r/EPA
FISCAL YEAR 2014 CONFERENCE SPENDING REPORT




        January 31, 2015
                          EPA-190-R-15-002

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                                                    EPA Fiscal Year 2014 Conference Spending Report


Table of Contents



A. Background	3

B. Activities and Internal Controls Undertaken by the EPA	3

C. Overall size and scope of conference spending throughout the year	4

D. "Conferences" above $100,000	4

   2013 National Executive Leadership Development Conference	4

   Science Advisory Board Panel Meeting on Water Body Connectivity	4

   11th Annual EPA Small Drinking Water Systems Workshop	5

   2014 National Sustainable Design Expo and P3 Awards Ceremony	5

   2014 Energy  Star Partner of the Year Awards Ceremony	5

   National Training Conference on the Toxics Release Inventory and Environmental Conditions in
   Communities	6
   Air Sensors 2014: A New Frontier	

   Potentially Responsible Party National Training Conference	6

   National Association of Remedial Project Managers	7

   Science Advisory Board and Board of Scientific Counselors Strategic Research Action Plan
   Meeting	7

   National Conference on Mine-Influenced Waters and Pit Lakes (Hardrock Mining)	

   National Ambient Air Monitoring Conference	

   National Contaminants Forum in Fish	

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                                                       EPA Fiscal Year 2014 Conference Spending Report
A. Background
Building on the Administration's efforts to eliminate wasteful and inefficient spending, the Office of
Management and Budget issued Memorandum-12-12, "Promoting Efficient Spending to Support Agency
Operations," in May 2012, which established additional controls over conference spending.1 This
memorandum included a requirement for reporting of conference expenses on each agency's website
starting January 31,2013.

This report provides information on conference expenses in excess of $100,000 during the fiscal year.2 In
this report, the agency provides a description of all conferences where the net expenses for the agency, in
excess of $100,000 includes:

            the total conference expenses incurred by the agency for the conference;
            the location of the conference;
            the date of the conference;
            a brief explanation how the conference advanced the mission of the agency; and
            the total number of individuals whose travel expenses or other conference expenses were
             paid by the agency.

In addition, this report provides information  on the EPA's overall conference activities throughout the
year, efforts taken to reduce conference spending, and the controls the agency has enacted to ensure
conference spending is reviewed and approved at an appropriate management level.

Section 3003 of the FY 2013  Continuing Resolution (CR), P.L.  113-6, lowered the reporting threshold on
conference spending to $20,000 and included language with new requirements for conference spending.
For conferences occurring April 15, 2013 and after, Agencies are required to notify their Inspector
General of any conference exceeding $20,000 within 15 days from the conclusion date of the conference
for any conference taking place in FY 2013 and beyond.

B. Activities and Internal Controls Undertaken by the EPA

    1.   The EPA requires Assistant Administrator or Regional Administrator approval of all conference-
        related activities above $20,000. The approval must be completed prior to obligating any funds
        for a conference-related activity requiring resources above $20,000.
1 "Conference expenses" are defined in OMB M-12-12 as "all direct and indirect conference costs paid by the
Government, whether paid directly by agencies or reimbursed by agencies to travelers or others associated with the
conference, but do not include funds paid under Federal grants to grantees. Conference expenses include any
associated authorized travel and per diem expenses, hire of rooms for official business, audiovisual use, light
refreshments, registration fees, ground transportation, and other expenses as defined by the [Federal Travel
Regulations]. All outlays for conference preparation and planning should be included, but the Federal employee time
for conference preparation should not be included. Conference expenses should be net of any fees or revenue
received by the agency through the conference and should not include costs to ensure the safety of attending
governmental officials."

2  The EPA uses the same definition provided in OMB M-12-12: a "conference" is defined as " [a] meeting, retreat,
seminar, symposium or event that involves attendee travel. The term 'conference' also applies to training activities
that are considered to be conferences under 5 CFR 410.404."

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                                                    EPA Fiscal Year 2014 Conference Spending Report
    2.  The EPA's Office of the Chief Financial Officer made a review of conference-related activities
       part of the annual A-123 review beginning in FY 2012. The FY 2014 review did not uncover any
       non-compliance with newly implemented approval processes.

