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Office of Strategic Environmental Management

EPA's Strategy for Determining the Role of EMS in Regulatory Programs

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


On April 12, 2004, EPA's Deputy Administrator released a Strategy for Determining the Role of Environmental Management Systems in Regulatory Programs (EMS Strategy). The EMS Strategy encourages thoughtful, carefully designed EMS experimentation to determine whether EPA and our state partners can achieve better environmental results at less cost, improve compliance, use resources more effectively, and enhance public involvement by considering EMS in regulatory programs.

EPA emphasizes that it is making no judgments at this time about the implications of EMS for regulatory policy. Rather, the purpose of the EMS Strategy is to carefully assess those implications so that future policy decisions are well-informed. In particular, in releasing the strategy, EPA emphasized the following.

  • EPA has no intention of mandating the use of EMS; the ideas being tested in the strategy involve the development of alternative approaches for those organizations that choose to adopt an EMS.
  • Voluntary programs have been and will continue to be EPA's chief tool for promoting the use of EMS.

The EMS Strategy responds to increasing stakeholder interests in EMS use in permits and rules, and explains the issues and considerations of interest to EPA as we explore whether and how EMS can play a role in permitting and regulatory programs. EPA's National Center for Environmental Innovation will work with interested organizations to implement the EMS strategy.

Please view the following documents to learn more about the EMS Strategy.

EMS in Permitting | Why Permitting EMS? | EMS Strategy | Initiatives | International Resources | Evaluation Tools | Resources

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