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                    NACEPT Report |  March 16, 2009

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The National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) is an
independent federal advisory committee that provides recommendations to the Administrator
of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a broad range of environmental issues.
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. Reports of NACEPT are posted on the EPA Web
Site at http://www.epa.gov/ocem/nacept.
                                  EPA130-R-09-002

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

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Contents
Executive Summary
   Study Findings	1
   Summary of NACEPT Recommendations	2

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   Initial Research of Futures Literature	7
   Prospective Study Interviews	7
   Interview Approach	8
   NACEPT Meeting	8

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   U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board. "Beyond The Horizon: Using Foresight To
   Protect The Environmental Future," 1995	9
   NACEPT. "The Environmental Future: Emerging Challenges And
   Opportunities For EPA," 2002	10
   Environmental Council Of The States (ECOS). "Planning For The
   Environmental Future: Preliminary State Perspectives On The Challenges
   Ahead," April 2005	11
   EPA Innovation Action Council Futures Interview Summary, 2004	12
   North American Commission For Environmental Cooperation."Future
   Environmental Priorities In North America," 2000	13
   EPA International Futures Project, 2000	14
   Foresight And Governance Project, Wood row Wilson International Center For
   Scholars. "New Global Agenda," 2004	16

  Bmn^^^^^^^^^m
   Key Trends and Issues	22
     Quality of Air, Water, and Land Resources	23
     Management of Chemicals In the Environment	23
     Responses To Technological Development	23
     EPAs Relationship With Stakeholders	24
   EPAS Current Response Capability and Performance	24
     Resources	24
     Scope	24
   Opportunities to Improve EPAs Response Capability	25
     Focus and Expertise	25
     Organization	26
     Approach	26
     Collaboration	27
   Documenting Success	28

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Input From NACEPT Members.
   NACEPT Meeting	29
      What Are The Key Challenges Facing EPA Over The Next Ten Years? .... 29
      As EPA Moves To Meet These Challenges, What Are The Key
      Capabilities And Attributes It Needs To Develop?	30
   Additional Input From NACEPT Members	30
      What Are Some Of The Most Critical Specific Actions Needed To
      Develop These Attributes And Capabilities?	31

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   Mission	33
   Structure and Practices	36
      Organization	36
      Partnerships	36
      Environmental Information	37
Appendix A: NACEPT Membership List.
Appendix B: Compilation of Interviewee Responses,

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In 1988, EPA established the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy
and Technology ("NACEPT" or "Council") to provide independent advice to the
EPA Administrator on a broad range of environmental policy, technology and
management issues.To mark NACEPT's 20th anniversary and its achievements
over the last two decades, and to help ensure that this record of success con-
tinues, EPA asked NACEPT to identify the issues and challenges that EPA will face
over the next 10 years, and the approaches the Agency might take to address
those issues. This was accomplished through a  review of "futures" studies con-
ducted by various groups over the past decade, interviews conducted with lead-
ers from the public and private sector, and the direct input of NACEPT members.
This report presents NACEPT's findings and recommendations to EPA.

Study Findings
The information sources consulted demonstrate extensive agreement about the
largest or most important environmental challenges facing EPA and the United
States in the next decade. As evidenced by its prominence in both the futures
reports and interviews, climate change has come to the forefront of our collective
environmental consciousness. Climate change was cited as a  critical challenge
by every futures report reviewed as well as by the vast majority  of interviewees. Po-
tential obstacles to addressing this challenge were also mentioned, including the
wide-scale collaboration required to combat climate change on a global level,
and the desire to find ways to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions without negatively impacting economic growth.The  loss of biodiversity
and decline of ecosystem health and services was another major theme cited in
virtually all of the futures reports reviewed, as well as  many of the interviews. Finally,
the quantity and quality of water resources was cited as a critical challenge in
every previous futures report, as well as many of the interviews.  Challenges cited
less frequently include food production, chemical and toxic substance pollution,
air pollution, deforestation and desertification, and ocean health.

Interviews conducted for this study, as well as discussions that occurred during
a November 2008 NACEPT meeting, highlighted a number of "programmatic"
challenges that bear on EPA's ability to meet the existing  and emerging environ-
mental challenges, including (1) the role of science in EPA's decision making and
its ability both to use technology more effectively and to advance the transfer of
technology to the commercial marketplace, (2) the  need to expand and en-
hance communication, both within  EPA and with external audiences across the
full range of interested parties, and (3) the need to create and promote a differ-
ent frame of reference for the way EPA, and the  public in  general, think about and
address the state of the environment.

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The evolving nature of the issues and challenges that EPA will, or will likely, face in
the coming years strongly suggests that the way the Agency fulfills its mission will
need to evolve. Historically, EPA has demonstrated its ability to develop and imple-
ment creative solutions to new challenges, especially those that go beyond the
Agency's traditional pollution prevention and response role or that cut across the
traditional Agency "silos." EPA has been successful in its efforts to move forward on
what are two, occasionally converging tracks, one that focuses on the Agency's
statutorily-mandated regulatory responsibilities (the primary, or "core" track), and
one that exists outside the regulatory construct and leverages EPA's expertise in
order to "pre-empt" degradation of environmental quality. The question that EPA
must now ask is whether, and if so how, those two tracks must change in order to
ensure future success.

These issues, we believe, make it imperative that EPA recognize that all of its en-
vironmental priority areas, including climate change, biodiversity, toxics, and air
quality, are interconnected.They must be addressed in an integrated way rather
than as isolated issues. Applying an integrative approach will enable the Agency
to identify important synergies that would allow for accomplishing multiple goals
simultaneously. Such an approach will also help the Agency identify and avoid
the unintended consequences of well-intentioned measures. Finally, we believe
a well integrated approach will clarify when trade-offs are necessary and would
help the Agency explain to the public and policymakers the reason for a particu-
lar decision.This integrative model must be employed to complement the well-
established reductionist approaches in all aspects of EPA's programs to enable
the Agency to move toward sustainability.

If EPA were to defer to others with respect to the bigger, multidimensional issues
and were instead to remain focused on its core regulatory mission, change might
still  be necessary, but it would not need to be systemic.The kind of fine-tuning that
would be characterized as good management practice would  likely be sufficient.
However, there is a broad consensus, articulated in the future-oriented studies
completed over the past several years and validated by the interviews conducted
for this effort, as well as by the input from NACEPT members, that EPA should in fact
assume a larger, leadership role to address the big challenges.  Moreover, there
is widespread agreement that assumption of this role should not, and cannot,
subtract from the Agency's fulfillment of its core mission. Furthermore, just as there
is an extraordinary level of agreement across studies about what the next genera-
tion of environmental challenges will be, so too is there striking agreement about
the kind of fundamental, systemic change that EPA should pursue as it rises to
meet those challenges.

            Of           > •
The Council offers the following recommendations, which are set out in greater
detail in this report.The recommendations are aimed at clarifying and restating
the Agency's mission, and improving the Agency's organizational structure and
practices in order to support that mission more effectively. Reorganization-related
recommendations focus in particular on steps  EPA can take to achieve greater
beneficial impact and greater prominence nationally and internationally as  a
steward of environmental sustainability. They would allow EPA to maintain its core
mission while also developing new structures and mechanisms to apply its envi-
ronmental expertise in the most efficient and effective ways possible to the difficult
challenges that  lie ahead.

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1.   Clarify that EPA's mission addresses environmental stewardship as an
    important means for achieving the environmental component of sus-
    tainability. The Council recommends that EPA invest in building the skills
    and competencies necessary for stewardship and drive the practice
    of environmental stewardship deep into the Agency's organizational
    culture.
2.   Emphasize that science and technology are cornerstones of the
    EPA mission elements for mitigating environmental degradation and
    identifying better choices that will lead to sustainability. The Council
    recommends that EPA preserve the integrity of its scientific work and
    promote the development and recognition of scientific and technical
    skills within the Agency so that (1) it is regarded as a global leader in
    the application of the highest quality science to address both national
    and global environmental issues, and (2) it can take a more active role
    in the development and commercialization of environmentally superior
    technologies.
3.   Continue to improve EPA's core regulatory functions. The Council rec-
    ommends that EPA improve permitting, enforcement, and monitoring
    to focus more strategically on the most important environmental issues
    and to foster environmental justice. EPA should also streamline regula-
    tions to achieve more environmental protection with fewer bureaucrat-
    ic obstacles, and strengthen the Agency's investment in and promotion
    of innovative regulatory strategies such as voluntary programs.
4.   Take a more holistic approach to environmental protection across all
    media. The Council recommends that EPA employ every means pos-
    sible, from training to program design and budgetary incentives, to
    achieve better integration and active collaboration between its pro-
    grams and improve its ability to work in partnership with other federal
    agencies and with states, tribes and other external stakeholders to
    understand problems and to develop and implement solutions.
5.   Make environmental foresight or "futures analysis" a regular compo-
    nent of EPA's business-as-usua! practices. The Council recommends
    that EPA incorporate environmental foresight as a formal component
    of Agency strategic planning by creating a Futures Network to scan for
    emerging problems and opportunities, and regularly convening Look-
    Out Panels that include outside experts from industry, other government
    agencies,  nonprofit organizations, and public and private research
    groups at the forefront of technological change.
6.   Urge the President to work with Congress to make EPA a Cabinet-level
    agency so that its actions and statements will command more atten-
    tion and response.
7.   Urge the President to work with Congress to draft broad organic leg-
    islation outlining the evolving mission of the Environmental Protection
    Agency and giving it greater flexibility to deal with broad challenges
    such as climate change, water resource sustainability, and ecosystem
    sustainability that will require the Agency to use integrative approach-
    es on a scale it has not yet undertaken. Consideration of EPA's mission
    should include an assessment and decision on its role in providing US
    leadership internationally relative to other federal agencies with over-
    lapping mandates.

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8.   Work with governmental and private agencies and organizations to
    develop strategies that link national security, environmental quality,
    and economic growth. The Council recommends that EPA utilize part-
    nerships to access technical knowledge, financial resources, and the
    unique perspectives of different stakeholders.
9.   Develop new, innovative and integrative ways of doing business such
    as collaborative problem solving (with states, tribes and stakeholders)
    and regulatory innovation to increase effectiveness and efficiency of
    environmental programs.
10.  Expand EPA's information and communication role, with emphasis on
    the collection and management of environmental data and other rel-
    evant information. EPA should also take steps to improve the measure-
    ment or estimation (modeling) of the results of environmental initiatives.
11.  Provide staff support for reaching out more actively with educational
    initiatives aimed at small businesses, communities and individual
    citizens. The Council recommends that EPA focus specific initiatives on
    helping businesses, communities and individuals recognize their envi-
    ronmental impacts and encouraging the adoption of new technolo-
    gies and behaviors to reduce those impacts.
12.  Take steps to position the Agency for improved measurement or
    estimation (modeling) of the results of environmental initiatives. The
    Council recommends that EPA quickly evaluate prior measurement
    efforts, extract any useful measurement system(s) approaches, and,
    quickly establish core standards for measuring (and explaining) envi-
    ronmental progress.

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Introduction
In 1988, pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), PL. 92-463, EPA
established the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technol-
ogy ("NACEPT" or "Council") to provide independent advice to the EPA Adminis-
trator on a broad range of environmental policy, technology and management
issues.The Council's primary customers are the EPA Administrator, the program
offices, and the regions. Administratively, NACEPT resides within EPA's Office of Co-
operative Environmental Management (OCEM).

