National Partnership for Reinventing Government
(formerly National Performance Review)
An Information Sheet for Federal Communicators, Managers, Workers, and Their Partners--Pass It On
3-M Nominates EPA for Hammer Award
It's a first. On June 18, the Vice President's Hammer Award was presented to a government regulatory agency as a result of a nomination from a private sector company. The story behind this event heralds a new, enlightened era in federal regulatory practice--one in which government and industry work together to achieve common goals.
The Environmental Protection Agency received the award for its ground-breaking 33/50 Program. This partnership program challenged industry to voluntarily reduce environmental releases of 17 high-volume toxic chemicals by 33 percent in 1993 and 50 percent in 1995. More than 1,300 companies representing 5,000 facilities participated in the program.
On June 26, Vice President Gore released the most recent (1994) data from EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (industrial chemicals that pose environmental and health concerns). It shows that the program reached its goals a year early. Free of government regulations, paperwork, penalties, punishments, and lawsuits, each company developed its own goals and plans and let EPA know of its commitment in a simple letter.
It Was Two Hammers, Actually
One of the participating companies, 3M, nominated the 33/50 team for the Hammer Award, commending it for exchanging "blue ribbons for red tape." NPR Project Director Bob Stone presented the award at 3M's headquarters in St. Paul. He also presented a companion award to 3-M, representing more than 1300 industry partners, for participating in the program.
Industry applauded the effort from the beginning and the kudos continued. Richard Zanetti, editor of Chemical Engineering Magazine, wrote "....33/50 has been one of the smartest things EPA has done....the government's role in 33/50 is small, as it should be. In fact, EPA manages the entire program with just a handful of staffers. I would guess that taxpayer return on investment for 33/50 is light years ahead of that from traditionally run environmental programs....33/50 may be the harbinger of a changing regulatory rationale."
In December, McGraw-Hill, publisher of the above magazine, organized a celebration and presented an "Environmental Champions" Award to 20 participating companies and the Department of Energy as top achievers in reducing pollutants--some 750 million pounds in all. Based on his own analysis of the 1993 TRI, Zanetti found that these companies reached their goals well ahead of schedule. These companies also saved money, with an estimated 15 percent decrease in production-related waste, almost double that for non-participants.
The 33/50 program was EPA's first voluntary environmental program; more than 80 others are now underway, including Green Lights, Project XL, and Wastewi$e.
For More Information
For more information about 33/50, or a referral to other programs, call Chris Tirpak at (202) 260-7538 or e-mail: Tirpak.Chris@epamail.epa.gov.
Regulatory reform is a major component of reinventing government. Many agencies are paying less attention to process and punishment and more attention to partnership and results. For more information, call Bruce Smith at NPR, (202) 632-1176, or e-mail: Bruce.Smith@npr.gsa.gov.
On May 16, Colorado and Utah became the first states in the country to sign "performance partnership grants" with the Environmental Protection Agency. The agreements allow the states more flexibility to direct and shift federal funds for environmental projects to achieve better environmental results.
"These partnerships are based on a shared vision of environmental protection that is based on trust, respect, and a commitment to changing the way we do business," said EPA Administrator Carol Browner. Patti Shwayder, acting executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said the grant agreement will allow the State to set priorities for its environmental efforts.
The new one-step grants replace up to 13 separate agreements the state agencies used to negotiate with EPA and will allow them to bypass time-consuming appeals to EPA. Under the reinvented system, states need only file a single comprehensive report each year. The shift from limited categorical grants (such as air, water, hazardous waste, toxic substances) to broad "multimedia" grants required Congressional approval. The President signed the legislation authorizing the change on April 26.
A recent Department of Labor report lists dozens of examples of states and localities in which union and management have broken out of traditional roles and taken some risks to work cooperatively to achieve workplace innovations and improve services to the public. Working Together for Public Service also lays out specific practices and "how to's" that may be of interest to others. The report gives the findings of a task force put together by the Secretary of Labor. The task force found that some of the most impressive successes came from relationships that previously had been extremely contentious.
The report is on DoL's home page: http://www.dol.gov/cgi-bin/consolid.pl?media+reports. To get a copy or more information, contact Edward Hilz at (202) 219-8595, ext. 165, or e-mail: email@example.com. The fax number is (202) 219-4315.
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