State Innovation  Grant Program:  Delaware
                      Auto Body Certification Project (2003 Competition)
                        ie innovation urani rrogram 10 support
efforts led by state environmental agencies to test innovative approaches
for achieving better environmental results and improved efficiency in
permitting programs. Between 2002 and 2007, the State Innovation Grant
program competition awarded over six million dollars to support 35 state
projects that test permitting innovation for a variety of regulated entities
including several small business sectors. Asummary of the awards by year
appears in the table below.
    State Innovation Grant Program Statistics, 2002-2007
 Competition   Proposals  Proposals     Total Program
    Year      Submitted   Selected       Funding ($)
                                        $1.425 Million
                                        $1.479 Million
                                        $1.243 Million
                                        $1.611 Million
                                        $6.376 Million
"Innovation in Permitting" has been the theme of the State Innovation Grant
competition since its inception. In the last three competition cycles states
received awards for projects in the following three categories:
 The Environmental Results Program (ERP) is an innovative
  approach to improving environmental performance based on a system
  of the interlocking tools of compliance assistance, self-certification
  (sometimes, where permissible, in lieu of permitting), and
  statistically-based measurement to gauge the performance of an entire
  business sector. The program utilizes a multimedia approach to
  encourage small sources to achieve environmental compliance and
  pollution prevention. (See:
 Environmental Management System (EMS) is a system involving a
  continual cycle of planning, implementing, reviewing and improving the
  processes and actions that an organization undertakes to meet its
  business and environmental goals. EMSs provide organizations of all
  types with a structured system and approach for managing
  environmental and regulatory responsibilities to improve overall
  environmental performance and stewardship.
 Performance Track is a partnership that recognizes top
  environmental performance among participating US facilities of all types,
  sizes, and complexity, both public and private.
NCEI has provided awards also for projects testing watershed-based
permitting, and for permit process streamlining in past competitions. For
more information on the history of the programs, including information on
solicitations, state proposals, and project awards, please see the EPA State
Project  Background:
 In early 2003, the Delaware Department of Natural
 Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)
 received a State Innovation Grant to launch a
 voluntary Environmental Results Program (ERP).
 ERP combines compliance assistance, self-
 certification,  and statistically-based performance
 measurement through agency inspections to
 improve environmental compliance within a target
 sector.  DNREC focused its ERP on the auto body
 repair sector, which is comprised mainly of small-  to
 medium-sized businesses. Unlike the  larger
 corporate-owned chains, these smaller facilities
 usually do not have the resources to hire
 environmental consultants to  help them comply with
 environmental laws.  Since most facility operators  in
 Delaware were unaware of their environmental
 obligations and were operating without permits and/
 or illegally, the auto body sector presented an  ideal
 candidate for a small  business-focused ERP.

 DNREC's overall goal in implementing  this ERP was
 to improve environmental compliance among auto
 body repair shops, while at the same time increasing
 the cost-effectiveness of the state's regulatory
 program. A traditional approach to regulating this
 sector would  have required a large number of state
 inspectors to systematically visit every auto body
 repair shop and spend time educating each shop
 owner individually about the compliance
 requirements.  In contrast, the ERP allowed  a
 relatively small regulatory staff to supplement
 operator compliance self-certification with statistically-
 based sampling inspections.  As with all  ERP
 projects, DNREC's auto body sector program was
 designed to ensure the reliability of the self-
 certification program by providing information and
 education to all facilities through workshops and
 outreach materials.
                          NATIONAL CENTER FOR
                          ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION

 Since DNREC's ERP is a voluntary program, the
 agency developed a  number of incentives to
 encourage auto body shops to participate, including: a
 simplified air permit application specific to the auto
 body sector, a waived permit application fee, an
 amnesty period for shops in non-compliance but
 participating in the program, and free technical
 assistance and pollution prevention audits.  These
 incentives, along with focused outreach and
 compliance assistance for  auto body shops, helped
 achieve a 68 percent participation rate in this voluntary
 program within this sector.

Project  Description
 DNREC's ERP initiative included several components.
 First, DNREC established baseline compliance rates
 by inspecting a statistically-based sampling of auto
 body shops to determine their compliance with
 environmental  requirements.  DNREC inspectors also
 gathered information  about other business practices,
 such as adoption of pollution prevention measures that
 provide an indication  of the shops' overall
 environmental  performance.

 Next, DNREC conducted a series of educational
 workshops to inform shops about environmental
 compliance requirements and  voluntary best
 management practices that reduce the environmental
 impact of auto body repair shops. In addition, DNREC
 developed a workbook and other materials explaining
 all applicable environmental requirements for the auto
 body sector in plain language.

 DNREC also provided shop owners and operators with
 self-certification forms that presented a series of plain-
 language questions designed to  help them determine
 if they  were in compliance with the applicable
 environmental  requirements.  If the owners/operators
 determined they were out of compliance, they were
 expected to fix the problem(s) as soon as possible.

 Following this education, outreach, and self-certification
 process, DNREC conducted follow-up inspections on
 another random sample of facilities to assess the
 extent  to which the program had improved compliance
 and environmental performance.
 To measure the program's success, DNREC
 established indicators of environmental compliance
 and performance, collectively termed Environmental
 Business Practice Indicators (EBPIs). DNREC
 measured changes in the EBPIs between the baseline
 and follow-up inspections to assess the impact of the
 ERP.  DNREC reported positive results from their pilot
 ERP program, including significant increases in
 compliance and voluntary adoption of best
 management practices (see Table 1).
Table 1
Environmental Issue
Air pollution control
Water pollution requirements
Hazardous waste management
Shops undertaking voluntary
pollution prevention best
management practices
Average %
Improvement in EBPIs
 In addition, the program also helped DNREC improve
 its ability to monitor ongoing environmental progress
 through permits.  For example, of the auto body shops
 that participated in the ERP, 87 percent submitted an
 application for an air pollution permit - a requirement
 that most shops did not know about prior to the ERP.
 Overall, DNREC found ERP to be a success, and the
 state began a second-round of facility self-certifications
 in summer of  2007.

Connection to EPA's  Goals

 This program directly supports EPA's Strategic Goal
 #5, focused on compliance and environmental
 stewardship, by promoting an innovative approach to
 improve compliance and pollution prevention.  The
 project also supports EPA's Strategic Goal #1, to
 protect and improve the air, Goal #3, land preservation
 and restoration through improved waste management,
 as well as EPA's Cross-Goal Strategy of promoting
 innovation and collaboration with states.

 Project Contacts:
  For more specific information on the
  Delaware State Innovation Grant, please
  contact one of the individuals below:

  Kimberly Chesser
  Delaware Department of Natural Resources and
  Environmental Control
  Dover, DE

  David  Byro
  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency- Regions
  Philadelphia, PA

  Scott Bowles
  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  Washington, DC
               Program  Contact:
                Sherri Walker
                State Innovation Grant Program
                U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                Washington, DC 20460 (MC1807T)
                (202)-566-2186; FAX (202) 566-2220
United States
Environmental Protection
Office of Policy,
Economics and Innovation
   February 2008