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 and should focus
         on over the next 10 years;
    (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.

EPA asked NACEPT to address the first component of identifying the issues and
challenges that EPA will face over the next 10 years, and the approaches the
Agency might take to address those issues. This report represents NACEPT's find-
ings and recommendations to EPA.

NACEPT has previously addressed the challenge and value of looking ahead to
spotlight future trends and issues. In its 2002  report, The Environmental Future:
Emerging Challenges and Opportunities for EPA" NACEPT noted that "[o]ur na-
tion's approach to environmental protection  has been largely reactive...Futures
analysis, the art and science of anticipating  nascent environmental issues, en-
courages proactive thinking to prevent potential problems, rather than respond-
ing after the fact."

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Study Approach
This prospective analysis builds upon the work completed by NACEPT as well as
several other groups and organizations who similarly looked ahead to identify
important environmental trends and issues.The NACEPT Prospective Workgroup, a
subset of the Council, was established to help the Council research this issue. The
members of the workgroup and the full Council
are listed in Appendix A. OCEM enlisted contrac-
tor support from Industrial Economics, Inc. (lEc) in
preparing this report, which comprises three main
components: a review of previously completed
"futures" analyses; structured interviews with fifteen
leaders from industry, academia, state and tribal
government, and non-governmental organiza-
tions; and discussions with NACEPT members at,
and following, a meeting in November 2008.
Initial Research of Futures Literature
As noted, NACEPT and many other groups and
organizations have attempted to look ahead and
identify the emerging trends and issues that will
impact the environment.  lEc reviewed a number of
reports and studies that described how these differ-
ent groups identified the issues and trends that will
most likely impact the environment over the next
ten years, those that would be most important for
EPA to address, and how the Agency might do so.

Prospective Study Interviews
As a first step, OCEM and lEc developed a com-
prehensive list of interview questions with the intent
to provoke thoughtful observations on future envi-
ronmental issues and trends of importance, as well
as ERA's role in addressing those issues and trends.

EPA selected seventeen individuals from a variety
of government, corporate, and academic posi-
tions who are all recognized, influential leaders in
their respective fields.

Of the seventeen individuals selected, fifteen
agreed to participate. The individuals who volun-
teered to share their perspectives and suggestions
as part of this study are identified in the text box.
Prospective Study Interviewees
>  George Daston, Research Fellow - Proctor &
  Gamble Company
>  Otto Doering, Professor of Agricultural
  Economics - Purdue University
  Jim Greenwood, President and CEO -
  Biotechnology Industry Organization
  Hank Habicht, Managing Partner - SAIL
  Venture Partners
  Nancy John, Director - Cherokee Nation,
  Environmental Protection Commission
  James H. Johnson, Jr., Dean of College of
  Engineering, Architecture and Computer
  Sciences - Howard University
  Jack Keenan, Chief Operating Officer -
  Pacific Gas & Electric
  Drew Kodjak, Executive Director
  - International Council on Clean
  Transportation
  Jonathan Lash, President - World Resources
  Institute
  Bill McDonough, Founding Partner-William
  McDonough + Partners
  Kim Nelson, Executive Director for
  eGovernment - Microsoft
  Dianne Nielson, Energy Advisor - State of
  Utah
  Lester Snow, Director - California
  Department of Water Resources
  Robert Stavins, Director of Harvard
  Environmental Economics Program -
  Harvard University
  Wilma Subra, President - Subra Company

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In addition to the positions they hold currently, several of the interviewees have
played significant roles in the environmental regulatory community. Among the
interviewees were a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a former
EPA Deputy Administrator, and a former EPA Chief Information Officer. As a result,
the interviews reflect a strong awareness of EPA's past and present policies, proce-
dures, and programs.

The prospective report presents the ideas, concerns, and suggestions offered by
the interviewees, but to ensure an open dialogue in the interviews, the report does
not attribute specific comments to any of the individuals.



After initial contact by EPA, lEc scheduled and conducted all fifteen interviews by
telephone during September 2008. EPA staff and NACEPT workgroup members
were invited to join the calls, but did so almost exclusively as observers rather than
participants. The interviews consisted often questions (see text box) that had been
provided to the interviewees in advance. For consistency across interviews, lEc
posed each question, in order, to each  interviewee but quickly moved on when it
was clear that the subject  had been addressed in response to an earlier question.

The calls were not recorded, but lEc took detailed notes during each and pre-
pared summaries that were sent to the interviewee for review, addition, and clarifi-
cation as needed.The information from the notes was then compiled for analysis.


             for
 1.   What do you consider to be the most influential long-term trends or forces
     (whether social, economic, technological, or otherwise) that are most likely to
     impact the environment over the next ten years?
 2.   What is your opinion on whether EPA is adequately addressing these trends or
     developments?
 3.   What steps could EPA take to improve its ability to anticipate and address these
     trends and related issues?
 4.   What do you consider to be the top environmental issues or challenges that
     the EPA must address in the next 10 years?
 5.   What might limit the Agency's ability to respond  to the identified issues?
 6.   What are some specific steps that the Agency could take to respond to the
     issues and overcome the constraints?
 7.   What might the Agency look like ten years from now and what major changes
     in the way the Agency currently operates should be implemented now to
     achieve this ten year vision?
 8.   Over the next ten years, how would you define success for the EPA?
 9.   What measures would indicate success or failure for the Agency in the next ten
     years?
 10.  Is there anything else that you would like to add?
On November 13-14,2008 NACEPT held a full committee meeting to celebrate the
Council's first twenty years. A portion of the agenda included a presentation and
discussion of the key findings from the interviews and reviews of futures analyses,
described above. In addition, some Council members provided additional input
following the meeting.

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Trends And  Themes  Identifiec
In  Selected   Futures Studies
The following summaries of selected reports are not intended to serve as compre-
hensive compilations of the points raised in those reports. Rather, they have been
selected to illustrate the types of futures analyses that have been recently con-
ducted and to highlight the key points raised that pertain to this study; namely
emerging trends and issues and how EPA might address them in the future.

U.S.  EPA Science Advisory Board. "Beyond The  Horizon: Using
Foresight To Protect The Environmental Future," 1995.
EPA's  Science Advisory Board prepared a report that examined different method-
ologies used to study potential future events and trends, identified environmen-
tal issues that might emerge by 2025, and advised EPA on ways to incorporate
futures research and techniques into its operations.
In addition to reviewing the social, economic,
technological, and institutional forces likely to lead
to influence emerging issues, the report identified
50 potential issues that could impact the environ-
ment and EPA. The report also identified five major
problem areas to which EPA should pay particular
attention:

  •  Sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems,
  •  Non-cancer human health effects,
  •  Total air pollutant loadings,
  •  Non-traditional environmental stressors, and
  •  Health of the oceans.

With regard to how EPA should integrate futures
methodologies into its ongoing activities, the report
suggested that

  •  EPA should work with other governmental
     and private agencies and organizations to
     establish a look-out panel to identify emerg-
     ing issues.
  •  EPA should work with these agencies and
     organizations to develop strategies that link
     national security, environmental quality, and
     economic growth.
  •  EPA should encourage cooperative activities
     among these partners in the following:
     - Improving and integrating futures studies,
Studies Reviewed
U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board. "Beyond
the Horizon: Using Foresight to Protect the
Environmental Future," 1995.
NACEPT. "The Environmental Future:
Emerging Challenges and Opportunities for
EPA," 2002.
Environmental Council of the States
(ECOS). "Planning for the Environmental
Future: Preliminary State Perspectives On
the Challenges Ahead," April 2005.
EPA Innovation Action Council Futures
Interview Summary, 2004.
North American Commission for
Environmental Cooperation. "Future
Environmental Priorities In North America,"
2000.
EPA International Futures Project (2000).
Foresight and Governance Project,
Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Scholars. "New Global Agenda," 2004.

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     -  Focusing on the underlying causes of environmental change,
     -  Improving environmental awareness and education, and
     -  Establishing a broad-based data system to anticipate future risks.

          "The
                For
NACEPT was asked to recommend a process to enhance EPA's ability to identify
emerging trends and issues. As part of the process, NACEPT identified six broad
themes as one way to organize the review of emerging trends, and identified op-
portunities for EPA within each theme. The six themes are listed below, along with
opportunities in each area as noted in the report.
World Population and  Demographics:
   •  Facilitate the export of environmentally superior technologies
   •  Elevate EPA's international role
   •  Establish an Envirocorps similar to Peace Corps
Natural Resources:
   Energy
     Expand Energy Star program
     Promote market-oriented
     measures for reducing
Themes
>  World Population and Demographics
>  Natural Resources
>  Science and Technology
     global warming
                                    >  Information Management and Access
   •  Support research on carbon        r      .      , „
           ,   ,.                     >  Economics and Commerce
     sequestration
   ,,,  ,                              >  Politics and Social Evolution
   Water
   •  Enhance efforts to include
     non-point sources in water
     management
   •  Support an effective market environment to minimize hazardous waste
     generation
   Biodiversity
   •  Develop natural resource partnerships
   •  Expand efforts to control invasive species
   •  Develop a strategy to address health impacts of food additives
   Air
   •  Develop a multi-pollutant approach to air pollutants
   •  Support research on ultra-clean coal technology
Science and Technology:
   •  Marshal sound science to develop and defend standards
   •  Promote emerging developments in biotechnology and nanotechnology
Information Management and Access:
   •  Expand EPA's information and communication role

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   •   Improve information coordination
   •   Perfect integrated monitoring technologies

Economics and Commerce:

   •   Continue to identify cost-effective environmental technologies
   •   Improve permitting to foster environmental justice
   •   Assist in preventing ecological-economic development failure

Politics and Social Evolution:

   •   Improve capacity to track state and tribal environmental performance
   •   Create new opportunities for NGO and stakeholder input
   •   Support a global reporting initiative

In addition to identifying opportunities for EPA activity within specific themes, the
NACEPT group also identified a number of recommendations for ways EPA might
improve its ability to anticipate and address emerging trends. These included:

   •   Create ongoing scanning process that involves all of the Agency
   •   Support ongoing work of futures activities and provide training in futures
      tools including scanning, scenario development, and modeling
   •   Incorporate futures analysis into strategic planning framework

                          Of The         (ECOS),
                                                           On  The


In a meeting facilitated by EPA's Office of the Chief Financial Officer, a group of
ECOS members informally identified a number of emerging trends and resulting
environmental challenges.

       Driving Change
The participants identified technology-driven and demographic change  as major
drivers. Looking at technology-driven changes, the participants identified chang-
es that could do the most to enhance EPA's capability to protect the environment
(communication, remediation, and monitoring technologies), those most likely to
improve the environment (transportation-related improvements, new energy tech-
nologies, and more efficient and complete waste management technologies),
and those that could do the most harm to the environment (traditional energy
production, e-waste, and unwise use of nano-technology). In addition, the group
recognized that some "promising" technologies could have unanticipated nega-
tive impacts. For example, an increase in the availability of hybrid vehicles might
actually contribute to sprawl.

With regard to demographic changes, the group identified population shifts both
on a global and more local scale, especially in environmentally sensitive  areas,
as a significant driver. The participants noted that an aging  population will likely
result in less consumption, although resulting decreases in revenues could con-
strain state and other governments' ability to address problems. In addition, the
group noted that changing consumption patterns  (increase in "green" purchas-
ing) can also have major environmental impacts.