    3.  The EPA requires Senior Resource Officials or their designee to report conferences for their
       organization with net expenses greater than $20,000 to the OIG within 15 calendar days of the
       conference conclusion date. This information will include the: name of the conference,
       conference location, conference date(s), and number of agency employees that attended.

    4.  For conferences with net expenses greater than $100,000, EPA organizations must track and
       report the methodology to determine which costs relate to a conference and provide a description
       of the contracting procedures used.

    5.  The EPA is utilizing video conferencing in lieu of in person meetings to conserve resources. If in
       person meetings are required, all EPA organizations are required to attest that no adequate federal
       space was available prior to obligating federal funds for meeting space.

C. Overall  size and scope of conference spending throughout the year

During FY  2014, the EPA spent $2,455,508 for 13 "conferences" above $100,000. Below is a complete
listing of conference-related activities above $100,000.

D. "Conferences" above $100,000

1.   2013 National Executive Leadership Development Conference
       Date:                                       12/3/2013-12/4/2013
       Location:                                  Washington, DC
       Cost:                                      $296,340
       Total Attendees:                            311
       Individuals traveling on agency funds:         118 EPA travelers
       How the conference advances the agency mission: The National Executive Leadership
       Development Conference  is an annual meeting for the EPA's senior leaders to hear from the
       EPA's Administrator, obtain leadership training, and provides an opportunity to network. The
       NELDC also provides  an opportunity for the EPA senior leaders to discuss building strengthened
       relationships, seeking out  diverse views and tools to provide integrated solutions, and aligning
       understandings of problems to provide synchronized efforts to implement solutions.

2.   Science Advisory Board (SAB) Panel Meeting on Water Body Connectivity
       Date:                                       12/16/2013-12/18/2013
       Location:                                  Washington, DC
       Cost:                                      $101,103
       Total Atten dees:                            210
       Individuals traveling on agency funds:        32 (30 EPA travelers, 2 non-EPA travelers)
       How the conference advances the agency mission: This conference is held by the Science
       Advisory Board (SAB), which is a Federal Advisory Committee established pursuant to the
       Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Act and chartered under the Federal
       Advisory Committee Act. The SAB provides independent advice and peer review to the EPA
       Administrator on the scientific and technical aspects of environmental issues. The EPA's  Office
       of Research and Development has requested that the SAB conduct a peer review on a draft of the
       EPA report, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and

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                                                    EPA Fiscal Year 2014 Conference Spending Report
       Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence (September 13, 2013 External Review Draft, EPA/600/R-
       11/0908B). Due to the complexity of this review, it was necessary for the SAB panel to hold this
       meeting to discuss and deliberate their comments as required under the Federal Advisory
       Committee Act (FACA).

3.   11th Annual EPA Small Drinking Water Systems Workshop
       Date:                                      3/20/2014
       Location:                                  Cincinnati, OH
       Cost:                                      $108,252
       Total Attendees:                            225
       Individuals traveling on agency funds:        1 EPA traveler
       How the conference advances the agency mission: In 2001, the EPA announced an initiative for
       additional research and development for cost-effective technologies to help small systems meet
       the new arsenic standard set at 0.010 mg/L and to provide technical assistance to operators of
       small systems to reduce compliance costs. As a result of this initiative, the EPA's Office of
       Research and Development began a series of yearly workshops to assist operators of small
       community water systems and states to comply with the new standard. As a result, this
       conference has become invaluable in disseminating the EPA's research to state primacy agency
       personnel responsible for drinking water regulations compliance and treatment. Attendees are
       able to build strong working relationships which allow the EPA and stakeholders from across the
       Nation to deliver safer drinking  water. Through this workshop, the EPA gains a better
       understanding of regulatory and compliance challenges that  states face, and the states benefit
       from the in-depth training and updated information the EPA provides.

4.   2014 National Sustainable Design  Expo and P3 Awards Ceremony
       Date:                                      4/25/2014
       Location:                                  Washington, DC
       Cost:                                      $379,568
       Total Attendees:                            Approximately 5,000 (public expo)
       Individuals traveling on agency funds:        8 non-EPA travelers
       How the conference advances the agency mission: The EPA's People, Prosperity & the Planet
       (P3) Program is designed to develop the next generation of environmental scientists and
       engineers. The National Sustainable Design Expo is a public showcase of the designs of the P3
       teams which have competitively received a P3 Phase 1 grant coupled with a public expo
       highlighting sustainable technologies and initiatives from the non-profit, public, and private
       sectors. The annual National Sustainable Design Expo promotes the agency's mission of
       developing a world-class science base in the United States for environmental and public health
       issues and is sponsored by the agency's  Office of Research and Development and the National
       Center for Environmental  Research.

