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ERP Results from a Second Cycle of ERP

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

To date, three states have completed two or more cycles1 of ERP for at least one sector: Rhode Island, for auto body shops; Massachusetts, for dry cleaners, photo processors and printers; and Vermont, for retail gas stations. EPA's preliminary review of results from these states suggests that ERP has served as a cost-effective strategy for managing these sectors over the long-term, as ERP implementation costs diminish substantially.

Data from Rhode Island's second cycle indicate that the sector maintained performance on many Environmental Business Practice Indicators (EBPIs), while also showing a higher number of statistically significant improvements than in the first cycle. Specifically, Rhode Island observed 7 statistically significant improvements between the baseline and the first round of post-certification inspections, and 10 statistically significant improvements when comparing the baseline to the second round of post-certification inspections. One of these additional statistically significant indicators is the percentage of shops that control dust emissions. In the first cycle of ERP, there was a 15 percentage point, statistically insignificant increase in the percent of shops that employ a control device, but a 51 percentage point, statistically significant increase from the beginning of ERP to the end of the second ERP cycle.

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Rhode Island's second cycle of ERP involved much more limited outreach than the first round and can therefore be understood as the results of ERP in "maintenance mode", where the state is not continuing to provide extensive outreach, but is rather using additional rounds of facility certification to remind facilities of their obligations and encourage incremental improvements. For more information on Rhode Island's results, please see EPA's 2009 evaluation of three auto body ERPs. For additional information on long-term results for Massachusetts' ERPs, please see section 3.3 of EPA's 2007 report on ERP results (PDF) (40 pp, 1179K). Vermont's results from its ERP for retail gas stations have not yet been finalized for publication.

Summary of Rhode Island's Auto Body ERP Baseline to First Cycle and Second Cycle Results

# of Indicators # Improving (# Significant) # Worsening (# Significant) # No Change, 100% Meeting Expectation
Baseline to first round of post-certification random inspections 24 19 (7) 3 (N/A) 2
Baseline to second round of post-certification random inspections 19 17 (10) 0 (N/A) 2
a) Rhode Island used a 95% confidence level and a one-tailed test for significance. Significance was not tested for indicators that showed worsening performance; this is marked in the table with (N/A).
b) In its second round of follow-up inspections, Rhode Island did not collect data on five waste management indicators. In the first round of follow-up inspections, four of these indicators had statistically insignificant increases from the baseline, and one had a statistically insignificant decline in performance from the baseline. While we do not know the specific reasons that these indicators were not measured in the second round of follow-up inspections, ERP states can adjust their measurement approach over time for various reasons, for example to better focus on certain priorities.

1The first cycle of ERP includes baseline inspections and a first round of follow-up inspections. A second cycle includes one or more rounds of self-certification followed by a second round of follow-up inspections. The results of the second round of inspections can be compared to either the baseline inspection results, or to the first round of follow-up inspections. We present the former to demonstrate the long-term effectiveness of Rhode Island's ERP.

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