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The participants identified major environmental concerns for the next twenty
years in three categories: well-known concerns, potential surprises, and issues not
on EPA's radar screen.

Well-known concerns: Water quality and quantity, air pollution, climate change,
and economic change.

Potential Surprises: Energy technology changes, climate change, existing chemi-
cals, ocean pollution, and limitations in ability to respond to problems with tech-
nology.

      not on EPA radar        Issues related to energy production and use, the
need for increased coordination with other agencies in dealing with a range of is-
sues including energy policy and water management, and other issues including
land conservation, invasive species, and homeland security issues.

Incorporating         Into         Planning
Participants identified a number of issues that needed to be addressed in EPA's
Strategic Plan. These include climate change, ecosystem health and services,
needed investment in monitoring and basic research. Other suggestions includ-
ed increasing transparency of underlying information and increasing involvement
of regions in planning process.

Nearly all participants noted the need for EPA to devote more attention to
identifying  emerging issues and problems.  Many also pointed out the need
for increased cooperation with other agencies and levels of government and
increased consideration of regional views and budget sharing.

                         Council                    Summary,
2004.
In the spring of 2004,23 members of the EPA Innovation Action Council (IAC) par-
ticipated in a series of interviews that collected information on their views on key
environmental problems and trends that EPA will face in 2011 and 2025, the driv-
ers and assumptions underlying these trends, and ways that EPA could address
the emerging challenges. In addition, 18 members of the EPA Futures Network
answered the same questions through completion of an online survey.

Underlying
Respondents cited the following as important trends.

   • Changing demographics,
   • Resource consumption,
   • Sprawl,
   • Technological change, and
   • Cultural changes.

Emerging  Problems
Both the IAC members and the  members of the EPA Futures Network most fre-
quently identified water quality and quantity as key issues. Other issues promi-
nently listed by both groups of respondents included climate change, problems
associated with energy production, and biodiversity. In addition, the IAC mem-
                                  e

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bers also frequently cited homeland security and global air pollution while the
EPA staff also cited toxic chemicals as a looming problem.

New Strategies
Respondents encouraged EPA to take a more collaborative approach to address-
ing emerging problems and focus on the emerging social and demographic
trends. They highlighted the following as new approaches or emphases the
Agency could take:

   •  Incorporate social science and research why individuals and organizations
     make the decisions they do,
   •  Promote sustainability,
   •  Create and share knowledge,
   •  Encourage new technology,
   •  Integrate (across media, agencies, and problems) and collaborate, and
   •  Enhance and maintain the quality of the EPA work force.

North American Commission For Environmental Cooperation,
"Future  Environmental Priorities In North America," 2000.
In 2000, the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (NACEC)
conducted a questionnaire to gather input from the general public on important
issues, now and in 20 years. In describing the survey on its website (http://www.
cec.org/trio/ stories/index.cfm) the CEC noted that "[t]he Future Environmental
Priorities Questionnaire was posted on NACEC's web site during September and
October 2000. While the identity of the respondents is not known, the fact that
they found the survey on the NACEC  web site suggests that many may already
have been familiar with NACEC and may therefore reasonably be assumed to
possess a higher-than-average interest in environmental issues. Given that re-
sponses may have been submitted from anywhere in the world, the results cannot
be considered a randomly  reflective North American perspective."  Several of the
questions addressed the same themes raised in this study's  interviews (as de-
scribed in the next section); responses to those questions are noted below.

What Are the Two Biggest Long-Term Environmental Concerns for You?
The NACEC grouped responses into 18 different categories and the concerns
identified by the greatest number of respondents were:

   •  Loss of habitat/biodiversity,
   •  Climate change,
   •  Water quality,
   •  Population, and
   •  Air quality.

Forty-five percent of the respondents thought the nature of these problems would
get worse over the next 20 years while 22 percent noted that increased awareness
of and understanding of the problems would eventually lead to better conditions.

What Needs To Be Done Differently To Better Address These (Two) Concerns?
Respondents called for more education and communication, more regulation
and monitoring, and a commitment to sustainable development as the most
important areas to be emphasized.
                                 ©

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Looking Back From 2020, What Would You Describe As the Triumph of North
American Environmental Policy?
There was a great deal of variation in the responses to this question, with the larg-
est number of individuals identifying as the most likely "triumphs":
   •  Increased awareness and education,
   •  Increased regulation and monitoring,
   •  Improved air quality,
   •  Protection of natural habitats,
   •  Deployment of clean technologies, and
   •  Improved water quality.
Interestingly, relatively few respondents identified reduction in greenhouse gases
as a  likely triumph despite it being ranked as the environmental problem that
would deserve the most attention (see above).

EPA International Futures Project 2000.
In an effort to gain a broad perspective on the challenges facing the country on
the international front, the EPA convened two roundtable discussions on interna-
tional environmental futures. Prior to the two meetings, the roundtable members
were interviewed to determine their perspectives on a series of questions, summa-
rized below.

What Do You Consider To Be the 3 Most Influential Long-Term Global Trends
That Hold the Greatest  Potential To Reshape the Environmental Challenges
We Face In the Next 5 To 20 Years?
The most common responses, listed in decreasing order of frequency, were:
   •  Population growth and urbanization,
   •  Globalization of the economy,
   •  Globalization of information,
   •  Changes in organizational relationships,
   •  Technology research and development,
   •  Loss and degradation of renewable natural systems,
   •  Transportation  of pollution,
   •  Climate change, and
   •  Water quality protection and the health of hydrologic systems.

What Are the Top Issues That the United States and EPA Must Address In the
Next 5 To 20 Years?
The most common responses, listed in decreasing order of frequency, were:
   •  Climate change,
   •  Proliferation of chemicals,
   •  Sustainable development, effective resource management,
   •  Biotechnology,
   •  Changes in energy use,
   •  Financing infrastructure change,
                                  ©

-------
   •   Providing tools for use by local government, and
   •   Biodiversity and habitat preservation.

                  EPA     To                               the     2.0

Respondents offered the following suggestions:
   •   Continue to improve information and data management,
   •   Decide if it should be an agreement broker or a scientific agency,
   •   Improve outreach,
   •   Solidify its role as purveyor of technical assistance,
   •   Take a more holistic approach to environmental protection across all me-
      dia,
   •   Continue work with the private sector,
   •   Explore market based approaches,
   •   Collaborate more with other federal agencies, and
   •   Consider separating into science and regulatory agencies.


Some of the key recommendations that came out of the two days of the round-
table discussions are noted below:
   •   Improve the technological capabilities of EPA,
   •   Improve scientific analyses within the Agency,
   •   Increase involvement in environment and trade discussions,
   •   Promote EPA as a facilitator on International environmental issues,
   •   Increase marketing of EPA contributions and skills,
   •   Establish clear linkages between domestic and international issues,
   •   Help develop finance mechanisms for environmental projects, and
   •   Recognize decentralization of domestic and foreign governments and
      cultural differences.

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                               Project Woodrow
International Center For Scholars, "New         Agenda," 2004,
In a paper prepared for the Foresight and Governance Project of the Woodrow
Wilson Center, the Institute for Environmental Futures reviewed nine analyses of
global environmental issues and focused on how these studies analyzed three
questions.

   •  What problems pose the most serious threats to the global environment
     and  to continuing economic development?
   •  What are the underlying causes of these global environmental problems?
   •  What changes in governance strategies are needed to deal with global
     environmental problem and their underlying trends?
 World Resources 2000-2001: People and Ecosystems: A study published by the
 World Resources Institute.
 Environmental Outlook: A study published by the Organisation for Economic
 Development and Co-operation (OECD).
 World Development Report 2003: A Study published by the World Bank.
 One with Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future: A book by
 Paul and Anne Ehrlich.
 Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment: A book
 by James Gustave Speth.
 Global Environment Outlook 3: A study published by the United Nations
 Environment Programme (UNEP).
 Global Trends 2015: A study published by the Central Intelligence Agency
 (CIA).
 The Environmental Future:  Emerging Challenges and Opportunities for the EPA:
 A study published by the National Advisory Council for Environmental  Policy
 and Technology (NACEPT).
 Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble: A book by
 Lester R. Brown.
The tables that follow summarize the main points of consensus among the studies
as captured in the report.
                                  ©

-------
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-------

-------
This section presents findings based on the responses provided by the 15 intervie-
wees to the 10 questions included in this study.The findings are presented in four
categories: Key Trends and Issues; EPA's Current Response Capability and Perfor-
mance; Opportunities to Improve EPA's Response Capability; and Documenting
Success. Exhibit 1 illustrates how the questions map to these four categories.
EXHIBIT 1. Mapping of Interview Questions to Findings Categories

Key Trends and Issues

EPA's Current Response
Capability and
Performance

Opportunities
to Improve EPA's
Response Capability


Documenting Success

1 . What do you consider to be the most influential
long-term trends or forces (whether social, economic,
technological, or otherwise) that are most likely to
impact the environment over the next ten years?
4. What do you consider to be the top environmental
issues or challenges that the EPA must address in the
next 10 years?
2. What is your opinion on whether EPA is adequately
addressing these trends or developments?
5. What might limit the Agency's ability to respond to the
identified issues?
3. What steps could EPA take to improve its ability to
anticipate and address these trends and related
issues?
6. What are some specific steps that the Agency could
take to respond to the issues and overcome the
constraints?
7. What might the Agency look like ten years from now
and what major changes in the way the Agency
currently operates should be implemented now to
achieve this ten year vision?
8. Over the next ten years, how would you define success
for the EPA?
9. What measures would indicate success or failure for
the Agency in the next ten years?
                                 o

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The interviews conducted as part of this analysis in part reaffirmed the findings
of earlier assessments—most of the issues that had been identified previously as
emerging challenges for EPA remain so in the eyes of the interviewees, although
climate change was widely recognized as presenting an increasingly dominant
set of challenges. Similarly, in the opinion of the interviewees, the steps EPA can
take to prepare for and more effectively respond to these challenges are primarily
associated with the application of sound science in an increasingly collabora-
tive and cooperative manner.The main themes that emerged from the interviews
include the following.

   • Climate change presents a challenge that most of the interviewees be-
     lieve will require substantial EPA involvement over the next ten years and
     beyond. In fact, most of the interviewees viewed climate change not just
     as one issue among many environmental challenges; they described it as
     a  long-term trend on par with, and directly linked to, other macro forces
     such as population growth and technological development.
   • EPA does or should play a pivotal role as the nation's leading source of
     environmental science and technology and should foster collaborative
     and cooperative relationships with all public and private  sector inter-
     ests. Many of the interviewees highlighted the need for improved lines of
     communication—within EPA, between the Agency and the states, and be-
     tween the Agency and other public and private stakeholders—as a critical
     element of this role.
   • Some factors that will influence the degree to which EPA is successful
     over the next ten years remain largely beyond the Agency's control. Inter-
     viewees frequently cited the constraints imposed by authorities granted (or
     not granted) to the Agency by Congress and the financial resources at the
     Agency's disposal.

This summary of findings captures these and other important themes that
emerged from our interviews, but does not attempt to convey the full breadth of
the interviewees' comments. At least a portion of each interviewee's comments
focused on specific challenges or opportunities within his/her area of expertise
(which is the primary lens through which they view EPA's actions). Appendix B
provides an expanded summary of the responses to each question, highlighting
the range of interviewees' answers as well as the frequency with which common
answers were offered.

