United States
                        Environmental Protection
                                Office of the
                                [Mail Code 1807]
March 2001
                        Project XL:
                        New Jersey  Gold Track
                                                      ECONOM CS
                                                      INNOVAT ON
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 smarterways 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 March 2001,
over 50 pilot experiments are being implemented.

In the mid-1990's, the State of New Jersey began to focus on developing and
implementing creative ideas that would help the State achieve more efficient  and
effective environmental performance. As part of their strategy, the New Jersey
Department of Environment (NJDEP) launched the Silver Track program, a two-tiered
system that provides recognition to participating companies who commit to a certain
level of environmental enhancement. The Gold Track Program, being piloted under
Project XL, expands upon these environmental commitments by offering greater
recognition and  multimedia regulatory flexibility to Gold Track participants who commit
to achieve and maintain a high level of environmental performance.

The third and highest tier of this State-run program, Gold Track represents the highest
degree of commitment by participating companies and additbnal incentives offered by
the NJDEP. One of the goals of Gold Track is to achieve reductions in releases of air
pollutants and hazardous waste by providing incentives for participants to go beyond
baseline compliance. For example,  in the area of air pollution, one way of
implementing this goalwould be to establish emission caps forcriteria and hazardous
air pollutants, and to require  participants to  commit to further emissbn reductions over
time. Acceptance into the Gold track Program signifies a commitment by the NJDEP
and the participants to demonstrable, measurable, improved environmental
performance, coupled with an appropriate level of monitoring, reporting, and oversight
by the NJDEP.

The Gold Track Program is also being used as a model for the USEPAs National
Performance Track Program.

As described in the Final Project Agreement, the Gold Track pilotwill be limited to no
more than 9 facilities, who must pass a rigorous screening and application process.
Upon acceptance into the Gold Track Program, NJDEP will enter into a covenant
agreement with  each participating facility that will detail all aspects of Gold Track
participation, monitoring, and reporting. Facility covenant terms and performance
stan dard s will b e ma de en force able t hrou gh a c omb inatio n of fe dera I and s tate ru le
changes, as well as changes to individual facility permits. Facilities participating
                        in Gold T rack m ust com mit to:

             Extensive community outreach ;
             A demonstrated Environmental Management System ;
             Procure advanced technology/ alternative fuel vehicles whenever
             replacements are warranted;
             Procure cleanerenergy by selecting electricity suppliers  that ensure a
             beneficial impact on New Jersey s air quality;
             Green House Gas reductions of a minimum of 3.5% below 1990
             baseline levels  by the year2005, and
             Declining facility-wide air emissions caps.

Gold Track will offer the greatest operational/regulatory flexibilities and require the
greatest environmental commitments from participants in the NJDEP s Gold track
Program. The  regulatory flexibilities proposed under Go Id Track include:

             The establishment of facility-wide air emissions caps for  a1 5-year time
             frame, with a 5% downward readjustment of the caps every 5 years;
             The ability of participating facilities to apply to NJDEP for an exemption
             from the definition of solid waste for materials destined for recycling,
             The extension of the 90-day accumulation time limit to 180 days for
             generators that accumulate hazardous waste.

Several organizations participated in a stakeholder group with  New Jersey DEP and
EPA to develop the Final Project Agreement and media-specific addenda.  Meetings
were advertised, open to the public, and conducted approximately every two weeks for
several months. In addition, program applicants are required to have an advanced
community outreach program in place prior to acceptance into Gold Track.

     Can a state produce superior environmental performance by providing
     multimedia regulatory  incentives for good performers; and requiring investment
     of resources in alternative, non-regulatory environmental improvement activities?
Regional Contact:
State Contact:
Aleksandra Dobkowski-Joy
Chad Carbone
Jeanne Mroczko
                        More informatbn about Project XL is available on the Internet at
                        http://www.epa.gov/ProjectXL, or via Project XL s Information Line at