Due to two significant demands: 1) the need to effectively and efficiently improve the environmental performance of large groups of facilities with limited agency resources and 2) calls to demonstrate that agency compliance assurance efforts are yielding measurable results, a number of states began to actively employ a wide variety of traditional and innovative approaches to environmental compliance, enforcement, and assistance. These initiatives involved experimenting with various combinations of regulatory and non-regulatory tools to drive environmental performance improvements within identified regulated sectors and groups. Although state agencies have collected information about various aspects of their activities and the general performance of certain sectors, seldom has there been an accurate basis for drawing group performance conclusions and limited ability to compare the differences in group performance levels between two or more states working on a common sector or group. As a result, in 2006, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), building on the successful measurement approach developed for its Environmental Results Program (ERP), designed and implemented the States Common Measures Project to apply the ERP measurement approach across more than one state. This project was funded through the 2005-2006 EPA State Innovations Grant Program. 1
THE OVERALL GOALS OF THE PROJECT
Improve the ability of state environmental agencies to evaluate the performance of targeted business sectors including developing and implementing performance measures and using statistical approaches to analyze and report the results.
Improve the ability of state environmental agencies to identify and adopt effective and efficient environmental performance improvement strategies based on those results.
1 ERP, first developed by the MassDEP, is an innovative approach to improving and measuring the environmental performance of selected business sectors or groups. ERP uses a unique combination of linked compliance assistance, compliance certification and statistical performance measurement that leverages traditional compliance assurance activities to achieve improved performance for the selected group. For more information, go to: www.erpstates.org
The States Common Measures Project Final Report