Skip to main content

tv   AU - Future of Environmental Protection - Part 2  CSPAN  April 29, 2019 1:55am-2:59am EDT

1:55 am
. mr. reilly: she might want to stay at omb! [laughter] host: as a was to this would say, you have been awesome. thank you for your service to youcountry, to the e.p.a., set a standard for the e.p.a. for the future to follow. please gently and thanking them. [applause] >> i will start by saying, first of all, thank you, john for introducing us and hosting us. dan, thank you for not having not only today's workshop, but also all the work you are doing.
1:56 am
is theme of my panel designing the e.p.a. for the future. we have with us evil who could not be more qualified to help flush this through. starting at the far end the end of the panel is don welsh. he has had his whole experience in state and federal e.p.a., he at region three doing one of my deployments at the e.p.a.. next to him is martha rudolph, sum yearsnk is 25-som working at the e.p.a. or at that ag's office enforcing the laws. guest, he has been working on the from works that guided the e.p.a., then he the state of arizona is now in the state of maryland.
1:57 am
bob giuseppe, also a recidivist at the e.p.a.. [laughter] most recently as deputy but also with maryland and i think also ottawa as well. it will have looked at these issues from a variety of different perspectives. first, one of the things i was doing today, just so you know, this might not go smoothly, i had a whole plan for this panel last night and edited it dramatically based on the discussion. so if it feels choppy, that is why. i want to start by picking up from this morning. i think there are some really important trends that should really guide how we think about designing the e.p.a. for the future. mike, this is very enlightening to me, but it shows where the statutes have been enacted and you see with 1990, things coming to a screeching halt. time bothk back at my of the e.p.a. and more importantly in the private
1:58 am
sector, what i wanted to do was fill in some of the gap between 1990 and 2019, because some of the trends that have significantly shaped the e.p.a. and the society i think need to be thought about as we discuss how to design the e.p.a. for the future. i am talking about first of all, the environmental statutes are critical, they lay the groundwork, the framework for environmental protection, for pollution prevention and pollution reduction, nothing can take away from that, and that needs to continue. starting in 1990, there were a number of threats trends that i think were imp to. first of all, the toxic release inventory. it was the first time was so information going to the public and the public reacting and putting pressure on industry. i was running a program at the
1:59 am
time and i remember when the ceos from three big chemical companies came in and talked to bill and they said, we have released this information first to our employees, and they are very upset about the emissions we are releasing into our communities. and it was based on the focus groups, companies like monsanto, realized thatw, they had to reduce their own emissions and they needed a program. that was the initial inspiration, i think, toward the toxic release inventory. 3350.ecame known as the it also started in industry, a series of voluntary commitments to go beyond compliance. commitments made to the public. not regulatory, but promises in different companies -- made by different companies. they evolved to become what we
2:00 am
call today the sustainability report. you have heard of many companies in the fortune 500 and others who have the sustainability report, where they took about what they are doing to either reduce their impact on the environment or think differently about sustainability. that got its start with the toxic release inventory. the engagement between edf and mcdonalds was brought up. i will never forget the quote in the wall street journal where the vice president of mcdonald's when asked whether committed to , hisng with the edf comment was, we sell hamburgers. we sell hamburgers and whatever the public wants to buy. it was for me the first time the market was moving way ahead of agency.latory i turned to the members of my staff and i said, the role of the regular has been changed forever. that was in 1990. as you go through 1990 to today,
2:01 am
the marketplace has been where many of you in burma to groups have taken their campaigns -- where many of the environmental groups have taken their campaigns. the focus was first on the e.p.a., on laws and regulations, on lawsuits. the environmental community figures out that the marketplace can force industry to act first are best to act faster and to act globally. use on industry trying to pay attention to its reputation and to what was happening. that was the seat of the sustainability movement. have changed,hat in the beginning of the e.p.a., the e.p.a. on the science and we owned the information. today, because of the internet, information is in the public science. well as e.p.a. is no longer the only voice on the science. this is both a good thing and a bad thing. i was watching the super bowl and i listened to a beer
2:02 am