Key Trends and Issues
Several of the interviewees provided thoughts on "macro" trends,  including popu-
lation growth, the emergence of new global economic powers, global instabilities,
and the growing recognition of the concept of "sustainability," all  of which have
significant implications for environmental protection. However, most chose instead
to focus  on the key issues EPA is likely to face over the next decade. While intervie-
wees tended to emphasize issues most closely related to their area of expertise,
most also singled out climate change as the most significant issue that EPA must
address  over the next ten  years. In doing so, they noted the wide  array of likely cli-
mate change-related challenges ahead, from the development of new regulatory
programs and resource management strategies to the need to address chang-
ing  land use patterns and the alteration of natural habitats.The climate challenge
also provided the context within which interviewees stressed the need for a focus
on strong science, support for technological development, and close, productive
relationships with other federal agencies as  well as private sector interests.

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The other issues that interviewees identified fall into four general categories: the
quality of air, water, and land resources; management of chemicals in the envi-
ronment; responses to technological development; and EPA's relationships with
stakeholders.

        of Air,
Many of the interviewees stressed that the issue of improving and maintaining air,
water, and land quality will remain a critical one for EPA over the next decade. In
addition, several commented on the ways in which the scope of these more "tra-
ditional" challenges has expanded  in the face of both local and global develop-
ment patterns. For example, they noted that air quality is no longer just a local or
regional issue with the growth of transboundary pollution from developing world
countries that is less easily influenced by EPA decisions and actions, that com-
petition between agricultural and other users for increasingly scarce freshwater
resources is growing stronger, and that climate change-induced alterations of
the landscape  (e.g., more regular inundation of floodplains) will affect the way in
which land development occurs.

              of          In the
Several interviewees commented on the issue of chemicals in the environment,
particularly EPA's ability to regulate them effectively as more and better data be-
come available and as demands for effective response grow louder. Of particular
note were references to the European  Union's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisa-
tion and Restriction  of Chemical substances (REACH) regulations, as a potential
indicator of the direction in which U.S. regulation might soon be headed. At the
same time there was recognition that the classic tools and tests EPA employs may
not be sufficiently sensitive to detect new classes of contaminants in the environ-
ment, such as pharmaceutical products, nor sufficiently advanced to understand
in depth the toxicological profiles of the growing number of chemicals in com-
merce.

          Fo Technological
Comments that addressed technology as an important issue were almost ex-
clusively forward-looking, with the exception of one reminder that existing en-
vironmental management infrastructure (e.g..solid waste landfills,wastewater
treatment facilities)  is decaying, with limited resources available for repair or
replacement. The forward-looking comments expressed optimism as well as cau-
tion. On the one hand, multiple interviewees expressed the belief that we have
not yet explored the extent to which technology can  both solve problems and
lead to more efficient uses of our resources. Within the IT industry, for example, the
potential impact of developing monitoring, decision making, and "smart" tools
and making them available to other industries is far greater than the impact they
can have through efforts to reduce their own environmental footprints, and EPA
can do more to foster that transfer. On the other hand, some of the interviewees
noted that we lack full understanding of the consequences of new technology
deployment (e.g., nanotechnology, the large scale deployment of  renewable en-
ergy technologies), and that while the environmental benefits from their deploy-
ment may be significant, we also need to account for and  properly manage any
associated externalities.

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                 With
Separate from strictly technical or scientific issues, the subject of collaboration, co-
operation and communication with stakeholders was a common theme across
interviews. Several interviewees expanded on this point, offering specific examples
of the challenges EPA faces in ensuring that good decisions are made based
at least in part on input from those most affected by the decisions. One of the
biggest challenges revolves around accessibility to information and data. As one
interviewee noted, the general population can be characterized in the simplest
terms by those who are knowledgeable about environmental issues and what to
do about them, and those who are not. In some communities, often the ones that
face disproportionate environmental impacts, this knowledge gap, or condition
of "information asymmetry," is particularly acute. Among all communities, even
those with more knowledge and available tools, EPA is challenged to reach out to
individual citizens to get them to recognize their own impact on the environment
and to encourage their adoption of new tools and behaviors.

EPA'S                                  and
This section summarizes interviewees' answers to questions that focus on how well
EPA is responding to trends and, more importantly, on factors that are limiting the
Agency's response capability. In response to the question, "Is EPA doing well?," the
general consensus was yes, particularly in its fulfillment of statutory obligations,
in its demonstration of expertise in core subject areas, and in its development of
tools enabling other groups, such as states and tribes, to contribute to environ-
mental protection. In fact, several interviewees made a point of describing EPA
as the preeminent environmental agency not just in the United States but in the
world, and further expressed the importance of ensuring that the Agency retains
this status.

At the same time, each interviewee described at least one area of perceived
weakness, usually in the context of an internal or external force that serves to limit
the Agency's effectiveness. Two types of limitations were described with the great-
est frequency: those associated with financial and human resources and those
associated with the scope of EPA's portfolio of environmental protection responsi-
bilities.

Resources
Many of the interviewees expressed a belief that EPA has insufficient financial
resources to accomplish its mission and that, while EPA's staff is talented and com-
mitted, it is also challenged to recruit and retain the most highly qualified people
and thus risks being unable to maintain the necessary level of expertise. They not-
ed that while the Agency's resources are fully employed on the activities currently
within its charge, expectations of what EPA can or should do are increasing at the
same time that budgets are decreasing, forcing the Agency to think of ways to do
more with less. This trend runs counter to, or at least severely constrains, the need
to offer competitive salaries to the "best and the brightest" who otherwise might
not consider a government career.
Some of the interviewees' comments addressed the limitation created by the
tension between EPA's basic mandate and what it is authorized to do, and the
expectation that the Agency can "do it all." Specifically, it was noted that:

   •   EPA can be limited by statute, and not just because Congress has not

-------
      granted the Agency the authority to intervene in every environment-related
      issue, but also because the wording of a statute that does grant authority
      may itself limit EPA's ability to respond effectively.
   •   EPA faces an "image problem" resulting from the perception that the
      Agency "does everything" related to the environment. This perception
      leads to expectations that the Agency cannot meet.
   •   As discussed further below, the Agency is limited to some extent by a struc-
      ture that mirrors the primary environmental protection statutes and thus
      results in an emphasis on regulatory activity and enforcement (or as one
      interviewee described it, "when you have a hammer, everything looks like
      a nail"). This emphasis constrains the Agency's ability to address cross-
      cutting problems in a flexible manner or to collaborate with other agencies
      on issues of mutual concern.

It is also worth noting that the influence of politics on EPA's work was also de-
scribed more than once as limiting the degree to which the scope of EPA's work
is clearly defined and understood. As one interviewee stated, the political envi-
ronment is the single biggest challenge EPA faces, as it is one of the government
agencies most affected by politicized decision making; this slows the decision-
making process and also prevents EPA from maximizing its effectiveness.
                      prove EPA's Respon •   1   ;   >,.
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that might be best served through the application of another agency's expertise.
Similarly, different ideas were offered for how to build and structure the technical
leadership that would be required to take on the biggest challenges, from the
creative use of multidisciplinary (i.e., cross-Agency) teams to the development of
"flexible," rather than targeted, expertise capable of responding to any number of
issues that might arise in the context of an overarching issue.

Organization
The majority of the interviewees did not offer specific suggestions for changes in
EPA's overall organization, but those who did approached this question from a
variety of angles. One anecdote in particular captured the organizational chal-
lenge that EPA might consider addressing. In preparing its first Report on the
Environment, it was said that EPA found itself unable to provide answers to the
public's most significant environmental questions for the simple reason that the
data to do so simply were not available. The reason the data were not available
was that EPA's organization  (dominated by media- or statute-specific "silos") was
not aligned with the questions.

Among the suggestions (or wishes) for an alternative structure or for steps that
would improve EPA's overall functioning were the following:

   •  The elevation of the EPA Administrator to Cabinet level.
   •  The establishment of positions for a Deputy Administrator of Regulation and
      a Deputy Administrator of Science.
   •  A six year term for the EPA Administrator in order to provide some separa-
      tion from the  influence of political cycles.
   •  A deliberate effort to  improve communication and information transfer
      among EPA's different sections and programs, as well as between other
      national, state, tribal, and local partners.
   •  Organization by functional expertise in order to facilitate experts' ability
      to work on similar problems across program offices (and to minimize the
      perceived  underutilization of its staff).
   •  Organization by a limited number of broad subject areas to capture
      related issues under common umbrellas; for example, water (including
      agriculture), energy (including transportation), and chemicals (including
      pollution prevention).

Some notes of caution were also expressed regarding  organizational matters. First,
an interviewee suggested that when and if Congress delegates broad author-
ity over climate change matters to EPA, the Agency would be taking on an issue
that is easily twice as large  (in terms of potential economic cost) as any existing
regulatory program. Such a mandate could thus require a significant change in
the way the Agency operates. A second interviewee expressed more generally
that a reorganization of the Agency would involve both a large investment and
considerable risk; therefore, it was suggested, EPA should ask instead whether its
budget could be structured to enable cross-functional initiatives without a mas-
sive reorganization.


In response to questions asking how EPA could improve its ability to address key
issues and overcome existing constraints, the interviewees offered a range of sug-
gestions for new or altered approaches to management challenges. Other than
the recurring theme of collaboration (discussed below), these suggestions do not

-------
fit easily into thematic categories (perhaps an indication of the wide range of op-
portunities available to EPA to build on past success), and are therefore presented
below as discrete opportunities.

   •   EPA should continue and make more regular use of outlook panels to ex-
      plore future trends, but should expand their scope beyond purely research
      issues to address regulatory issues as well.
   •   EPA might consider instituting an Office of Clean Technology Deployment
      and taking steps to educate the public about the relative "greenness" of
      consumer products, as it does so effectively for consumer appliances.
   •   Given financial resource constraints and the need to increase productiv-
      ity, the Agency should explore ways to take advantage of computational
      power in ways that may not have been considered, such as maximizing
      modeling and simulation efforts as substitutes for more time-consuming
      and expensive approaches (e.g., data-intensive environmental monitor-
      ing).
   •   From a design perspective, a regulation is a signal of design failure, mean-
      ing that when there is a need to regulate there is something wrong. EPA
      should adopt a design frame of mind (for example, promoting green
      chemistry) in  order to embrace opportunities  for new approaches to prob-
      lems.
   •   EPA could put more of a focus on what it could do to drive technol-
      ogy adoption into other sectors. Where technology already exists, EPA  is
      needed to implement standards and aggregate information to facilitate its
      adoption. Efforts in this regard could include a technology advisory board
      or more emphasis through NACEPT.
   •   Citizens have become accustomed to performing the functions of their
      personal life online and they expect to be able to move their interactions
      with  the government (e.g., getting their driver's license) online as well.
      The government should look to create an environment of openness using
      emerging concepts such as enterprise social networking, which involves
      tools similar to Facebook and other forms of social networking. Enterprise
      social networking tools would let EPA and other government agencies
      enlist more public involvement in its activities.
   •   EPA could learn from the example of the Cherokee "Earth Watchers" who
      embrace the mindset of being a steward of the environment,  using fund-
      ing effectively, implementing programs correctly, and planning for future
      generations.

