- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
On March 16, 2009, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson issued a memorandum halting the Performance Track Program. Jackson's memo was followed by a memorandum from Chuck Kent, director, Office of Policy Economics and Innovation, dated March 25, 2009, which provided more details about the termination, including that the low priority for routine inspections incentive is no longer in effect. Thursday's notice in the Federal Register signifies the program's final deathblow. It also gives public notice that the low priority for routine inspections incentive for Performance Track facilities is also terminated.
Jackson made the agency's reasoning known in the March memo:
"Now it is time to pause and reflect on Performance Track's achievements and opportunities for improvements. Performance Track was developed in a different era and may not speak to today's challenges. There has been much recent discussion about the benefits of the program. Members of Congress and stakeholders have also asked us to pause and consider what approaches might be best for the future. Therefore, I have decided to halt the current Performance Track Program with the intent of refining those concepts that can lead us to a stronger system of environmental protection as we go forward" (Emphasis ours –PE)
The agency originally launched the program on June 26, 2000 as a two-tiered program, the higher "Achievement Track" tier becoming the erstwhile Performance Track program, and the lower "Stewardship Track" tier evolving into the "Corporate Leader" designation. Both tiers are subject to the program's termination.
Jackson said in her memo that the agency plans to complete two major reviews of such voluntary programs, through a multi-stakeholder committee, and, separately, through the RAND Corporation.