commercial talk about why their beer was better than another beer because they didn't have: syrup. and i remember thinking, of all the things i thought i had to worry about, i didn't think it was corn syrup in my beer. science has become heart of the public domain. we are all following what is going on with vaccines. they can work for the agency, the democratization of science, but it can also make the agency's job in science a lot challenging. globalization happened. people said, why did companies support toxics reform? one of the reasons was, companies like dupont and others who are real pushers for changes to the regulation were already europe.g in we needed the u.s. to catch up
2:03 am
with the rest of the world. so the globalization of trade and regulations has totally changed how many companies think about environmental protection. i talked about global trade. lastly, earlier i mentioned the sustainability reports and the commitments companies were making to changing their behavior and reduce emissions and all those initiatives that they talk about. made an06, dupont has initial reduction commitment for about 10 years. around 2006, and remember going to the ceos office, he thought about these issues, and i said, it occurred to me that if dupont could go away, we could reduce our greenhouse emissions to zero. we could be zero waste and it would not make a difference
2:04 am
really, to the environment. but if we thought about how dupont'sthe engine of science and innovation and targeted that more directly towards bringing sustainable solutions to the environment, to society, for sustainable , much safer pesticides , then we could actually have an impact greater than just reducing our own footprint. at the same time, walmart had around its journey sustainability, working with its supply chain, and how they were stores.g their i would say around the mid to thousands, you started to see industry appreciate the value of the supply chain regulation, where companies were regulating each other. the started to realize that there is growth and money in --
2:05 am
and economic benefit to the shareholder by bringing more sustainable solutions to the market. you started to see that reflected in the report. so i see him of these as really great trends, as opportunities, but i do see them as challenges. thee think about the role e.p.a. will play in the future, how does the e.p.a. harness all those good forces while it is maintaining its regulatory and enforcement profiles, and how do you think about the e.p.a. operating so it can be part of the wind at the back of those forces that are already going on in society, because i don't think any of those trends will change. what used to be environmental protection that started and ended at the e.p.a., i think there are a lot of trends that will be exciting. but the challenge will be, what does the e.p.a. booklet as it tries to find its place in a
2:06 am
society that is changing? that is my prelude. now i will move here and throw some questions to my panel. ben.i will start with there we go. alright, ben, you have had background at state, and federal, and in maryland, you have been involved in so many innovative projects, to start with, the chesapeake bay, and others. when you look at these trends, when you think about it e.p.a. of the future talk about some of the things that you think need to be changed or improved upon to be successful, for the agency to be successful.
2:07 am
: one of the things i remember most about my experience in the office of the water of the e.p.a. was after hurricane katrina. down a couple of days after that and we were taking notes, i don't think i was i was any value, but seeing in the operations center what was happening. and it was a massive question that we all experience, and it was, how do you rebuild? of me, the question rebuilding when an area has been devastated, all of us as environmentalists want to say, don't embrace dumb growth. or rebuild in a smart way. my experience at the state and
2:08 am
federal level are two -- in two different places, arizona and maryland, is that when you are rebuilding and e.p.a. and designing for the future, you find that balance between rebuilding so the core principles and tools are there to set national standards and enforced those, and follow directions, that align with the tools. for me, the new tools for the e.p.a. are the focus on regional collaborations of national significance, and regional efforts based on ecosystems and watersheds. this is something that is best done using the principles of bill o'reilly, who championed the national estuaries program, administrator whitman
2:09 am
was a big proponent of this original collaborative approach -- the has to be leadership at the state and local level to enforce the law, but you need to some interstate jurisdictional presence. a facilitator would stature. mpire torstate ou lay out the facilitation skills and the technology and to also be a would to enforce or punish -- be it what to enforce or punish a jurisdiction that is not following up to the regional collaboration. i think defining the e.p.a. as a future, give states latitude, focus on the science, the law, and the policy behind regional collaborations that are based on ecosystems, ecology, and public support, like the tremendous support there is for the chesapeake bay.
