Program Evaluation Division
Office of Management Systems
and Evaluation
August 1983

Chapter I — Introduction 		1
Chapter II — Primary Responsibility:
The States or the EPA? .7.		6
Chapter III — Critical Areas for EPA's Success ....	15
Chapter IV — Perceptions of EPA's Relative
Strengths and Weakenesses 		20
Chapter V — Conclusions 		36

Division of responsibilities between the States and EPA
for implementing environmental programs is an issue that has
been debated since the EPA was formed. This issue has been
debated frequently over the years and never fully resolved.
Recently, as resources for environmental programs have become
more scarce at the State, local, and federal levels, it has
become even more important to reach agreement on the sorting
out of roles and responsibilities.
There are many possible reasons why this issue has not
been resolved in a satisfactory manner to date. One,possibility
is that EPA, the States, industry, the Congress and the general
public have different — and sometimes conflicting — views,
on EPA's role and responsibilities. Another possibility is
that the Agency's pursuit of its overall mission to implement
statutes as directed by Congress sometimes requires the EPA
to take actions that do not further a genuine "State-federal
To provide information to sort out State-federal roles and
responsibilities, the Office of Management Systems and Evaluation
(OMSE) conducted an evaluation to assess what groups, outside
the Agency — industry, environmental, public interest groups
* Prepared by Kate Probst in the Program Evaluation Division.
Special thanks are due to Helga Butler for her thorough and
conscientious help developing the list of interviewees and
the interview guide, and to Ken Hollen who analyzed the
information collected during the interviews and insisted
that our conclusions be fully justified by the data.

and State and local organizations — perceive to be EPA's
appropriate role vis-a-vis the States and our areas of relative
strength and weakness. The "External Views" study is part of
the Delegation II study (conducted by OMSE) which examines a
number of different issues related to EPA's future role
after primary responsibility for the direct implementation
of most environmental programs is "delegated" to the States.
Our objectives in the External Views Study were to:
-	assess the degree of consensus on EPA's appropriate
role in environmental programs;
-	identify where the EPA's performance in different
functional areas is perceived as particularly
weak or effective;
-	gather suggestions from knowledgeable people as to how"
we might improve in our areas of relative weakness;
and to
-	identify which areas these outside groups think are
critical for the EPA to achieve its goals.
A. Methodology
The study we designed was an ambitious one. We wanted
to get informed opinions on a number of sensitive issues.
Therefore, we did not select a random sample, but specifically
selected individuals whom we knew were extremely knowledgeable
about EPA.programs and about the State-EPA relationship. We
found many of -the specific examples people cited quite useful,
b-'t do not attribute them by name as we promised all those
who generously participated in this study that their responses
were "not for attribution."
We selected our interview respondents by first developing
an unabridged list for three categories: State, industry,
and environmental and public interest groups. We then applied

a set of representative criteria, such as geographic location,
local vs. national interests, and ensuring expertise in dif-
ferent EPA programs. Although we attempted to distribute
interviews equally among the three groups, scheduling constraints
left the final tally a little less than even.
The final split among the three target groups was:
State agencies, State and local associations	13
Environmental and public interest groups	7
Industry and industry associations	_8
Total	28
We also requested representatives from EPA's program
and Regional offices reply to a similar set of questions in
writing. These responses, while quite informative, were not
consistent enough to subject to the same kind of analysis as
the external interviews. This report, as a result, focuses
on the findings of the external interviews. We received
responses from eight Regional Offices and all Headquarters
program offices except the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency
Response. We have, however, found it useful to compare
some of the "internal" responses to the external interview
findings. We have included internal responses in this package
• •
only where they are particularly significant in comparison
with the findings from our external interviews.
Our goal was to get the best information we could on
knowledgeable individuals perceptions of EPA's performance.

The interviews* addressed a number of issues including:
o Who, the States or the EPA, should have the lead role
for each functional area?
o Should this lead change in the next five years? Why?
o Where is EPA particularly effective or particularly
o Where are the States particularly effective or
particularly weak?
o Which environmental issues are likely to become
increasingly or decreasingly important in the coming
o Are there any functions the Agency does not currently
perform that it will need to perform to meet future
We wanted to be able to draw some conclusions about the
EPA's role and how the EPA does business in general — not
simply for the RCRA program or the Air program — therefore
we structured our interview guide around eight functional
areas that comprise all the activities that make up our
"programs". A similar set of functional categories was used
in another part of the Delegation II study that profiled
EPA's current work. These activities are**:
* See Appendix A for interview guide.
** See Appendix R for more detailed definitions of each
functional area.

I.	Direct Program Administration
II.	Enforcement
III.	Technical Support
IV.	Oversight (of State Programs)
V.	Research
VI.	Standard-setting
VII.	National* Information Collection/Systems
VIII. External Funding (of State Programs)
Interviews were conducted during the_ last two weeks of
May. We used two-person interview teams (all staff from the
Program Evaluation Division) for 28 interviews. All but one
interview were conducted in person.
* * * * *
This report pulls together the findings from these
external interviews. Chapter II identifies external views
on who should have the lead in each functional category and
why. Chapter III describes which functional areas inter-
viewees deemed more important for EPA to do its job.
Chapter IV details where respondents thought EPA was
particularly weak or effective, why they thought we were
weak in some areas and what improvements they recommended.
Finally, Chapter V presents our conclusions.

