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Environmental Results Program (ERP)

Organization(s) Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection
Project Description The Massachusetts Environmental Results Program (ERP) is an on-going environmental performance enhancement and measurement initiative that seeks to cost-effectively improve the environmental performance of whole small business sectors. In this regulatory system, comprised of a unique set of linked regulatory tools, small businesses are educated about their environmental impact and obligation, are required to self-evaluate and certify compliance, and are tracked to measure environmental performance changes. The MA DEP uses a statistical approach to track individual facility and whole-group performance results to identify poor performance areas and to effectively target limited agency compliance assistance and enforcement resources. ERP uses an industry scoring system to track the performance of individual facilities and the sectors it regulates called Environmental Business Practice Indicators (EBPIs). The EBPIs include both traditional program compliance measures (e.g., level of compliance with labeling or record keeping requirements) and measures that go beyond program compliance. (e.g., use of low-VOC cleaning solvents, extent of silver recovery, and perchloroethylene recovery).

The list below summarizes the results of ERP. Some of the results were derived from a subset of actual field-observed MA DEP inspections that were then extrapolated to the whole group. In the case of estimated pollution reduction results, these were based on a set of emission factors and assumptions that were used to calculate results.

-One in ten facilities that have submitted certifications have identified environmental violations and committed to compliance timetables - all without state inspectors ever setting foot in their facilities.

-Fewer businesses are unregulated. For example, 10 percent of the state's dry cleaners appeared in DEP's database before ERP; today, 95 percent are registered.

-Printers were found to have reduced VOC emissions, ceased disposing of hazardous waste with solid waste, and eliminated such practices as washing ink-contaminated press rollers in sinks. For example, the performance rate for applicable standards for press cleanup solutions (e.g., use of lower VOC products) increased from 77 percent in 1998 to 85 percent in 1999. This improvement extrapolates to an estimated four-ton emissions reduction annually for the entire sector.

-Dry cleaners were found to have made significant compliance and P2 changes to their operations as a result of ERP. For example, prior to ERP, only 33 percent of dry cleaners in 1997 were engaging in leak checks. After ERP, the number of dry cleaners performing routine leak checks increased to 66 percent in 2000. This improvement, when applied across the entire sector, results in an estimated reduction of 22.5 tons of perchloroethylene emissions to the air.

The ERP had delivered real environmental results for Massachusetts while bringing into the regulatory system a vast number of smaller companies that were previously unregulated.

More Info www.state.ma.us/dep/erp/files/userguid.pdf
Project Contact
Name Tara Velazquez
Phone 617-348-4040
Project Keywords
Areas of P2 Expertise Multimedia Inspections & Permitting
Activity Keywords Policy/Legislative
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 13 No. 1, Spring 2003 [PDF]


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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