2:10 am
>> martha, you have had a lot of experience at the state level. thoughts on that? martha: thank you. it is really great to be here, really great to see people i have worked with before and i hope to work with again. because i am a little loud. is that better? not that echoing? i will take us back a little bit. before the regional liberation, which i agree very much with, keeping the tools in place, i haveng on them, but been here all morning, and this has been fabulous. much of what i would be saying on this panel is largely going to be sort of emphasizing and supporting what we have all heard already before. an opportunity, or had
2:11 am
the opportunity to work in a department that joined in the public health programs and the environmental programs. one of the things that was actually common between both of them, and gina emphasized to this, and i agree with her fully, is that 90% or more of the environmental regulatory programs are really there to protect public health. we should really think about it, that is largely what they are therefore. but if they work well, both the public health programs that we department, and of environmental programs in our department, if they worked well, people didn't know they were there. you are turning your faucet on any have clean water, if your toilets flush and back up, ifn't backu you are out running and
2:12 am
breathing clean here, if things are working well, that is great. it is a story that needs to be told that really, now, i personally believe has to occur for the e.p.a. to really move forward. we need to be able to say what it is that the e.p.a. does that is allowing us to live the thattyle that we live, and respondent have a problem like katrina, or like the fires, the wildfires that we often have in the west. , we havehat story well to be a wood to talk about the do,nce behind what we all we have to talk about why that is important, why should we care about mercury, why should we care about led, why do we care about ozone. because if we can get the public ,o be with us on why it matters
2:13 am
then we are not going to get collaboration, and we're not going to get cooperation. we have to get folks to understand why it is important in the first place, and then the food can agree on, it is a problem that needs our attention, then we can turn to solutions on how to collaborate together to make it a better place for all of us in the future. talking,r: as you are i was thinking maybe we need to ask about russians on how to inform the public. [laughter] they seem to have done it quite well at some point. -- at one point. [laughter] but i will get back on track. i think the issue of epa's scientific credibility is important. it has been under attack for a long time, it did not just start with the trump administration. all of us who have worked their experience of those attacks.
2:14 am
i think in the earlier panel, gina talked about ways to science.he agency's the issue of risk mitigation is alive and well today as it was when we were trying to figure out how clean is clean in the superfund program. and i say that with the backdrop that with the internet, everybody is a scientist. i consider that one of the, perhaps the biggest challenges. and maybe one of the most the aba canles ma play is educating the public. bob, you have had a great career both in government and now working with some of the thought leaders in the private sector. the aba's think about role in being the wind at the back, and wearing the other had of being the tough regulator and
2:15 am
the enforcer? , that is a tough balancing act, it is one of the ones that has been going on for 40 years. i think it is fair to say that when it comes to conversations , protecting the environment, sustainable humanity, that we are in a pretty tense moment in human history. not just in the united states. things that are uplifting were 100 190 countries -- 190 countries agreeing in paris on agreement, and letter on the same time, agreeing to further transitions under the montreal protocol, which we are yet to figure out how to implement here in the united states. i think there is tension in the system and it is manifested in a lot of attention i think we all feel of, what is the future of
2:16 am
environment of production and how do we do it . the wind in the sales is a great way to think about this. thank back to mike's panel this morning and the things that are going on in th business community, i spend a lot of time working with the business dash-cam video climate change. spend a lot of my time working with the business community on climate change. i think while we have this tension in the system on how to tackle these problems, because even the paris agreement, which remarkable document, but still allows each country to figure out how to percolate up its agreement, we still have this issue.
2:17 am
this river in maryland is a wonderful place. [laughter] that was the stuff that the e.p.a. was designed to deal with right away. and as we have heard and we'll know, it has done an amazing job of. but now have things like climate change, things like the global use of chemicals, things like materials, including plastics, for instance. water issues, in terms of scarcity. we also have the inequity of how the impacts of climate change and these other things are affecting humans on earth, justice issues, equity issues. these things are systemic, they are not facility-based, although p.erything abrogates u to find that balance, you have to make sure facilities don't. backslide but we need to find another way to fight these systemic issues.
