Catalyst for Improving the Environment
Evaluation Report
Performance Track Could
Improve Program Design and
Management to Ensure Value
Report No. 2007-P-00013
March 29, 2007

Report Contributors:
Jerri Dorsey
Gabrielle Fekete
Elizabeth Grossman
Jeffrey Harris
Kathlene Butler Martini
Annual Performance Goal
Annual Performance Report
Clean Air Act
Compliance Ratio
Clean Water Act
Enforcement and Compliance History Online
Environmental Management System
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Full Time Equivalent
Government Performance and Results Act
Maximum Achievable Control Technology
Million Metric British Thermal Units
North American Industrial Classification System
Notice of Violation
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Office of the Inspector General
Office of Management and Budget
Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation
Online Tracking Information System
Program Assessment Rating Tool
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
Significant Noncompliance
Significant Violation
Toxics Release Inventory
Volatile Organic Compound

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s 	U.S. Environmental Protection Agency	2007-P-00013
March 29, 2007
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Office of Inspector General
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At a Glance
Why We Did This Review
We initiated this review to
evaluate how the U.S.
Environmental Protection
Agency's (EPA's) National
Environmental Performance
Track program (Performance
Track) achieves EPA goals.
We specifically sought to
determine how Performance
Track contributes to achieving
environmental goals, how well
it recognizes and encourages
environmental leadership, and
how the program tracks
member performance.
Performance Track is a public-
private partnership that
encourages member facilities
to improve the environment
through using environmental
management systems, local
public outreach, and public
reporting for results. EPA
designed Performance Track
to recognize and encourage
facilities that demonstrate
strong environmental
performance beyond current
For further information,
contact our Office of
Congressional and Public
Liaison at (202) 566-2391.
To view the full report,
click on the following link:
Catalyst for Improving the Environment
Performance Track Could Improve Program
Design and Management to Ensure Value
What We Found
We found that Performance Track did not have clear plans that connected
activities with its goals, and did not have performance measures that show if it
achieves anticipated results. The program tied an EPA goal to member
commitments, and did not meet the goal because members did not make sufficient
progress toward their commitments. These implementation challenges detracted
from EPA's anticipated results (only 2 of 30 sampled Performance Track members
met all of their environmental improvement commitments). In addition, members
did not have access to some program benefits.
In assessing members' leadership using independent criteria, we found that most
Performance Track members' compliance and toxic release records were better
than average, but some were not. Although most members showed leadership and
environmental progress, the presence of underperforming facilities in this
leadership program reduces the integrity and value of the brand.
What We Recommend
We recommend that EPA design a comprehensive strategic plan to connect
activities with goals and to encourage staff and management to focus on program
goals and member commitments. We recommend that the program measure and
report on performance related to activities and goals. EPA should also maintain
centralized databases for compliance screening and program member information
so that it can readily demonstrate that members meet program criteria. We
recommend that EPA encourage member facilities to set and achieve
commitments so that the public has a clear idea of what results members will
actually produce. We also recommend that EPA include assessing member
leadership in compliance and toxic releases in the program criteria. EPA can use
these data to track members' progress, define top performance, and establish and
modify criteria and performance measures.
In its response, EPA disagreed with how the program should be evaluated and the
extent to which it has succeeded, to date. However, EPA agreed with all of our
recommendations for improvement. They also suggested technical corrections.
We made changes as appropriate. Appendix A provides EPA's response to the
draft report and our comments.


I ^^7 3	WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
\	'	G/
March 29, 2007
Performance Track Could Improve Program Design and
Management to Ensure Value
Report No. 2007-P-00013
Wade T. Najjum 1 ^ y
Assistant Inspector General for Program Evaluation
Brian Mannix
Associate Administrator, Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation
This is our report on the subject evaluation conducted by the Office of Inspector General (OIG)
of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This report contains findings that describe
the problems the OIG has identified and corrective actions the OIG recommends. This report
represents the opinion of the OIG and does not necessarily represent the final EPA position.
Final determinations on matters in this report will be made by EPA managers in accordance with
established resolution procedures.
The estimated cost of this report - calculated by multiplying the project's staff days by the
applicable daily full cost billing rates in effect at the time - is $228,571.
Action Required
In accordance with EPA Manual 2750, you are required to provide a written response to this
report within 90 calendar days. You should include a corrective action plan for agreed-upon
actions, including milestone dates. We have no objections to the further release of this report to
the public. This report will be available at http://www.epa.gov/oig .
If you or your staff has any questions, please contact me at (202) 566-0832 or
naiiurn. wade@epa.gov; or Jeffrey Harris, Product Line Director, at (202) 566-0831 or

Performance Track Could Improve Program Design and Management
to Ensure Value
	Table of Contents
1	Introduction		1
Purpose		1
Background		1
Scope and Methodology		2
Prior Reviews		3
2	Performance Track Created to Recognize Top Environmental Performers....	4
Performance Track Design		4
Performance Track Implementation 		6
Performance Track Membership		7
Program Performance Measurement and Reporting		9
Summary		10
3	Performance Track Design Not Clearly Linked to Intended Outcomes		11
Program Does Not Clearly Link Mission, Vision, Goals and Measures		11
Conclusion		13
Recommendations		14
Agency Response and OIG Evaluation		14
4	Performance Track Does Not Generally Fulfill its Value Proposition		15
Not All Members Met Criteria or Achieved Environmental Results		15
Program Has Achieved Less Than Half of GPRA Targets		19
Members Lack Access to Some Incentives		21
Conclusion		21
Recommendations		22
Agency Response and OIG Evaluation		22
5	Some Members Exceed Sector Average for Noncompliance
and Toxic Releases		23
Program Equates Membership with Leadership		23
Most Members Are Top Performers		24
Some Facilities Had More Compliance Problems than Their Peers		24
Some Facilities Released More Toxic Chemicals than Their Peers		25
Summary		25
Conclusions		26
Recommendations		27
Agency Response and OIG Evaluation		27
Status of Recommendations and Potential Monetary Benefits		28

Performance Track Could Improve Program Design and Management
to Ensure Value
A Agency Response and OIG Evaluation		29
B Detailed Scope and Methodology		39
C Performance Track Criteria		44
D Incentives and Rewards to Participation		45
E Performance Track Commitments		46
F Detailed Program Logic Model		48
G Data Analysis Results: Charts		49
Figure G. 1: Commitment achievement for Performance Track (PT) facilities		49
Figure G.2: Commitments achieved at cycle completion for PT facilities		49
Figure G.3: Change in materials use for PT facilities		50
Figure G.4: Comparative compliance for sample facilities that did not
outperform their sectors 		50
H Distribution	 51

Chapter 1
As part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector
General (OIG) evaluation agenda to assess a new approach to environmental
protection, we initiated this review to evaluate how effectively Performance Track
achieves its environmental goals. Specifically, we sought to determine:
1.	How does Performance Track contribute to achieving EPA's goal:
Improve environmental performance through pollution prevention and
2.	How well does Performance Track accomplish its program goal: To
recognize and encourage top environmental performers, and track
program performance?
Over the last few years, the EPA has worked to develop new types of
environmental solutions. EPA initiated Performance Track in 2000 as part of a
"reinvention" effort in the Agency designed to develop new methods for
achieving environmental and public health protection goals. Performance Track
recognizes top environmental performance among participating U.S. facilities,
both public and private.
EPA's assumption for reinvention programs was that environmental protection
initiatives that promoted both stewardship and compliance with environmental
requirements would have the greatest potential for solving environmental
problems. In a 1999 document outlining the concept of a performance track, EPA
explained this concept:
It's helpful to think of... a bell curve along a performance
spectrum. At one end, we have companies acting as environmental
leaders, adding business value and gaining competitive advantages
along the way; they are setting standards of excellence that will
define future business practices for themselves and their peers. In
the middle, we have the "main streamers "—businesses, industries,
and other regulated parties that typically meet requirements, but

do little else. And then there are those that have been left behind,
who do not meet the most basic environmental standards.1
In this document, EPA described a performance track as a method for rewarding
those facilities that were environmental leaders, or "top performers." EPA
assumed that bench-marking leaders' practices would guide others to make
improvements. That is, EPA expected that a program that identified, encouraged,
and rewarded top performers would have a ripple effect as nonmembers emulated
members, fostering overall benefits that exceed member achievements.
Moreover, the Agency anticipated that recognizing facilities as leaders would
encourage them to perform beyond compliance, continuously improving their
environmental results. EPA anticipated that rewarding continuous improvement
could improve the relationship between EPA and the regulated community
leading to innovation, changes in EPA's methods for protecting the environment,
and results.
EPA highlights Performance Track as a model for partnership programs, referring
to it as the "gold standard" among its partnership programs. For example, in its
2006 National Program Guidance, EPA describes Performance Track as its
"flagship innovation program for recognizing and rewarding top-performing
facilities that consistently exceed regulatory requirements, address unregulated
environmental issues, and produce measurable environmental results."
Scope and Methodology
This review assesses the performance of the Performance Track program on the
basis of two fundamental program goals where data are available and results have
been reported. The first comes from EPA's Fiscal Year 2005 Strategic Plan:
Improve environmental performance through pollution prevention and
innovation. 2 The second, from the July 2000 Federal Register notice starting the
program, defined the objective of Performance Track as, To recognize and
encourage top environmental performers, those who go beyond compliance with
regulatory requirements to attain levels of environmental performance and
management that benefit people, communities, and the environment,3 This review
does not attempt to evaluate the validity of EPA's concept described above in part
because the Agency has yet to report on many of the anticipated benefits of the
concept behind Performance Track. For example the Agency does not report on
the ripple effect on nonmembers, any change in relationships between the Agency
and the regulated community, or innovation stemming from continuous
1	U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of the Administrator. .1 iming for Excellence, EPA100-R-99-006,
1999, p.5.
2	U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Fiscal Year 2005 Environmental and Financial Progress Report, 2005,
EPA190-R-05-001. Strategic Objective 5.2, Annual Performance Goal 5.4, p. 156.
3	Program Description of National Environmental Achievement Track, Federal Register: July 6, 2000 (Volume 65,
Number 30), pp. 41655-41663.

