EPA is committed to exploring new and creative ways of achieving environmental results and making them a routine part of our work. EPA has adopted a problem solving approach to address environmental problems that involves using several tools - ranging from compliance assistance to incentives and auditing to compliance monitoring to civil enforcement to criminal enforcement. EPA uses a number of innovative tools as part of its core program to ensure compliance. EPA:
- includes Environmental Management Systems (EMSs) in its enforcement settlements
- partners with states to develop self-certification Environment Results Programs
- encourages self-disclosure through EPA's Audit Program
- is working with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to use market-based mechanisms to promote environmental compliance
- provides key incentives in support of the National Performance Track, and offers participating members low inspection priority for routine inspections
In spring 2001, Administrator Christine Todd Whitman asked senior EPA managers to update the Agency's innovation agenda. Although EPA has made significant progress in improving environmental quality over the past 30 years, the Administrator recognizes the need for a broader set of tools than we have relied upon in the past to address increasingly complex problems such the continuing accumulation of greenhouse gases, inadequate improvements in water quality, increasing problem of urban smog, and inequities in building and maintaining water infrastructure. (Additional Information)
Enforcement and Compliance Operating Principles for the National Environmental Performance Track Program January 2001
This explains overall operating principles for handling enforcement and compliance issues that may arise in the Performance Track program.
National Environmental Performance Track Program April 2002
This describes EPA's commitment to ensure full implementation of our promise that Performance Track facilities receive a low priority for routine inspections.
Visit the Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation for information on EPA-wide innovative approaches and activities.