2:18 am
you will not deal with them with the way we have dealt with other problems in the past. there needs to be a huge change of how the e.p.a. and society temples is larger problems. think we have a situation where i think a majority of -- and we have heard both sides of this today, the majority of americans, think all people on earth, want a clean environment. pockets, are these particularly in rural areas and other present the country where the e.p.a. is not welcome. i think sometimes it on the way break that is you have to have a rebirth, there has to be a new , a new environmental protection program for the united states that maintains the level playing field at the real
2:19 am
operating level but also has the ability to do things we have been asking civil society to do now. we heard on the panel this morning, the environmental defense fund and walmart are making agreements on how to do things. where is the e.p.a. on that? they are looking at systemic ways to make improvement and i think that kind of scale that ls, wef wind in the sai have had momentum in the private sector -- i would like to digress for 30 seconds more on something i think is interesting -- the world business council, le center for business did a survey of 300 mba students from every continent in the united states except antarctica and it was 29 different business close. studentsaduating mba in that global survey feel
2:20 am
business should be taking leadership to address climate change. 96% of the graduating mbas, that talent for that every business for.oking another interesting thing, six to 4% say business is not doing enough on the environment. not just the united states, these are business schools in china, business was in india. 44% would be willing to take less pay to work for more environmentally-forward-leaning companies. i think you have played in this field personally, 70% of them feel that the sustainable issues need to be integrated into the operations of the business. so i think there is a great opportunity here to look at things like how our relationships in the environmental protection agency with each other, states and the federal government, can work together to facilitate that. how do we set the goals for these larger issues?
2:21 am
we know it he percent reduction in greenhouse gases. i work with businesses every day to try to figure out how to do that. how can we get the wind in the sails effect? mention, justll three things for the future, reinventing some of these relationships, having the ability admitted the legal authority to set these goals, not just facility goals, based on science. obviously, being well-equipped to deal with the new measuring and verifying and reporting, and data systems, which you heard about earlier, new models of accountability, may be related to the business community, and we need new investment. to think the e.p.a. will, on whatever is going on well-positioned yet with some kind of minor amount of increase or don't cut the budget, or that
2:22 am
is not enough. people have spoken about the construction grants program, $5 billion in 1972. that would be $30 billion today if adjusted for inflation. right now the epa's budget is like one third of the budget it was when we were talking about some of the improvements that everyone has talked about. so there needs to be some real commitment, real money put in the to help motivate and stimulate the investment we need. finally, i will just mention, and i think this is really workforce.the there are lots of things that e.p.a. can do to improve the workforce, not just morale, but how things are operated. i know i am going to long, but i think the wind in the sails is a great way to talk about it. the systemic problems that are vexing us are not going to be solved in the long run by incremental changes, they will
2:23 am
be solved by larger sector-based watershed level, ecosystem level, consensus on goals where the e.p.a. can become the wind. ms. fisher: i think when i looked at the e.p.a. alumni as we all think about what are the most important environmental challenges, it used to be from the pictures of video, it was smokestack emissions, rumors on fire, acility-based and there was clear role that the e.p.a. could play. when he think of those issues today, it is climate change, clean energy, it is, how do you feed 9 billion people coming into the planet, how do you transport people in an efficient and clear way, how do you deal with water? our earlier panel talked about that. none of those issues falls neatly in the e.p.a. purview,
2:24 am
and yet i think all of us know if the e.p.a. doesn't play a strong role, those issues might not be solved. so. youn, will start with you, have worked at the state level, the federal level, and in the regions, and you now see how all the states are acting. when we look at these big global challenges and the statutory mandate of the e.p.a., and i think i said to the panel on an earlier call, we can't assume those laws will. the rest anytime soon, we have to assume the e.p.a. needs to find its place without much done in the legislative arena. i don't want to be pessimistic, but -- so i threw it to you. and other panelists may jump in. find in the e.p.a. analyst's statutes to help drive
2:25 am
the best practices forward? how does the e.p.a. find its role, or should it? , the the question is e.p.a. has a mandate, has a role , and maybe some of these issues are really outside its purview. , is are your thoughts, don a think about the e.p.a. on the future and the pressing oneronmental issues i think ? >> of the things everybody has been working on our statutes that were passed on how to actually operate those delegated programs the right way. there was always a letter of tension -- a lot of tension. i think there has been improvement over the years that i have been involved that we have gotten better at delivering the basic programs that are involved in those statutes that have been passed. one thing that might be a better help get around to those systemic issues and catching the
2:26 am