To determine how Performance Track contributed to EPA's goals, we
reviewed Performance Track background, program management
documents, and applicable EPA budget and performance documents. We
reviewed applicable Performance Track policies, procedures, and practices,
and discussed them with program management. We developed a program
logic model with input from Performance Track representatives. We also
analyzed EPA's 2001-2005 reports on program members' progress. We
supplemented our analysis by meeting with Headquarters and regional EPA
personnel, and external stakeholders, including program members,
nonmembers, and former members. We examined management controls as
they related to our objectives.
We analyzed a randomly selected sample of 40 member facilities to determine if
they met their Performance Track commitments, and how much progress they
made. In order to demonstrate if these facilities represented "top performers," we
compared the sample facilities' compliance records and toxic releases with those
of their sectors. We compiled compliance information from EPA databases and
verified individual facility data for sample members with regional EPA
enforcement and compliance data stewards.
We performed our evaluation in accordance with Government Auditing
Standards, issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. We
performed our field work from August 2006 through November 2006.
Appendix B includes additional details about our scope and methodology.
Prior Reviews
Performance Track has not been evaluated by EPA OIG or the Government
Accountability Office. Nor has Performance Track received an Office of
Management and Budget Program Assessment Rating Tool review. In 2006,
Harvard University completed an EPA-funded assessment of Performance Track
membership, cited herein as Coglianese and Nash. The study answered the
question: why do businesses join Performance Track?4 They found that members
have a distinct tendency to value external recognition, and that EPA accepted
members with better environmental records than applicants that they rejected.
However, Coglianese and Nash also determined that the prospect of Performance
Track membership did not necessarily motivate facilities to improve their
environmental performance, nor did the study find that the members'
environmental performance exceeded comparable facilities that did not apply for
4 Coglianese, Cary and Jennifer Nash. Beyond Compliance: Business Decision Making and the U.S. EPA 's
Performance Track Program. Regulatory Policy Program Report RPP-10, 2006. Cambridge, MA: Mossavar-
Rahmani Center for Business and Government, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University,
pp. 5-8.

Chapter 2
Performance Track Created to Recognize
Top Environmental Performers
EPA created Performance Track to attempt a new model for achieving
environmental protection goals.5 EPA wanted Performance Track to foster broad-
based outcomes like innovation, improved methods for environmental protection,
and results beyond compliance.6 EPA would achieve the benefits of the program
by recognizing and encouraging top environmental performers. EPA defined top
performers as those that used Environmental Management Systems (EMSs)7,
were involved in their communities, complied with environmental statutes, and to
continuous environmental improvement.
Performance Track Design
EPA designed Performance Track as a public-private partnership. EPA
established four membership criteria by which they accept facilities into the
program and thereby define environmental leadership, or "top environmental
performers": (1) use of an EMS,
(2) public outreach, (3) sustained
regulatory compliance, and (4)
evidence of continued
environmental improvement (see
Figure 2.1). Performance Track
staff stress that these four elements
serve not only as the criteria for
membership in Performance Track
but also as the program's definition
for "leadership."
According to EPA, the program
criteria identify facilities that meet
high standards of performance in
both regulated (compliance) and
unregulated (beyond compliance)
areas. Appendix C provides details
on how Performance Track applies these criteria to assess applications.
Figure 2.1. Performance Track Criteria
System (EMS)
Public Outreach
Commitment to
Source: Performance Track Website.
5	www.epa.gov/performancetrack.
6	According to EPA, environmental performance beyond compliance includes activities that reduce impacts below
levels permitted by regulations as well as activities unrelated to regulations.
7	An EMS is a set of processes and practices that enables an organization to reduce its environmental impacts and
increase its operating efficiency.

Value Proposition
In designing a partnership program, EPA's Office of Partnership Programs
recommends that EPA offer incentives to members in exchange for the required
environmental commitments. EPA describes this as the "value proposition." 8
Figure 2.2 describes the Performance Track value proposition: members achieve
environmental results that benefit the public; in return, Performance Track offers
regulatory and administrative incentives to members.
Figure 2.2. Performance Track Value Proposition
Members pledge environmental
In return, members receive incentives
and rewards:9
•	Meet established compliance and
EMS criteria.
•	Public outreach, including identifying
and responding to community
concerns, and informing the
community about environmental
•	Select 2-4 areas for environmental
improvement from a list of beyond
compliance activities and make 3-year
public commitments for improvement.
•	Report on their annual progress to
EPA and the public.
•	Recognition from EPA as
environmental stewards.
•	Networking opportunities.
•	Low priority for routine inspections.
•	Green investment opportunities.
•	Extended hazardous waste
accumulation time (RCRA 180 Day
•	Reduced reporting frequency for air
sources (MACT Reporting Incentive).
Source: Performance Track Website.
In our opinion, a key incentive in the Performance Track value proposition is that
members are eligible to receive a low priority for routine EPA and State
inspections. EPA offered this incentive because it anticipated that facilities that
demonstrated sustained regulatory compliance would require fewer inspections.
This offers an additional potential benefit to EPA in that EPA could use
enforcement resources to conduct inspections at higher risk, nonmember facilities
whose compliance records have not received the same scrutiny.
Research has shown that increased incentives for participants in voluntary programs come with higher
requirements from the Agency. This situation leads to greater scrutiny for the participants and, therefore, fewer
facilities participating in partnership programs with higher demands on participation. Thus, voluntary programs
must balance requirements with incentives.
9 Appendix D describes incentives in more detail.

Performance Track Implementation
Program resources for Fiscal Year 2006 included approximately 28 full time
equivalent staff (FTEs)10, and $2.2 million in funding for grant and contract
work.11 The program receives applications twice a year from private and public
U.S. facilities. Applicants range from relatively unregulated groups, like facilities
designed for recreation and entertainment, to facilities subject to a larger set of
environmental statutes, such as producers of chemical products.
Performance Track Process
The premise underlying Performance Track is that recognition and
encouragement of top performers will result in previously unrealized
environmental benefits. Therefore, the program emphasizes recruitment,
screening, and reporting by member facilities.
1.	Application Solicitation
The program accepts applications from facilities twice each year, in the spring
and fall. Performance Track staff and contractors encourage likely candidates to
apply to the program through a targeted membership campaign involving phone
calls, mailing campaigns, trade association conference presentations, and other
activities. However, EPA welcomes any facility to submit an application.
2.	Application Review, Commitment Setting,
and Member Selection
Once a facility submits an application, Performance Track staff and contractors
review the application materials and assess the facility's evidence that it exhibits
the four criteria described previously. The program typically accepts
approximately 75 percent of applications.
Performance Track staff work with applicants as they set their 3-year "beyond
compliance" environmental commitments. Performance Track staff emphasize
that they encourage facilities to set commitments that will represent a significant
challenge and may not be met, or "stretch" goals. Each facility selects two to four
commitments based on its size and the type of commitments it chooses.12 Once
EPA and facilities agree on these, EPA may accept the facility for membership.
Performance Track posts accepted member applications on the EPA Website.
10	Eighteen in headquarters, 7 to 10 FTEs in EPA regional offices, according to program management.
11	The program operated contracts that could not exceed $7 million per year, but estimated that it spent $2.3 million
total in contract and grant spending each year.
12	See Appendix E for a list of commitments made by sample facilities.

3.	Member Performance Reporting
Performance Track members submit annual reports to EPA describing their
progress in achieving environmental commitments.13 EPA assesses performance
reports, and requests additional information when necessary. EPA compiles
acceptable annual facility reports into an annual performance document for the
public. This document describes aggregate member progress for the previous
calendar year. As of fall 2006, EPA produced four annual reports presenting
aggregate progress for members in 2001 through 2004. Performance Track
presents each facility's annual reports and overall program progress reports on the
EPA Website.14
4.	Member Renewal
After completion of their 3-year commitment cycle, members can choose to
renew their Performance Track membership as long as they are in good standing.
To be in good standing, a member must continue to meet the program criteria of
sustained compliance, fully implemented environmental management system
(EMS), and commitment to public outreach; and demonstrate a good faith effort
in working towards its performance commitments. To apply for renewal,
facilities commit to two to four new stretch goals for their new 3-year
membership cycles.
5.	Member Removal
According to the Performance Track Program Guide, failure to make any progress
or a decline in overall facility performance can lead to removal from the program.
However, the Program Guide also emphasizes that failure to meet commitments
does not constitute grounds for removal from the program because the
commitments represent stretch goals.
Performance Track Membership
EPA began accepting applications for membership in 2001, choosing 226
facilities in the first round. The program grew as facilities applied, were accepted,
renewed their membership, or withdrew from the program. As of November 3,
2006, Performance Track included members from 17 different sectors. Figure 2.3
shows the distribution of members among sectors.
13The program did not validate self-reports, but EPA exempts facility annual data from its performance report when
Performance Track staff are not confident in the numbers. They said that the number of facility results excluded
from aggregation was "higher than they would like it to be."
14 The program office supplied the raw data for 2005 for the purpose of this review.

Figure 2.3. Membership Distribution by Sector
Wood Products, Paper, and
Wholesale, Retail, and
Transportation Equipment
and Supplies
Textile Products
Rubber and Plastics Products
Arts, Recreation, and
Research and Education
Pharmaceutical Products
Chemical Products
Electronic and Electrical
Energy, Utilities, and Sanitary
Miscellaneous Non
Miscellaneous Manufacturing
Mining and Construction
Machinery Equipment
Medical Equipment and
Metal Products
Source: Performance Track database
As shown in Figure 2.4 below, as of January 10, 2007, 755 facilities had applied
for membership in Performance Track, and 417 applicants were active program
members.15 Sixty-two facilities chose not to renew their membership for reasons
ranging from facility management changes to not seeing enough value in the
program. Performance Track had asked 45 facilities to leave the program: 20
facilities because they did not submit reports and 25 because their EMS did not
comply with program criteria. Forty-eight facilities left the program voluntarily
due to facility changes, not seeing enough value in the program, and other
unspecified reasons. EPA denied renewal to 16 facilities for failure to meet
program requirements. EPA did not accept the remaining 165 applicants for
membership because they did not meet the program criteria.
- According to Coglianese and Nash, EPA estimated that 5,000 U.S. facilities met at least some of the basic criteria
for membership, p. 3.

Figure 2.4. Disposition of Performance Track Applicants through January 2007
Not accepted,
Renewal not
accepted, 16
Left on own, 48
Active, 417
EPA asked to
leave, 45
Did not apply for
renewal, 62
755 total applicants
Source: Performance Track database.
Program Performance Measurement and Reporting
The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) requires Federal
agencies to prepare performance plans containing annual performance goals and
measures to help them manage for results. EPA's strategic plan outlines the
Agency's five long-term goals. To fulfill its five strategic goals, the plan includes
a series of more specific goals in the form of objectives and sub-objectives. Each
of these objectives has associated performance measures designed to demonstrate
progress in achieving the objective and, eventually, the strategic goal.
Performance Track reports on its performance in two ways. First, the EPA annual
GPRA report shows progress toward program goals that are based on member
commitments. Performance Track established its Annual Performance Goal
(APG) under EPA GPRA goal 5 in 2005: Improve environmental performance
through pollution prevention and innovation. To achieve this goal, the program
planned to achieve reductions in six resource areas: water use, energy use, solid
waste, air emissions, water discharge and material use. This APG related to one
of the four Performance Track criteria: beyond compliance achievements.
Second, as described previously in this chapter, EPA issued public annual
progress reports showing members' collective progress toward environmental
commitments and highlighting specific success stories. EPA considers
Performance Track a model for partnership programs based on the commitments

members make and by highlighting progress on selected commitments; we
discuss this concept in detail in Chapter 4.
EPA created Performance Track under the premise that recognizing and
encouraging top performers would foster beneficial outcomes such as innovation,
improved methods for environmental protection, and results beyond compliance.
EPA established four criteria for membership, and defined those facilities
accepted for membership as "top environmental performers." EPA reports on
progress members make toward environmental commitments, and based on these
results, EPA highlights Performance Track as a model for partnership programs.