There has been much discussion over the years about
which level of government should have which responsibilities
for environmental programs. We decided, in this study, to
start with the question of: who, the States or the EPA,
"should have the lead or "primary" role for each functional
area? The reason for asking this question was to find out if
there is, in fact, a general consensus on who should have
the lead role. If there is, then we can move on to the
issue of what does that lead role imply, and what are the
responsibilities of the "supporting partner."
We found in our external interviews that there was,
.indeed, a high degree of consensus as to whether the States
or the EPA ought to have the lead for each functional area
(See Table 1). The majority view was that EPA should hav:*
the lead for the following areas: standard setting, oversight
of State programs, research, technical support and the
collection/dissemination of national information systems
(not, however, the actual collection of the data which mos;
felt was a State responsibility). Respondents also agreed
that State agencies should have the lead for direct program
administration and enforcement, although they saw a clear
need for a back-up federal role. The one area where there
was not a clear consensus as to who should have the primary
responsibility was "external funding", i.e., who should have
the primary responsibility for the funding of State programs.

% Said % Said	% Said
EPA Lead Joint Lead State Lead
Standard Setting: now
in 5 years
80%	12%	8%
Oversight of State Programs: now	92%	8%
in 5 years	NO CHANGE
Technical Support: now
in 5 years
73%	23%	4%
Research: now
in 5 years
National Information Systems: new	84%	8%	8%
Direct Program Administration: new	8%
in 5 years 0%
Enf orcerrent: now
in 5 years
Fundirg of State Programs: now	48%
in 5 years , 39%
*Less than 5%.

We also found that those interviewed did not see much
change in who should have the lead role in the next five
years. There were, however, three functional areas where
this was not the case: direct program administration,
enforcement and funding of State programs. For these three
areas more respondents said the States should have the lead
role five years from now. This slight shift to the States
in the areas of implementation and funding reflects both the
increasing delegation of EPA programs to the State and the
sentiment, voiced by many, that States should have more
responsibility for the programs as their capabilities improve
with experience.
The "internal" responses submitted voluntarily by
representatives of EPA's program and Regional offices are
consistent with the results from the external interviews
as to which level of government should have the lead role in
each area.
A. EPA Lead
Standard Setting: Eighty percent of the respondents
said EPA should havo the primary role and 12 percent said it
was a joint State-EPA responsibility. Reasons given for an
EPA lead were co ensure national consistency, to avoid-
duplication and to take advantage of federal expertise because
the States do not (generally) have the expertise and resources
to develop the necessary rules and regulations. Some people
felt stongly that EPA should set standards to ensure that
States do not set weak standards to attract industry. A

small number of respondents, however, said EPA should only
set national performance goals, i.e., ambient standards, and
leave to the States the responsibility for attaining these
ambient levels. Many .interviewees felt States should be
more involved in the early stages of developing standards,
as they are responsible for implementing the standards
through the issuance of permits and enforcement actions.
Oversight of State Programs: Ninety-two percent of the
respondents said EPA should have the lead for this function.
They felt this was clearly a federal responsibility and was
important in order to ensure national- consistency in the
implementation of Federal statutes. Many groups specifically
mentioned that EPA should audit State performance and not be
involved in day-to-day decisions.
Technical Support: Seventy-three percent of those
interviewed felt this was an area where EPA had the primary
responsibility? another 23 percent saw it as a joint State-EPA
role. The rationale behind an EPA lead was that States
often do not have the expertise or the resources to perform
technical support and that we need to provide the technical
expertise necessary to implement the Agency's regulations.
•Many respondents also stated that technical support is
an important mechanism for ensuring consistent environmental
programs. The theory that technical support is an effective
means for achieving consistency among State programs stems
from the belief that many States are hungry for information
on how best to control pollution. Thus, if EPA gives States

good technical protocols and training, they will use it.
This would result in people using EPA's technical guidance
because it's "the best there is". Another point frequently
made was that involvement in technical support will keep
the EPA close to field problems, which will improve the
Agency's ability to conduct effective oversight of State
programs. Some respondents also highlighted the need for
the States and the EPA to give technical assistance to the
regulated community.
Although all groups categorized technical support as
primarily an EPA responsibility, 100% of the industry
representatives said it was an EPA lead, while 70% of the
representatives of State and local governments felt it was
an EPA lead, with the remaining 30% calling it a joint
State-EPA role.
Research: This was considered to be clearly an area of
federal lead, with 96% responding that EPA should have the
lead and 4% saying it is a joint State-EPA responsibility.
Most respondents said that States just did not have sufficient
resources needed to conduct the necessary research. Although
numerous respondents did distinguish between the capabilities
of large States and small States — saying that some of the
larger States did engage in research — respondents identified
two primary reasons why EPA should conduct research. EPA
needs to conduct research 1) because it is necessary for
developing standards and, 2) to ensure that the Agency retains
the expertise necessary to support its regulatory power.

