, the
Designated Federal Official. Several members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) were also in attendance, representing the Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation
(OPPE) (and the Office of the Administrator).

       The Council provides advice and recommendations to the Administrator and other
officials of EPA on a variety of environmental issues. The Environmental Statistics
Subcommittee provides advice to the Agency on what Federal statistics are available, how the
data are used to measure environmental progress, and how EPA can best develop appropriate
environmental or economic indicators to track, quantify, and report on the state of the

       The agenda, which precedes this Executive Summary, lays out the format of the meeting.
In Session I, EPA officials provided overviews and perspectives. The status of issues presented
at the previous Subcommittee meeting were also discussed. During Session II, Mr. Chuck Kent
presented the first of the three "formal" presentations. Dr. Kim Devonald and Dr. Tim Stuart
presented the second and third formal presentations, respectively.

       The three formal presentations addressed the following topics:  (1) National
Environmental Performance Partnerships System (NEPPS), (2) Environmental Indicators on the
Internet, and (3) Data for the Public (Environmental Bulletins). EPA provided the Subcommittee
with materials on these topics in advance. During a working lunch, the Subcommittee divided
into three Small Groups to provide detailed assessments on each of these topics. The Small
Group Leaders organized their comments and recommendations responding to specific questions
on each of these topics.  During their assessment, they addressed these questions and presented
recommendations to the EPA representatives.

       Overall, the tone of the meeting was quite positive. The Subcommittee was very pleased
with the advancements in public outreach, especially on the Internet. They offered a  variety of
ideas on the topics presented at this meeting. This  document provides the Subcommittee input in
the  form of informal comments for the overviews and status reports presented in Sessions I and
II, and focused questions and recommendations for EPA in reference to the three formal
presentations in Sessions II  and III.


                                          NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
       A public meeting of the National Advisory Council (Committee) for Environmental
Policy and Technology (NACEPT) Environmental Statistics Subcommittee was called to order at
9:40 a.m. on September 10,1996 by Mr. James Morant, Designated Federal Official for this
NACEPT Subcommittee. Mr. Morant reviewed the agenda and extended a welcome to
Committee members and guests.  Mr. Morant provided a matrix of recommendations and follow-
up actions taken/status of those recommendations from last years meeting.

       The agenda is divided into three sessions:

          I.   Follow-up & Status Reports
         II.   Federal Developments, and
        III.   Indicators & Public Data.

       Within these three sessions, there were two types of presentations: (1) presentations
open to more informal comments, questions, and recommendations, and (2) more formal
presentations, where responses to presentations were more structured. Topics of the first type
include an EPA Overview, all follow-up and status report topics covered in Session I, and the
OPPE Overview. In this document, these topics will be summarized, and comments and
questions are contained in a section entitled "Comments."

       The three "formal" presentations are included in the sections for Sessions II and III.
"National Environmental Performance Partnership System (NEPPS)" is discussed in Session II,
and "Indicators on the Internet" and "Data for the Public (Environmental Indicator Bulletins)"
are discussed in Session III. For these three topics, Subcommittee members were provided
materials.  The Subcommittee was divided into three small groups and asked to focus their
assessment and specific comments on one presentation. These groups were responsible for
answering questions and providing recommendations and giving specific assessments after the
presentations. After the small group comments, the entire Subcommittee was invited to
comment, and then the public was invited to comment.  A section of questions and
recommendations follows each of these topics. The recommendations are those provided and
approved by the Subcommittee members. Because there was little public comment, no separate
section is given to record these comments.

                                           NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
Committee Overview

       Ms. Diana Borja, ESS Chairperson and Director of the Office of Border Affairs and
Environmental Equity, expressed her thanks to the EPA staff for conducting this meeting and
reviewed the Committee objectives. She discussed changes on the horizon, such as a more
decentralized government with more efforts being delegated to the states. Ms. Borja also
discussed the role of the Committee and provided some background on the Committee.

