State Innovation Grant Program: Vermont
                      Cross-Media Environmental Results Program for the Retail Gasoline Sales
                      Sector  (2004 Competition)
                        ie innovation urani rrogram 10 support
efforts led by state environmental agencies to test innovative approaches
for achieving better environmental results and improved efficiency in
permitting programs. Between 2002 and 2007, the State Innovation Grant
program competition awarded over six million dollars to support 35 state
projects that test permitting innovation for a variety of regulated entities
including several small business sectors. Asummary of the awards by year
appears in the table below.
    State Innovation Grant Program Statistics, 2002-2007
 Competition   Proposals  Proposals    Total  Program
    Year      Submitted   Selected       Funding ($)
                                        $1.425 Million
                                        $1.479 Million
                                        $1.243 Million
                                        $1.611 Million
                                        $6.376 Million
"Innovation in Permitting" has been the theme of the State Innovation Grant
competition since its inception. In the last three competition cycles states
received awards for projects in the following three categories:
• The Environmental Results Program (ERP) is an innovative
  approach to improving environmental performance based on a system
  of the interlocking tools of compliance assistance, self-certification
  (sometimes, where permissible, in lieu of permitting), and
  statistically-based measurement to gauge the performance of an entire
  business sector. The program utilizes a multimedia approach to
  encourage small sources to achieve environmental compliance and
  pollution prevention. (See:
• Environmental Management System (EMS) is a system involving a
  continual cycle of planning, implementing, reviewing and improving the
  processes and actions that an organization undertakes to meet its
  business and environmental goals. EMSs provide organizations of all
  types with a structured system and approach for managing
  environmental and regulatory responsibilities to improve overall
  environmental performance and stewardship.
• Performance Track is a partnership that recognizes top
  environmental performance among participating US facilities of all types,
  sizes, and complexity, both public and private.
NCEI has provided awards also for projects testing watershed-based
permitting, and for permit process streamlining in past competitions. For
more information on the history of the programs, including information on
solicitations, state proposals, and project awards, please see the EPA State
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Project  Background:
 The Vermont Underground Storage Tank (LIST)
 program, managed by the Vermont Department of
 Environmental Conservation (VT DEC), is trying to
 improve sector-wide compliance through the
 implementation of an Environmental Results Program
 (ERP).  In recent years the state has averaged only
 about 100 environmental compliance inspections for
 LIST operators per year due to a small  program staff
 size. At this rate it would have taken VT DEC over 10
 years to conduct a single evaluation of all LIST
 facilities in the state. In  2004, VT DEC applied for and
 received an EPA's State Innovation Grant to conduct
 a pilot ERP designed to help improve  compliance at
 more than 1,100 LIST sector facilities.

 Vermont's  LIST  program places special emphasis on
 the retail gasoline sector, which has unique and
 ongoing compliance issues. For instance,  over the
 last few years Vermont has brought formal
 enforcement cases against retail gasoline sector
 facilities at 18 locations, several of which involved
 violations of the Vermont LIST Regulations and Clean
 Air Act  (CAA).  Vermont's ERP model should make  it
 possible to use  a combination  of state led
 inspections and self-certification  to assess  every
 facility's compliance status annually while helping
 facilities address regulatory requirements.

Project  Description
 Vermont's  ERP  project aims to achieve a
 measurable improvement in compliance within the
 retail gasoline sales sector, as well as  other facilities
 regulated by the Vermont LIST program, with regard
 to four  federally-delegated  regulatory  programs:
        Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
        (RCRA) generator requirements;
                          NATIONAL CENTER FOR
                          ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION

  •   CM Stage II requirements; and
  •   Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Underground
      Injection Control (UIC) requirements.

This pilot project will help VT DEC work toward sector-
wide compliance through a combination of enhanced
technical assistance, outreach, and a mandatory self-
certification program.  Implementation of Vermont's
ERP begins with an initial compliance inspection
assessment of a randomly selected group of retail
gasoline outlets to determine their baseline
compliance rate. VT  DEC then provides compliance
assistance materials,  including a workbook detailing
compliance requirements for LIST equipment and
operation as well as fact sheets for the different
requirements by media (i.e. air, etc.) and,  a self-
assessment checklist to help facilities understand  the
environmental requirements they need to meet and
encourage facilities to prevent pollution. Participants
must complete and submit the multi-media self-
certification forms to VT DEC. If facilities discover they
are out of compliance, they must submit a return to
compliance (RTC)  plan to VT DEC; and correct the
compliance problem(s) identified  in the RTC plan as
soon as possible.  The agency then conducts
inspections at a second sample  of randomly selected
facilities to measure changes in the group's
compliance performance  over time and gauge the
ERP's success. Both the baseline and follow-up
inspections are multi-media.

This project also establishes  sector-specific,  cross-
media Best Management Practices (BMPs) to help the
regulated community  reduce compliance costs  by
addressing  all environmental  and compliance issues
simultaneously,  across all media, rather than narrowly
focusing on specific problems identified during their
last regulatory  inspection.

In the long-term, VT DEC hopes the ERP will produce
a number of benefits, including:
  •   Annual multi-media compliance measurement for
      100% of the facilities in the sector (compared to
      less than 10%  previously),
  •   Improved sector-wide compliance,
    •   Increased  adoption of best management
       practices within the sector,
    •   Reduced emissions and releases,  and
    •   Improved communication between  the regulated
       community and the VT DEC concerning
       compliance issues and  regulations.

 To help achieve these benefits, the Vermont LIST
 program has created compliance goals, including:

    •   Increased participation • VT DEC  seeks to
       attain approximately 85% participation by LIST
       facilities during the first implementation year, and
       95% participation by the end of the second year;
    •   Increased compliance • VT DEC aims to
       improve compliance with priority LIST, RCRA, Air
       and UIC requirements by at least 15% by the
       end of the second implementation  year, as
       measured  by a comparison of compliance in
       baseline and follow-up inspections.

 This grant pilot program is funded through September
 2008, and Vermont DEC  plans to continue running the
 ERP beyond the grant period.

Connection to EPA's  Goals
 This program directly supports EPA's Strategic Goal
 #5, focused on compliance and environmental
 stewardship, by promoting an  innovative approach to
 improve compliance and pollution prevention. It also
 supports EPA's Strategic Goal #3 by helping preserve
 and restore land through improving the way waste is
 generated and managed; as well  as the EPA's Cross-
 Goal Strategy of promoting innovation and
 collaboration with states.

 Project Contacts:
  For more specific information on the
  Vermont State Innovation Grant, please
  contact one of the individuals below:
  Marc Roy
  Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
  Waterbury, Vermont
               Program Contact:
                Sherri Walker
                State Innovation Grant Program
                U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                Washington, DC 20460 (MC1807T)
                (202)-566-2186; FAX (202) 566-2220
  Marge  Miranda
  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  Region 1
  Boston, MA
  Kimberly  Green-Goldsborough
  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 1
  National Center for Environmental Innovation
  Boston, MA
United States
Environmental Protection
Office of Policy,
Economics and Innovation
      April 2008