Environmental Protection

Status of EPA's Initiatives to Create a New Partnership With States Gao ID: T-RCED-96-87 February 29, 1996

As long as environmental laws are medium specific and prescriptive and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) personnel are held accountable for meeting the laws' requirements, it will be difficult for the agency to fundamentally change its relationship with states to reduce day-to-day control over program activities. This situation was evident in the funding and reporting problems that arose from the recent efforts of Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey to integrate their environmental management activities. However, within the flexibility granted by existing environmental statutes, initiatives such as EPA's National Environmental Performance Partnership System and its proposed performance partnership grants have the potential to alleviate problems for those states interested in obtaining greater flexibility in carrying out their environmental responsibilities.

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