National Information Collection/Systems; Eighty-four
percent of those interviewed felt this was an EPA responsi-
bility, with only 8% saying the lead should be shared jointly
by EPA and the States. Respondents felt that national infor-
mation was an important and useful basis for the oversight
of State programs. In particular, it enables residents of a
particular State to compare their state to others to assess
how well the State agency is doing its job. National infor-
mation was also seen as important for the standard
setting process as it allows EPA to assess what kind of
controls are needed. Finally, respondents generally thought
the federal government should have the lead because it is in
a better position than the States to disseminate information
effectively. Respondents also agreed that the actual
collection of environmental data is properly done by the
B. State Lead
Direct Program Administration: Respondents felt that
the States should have the lead in this area as they are
more familiar with the constraints regulated entities face,
have a better understanding of implementation issues, and
because many of the statutes clearly envision State lead.
(85% said State lead, 4% said joint State-EPA role.) A
number of respondents also noted that the States, taken
together, have more staff resources for environmental
programs than EPA.

A number of respondents voiced the concern that the EPA
needs to maintain the capability to implement the various .
environmental programs. Interviewees said it was important
for the EPA to be capable of providing back-up support and
also to be able to run the programs in States wnere delegation
or authorization has not ocurred. Many people specifically
mentioned that EPA must be willing and able to take back a
program from the States if they find that a State is not
performing adequately. They also felt EPA should delegate a
program only to a State that is capable of running it.
This means EPA and the States need to develop some oversight
criteria for what constitutes a "good" program, and apply
these criteria rigorously. ¦
Another sentiment voiced by many of the interviewees
was that EPA should not delegate a program to the States
until that program is functional and well established at the
national level. A number of the respondents specifically
said that the RCRA program was not "ready" to be delegated
and that EPA should administer that program until it is
performing satisfactorily.
Enforcement: Respondents felt the lead for enforcement
should follow-the lead for direct program administration as
64% saw a State lead now while 28% saw enforcement as a
joint State-EPA responsibility. Special emphasis was again
placed on the need for backup federal enforcement, and on a
cent i nu i ng EPA role in enforcement in cases involving interstate
pollution problems and criminal activity. Unexpectedly,
more State respondents said EPA should share the lead for

enforcement (38% shared lead, 0% EPA lead) than industry
respondents (none saw enforcement as an area of shared "primary
responsibility and 8% said EPA should have the lead role.)
Most of the substantive comments on the enforcement
function were in defense of the statement that EPA should
retain a role in the enforcement area, even when the program
has been delegated to a State agency. There was substantial
support for the idea that part of EPA's role is to serve as
"the gorilla in the closet" when the States do not take the
necessary enforcement actions.
C. Mixed Views on External Funding (of State Programs)
Although half of the respondents saw a lead role for
the EPA, the remainder were split between considering funding
a joint responsibility (30%) or primarily a State role (22%).
The vast majority, however, felt that the EPA did have some
role in the funding of State programs. Many interviewees
saw a decrease in the level of federal funding over the next
five years, but said that the decrease should be gradual and
federal support should not be eliminated.
Those supporting an EPA lead role (48%) did so based on
the following philosophies:
-	It is a federal responsibility to fund programs required
by Federal law.
-	It is important to maintain strong federal funding of
State programs because State legislatures will not
fund environmental programs at the necessary levels
because when they are faced with the choice of spending
a dollar for economic development or for the environment
funding for environmental programs suffers.
-	The States do not have the resources to pick up funding
for these programs.

-	Since pollution is an interstate problem it should
be paid for by the federal government.
-	The federal government should maintain some leverage
over State programs, and the most efficient way to do
this is through grants.
Those who felt it should be a State lead (22%) also had a
clear rationale for their pos.tion:
-	Some thought that once a program is delegated to the
States, funding becomes the primary responsibility
of the States.
-	Others felt States should have the lead after
delegation to give them the incentive to manage their
programs effectively.
There were a number of respondents who thought the
funding issue is primarily a political choice that is based
on values other than efficiency and effectiveness and simply
needs to be. made. In this view there is no "right" or "wrong"
answer to the question "what is most appropriate level of
government to provide funding?" Rather, there are a range
of choices which reflect different core values about govern-
ment and predispositions about federal/State taxation and
fiscal policy.

Recently much of the discussion surrounding the issue
of State-EPA relations has focused on "oversight": How does
the federal government oversee State programs and hold them
accountable? In light of this we thought it would be useful
to find out how people outside the Agency view the EPA's
roles and responsibilities. What areas do they see as
particularly important? Which are the most important for the
Agency in fulfilling its job under the environmental statutes?
We also thought it was important to find out if there were
any functions we currently perform that people thought we
should not be doing. For example, do people outside the
Agency think that, once we delega'te programs to the States,
there is no longer a need for EPA to set standards?.
We asked respondents to rank each function on a relative
scale. Each respondent peformed this ranking in the context
of a specific program. For most programs that can be delegated
a substantial amount of delegation of responsibility to the
States has already occurred. The only program where the
"delegation" of responsibility is just getting underway is
the RCRA program. The scale used to rank functional areas
1	= Extremely Important
2	= Important
3	= Not Very Important
4	= Not Worth Doing

The question we asked was: For the X (RCRA, Pesticides, Air,
etc.) program, how would you rate the importance of each
function in terms of its overall importance in fulfilling
EPA's responsibility to ensure environmental protection?
(See Table 2)

Key: l=Extremely Important
3=Not Very Important
-	4=Not Worth Doing	
*Each number represents a mean score.