Collaboration
One of the most widely held views among the interviewees was that EPA can
and should work toward greater collaboration with other federal agencies, state
and tribal organizations, industry, local communities and the general  public, and
international partners. Several interviewees noted that at the federal level col-
laboration would include instances in which EPA shares responsibility  in a clear
and organized fashion as well as instances in which the Agency defers to a
sister agency and assumes a more supportive role. As an example of  the former,
an interviewee highlighted a provision in the 2007 Energy Bill, which  has several
biofuels opt-out provisions phrased in such a way that the EPA Administrator, Sec-
retary of Agriculture, and Secretary of Energy would be required to reach  deci-
sions jointly. The message conveyed by interviewees regarding collaboration with
non-federal parties  was simple and consistent: absent opportunities for direct

-------
input into decision-making processes, structured in a way that does not provide
an advantage to one stakeholder over another, EPA's management of environ-
mental challenges will be sub-optimal.



This section presents interviewees' responses to the questions asking how to de-
fine success for EPA and how to measure whether or not EPA has been successful
in fulfilling its mission. Consistent with responses to other categories of questions,
the interviewees suggested definitions of success that range from the general
to the more specific.The common theme among the more general definitions is
straightforward: EPA is successful if it fulfills its mission to protect human health and
the environment, as demonstrated by quantifiable improvements in air and water
quality. Beyond the general definition, the responses offered several different ways
to think about success, though many addressed the belief that EPA would be
successful if it were to position itself as the widely acknowledged thought leader
on issues of science and technology. Others stressed the need to think about
success in terms of both quantifiable environmental quality  metrics and institu-
tional frameworks; that is, taking credit for success in forming partnerships as well
as for the results that the partnership produced. Perhaps the most straightforward
response to the question of how EPA might define success came from the intervie-
wee who defined it as the ability to provide relevant, accurate data that address
the questions the public wants answered.

As with the definition of success, interviewees approached the question of how
to measure success from multiple angles. Most focused on measurement con-
cepts rather than individual metrics, though several of the latter were noted (e.g.,
pollutant concentrations in air and water, coral reef health, number of industrial
facilities located in environmental justice communities). For  example, it was sug-
gested that EPA could measure its success by its ability to attract and maintain a
good staff, by looking retrospectively at the "bets" it made on the types of exper-
tise it would need and seeing a very high "success" rate, and by demonstrating
that it has  implemented elements of its strategic plans that  incorporate the needs
of all stakeholding interests.Two comments capture the general perspective on
performance measurement offered by the interviewees: on the one hand, there is
a sense that insufficient attention is paid to concrete measures of a regulation's
success in improving environmental quality or human health (e.g., the way the
phase-out of lead in gasoline was shown to be clearly beneficial), but on the oth-
er hand, measures of progress must be defined in terms other than simple bean
counting; "blue sky measures" are also appropriate for setting  long-term goals.

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Input From NACEPT  Member
                                                                                t&*
On November 13 and 14,2008 NACEPT celebrated its first 20 years at a full Coun-
cil meeting held in National Harbor, Maryland. As part of the November 13
agenda, Council members discussed the key findings from the interviews and
from the review of previously conducted futures analyses. The discussion focused
on three questions:

    1.   What are the key challenges facing EPA over the next ten years?
    2.   As EPA moves to meet these challenges, what are the key capabilities
        and attributes it needs to develop?
    3.   What specific actions should the Agency take to develop these attri-
        butes and challenges?

NACEPT Meeting

What Are The Key Challenges Facing EPA Over The Next Ten Years?
EPA Administrator Steve Johnson framed the discussion by highlighting five gen-
eral challenges:

   •  Making smarter decisions with respect to energy use and supply, especial-
     ly given the close connections between energy and the issues EPA does,
     or will, address - namely, "traditional" pollution regulation and climate
     change.
   •  Ensuring the availability of clean water.
   •  Having a more meaningful impact at the community level.
   •  Supporting and promoting emerging technologies.
   •  Building international partnerships and providing assistance to developing
     economies.

In the ensuing discussion, members identified a wide range of additional chal-
lenges that EPA should be prepared to address:

   •  Non-point source pollution.
   •  Environmental security.
   •  Integrating problem solving across media and agencies.
   •  Promoting sustainability as a different, more systemic way of looking at en-
     vironmental problems that includes a temporal component (i.e., address-
     es issues over the long-term and recognizes both secondary and tertiary
     impacts).
   •  Advancing sciences such as epigenetics, genomics, and toxicogenomics
     that enhance our ability to understand the health consequences of envi-
     ronmental insults.

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   •  Communicating the value of the environment at all levels.
   •  Finding the proper balance between technological solutions and solutions
     based on changes in behavior, practices, and operational methods—and
     developing ways to define "acceptable" risks and to realistically evaluate
     relative risks.
   •  Creating a positive vision of the environment as a growth area that runs
     counter to today's generally negative environmental paradigm of dangers
     to be avoided and problems to be solved.
   •  Achieving environmental justice and creating a new, green economy that
     provides more opportunity for all and does not burden the poor with a
     disproportionate share of environmental impacts.

As EPA Moves To Meet These  Challenges, What Are The Key Capabilities And
Attributes It Needs To Develop?
Council members identified several key capabilities and attributes, including:

   •  Increased skills in "collaborative governance"; EPA does not control invest-
     ment and cannot itself finance large-scale research and development
     efforts, so it needs to focus on being influential within a larger network in
     order to help create better choices.
   •  Increased capacity for collaboration across media and organizational
     levels, both within EPA and with other federal and state agencies.
   •  Improved monitoring and data management, including widespread utiliza-
     tion of advanced sensor technologies; EPA needs the capacity to under-
     stand what it needs to measure.
   •  An adaptive management capability that utilizes the full range of informa-
     tion gathered from real time sensing.
   •  Greater staff support for  the Science Advisor.
   •  Greater staff support for  public outreach.
   •  A special fund for environmental improvement created out of fines col-
     lected through enforcement activities.

Additional Input from NACEPT Members
Following the November  13-14  meeting, Council members were offered the oppor-
tunity to provide individual input through responses to the following questions:

     1.    As EPA strives to contribute more to meeting the difficult challenges
         ahead, what do you  believe are the key attributes and capabilities it
         needs to develop?
     2.    What are some of the most critical specific actions needed to develop
         these attributes and  capabilities?

The responses echoed, but in many instances expanded upon, the earlier discussion.

As EPA Strives To Contribute More To Meeting The Difficult Challenges Ahead,
What Are The Key Attributes And Capabilities It Needs To Develop?
   •  Leadership on the  environment and related issues.
   •  International leadership  on the many critical issues that the world faces
     including, but not limited to, habitat destruction, over-harvesting of fisher-
     ies, low level toxins, and  climate change.

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   •  Continuously promoting the development of environmental skills within the
     Agency.
   •  Emphasizing the need for good science.
   •  EPA has some of the finest minds available to tackle the difficult and
     complex problems of our time, but getting that information to local com-
     munities still presents a major challenge. Distributing key information to
     the general public is going to take many collaborations on many levels.
     Over the years EPA has cut back on personnel and programs targeted
     toward communities and put in place replacement programs geared
     more towards large regional issues. Local community leaders do not have
     the EPA support they used to and as a result lose out on the plethora of
     information and resources that used to be available. While those resources
     may still exist, few if any know about them or how to access them.  In order
     to implement the many priority programs the EPA aspires to it needs to
     engage and support front-line providers in order to promote their priorities
     at the "kitchen table level." Local communities are the true workhorses and
     implementers  of environmental policy.

What          Of The      Critical         Actions        To
     Attributes And Capabilities?
   •  A recommitment to transparency and partnerships, with technical excel-
     lence and external leadership.
   •  The President,  his Cabinet, and EPA leadership should  host a series of sum-
     mits addressing global environmental problems.
   •  EPA should offer more assistance to developing countries.
   •  A renewal of the commitment to train new and existing staff.
   •  Establish rules to ensure that scientific findings are not influenced by politi-
     cal appointees and to ensure that clear lines are drawn between science
     and environmental policy decisions.
   •  EPA needs to develop new, innovative ways of doing business such as
     collaborative problem solving (with states, tribes and stakeholders) and
     regulatory innovation.  Much can and should be learned from the states.
     EPA is using old, sometimes outdated and inefficient tools to address a new
     set of issues and has not taken bold steps to try new approaches that may
     provide more  protection with less  process.
   •  EPA needs to speed up modernization of its  information management
     systems to enable electronic reporting, data sharing, and  public reporting.
     Leadership from the top is needed to expedite office-specific data issues.
   •  EPA needs to develop clearer links between and integration of its strategic
     plan, national program managers guidance and budget decisions (op-
     erational issues), and  its Report on the Environment. Currently they are too
     disconnected, overly complicated, opaque, and cumbersome.
   •  Climate change will be the major emerging issue and  EPA needs to exert
     clear leadership on it and embrace it as an opportunity to unify the agen-
     cy and catalyze cross-agency integration.
   •  Better distribution of resources at the regional and state level and a return
     to the policy of supporting local groups. The Regional Geographic Initia-
     tives program was one of many ways that the EPA supported local proj-
     ects. The support of Section 208 of the Clean Water Act is another way
     to build the important collaborations needed for total integrated  water-
     shed management. In the 1990s, EPA watershed coordinators traveled

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throughout states and regions; their disappearance is a loss both for EPA
and for local communities.
EPA needs to streamline its regulations, getting more clean up and preven-
tion with less bureaucratic obstacles.
EPA needs to work with environmental groups to get more action on the
ground and less in lobbying for causes, raising money, and litigating. EPA
could also improve  its work with communities and involved industries to
reduce emissions/discharges and to engage in voluntarily prevention and
clean up activities, which is not only the ethical and right thing to do but
also a way to save money and reduce the consternation of local citizens.

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NACEPT Recommend
The Council offers the following recommendations aimed at clarifying and restat-
ing EPA's mission and improving the Agency's organizational structure and prac-
tices in order to support that mission more effectively. The recommendations focus
on steps EPA can take to achieve greater impact and greater prominence nation-
ally and internationally as a steward of environmental sustainability. They would
allow EPA to maintain its core mission while also developing new structures and
mechanisms to apply its environmental expertise in more effective ways to the dif-
ficult challenges ahead.

Mission
   •  Clarify that EPA's mission addresses environmental stewardship as an
     important means for achieving the environmental component of sustain-
     ability.

     NACEPT's March 2008 report, Everyone's Business: Working Towards Sustain-
     ability Through Environmental Stewardship and Collaboration, calls for EPA
     to become the world's premier environmental stewardship model and cata-
     lyst. The report defines environmental stewardship as "an ethic and prac-
     tice of shared responsibility for environmental quality" a key requirement
     for moving toward sustainability, the characteristic of natural and human
     systems that embodies "the possibility of flourishing forever."1

     -  We recommend that EPA invest in building the skills and competencies
        necessary for stewardship and drive the practice of environmental stew-
        ardship deep into the Agency's organizational culture. A wide variety of
        environmental stewardship strategies are available to address the Ad-
        ministration's goals for energy and the environment such as eliminating
        oil imports from the Middle East and Venezuela within ten years, creating
        millions of new green jobs, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80
        percent by 2050. Achieving these ambitious goals will require EPA and
        other agencies to use the full toolbox of strategies, not one or two tools.

   •  Emphasize that science and technology are cornerstones of the  EPA mis-
     sion elements for mitigating environmental degradation and identifying
     better choices that will lead to sustainability.