Chapter 3
Performance Track Design Not
Clearly Linked to Intended Outcomes
In creating the Performance Track program, EPA did not establish links between
recognizing and encouraging top environmental performers and achieving
ambitious outcomes such as innovation, improved methods for environmental
protection, and results beyond compliance. The absence of a comprehensive,
cohesive strategic plan led to the pursuit of multiple, overlapping objectives, and a
lack of performance information related to the program mission, vision, and goals.
Program Does Not Clearly Link Mission, Vision, Goals, and Measures
Successful programs have a strategic planning process that clearly links goals
with well-defined strategies, action plans, and performance measures. In the case
of Performance Track, a strategic plan should demonstrate how the value
proposition, the program design, and activities would lead to broader outcomes
like innovation, improved methods for environmental protection, and results
beyond compliance. In reviewing the key guidance documents for Performance
Track, we found that the program does not have a comprehensive and integrated
set of plans for leveraging the recognition of top performers to achieve the
program's ultimate objectives.
The program presented five internal planning documents: (1) strategic plan; (2)
logic model; (3) vision document; (4) goals and measures document; and (5) a
division budget. However, these documents do not collectively provide a way to
link the vision with the process. For example, according to program staff, both
the strategic plan and logic model were outdated and unused. While the vision
document describes the 5-year vision for Performance Track, the document does
not include statements about achieving environmental results or continuous
improvement from program participants.
Figure 3.1 compares the program mission statement, vision statement, strategic
plan goals, and annual performance goals. Together, these documents describe a
related set of objectives and expectations; however, they do not clearly articulate
how EPA will employ the tools and techniques in the program design to achieve
program goals or how to achieve the benefits anticipated by the program. For
example, program guidance does not describe:
•	How "continuous improvement" is defined, monitored, and what options
might be employed when it is not achieved.
•	The options for achieving annual performance goals: i.e., increase number
of members, preference for larger facilities, change goals to measures of
environmental efficiency rather than impacts.

•	How to determine the innovation facilitated by Performance Track, its
contribution to improved environmental performance, and whether it is
•	How transformed relationships between members and EPA will lead to
tangible regulatory efficiencies and improved environmental benefits.
•	How to determine if member results are attributable to the program.
Figure 3.1. Comparison of Performance Track Program Mission Statement, Vision
Statement, Strategic Plan Goals, and Annual Performance Goals

Strategic Plan
2006 Annual
Mission Statement
Vision Statement
Goals 2003-2008
Performance Goals
Incorporation of
Reduce 3.5 billion
performance track
gallons of water use;
into regulatory
improvements in
15,500,000 Million

policies and
Metric British
Thermal Units

(MMBTU) of energy
(between the
Linkages with
Increase program
use;1,000 tons of
regulators and the
materials use;
programs and

440,000 tons of solid
Expand ownership
waste; 66,000 tons

of the program
of air releases;
A learning
with key
12,400 tons of water
community and
process for

Increase the

regulatory changes,
business value for

and fostering a


culture of
Awareness and

reputation value
Enable EPA and


States to use their

An engine for
enforcement and


policy innovation
resources more


Source: Performance Track internal documents.
Together, these documents address only portions of the value proposition. The
documents describe internal goals and targets for increasing the business value of
the program (e.g., members taking advantage of at least one incentive and States
where incentives are available to members). These documents show that EPA
measured whether it offered incentives to members. However, the documents do
not address the member portion of the value proposition, represented by the four
program criteria:

(1)	Criterion 1, EMS: EPA did not include EMS-related goals or measures.16
(2)	Criterion 2, Public Outreach: EPA did not collect more than basic
information on public interaction for facilities, and did not include this
element among goals and targets.
(3)	Criterion 3, Compliance: EPA did not include member compliance
measurement or tracking in these planning documents.
(4)	Criterion 4, Beyond Compliance: The program included member
commitments, but not member-beyond-compliance achievements in its
internal planning.
The absence of a comprehensive, cohesive, strategic plan for Performance Track
also led to the pursuit of multiple, overlapping objectives within the program. We
observed that 6 years after the start of the program, program management and
staff did not focus their efforts on achieving one goal, or a set of consensus
program goals. Instead, they articulated several different goals and objectives for
the program. Though many of these relate to program goals or objectives
described elsewhere, it was not clear that program efforts would move the
program in the direction of any clear outcome.
As part of our evaluation, we developed a logic model in coordination with the
program staff. The model depicts how program activities would lead to
anticipated outcomes. The model includes internal goals, outputs, the program's
GPRA goal as an intermediate outcome, and the EPA mission as an end
outcome.17 Appendix F demonstrates the consensus logic model. The model
reflects the challenges the program faces in focusing on a clear program objective.
The model describes six intermediate program outcomes ranging from reduced
environmental footprints to changing environmental protection methods.
EPA had hoped to achieve ambitious goals through Performance Track.
However, EPA did not develop a strategic plan to link actions and results to the
strategic vision. EPA cannot show how its program can lead to the desired
outcomes. Establishing performance measures to assess progress and
effectiveness allows EPA to better manage its program to achieve the results it
desires. If program staff and management share a common objective and
understanding of the program design and goals, staff will better understand how
their activities contribute to achieving program goals.
16	Though not included in planning documents, EPA did assess EMSs during site visits.
17	EPA's mission: to protect human health and the environment.

The Associate Administrator for Policy, Economics, and Innovation should:
3-1 Confirm and clarify the National Environmental Performance Track
mission and vision.
3-2 Clearly communicate the defined program objective to EPA, Performance
Track program staff, the public, nongovernmental organizations, and the
regulated community, ensuring that each group understands its purpose in
helping achieve the program objective.
3-3 Refine, prioritize, and periodically revisit a program logic model or
business model for demonstrating how Performance Track will achieve its
goals. This model should demonstrate links from mission, vision, and
goals to operations and performance measure to gauge effectiveness so
that the program can be managed for success.
3-4 Design a comprehensive, strategic program plan to connect activities with
goals and to encourage staff and management to focus on program goals
and member commitments.
3-5 Based on key program design elements and outcomes, develop a suite of
performance measures so that program staff and management can easily
track progress. Based on how the program design is modified, develop
and report on the following:
3-5.1 Four program criteria to measure how well members meet and
continue to meet the standards set for entry.
3-5.2 Outcome measures that describe if/how the program members
contribute to outcomes such as innovation and collaboration, and
that show if the program is leading toward performance-based
changes in environmental protection.
Agency Response and OIG Evaluation
The Agency concurred with the recommendations in Chapter 3. Appendix A
provides the full text of their response.

Chapter 4
Performance Track Does Not Generally
	Fulfill its Value Proposition	
The program design focused on a value proposition: facilities demonstrate
environmental performance by committing to the four program criteria; in return,
EPA offers incentives. However, the program cannot demonstrate that members
achieve environmental results in three of four program criteria areas: EMS
implementation, public interaction, and compliance. Also, members cannot take
advantage of some incentives.
In the absence of a means to capture many of the anticipated benefits of
Performance Track, the program collects and reports on cumulative "beyond
compliance" environmental performance for members, and reports these as their
contribution to EPA goals. However, most members do not achieve all of the
commitments they set under Performance Track, and these results cannot, in fact,
be attributed to program participation.
As a result, these implementation challenges threaten the integrity of the
Performance Track brand.
Not All Members Met Criteria or Achieved Environmental Results
EPA selects members based on the four program criteria (see Chapter 2). We
looked at information the program collected for each criterion to determine what
impact members had at present. Our analysis shows that most members do not
make the environmental progress anticipated when they set commitments.
(1) Environmental Management System (EMS) Implementation
As members of Performance Track, facilities must implement an EMS.
Performance Track conducts site visits at approximately 10 percent of member
facilities each year. During initial site visits, EPA frequently found that facilities
did not have adequate EMSs in place. As a result, EPA modified the program to
address weak EMSs:
•	EPA focused site visits on facilities that did not receive independent EMS
•	EPA revised the site visit protocol,
•	EPA added a new entry criterion requiring independent assessment for
•	EPA created a site visit training course, and

• Twenty-five facilities withdrew from the program (through September
The program did not otherwise measure or report on how EMS implementation
led to achieving program goals or environmental results.
(2)	Public Outreach
The program did not measure, report, or otherwise focus attention on how
members interact with the public or if this criterion contributes to achieving
program goals or environmental results.
(3)	Sustained Regulatory Compliance
As of August 3, 2006, EPA had not asked any facility to leave the program
because of compliance violations. EPA expects that a vigorous performance- and
compliance-focused EMS will identify instances of actual or potential
noncompliance for prompt correction. The program noted that, in general,
Performance Track facilities would be rewarded for their self-identification,
correction, and prompt disclosure of violations through penalty mitigation under
EPA's Audit Policy. Its 2003 strategic plan explained this concept, saying "a
credible system of self-auditing and self-correction, combined with independent
audits, makes traditional inspections largely unnecessary for program members."
According to Performance Track, EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance
Assurance (OECA) has information about self-reported violations, but
Performance Track did not track self-disclosures from member facilities except in
cases where the facility reported the disclosure directly to the Performance Track
staff. As a result, the program could not differentiate self-disclosed compliance
violations from those uncovered by a regulatory inspection.
Compliance databases present additional information, such as enforcement
actions and penalties. Program criteria prohibit facilities with three or more
significant violations, but Performance Track guidance encourages staff to
consider other compliance issues during the application process. We assessed the
information in EPA's internal compliance database for all Performance Track
facilities as of November 6, 2006, to see if significant violations provided an
accurate picture of compliance. We found that 20 Performance Track facilities
listed in the compliance database (4 percent) had current significant violations.18
Some of these facilities may not have qualified for membership if their
applications were pending at the time of our assessment.
18 This compliance database, OTIS, showed 500 Performance Track facilities, though Performance Track listed only
417 members at the time. This discrepancy was due to different facility tracking methods. We calculated
percentages based on 500 facilities, total.

Some facilities did not have current significant violations, but other compliance
issues called their leadership qualities into question. These indicators show that
126 facilities (approximately 25 percent) received notices of violation within the
past 5 years, 54 (approximately 10 percent) received formal enforcement actions
in the past 5 years, and EPA levied noncompliance penalties at 40 facilities
(approximately 8 percent). EPA collected $5,999,011 in noncompliance penalties
at these Performance Track facilities over the past 5 years. For example,
•	One member facility showed a 2005 corporate enforcement action with a
total compliance action cost of $265 million for violating the new source
performance standard. Though the facility did not have any current
significant violations, its record showed 14 quarters of noncompliance
with air and water regulations over the past 3 years, one informal
enforcement action, and seven formal enforcement actions over the past 5
•	Another member facility showed one current significant violation, but
seven quarters of noncompliance with air and water regulations over the
past 3 years, one informal enforcement action, and 20 formal enforcement
actions over the past 5 years.
Notably, quarters of noncompliance (an indicator not included in Performance
Track compliance screens) and significant violations tie together closely. We
found that 133 facilities (approximately 27 percent) did not comply with an aspect
of environmental regulation for one or more quarters (for the 3 years ending in
November 2006). As quarters of noncompliance rose, facilities accrued
significant violations. Figure 4.1 shows this relationship.
Figure 4.1. Quarters of Noncompliance and Significant Violations
Quarters of

# Facilities with Significant
# Facilities

% of SVs


Source: OTIS database and OIG analysis.
Thirteen percent of facilities had more than 1 year of noncompliance (five or
more quarters of noncompliance), and these same facilities show all of the
significant violations among Performance Track facilities. This statistic indicates
that Performance Track could track quarters of noncompliance to indicate if
facilities might incur significant violations in the future.