There are! a number of conclusions that can be drawn from
the responses to this particular question:
1.	Almost all functions were considered to be important.
There were not any functions, in any program area,
that were considered to be "not worth doing".
2.	Standard setting is clearly considered to be. the
most important function for EPA to perform. This is
true even though the Agency has already delegated a
large percentage of the responsibility for direct
program administration to the States. This rating
was consistent across all programs and all groups
3.	Oversight, research and technical support are clearly
still considered to be important functions for the
Agency to conduct. Oversight was considered slightly
more important in the Water and Pesticides program
and slightly less so in Air and in RCRA (the latter
is viewed as not in the oversight mode yet.)
4.	Back-up federal enforcement is considered to be an
important EPA function. Enforcement and direct
program administration are considered slightly less
important — for EPA — than other functions. This
is consistent with the findings on appropriate lead
roles. Direct program administration by EPA was
considered more important for the RCRA program than
for other programs, which is consistent with the fact
that RCRA is a relatively new program and that EPA
is still responsible for RCRA permitting in over
75% of the States.
We also asked the people we interviewed a similar but
slightly different question:
"What single function do you consider to be the most
important for the EPA to best support the States in
their efforts to implement environmental programs?"
Our responses were quite similar to those for the previous
ranking, in that three out of the top four were the same:
standard setting, research and technical support. Technical
support, however, was mentioned most frequently as the most

effective way.for EPA support the States. Again, this reflects
the widespread perception that technical support is a crucial
function for the federal government to perforin after the
delegation of programs to the States. (See Table 3)
% who mentioned
each function*
h ighest
Technical Assistance
Standard Setting
External Funding
(of States)
Oversight of States
National Information
Direct Program
We can concude from these findings that 1) standard
setting continues to be a pivotal function for EPA, even in
the "post-delegation" era, and 2) that technical assistance
should be considered a legitimate EPA function especially
after the delegation of programs to the States.
*Some people listed more than one function, so the numbers
add to more than 100%.

One of the main objectives of this evaluation was to
find out whether the three different "external groups" that
we interviewed had similar perceptions of EPA's performance
in the eight functional areas. We wanted to get these groups'
views on where they considered EPA to be either "particularly
weak" or "particularly strong" in performing the different
functions, in the context of the specific program area that
was being discussed. If anyone said EPA was particularly
weak in a given function, we then asked that they give us
some specific reasons and their suggestions for improvements.
We had two reasons for requesting their suggested improve-
ments. The first was to enable us to put together a list of
their ideas; the second was to find out if those who criticized
the EPA's performance could themselves provide specific
ideas about how to improve that performance.
The findings indicate that there is a large degree of
consensus that EPA's performance is weak in many areas
(See Table 4). Few respondents found much to praise in EPA's
performance, and not many considered EPA to be particularly
effective in any area. It should be remembered, however',
that we asked people to focus on how the Agency could improve
its performance, and as a result received, perhaps, more
criticism than would otherwise be the case.

For example, there were four areas where more than half
the respondents found EPA's performance to be "particularly
weak". This should not be taken, however, as a simple rating
of EPA's overall performance. The interviewer requested that
the respondent identify particular areas where EPA was
effective or weak. Thus, a person more concerned about the
timeliness of EPA's effluent guidelines might rate standard
setting "particularly weak" because standards have been slow
in coming, even if the individual was satisfied with the
scientific quality of the final product. As a result, the
approach taken in the interviews tended to emphasize the
identification of specific concerns or problems rather than
a balanced evaluation of EPA's performance -of each function. -
Nonetheless, respondents did mention many more specific
examples of where EPA's performance had been "particularly
weak" than examples of "particularly effective" EPA actions
when discussing all functional areas.

External Views
% said
EPA particularly weak
7 6%

In general, State, local, environmental and public
interest groups were noticeably harsher in their criticism
regarding EPA's performance than were industry representatives.
Also, respondents discussing the RCRA program were more
critical of EPA's performance than other respondents.
Criticism of the RCRA program ranged from the Agency's
indecision regarding the requirement for annual reports
from handlers of hazardous waste to the perception that "EPA
has no strategy to curb the 'midnight dumping' of wastes."
As mentioned in the methodology section, approximately
40 persons or offices within the EPA responded to a similar
set of questions. EPA respondents to the question of "Where
is EPA particularly weak or particularly effective" generally
believed EPA is effective in many areas and weak in few
(See Table 5). This is a quite different picture than the one
presented by external groups. For example, only 12% of
those interviewed thought EPA's delivery of technical support
was particularly effective, while 67% of the EPA respondents
held this view.

External	EPA*
28%	Standard Setting	42%
20%	Research	44%
12%	External Funding	25%
(of States)
12%	Technical Support	-	67%
8%	Oversight of State Programs	39%
4%	Enforcement	33%
0%	National Info. Collection	39%
0%	Direct Program Administration 19%
*Based on 36 responses.