Environmental Statistics Subcommittee Role

       The ESS is one of many NACEPT subcommittees, which are composed of Federal
officials, legal experts, the private sector, international scientific experts, academicians, and
nationally recognized scientific and statistical experts. The ESS was established to provide
advice on research needs and issues, visualization techniques, organizational issues, and the
relevance and appropriateness of proposed publications. The ESS also provides advice on how
to present results of analyses by the EPA Center for Environmental Statistics (CES) in a
balanced, carefully documented, and useful way and providing advice on specific techniques that
might be appropriate for analyzing and displaying data. The customers of the ESTAC include
nongovernmental and government organizations, academia, and private citizens.

       Ms. Borja described some changes that had  been incorporated into this meeting as per
suggestions from the previous meeting, these include the following:

•      Working lunch
•      Senior level government officials in attendance
•      Materials in advance
•      Statisticians included in all small group assessments.

       She then requested suggestions for further improvements.  A list of the positive aspects
and shortcomings of the September 10-11,1996 meeting is provided at the end of this document
titled "Wrap-up."

EPA Overview

       Mr. David Gardiner, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Policy, Planning and
Evaluation, presented an EPA overview.  He stated there are two competing pressures that don't
necessarily have to remain in competition:

•      Improving Environmental Quality
•      Desire for more  flexibility in methods for improving environmental  quality.

                                       Page 2

                                            NACEPTESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
       The Environmental Commissioners of the States, indicated in their meeting they wanted
more flexibility in environmental management of their individual states.  They are worried about
reporting burdens and want the flexibility to set priorities, and to use resources to collectively
tackle environmental issues that are priorities in their states.

       There are many different venues for resources divided among the states for different
environmental uses. EPA and the states agree it would be beneficial allowing the states
flexibility in receiving one sum of money and spending it where it is most needed. On the other
hand it is important for EPA to be able to measure a states' compliance with environmental
statutes.  With the increased flexibility, the states must remain accountable.  There are two types
of accountability:

       1.     Where were resources allocated?
       2.     Was the public aware of progress?

       By making data available, the public can judge for themselves if resources are being
spent appropriately. EPA wants to expand data availability and accessibility to the public.


1.     Because states' ability to gather data vary, EPA should provide infrastructure to support
       the states. They should join with other government agencies to gather data. Other
       Federal or state agencies may have better capabilities EPA would benefit from. EPA
       should provide technical expertise and make it easier for states to  gather and use data.

2.     There could be a problem with states/regions inconsistent data collection efforts.  Data
       gleaned on the web or for one state may be dissimilar to information  needed or gathered
       for another state.  The Subcommittee could help identify problems in this area.

3.     Although there is  a movement to decentralize data collection efforts,  there is still a need
       for institutional support.  CEIS could be involved in standardizing while decentralizing

4.     Credibility of data cannot be overemphasized.  Everyone needs to be working off of the
       same page. Users of the data need to be sure that the numbers being studied and used in
       calculations are accurate and correct.  When data is in question, its deficiencies should be
       explained. Statisticians can aid in providing quality assured information, including any
       inaccuracies or deficits of data. Peer review lends credibility.  Because of cynicism in the
       general public, the Government's credibility problem will not be solved overnight. EPA
       is not adding a "spin" on the data. EPA feels the best way to combat cynicism is to


                                     NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
provide access to data and data collection activities. States should present data in a way
the public understands to further trust (e.g., Is it fishable? drinkable? swimmable? vs.
How much chemical is in the water? What levels are unsafe? Lethal?).
                                  Page 4

                                         NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
       Dr. N. Phillip Ross provided an overview of the U.S./Mexico Border work and current
research. Dr. Barry Nussbaum provided overviews of the Environmental Acquisition Plan and
Customer Service.

       U.S./Mexico Border

       In 1994, a meeting was held hi Mexico City with USEPA and the environmental agencies
of Mexico and Canada, spurred by NAFTA. These participants stipulated they had inadequate
baseline data on the U.S./Mexico Border. The trilateral cooperation resulted in a plan to develop
a North American State of the Environment Report.  Other outcomes of U.S./Mexico cooperation
included a surface water quality report and a report on TRI data at the Border.  Both of these
documents are accessible on the EPA Home Page on the Internet.