wind in the sails, is if we could get as efficient as theible at delivering regular tackling of the environmental programs so that we can free up some of the energy to expand into the more global issues. i think over the years, i have been involved in a lot of congressional hearings, yelled that from both sides, one set of or other the best one side the other, about implementing the environment to programs. frequently, we end up fighting over things that are not really all that meaningful as far as delivering an environmental result, fighting over beings and actions section 123 j12 are enough actions to carry out the statutes. the discussions have been insular to the bureaucrats who understand how those programs work. i have always been, i have imagined that there was it will record and-- meter
2:27 am
us a look at what was actually working nationally ane nviromenter -- a tool called the nvirometer. and in order to have one, we need a lot of real-time environmental data to be it were to judge what is actually happening in the environment when states and the federal government make different policy choices under the statutes. but i think that is always going to be a long climb. but in order to create the running room let you need to have an ep that is really the leader in science that maybe he can take on some of those broader national issues or global issues that individual states or localities that not see them or come to grips with, if we can get as
2:28 am
efficient as possible on delivering on the programs we already have, we can create the running room for an e.p.a. of centerure to make that lane and make a delivery of those programs the center lane of the states and local governments. ms. fisher: some of you might remember fred lindsay who worked at the agency for many years, he told me once, he carpooled to work with a bunch of e.p.a.ers and he said at the end of every day they would ask each other, what did we actually do today that made the environment better today? [laughter] it focus them on the impacts as opposed to other things you might count. i thought it was a great lesson. month, your thoughts, as we tackle some of these major global issues, both looking at the e.p.a. as well as a state programs. martha: it must be that chair. ms. fisher: i noticed carroll's microphone was --
2:29 am
[feedback] martha: i don't know what i just did. [feedback] i will hold it. there it is. i will just hold it right here. maybe that will help. [laughter] >> don't move. [laughter] martha: where was i going to go? [laughter] >> technology is key. bob: so i think part of the gap that was filled between 1980 and today is the maturing of the programs and the maturing of the e.p.a. and the states in overseeing and implementation of programs. i think everybody here would agree with that i think what has happened in the last. that, lookingo is
2:30 am
a climate issues, there is recognition that local bothnment actually have the energy and the capacity to deal where there is a vacuum at the federal level. of course we have heard about businesses together the same thing. i think what actually -- something that should happen is identification of schools that all these segments can bring to the table and avoiding the duplication, the overlap that states have been complaining about with the oversight piece, counting the wing eithers for example. and what can e.p. affirm bring to the table, what can states, local governments, businesses bring to the table? what should they bring to the table? and from my perspective, what
2:31 am
e.p.a. is bring to the table as much as anything is not only the basic framework program, sort of the floor. the states all actually agree that e.p. affirm needs to bring to the table, but it is also the science. i think that that is an area really struggles currently and has actually for many years. you heard about it this morning, and don't really need to go into that anymore. but it's a lack of resources, the pacity, it's believability in the science e.p.a. puts pa forth and the need for e.p.a. to market its science, frankly. there is a flexibility piece in
2:32 am
there, looking at innovations. we heard that with a panel earlier this morning as well. and the ability to rethink how you move the environmental public health needle and the widgets, counting how many enforcement actions, how much money can you collect, and looking more at what are the innovative programs. we are never going to get the resources. it is going to be a long time before the states and the e.p.a. get the resources it needs to really attack the really complex, involved environmental problems that we see now. it is really the 80/20 rule. we spent 80 -- it is going to take 80% of the money now to attack 20% of the environmental problems. probably they are more than 20%
2:33 am
because we keep finding new ones. that is because of the science. we are looking at more problems. i think e.p.a. where it really shines is in the science and really our understanding of what are the issues that we have. i am meandering here, but if we recognize the expertise of the different sectors that are involved in this and capitalize on them, that would be a benefit. about ave talked a lot people and talent management at the agency. we have talked about some of the earlier panels, the fact that e.p.a. is losing a lot of folks through nat retirement and frustration probably as well. if you think about the skills that e.r.a. is going to need, what are your thoughts on what we need to have at the agency?
2:34 am
>> those people who are leaving e.p.a. are welcome to come to maryland. we all agree there have to be a corset of skills and principles for our public health agency to set national standards, to, about with regional collaborations and work with the state. really do see that one of the talent gap areas that states really need support on is the continued investments in the science and economics of climate change, the energy and environmental and energy and water areas. these are areas that really need continued investment and work. more in terms of the work force on p.a., i would say more
2:35 am
the economics of climate change and environmental justice. mike became the administrator. his emphasis was on how do we, on top of the national standards and requirements that we have, how do we create a better, richer culture of collaboration? that is a social skill set. it is a facilitation role. it doesn't diminish hard science. it is a kind of an emphasis on soft science. there has to be facilitators at the e.p.a. level who can bring well-intentioned state regulate orioles and agencies and local governments and mayors and businesses and farmers to the table and make real progress.
