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Common Measures

State environmental agencies have increasingly been facing the dual pressures to oversee ever growing numbers of pollution sources with fewer resources, and to demonstrate that agency compliance assurance efforts are yielding measurable results. The three-year States Common Measures Project began in 2006 as a multi-state effort to address both of these pressures by:

  • Evaluating the performance of targeted business sectors using common measures and statistical approaches
  • Using the results to identify particularly effective strategies states employ to promote good environmental performance on the part of the regulated community

The participating states were: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

See the Common Measures Project Fact Sheet for a summary of the Project and key findings.

The Project targeted facilities that generate small quantities of hazardous waste (SQGs) and required states to each perform a statistically valid number of facility inspections using a common inspection format. The performance data obtained from each state was compared to the other states to highlight statistically valid differences. States also provided descriptions of the amount and nature of compliance and beyond compliance assistance provided, compliance inspection triggers and frequency, and enforcement tools and reporting requirements in place during the three years prior to the Project. The Project then compared this program design information to the performance results to identify the oversight practices associated with higher performance rates.

The Project was funded through the EPA State Innovations Grant Program.


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