The program cited problems with EPA compliance tracking databases, saying that
additional research could negate violations apparent in the database in many
cases. The program staff and contractors conducted compliance screens and
responded to OIG inquiries about compliance problems by conducting extensive
inquiries into the reported incidents with EPA regions, States, and the facilities
themselves. Rather than placing the burden of proof on facilities, the program
used EPA time and resources to verify EPA databases. Because Performance
Track did not rely on compliance databases, the public may believe that
Performance Track members did not comply with an aspect of environmental
Compliance Record Keeping
As part of our program evaluation, we selected a random sample of 40
Performance Track facilities for detailed analyses. We found evidence of
applicant compliance screens for 34 of the 40 facilities in our sample.19 This
evidence came in the form of emails and handwritten notes indicating the results
of compliance screens for facilities' applications.
Coglianese and Nash also reported incomplete electronic comment forms,
including information related to facilities' compliance records, on Performance
Track applications. Incomplete records could result in the facility's compliance
status not being registered, even when it is a deciding factor in the process.20
We found that as of November 2006, EPA had developed a systematic method for
documenting and retaining compliance screens for Performance Track members.
(4) Member Environmental Commitments
We analyzed 40 randomly selected member facilities to see how they
accomplished their environmental commitments. The sample facilities averaged a
16 percent improvement over their baselines for Performance Track commitments
as of the conclusion of this evaluation.21 These results indicate that member
facilities achieved environmental results related to their commitments that
improved their previous performance.
However, for the 30 facilities we assessed who had completed a 3-year
commitment cycle, only 2 met all commitments. (See Appendix G, Figures G. 1
and G.2.) The other 28 facilities most commonly met half of their commitments.
Performance Track staff encouraged members to set stretch commitments, and
explained that they did not intend for members to achieve these commitments,
19	Compliance screens should summarize the history of Federal and State enforcement actions taken against a
company or facility due to not complying with environmental statutes and regulations.
20	Coglianese and Nash, p. 87.
21	Performance on environmental commitments ranged from a 57 percent decline below baselines to a 100 percent
improvement over baselines. The median was an 11 percent improvement.

just for them to make progress. Accordingly, few members met their
commitments. Thirteen percent (5 of 40) reported environmental conditions
declined below their baselines from entry into the program to the present.
Performance Track conducted an internal assessment of commitment achievement
for seven commitment areas for facilities completing a commitment cycle in
2003, 2004, and 2005.22 The program found that facilities came close to
achieving commitments in aggregate. However, Performance Track also found
that, on average, 46 percent of facilities that made these commitments did not
achieve them. Program staff noted that this disparity was possible because
aggregate results could be skewed by one facility's performance. Facilities in our
analysis varied widely in performance on commitments.
Program Has Achieved Less Than Half of GPRA Targets
Performance Track's GPRA APG related to one of the four Performance Track
criteria: beyond compliance achievements. The program did not report on results
related to the other three program criteria. EPA set six targets for the
Performance Track GPRA goal, drawing on data from facility commitments.
Achieving the APG depends on facilities making progress toward achieving key
commitments. As Figure 4.2 demonstrates, the program did not achieve its goal
for 2005— the program did not meet five of the six targets. For three of the six
targets comprising the goal, conditions worsened. For two of the six, conditions
improved, but the program did not achieve the target. In 2006, the program made
progress over baseline for all, and achieved three of six targets, but still did not
meet its overall GPRA goal.
22 The program selected seven commitments for analysis: (1) water use, (2) energy use, (3) hazardous materials use,
(4) hazardous waste, (5) nonhazardous materials, (6) nonhazardous waste, and (7) volatile organic compounds.

Figure 4.2. Performance Track Targets in EPA's Strategic Plan
for Fiscal Years 2005 through 2008

water use
use (tons)
2005 goal
2005 actual*
2006 goal
2006 actual*
2007 goal
2008 goal
* Targets met are highlighted in green; targets not met are highlighted in red
Sources: U.S. EPA Fiscal Years 2005 and 2006 Annual Performance Reports and Performance
Track documents.
In assessing why the program did not achieve its Fiscal Year 2005 targets, we
looked at program annual progress reports. Reports for Fiscal Years 2001
through 2005, and data from Performance Track from Fiscal Year 2005, show that
members' material use increased for the past 2 years (Fiscal Years 2003 and 2004
data), as demonstrated by Appendix G, Figure G.3. Energy use also increased for
Fiscal Year 2004, rather than declining as predicted by the program GPRA goal.23
Performance Track does not present program trends in its reports and can not
show whether program results improve or decline from year to year, or determine
why members do not meet their commitments.
As described in Chapter 3, the program did not set internal targets for meeting its
EPA goals, so it did not track members' progress toward achieving key
commitments. The program's internal target that related to environmental results
"increase number of member commitments" did not measure whether members
achieved the commitments they set.
Although EPA defined one program outcome as reducing the overall
environmental footprints of member facilities, Performance Track cannot gauge
changes in facilities' overall environmental improvement because they only report
on their predefined commitments. Stakeholders said that because members report
on only their two to four commitments, EPA and the public cannot tell if another
aspect of facility maintenance declined. Thus, EPA cannot tell if facilities made
overall environmental improvements, or rather improved in one area and faltered
in others. By measuring other aspects related to a facility's overall environmental
23 We did not compare FY2006 APR results with program documents because Performance Track data for FY 2006
were not yet available.

improvement, the program could better show how facility participation in
Performance Track leads to environmental improvements.24
Members Lack Access to Some Incentives
EPA recognizes that members do not have access to some of the incentives
designed as rewards for participation. Federal statutes give most States the
authorities related to Performance Track incentives. States issue permits and
conduct the majority of facility inspections under the statutes.25 No State grants
all four major incentives to program members. Two States, Colorado and
Pennsylvania, grant all incentives except the low priority for routine inspections.
In the draft report for this evaluation, we referred to a Performance Track
document shown on its Website for the duration of the evaluation. This chart
demonstrated how few States offer Performance Track incentives. Subsequent to
our draft report, Performance Track removed this chart from its Website and
notified us that the chart was incomplete.
Performance Track staff and stakeholders commonly mention low routine
inspection priority as a problem for compliance monitoring: without regular
inspections, they ask, how can EPA know if Performance Track members
maintain satisfactory compliance records? However, Performance Track
previously reported that only 11 of 57 States and territories employed this
incentive. As a result, although Federal inspections declined at member facilities,
State inspections largely did not.
Because some program incentives are not widely available, Performance Track
members generally receive only EPA's "seal of approval" as a reward to
participating in the program. EPA has found that Performance Track members
see EPA collaboration and recognition as the most valuable reasons to participate
in the program. According to biannual Performance Track member surveys, EPA
offers valuable "brand" recognition. Coglianese and Nash found that the facilities
Performance Track attracts are looking for recognition: they already actively
cultivate an identity of environmental responsibility and leadership, value
recognition, and actively seek to engage regulators and communities.26
Performance Track did not measure and report on members' adherence to all four
program criteria, or describe whether meeting these criteria led to achieving
environmental results. The program criteria do not require assessing key
24	According to EPA, aggregate results were heavily impacted by large facilities. However, as noted in Chapter 4 of
this report, we found that few facilities met all environmental commitments, regardless of facility size.
25	These statutes include the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), and
the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) portion of the Clean Air Act (CAA).
26	Coglianese and Nash, p. 5.

compliance information that show whether an applicant has a sustained record of
regulatory compliance. The program's EPA goal is based on member
commitments. However, EPA did not focus on making progress toward those
goals. By developing a comprehensive performance measurement and reporting
system, the program could better determine which activities worked to help
achieve environmental goals, and refocus on successful activities. To meet its
GPRA goals and maximize environmental results from the program, Performance
Track will need to encourage members to set and achieve ambitious goals.
The Associate Administrator for Policy, Economics, and Innovation should:
4-1 Maintain a centralized database for compliance screening information and
decisions on Performance Track members.
4-2 Encourage member facilities to set and achieve commitments so that the
public has a clear idea of what members will actually achieve.
4-3 Based on the definition of Performance Track program objective and the
logic model developed from this objective, determine whether EPA should
collect additional data from program members.
Agency Response and OIG Evaluation
The Agency concurred with the recommendations in Chapter 4. Appendix A
provides the full text of their response.
The Agency noted that three program criteria, EMS implementation, public
interaction, and compliance, do not have a direct connection with environmental
results. In response, we want to emphasize that Chapters 3 and 4 describe the
importance of demonstrating that the program design, as well as its mission,
vision, and measures, should all logically lead to environmental results.

Chapter 5
Some Members Exceed Sector Average for
Noncompliance and Toxic Releases
EPA expected that the Performance Track program would foster outcomes like
innovation, improved methods for environmental protection, and results beyond
compliance. When the program began, the Agency outlined it as a program to
"recognize and encourage top environmental performers," and continues to use
this description in its public documents and statements. Because EPA cannot
demonstrate how it may achieve these ambitious outcomes, such as innovative
solutions and changed relationships, we set out to determine how well the
program achieves its stated objective: recognizing top environmental performers.
Our analysis shows that most members demonstrate "top performance," beyond
the average for their peers, for two environmental indicators: compliance and
toxic releases. However, some facilities had more compliance problems or
released more pounds of toxic substances than the average for their peers. The
presence of underperforming facilities reduces the integrity and value of the
Performance Track brand.
Program Equates Membership with Leadership
Program staff and management said that compliance with the four program
criteria indicated that members were "leaders." Coglianese and Nash found that
program members differed from nonmembers in that they acted as "joiners," so
equating membership with leadership may mean that members only differ from
nonmembers in that they chose to apply.27 There is no evidence that members
differ materially from nonmembers in environmental performance. In fact, EPA
has not compared member facilities with their peers for environmental
performance indicators to determine if members lead in their sectors.28
Coglianese and Nash concluded that EPA does not determine if Performance
Track members are better performers than nonmembers. The study said:
Despite some Agency claims that Performance Track is designed
to recognize "top " environmental facilities, the application and
admissions process do not directly address whether members'
performance is better than other comparable facilities that have
not applied to the program—nor even whether their progress is in
other ways significant.29
27	Coglianese and Nash. p. 5.
28	For a new program aspect, the "Corporate Leader" designation, EPA compared company compliance with sector
compliance, but it did not use this method on a facility by facility basis for the "Performance Track" designation.
29	Coglianese and Nash. p. 14.