5.   2014 Energy Star Partner of the Year Awards Ceremony
       Date:                                      4/29/2014
       Location:                                  Washington, DC
       Cost:                                      $163,614
       Total Attendees:                            833
       Individuals traveling on agency funds:        1 non-EPA traveler
       How the conference advances the agency mission: This is a large showcase event for the
       ENERGY STAR program and its partners.  This conference  advances the mission of the EPA to
       protect the environment by encouraging innovation by honoring private industry partners who
       have gone above and beyond their commitment to protecting the environment through energy

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                                                     EPA Fiscal Year 2014 Conference Spending Report
        efficiency.  Approximately 800 (out of more than 20K total) partners come together to network
        and learn from each other about more ways to improve energy efficiency, learn more about
        ENERGY STAR, and highlight the achievements of the past year.  Held since 1993, the annual
        awards ceremony is a major highlight for many partners, who strive to increase their participation
        in the program year after year with the hope of receiving this recognition.

 6.   National Training conference on the Toxics Release Inventory  and Environmental Conditions
     in Communities
        Date:                                       5/7/2014-5/9/2014
        Location:                                   Arlington, VA
        Cost:                                       $164,764
        Total Attendees:                             314
        Individuals traveling on agency funds:         20 EPA travelers
        How the conference advances the agency mission: Over 20 years ago, the EPA implemented a
        flagship community right-to-know regulatory program - the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI)
        Program. The goal of this program is to provide communities with information about toxic
        chemical releases and waste management activities. Since implementation, the TRI program has
        been tracking the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health
        and the environment. The National Training on TRI and Environmental Conditions in
        Communities conference augments existing online training provided throughout the year and
        fosters the exchange of information between the EPA, localities, states, tribes, federal agencies,
        industry stakeholders, community groups, researchers, and non-governmental organizations.

 7.   Air Sensors 2014: A New Frontier Conference
        Date:                                       6/9/2014-6/10/2014
        Location:                                   Research Triangle Park, NC
        Cost:                                       $114,688
        Total Attendees:                             291
        Individuals traveling on agency funds:         26 (23 EPA travelers, 3 non-EPA travelers)
        How the conference advances the agency mission: The 2014  Air Sensors: A New Frontier
        Conference addressed the opportunities and challenges associated with the next generation of air
        quality monitoring technology and data. This conference brings together a wide range of
        stakeholders to discus, share, and communicate air sensor monitoring topics in direct support of
        meeting the EPA challenges by: making a visible difference in communities across the country by
        actively engaging community representatives, addressing climate change and improving air
        quality, launching a new era of state, tribal, and local  partnerships by engaging stakeholders, and
        allows the EPA to take advantage of new tools and technologies to embrace next generation tools
        and processes.

8.    Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) National Training Conference
        Date:                                       6/9/2014-6/13/2014
        Location:                                   Denver, CO
        Cost:                                       $108,663
        Total Atten dees:                             116
        Individuals traveling on agency funds:         49 EPA travelers
        How the conference advances the agency mission: The PRP National Training  Conference is a
        national training conference conducted by the EPA's  Office of Site Remediation Enforcement.
        This training discusses potentially responsible party search topics, and is held in response to
        request from the EPA Regional offices and state counterparts. Identifying liable and viable

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                                                     EPA Fiscal Year 2014 Conference Spending Report
        potentially responsible parties is critical to the Superfund Program's Enforcement First principle
        that polluters pay for the cleanup rather than the taxpayer.

9.    National Association of Remedial Project Managers
        Date:                                       6/16/2014- 6/20/2014
        Location:                                   Atlanta, GA
        Cost:                                       $407,229
        Total Attendees:                             439
        Individuals traveling on agency funds:         239 EPA travelers
        How the conference advances the agency mission: The National Association of Remedial
        Project Managers (NARPM) conference provides annual training for Superfund Remedial Project
        managers on key skills that support their ability to manage complex environmental cleanups,
        including the dynamic nature of the technologies, policies, and issues surrounding cleanups, to
        protect human health and the environment. The training provided at the NARPM conference also
        fulfills the EPA's statutory responsibility for technology transfer and training, as well as the
        requirements under the National Contingency Plan to train Remedial Project Managers, and
        fulfills certification and training requirements, such as training to maintain Contracting Officer
        Representative certification.

