EPA Measures NPDES Program Effectiveness
Earlier this month, the EPA released the initial results of a nationwide initiative to assess the effectiveness of state-run National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit Programs.
The EPA released profiles of 33 state programs and intends to release profiles for the remaining authorized state programs in 2005. Under this assessment, known as Permitting for Environmental Results (PER), EPA and states evaluated individual NPDES programs to gauge effectiveness, identify strengths, and target areas for improvement.
According to EPA, the PER addresses three primary components: 1) integrity - ensuring that NPDES programs have the information and tools they need to issue effective permits, 2) program efficiency - providing tools and sharing information among programs to streamline the permitting process and effectively apply resources, and 3) environmental results - identifying environmentally significant permits and reissuing them to improve water quality.