In an effort to compile available information about members' and comparable
facilities' environmental performance, we developed an approach using public
environmental performance data on regulatory compliance and toxic releases.
Performance Track compliance screening guidance encourages staff to consider
both of these aspects when reviewing applicants.30 We analyzed a random sample
of 40 member facilities and compared their performance with that of their
sectors.31 By comparing member performance with average sector performance,
we could determine if a facility led or fell behind its sector average for these two
indicators. This analysis provides a rough indication of comparative
environmental performance.32
Most Members Are Top Performers
In our analysis, we found that most sample members outperformed their sectors
for compliance and toxic releases as reported to EPA's Toxics Release Inventory
(TRI).33 Twenty-two of 35 facilities (63 percent) had no compliance problems
and outperformed their sector peers in every measure of compliance.34 We also
found that at 14 of 27 facilities reporting toxic releases (52 percent), toxic
emissions declined since the facility joined the Performance Track program. In
2003, 22 of 27 sample facilities (81 percent) reported fewer toxic releases than
their peers in their industrial business sectors. Facilities exhibiting this leadership
performance came from all Performance Track sectors included in our analysis,
and represented all size classes defined by the program.
Some Facilities Had More Compliance
Problems than Their Peers
Thirteen of the 35 facilities that had received an inspection (37 percent) had more
compliance problems than their sector average for one or more compliance
measures. These facilities represented 9 of the 14 sectors included in our sample.
Appendix G, Figure G.4 summarizes compliance problems uncovered in the
As mentioned previously, 5 of the 40 facilities in our sample had not received an
inspection within the past five years. Two of these facilities were classified as
nonmanufacturing facilities, but of the other three, two are chemical plants, and
one is an electronics facility. As a result, EPA accepted and retained these
30	Many studies look to toxic releases as an indicator of environmental performance. These include Coglianese and
Nash, the American Chemistry Council, and the Environmental Council of the States.
31	We defined sectors by the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) code for a facility. When a
facility reported under more than one NAICS code to Performance Track, we calculated a composite sector that used
all NAICS codes cited.
32	See Appendix B, Detailed Scope and Methodology, for additional details.
33	During our analysis, the most recent TRI data available were for 2003.
34	Five of the 40 facilities had never been inspected, and so were excluded from our compliance analysis.

facilities as members with no information about their compliance with
environmental regulations.
Some Facilities Released More
Toxic Chemicals than Their Peers
Based on 2003 toxic releases, some Performance Track facilities do not
outperform their sectors. Five of 27 (19 percent) facilities in our sample reporting
to TRI released more toxic pollutants than their sector average for 2003.35 We
also found that 4 of 27 (15 percent) of the facilities in our sample increased their
reported toxic emissions after joining Performance Track.36 These facilities
increased their toxic emissions by an average of 587,257 lbs per facility despite
committing to the Performance Track program.
Four facilities exceeded their sectors for both compliance problems and toxic
releases. This result provides insight into member environmental performance,
indicating that while program criteria may deem an applicant a top performer, this
designation may not hold true when the facility is compared with other facilities
in its sector. Figure 5.1 describes compliance and toxic release issues for the four
facilities that underperformed in both compliance and toxic releases.
35	Program members tend to be larger facilities, which may mean that they emit more toxic pollution than smaller
facilities. However, our sample included multiple facilities in the same Performance Track sector, and facilities
varied in size. Some large facilities emitted more toxic releases than their sector, while others emitted less.
36	At 7 of the 27 facilities, toxic releases remained unchanged (26 percent).

Figure 5.1. Sample Facilities with Both More Compliance Issues
and More Toxic Releases Than Sector Peers
Toxic Releases
Facility 1: Rubber and Plastics Products
1	qtr. of noncompliance (RCRA)
2	notices of violation (CWA, RCRA)
Emitted 204,397 lbs. (231%) more toxic
chemicals than sector average in 2003
Facility 2: Transportation Equipment and Supplies
9 qtrs. of noncompliance (CWA)
1 notice of violation (RCRA)
84% transferred offsite, emitted 16% more
toxic chemicals than sector average
Facility 3: Chemical Products
1 qtr. of noncompliance (CWA)
4 notices of violation (CAA)
39,593 lbs. increase in toxic releases since
program entry
72% transferred offsite, emitted 12% more
toxic chemicals than sector average
Facility 4: Wood Products, Paper, and Printing
4 qtrs. of noncompliance (1 CWA, 3
4 notices of violation (1 CWA, 3 CAA)
3 formal enforcement actions (CAA)
1 penalty for $15,000 (CAA)
447,475 lbs. increase in toxic releases since
program entry;
Facility has introduced 9 new toxic chemicals
since 1996, emitted 194% more toxic
chemicals than sector average
Source: OTIS and OIG analysis.
EPA does not assess or track members' performance as compared with their peers
and has not removed any for poor performance in either regulatory compliance or
toxic emissions.
Our analysis shows that Performance Track has recognized many above average
environmental performers among its members. The majority of facilities in our
sample outperformed their sectors averages in both compliance and toxic
releases—regardless of facility size or sector—which demonstrates leadership
within the sector. However, we also found member facilities with more
compliance problems or more toxic releases than their sector averages.
In Chapter 2, we described how EPA created and designed Performance Track
and EPA's broad vision for the program. In Chapter 3, we discussed how
Performance Track needs a cohesive strategic plan to link its vision with its
activities and measures for program progress. In Chapter 4, we discussed how
EPA needs to see how the design is working - that is, whether membership

criteria lead to program results, and whether members receive incentives. In this
chapter, we discussed how, although many members do perform above average,
Performance Track does not know if its members are "top performers," despite
public claims to the contrary.
Taken together, the results from this evaluation demonstrate that EPA could
modify the program design and improve program management to know if the
Performance Track model succeeds in "recognizing and encouraging top
environmental performers," or in fostering innovation, improved methods for
environmental protection, and results beyond compliance. Currently, recognition
by and collaboration with EPA are the incentives members value most. This
means that Performance Track offers a valuable brand of recognition. Issuing this
recognition to underachievers does not maintain the value of the brand.
The Associate Administrator for Policy, Economics, and Innovation should:
5-1 Track member environmental performance in independent databases to:
5-1.1 Refine criteria by which it defines "top environmental performer."
5-1.2 Establish criteria for removing members from the program when
compliance or toxic releases change—independent of sector-wide
5-1.3 Show if facility performance changes as they join and progress
through the program.
Agency Response and OIG Evaluation
The Agency concurred with the recommendations in Chapter 5. Appendix A
provides the full text of their response.

Status of Recommendations and
Potential Monetary Benefits
BENEFITS (In $000s)3
Claimed Agreed To
Amount Amount
Confirm and clarify program vision
Associate Administrator OPEI
Clearly communicate objective
Associate Administrator OPEI
Refine, prioritize, and revisit program model
Associate Administrator OPEI
Design a comprehensive strategic program plan
Associate Administrator OPEI
Develop and implement suite of performance
Associate Administrator OPEI
Maintain centralized application and compliance
screen database
Associate Administrator OPEI
Encourage members to set and achieve
Associate Administrator OPEI
Consider collecting additional information from
program members
Associate Administrator OPEI
Track member environmental performance
Associate Administrator OPEI
Rec. Page	Completion
No. No.	Subject	Status1	Action Official	Date2
1	0 = recommendation is open with agreed-to corrective actions pending;
C = recommendation is closed with all agreed-to actions completed;
U = recommendation is undecided with resolution efforts in progress.
2	In accordance with EPA Manual 2750, the Agency is required to provide a written response to this report within 90 calendar days that will include a
corrective actions plan for agreed upon actions, including milestone dates.
3	Identification of potential monetary benefits was not an objective of this evaluation.

Appendix A
Agency Response and OIG Comments
SUBJECT: OPEI Response to Draft Evaluation Report:
Performance Track Could Improve
Program Design and Management to Ensure Value
Assignment Number: 2006-1317
FROM: Brian F. Mannix
Associate Administrator
TO:	Jeffrey Harris
Director for Program Evaluation, Cross-Media Issues
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Draft Evaluation Report issued by the
Office of the Inspector General on February 13, 2007, regarding the National Environmental
Performance Track program. We appreciate the time and effort your team invested in this
project. We are proud that after five years of securing environmental results, we can undergo
this level of scrutiny and confirm what we knew to be true - Performance Track members lead
their peers in environmental performance. We concur with the recommendations you made for
improving the Performance Track program as well. In particular, we appreciate your
recommendations to sharpen our definition of goals and objectives; to create a more realistic
process for linking our programmatic goals with EPA's strategic goals; to more effectively use
EPA databases to evaluate member qualifications; and to create better intermediate measures of
program results. We also acknowledge the challenges you faced in evaluating a relatively new
beyond-compliance program — the difficulties of how to best measure leadership, the
complexities of analyzing compliance data, and the limitations of Toxics Release Inventory
(TRI) data.
My comments first provide some clarifications of the Performance Track business model.
Following that are our more detailed comments on this draft of the report and our response to
each of your recommendations. A list of remaining factual issues that require attention is
attached as an appendix.
OIG Response:
EPA agreed with all our recommendations for program improvement. While EPA took issue with some
aspects of our evaluation methodology and conclusions about the program, the response recognized
improvements could be made.

The Performance Track Model
Performance Track was launched in June 2000 to recognize and encourage continuous
improvements in environmental performance that go beyond existing legal requirements. It
reflects the ideas emerging from a number of expert advisory bodies in the 1990s, among them
the President's Council for Sustainable Development, the National Academy of Public
Administration, and the Aspen Institute. It also reflects trends in Europe and Japan, where
partnership programs increasingly are being linked with regulatory programs to achieve better
environmental results on a range of issues.
Performance Track is designed to complement the environmental returns that are realized
through regulation. In addition to augmenting our regulatory strategies, however, it also is aimed
at making them more effective, by encouraging government resources to be used more efficiently
and enabling strong performers to be more innovative and results-oriented. Growing experience
from existing state performance-based programs and from around the world support the view
that partnership programs offer a valuable means of improving environmental results,
particularly when governments need to respond to new and emerging issues. In fact, the
Inspector General released a report in November of 2006 stating this very premise as its title:
Partnership Programs May Expand EPA 's Influence.
Performance Track's business model is based on one that is used in many innovative and
high-performing business organizations, in which they set ambitious, "stretch" goals and
determine how best to achieve them. Working closely with state agencies, EPA encourages
Performance Track members to aim high. Members set between two and four environmental
goals that go beyond their legal obligations, and they report annually on their progress. Under
this model, the measure of success is not so much the percentage of goals that are achieved but
the environmental improvements that are realized. The draft report highlights the fact that only
two of the 30 facilities in its sample had achieved all four of their commitments - a result that
would be plainly unacceptable if these were floor requirements imposed by regulation. In fact,
however, these are voluntary stretch goals that are intended to elicit an extraordinary level of
effort. Just as companies set, but do not always meet, ambitious public targets for corporate
earnings, Performance Track members set public targets for environmental performance that
present a challenge. Altogether, the 30 facilities in the Inspector General's sample met or
exceeded half of their 118 public goals, which is an indication of significant success.
In terms of the actual environmental gain that is achieved, the program has been able to
document significant improvements, many of which are noted later in these comments. EPA is
careful not to attribute these solely to participation in the program because many other factors
also encourage environmentally responsible behavior. However, we have been able to document
anecdotally that program members have added new goals, strengthened their commitment to
existing goals, and enhanced their environmental management systems and public outreach in
order to establish and maintain their Performance Track qualifications. We currently are
designing a survey instrument for collecting more systematic data on these program effects.

