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 Basic Information

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

Image: Scientist wearing goggles and lab coat monitoring a computer read-out.
The Environmental Technology Opportunities Portal (ETOP) is a Web site designed to put you in touch with programs that foster development of new cost-effective environmental technologies. In addition, ETOP relays information on existing EPA environmental technologies for air, water, and waste treatment and control.


As a one-stop shop, ETOP connects you to programs that:

  • Fund development of new environmental technologies
  • Assist in the development and commercialization of environmental technologies
  • Encourage the use and acceptance of innovative technologies through collaborative recognition and incentive, verification, and assessment

The Research and Development Continuum

Image: Scientist working in a lab. There are many support programs that address environmental technology research and development. The programs support different stages of technology development. EPA developed a guide—the Environmental Technology Research and Development Continuum—to the programs and the type of support they provide along the path from research to entry in the marketplace. EPA opportunities have been mapped onto this continuum to encourage academic, and public- and private-sector developers to invest time and money in the creation of new cost-effective environmental technologies.

Successful environmental technologies progress along the continuum, from basic research to full-scale commercialization and use. Technologies that fail to perform or are economically infeasible are dropped. The continuum includes six interdependent stages:


ETOP was created as a result of a Congressional mandate that directed EPA to develop a "one-stop shop" office to coordinate similar programs that foster private and public sector development of new cost-effective environmental technologies. ETOP is an Internet portal, designed to outline and highlight EPA's environmental technology programs and give users direct access to funding and other incentive programs.

EPA also facilitates technology development through the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) Environmental Technology Subcommittee.

See Also

EPA Technology Infrastructure (PDF) (1 p, 12 KB)

Environmental Technology Research and Development Continuum

House Appropriations Conference Report 108-10, Making Further Continuing Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2003 and for Other Purposes

Report to Congress, Coordination of Programs That Foster Public- and Private-Sector Development of Environmental Technologies (PDF) (12 pp, 56 KB)

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Environmental Technology Council (ETC)

ETC Mission
Image: People in an office. To provide a network of people inside and outside EPA who will engage in robust information exchange and problem solving in order to:
  • Improve results of core regulatory, enforcement, and voluntary programs
  • Facilitate innovative technology solutions that address EPA’s strategic plans and focus on environmental outcomes
  • Identify opportunities for environmental problem solving through technology
  • Identify innovative technologies


Minerva Rojo
Acting Senior Environmental Technology Officer
(202) 564-7356


Memo Establishing ETC (PDF) (2 pp, 32 KB)

ETC Charter (PDF) (3 pp, 20 KB)

Report to Congress (PDF) (12 pp, 56 KB)

Council Members

The United States often faces difficult environmental challenges that seem unmanageable or involve high costs. Innovative technologies hold the key to cost-effective timely solutions that minimize adverse environmental effects. Many EPA programs and activities foster the development and use of innovative technologies. By coordinating these programs around priority environmental problems, EPA and its partners can better realize the potential that innovative technology holds for environmental protection.

ETC was established to enhance communication and coordination of all EPA technology activities. The problems addressed by the council are related to EPA’s strategic plans and focused on defined environmental outcomes. The council’s membership is from all EPA technology programs, offices, and regions. It meets regularly to discuss technology solutions, technology needs, and other program efforts.

Scope of Activities

Image: Solar panal farm

The council's primary activities are:

  • Identifying the priority environmental problems for which technology is a critical factor in providing a cost-effective solution
  • Screening the problems, using stakeholder input to determine the priorities for the council’s attention
  • Organizing temporary Action Teams to evaluate the status of possible technology solutions and recommend actions to address the problem

Additional council activities include:

  • Creating a network of technology contacts in EPA and the states in order to regularly share information
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of ETC activities to enhance technology progress or adoption
  • Serving as a central contact point for analyzing significant new technology proposals recommended by outside organizations or advisory groups, such as the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology

Action Teams

Action Teams are composed of members of the council and other personnel from EPA, states, tribes, and other agencies. The teams are intended to be temporary and exist only as long as needed to meet defined objectives regarding particular environmental problems. The council defines the charge for each team, and teams report their progress to the council for discussion and further action. Participation on any Action Team is voluntary.

Action Teams are tasked with the following objectives:

  • Identify innovative technologies
  • Identify research gaps
  • Provide support for the expansion of methods
  • Quantify economic and human health benefits for the use of these methods
5 EPA Goals: Air, Water, Land, Ecosystems, Stewardship

The five EPA goals are Clean Air and Global Climate Change, Clean and Safe Water, Land Preservation and Restoration, Healthy Communities and Ecosystems, and Compliance and Environmental Stewardship.

