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Smart Sectors Program Signals Change at EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the launch of its new Smart Sectors initiative to improve collaboration between the Agency and regulated industries. The initiative aims to develop better communication and streamline operations at EPA by engaging industry throughout the regulatory process.
“When we consider American business as a partner, as opposed to an adversary, we can achieve better environmental outcomes,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “The Smart Sectors program is designed to effectively engage business partners throughout the regulatory process. The previous administration created a narrative that you can’t be pro-business and pro-environment. This program is one of the many ways we can address that false choice and work together to protect the environment. When industries and regulators better understand each other, the economy, public, and the environment all benefit.”
The initiative will create new positions within EPA that serve as representatives for each regulated sector of the economy. These sector leads will also: conduct educational site tours, host roundtables with EPA leadership, analyze data and advise about options for environmental improvement; maintain open dialogue with business partners and their environmental committees; and, develop reports that profile the impact of each sector on the environment and the economy. According to EPA, the program will be “located in the Office of Policy’s Immediate Office, which enables the sector leads to work across EPA’s land, water, air, and chemical program offices, as well as with environmental justice, enforcement and compliance assistance, and other offices, including EPA regional offices.”
According to EPA, a sector-based approach can provide benefits, such as: increased long-term certainty and predictability, creative solutions based on sound data; and, more sensible policies to improve environmental protection.