Long-Term Potential of Performance Track
Although most of the attention has been focused on the near-term environmental results,
the longer-term potential of the Performance Track model is even more promising. Performance
Track offers a valuable platform for EPA, state environmental agencies, Performance Track
members, and local organizations to work collaboratively to achieve results. For example, the
State of Colorado and EPA's Denver Regional Office are collaborating with a Performance
Track member and three Publicly Owned Treatment Works within the Cache la Poudre River
watershed to develop a proposal to coordinate their effluent and ambient monitoring. The State
encouraged the facility to form a stakeholder group to develop the proposal and to also form a
watershed committee. This coordination provides for a better understanding of the health of
their watershed and a greater efficiency in the use of monitoring resources. The State has
proposed a policy that provides a framework for allowing reductions in effluent monitoring
frequencies and encouraging these types of innovative approaches to protect Colorado
Performance Track also fosters collaboration between regions, states, member facilities,
and EPA through its implementation of challenge commitments, which address priority problems
identified by EPA and local communities. Challenge commitments require that facilities commit
to a specific, high level of performance toward EPA-defined environmental priorities and count
as two of the four commitments. (Small facilities are still required to make two commitments.)
Performance Track partnered with EPA's Office of Water to offer a challenge commitment in
water use reduction, with the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response to create a
challenge commitment in Priority Chemicals reduction, and most recently worked with EPA's
Office of Air and Radiation to launch a challenge commitment in energy use reduction.
Additionally, Performance Track fosters collaboration and innovation through the
Corporate Leader designation, which recognizes companies that have a substantial number of
facilities participating in the Performance Track program and that are committed to
environmental excellence at the corporate level. These companies are focusing on Product
Sustainability Reviews that include Life-Cycle Assessments in order to affect new and existing
product designs, conducting environmental assessments of their suppliers in order to reinforce
their commitment to sustainability, and increasing their reliance on renewable energy sources,
among many other commitments.
Program Recognition and Commitment to Continuous Improvement
The value of the Performance Track business model and EPA's implementation of it has
been recognized by external groups. In 2006, the Kennedy School of Government selected
Performance Track as one of the top 50 innovations in American government for its
effectiveness, significance, and potential for replication. The prestigious awards are given to the
most creative, forward-thinking, results-driven government programs at the federal, state,
county, and city levels. Out of a pool of more than 1,000 applicants, Performance Track was one
of only 13 federal programs to be recognized. A recent study of partnership programs by
Prakash and Potoski found Performance Track to be among the most rigorous of such programs
around the world. When compared to other partnership programs, and even many regulatory

programs, the quality of our measurement and our ability to track trends over time has few peers.
EPA welcomes suggestions for improving Performance Track, protecting its brand value,
realizing its potential for improving environmental results, and transforming relationships over
the long term. We agree that there are challenges in measuring the institutional and innovation
effects of the program, in maintaining accurate and up-to-date data on member performance
outside of their Performance Track goals, and in integrating the program with the existing
regulatory system. Building on the support of the Harvard study, we plan to continue engaging
national and international experts to help us meet these challenges in the years ahead.
Performance Track's Response to Some Issues in the Draft Evaluation Report
While Performance Track concurs with all of the Inspector General's recommendations
for improvement, we would like to respond to some of the issues raised in this report, namely,
how we track member results, how we set our Government Performance and Results Act
(GPRA) goals, how compliance information is analyzed, and how we analyze members' TRI
Performance Track Focuses on Member Results
Tracking member performance and results is a major focus of the Performance Track
program. Members are required to submit a lengthy annual performance report each year. If
they do not submit their reports, they are removed from the program. EPA posts all member
applications and their annual performance reports online at
www.epa.gov/performancetrack/members. Member results are clearly a focus across each of
Performance Track's internal planning documents, including through our mission, vision,
strategic plan, annual performance goals, and logic model. We track member trends internally
and also have presented trend analysis and performance data analysis in each of our four
program reports to date, which are available on the Performance Track Website at
While the Draft Evaluation Report concludes that, based on its sample, most Performance
Track members lead their peers in environmental performance, it also asserts that Performance
Track could not demonstrate that members achieve environmental results in three of four
program criteria areas: environmental management system (EMS) implementation, public
interaction, and compliance. This point is misleading. It assumes that these criteria have a direct
cause and effect relationship with environmental results. In fact, they are criteria facilities must
meet in order to be accepted into Performance Track. The program analyzes the actual
environmental results of its members through the fourth criterion - continuous improvement and
the associated performance goals. It would not make sense to use the other three program
criteria as a proxy for actual environmental results.

OIG Response:
In its comments, EPA says, "If [members] do not submit their [progress] reports, they are removed from
the program." We found that this was not true in all cases. We pointed out these instances to
Performance Track, and they promptly corrected the instances we found.
EPA also says, "It would not make sense to use the other three program criteria as a proxy for actual
environmental results." To clarify, the implication of logic modeling is not to show that each aspect of the
program has a direct effect on environmental outcomes, but rather to show how each aspect of the
program should be logically connected to program results.
As part of their commitment to continuous improvement, members typically set four
environmental goals (small facilities set two). To date, Performance Track members have
collectively made more than 1,500 commitments to benefit the environment. They have reduced
their water use by 3.5 billion gallons, greenhouse gas emissions by 97,000 metric tons of carbon
dioxide equivalent, nitrogen oxide emissions by 6,000 tons, sulfur oxide emissions by 17,000
tons, hazardous waste generation by 133,000 tons, and conserved more than 14,000 acres of
The Draft Evaluation Report notes that its sample of 40 members achieved a 16-percent
average level of actual environmental improvement during their three-year membership term.
The average level of actual improvement varies by environmental indicator. For example, for
the entire membership, the average level of actual energy use reduction is about eight percent
while the average level of hazardous materials use reduction is about 40 percent. We are
including a graph below that demonstrates the level of environmental improvement by members
who completed their three-year term of participation in 2003, 2004, and 2005. The graph
presents both the actual, absolute percent-improvement in each category and the normalized
percent-improvement. Normalized improvements take into account changes in production or
other activity levels at the facility.

Member 3-Year Performance: 2003 - 2005
Non-Hazardous Materials Use
Hazardous Materials Use
Non-Hazardous Waste
Hazardous Waste
VOC Reductions
Energy Use
Water Use
~ Normalized
Percent Improvement Over Baseline
In addition, when examining all Performance Track members' results that completed
their three-year term of participation in 2005, we found that members achieved 105 percent of
their aggregate actual energy use reduction goal; 96 percent of their aggregate water use
reduction goal; and 135 percent of their aggregate hazardous waste reduction goal.
OIG Response:
We assessed the program results information EPA presents in this section in our evaluation. We
found that 2 of 30 members met all of their commitments and that sampled members made an
average of 16 percent improvement (low of 57 percent decline below baseline, high of 100 percent
improvement, and median of 11 percent improvement). The aggregate program data the program
presents above indicate that stricter program standards for achieving commitments could enable
Performance Track to achieve results far exceeding those achieved to date by weeding out
members that do not achieve their commitments.
Performance Track Set Ambitious GPRA Targets
Just as Performance Track expects continuous improvement and transparency from our
members, we also anticipated that setting and achieving our own internal GPRA targets would be
a learning process. Because Performance Track was launched in 2000, we do not have much
historical data to analyze, making it difficult to accurately forecast projections on how members
might perform in the future. Variables such as facility size and more than 30 possible

environmental goals from which members could choose also make it difficult to project future
member results. It is important to highlight that although Performance Track did not achieve all
of the aggressive GPRA targets it set for itself in Fiscal Year 2005, all progress made was
voluntary, beyond-compliance, and benefited the nation's air, water, and land. Additionally, in
Fiscal Year 2006, members collectively made environmental improvements in all six regulated
and unregulated areas: water use, energy use, material use, solid waste generation, discharges to
water, and air releases.
In its discussion of the GPRA targets, the Draft Evaluation Report states that only one of
the six conditions improved when in fact, Performance Track members made beyond-compliance
improvements for three of the six targets for Fiscal Year 2005. The Draft Evaluation Report also
states that material use increased for Fiscal Years 2003, 2004, and 2005, and energy use
increased in Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005, when in fact, members' material use decreased in 2003
and their energy use decreased in 2003 and 2004.
OIG Response:
In its response, EPA points out differences in performance reporting data. For Fiscal Year 2005, we
present data showing that the program achieved one of six targets. Both the draft and final reports
recognize that the program made progress in three of six targets; overall, it did not achieve four of six
targets. For Fiscal Year 2006, we replaced preliminary data received from the program during the
evaluation with finalized data presented in EPA's Fiscal Year 2006 Annual Performance Report, which
is now publicly available. As a result, we show that the program met three of six targets in Fiscal Year
Performance Track's Analysis of Compliance Information
When they apply to the program, Performance Track members undergo a thorough
compliance screening review, which includes an assessment of information housed in EPA
databases, consultation with regional offices, state environmental officials, and the U.S.
Department of Justice. Performance Track adheres to compliance screening guidelines that were
developed for all EPA partnership programs in collaboration with EPA's Office of Enforcement
and Compliance Assurance (OECA). We also assess the compliance status of members on a
regular basis while they are in the program and when they re-apply for membership at the end of
three years.
Performance Track members are required to maintain a record of sustained compliance.
It is important to note, however, that Performance Track's acceptance criteria do not require a
record with zero violations. Consistent with Agency compliance screening guidelines for
partnership programs, EPA has the discretion to allow facilities into the program if screening
reveals recent enforcement activity, so long as their overall compliance record is strong, any
issues were addressed quickly and responsibly, EPA and state enforcement officials agree that
the applicant is a strong environmental performer, and the facility meets the other criteria for
membership. For Performance Track, this includes allowing up to two significant violations in a
three-year period.

