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Three EPA Programs Nominated for Government 'Oscars'

Release Date: 03/30/2006
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov (Performance Track only); Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 / ryan.dave@epa.gov (ECHO database only); Suzanne Ackerman, (202) 564-4355 / ackermann.suzanne@epa.gov (eRulemaking only)

(Washington, D.C. - March 30, 2006) Three programs that help the environment are basking in a Hollywood-like glow for being named semifinalists for the Innovations in American Government Award. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Performance Track program, the Enforcement and Compliance History Online Web site, and the eRulemaking program were among 50 programs selected by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

"As they say on the red carpet, it truly is an honor just to be nominated," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "These 'Oscars' of government awards are given to the best performers for delivering the American people results, and EPA's nominees have taken innovative environmental programs from the drawing room to the silver screen."

EPA's programs were chosen from more than 1,000 applicants for their uniqueness, effectiveness, significance and potential for replication. The awards, often referred to as the "Oscars" of government prizes, are bestowed upon the most creative, forward-thinking, results-driven government programs at the federal, state, county, and city levels. In July, five winners will be selected from the 50 nominees and each will win $100,000 grants.

The National Environmental Performance Track program augments regulations and enforcement by encouraging facilities to achieve additional environmental results beyond what is required by law. The program recognizes facilities that work with their communities, set three-year goals for continuous improvement in environmental performance, and have systems in place to manage their environmental impacts. More than 400 Performance Track facilities have made 1,500 commitments to the environment, and 20 states recognize this performance-based approach to improving the environment.

The Enforcement and Compliance History Online web site has provided the public with easy access to extensive information about the environmental compliance records of EPA-regulated facilities. ECHO provided integrated information for the previous three years on penalties, enforcement action, compliance status, monitoring and permits. Since ECHO's November 2002 launch, private citizens, government officials, investors, and staff at regulated companies have asked more than 2.5 million questions about the environmental records of the more than 800,000 facilities residing in the database.

The eRulemaking program places hundreds of regulations and supporting documents that impact daily life at the American public's fingertips. The program is a cross-agency initiative managed by EPA in collaboration with more than 25 partner departments and agencies. The eRulemaking Initiative provides citizens with a central place to learn about proposed regulations and to have their comments shape the rulemaking process of all federal agencies.

More information on Performance Track: epa.gov/performancetrack

More information on the Enforcement and Compliance History: epa.gov/echo

More information on eRulemaking: http://www.regulations.gov