Dr. Ross described grant work being performed at five educational institutions:

       •      Perm State University: produced two reports:
                   EPA Observational Economy Series: Volume 1: Composite Sampling
                   (EPA/OPPE, August 1995, EPA-230-R-95-005).
                   EPA Observational Economy Series: Volume 2, Ranked Set Sampling
                   (EPA/OPPE, August 1995, EPA-230-R-95-006).

       •      George Mason University - GIS work, visualization approaches. This work will
             be included on the EPA Home Page.

       •      University of Maryland at Baltimore - Tune series problems. Work on the
             Chesapeake Bay. How to synthesize data into one picture.

       •      American University - Policy work. Problems and resolutions on U.S./Mexico

       •      National Institute for Statistical Sciences - Problem solving strategies.

Dr. Ross indicated a consortium is coming together comprising these approaches and myriad
problem-solving techniques.


                                           NACEPTESSMeeting, September 10-11,1996
       After lunch, Dr. Barry Nussbaum continued Session I: Follow-up & Status Reports.
Environmental Information and Acquisition Plan (EIAP) was discussed and the State of the
Environment Reports. Differences in indicator needs and reporting were also discussed.
(Example: air pollution: the indicator could be the number of areas not in attainment for air
quality standards or the indicator could be the number of people living in the areas not meeting
the air quality standards.


1.      To choose the appropriate indicator(s), you must know what questions need answering.
                                        Page 6

                                           NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
       Mr. Frederick (Deny) Allen presented an overview of the current OPPE program. He
overviewed the following seven topics:  Community-Based Environmental Protection (CBEP),
Sustainable Development, Environmental Technology Initiative (ETI), Common Sense Initiative
(CSI), Center for Environmental Information and Statistics (CEIS), National Environmental
Performance Partnership System (NEPPS), and National Environmental Goals Project.  He gave
only a brief overview of the first six topics because documents describing these topics are
included in the meeting notebook.

       Community-Based Environmental Protection (CBEP)

       CBEP is an approach that EPA is taking to improve the effectiveness of our nation-wide
regulations and other environmental programs. EPA's goals are to assess and manage the quality
of air, water, land, and living resources; to better reflect regional and local conditions; and to
work more effectively with EPA's many partners in environmental protection, both public and
private. Some issues are best addressed at the local or state level. This topic raises the issue of
what kind of information localities or states need.

       Sustainable Development

       In June 1993, President Clinton appointed 25 leaders from business, government,
environmental, civil rights and tribal organizations to the Council on Sustainable Development.
Their charge was to transform bis vision of sustainable development into a concrete plan of
action — a plan to which they could all agree.  As their formal guide and touchstone, the Council
adopted the definition of sustainable development first enunciated by the United Nations
Brundtland Commission in 1987, which is "...to meet the needs of the preset without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. "

       At the heart of the Council's recommendations is the conviction that economic,
environmental, and social equity issues are inextricably linked and must be considered together.
To achieve sustainability, institutions and individuals must adopt this new way of thinking.
Another core belief is that to achieve sustainability, some things —jobs, productivity, wages,
capital and savings, profits, information, knowledge, and education « must grow, and others —
pollution, waste and poverty — must decline.

                                            NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
       Environmental Technology Initiative (ETI)

       ETI was announced by President Clinton in 1993, supporting more than 250 partnerships
and projects throughout the United States. ETI's objective is to promote improved public health
and environmental protection by advancing the development and use of innovative
environmental technologies.  Environmental technologies prevent pollution, control and treat air
and water pollution, remediate contaminated soil and groundwater, assess and monitor exposure
levels and manage environmental information.  This program has been targeted for major cuts.
Attention needs to focus on where to reallocate money -- privately, state by state, or at local

       Common Sense Initiative (CSI)

       CSI is a fundamentally different vision of environmental policy. Through this initiative,
EPA will move beyond the traditional single media, one-size-fits-all approach to environmental
and public health protection towards a more holistic, industry-by-industry approach that looks
across all media.  CSI is moving ahead with project implementation and policy development.
Approximately 40 projects are underway in six industry sector teams, with representatives from
industry, environmental organizations, environmental justice and community  organizations,
labor, and Federal, state, and  local governments.