Current Action Teams Related EPA Goals Progress Report
Advanced Coal Technologies EPA Goal: Air Advanced Coal Technologies Team Report (PDF) (2 pp, 36 KB) July 2008
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) Pollution Prevention EPA Goal: Water EPA Goal: Land EPA Goal: Ecosystems None
Fine Particulate Continuous Monitoring EPA Goal: Air PM Continuous Monitors (PDF) (2 pp, 12 KB) September 2006
Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) EPA Goal: Air Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) Initiative (PDF) (2 pp, 12 KB) September 2006
Lead Paint Remediation in Dwellings EPA Goal: Ecosystems ETC Lead Paint Action Team Progress Report (PDF) (4 pp, 37 KB) June 2008
Pesticide Spray Drift-Reduction Technologies: Verification and Incentives for Use EPA Goal: Air EPA Goal: Water EPA Goal: Land EPA Goal: Ecosystems Pesticide Spray Drift Reduction Technologies: Verification and Incentives for Use (PDF) (3 pp, 33 KB) June 2008
Rapid Detection of Microbial Contamination of Water: Application of Molecular Technologies to Source and Potable Water Monitoring EPA Goal: Water ETC Rapid Detection of Microbial Contamination of Water (PDF) (4 pp, 31 KB) July 2008

Approaches and Milestones (PDF) (2 pp, 160 KB)
Recovering the Value of Waste for Environmental and Energy Sustainability EPA Goal: Sustainability Recovering the Value of Waste for Environmental and Energy Sustainability (PDF) (5 pp, 42 KB) July 2008
Remote Sensing of Pollutants EPA Goal: Air Remote Sensing Action Team Report (PDF) (3 pp, 24 KB) June 2008
Technologies Promoting the Sustainable Use of Contaminated Sediments and the Beneficial Reuse of Waste-Related Materials EPA Goal: Sustainability Technologies Promoting the Sustainable Use of Contaminated Sediments and the Beneficial Use of Water-Related Materials (PDF) (12 pp, 76 KB) July 2008
Urban Runoff EPA Goal: Water Urban Runoff (PDF) (2 pp, 15 KB) July 2008

See Also

ETC Council Members

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Senior Environmental Technology Officer (SETO)

The SETO is the focal point for key activities of the Environmental Technology Council (ETC). The SETO establishes priorities, chairs the ETC, facilitates cross-agency coordination and information sharing, works with the business community and other stakeholders, and develops metrics for measuring effectiveness.

The SETO, who reports directly to the EPA administrator, has these primary responsibilities:

  • Being knowledgeable of EPA’s technology programs and needs
  • Coordinating program and regional office activities to ensure redundancies are avoided and resources are appropriately allocated to address the most serious problems requiring technological fixes
  • Providing the EPA administrator with advice on domestic and international technology issues and policies
  • Opening communication channels and partnership opportunities to all outside entities whose assistance can further EPA technology development and deployment goals
  • Ensuring that communication functions effectively across the EPA in order to facilitate robust information flow about innovative technologies to the marketplace

Additional duties include:

  • Ensuring EPA leadership in environmental technology communications, and ensuring substantial resources for this critical function
  • Cultivating EPA partnerships with both public- and private-sector organizations in order to interface with other government agencies and those in the commercial marketplace that have major technology development and deployment responsibilities
  • Convening a broadly based external technology advisory board to advise EPA on marketplace realities, communication issues, partnership opportunities, emerging technological challenges and opportunities such as those to be found in the field of nanotechnology, and priority environmental problems needing technology breakthroughs
  • Coordinating EPA’s technology partnership strategy and implementation, including identifying the key environmental issues to which it can contribute solutions
  • As part of the Regional Environmental Technology Advocacy Network (RETAN), convening appropriate state and regional officials, including enforcement staff, in several pilot cases to explore options for addressing flexible permitting prior to the permitting event
  • Working with the Environmental Technology Verification and Assessment Staff (ETVAS) to provide enhanced technology support to EPA on issues such as technology verifications, state-of-the-science assessments, technology development collaborations, and encouraging sustainability
  • Assisting with climate change technology planning and research and development

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Regional Environmental Technology Advocacy Network (RETAN)

RETAN is composed of a technology advocate in each EPA region. The network ’s purpose is to identify opportunities to use technology to:

  • Achieve better results
  • Share information within EPA and with stakeholders
  • Serve as a liaison with technology programs across EPA
  • Serve as a member of the Environmental Technology Council


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