EPA and Agriculture Leaders meet to discuss environmental challenges and solutions
DALLAS – (Oct. 8, 2020) – Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed a forum with agriculture leaders from Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The meeting was in recognition of the EPA’s third anniversary of the Smart Sector program. The program is an initiative partnership between the agency and the regulated business sectors.
“EPA’s Smart Sectors program offers productive and informative engagement with different sectors of the economy, proving environmental stewardship and economic growth are attainable when working together and listening to industry,” said Ken McQueen, EPA Regional Administrator. “We are implementing responsible regulatory reforms while strengthening relationships with the regulatory community to provide more open communication, certainty, and transparency between EPA and our stakeholders.”
During the listening session the regulated community expressed their concerns and challenges. EPA was presented with direct ideas to foster a more efficient and effective relationship, while continuing to protect human health and the environment. EPA will use the information to help spur economic growth and opportunity in the agriculture industry.
In 2019, EPA’s Region 6 launched the regional Smart Sectors program with a focus on agriculture and the petro-chemical industries. Over the past year, EPA has hosted numerous events with representatives from state agriculture departments, farm bureaus, and commodity groups from animal agriculture, grains and row crops to discuss relevant issues. Early in 2020, EPA’s Dallas office held another Smart Sectors event with all Agriculture Secretaries from Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
In the South Central region, EPA has Sector leads for all 13 Smart Sectors, but at this time is primarily focused on four of the 13 national Smart Sectors, including oil and gas, agriculture, construction, and chemical manufacturing. EPA has actively engaged stakeholders in these sectors and will build on these relationships as the Smart Sector program expands in this area and beyond. EPA will also focus on best practices, raising public awareness and information sharing, and enhancing knowledge of federal environmental programs.
In October 2017, EPA announced the national Smart Sectors program as a platform to collaborate with regulated business sectors and develop sensible approaches that better protect the environment and public health. The program is also active in all EPA regions.
A sector-based approach can provide benefits such as increased long-term certainty and predictability, creative solutions based on sound data, and more sensible policies to improve environmental protection. Staff will conduct educational site visits, host roundtables with EPA leadership, analyze data and advise about options for environmental improvement, and maintain open dialogue with business partners and their environmental committees.
For more information on EPA’s Smart Sectors program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/smartsectors
Connect with EPA Region 6:
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eparegion6
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EPAregion6
Activities in EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central
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