       These teams are developing consensus-based strategies to public health and
environmental protection that are flexible, innovative alternatives to the current regulatory
system. The Common Sense Initiative Council, chaired by Administrator Carol Browner, is the
parent Council for the following six sectors:

              •      Automobile Manufacturing
              •      Computers and Electronics
              •      Iron and Steel
              •      Metal Finishing
              •      Petroleum Refining
              •      Printing.

       These six industries are participating in the first phase of CSI. They are proceeding at
different speeds and have set  some goals and made strategic plans. Metal finishing is currently
progressing ahead of other sectors. Each group has broad representation and involves state and
local governments. Industry  officials are looking to these stakeholders for input and public

                                           NACEPTESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
       Center for Environmental Information and Statistics (CEIS)

       The CEIS mission is to ensure integrated information on environmental quality is
available and intelligible to environmental decision-makers and the public. The CEIS will
promote, sponsor, coordinate and produce analytical products utilizing information from a
variety of sources and new presentation techniques to communicate a more comprehensive and
multimedia understanding of environmental quality on national, regional, and local scale.  The
CEIS will not collect primary data, but instead will focus on the integration of data collected by
EPA, other Federal agencies, and other scientifically sound sources. Through the CEIS, EPA
will be better able to address fundamental cross-media questions such as: What pollution sources
are causing the most damage? How does environmental quality differ from place to place? How
effective are environmental programs at addressing environmental problems?

       National Environmental Performance Partnership System (NEPPS)

       The NEPPS program began as a project to implement a recommendation of the State
Capacity Task Force to reform current Agency policy and practices on oversight of state
programs. Under the NEPPS program, states have the opportunity to develop grant proposals
which will allow them to better address their local environmental problems.  Working with EPA,
states will set environmental goals and assess their achievements using outcome measures (e.g.,
environmental indicators, State of Environment measures) which are related to achievement of
proposed goals. The OPPE Center for Environmental Statistics is proposing to establish a
process through which states and local communities can obtain technical assistance in the areas
of environmental data collection and analysis.

       Many state and local organizations do not have direct access to the levels and breadth of
experience and expertise needed to address some of the more complex problems of developing
and using measures of performance.  The CES  will provide this expertise and experience through
its cooperative agreements and in-house resources.

       National Environmental Goals Project

       Mr. Allen indicated the Goals Project report lays out 12 broad environmental goals with
approximately 65 milestones for the year 2005. They are specific measures of environmental
progress. The draft report will undergo state government review in 1997, then a public review.
The final report is anticipated by  the end of 1997.
                                        Page 9

                                           NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996

1.     It was hoped that statistical information will be incorporated and issues of good data
       collection will help especially with community based environment protection (CBEP).

2.     There was some concern as to how CBEP actually worked. Would it actually lead to
       more effective methods or would it just be more talk? The thought is that because state,
       local, and private entities are working collaboratively while representing their specific
       interests CBEP will be effective.

3.     There was further discussion on the operation of NEPPS on Day 2. It was stressed that
       NEPPS has three primary concepts:

       •     Flexibility - Does the program really allow states to move money around?  What
             is program design, implementation, and enforcement? The states agenda is the
             same as for any agency - they have one game plan. Partnership grants allow
             certain funds to be combined. The difficulty hi moving funds around was
             conceded. NEPPS allows states to define problems in their own terms.

       •     Prioritization - Strategic plan does not prioritize, it still looks at all issues at the
             same time. It is more strategy than budget. The state can focus on central issues
             that  are resource dependent. The plan still carries out requirements but has fewer
             transaction costs. Statutes have not been changed; this does not let the states off
             the hook.  It just means starting out with a different mentality.

       •     Relative Roles - Regions play large roles signing the agreement with the states,
             responsible for "harmonizing" issues between EPA and the states. In Delaware,
             they catalogued their own information first and then brought in the EPA for
             guidance. Are both state and EPA happy with the change in roles? EPA used to
             be in command, now they are a service team. We stress states need to include all
             segments by population or area.  We must consider environmental justice
             concerns.  Include the public from the beginning.