2:36 am
i think that is a growing skill set that i think we need more and more of. >> and i think that e.p.a. has had a number of -- people talked about them earlier today -- pilot projects. i think marcus was talking about the sector-based programs, community-based programs. i will throw this open and anybody can jump in. what if anything is getting in the way of those happening more frequently? and more often? because we all know they are successful. maybe not 100% of the time, but they feel directionally correct. there should be more rtnerships -- i think it was said less top down and more collaboration. what is getting in the way of making those the go-to way to solve problems that might be
2:37 am
applied more uniformly throughout the agency? >> i just want to say one thing bout ecos and e.p.a.'s continued partnership on modernizing the business of environmental protection. the e-enterprise effort has a wonderful mission, and one of the examples of modernizing the bills of environmental protection, striving for governing at the speed of business is to knowingly, willingly support partnerships with the private sector. what gets in the way of that? sometimes it is a fundamental lack of trust. the well intentioned and important environmental advocacy groups are always concerned -- some of them are always concerned about partnership if it doesn't involve public funding and consent decrees. there really has to be -- what
2:38 am
gets in the way of partnership sometimes, first of its kind is launching an effort where the poultry industry and a very important foundation that doesn't environmental work on the chesapeake bay is partnering with the state environmental agency. they provide the money for the equipment, and we are going to monitor the equipment to monitor air missions from kafo. we are going to see how much of a public health risk there is, what is the threat, and sort through that. it is very easy sometimes for certain grooms who defend the crean water act and clear air act to say hug who, this looks like a partnership with the private sector. i think what gets in the way sometimes is a lack of trust innovative partnerships, whether it is
2:39 am
trading or mitigation banks, different ones working construction with the private sector that doesn't involve public funding necessarily. >> i was going to say pretty much the same thing as ben, but the do everything everywhere challenges. when people think about trading, they say we don't want this point source to trade for a non-point surs. we need the non-point source thing to be cleaned um. that sense of we need to do everything everywhere to overcome this challenge gets in the way of feeling like market-based mechanisms and trading can meet the goals of the program. like ben said, the more data you have about the benefits that you are able to deliver, more you can build trust with people that these things are actually delivering strirmal protection. if you try to get everything
2:40 am
everywhere, you may end up in court 10 years and you are not going to get anything anywhere. >> going back to many of the conversations today, the role of e.p.a. is to help -- can be, should be -- to help provide some coherence to what is going on with the trading. there should be some ability for e.r.a. to say let's go back to the chesapeake bay, places nearby and probably many of us have worked on them one way or the other. we know they have had their nutrients reduced. there is a way to provide coherence to that, and we have enough data to work on these things. again i am going back to my personal change with the private sector. all who are being asked constantly to make new commitments. there is almost commitment fatigue, agreement fatigue.
2:41 am
it was a bank that i work with, putting $24 puck billion in to do stuff. the commitments keep going, but there is no current coherence. they are all doing it. they all know they have to row they are rection, but so -- even if you had half the states doing stuff, and most of the business of the united states takes place across many states. so the three things that are missing or four things that are missing that e.p.a. can bring and the skills that are needed to do this, and science is involved, but it is coherence to our direction. where are we trying to go? 80% reduction of greenhouse gases. carbon news ral. nutrient levels. the ability to coordinate between the states and other
2:42 am
customers. the certainly that they can have to make the investments to move forward. bill has property this up this morning, and we have talked about it several times, but the global environmental protection network that is out there has a great reliance on the leadership of the united states. i know that we don't want to believe this sometimes, and sometimes we want to say to ourselves well we are not going to do anything until china does something. china is doing stuff because they have a middle-class that is larger than the population of the unless, and they don't want to be sending their kids with masks on in the morning to school. they want to have environmental protection like any other human. i think the united states leadership in the international arena, which was discussed in the other panel, is another really important skill set that r.a. can do, and it can -- e.p.a. can do and brings to go
2:43 am
the states and local governments. >> we talk the on the morning panel about -- i call it the wall effect. there are several -- the question airs that we would get from our value chain asking us what we were doing on greenhouse gases, whether we had any of the following 350 chemicals in the products that we were selling to them. got question air -- questionnaire fatigue. i would hear people from dew point, who were not strong supporters. isn't there a role for e.p.a. to come in. and there is questionnaire to deal with all the companies. over 95 questionnaires coming from our value chain partners. when you think about that and then look at it globally, it became quite complex. . think there is a role
2:44 am
what you are measuring, how you are measuring it, why it is important that e.p.a., because of their background in science and some of the data that e.p.a. has access to can ctually help at some discipline, or vision or direction to some of the sustain ability efforts. slatenly, they want to have -- they want to have a ranking system. we will tell you if you are a good company or not. >> if you didn't know. >> yes. it became a drain on our resources. people from doing real sustainability work, to people to fill out the forms to tell other people we were doing really sustainability work. then you would have to defend
2:45 am
why you filled out one and not the other. it became pretty messy. finally when the investor community, wall street, started to get involved and evaluating companies, i visited with some f dupont's big investors and said what data do you look at? you look at the dow jones success sustainability index, the worpt white knights, a bunch of them. and their comment to me to an investment house was we don't look at any of those other people who judge you. we just want to see your data. we look at the data you put into things like the carbon disclosure project, the water disclosure project, the bloomberg information. hey wanted to make their own evaluations. it totally change the the way we looked a the those there.
