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News Releases

News Releases from Region 01

EPA Launches Smart Sectors Program in New England to Achieve Better Environmental Outcomes

Emphasis on maritime, food & beverage, and outdoor recreation issues

12/12/2018
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1017

BOSTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 1 office announced the launch of Smart Sectors New England, a partnership initiative between the Agency and regulated sectors that is focused on achieving better environmental outcomes. Based on the national Smart Sectors program, this approach provides a significant opportunity for EPA to consider more forward-thinking ways to protect the environment in collaboration and dialogue with key sectors of the economy in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

In New England, EPA is engaging with the following business sectors: Maritime Industries, Food and Beverage Industries, and Outdoor Recreation. EPA New England will focus on best practices, convening forums and workshops to facilitate communication, raising public awareness and information sharing, and enhancing knowledge of federal environmental programs.

“EPA believes that if we better engage with important regional businesses, we can achieve better environmental outcomes,” said Alexandra Dunn, Regional Administrator of EPA’s New England office. “EPA’s Smart Sectors program is designed to effectively engage business partners throughout the regulatory process. When industries and regulators better understand each other, the economy, public, and the environment all benefit.”

“Growing New Hampshire’s outdoor recreation economy is an opportunity that will not only bolster our tourism industry, but can also be used as a tool to attract new business,” said New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu. “We welcome partnerships with the federal government and other stakeholders to accelerate this strategy and continue our efforts to grow New Hampshire’s workforce.”

Maritime Sector
Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and southeast, and Long Island Sound to the south, New England has an extensive coastline that supports robust economic sectors, encompassing a wide variety of uses that support coastal communities, including shipping ports, fisheries’ facilities, boatbuilding, ferries, tourism, recreation, and waterfront revitalization.

Food and Beverage Sector
In each of the six New England states, this robust sector includes the breweries, dairy farms, maple syrup operations, cranberry bogs, and many niche agricultural producers, in addition to many other food and beverage producers and retail providers who support world-famous products tied to the region.

Outdoor Recreation Sector
All six New England states champion thriving outdoor recreation economic sectors.  New Englanders enjoy outdoor pursuits during all four seasons, in activities that include downhill and cross-country ski operations, river rafting, hiking and backpacking, photography, bicycling, and fishing and hunting.

Background

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.

Announced nationally in October 2017, EPA’s Smart Sectors program provides a platform to collaborate with regulated sectors and develop sensible approaches that better protect the environment and public health.

More information:

    - EPA’s Smart Sectors program: https://www.epa.gov/smartsectors
    - Smart Sectors in New England: www.epa.gov/smartsectors/newengland

Additional Quotations from Business Sector Partners:

Daniel Kenary, Founder and CEO of Harpoon Brewery:

“Harpoon Brewery is very excited to be a charter participant in EPA’s Smart Sectors New England initiative. We look forward to sharing our expertise and perspective with EPA to find new collaborative ways to ensure a clean and healthy environment.”

John Judge, President, Appalachian Mountain Club:

“New England is home to a tremendous variety of ways to be outdoors in every season of the year, spurring $51.6 billion annually in outdoor recreation consumer spending and supporting 432,000 jobs. That’s only possible because our land, water, and air have been aggressively protected by genuine and wide-reaching partnerships. AMC is encouraged by every effort to further communicate the inseparability of conservation and public health.”

Wendy Mackie, Executive Director, Rhode Island Marine Trades Association:

“The health of the marine environment is critical to the identity of the Ocean State as an epicenter of boating and as a world-wide leader in the maritime industry. As the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, we strive to grow our industry in ways that enhance sustainability, promote best environmental practices for businesses and educate others on how to expand clean boating efforts across the country. We are thrilled by the announcement of the new Smart Sectors initiative in EPA Region 1 and we look forward to working together on our shared commitment to the future of New England's coastal communities.”

Randall Lyons, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association:

“The Massachusetts Marine Trades Association (MMTA) is a 50 years young non-profit dedicated to the business of boating in Massachusetts, which includes front line work towards clean waterways and public recreational access as well as good, satisfying careers at marinas, boatyards and boating businesses. MMTA’s motto is growth and success through “education, collaboration and communication.” MMTA is proud to work with the USEPA to advance this sector focus in this manner. For more information about MMTA, see www.boatma.com.”

Martha Sheils, Director, NE Environmental Finance Center; University of Southern Maine:

“The New England Environmental Finance Center based in Portland, Maine, will work with Maine craft-brewers on environmental best practices and will coordinate with the States of New Hampshire and Vermont to develop a metrics tool to benchmark and track sustainable operations.”

Additional Quotations from Government Partners:

Janet Coit, Director, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM):

“Relationships underpin and propel many of the consequential outcomes that we achieve to support a healthier environment in Rhode Island.  Increasingly, industry and businesses are committing to greener practices and working together to ensure compliance with environmental laws. As RIDEM works with our federal partners at USEPA, we look forward to improving communications, reinforcing positive behaviors, and working together in these economic sectors of such import to Rhode Island. From increasing local food businesses to seizing opportunities for our marine trades to encouraging outdoor recreation – these all are important priorities for Governor Raimondo.”

Emily Boedecker, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation:

“EPA’s Smart Sectors program complements the Vermont Green Business program’s efforts to work with food and beverage business leaders. Together we are greening up operations and reaching new environmental goals. Vermont’s program features industry-specific cohorts like the Green Brewery Cohort which brings brewers together in a supportive learning environment to accelerate information sharing and broad adoption of best practices.”

Michael Snyder, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation:

“Vermont’s outdoor recreation economy is a strong and growing engine for Vermont. Governor Phil Scott recognized the importance of growing that sector of the economy while grounding it in Vermont’s strong environmental ethos when he launched the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC) in 2017. Through VOREC, state officials invited Vermonters to an ongoing conversation on the best ways to grow and maintain Vermont’s outdoor recreation opportunities. This collaborative was the first of its kind in New England. The VOREC model is getting a lot of traction across the country, and it’s very encouraging to begin collaborating on this important issue with EPA’s Smart Sectors program.”

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