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PA EPA ANNOUNCES INITIATIVE TO STRENGTHEN ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING PROGRAMS

Release Date: 10/14/97
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FOR RELEASE: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 1997

EPA ANNOUNCES INITIATIVE TO
STRENGTHEN ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING PROGRAMS


EPA has announced an Agency wide plan to improve the quality of environmental data programmatically collected by its air, water and waste offices. Under the new plan, known as the performance-based measurement system (PBMS), EPA will identify and allow the use of performance-based standards as the basis for selecting analytical methods used to monitor and measure pollution and other environmental samples. Currently, most EPA program offices prescribe a specific method, instrument or technique to measure an environmental sample and demonstrate compliance with a regulatory standard. Under PBMS, however, regulated facilities will be given the option of selecting any analytical method, provided it meets the performance criteria and other relevant references that EPA may establish. EPA is now requesting comment on several issues relating to the implementation of PBMS, including its potential to encourage the development of new environmental monitoring technologies and its effect on the enforcement of existing regulatory and statutory requirements. Additionally, EPA has identified specific monitoring and testing programs that would be excluded from PBMS. The program offices also have recently completed their own plans for implementation, addressing how PBMS will work in specific regulatory programs. A notice was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 6 and is available for review on the Internet at: http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/#search.


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