2:46 am
is a role for e.p.a. to wade into some of this to help clarify it all. >> particularly with these larger systemic issues as opposed to what you are doing as a particular chemical plant and things like that, those are straight-forward. but when you are looking amounts these broader systemic issues, there is that different kind of role. >> one thing i want to touch on, and i will kick it open to see if there are questions in the audience. i am going to start with don on this one. we haven't really talked -- we touched on the fact that there are always going to be resource constraints. as i think about it, i think you have a growing body of resources at the state level. we have resources at the regional level. we have headquarters resources. we have justice department resources. how do we use those most efficiently so that we are not just one point doers and
2:47 am
watchers? you have resources that do and the resources that watch the people that are doing to be sure they are doing it right. that may or may not be really improving the environment. w do you think about the regions, headquarterses, states and the roles, and do you see that changing in the future? >> much of what states have been doing for the past self eager of how can you deliver that most efficiently. i would say having been in the state in the 90's and then in the region in the 2000's, and then i stepped away for a few years and now coming back into ecos, i am actually encouraged that we are moving that ball forward in being partners at the table and figuring out the environmental protection system o try to remove as many of the inefficiencies and duplications. like you say, i remember in e.p.a. region three you would think there were a number of engineers who were hired to do water permits.
2:48 am
then the programs were delegated to the states. then the folks in the region would be reading the permits that the folks in the states did. it was two grooms of people doing the same task. we have argued that kind of issue for years. i think there has been in the 10 years since i was a regional administrator, there has been a lot of movement forward in getting those lines straightened out so that we can do the job as efficiently as possible without duplication of effort. but it needs constant tending. i don't think there is one simple final answer. but if you concentrate on trying to assign the roles that organization is best at, do that work. and not just redoing the work that some other organization does. i think that is one of the definitional questions in e.p.a. in what e.p.a. should look like in the future. what is the federal government the best at in this world of environmental protection, and what can states, locals or maybe the private sector as we
2:49 am
are talking about, take up some part of what had been done before by federal folks? there is a lot of progress in getting that straightened out, but that is a way i think can you free up enough resources, whether you have a rising resource or declining resource environment, you have to be able to get those roles as efficient as possible so that you can spare the extra resources you needs for the new task. >> as a professional watcher, i would say that maryland, like some other states are really -- maryland is embracing pay for performance types of contracts and awarding state funding. we do have dedicated funding that comes from various sources at the state level. but one of the exciting areas that increases the efficiencies of whether it is restoring the bay or other times of watershed protection projects, if you are awarding your state funds on
2:50 am
the basis of who can deliver the lowest cost environmental gains, measuring how much nitrogen, or phosphorous or sediment is reduced at the lowest cost, and award based on that -- there has to be, in order to have public confidence in the program, measuring of actual environmental results. are those paid for performance projects resulting in better results? but i think there are a lot of different strategies to increase efficiency, creating the regulatory space for innovation is critical, and it is a regulatory standard-setting question.