     -  Preserve the quality and integrity of the scientific work of the EPA.
1 This definition of sustainability comes from John Ehrenfeld (2008), Sustainability by Design, New Haven:
 Yale University Press.

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•  As a first step, publically recommit the Agency to being the Gold
   Standard for science on the environment and restate EPA's core
   function such that science and technology R&D are equal in im-
   portance to the Agency's role as principal environmental regulator.
   Quality environmental science will be informed by and contribute to
   the understanding of global environmental conditions, so EPA sci-
   ence and technology activities should strive for global contribution
   and recognition.
•  Establish clear guidelines to insure that scientific findings and reports
   are not influenced or changed within the Agency or elsewhere in the
   administrative branch in order to assure that environmental policy
   decisions are properly based on scientific information.

Continuously promote the development and recognition of environmen-
tal scientific and technical skills within the Agency.

•  Enhance and maintain the quality of the EPA work force by encour-
   aging unfettered presentation of their work and interaction with the
   scientific community, among other strategies.
•  Renew the commitment to keep the Agency on the leading edge of
   fast moving developments in science and technology by attracting
   new highly qualified staff and by providing training opportunities to
   new and existing staff.
•  Provide staffing levels throughout the Agency adequate to achieve
   the scientific and technical progress necessary to accomplish broad
   EPA objectives.

As recommended in the NACEPT reports on Environmental Technology,
support the more active roles that EPA can play in R&D and in support-
ing the commercialization of environmentally superior technologies.
EPA can be most effective not by trying to do everything on  its own but
rather by playing a lead role in developing ideas and then working in
partnership with others.

•  Within EPA, forge and sustain communications with the early-stage
   technology investment community; strengthen financial support
   (e.g.  loan guarantees, grants, revolving loan funds) and reduce reg-
   ulatory risks for new technology development during the commer-
   cialization process; streamline permitting for commercial scale-up
   of innovative new environmental technologies; and support better
   performance evaluation of new technologies. As an example of de-
   ployment support, a "Green Seal" program based on an expansion
   of the Energy Star program could be used to identify and encourage
   the development and marketing of greener products.
•  Explore possibilities for partnerships with other agencies on major
   projects, e.g. cooperation with the Department of Energy on an "Envi-
   ronmental Advanced Research Projects Agency" (EARPA), or coop-
   eration with the Small Business Administration on "Clean Tech Busi-
   ness Incubators."  Similarly, an "X-Prize for Green Technologies," could
   be established in partnership with the Department of Commerce with
   some elements of the Malcolm Bald ridge Prize to recognize the best
   examples of green technology incorporating some existing practices
   within the EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge.

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Continue to improve EPA's core regulatory functions.
-  Improve permitting, enforcement, and monitoring to focus more strategi-
   cally on the most important environmental issues and to foster environ-
   mental justice.
-  Streamline regulations to achieve more environmental protection with
   fewer bureaucratic obstacles.
-  Strengthen EPA's investment in and promotion of innovative regulatory
   strategies. Over the past decade, EPA has been promoting voluntary pro-
   grams and regulatory innovations implemented by industry and states.
   Several of these initiatives have achieved significant environmental
   results; however, very few, if any, have metamorphosed from incubation
   to mainstream practice within EPA. Expanding these initiatives would
   signify major strides in EPA's evolution from playing the role of cheerlead-
   er to being a starting player on the new field of challenges for which
   leadership is needed to realize positive  change. Examples of opportuni-
   ties to put this recommendation  into practice include:

   •   Applying the Environmental Results Program (ERP), used in 18 states
      and supported by the Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation, to
      an EPA core program such as Underground Storage Tank compliance;
   •   Applying the Kaizen approach (used by several states with EPA sup-
      port) within cumbersome EPA permitting programs such  as NPDES or
      RCRA; and
   •   Taking the mercury strategy (road map) from a nebulous document
      to real collaborative agreements on key mercury sectors.

Take a more holistic approach to environmental protection across all
media, recognizing that many of the challenges ahead are multi-media
or not even directly connected to the Agency's traditional environmental
media approaches.

-  Employ every means possible, from training to program design and
   budgetary incentives, to help the Agency achieve better integration and
   active collaboration between its programs and improve its ability to work
   in partnership with other federal  agencies and with states, tribes and
   other external stakeholders to understand problems and to develop and
   implement solutions.
-  Embrace climate change as an  opportunity to catalyze a new level of
   cross-Agency integration. In doing this, examine the model provided by
   the Agency's recent work on biofuels. In 2007 NACEPT recommended
   that EPA initiate an Agency-wide dialogue on its role in the national
   biofuels mission and develop an integrated, collaborative, multi-media
   biofuel strategy. Over 90 people from all parts of the Agency worked
   together to develop the Biofuels Strategic Plan.  The success  of that effort
   is not yet assured, since it is only  beginning to move into an implementa-
   tion phase, but it demonstrates the kind of cross-Agency integration that
   is possible with strong support from the  Administrator.

Make environmental foresight  or "futures analysis" a regular component
of EPA's business-as-usua! practices.

As the Science Advisory Board's Beyond The Horizon report and NACEPT's
The Environmental Future report both emphasize, better look-ahead capa-
bilities are essential for foreseeing potential uses and risks of emerging tech-

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      nologies and for identifying and responding to emerging problems early,
      before fhey become difficult and expensive to solve or have irreversible
      impacts. Better foresight is also critical for pursuing opportunities to influ-
      ence the development of emerging technologies in order to shape a green
      technological infrastructure with dramatically lower environmental impacts.

      -  Incorporate environmental foresight as a formal component of Agency
        strategic planning.
      -  Create an ongoing process  of scanning for emerging problems and
        opportunities that involves a Futures Network of people throughout the
        Agency; as appropriate, utilize modeling, scenarios, and other foresight
        methodologies.
      -  Provide a shared reporting framework, training activities, and other ap-
        propriate support for the work of this Network.
      -  Make regular use of Look-Out Panels to forecast environmental change,
        clarify its underlying causes, and identify risks and opportunities associated
        with emerging technologies.  Panels should include outside experts from
        industry, other government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and public
        and private research groups at the forefront of technological change.

Structure and Practices
In order to assure that EPA is best equipped and positioned to achieve its mission,
the Council recommends several potential steps to enhance the Agency's organi-
zational structure and internal functioning, including:

Organization
   •  Urge the President to work with Congress to make EPA a Cabinet-level
      agency so that its actions and statements will command more attention
      and response.
   •  Urge the President to work with Congress to draft broad organic legisla-
      tion outlining the evolving mission of the Environmental Protection Agency
      and giving it greater flexibility to deal with broad challenges such as cli-
      mate change, water resource sustainability, and ecosystem sustainability
      that will require the Agency to  use integrative approaches on a scale it
      has not yet undertaken. Consideration of EPA's mission should include an
      assessment and decision on its role  in providing  US leadership internation-
      ally relative to other federal agencies with overlapping mandates.

Partnerships
NACEPT's Everyone's Business report states  that EPA can best foster stewardship by
providing leadership in collaborative governance and partnerships. Through part-
nerships, EPA can access technical knowledge, financial resources, and the unique
perspectives of different stakeholders. Partnerships also offer the potential to increase
the legitimacy of EPA's actions. One of EPA's greatest contributions is to serve as a
convener and catalyst for partnerships. It can also leverage its limited resources by
joining partnerships initiated by others.  Specifically, NACEPT recommends that EPA:

   •  Work with governmental and private agencies and organizations to
      develop strategies that link national security, environmental quality, and
      economic growth. NACEPT's new report, Encouraging Regional Solutions
      to Sustaining Water Sector Utilities,  provides examples of this approach to
      developing strategies that simultaneously address multiple goals.

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   •  Work toward greater collaboration for specific cross-cutting environ-
     mental ends with other federal agencies, state and tribal organizations,
     industry, environmentalists, local communities, and international partners
     on both regulatory and voluntary programs. To do this, EPA will need to
     develop more clearly defined, collaborative relationships with other federal
     entities, with state and tribal governments, with the private sector, and with
     the international community,  and EPA will need to increase capacity for
     collaboration across media and organizational levels, both within EPA and
     with other federal and  state agencies. On a global level, EPA can contrib-
     ute much and learn much through collaboration with other nations on
     complex issues.  To achieve this, the Agency should identify clear strate-
     gies to work with the Department of State and other federal agencies to
     facilitate and encourage such international collaboration.
   •  Develop new, innovative and integrative ways of doing business such as
     collaborative problem solving (with states, tribes and stakeholders) and
     regulatory innovation to increase effectiveness and efficiency of environ-
     mental programs.

Environmental Information
The collection and management of environmental data and other relevant infor-
mation will continue to be a critical  element of the Agency's work going forward.
Equally important will be the way in  which EPA shares information, and commu-
nicates in general, with the wide range of governmental and non-governmental
stakeholders. NACEPT's Everyone's Business report emphasizes  EPAs key role in
providing information people need to understand the environmental impacts of
their and others' actions.  In this context, the Council offers the following recom-
mendations.

   •  Expand EPA's information and communication role.
     -  Continue to improve data  collection by making it more accurate and
        more current, taking full advantage of advanced sensor systems and
        other data collection technologies as they become available.
     -  More fully utilize and provide funding for the Agency's information
        management system, particularly the Central Data Exchange, to enable
        full functionality for electronic reporting, data sharing and web-based
        public information exchange across all EPA programs. Tools such as the
        Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), Environmental Compliance History On-Line
        (ECHO), and the Permit Compliance System (PCS) are necessary for
        evaluation of EPA policies and facility environmental performance.

   •  Provide staff support for reaching out more actively with educational
     initiatives aimed at small businesses, communities and individual citizens.
     -  These initiatives should all convey a positive vision of the opportunities
        ahead, such as the potential for creating a more competitive Green
        Economy with improved technologies, new opportunities for entrepre-
        neurship and growth, millions of new Green Collar jobs, better health,
        and dramatic improvements in environmental quality.
     -  Focus specific initiatives on helping businesses, communities and indi-
        viduals recognize their environmental impacts and encouraging the
        adoption of new technologies and behaviors to reduce those impacts.
     -  Create an environment of  openness and transparency using emerg-
        ing concepts such as enterprise social networking to enlist more public
        involvement in EPA's activities.

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   •  Take steps to position the Agency for improved measurement or estima-
         (modeling) of the      of             initiatives,
     In the past, much time has been spent on development of performance
     measures, among them: state grant review templates, Program Assessment
     Rating Tool (PART) reviews, and various Office of Management and Budget
     (OMB) assessments. These past efforts, while well intended, have consumed
     a great deal of time.  Some knowledgeable observers in and outside the
     Agency have questioned whether these types of reviews and assessments
     have contributed to improved results. NACEPT strongly recommends that
     EPAs new administrator:

     -  Quickly evaluate these prior measurement efforts, extract any use-
        ful measurement system(s) approaches, and quickly establish core
        standards for measuring (and explaining)  environmental progress.
        Accountability and transparency in public administration are essential,
        but measurement for results  should not channel scarce resources away
        from essential programs nor cripple innovative approaches to improving
        environmental quality. EPA should move quickly to set the bar for per-
        formance measurement against its agenda to expedite a shift in staff
        focus, areas of emphasis, and direction. Doing so will create a power-
        ful message that defines expected performance and measures results
        against the Administration's priorities.
     -  Integrate  more clearly the Agency's Report on the Environment with the
        Strategic Plan and  guidance and budget decisions of its national pro-
        gram managers.
     -  Develop an adaptive management capability that utilizes the full range
        of information gathered from real time sensing. Improve monitoring
        capabilities and practices, including widespread utilization of advanced
        sensor technologies, and data management so that EPA has the ca-
        pacity to understand what it needs to measure.
     -  Explore ways to take advantage of computational power for increased
        modeling and simulation efforts as substitutes in some situations for
        time-consuming environmental monitoring.