4.     How do we distinguish between goals and targets?  What are the political and economic
       possibilities?  How good is monitoring and data collection? How good are statistics to
       drive scales?

5.     Capacity issues. How can EPA and the Subcommittee help others?
                                        Page 10

                                           NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
6.     EPA Headquarters needs to speed up the process of getting the message out to the regions
       "this is how things are now going to work."

National Environmental Performance Partnership Systems (NEPPS)


       Chuck Kent, from the Office of the Administrator, provided a presentation on National
Performance Partnership System (NEPPS). Bob Zimmerman from the State of Delaware
Department of National Resources and Quality Control provided the state perspective on NEPPS.
Delaware is one of six states to initially participate in the NEPPS program.

The basic principles of NEPPS, shared by both EPA and state environmental leaders, are:

•      EPA and the states share a continued commitment to strengthen public health and the
       environment by directing scarce public resources toward improving environmental
       results, allowing states greater flexibility to achieve those results, and enhance
       accountability to the public.

•      EPA and state agencies are in the same business, and need to work together, each
       according to their strengths.

•      EPA and the states have agreed to set joint environmental plans and objectives, and
       measure progress in terms of "outcomes'Venvironmental progress not "bean
       counting'Vactivity measuring.

•      States demonstrating strong performance in delegated programs will get substantially
       reduced oversight, freeing up Federal resources to deal with cross-boundary issues and to
       supply more technical assistance to states in need.

•      EPA is not relinquishing its national standard-setting or enforcement authorities, but is
       seeking to work jointly and efficiently with state agencies to achieve national goals and

       EPA administers many statutes where they expect the states to carry  out their programs.
States have taken on more and more responsibility over the years. EPA has  been further
exploring their relationship with the states, acknowledging that the states can operate more
efficiently if they can tailor compliance demands to their circumstances.  We need to reexamine
Federal and state roles. In the NEPPS, the Regional Administrator signs an  agreement with the
                                        Page 11

                                           NACEPTESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
state, and they make a joint commitment to move forward. There are generally seven points to
these partnerships:

•      Increased Use of Environmental Goals and Indicators. Start with environmental
       outcomes and move backwards. Rely more on data illustrating what we want to do
       versus where do we want to go and how do we get there.

•      New Approach to Program Assessments by States.  State should take on more

•      Negotiated Environmental Performance Agreements.

•      Differential Oversight. Where a state can demonstrate strong program performance, EPA
       should reduce stringent reviews and use the same resources assisting states having

•      Performance Leadership Programs.

•      Public Outreach and Involvement. This is most important and vital to the success of
       performance partnerships. EPA needs and wants public feedback.

•      Joint System Evaluation between EPA and states collaborating to assess what is working
       and not working to  help keep things running smoothly.

       Bring to the table the best data we have at the tune. Allows you to tell within a
predetermined period whether assumptions were correct. This program is trying to show
relationships between what we do and what we want to achieve. The program focuses not on
money but rather on what we were sent here to do — addressing problems and achieving intended

       Bob Zimmerman then spoke about Delaware's experience with NEPPS.  Delaware has
completed one of the strongest partnership agreements in the Nation, and is working on another.
They have a multifaceted environmental office, handling a wide range of issues.  This state
believes accountability is in their own best interest.  It is easier since states know what their
problems are to fashion personalized solutions. They have invested the entire agency into the
project. Their programs are geared toward what their data are telling them.  EPA is the nucleus
around crafting the plan. Delaware did 2 months of self-assessment looking at problems,
strengths, and weaknesses,  before creating a work plan. They did not follow organizational lines,
but rather followed objectives based on understanding of the environment.
                                        Page 12

                                            NACEPTESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
       It is important to establish and sustain dialogue because the environment is a long-term
commitment. Delaware listed their goals, which included protecting public health, improving
fish and wildlife, and improving the effectiveness of communities. They have a lot of
information that will be made available to all in government. This heightened the need to better
organize their information and to fit things in the Pressure/State/Response Model.

       Handouts given in this presentation include an Overview of State/EPA Performance
Partnerships slide presentation and a Logic Model.


       General Questions

1.     Flexibility: Do the states have the flexibility to move funds from one EPA program grant
       to other areas of need based on the negotiated agreement?