National Information Collection; Seventy-six percent of
the respondents, across all groups and all programs, considered
EPA's performance in this area to be particularly weak.
% Said Effective	% Said Weak
State/Local (13)* 0%	77%
Env'l./Pulic Int. (7) 0%	71%
Industry (8) 0%	50%
TOTAL (J%	76%
Interviewees selected three main reasons for characterizing
the Agency's performance as "weak":
-	failure to collect good (credible) data;
-	failure -to collect the right information; and
-	failure to disseminate information so as to make -it
easily accessible.
Repondents mentioned numerous specific examples supporting
this characterization of EPA's performance:
-	The National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System
(they cited GAO study) is a weak system;
-	Failure of EPA to collect information for national
data base on (hazardous) waste generated/disposed
of makes it difficult to shift from feedstock tax
to a waste tax; and
-	"STORET data is a disaster. Poor quality, poor control.
*The numbers in parentheses give the number of respondents for
each category.

Interviewees also expressed concern that EPA is no longer
serving as a "broker" of good information on the magnitude of
environmental problems. Two examples were cited:
-	EPA stopped producing pamphlets on health issues which
were important for those at the State and local level
involved in FIFRA; and
-	The existence of a severe chemophia problem. This was
cited repeatedly as a problem that the EPA needs to
deal with by providng better information to the general
publir, local officials, and the Congress. In response
to the question "are there any new functions (not on
the list of eight) the EPA should perform, 17 out of
27 people responded with either "public information"
or "public education". Each respondent gave different
examples as to how the Agency should perform this
function, and many explicitly said that they did not
mean the Agency should lobby for new programs. The
general concern, however, was clearly "things have
gotten out of hand", and neither the general public
nor anyone else_lias the information, to be able to
distinguish a true emergency' from non life-threatening
Many suggestions were nade on how to improve EPA's
-	establish more information clearinghouses;
-	establish training and technical support to improve
data quality;
-	start collecting ambient data needed to measure
"environmental results";
-	EPA should oversee a national information system
(and not have contractors run the system);
-	tie national statistics to oversight of State programs;
-	States should provide raw data, but the federal
government should analyze the data and perform analyses
requested by the States.

Standard Setting, which was cited by those we interviewed
of the most important area for EPA to perform also received
strong criticism.
% Said Effective	% Said Weak
State/local (13)	31%	62%
En'vl./Public Int. (7)	0%	86%
Industry (8)	37%	37%
Total	28%	68%
Standard setting received more criticism in the Air
program (20% said effective, 80% said weak) and RCRA programs
(23% said effective, 63% said weak), than in the. Water and
Pesticide programs. Specific areas identified as effective
in the past were mobile source standards aftd the Agency's
economic analysis work.
Concerns about standard setting ranged from a belief
that regulations are developed too slowly to the issue that
the Agency often sets technology rather than performance-based
standards. Other comments on the EPA's standard setting
process were:
-	failure to bring States — who will have to implement
the standards -- 'into the standard setting process
-	failure to talk to industry experts before decisions
are made on appropriate technical regulations;
-	failure to resolve critical issues; and
-	failure to set standards so as to give industry
the incentive to comply and develop better and
cheaper methods of pollution abatement and control.

Some complained, too, that EPA's standards are unnecessarily
burdensome. One example cited was the fact that RCRA standards
require a facility to prove to EPA that the road-bearing
capacity of plant roads is adequate. One industry repre-
sentative responded that this was rather unnecessary as "we
build our roads so trucks don't fall in" (the roads).
One alternative suggested to EPA's current standard
setting process was that EPA should rely on technical panels
such as those used by existing standard setting groups such
as the American Society for Testing and Materials and the
U.S. National Bureau of Standards model for developing
Technical support was critici-zed most heavily by State
and local groups, the major recipients of EPA technical
assistance and support. Technical support was considered
weak across all program areas, although the Air program
received slightly less criticism than other programs. A
number of respondents, when asked for examples of good
technical support, specifically mentioned past air training
% Said Effective
% Said Weak
State/local (13)
Env'l/Public Int. (7)
Industry (8)

The only mention of effective EPA technical assistance
was technical support to industry. Criticism focused on the
fact that:
-	The Agency "does not do enough technical assistance."
-	The technical assistance EPA does provide to States
and local governments is not adequate: "lack of TA
has been a terrible loss for State and local govern-
ments" .
-	That there is not adequate technical support to enable
those who must implement EPA regulations to do so
Respondents felt there is a strong need for EPA to be
able to "trouble shoot" special problems which States do not
have the expertise to deal with. One successful example
of this type of technical support was cited:- "a toxicologist
from EPA's Attvens' lab worked day and night with Atlanta ..
officials to help identify the sources of an odor and water
supply problem."
Suggestions for improvement from State and industry
representatives were quite similar. They suggested that the
-	assume a larger role in education and training in state-
of-the-art sampling and biological testing methods to
both States and industry;
-	provide training in program implementation; and
-	use IPA's to get good EPA people out to the States,
and vice versa, so that those who write the regula-
tions have a better understanding of what's involved
to implement them and to improve communication.
Research was also criticized more heavily by State/
local and environmental/public interest groups than by
industry representatives.

