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Sustainable Skylines

Frequent Questions

Information provided for informational purposes onlyNote: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Q:   What is SSI?
A:   The Sustainable Skylines Initiative (SSI) is an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to use air quality regulatory needs, climate action goals and other local environmental priorities as the catalyst for integrated sustainability actions.  The SSI is a collaborative effort that brings together the resources of the EPA, other government agencies, nonprofit and private organizations to support individual communities.  Though SSI programs are designed to meet the local circumstances of participating communities, each program can also provide lessons for other communities that will be shared through and beyond the national SSI program network. 

Q:   Is SSI a regulatory program?
A:   The SSI is not a regulatory program nor is it an in-lieu of regulatory program.  Rather, the SSI is a collaboration between EPA and an individual community to complement, but also go beyond, existing regulatory efforts to become more sustainable for future generations through integrated planning and multimedia efforts.

Q:   What makes SSI different from other programs?
A:   The SSI is different because the emphasis is on working with communities to: 1) identify their issues and needs; and, 2) match them with the right technical support and resources.  The key difference is that the SSI works more comprehensively with the community on integrated planning and multimedia efforts.  As part of the structure, the SSI brings a framework of resources, technical support and knowledge to the community that can be replicated in other areas.  The partnership program helps the community achieve long-term sustainability by bringing in support and resources from within and outside the local community, including partners from the private, non-profit, and academia arenas as well as EPA and other federal agencies.

Q:   Where can I see a list of organizations and companies that have joined the SSI?
A:   http://www.epa.gov/sustainableskylines/ssipartners.html

Q:   Who benefits from participating with SSI?
A:   Communities:  Benefits to the cities include:  assistance in building a sustainable framework and developing project plans to address multiple priorities specific to their area; one EPA point of contact who acts as a catalyst and facilitator in developing public and private partnerships; network of collaboration and resources across federal agencies, nonprofits, and private partnerships.

      Partners:  Participating as an SSI National Partner can provide a company or organization with the diverse benefits that come from embracing a green path.  Major benefits will include the following: 

  • Recognition as SSI partner
  • Recognition for positive environmental efforts
  • Efficient delivery of resources
  • Increased networking opportunities
  • Cost savings and tax advantages

Q:   What is required of SSI partners?
A:    National Partners will support SSI by providing substantially beneficial resources and/or services to SSI communities.  They will also work with the locally-led SSI city project team to create a written agreement that defines and documents each party’s commitment to the partnership.  Partners will participate as an active member on the SSI city project team and provide an annual progress report on meeting project commitment(s).  Partners will also provide a link to the Sustainable Skylines Initiative website on the company website, and with proper permission, EPA SSI will publish the partners name on the website and other related educational, promotional, and media materials.

Q:   What services does SSI provide to partners?
A:    EPA will make available to all SSI cities a resource pool of technical support and information including:

  • Technical support network
  • Technical support
  • Training
  • Communication and coordination
  • Funding

EPA commits to assist with matching of national partners with specific SSI cities that can benefit from their services and/or products.  EPA will also assist to increase public awareness of partner participation by listing partners on the EPA SSI website and in related educational, promotional, and media materials.  SSI also incorporates a national recognition program.

Q:   What pollutants are addressed by this effort?
A:   
EPA is interested in using this innovative approach to achieve sustainable air quality and other environmental improvements including addressing criteria pollutants, air toxics, and green house gases.

Q:   How do I get involved?
A:   There are many ways to be involved in this initiative, whether you are a state, local, or tribal agency, a school, company, or individual looking to make a difference. 
If you are interested in learning more about the program or interested in getting involved please contact:

Yvonne W. Johnson
USEPA, OAQPS
Mail Code C304-03
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
Telephone: (919) 541-3921
Fax: (919) 541-0942
Email: johnson.yvonnew@epa.gov

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