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PR FIRST XL REGULATORY REINVENTION PROJECT APPROVED
Release Date: 07/12/96
PR FIRST XL REGULATORY REINVENTION PROJECT APPROVED
FRIDAY, JULY 12, 1996
FIRST XL REGULATORY REINVENTION PROJECT APPROVED
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is ready to implement the first Project XL plan that seeks to achieve better environmental results by providing a company the flexibility to explore innovative solutions to its environmental problems. The agreement, with a LaBelle, Florida, citrus juice manufacturer, Jack M. Berry, Inc., is the first of as many as 50 planned pilot projects that will be implemented under this Clinton Administration program.
Project XL (Excellence and Leadership) is one of the Clinton Administration's common-sense strategies to provide more environmental and public health protection at less cost. In December 1995, President Clinton announced the selection of eight pilot projects for excellence and leadership in reducing pollution. Under Project XL, regulated entities will test creative strategies that will achieve cleaner, cheaper, smarter results than conventional regulatory approaches.
The Berry company project is expected to result in cost savings that will be reinvested by the company in new environment enhancement efforts and environmentally-beneficial operating procedures. The project could serve as a model not only for the citrus industry, but for other industries nationwide. It was initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) .
"The XL program taps the creativity of industry, states and local communities to increase environment and public health protection for all Americans," said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner. "The Berry company project demonstrates that regulatory reinvention can work, that we can boost the economy without sacrificing one ounce of environmental protection."
The anticipated results of the Berry XL project include:
Net environmental benefits --- Berry is committed to achieving superior environmental performance in various ways including water consumption reduction, the utilization of process wastewaters for irrigation, the use of non-hazardous pest controls, reserving of acreage for habitat conservation and overall pollution prevention practices, thus decreasing pollution potential;
Consistency in environmental protection during non-monitoring periods, thus assuring the predictability of the environmental protection process;
Cost reductions for the facility and for regulating agency.
A comprehensive operating permit will be prepared by EPA and the company and will allow for public comment. This new type of singular permit will be a multi-media one assuring the requirements under several previous permits, translating to greater flexibility and cost savings. It will not expire automatically and will allow expedited development of a new permit with reduced paperwork and ancillary expenses for the company and the agency. This permit would be for the entire facility, call for maintaining all environmental standards and consolidate federal, state and local facility permits.
Increased compliance with environmental regulations. Since employees will be involved in the writing of the comprehensive operating permit, its language is expected to be more understandable to employees.
"EPA has found that allowing facilities and other entities to explore non-traditional pollution control solutions can result in the regulated community achieving environmental protection results beyond those anticipated by traditional means. We have also found that better environmental decisions result from a collaborative process with people working together. We are fortunate to have formed such a partnership with Berry and the Florida DEP and South Florida WMD," said John H. Hankinson, Jr., Administrator, EPA Region 4.
Florida DEP Secretary Virginia Wetherell said, "Working on this XL project has been a tremendous experience, and we're delighted that Berry is the first in the nation. This partnership is a shining example of how we can work together to get better results...a cleaner environment, a more efficient government and a better bottom line for business."
Terri Bates, Regulation Department Director, South Florida Water Management Division, said, "The XL program will provide Berry and the regulatory agencies the opportunity to work together, using existing permitting criteria and the hands-on expertise of Berry's employees to develop a comprehensive permit which addresses all aspects of the juice plant operation. We fully expect this cooperative approach to result in a simplified regulatory process, increased compliance with permit regulations and greater environmental benefits."
"This agreement clearly establishes government at all levels as our partner in creating the incentives necessary to achieve higher environmental performance," said Jack M. Berry, CEO and President, Jack M. Berry Corporation. "In order for us to compete effectively in the world marketplace today, it is imperative for private enterprise and government to developments techniques to ensure a sustainable economy and environment for our future generations."
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