EPA Launches Smart Sectors Program in Pacific Southwest to Achieve Better Environmental Outcomes
For Immediate Release: April 26, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9 office is announcing the launch of Smart Sectors Pacific Southwest, a partnership initiative between the agency and regulated business 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 through collaboration and dialogue with key sectors of the economy in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, as well as with 148 tribes in the region.
In the Pacific Southwest, EPA is engaging with the oil and gas sector initially and plans to expand to several other sectors this year. Nationally, Smart Sectors engages with 13 sectors of the economy. EPA will focus on best practices, convening workshops to facilitate communication, raising public awareness and information sharing, and enhancing knowledge of federal environmental programs.
“We are very pleased to work with partners in the oil and gas sector to ensure communities are protected and facilities are complying with EPA requirements,” said Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “Through our Smart Sectors dialogue, we can understand the issues and challenges faced by our business partners and work together for the benefit of all.”
“We applaud the U.S. EPA Region 9 on the Smart Sectors initiative,” said Cathy Reheis-Boyd, Western States Petroleum Association President. “The way to a sustainable energy future is by an inclusive conversation with everyone having a seat at the table and working together in partnership to achieve environmental and economic goals, so communities we all serve are benefited.”
“CRC appreciates this opportunity to work with EPA on ongoing industry goals and issues,” said Maris Densmore, California Resources Corporation (CRC) Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager. “The Smart Sectors Program provides a path for the industry and our regulators to align on our common goals, emphasizing transparency, collaboration and efficiency on environmental priorities.”
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 and since launched in two EPA regions (mountains and plains, Region 8 and New England, Region 1), the Smart Sectors program provides a platform to collaborate with regulated business 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