2:51 am
it is also a funding question. which projects do you fund? i think e.p.a. can continue to learn from states and their experiences on those types of innovative projects. >> i think that where the results are, it used to be e.p.a. wallace the purveyor of information about was something being successful. was it having an impact now with new technology. all the communities can tell whether or not the water is cleaner, what is coming out of a facility and whether they are better off for what is taking place. impact is going to make a difference. let me just see if there are any questions. we have a lot of e.p.a. experts in the audience. let's star here. we have about five minutes, i think. we will bring you a mic. >> thank you. i have a question about the resource space of e.p.a. the size of e.p.a.'s staff declined from its highest .in
2:52 am
18,al 1999 with just over 00 full time f.t.e.'s to 14,000. what do you think about the implication of that decline and how does it help to be inhansed in the future? >> one of the issues -- and i think many people that have done this. i used to talk about when i was a deputy administrator. we need to look at the states, the tribes and e.p.a. all together as the environmental protection enterprise. there was a time in the 80's and 90's where state people working on these issues was going up and e.p.a. was stabilized. this gets back to the roles we have all been talking about. would asked re-doers to your
2:53 am
list. another group called the re-doers. but the more efficient we get and the more technology wisconsin, there is no doubt in theory we should be able to do some of this work with fewer people. the other thing is that we have made a lot of environmental progress in some of the basic stuff that needed to be dealt with in the 70's and 80's, it has generally been dealt with. we just need to make sure it stays there. other things, like climate change, or mastics in the ocean or other global systemic things you want to talk about requires something from folks, something that we could scale up. but to specifically answer your question, the e.p.a. does not have enough people. and it doesn't hatch enough people for the other kinds of skills as well. and it doesn't have enough resources to make some of these other things happen. the program. now it would be $20 billion and
2:54 am
not $5 billion. there are tons of stuff the e.p.a. could do to help stimulate resources. it is not a people question. one last thing i will mention, which a number of my colleagues here have mentioned in terms of the improvements are going on with how states and pea work together. i think they are remarkable. i used to be a former state environmental commissioner in maryland. think i used to be ben. the idea behind this thing that gets mentioned before, e-enterprise, is not so much the sharing of the data, although that is vitally important between the state and pea. it was the joint governance of it. i may be oversimplifying. but that is a really important thing. that allows more data to flow between the state and federal government. >> i want to shout out to the
2:55 am
current e.p.a. for the work they are doing on elms, the environmental lean management system. henry darwin is the acting deputy administrator, and he is really committed. he is a professional environmental manager who understands. he doesn't know what the right number of employees is, whether it is 18,000, 14,000 or something else, but he is putting in place -- there is a dedicated commitment to a lean and a more efficient management system, and it is not to diminish the mission of the agency. fws it enhance their current skill set and enhance results. hats off to them. >> i didn't used to want to be ben, but i want to be ben today. in isolation to that question, whether it is 14,000 or 18,000. there is only an answer to what is happening to protect the
2:56 am
environment in public health. if you think it is going in the right direction, take a look at it. you have to go back and analyze if we have the right resources to get it done. that is one of the things we talked about with the widget counting. we come at it from the wrong andy. we come out something with something in ron context in getting it done. >> rather than take one more question, because we have two minutes. i am going to do a quick lightning round and ask quick questions with question quick answers. in 10 years, will we have a u.s. climate policy that is making a difference? >> yes. > all right. don, name one thing that you think would better enhance -- would change at e.p.a. that would better enhance
2:57 am
environmental protection? >> efficiency in delivering the environmental protection system. >> ben, when you go to your next job as administrator of what will be the most significant difference? ten years from now, what will be the most significant difference in the agency you take over than the one that is there today? >> they will have locked the door to keep me out. [laughter] >> the integration of information technology like never before to really track and to solve problems. that is my one word answer. >> that was my next question. data, how is it going to change how e.p.a. does environmental policy? you kind of answered that one. in 10 years will the states be the leaders in environmental solutions, outstripping e.p.a.? or will they be moving together hand in hand?
2:58 am
>> moving together hand in hand. >> good. i hope you all will join me in congratulating the panel. [applause] i totally impaired ben, which i intended to do. but thank you all very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its captioning content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org.] >> hi, everybody. we are going to dive right in because we have five incredible panelists today. please take a seat. i'm the executive

3 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on