% Said Effective
% Said Weak
State/local (13)
Env'l/Public Int. (7)
Industry (8)
Respondents felt the research for the pesticides program
was particularly weak, although RCRA (0% said effective, 63%
said weak) Air (0% said effective, 40% said weak) and Water
(28% said effective, 57% said weak) did not fare much better.
Criticisms of EPA's research efforts were quite extensive,
and included the following comments on the EPA's current
research efforts:
-	need more research on waste reduction and effects;
-	need to translate research into technical support,
i.e. "make it real"?
-	need more applied research;
-	need more exploratory research;
-	need research to back up technical standards; Agency
needs to consider alternative solutions - not just
one ;
-	need more and better health effects and epidemeology .
-	Agency does not take advantage of expertise that exists
outside EPA in developing regulatory options;
not enough work being done on environmental monitoring;,
-	EPA does not take action until public outcry is so
great it can't be ignored (e.g., groundwater).

One criticism of EPA's research efforts was that research
conducted in support of standard setting does not consider
alternative "solutions" to a problem. Many repeated the
criticism that too often the EPA and their consultants do
not consider alternatives, instead pursuing a single, pre-
determined solution. This unnecessarily limits the kinds of
regulatory solutions available.
Some of the more interesting and unique suggestions for
improving the Agency's research efforts were to:
-	Set up an environmental institute for research,
independent of EPA. The logic behind this
recommendation was that the EPA should have the
ability to reject or accept the results of the
Research Institute, and not be constrained to
accept its results. •
-	Develop two separate research budgets, one for long-
term research and one for short-term program needs.
Here the rationale was to ensure that long-term
research needs are met. Some believe that long-term
research is currently sacrificed to short-term
program needs. As a result, the programs often "find
the work they need in the future left undone.
-	Make' greater use of States and universities through
grant-in-aid programs.
Enforcement not only received a substantial amount of
criticism from all the groups we interviewed, but was noticeable
in that it received little praise — only 4% of those interviewed
found EPA's enforcement efforts to be particularly effective.
% Said Effective	% Said Weak
State/Local (13)	8%	40%
Env'1./Public Int. (7) 0%	71%
Industry (8)	0%	50%
TOTAL	4%	60%

EPA's enforcement efforts were rc^re harshly criticized
in the pesticide and RCRA programs (0% said effective, 67%
said weak) than in Water (28% said weak) and Air (20% said
effective, 40% said weak). One industry representative had
this description:
"We don't see any visible evidence of strong enforce-
ment. We need strong enforcement, provided it is done
consistently. In terms of midnight dumping' (of hazardous
waste) — what's EPA doing? We don't see EPA using its
power to enforce the law. You should put enforcement
somewhere (organizationally) and leave it there".
Another industry representative put it this way:
"EPA enforcement is weak and highly unpredictable, and
the perception of lax EPA enforcement is a disaster".
Other criticisms include:
- Both State agency and environmental group repre-.
sentatives asserted that" EPA is often unwilling to;
tackle tough cases. Instead, the Agency takes "easy
-	All three groups criticized the EPA for not doing
enough in the enforcement areas and for the lack of
a credible EPA presence.
-	All three groups also criticized Agency enforcement
efforts on the grounds that the Agency often "brings
bad cases", i.e. without a good scientific basis.
One industry representative said the easiest way to
get an EPA case thrown out was to question the validity
of EPA's scientific data.
-	Finally, both environmental and industry groups
criticized the EPA for inconsistent Regional Office
enforcement interpretations.
EPA's oversiqht practices were also heavily criticized,
with the bulk of that criticism coming from representatives
of State and local groups.

% Said Effective
% Said Weak
State/local (13)
Env'l./Public Int. (7) 0%
Industry (8)
The conduct of oversight was more heavily criticized in
the Water program (0% said effective, 57% said weak) and Air
program (20% said effective, 60% said weak) than in the
pesticides and RCRA programs. Those discussing the RCRA
program said they could not comment yet on the program's
performance as EPA was not doing much oversight now.
The weaknesses cited were that:
-	there is a lack of consistency among EPA Regional
offices;	_
-	there is no predictable EPA presence and follow-up;
-	current oversight practices involve too much detailed
review of individual actions instead of examining
overall end results and performance; and
-	oversight is generally weak and duplicative.
Interestingly, representatives from States and industry
groups had similar criticisms of the Agency's performance of
the oversight function, although.industry was less critical
than States.
Direct Program Administration, while not as heavily
criticized as other areas, was notable in that n£ one considered
EPA to be particularly effective in performing this function.

% Said Effective	% Said Weak
State/local (13) 0%	54%
Env'1./Public Int. (7) 0%	14%
Industry (8) 0%	25%
TOTAL 0%	40%
Respondents discussing the pesticide and RCRA programs (50%
said RCRA was particularly weak) characterized direct program
administration as relatively weak, while respondents'discussing
Air (20% said weak) and Water (14% said weak) were less
critical of EPA's performance. The major criticism cited
was that EPA's permitting efforts have not been very effective
and that the EPA "tends to wait until disaster strikes before
acting". A number of interviewees specifically mentioned
the Agency's recent handling of Times Beach as an example..
In the final area, externel fundinq, EPA's performance
was criticized the least. Only 36% considered EPA's performance
particularly weak and 12% rated the Agency as particularly
effective in this area. The majority of respondents did not
comment on EPA's performance in this area.
% Said Effective	% Said Weak
State/local (13) 15%	38%
Env'1./Public Int. (7) 14%	43%'
Industry (8) 0%	12%
TOTAL 12%	36%

Funding performance for the RCRA program (none said EPA
was effective, 43% said weak) was considered quite poor,
while other programs were not regarded as being either
particularly weak or effective. Some of the criticisms of
the EPA's record in funding State programs were:
-	EPA is very weak in the RCRA program
-	Most areas are woefully underfunded, and
-	There are no opportunities for States to influence
EPA's priorities for grant dollars.