2.     EPA roles:  What is the role of the regional offices in this system? Will EPA continue to
       have effective oversight capability and pursue environmental justice and other equity

3.     Participation: How will states ensure greater participation of communities in developing
       the state assessments?

       Statistics, Indicators, and Information Questions

1.     Statistics and statisticians: What is the role of statistics and statisticians in the NEPPS

2.     Credibility of state statistics: Are the statistics used in carrying out the state
       environmental assessments credible? Where are the problems?

3.     Core indicators: Is there a core set of national indicators that states can use in setting
       goals and targets (objectives) and use in measuring progress? What are the statistical
       issues that need to be addressed in developing the core set?

4.     Data needs: The NEPPS calls for three new levels of reporting: state environmental
       assessments with which to develop partnership agreements, reports of progress in meeting
       goals and targets, reports of progress in carrying out the NEPPS system.  What are the
       data needs and how are they being met?
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                                          NACEPTESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
5.     Risk assessment:  Are the states carrying out comparative risk assessment when
       developing their assessment? Are the data and models available?

6.     Capacity: Do the states need help from EPA in dealing with statistics and indicator
       issues? What kind of help would be most useful and identifies a role for the CES?


       Overall the Subcommittee was very excited about the development of the NEPPS
activity, the Community-Based Environmental Protection case studies, and other activities of the
Agency that move decision making to state and community levels. The Subcommittee asks that
this item be put on the agenda for the next meeting so that a more in-depth review of plans and
current practices can be made. This may include getting access to sample state data, various state
assessments, and any EPA materials reviewing state data. We would also like to examine one or
two case studies from the CBEP activity.  At some point the Subcommittee or a task force from
the Subcommittee may want to a few community and state projects to gather first hand

       General Recommendations

1.     Stakeholder involvement. The Subcommittee recommends that communities and other
       stakeholders (e.g., universities, private sector) be actively involved in the beginning of the
       NEPPS process as goals, targets, and indicators are discussed and decided upon.
       Stakeholders should also be full partners in shaping the research and data and monitoring

2.     EPA experience. The Subcommittee recommends that EPA actively seek out and make
       use of the lessons learned and other information from the many community  involvement
       projects it has carried out in the field of pollution control in recent years.

       Statistics and Indicators Recommendations

1.     EPA/OPPE/CES should provide statistical and information support to the states and to
       the EPA office developing the NEPPS.

       EPA should begin to identify the role of EPA, OPPE, and CES in the statistical issues
       raised by the planning and implementing of the NEPPS.

       EPA/OPPE/CES will report back to the NACEPT Environmental Statistics
       Subcommittee, at its next meeting, on what processes have been established by EPA and

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                                           NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
       the states to address statistical issues and how the Subcommittee's recommendations are
       being addressed.

2.     The NACEPT Environmental Statistics Subcommittee should provide advice and
       guidance to OPPE and to the states as needed in developing the NEPPS statistics,
       indicators, and information systems.

3.     EPA will look closely at the data "quantity" issue of the NEPPS process. As the NEPPS
       are implemented and focus moves to the need for environmental quality and performance
       indicators, can data collection and reporting requirements on "activities" be cut back?
       Can the reporting burden on the states be reduced?

4.     EPA should seek broader participation in developing a NEPPS research plan for statistics
       and indicators. Topics include:  sampling strategies, evaluation design, etc.

5.     EPA should take advantage of the Data Quality Objective process now underway in the
       Agency as a means for planning new data collection efforts; and that Data Quality
       Assessment processes be pursued for all relevant activities within NEPPS.
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                                          NACEPTESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
Environmental Indicators on the Internet


       Dr. Kim Devonald presented key issues on Environmental Indicators on the Internet. She
gave credit to her partners on the program, Nathan Wilkes and Chap Gleason. Because of a
recent hurricane, access to the Environmental Indicators Home Page was not available to the
Small Group members, and they were not able to review the EPA Home Page before or after the
presentation. Dr. Devonald distributed a sampling of hard copy pages from the EPA
Environmental Indicators Home Page.  Dr. Devonald expressed her interest in returning to the
next meeting of the NACEPT Environmental Statistics Subcommittee to discuss the Home Page

