United States
                        Environmental Protection
                               Office of the
                               [Mail Code 1802]
XL  Project for  Labs21
September 2000
 LABS 21
Project XL, which stands for "excellence and Leadership," is a national initiative that
tests innovative ways of achieving better and more cost-effective public health and
environmental protection. The information and lessons learned from Project XL are
being used to assist the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in redesigning
its current regulatory and policy-setting approaches. Project XL encourages testing of
cleaner, cheaper, and smarter ways to attain environmental results superior to those
achieved under current  regulations and policies, in conjunction with greater
accountability to stakeholders. It is vital that each project tests new ideas with the
potential for wide application and broad  environmental benefits. As of September
2000, twenty-nine pilot experiments are being implemented and over twenty additional
projects are in various stages of development.

Working together, EPA  and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are developing a
voluntary initiative, Laboratories for the 21" Century (Labs21). to improve the
environmental performance  of the nation's laboratories. The goal of Labs21 is to
improve laboratory energy and water efficiency, encourage the use of renewable
energy sources, and promote environmental stewardship in U.S. laboratories. This
initiative evolved out of EPA's recent efforts to improve the environmental performance
of its own laboratories.

Through the XL Project  for Labs21 Partners,  EPA will offer the possibility of regulatory
and-administrative flexibility for laboratories that want to improve their environmental
performance even further. In the first stage of this project, EPA will work internally and
with laboratories to synchronize Labs21  and XL application and review processes.
During the second stage, EPA will develop and issue case-specific agreements for
testing innovative ways  to maximize environmental performance at laboratories.
These agreements may grant specific regulatory or administrative flexibility. This XL
project, EPA's 31st, was signed on September 7, 2000.

By applying the Labs21  approach at its own facilities, EPA has realized a number of
environmental  benefits:
      Through modifications to EPA's National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory
      (NVFEL) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, annual electricity demand will be reduced by
      68 percent, energy use per gross-square-foot by 66 percent, and annual water
      consumption by 80 percent.

      Upgrades at EPA's laboratory in Ada, Oklahoma, will reduce energy
      consumption in excess of 60 percent-about 1.7 million kilowatt hours  per year.

      Installation of a one megawatt solid oxide fuel cell at EPA's Fort Meade,
      Maryland, Environmental Science  Center is expected to achieve an electrical
      efficiency of 58 percent and annual reductions of 4,100 tons of carbon dioxide,
      100,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 41,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide per
      megawatt of generated electricity.

Offering the possibility of exploring environmental innovations through Project XL may
make it possible for Labs21 Partners to realize and even improve upon these
environmental  results
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                        Specific flexibilities will be analyzed and granted, if appropriate, in the second stage of
                        the project in order to facilitate environmental performance at laboratories as part of
                        case-specific  agreements.
EPA has identified an initial set of stakeholders who will actively contribute to the
continued development of the XL Project for Labs21 Partners. These stakeholders to
date have assisted EPA in identifying possible general areas for regulatory flexibility
for laboratories and in structuring EPA's partner recruitment efforts. As the  Labs21
initiative moves forward and EPA negotiates case-specific agreements through Project
XL, the existing process for stakeholder involvement will ensure that the laboratory
community and stakeholders are kept informed and that their input is solicited in
regard to any flexibility.
How can flexibility under environmental regulations and policies help promote
environmental performance at laboratories in the United States?
EPA Headquarters:
Phil Wirdzek
Nina Bonnelycke
(202) 564-2094
(202)  260.3344
More information about the XL Project for Labs21 Partners, or the Project XL Program,
is available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/proiectxl under "Information on
Specific XL Projects," or via Project XL's Information Line at
(202) 260-5754.
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