10.  Science Advisory Board and Board of Scientific Counselors Strategic Research Action Plan
     Meeting
        Date:                                       7/24/2014-7/25/2014
        Location:                                   Washington, DC
        Cost:                                       $110,825
        Total Attendees:                             163
        Individuals traveling on agency funds:         78 (76 EPA travelers, 2 non-EPA travelers)
        How the conference advances the agency mission: The Science Advisory Board (SAB) is a
        Federal Advisory Committee established pursuant to the Environmental Research, Development,
        and Demonstration Act and chartered under the Federal Advisory Act Committee. The  SAB
        provides independent advice and peer review to the EPA Administrator on the scientific and
        technical aspects of environmental issues. The EPA's Office of Research and Development
        (ORD) requested the SAB to hold a joint public meeting with ORD's Board of Scientific
        Counselors (BOSC) to provide advice to guide the development of six Strategic Action Plans for
        ORD's six major research programs for 2016-2019. A joint SAB and BOSC meeting provides
        BOSC with the benefit of SAB's strategic thinking, allows the SAB to better understand ORD's
        operational challenges and the BOSC perspective, gives  ORD advice on shaping new directions
        for the six research programs, and addresses questions of integration across all ORD programs.

11.  National Conference on Mine-Influenced Waters and Pit Lakes (Hardrock Mining)
        Date:                                       8/12/2014-8/14/2014
        Location:                                   Albuquerque, NM
        Cost:                                       $106,280
        Total Attendees:                             269
        Individuals traveling on agency funds:         5 EPA travelers
        How the conference advances the agency mission: The National Conference on Mine-
        Influenced Waters and Pit Lakes provided a forum for the exchange of scientific information on
        current approaches for assessing the characterization, monitoring, treatment and/or remediation
        impacts on aquatics ecosystems, including pit lakes from mining-related contamination in the
        Western United States. The information exchange serves to improve monitoring approaches that
        quantify ecological condition and assessment techniques to establishing causality among multiple

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                                                     EPA Fiscal Year 2014 Conference Spending Report
        stressors. The information provided through this forum will also create a stronger foundation for
        risk-reduction and habitat restoration decisions by improving the means of identifying and
        prioritizing aquatic ecosystems impacted by mining and establishing ecologically-credible
        cleanup goals.

12. National Ambient Air Monitoring Conference
       Date:                                       8/11/2014-8/14/2014
       Location:                                   Atlanta, GA
       Cost:                                       $118,428
       Total Attendees:                             595
       Individuals traveling on agency funds:        81 (79 EPA travelers, 2 non-EPA travelers)
       How the conference advances the agency mission: The National Ambient Air Monitoring
        Conference provides a forum for the EPA, state, local, tribal, international, and other federal
        agencies to discuss implementing criteria and hazardous air pollutant monitoring programs.
        Attendees also discuss changes to monitoring networks as a result of revisions to the national
        Ambient Air Quality Standards and ambient air monitoring regulations, and are given the
        opportunity to share and discuss information learned as a result of data analyses.  This conference
        also provides training on the Air Quality System (AQS), the EPA's repository for all ambient air
        monitoring data collected across the nation.

 13. National Contaminants Forum  in Fish
       Date:                                       9/22/2014 - 9/24/2014
       Location:                                   Arlington, VA
       Cost:                                       $333,838
       Total Attendees:                             201
       Individuals traveling on agency funds:        84 (6 EPA travelers, 78 non-EPA travelers)
       How the conference advances the agency mission: The National Contaminants Forum in Fish is
        a national forum hosted by the EPA every two to three years, and demonstrates the EPA's support
        and commitment to the fish advisory community. This forum provides the opportunity for the
        dissemination of relevant science, health policy, and public health advice to the fish advisory
        community. Through this forum, the EPA is able to promote national consistency among state
        fish advisory programs, help build and maintain relationships between the EPA and state fish
        advisory programs, and provide a platform for state programs to meet on a regional basis to
        discuss issues such as approaches to advisory development on shared waters.

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