There are two kinds of conclusions that can be drawn
from the findings of the External Views study. The first
is summary findings on what people outside the EPA view
as the Agency's appropriate roles and responsibilities.
The second kind of conclusions has implications for how
the Agency defines its work. They suggest changes in the
actual work the EPA should do, in the relative importance
of functions and in the tenor of the Agency's interactions
with States and industry.
A. Perceptions on the Agency's Roles and Responsibilities
1.	There is a consistent view on what the EPA's
responsibilities are, with one major exception, the funding
of State p-ograms. They include:
Setting national standards;
Conducting research in a number of areas;
Providing technical support to State and local
Conducting oversight of State programs; ana
Developing and maintaining national information
The federal government also has a responsibility to actually
implement environmental programs, including taking enforce-
ment action, where the States are either unwilling or
unable to do so.
2.	It is just as clear that the respondents to this
survey believe there is much room for improvement in
EPA's performance of these functions. Interviewees had

substantive reasons for the judgments they made about EPA's
performance. The preponderance of negative assessments of
EPA's performance sends a definite signal that the Agency
should consider making some changes in "how it does business."
3. All the groups interviewed want a credible EPA
first. The majority of people interviewed made a strong
statement about the need for the EPA to be a leader in the
area of environmental protection. They specifically did
not mean the Agency should be lobbying for new programs to
run. Rather, they were concerned about a perceived loss of
credibility. Each group, however, had its own reasons why a
credible and strong EPA is necessary. Industry wants EPA's
regulations to be perceived as protective so that they will
be able to site facilities. States want citizens to feel
comfortable with their implementation of EPA programs.
Environmental and public interest groups want the EPA to be
a strong advocate for measures which they see as necessary
to protect the public. Everyone said that mutual interests
require that the EPA be strong.
B. Implications for the EPA's future
1. Setting environmental standards is the most critical
of EPA's activities. There are, however many criticisms of
the Agency's standards. There was a clear consensus that
setting environmental standards is EPA's most crucial function.
The importance of this function does not decline after delega-
tion. It is important that the EPA's standards not only be
based on sound science but that those who develop the regulations

take into account how the regulations will be implemented.
Many people faulted the EPA's standards because the standards
do not clearly articulate what is required and because
they are often not practical. A related finding was that if
EPA's standards were "written in English" and dealt with
implementation problems there would be less need for technical
2.	Technical assistance is crucial if EPA's lob is to
aid States in implementing environmental programs. State
and local agencies need EPA's assistance to implement environ-
mental programs. They need EPA as a source of technical and
sometimes legal expertise without having EPA "second guess"
State decisions, a criticism* lodged against the EPA by ma"ny
of the interview respondents. Since environmental regulations
are often complex, States and the regulated community often
need guidance on what range of appropriate solutions or
alternative methods to solve a problem exist. Those we
talked to felt that technical support has, to date, been
very low on EPA's list of prioirities or that it has not
been on that list at all. A telling comment by one person
was: "What -is the point of conducting oversight of State
activities if, when you find a problem, you don't have, the
tools or the expertise to help them solve the problem?"
3.	There is a critical need for "good" public informa-
tion about environmental issues and problems. When we asked
people if there were any new functions the Agency should per-
form to meet future needs, 17 out of 27 responded with either

public education or public information. Different respondents
gave different reasons why this was an important function,
but the message itself was clear: the EPA has a responsi-
bility to serve as the source of accurate, credible informa-
tion on the magnitude and extent of environmental problems.
The Agency also has a responsibility to ensure that the
public is cognizant of the legal requirements set forth1by
the various environmental laws so that they can comply with
them. A recent report by the U.S Chamber of Commerce found,
for example, that a large percentage of small businesses
that generate or dispose of hazardous waste were unaware of
the RCRA statute.
4. All States do not have similar capabilities. One
of the major findings of the external interviews was the
that the EPA should be willing, and able, to take programs
back from States that are not doing a good job. This means
that the EPA must be willing to distinguish among States if
the Agency is to carry out its responsibilities. This has
important implications for how EPA conducts oversight of
State programs and for the skills that EPA must maintain
. at the federal level if it is to be able, upon "de-delegation",
to run the program itself.

Delegation Study: External Interviews
Background Information:
Interviewer 		Date
Res ponsibilities		
Area of program expertise	
What we would like to do first is discuss the Agency's role
vis-a-vis states in terms of a specific program you are
familiar with, and then discuss, in a more general way which
issues you see as becoming more important over the next five
years and which issues you think will decrease in relative
What we are.interested in are your views on these issues.
We would like to talk first about the program you are most
familiar with, the 	program.
Please answer the first set of questions as they relate
specifically to that program.
(Show card with list of possible functions, and explain that
these comprise the current set of activities the Agency is
involved in.)

