Beyond Compliance: EPA Rolls Out New Program

EPA has a new program designed to\r\nrecognize and reward businesses for exceeding environmental\r\nprotection requirements.

In the closing days of EPA Administrator Carol Browner''s tenure, the agency put the finishing touches on a new program designed to recognize and reward businesses for exceeding environmental protection requirements.

Last December, Browner congratulated 225 businesses and facilities for their selection as charter members in the National Environmental Achievement Track. The program was established by EPA to recognize and encourage top environmental performers -- those businesses which go beyond compliance with regulatory requirements.

"A new era of environmental protection has been launched over the last decade by growing numbers of American businesses," said Browner.

Achievement Track companies and facilities have strong records in environmental management with more waste recycling and greater reductions in air and water pollution than are legally required. They have reduced their energy consumption by millions of kilowatts per year, and are committing to an average of 22 percent improved energy efficiency in the future. Some companies have even succeeded in virtually eliminating discharges to surface water. Waste reduction at these facilities is projected to average 44 percent per year.

EPA is hoping that the program will motivate other firms to achieve similar improvements.

The roster of companies in the program represents a cross section of U.S. industry, including large and small companies from such sectors as the automotive, pharmaceutical, food processing, chemical and petroleum industries.

Further information on the National Environmental Performance Track, and the process for being recognized for similar achievements, is available at: www.epa.gov/performancetrack.

by James Nash

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