NACEPT believes that implementation of these recommendations would position
EPA to continue to build upon its past accomplishments and contributions to im-
provement of human health and the environment in the nation and throughout
the world. In part, the Agency's past successes have lead to deepened aware-
ness and understanding of the changing challenges that lie ahead. NACEPT
stands ready to work with EPA in providing perspective and  additional recommen-
dations as the Agency moves forward.

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Appendix A:  NACEP
Membership List
* Indicates Member of the Prospe
Dr. Paul Anastas
Director
Center for Green Chemistry and
Engineering
Yale University

Mr. Joel Bolstein
Partner
Environmental Law Practice Group
Fox Rothschild LLP

Mr. Jeffory Crane
Executive Director
Colorado Watershed Assembly

Dr. Richard Cruse
Director
Iowa Water Center
Agronomy Department
Iowa State University

Ms. Carolyn Green
Vice President
Health, Environment and Safety
Regulatory Affairs
Sunoco, Inc.

Mr. Robert Gruenig
Senior Policy Analyst
National Tribal Environmental Council

Mr. William Holmberg
Chairman
Biomass Coordinating Council
American Council on Renewable Energy

Mr. Stan Laskowski
Lecturer/Advisor
Masters of Environmental Studies Program
University of Pennsylvania
Mr. Clayton Matt
Department Head
Natural Resource Department
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Mr. William Mullican
Deputy Executive Administrator
Texas Water Development Board

* Ms. Jennifer Nash
Director of Policy and Programs
Product Stewardship Institute, Inc.

*Mr. Howard Neukrug
Director, Office of Watersheds
City of Philadelphia Water

*Ms.Arleen O'Donnell
Board of Directors
Massachusetts Environmental Trust

* Mr. Robert L.Olson
Workgroup Chair
Senior Fellow
Institute for Alternative Futures

Mr. Scott Sklar
President
The Stella Group, Ltd.

Dr. Bradley Smith
Dean
Huxley College of the Environment
Western Washington University

* Mr. Frank M.Stewart
President and Chief Operating Officer
American Association of Blacks in Energy

Mr. David Struhs
Vice President
Environmental Affairs
International Paper

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Executive Committee Member
1000 Friends of Florida

* Dr. Dan Watts
Research Professor
New Jersey Institute of Technology
University Heights
York Center for Environmental Engineering
and Science




NACEPT Chair, January 2006-January 2009
Partner
Vinson &  Elkins, LLP

Erik
NACEPT Interim Chair
Vice President
Sustainable Programs
The Conservation Fund


Ms,
Office of Cooperative Environmental
Management (OCEM)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
       (202) 564-0243
       altieri.sonia@epa.gov

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The Council would like to thank the members of the Prospective Workgroup, led by Bob
Olson, for completing this important report on an accelerated schedule. Former NACEPT
Chair John Howard and current Interim Chair Erik Meyers provided valuable assistance, as
did Workgroup members Jennifer Nash, Howard Neukrug, Arleen O'Donnell, Frank Stewart,
and Dan Watts.The Council and Workgroup also acknowledge the outstanding support they
receive from Rafael DeLeon.the Director of the Office of Cooperative Environmental Man-
agement (OCEM) and his staff, including Megan Moreau, Mark Joyce and especially the
Council's Designated Federal Officer (DFO), Sonia Altieri. In addition, the Council expresses
its appreciation to Bob  Kerr, of Pure Strategies, Inc., for his  contribution at a critical phase of
this report's development. Finally, we thank Andrew Schwarz, John Weiss, and Maggie Clary
of Industrial Economics, Inc. (lEc) for their invaluable technical assistance and management
support throughout the project, as well as lEc's subcontractor Eastern Research Group for
their report design and layout services.

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Appendix B:   C
Interviewee Responses
Theme 1: Key Trends and Issues (Questions 1 and 4)
Common responses (and the number of interviewees who offered the response)
include:
Climate change [14]
Quality of air, water, and land resources [9]
Management of chemicals in the environment [6]
Responses to technological development [4]
EPA's relationship with stakeholders [3]
Global economic development [6]
Population growth [4]
Rising demand for secure energy resources [2]
Additional responses addressing key trends and issues include:
   •  The shift away from petroleum use in energy production, plastics, and
     transportation.
   •  The development of an active market for carbon, resulting in renewable
     energy technologies becoming economically competitive.
   •  The environmental effects of the wide-scale deployment of renewables.
   •  The depletion of ocean resources such as fish and coral reefs.
   •  Plastics  in the oceans which come from US storm-water systems.
   •  Ocean acidification.
   •  Green chemistry.
   •  Habitat loss.
   •  The increasing burden on our nation's food supply and the environmental
     implications of agricultural expansion.
   •  The disruption of the nitrogen cycle leading to a significant  increase in ni-
     trogen emissions into the environment, from fertilizers and energy sources.
   •  Our nation's decaying infrastructure.
   •  Global instability due to religious and cultural divisions.
   •  Policy constraints.
   •  The permitting process as it relates to environmental justice issues.
   •  Recycling.
   •  Major economic institutions' recognition of the importance  of sustainability,
     and the corresponding flow of resources into this area.
   •  The need to develop sustainable communities that not only have a lower
     environmental impact, but that are also livable and affordable.
                               ©

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         2:
             2      5)
Common responses (and the number of interviewees who offered the response)
include:

Lack of financial resources [8]
Lack of staff resources [4]
Limitation imposed by the scope of EPA's mandate [3]
Political constraints [6]
Need for more strategic planning [4]
Need for more collaboration with states, tribes, and other agencies [7]
EPA is meeting its statutory obligations [2]
Limited imposed by EPA's conflicting roles of regulator and researcher [2]
Need to develop and maintain technical capacity to keep up with science [2]
EPA should be more active internationally [3]

Additional responses addressing EPA's current performance and capability in-
clude:

   •  EPA must focus on developing and maintaining core expertise in a limited
     number of areas.
   •  EPA often limits tribes' ability to implement their own programs.
   •  EPA is not responding well enough to current issues, as most programs are
     delegated to the states.
   •  The Agency should aid communities in standing up to pressure from indus-
     try.
   •  With regards to climate change, EPA has been missing in action. The
     Agency needs to pursue strategies of both mitigation and adaptation.
   •  EPA should look to increase  its efforts in design for the environment,  envi-
     ronmentally-friendly purchasing, and green chemistry initiatives.
   •  EPA scientists need the freedom to function, and science needs to be
     taken seriously.
   •  Turf issues within the Agency remain a significant barrier to good manage-
     ment.
   •  The Agency should be attentive to doing things on schedule.
   •  EPA is not sufficiently keeping pace with trends and issues.
   •  The Agency needs to look at problems in a broader context.
   •  EPA's role as a regulator in maintaining compliance with existing laws
     enforces the level playing field that is necessary for companies to compete
     fairly.
   •  EPA's role as a promoter of voluntary partnership programs allows compa-
     nies to receive credit and recognition for their environmental initiatives.

        3:                 to
             3, 6,       7)
Common responses (and the number of interviewees who offered the response)
include:

Work collaboratively with other Agencies [10]
Invest more in scientific research and development [4]
Increase use of advisory panels  and forums to seek stakeholder input [4]

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Improve communication with and information transfer to the public [4]
Change organizational structure to allow for more flexibility and collaboration [3]
Obtain the statutory authority to address climate change [4]
Put more thought into how the Agency shares responsibility with the states and
Regions [3]
Look at issues with a more broad-based, systematic approach [2]
Focus on pollution prevention [2]
Serve as a clearinghouse for best practices [2]
Attract employees who are the "best and brightest" [2]

Additional responses addressing opportunities for improved capabilities include:

   •   EPA should focus its attention on developing "flexible" expertise capable of
      responding to whatever challenges rise to the forefront.
   •   EPA should pick a few areas to specialize in, and work with other agencies
      which have developed expertise in other areas.
   •   EPA needs to take more creative steps without sacrificing responsibility.
   •   EPA should try to increase productivity with the same budget, possibly
      through increased modeling and simulation efforts.
   •   EPA should improve the communication and information transfer among
      its different sections and programs, as well as between the national, state,
      and local levels.
   •   EPA must deal with the interplay between the executive and legislative
      branches.
   •   EPA should implement better management strategies.
   •   The Agency needs a high-level strategy for accountability.
   •   EPA needs to provide alternate standards for the accountability of R&D
      programs.
   •   EPA should analyze the grant projects it funds and assess which projects
      provide the best returns.
   •   EPA should assess what partnerships best position the Agency to achieve
      its long-term goals.
   •   EPA should reconsider its conflict of interest rules, as they potentially pre-
      vent the most qualified and experienced individuals from participating in
      advisory forums.
   •   The strategic planning process is extremely important and it is necessary,
      going forward, to include tribal specific language in the Strategic Plan.
   •   EPA could engage economists to aid environmental justice communities.
   •   The permitting process needs to be looked at from a sector perspective, or
      through the consideration of ambient air and water quality.
   •   EPA could put more of a focus on what it could do to drive technology
      adoption into other sectors.
   •   EPA should promote healthy competition among companies to encourage
      environmental improvements.
   •   EPA needs to ask itself whether the budget could be structured to enable
      cross-functional initiatives without a massive reorganization.
   •   EPA could change its organizational structure to include an Administrator,
      Deputy Administrator of Regulation, and a Deputy Administrator of Sci-
      ence.

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   •   EPA's structure could be to detached from political cycles, for example
      with a six year term for the Adminstrator.
   •   Ten years from now, it would be nice to see the Agency at the Cabinet
      level.

        4;                                        6  end f)
Common responses (and the number of interviewees who  offered the response)
include:

Measurable improvements in ambient water and air conditions [7]
Increased  investment in technology [4]
Develop a reputation as a source of credible science [4]
Develop and maintain a qualified staff, including scientists [4]
Acquire the authority and set regulatory standards for GHG emissions [3]
Success for EPA can be defined as  the fulfillment of its mandate [3]

Additional responses addressing the definition and measures of success include:

   •   The provision of basic environmental and public health protection.
   •   Reduced impact of environmental issues on humans and ecosystems.
   •   Success for EPA would be having the agency on the cutting edge, making
      policies that address the issues we're facing.
   •   EPA  needs to get its house in order, chart a path forward, and pursue col-
      laboration aggressively.
   •   EPA  needs a broad range of success options across  the board, one of
      which should be institutional.
   •   Metrics and indicators oriented on the desired end state  of environmental
      improvement should be coupled with other quality of life metrics to show a
      balanced picture.
   •   Better and more comprehensive modeling.
   •   An increased level of strategic planning implemented by the Agency,
      including tribal-specific  language in all the goals.
   •   Progress in enhancing energy security.
   •   Decreased dependence on  foreign petroleum.
   •   Infrastructure improvements.
   •   Measure the health of coral reefs in U.S. territorial waters and make clear
      the connection between terrestrial activity and impacts on the reefs.
   •   The implementation of programs to address nutrient buildups in important
      areas such as the Mississippi basin and the Chesapeake Bay, and an ef-
      fective system for screening and controlling toxic chemicals.
   •   Fewer industrial facilities sited near environmental justice communities.
   •   A change in the public consciousness around the fact that human artifice
      could be a good thing instead of a bad thing.
   •   EPA should contribute to a significant increase in environmental literacy
      and consideration of environmental issues.
   •   EPA should set a good example by "living its mission" through the reduc-
      tion of its own waste streams and its environmental footprint.
   •   EPA should stand for hope for the children, as an agency that is leading
      the way to a clean, green future.

