In this article from the December 2018 edition of the E-Enterprise Bulletin, EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler discusses his goals for EPA and how strong state, local, and tribal partnerships are an integral part of the Administration’s environmental agenda.
EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment. It’s a task that Congress didn’t intend for us to accomplish on our own, nor could we accomplish it on our own. Like other complex issues that our nation faces, environmental protection is a shared responsibility between EPA, states, tribes, and local governments, and we can only be successful by working together. That is why I am an enthusiastic supporter of E-Enterprise for the Environment as a model for collaborative leadership among environmental co-regulators.
E-Enterprise is ensuring certainty, consistency, and efficiency in the processes we collectively use to manage environmental protection systems. A prime example is the pesticides label matching application that was developed through the E-Enterprise model. This online app not only drastically reduces inspection time and costs associated with pesticide label verification, but it also displays toxicity levels and other useful information to users. By leveraging technology, we can deliver better services and information to our customers.
As EPA continues to deploy the Lean Management System to reduce inefficiencies and maximize our resources, we are creating more effective ways to better serve EPA’s customers. There are tremendous opportunities here for the E-Enterprise model to help transform the way we conduct our business. For example, the State Plan Electronic Collection System (SPeCS) for State Implementation Plans (SIPs) project is changing the way that states submit SIPs and how EPA reviews them. SIP submissions are frequently comprised of multiple documents containing tens or hundreds of pages. SPeCS for SIPs replaces this paper flow with electronic submission and tracking, which modernizes and streamlines the process. The interface launched in January 2018, and, to date, approximately 200 state plans have been submitted through SPeCS.
As a nation, we have made tremendous environmental progress over the past several decades. But we still have important work before us. We face challenges today that we didn’t face only a decade ago, and we are constantly looking for ways to streamline and enhance our efforts while also improving the coordination of those efforts across all layers of government. I look forward to the progress we can make working together as E-Enterprise partners to modernize environmental protections and improve the quality of our air, water, and land for all Americans.