The Draft Evaluation Report's analysis of the compliance history of all Performance
Track facilities found that 73 percent had no reported non-compliance, certainly an indication
that members in general are maintaining strong compliance records. Indeed, based on a more in-
depth analysis of 40 facilities, the Draft Evaluation Report concludes that most of the sample
facilities outperform their peers with respect to their compliance records.
In its analysis of all Performance Track facilities, the Draft Evaluation Report found that
four percent had significant violations reported in their records. As stated above, in reviewing
the compliance history of applicants, we use the compliance databases as a starting point. After
verifying these data, we consult with regional and state staff, and we allow for up to two
significant violations in the past three years. Therefore, the Draft Evaluation Report's
implication that these facilities may not have qualified for membership is incorrect. All of these
facilities did pass our compliance screening criteria at the time of application.
The Draft Evaluation Report presents misleading information about a Performance Track
facility that was subject to civil penalties and associated compliance cots. The fine and
compliance costs attributed to the Performance Track facility by the Draft Evaluation Report
were, in fact, the total costs for seven facilities included in this enforcement action. The
Performance Track facility continues to meet the program's compliance criteria.
OIG Response:
In responding to drafts for this evaluation, EPA parsed the details of our analyses to determine if flaws
and inaccuracies in the databases we used could account for our results. However, we used publicly
available data, which showed what information the public can access to determine the success of this
program. The burden of proving that applicants are "true" leaders and disproving any data
discrepancies in EPA's databases should fall upon the applicants in this program, not on EPA's staff.
In addition, as shown in our Scope and Methodology, we verified compliance data for the Performance
Track members in our sample by checking with EPA regional data stewards. We did not verify
compliance data for the sectors with which we compared Performance Track members. For this reason,
it is our opinion that Performance Track members' data used in this evaluation have a higher level of
accuracy than the data for sector averages.
In response to EPA's comments, we verified the penalty referenced herein with OECA and changed the
report to indicate that this was a corporate and not a facility penalty.
Performance Track's Assessment of Toxics Release Inventory Information
The Draft Evaluation Report concluded from its sample of 40 Performance Track
members that most members outperform their sectors for toxic releases. In the spring of 2006,
EPA began evaluating the TRI releases of new applicants and renewing members. When
Performance Track has researched apparent TRI increases in the past, it has often been the case
that the apparent increases were a product of changes in reporting methodology or changes in
production levels. A pattern of releases that suggests an actual deterioration in performance
would cause us to re-evaluate that facility's qualifications.

Moreover, one of the four facilities in the Inspector General's sample reported an
increase of over 1.5 million pounds in 2004. However, when EPA inquired about the reason for
the increase, the facility stated that it was a reporting error, and that the 2004 releases, after
correction, would be in line with the previous year. This would significantly decrease the
average toxic release increase cited by the Draft Evaluation Report.
OIG Response:
In its response, EPA says that there was a 2004 TRI reporting error included in our analysis. We used
2003 TRI data in our analysis. As stated in our scope and methodology, we conducted our fieldwork
using data available for August through November 2006. See response to compliance comments in
previous section. The same general comments apply to TRI data, which are publicly available. In
addition, EPA has a formal correction process that allows facilities to report inaccurate TRI data.
Performance Track Concurs with Draft Evaluation Report's Recommendations
3-1. Confirm and Clarify National Environmental Performance Track Mission and Vision.
Concur. We will integrate our planning documents and update our vision statement. We
have adopted a statement of core purpose and core values as a basis for integration.
3-2. Clearly communicate the defined program objective to EPA, Performance Track staff, the
public, non-governmental organizations, and the regulated community, ensuring that each
group understands the program objective.
Concur. We are reviewing our public materials and ensuring that core objectives are
communicated clearly and consistently to these audiences.
3-3. Refine, prioritize, and periodically revisit a program logic model or business model for
demonstrating how Performance Track will achieve its goals.
Concur. Our original logic model was developed in 2005, updated and expanded in
2006, and periodically will be revised and updated.
3-4. Design a comprehensive strategic program plan to connect activities with goals and to
encourage staff and management to focus on program goals and member commitments.
Concur. We plan to refine our statement of program goals and to develop a more explicit
set of linkages between those goals, member commitments, and program results.
3-5. Based on key program design elements and outcomes, develop a suite of performance
measures so that program staff and management can easily track progress. Based on how
the program design is modified, develop and report on the following:
3-5.1 Four program criteria to measure how well members meet and continue to meet
the standards set for entry.

Concur. We will continue to use the Annual Performance Reports, site visits with
a sample of members annually, summaries presented in the annual Progress
Report, renewal applications, and regular screening of members against the
compliance criteria to monitor whether members continue to meet the eligibility
3-5.2 Outcome measures that describe if/how the program members contribute to
outcomes such as innovation and collaboration, and that show if the program is
leading toward performance-based changes in environmental protection.
Concur. This is a challenging issue that is at the cutting edge of program
evaluation. We are consulting with experts for advice and are testing survey
approaches to obtain better information from members on these measurement
4-1. Maintain a centralized database for compliance screening information and decisions on
Performance Track members.
Concur. Performance Track began using a centralized database for compliance
screening in January of2006, and we continue to enhance the program's database.
4-2. Encourage member facilities to set and achieve commitments so that the public has a
clear idea of what members actually will achieve.

Appendix B
Detailed Scope and Methodology
We conducted this evaluation from June through October 2006. We performed our
evaluation in accordance with Government Auditing Standards, issued by the Comptroller
General of the United States.
We drew criteria from the Government Performance and Results Act, the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), EPA
program management guidance, and meetings with Performance Track management.
We examined management controls and program performance measurement as they related to
our objectives.
We used Microsoft Excel for all calculations, figures, and graphs.
Scope Limitations
For this evaluation, we did not address
•	State programs
•	Member characteristics
•	Incentives—quality, implementation, or potential impacts
•	Public outreach aspects
•	Quality of EMSs at facilities
•	Performance Track site visits
We also did not assess the validity of commitments or baselines, nor did we compare
commitments with sectors to determine if facilities set commitments related to their most
important environmental impacts. Performance Track staff told us that they worked with
facilities to encourage setting commitments related to Environmental Management System
"significant aspects."
We could not compare Performance Track member progress with nonmember progress because
there is no reporting requirement for nonregulatory issues. Therefore, we could not determine if
facilities associated with Performance Track were more likely to make improvements.
Sample Selection
On August 3, 2006, we compiled a list of the 385 Performance Track members at that time using
the Performance Track Online database.37 We eliminated 1 of the 17 sectors from our sample,
"arts, recreation, and entertainment," because it did not have as many compliance requirements
37The Performance Track program accepted new members during the course of our evaluation. Membership also
fluctuates regularly based on withdrawals. Because Performance Track added a new class of members in October,
as of November 3, 2006, the program had 417 members.

as the others, and we planned to compare compliance. This left 357 members to sample from in
16 sectors, and led to selecting a sample including 40 members. The sample represents 11
percent of members and gives a 95 percent confidence and a 15 percent margin of error. Our
randomly selected sample covered 14 sectors; it did not include "machinery equipment" or
"textile products."
Distribution of OIG Performance Track Sample by Sector





chemical products


electronic and electrical equipment


energy, utilities, and sanitary service


machinery equipment


medical equipment and supplies


metal products


mining and construction


miscellaneous manufacturing


miscellaneous nonmanufacturing


pharmaceutical products


research and education


rubber and plastics


textile products


transportation equipment and supplies


wholesale retail and shipping


wood products, paper, and printing





Source: OIG and Performance Track database.
Database Verification
Performance Track staff provided us with access to the Performance Track databases so that we
could retrieve information about commitments and accomplishments for individual facilities.
We compiled information on the accuracy of the Performance Track database, and determined
that it would provide sufficient accuracy for our evaluation.
OECA staff provided us with access and advice for using EPA's Online Tracking Information
System (OTIS) to retrieve compliance data for sectors and for individual facilities. They
recommended that we validate facility data with regional data stewards to ensure that they were
accurate for our analysis. Because we could not check data for all members of sectors used for
comparison, our data may demonstrate accuracy bias in favor of sample members. We retrieved
data on sample facilities from OTIS between September 25 and 29, 2006, and asked each region

to validate the results from the data pull. Based on their responses, we modified two of our
facility records, in both cases we reduced "quarters of noncompliance."
Sample Analysis
We chose two EPA databases that provide environmental information on facility and industrial
sector bases: OTIS, available to the public through the ECHO database; and the Toxic Release
Inventory database (TRI), also available to the public. By comparing results for a Performance
Track facility with the average results for its sector, we could demonstrate if a facility led or fell
behind its sector average for compliance and toxic releases.38
We looked to compliance records to show if Performance Track facilities outperform their
sectors for regulatory compliance. Performance Track facilities vary widely from concession
stands to a petroleum refinery. EPA designed the program so that all types of facilities could
become members. In assessing facility compliance, we used average sector compliance as a
benchmark so that we did not compare across different facility types.
Toxic releases provide the public with information about facilities' toxic emissions. While not
illegal, toxic releases indicate environmental risk at a facility. Coglianese and Nash used toxic
release data in assessing Performance Track facilities. They found that more than half of active
members had a high relative risk for pounds of toxic releases.39 We compared members'
releases with those of their sectors, on average, for 2003, the most recent data year available.
We also compared members' toxic releases from year to year, marking their entrance to the
Performance Track program to determine if Performance Track membership influenced toxic
To collect and analyze facility data in our sample, each facility was accessed in the Performance
Track Online database by member identification number, and each year's Annual Performance
Report was used to document the following information:
•	Commitment	•
•	Cycle (one or two)	•
•	Baseline year	•
•	Measurement units	•
•	Reporting year
•	Baseline	•
•	Performance commitment/target
Actual measurements
Normalized measurements
Normalizing factors (if applicable)
Beyond compliance index = (baseline actual -
reporting year actual)/(baseline actual)
Commitment achievement = third year of
reporting actual - performance commitment
38	Our analysis did not account for the number of inspections per facility. A Performance Track assessment
indicated that member facilities were inspected slightly more frequently than nonmember facilities. Our analysis
showed that most members in our sample (28 of 40) had been inspected more recently, 5 sample members had never
been inspected, and in 7 cases, sectors, on average, were inspected more frequently than member facilities. This
difference did not lead to a difference in compliance information for these facilities.
39	Coglianese and Nash, p. 16.
40	We collected information on toxic releases from EPA's Toxics Release Inventory, which could only provide
sector-wide data for 2003. We compiled current sector compliance data using EPA's Online Tracking Information
System. EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance maintains this database monthly. These
enforcement data were current as of September 1, 2006.