       The Environmental Indicators Home Page, begun approximately a year ago, is accessible
from the EPA Home Page. The EPA Environmental Indicators Home Page provides access, at
one Internet location, to environmental data and information useful to those who would like to
develop and use "environmental indicators." The Home Page allows data to be viewed
nationally, or organized by state, county, or zip code. The Home Page was created with state
interests in mind but it has many users.  Many departments throughout EPA contribute to the
Home Page, and data are collected from a variety of sources.  Each data set has background
information given in the area entitled "About." Also, links are available to get specific record
level data. Dr.  Devonald stated that when the Safe Drinking Water data are up-loaded, the Home
Page will be more extensively publicized.

       The committee was generally very excited about the Environmental Indicators Home
Page, and had many questions.  They wanted to know how many "hits" the page received and
how many downloads. They thought in terms of public "right-to-know" this was great but also
thought the public would still like to see 10-20 indicators in each topic.  It was noted by Deny
Allen that the Home Page would be a good place to put the Goals Report, which would contain
65 or so of the most important indicators. This would be a natural way to include the indicators
on the Home Page.


       The Subcommittee was not able to review the EPA Home Page on indicators because of
technical difficulties. However, based on the presentation by the EPA staff, the  following
questions were  raised:

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                                           NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
  1.    Who do you see as your customers?
  2.    How often will you update the files?
  3.    How do you plan to get customer feedback?
  4.    Will you link to other agencies, and if yes, which ones?
  5.    What will be the relationship between Internet and printed data and indicators?
  6.    Do you have staff that will be devoted to this endeavor?
  7.    What types of data will go on the Internet?
  8.    Will EPA develop a summary package of key indicators for Internet access?
  9.    Are the EPA data included on the Internet actually official EPA statistics?
10.    Will EPA be involved in the OMB one-stop shopping initiative and how?


       The Subcommittee was very supportive of EPA making environmental data and
indicators available on the Internet. This should greatly increase public access to what have
often been relatively inaccessible data bases. The Subcommittee would like to have this item,
including a fall demonstration, put on the agenda for the next meeting.

       It was decided that questions not recommendations would be provided in response to this
presentation because the Home Page was not available to the small group for review.

Data for the Public: Environmental Indicator Bulletins


       Dr. Tim Stuart gave a presentation on Environmental Indicator Bulletins. A summary of
the EPA Environmental Indicator Bulletins series was provided in the advance material, along
with a draft version of the Air Quality Bulletin and a final version of the Protection of the Ozone
Layer Bulletin.

       The intent of the bulletins is to increase the availability of environmental information to
the public, the media, and decision-makers. The bulletins are intended to have no "spin," or
assessment of EPA programs, but rather to just give a "state of the environment" The bulletins
are intended to follow the Pressure/State/Response Model.  The bulletins are a product of a team
effort, including the Environmental Indicator Bulletin Team (EIBT), program office, contractor
(SAIC), and sometimes other outside  entities (e.g., World Resources Institute).  The EIBT
members are from BID and CES.  During his presentation, Dr. Stuart distributed three handouts:

•      The "context" of the Bulletins

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                                           NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
•      Membership of the EPA Data Quality Action Team and Interagency Committee on
       Environmental Trends
•      Description of the Pressure/State/Response (PSR) Model


The Subcommittee reviewed both the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the draft Air Quality
Bulletins and offered the following questions in response.

1.     Purpose:  Why is EPA doing this? Who do you want to reach and what do you hope to
       accomplish with the Bulletins?

2.     Target audience:  Have you identified the target audience? Have you identified their
       interests and their needs?

3.     Uncertainty is not addressed quantitatively nor qualitatively. How can that be?
       Uncertainty must be addressed in a manner understandable to the target audience.

4.     Graphic design:  Have you made use of experts in designing the graphics to make sure
       they convey the message you want conveyed?

