Measuring Pollution Prevention
Our grant programs help to reduce millions of pounds of pollution by funding grant work that aims to conserve natural resources, decrease releases of toxics to the environment, and increase cost savings for businesses and others. Measuring grantee results is one way to determine the success of the technical assistance or training effort that gets carried out. By publicly sharing these results, EPA intends to increase awareness of P2 practices and increase knowledge on how to implement those practices.
Our P2 and SRA grantees began publicly reporting the environmental results of grants, individually, regionally and nationally in 2006, and they report on the following measures:
- Reductions in hazardous releases and hazardous inputs (pounds)
- Reductions in greenhouse gas releases (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent: MTCO2e)
- Reduced water consumption (gallons)
- Cost savings associated with reducing hazardous pounds, MTCO2e, and water consumption
Policies that require grantees to track environmental results
We measure P2 outcomes for a number of purposes:
- The Pollution Prevention Act tells the Agency to "establish appropriate means for measuring the effectiveness of the State grants".
- EPA's Environmental Results Policy Order, 5700.7A1 requires that grant applicants plan for tracking and measuring their progress towards achieving the expected outcomes and output.
- Grantees must relate their work to EPA’s FY 2018-2022 Strategic Plan under Goal 1: A Cleaner, Healthier Environment, Objective 1.1 – Improve Air Quality; Objective 1.2 – Provide for Clean and Safe Water; Objective 1.3 – Revitalize Land and Prevent Contamination; Objective 1.4 – Ensure Safety of Chemicals in the Marketplace; and, Goal 2: More Effective Partnerships, Objective 2.1 Enhance Shared Accountability
Internal Audit and Review of Grant Measures and Results
- In 2008, EPA’s Science Advisory Board was consulted to advise the program on measuring grant results. The report, number EPA-SAB-09-005, can be found on the SAB Advisory Reports page.
- The Pollution Prevention Program completed OMB’s Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) in January 2009. This tool was designed to assess program purpose and design; performance measurement, evaluations, and strategic planning; program management; and program results. The Pollution Prevention Program received a PART score of “moderately effective” making it one of the top EPA programs. A total of 53 EPA programs completed PART and only 16 of those programs received a moderately effective score. Read here for more information on the evaluation. Later that year, our office responded to the OIG recommendations in this memorandum: April 22, 2009.
In September 2015, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a review of the results reported under P2 grants and found that inconsistent and arbitrary application of measurement guidance hampers the agency’s ability to accurately report reliable grant program results.