If there was more than one iteration of the same year's reporting, we used the most recent report
(e.g., third of three reports).
The following items from the facility's most recent Annual Performance Report:
•	Member ID	•	Parent company
•	Facility name	•	NAICS code
•	Facility type	•	ISO 14001 (yes/no)
•	Facility size (as broken down by
Performance Track)
To collect and summarize enforcement and compliance data for individual facilities (sample
members), we entered the facility name into the "multimedia" search in OTIS. We collected the
following information from OTIS (time frames represent the period of data reported in OTIS):
•	Days since last inspection
•	Number of statutes the facility is subject
to (including minor sources)
•	Quarters of noncompliance in past 3
•	Current significant violations
•	Number of onsite inspections in past 5
•	Number of informal enforcement actions
(notices of violation) in past 5 years
•	Formal enforcement actions in past 5
•	Penalties in past 5 years
•	TRI releases for 2003
•	Change in TRI releases for 1996
through 2004 (period of data
provided in OTIS)
•	Change in the number of chemicals
reported from 1996 through 2004
•	TRI releases for 1996 through 2004
To summarize enforcement and compliance data for sectors, we entered NAICS codes into the
multimedia search in OTIS. For facilities listing more than one NAICS code, we entered all
NAICS codes present to compile a composite sector. We calculated the average number of
regulations per facility by dividing the total number of entries by the number of unique facility
IDs. We calculated the average days since an inspection by dividing the column for "days since
last inspection" by the number of facilities. We used this same method to calculate the averages
for the following:
•	Quarters of noncompliance	• Formal enforcement actions
•	Current SNC	• Penalties.
•	Informal enforcement actions
For 2003 TRI releases, we also calculated the average for facilities that reported in that year and
used this average for comparison with sample facilities.
We calculated a TRI ratio to compare facilities with their industrial sectors by dividing the
facility's 2003 TRI emissions by the average TRI emissions for their composite sector.
We calculated commitment achievement and percent improvement over baselines for all sample
facilities. The program moved to a "normalizing" scheme, by which facilities could choose a

unit of operations (as in unit of production) for adjusting their data reports. Each facility could
choose a different factor for each commitment. The effect was to obscure actual pollution trend
data, so we did not use "normalized" data for our analysis, with one exception: when a facility
set a goal based on a "normalization factor," we used normalized numbers to determine if the
facility met its goal.
Overall Performance Track Members Analysis
To determine how Performance Track members, at large, performed on regulatory compliance,
we used the OTIS database to select all Performance Track facilities on October 18, 2006. This
search provided 500 facilities. We calculated the average days since an inspection by dividing
the column for "days since last inspection" by the number of facilities, and noted how many
facilities had never received an inspection. We used this same method to calculate the averages
for the following:
•	Quarters of noncompliance	• Formal enforcement actions
•	Current SNC	• Penalties
•	Informal enforcement actions	• TRI releases for 2003
We subsequently compared this list of facilities with the list of Performance Track facilities in
the Performance Track membership database on the same date. We compared facility names,
addresses, cities, and zip codes to match OTIS-listed facilities with Performance Track member
database facilities to determine what facilities composed the discrepancy between the databases.

Appendix C
Performance Track Criteria
Environmental Management System
The facility must adopt and implement an
environmental management system (EMS) that
includes the elements specified:
1.	Written environmental policy
2.	Written environmental plan
3.	Implementation and operation plans
4.	Checking and corrective action
5.	Management review
Public Outreach
The facility must conduct public outreach and
performance reporting:
1.	Identify and respond to community concerns
2.	Inform the community of important matters
3.	Report on facility EMS and performance
Regulatory Compliance
The facility must demonstrate a record of
sustained compliance with environmental
requirements; prohibitions for
1.	Environmentally-related criminal conviction
or plea within past 5 years
2.	Environmentally-related criminal conviction
or plea for an employee within past 5 years
3.	Ongoing criminal investigation/prosecution
of corporation, corporate officer, or
employee at the same facility for violations
of environmental law
4.	Three or more significant violations at the
facility in the past 3 years
5.	Unresolved, unaddressed Significant Non-
Compliance (SNC) or Significant Violations
(SV) at the facility
6.	Planned but not yet filed judicial or
administrative action at the facility.
7.	Ongoing EPA- or State-initiated litigation at
the facility
8.	Situation where a facility is not in
compliance with the schedule and terms of
an order or decree
9.	Significant noncompliance overview specific
to the related program office (Air, RCRA,
Environmental Performance Beyond
The facility must demonstrate specific past
environmental achievements:
1.	Past achievements (small facilities 1, large
facilities 2) (a "small facility" is one with
fewer than 50 employees)
2.	Future commitments (small facilities 2, larger
facilities 4)
3.	Challenge commitments (count for two
"future commitments"
a.	Region I: reducing greenhouse gas
emissions by 5 percent
b.	Region II: reducing energy use or mobile
source air emissions by 10 percent or
reducing non-mobile source air
emissions by 20 percent
c.	Region VI: reduce their Nitrogen Oxide
(NOx) emissions or Volatile Organic
Compound (VOC) releases by 15
4.	Membership in other EPA partnership
programs helps the applicant
Source: Performance Track document, Performance Track Program Guide.

Appendix D
Incentives and Rewards to Participation
Low Priority for Routine Inspections
Performance Track facilities are deemed a low
priority for routine inspections by EPA.
Extended Hazardous Waste
Accumulation Time (Resource
Conservation and Recovery Act
[RCRA] 180-Day Incentive)
This incentive allows large quantity generators
of hazardous waste who are Performance Track
members up to 180 days, and in some cases
270 days, to accumulate their hazardous waste
without a RCRA permit or interim status.
Reduced Reporting Frequency for Air
Sources (Maximum Achievable Control
Technology [MACT] Reporting
This incentive reduces and simplifies the
frequency of reports required under the MACT
provisions of the Clean Air Act such that semi-
annual reports may be submitted annually.
Water Incentives
EPA encourages States to provide more
favorable terms to Performance Track facilities
in their Clean Water State Revolving Fund
EPA Recognition
Press releases, letters to elected officials, trade
journal articles, and other EPA-generated
recognition for participation.
Wth other Performance Track facilities, though
conferences, regular conference calls, facility
Green Investing
Four investment firms used Performance Track
membership as an indicator of corporate
Source: EPA Performance Track Website, www.epa.qov/performancetrack/benefits/index.htm.

Appendix E
Performance Track Commitments*

Commitment Category
Times selected
by sample
Waste, nonhazardous
Energy Use
Total (nontransportation) energy use by fuel type
Water Use
Total water used
Hazardous waste generation, broken down by
management method (total or specific)
Material Use
Materials used (total or specific)
Air Emissions
Total Greenhouse Gases
Material Procurement
Recycled content (total or specific)
Material Use
Hazardous materials used (total or specific)
Land and Habitat
Land and habitat conservation and restoration
Air Emissions
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs, total or
Air Emissions
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
Air Emissions
Air toxics (Total or specific)
Discharges to Water
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)
Material Procurement
Hazardous/toxic components (total or specific)
Accidental Releases
Accidental Releases
Suppliers' Environmental
Packaging materials
Energy Use
Transportation energy use (total or specific)
Discharges to Water
Toxics (total or specific)
Discharges to Water
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Biological
Oxygen Demand (BOD), and Total Suspended
Solids (TSS)
Material Use
Ozone depleting substances used (total or specific)
Material Use
Total packaging materials used
Air Emissions
Sulfur Oxides (SOx)
Air Emissions
Discharges to Water
Total suspended solids (TSS)
Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR)

Air Emissions
Carbon Oxides (CO)

Suppliers' Environmental
Any relevant indicators from the Inputs or

Nonproduct Outputs stages
Suppliers' Environmental
Hazardous materials
Suppliers' Environmental

Land and habitat conservation
Land and Habitat
Community land revitalization

Particulate Matter Smaller than 2.5 Micrometers in

Air Emissions
Diameter (PM 2.5)
Air Emissions
Particulate Matter (nominally 10m and less) (PM10)
Air Emissions
Particulate Matter (PM)
Air Emissions
Air Emissions
Air Emissions
Discharges to Water
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)
Discharges to Water
Nutrients (total or specific)
Discharges to Water
Sediment from runoff
Discharges to Water
Pathogens (total or specific)
Land and Habitat
Expected lifetime energy use (total or specific)
Expected lifetime water use (total or specific)
Expected lifetime waste (to air, water, land) from
product use (total or specific)
Waste to air, water, land from disposal or recovery
(total or specific)

* Our list differs slightly from the Performance Track
Online list, which reflects only current commitments.
Our sample represents facilities that set
commitments that are no longer acceptable.


3 commitments
per facility per
Source: EPA Performance Track Online Database.

budget: $2.3
Staff: 27-29 FTE
19 headquarters
7-10 Regions
417 as of
2. Measurable member
environ in antal
3. Membership yields
greater business Value
value c
[a re n ess of
PT Brand
More businesses
qualify for RT by
improving trteir env.
1.	Publicize program & members (#
publicity events)
2.	Member recruitment (#
3.	Application & renewal review
(facility & corporate leaders) (#
4.	Monitor Member Compliance (#
members in compliance, # out,
Provide Recognition to members
(#events, awards, certif, etc.)
Annual Performance Reporting &
1.	Member results analysis &
Annual report (# correct APRs rec'd)
2.	Maintain env. reporting framework
Work with stakeholders (# mtgs, #
stakeholder suggests adopted)
Publicly available memi;
environmental results
Increase firms using PT
membership for socially-
responsible investing
Active partnerships with NGOs
Incentives Development &
Improvement (# incentives, #
members using each)
Collaboration with EPA Program
-Incorporate PT in PPA/ NPM
Outreach to & work w/ States
Increased # of state MO As 8
Feedback from members
Members motivated to
improve environment
5. Well-managed &
effective program
EPA and state agencies
become more dynamic &
flexible in solving env.
#EPA Goal 5.4:
Through Pollution
Prevention and
Enable EPA and State
agencies to achieve
better environmental
Improved human health
and environment
4 States & EPA have
institutionalized PT
Site visits
Member survey & PTrack Hotline
Recog. of env. leadership
Detailed Program Logic Model
Appendix F
Increased # state programs similar
to PT
More meaningful Incentives
are available to more
Incorporation into Agency/
State regulations & guidance
1. Increased™
and expandecta
of program

Reduced environmental
footprint of members &
potential members
Increased number of member
commitments & env results
Joint initiatives (chalT'^Orimits^
ambient monitoring, etc.)
i conditions
{ which innovative
5 can be
More members & corporate
Ensure high quality members
Increasedjc )llaboration
between BP \ and high-
perfo mi ingle smpanies
and other sts keholders

Data Analysis Results
Appendix G
Figure G.1: Commitment achievement for Performance Track facilities.
Commitment Achievement by Facility
5 18
E 17
| 16
o 15
c 14
8 13
achievement ratio
Figure G.2: Commitments achieved at cycle completion for Performance Track facilities.
Commitment Achievement
Air toxics (Total or specific)
Total suspended solids
Waste, non hazardous
Hazardous waste generation, broken down by management method
(TotaI or specific)
Total water used
Materials used (T ota I or specific)
VOCs (Total or specific)
Total (non-transportation) energy use by fuel type
Total GHGs
Hazardous materials used (Total or specific)
Accidental Releases
Land and habitat restoration
Recycled content (T ota I or specific)
Toxics (Total or specific)
achievement ratio

Figure G.3: Change in materials use for Performance Track facilities for program years 1-5, 2001 through
2005 results (tons).
Figure G.4: Comparative compliance for sample facilities that did not outperform their sectors.

Quarters of


Notices of violation


Primary Sector


Chemical Products
Wholesale, Retail, and
Electronic and Electrical
Research and
Equipment and


Equipment and

Rubber and Plastics
Chemical Products
Wood Products, Paper,
and Printing
Research and
Source for Appendix G: Office of the Inspector General, data from TRI and OTIS.
1	2	3	4	5

Appendix H
Deputy Administrator
Audit Followup Coordinator, Office of the Administrator
Agency Followup Official, Chief Financial Officer
Agency Followup Coordinator
Associate Administrator for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations
Associate Administrator for Public Affairs
Acting General Counsel
Acting Inspector General