5.     References and definitions:  Statements are made about the potential impacts of air
       quality that may not be scientifically established.  No references are provided for the
       reader to determine whether the statement is based on scientific evidence. CFCs are not

6.     Editing: Have you looked carefully at the linkage between the text and the graphics? The
       linkage is inadequate for both the first and second issues of the bulletin. Shouldn't all
       charts be numbered so that they can be linked to the text?

7.     Analysis of trends: Some apparent trends and sudden changes from year to year are not
       analyzed. Why not?

8.     What do other groups think about these trends? Has EPA provided reference to other
       interpretation of the trends, e.g., on the Internet?


1.     There needs to be greater involvement of customers at all levels in the development, use,
       and feedback on the Bulletins. This means enhancing the interface between EPA and its

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                                            NACEPTESSMeeting, September 10-11,1996
       customers; more careful definition of purpose and audience, and probably greater
       participation on the part of EPA staff. It also means undertaking wider distribution of the
       Bulletins and developing an outreach and feedback strategy. EPA needs to actively reach
       out to the press and journals and other print media as intermediaries in order to reach
       wider audiences and publics.

2.     Develop means for assessing whether or not the Bulletins are meeting the needs of
       customers. Are they having an impact? What have you learned?

3.     The issue of uncertainty needs to be addressed through graphic and text statements in the
       Bulletins. The Subcommittee would also like EPA to report back on the broader issue of
       uncertainty (including both sampling error and non-sampling error, as well as model
       uncertainty) and on the ways the Agency is addressing uncertainties in its publications
       and electronic communication of data.

4.     Greater attention needs to be paid to Unking the  graphics and textual analysis of trends to
       tell the most important stories.

5.     All statements and terms needs to be referenced  and explained in the Bulletin. Relaying
       on the Technical Appendices may not be enough.

6.     Because of widely differing perspectives on the  interpretation of indicators, ESS
       recommends that EPA point the reader in the direction of other opinions. This can be
       done by reference to Internet sources.

7.     ESS recommends EPA develop a special edition (issue) of a prestigious publication (e.g.,
       Scientific American) devoted to various environmental indicators. Experts from different
       organizations would be invited to write articles.  The issue would be reader-friendly for
       non-technical people. The objective of the special issue would be to focus attention on
       environmental indicators (i.e., what they are, what they communicate, how they are
       obtained), to educate and stimulate further efforts to generate meaningful indicator data.
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                                        NACEPT ESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
Next Steps & Follow-up Assignments

      In closing, Ms. Borja took comments on the success of this meeting and requested input
for changes to be incorporated in the next meeting. The following table lists some of the "pluses
and minuses" of the September 10-11, 1996 NACEPT Environmental Statistics Subcommittee
Assessment of Positive Points and Shortcomings
of September 10-11, 1996 NACEPT/ESTAC Meeting
Staff Presentations, comment/response, Q&A,
and recommendations = good format.
Receiving materials in advance
Group Working Lunches
Hotel Locations
Access to Food/Beverage
Small Size (Workshop works well with not
more than 12 members).
Notebook is convenient to hold materials.

No coffee at meeting.
Sound needs to be better.
Want more depth in presentations, even if it
means fewer presentations. Need to balance
show & tell.
More breaks needed.
Would like a computer demo of Home Page
Would like committee members to give brief
bio and detail what their current projects
entail - either written or oral.
Would like to get together for dinner.
Need statisticians in every group.
Have half day, then full day presentations.
Would like to have Agency responses to
previous recommendations in advance
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                                          NACEPTESS Meeting, September 10-11,1996
A few final action items were discussed, including:

•      Dr. Naihua and Ms. Sharon Newsome volunteered as "fact-finders" to visit communities
       or states to gather first-hand information on CBEP or NEPPS activities.

•      The Subcommittee will focus on obtaining examples of state data and EPA's assessment
       of that data.

•      Before the next meeting, Mr. Morant and Dr. Devonald will be in contact with the Small
       Group members who reviewed the EPA Environmental Indicators Home Page materials
       (Mr. Ed Spar and Ms. Sharon Newsome).

•      Topics to be put on the agenda for the next meeting include the Environmental Indicators
       Home Page and NEPPS.

       The meeting was adjourned by Mr. Morant, who thanked all participants for their
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