In your opinion, in the 	 program, for
which of these functions should EPA have the primary
responsibility, and for which the states? (This question
refers to the present time.) Why?
Standard Setting
Direct Program Administration
Technical Support
Oversight of State Programs
External Funding of States
National Information Collection/Systems
Do you think the lead for these functions for the
	 program should change in the next 5 years? Why?
i)	How much, if any, of that change would be a result of the
increasing delegation of program responsibility to the
ii)	What other factors would cause this shift?
People hold different points.of view as to which of the
eight functions EPA performs well, ind which the states
perform well.
In which of these functional areas do you think EPA is
particularly effective?
Standards	Oversight
Direct Program Administration Enforcement
Technical Support	Research
National Information Coll.	Funding of State Programs
In which of these araas do you think we are particularly
weak? Why?
(referring to question#4)
Do you have any suggestions as to how we might make
improvements in this/these area(s)?
Are there are?s where you think the states are doing
a particularly good job? Could you give us some specific
Are there some functions where you think the states
are particulary weak ? Could you give some examples.

8. For the 	 program, how would you rate the
importance of the eight functions we've been talking
about in terms of their overall importance in fullfilling
EPA's responsibility" to ensure environmental protection?:
Are they "extremely important, important/ not very impor-
tant, or not worth doing?"
9. Could you give me a brief explanation of why you consider
those (#)	 items to be extremely important?
10. Why are '	and 		 not very important or not
worth doing at all?
11. In your- opinion how can EPA best support the states
in their efforts to implement the 	 program.
(i.e., in our role of serving the states as partners;
relates to "means" rather than "ends")
12. . A.final question relating specifically to the 	.
program.' What do you think is the most effective way
... for EPA to ensure, after delegation, that the state program
irs being implemented in accordance with the Federal
(relates to "ends", final results)
- Do you think that would be an effective way to ensure
adequate state performance for other EPA programs?
(as opposed to being particular to the 	 program)
Why/Why Not?
we would like to now move on to discuss how the mix of environ-
mental issues that EPA is involved in is likely to change
over the next couple of years and which issues, in your
opinion, are likely to become increasingly•important.
13. As you know, the definition of what are the major environ-
mental issues has changed over the years, and is likely to
continue to change in the future. We would like to know
which environmental issues, — either currently recognized
or unrecognized — in your opinion, are likely to increase
in importance over the next five years, and which issues
are likely to decrease in their importance.
(Do not get more than 3-4 issues in each category. Focus
on specific issues. Probe to find out why person holds
this opinion. )

14. In order for EPA to adequately address and deal with these
issues which of the eight functions will be most important?
15. Are there some additional functions the Agency will need
to perform that are not on that list?

List of EPA Functional Areas
Direct program administration refers to activities
which directly affect individual sources of pollution or
manufacturers of substances with the potential to threaten
public health and the environment. Some of these activities
are delegable to States while others are not.
Included are:
a.	Permitting, Engineering and Environmental Impact Reviews
b.	Product Review and Registration
c.	Hazardous Substance Emergency Response and Site Management
d.	Compliance Activities and Inspections
Enforcement refers to all administrative or judicial,
compliance actions against violators, and all legal defense
This area includes the development and provision of
assistance to groups or individuals outside the Agency (e.g.,
States, localities, public interest groups or private industry).
This assistance differs from both regulatory and oversight
activities in that use of it is mostly voluntary (one exception:
certification of State drinking water laboratories), and from
Direct Program Administration in that the users of the services
provided are outside the Agency.
included in Technical Support are:
a.	Laboratory Services
b.	Development and Distribution of Implementation Tools
c.	Direct Assistance, Person to Person
d.	Special Projects
e.	Training

This includes:
a.	Reviews of Individual Proposed State Actions
This includes all reviews prior to final action of individual
State actions (such as permitting, enforcement and monitoring)
where legal consequences will follow from EPA's failure to
approve the action. Examples include NPDES permits; SIP
revisions involving "bubbles", waivers, variances, or other
changes to individual plant emission limits; AWT reviews; and
RCRA variance requests.
b.	Program Review of State Activities
This category includes program audits, performance
evaluations or oversight reviews of ongoing State environmental
programs (e.g., permitting, compliance actions). It includes,
for example, reviews of past permit actions as indicators of
overall State performance and inspections of sources when the
purpose of these inspections is to oversee-a State or local
"Enforcement program.
Research activities are all those which produce information
which improves the scientific or technical basis for making
decisions at EPA, in other levels of government, or in the
private sector. These activities are not necessarily limited
to ORD. They include:
a. Standard-Setting support
b. Exploratory Research
Standard-setting activities include the assessment of
regulatory alternatives, the development of a regulatory
package, and the review of that package until its publica-
tion as a final action in the Federal Register. These
activities include:
a.	Listing Decisions/Designation Activities
b.	Technical Regulations
c.	Administrative Regulations

National information collect refers to the means which
the Agency uses to collect data concerning the overall quality
of the environment, in a form for future use, and to examine
the conduct of selected activities by EPA. Two types of
collection activities can be identified. The first are those
formal national systems with standardized reporting routines
and responsible organizations? the second are special requests
which occur from time to time.
VIII. EXTERNAL FUNDING (of State Programs)
External funding refers only to EPA funding of State
programs, whether through grants, cooperative arrangements or
cooperative agreements.