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NACEPT
Shaping the Nation's Environmental Policy

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                              NACEPT
                              Shaping the Nation's Environmental Policy
                             National Advisory Council for
                           Environmental Policy and Technology
March 16, 2009

Administrator Lisa Jackson
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460

       RE: NACEPT Report: Outlook for EPA

Dear Administrator Jackson:

The enclosed report, Outlook for EPA, from the National Advisory Council for Environmental
Policy and Technology (NACEPT) contains recommendations for significant changes in the
EPA's focus and operations. NACEPT was established as a federal advisory committee in 1988
to provide independent advice to the EPA Administrator on a broad range of environmental
policy, technology and management issues.  Administratively, it resides within EPA's Office of
Cooperative Environmental Management (OCEM).

Outlook for EPA is the result of an initiative by OCEM to mark NACEPT's 20th anniversary by
undertaking a broad review of the environmental issues and challenges that EPA will face over
the  next 10 years and the different approaches that have been proposed for how the Agency
could address those issues.  The report is based on three lines of effort: a review of previously
completed environmental "futures" or "foresight" studies done within the Agency and by other
organizations; structured interviews with 15 thought leaders from industry, academia, state and
tribal government, and non-governmental organizations; and the thinking of NACEPT members
as expressed in previous reports and current discussions1.

The recommendations  we are making to you are based on the remarkable degree of consensus
that emerged from both the review of environmental futures reports and the interviews. There is
near unanimous agreement on three "first tier" issues - climate change, water resource
sustainability, and ecosystem decline - that must be dealt with much more effectively in order to
prevent long-term catastrophic consequences on a global scale. There is also widespread
agreement on many "second tier" but still very important issues such  as food production, ocean
health, chemical and toxic substance pollution, air pollution, deforestation and desertification.

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These issues, we believe, make it imperative that EPA recognize that all of its environmental
priority areas, including climate change, biodiversity, toxics, and air quality, are interconnected.
They must be addressed in an integrated way rather than as isolated issues. Applying an
integrative approach will enable the Agency to identify important synergies that would allow for
accomplishing multiple goals simultaneously. Such an approach will also help the Agency
identify and avoid the unintended consequences of well-intentioned measures. Finally, we
believe a well integrated approach will clarify when trade-offs are necessary and would help the
Agency explain to the public and policymakers the reason for a particular decision. This
integrative model must be employed to complement the well-established reductionist approaches
in all aspects of EPA's programs to enable the Agency to move toward sustainability.

The message delivered by this commonality among environmental futures reports and expert
interviews is that the  emerging era of environmental protection is characterized by a set of big,
cross-cutting challenges that do not lend themselves to simple solutions or the Agency's
traditional environmental media approaches. Climate change exemplifies this new type of
challenge: it is a problem with many causes, dispersed effects, and a multitude of implications. In
addition,  climate change can magnify or further complicate other pre-existing challenges.
Despite the complex and difficult nature of issues like climate change, this state of affairs should
not be taken as discouraging. Instead, this new era of environmental challenge should be seen as
an opportunity to change the way in which current and future environmental issues are viewed,
enabling us to arrive at  solutions that are broad-based, collaborative, and increasingly creative.

The evolving nature of the challenges that EPA will likely face in the coming years strongly
suggests that the way the Agency fulfills its mission will also need to evolve. Historically, EPA
has demonstrated an ability to develop and implement creative solutions to new challenges that
go beyond the Agency's traditional pollution prevention and response role. For example, the
Energy Star program  has for many years been a particularly effective way for EPA to engage
with its federal partners (most notably the Department of Energy) as well as private sector
businesses and the general public to address the need for greater energy efficiency throughout
our economy. In short, EPA has been successful in its efforts to move forward on what are two,
occasionally converging tracks, one that focuses on the Agency's statutorily-mandated
regulatory responsibilities (the primary, or "core" track), and one that exists  outside the
regulatory construct and leverages EPA's expertise in order to "pre-empt"  degradation of
environmental quality. The question that EPA must now ask is whether, and if so how, those two
tracks must change in order to ensure future success.

If EPA were to defer  to others with respect  to the "big," multidimensional issues and were
instead to remain focused only on its core regulatory mission, change might  still be necessary,
but it would not need to be systemic. The kind of fine-tuning that would be characterized as good

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management practice would likely be sufficient. However, there is a broad consensus, articulated
in the future-oriented studies completed over the past several years and validated by the
interviews conducted for this effort, that EPA should in fact assume a larger, leadership role to
address the big challenges. Moreover, there is widespread agreement that assumption of this role
should not, and cannot, subtract from the Agency's fulfillment of its core mission.

Just as there is an extraordinary level of agreement across studies about what the next generation
of environmental challenges will be, so too is there striking agreement about the kind of
fundamental, systemic change that EPA should pursue as it rises to meet those challenges.
NACEPT strongly urges you to give serious consideration to the recommendations for systemic
change contained in this report. These changes do not require a large, disruptive process of
reorganization, but they do require strong leadership to expand the Agency's focus, encourage
improvements in the Agency's operations, and develop innovative strategies for collaborating
more effectively with other agencies and organizations. They require changes in the Agency's
organizational culture, including a willingness to share information and cooperate across the
traditional Agency "silos," greater concern for outreach and communication, and more attention
to identifying and responding to emerging problems early, before they become difficult and
expensive to solve.

The results of the survey of futures reports and the interviews with environmental thought
leaders are fully set out in Outlook for EPA, along with NACEPT's advice. Here we would like
to highlight for you the Council's recommendations, which are presented in greater detail in the
report.

1.   Clarify that EPA's mission addresses environmental stewardship as an important
    means for achieving the environmental component of sustainability. The Council
    recommends that EPA invest in  building the skills and competencies necessary for
    stewardship and drive the practice of environmental stewardship deep into the Agency's
    organizational culture.
2.   Emphasize that science and technology are cornerstones of the EPA mission elements
    for mitigating environmental degradation and identifying better choices that will lead
    to sustainability. The Council recommends that EPA preserve the integrity of its scientific
    work and promote the development and recognition of scientific and technical skills within
    the Agency so that (1) it is regarded as a global leader in the application of the highest quality
    science to address both national  and global environmental issues, and (2) it can take a more
    active role in the development and commercialization of environmentally superior
    technologies.
3.   Continue to improve EPA's core regulatory functions. The Council recommends that
    EPA improve permitting, enforcement, and monitoring to focus more strategically on the
    most important environmental issues and to foster environmental justice. EPA should also

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   streamline regulations to achieve more environmental protection with fewer bureaucratic
   obstacles, and strengthen the Agency's investment in and promotion of innovative regulatory
   strategies such as voluntary programs.
4.  Take a more holistic approach to environmental protection across all media. The
   Council recommends that EPA employ every means possible, from training to program
   design and budgetary incentives, to achieve better integration and active collaboration
   between its programs and improve its ability to work in partnership with other federal
   agencies and with states, tribes and other external stakeholders to understand problems and to
   develop and implement solutions.
5.  Make environmental foresight or "futures analysis" a regular component of EPA's
   business-as-usual practices. The Council recommends that EPA incorporate environmental
   foresight as a formal component of Agency strategic planning by creating a Futures Network
   to scan for emerging problems and opportunities, and regularly convening Look-Out Panels
   that include outside experts from industry, other government agencies, nonprofit
   organizations, and public and private research groups at the forefront of technological
   change.
6.  Urge the President to work with Congress to make EPA a Cabinet-level agency so that
   its actions and statements will command more attention and response.
7.  Urge the President to work with Congress to draft broad organic legislation outlining
   the evolving mission of the Environmental Protection Agency and giving it greater
   flexibility to deal with broad challenges such as climate change, water resource
   sustainability, and ecosystem sustainability that will require the Agency to use
   integrative approaches on a scale it has not yet undertaken.  Consideration of EPA's
   mission should include an assessment and decision on its role in providing US
   leadership internationally relative to other federal agencies with overlapping mandates.
8.  Work with governmental and private agencies and organizations to develop strategies
   that link national security, environmental quality, and economic growth.  The Council
   recommends that EPA utilize partnerships to access technical knowledge, financial resources,
   and the unique perspectives of different stakeholders.
9.  Develop new, innovative and integrative ways of doing business such as collaborative
   problem solving (with states, tribes and stakeholders) and regulatory innovation to
   increase effectiveness and efficiency of environmental programs.
10. Expand EPA's information and communication role, with emphasis on the collection
   and management of environmental data and other relevant information. EPA should
   also take steps  to improve the measurement or estimation (modeling) of the results of
   environmental  initiatives.

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11. Provide staff support for reaching out more actively with educational initiatives aimed
   at small businesses, communities and individual citizens. The Council recommends that
   EPA focus specific initiatives on helping businesses, communities and individuals recognize
   their environmental impacts and encouraging the adoption of new technologies and behaviors
   to reduce those impacts.
12. Take steps to position the Agency for improved measurement or estimation (modeling)
   of the results of environmental initiatives. The Council recommends that EPA quickly
   evaluate prior measurement efforts, extract any useful measurement system(s) approaches,
   and, quickly establish core standards for measuring (and explaining) environmental progress.

The Council looks forward to providing you and EPA's senior management with consensus-
based advice and recommendations on matters put before it for consideration. We commend the
Agency on its remarkable record of accomplishment and look forward to helping you shape it to
be even more effective. EPA provides a central point of focus for setting and achieving the
Nation's environmental quality and sustainability goals. The Council is excited about EPA's
prospects to create  significant, positive  change in this decade.

                                               Sincerely,

                                               //Signed//

                                               Erik J. Meyers
                                               NACEPT Chair

cc:     Robert  Olson, Workgroup Chair
       Scott Fulton, Acting Deputy Administrator
       Ray Spears, Deputy Chief of Staff
       Robert  Sussman, Senior Policy Counsel to the Administrator
       Robert  Goulding, Director of Operations
       Maryann Froehlich, Acting Chief Financial Officer
       Rafael DeLeon, Director, Office of
        Cooperative Environmental Management
       Sonia Altieri, NACEPT Designated Federal Officer
1 These recommendations draw in particular from the following NACEPT Reports: Encouraging Regional
Solutions to Sustaining Water Sector Utilities, March 2009; EPA and the Venture Capital Community:
Building Bridges to Commercialize Technology, NACEPT Subcommittee on Environmental Technology,
April 2008; Everyone's Business: Working Toward Sustainability Through Environmental Stewardship
and Collaboration, March 2008; EPA Technology Programs: Engaging the Marketplace, NACEPT

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Subcommittee on Environmental Technology, May 2007; The Environmental Future: Emerging
Challenges and Opportunities for EPA, September 2002.

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