Taking Environmental Protection to the Next Level

The National Academy of Public Administration


April 2007


The report is the product of a three-year study requested by the Office of
Management and Budget and authorized by Congress in EPA's 2004 budget. 
NAPA used an in-depth case study of Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts and
less detailed reviews of several other environmental programs to identify
broader lessons for improving environmental protection efforts.

The Academy report documents how EPA already assists watershed
planning, Smart Growth initiatives, multiparty collaborations, industry-based
environmental standards, and more. However, much of this work is at a small,
experimental scale. It is neither robust nor nationwide. Yet, taken together, it
provides a sound base upon which to organize, empower, and fund an
effective Healthy Waters initiative




The 2007 report "Taking Environmental Protection to the Next Level" by The
National Academy of Public Administration (45 pages) contains innovative
methods and approaches.

More so, it is extremely evident that counties and local governments need to
be in the lead on restoration efforts since their actions and inactions are major
influences on the success and failures of the efforts.

Recommendations from the report:

- More effective partnering especially for non-regulatory programs where
voluntary action based on trust, assistance, and persuasion

- More systematic and holistic intergovernmental approach to cleaning up the
very large number of impaired waters -- bring nonpoint programs up to par with
point-source programs

- Encourage and support the intergovernmental coordinating bodies needed to
ensure that regional initiatives can effectively accomplish established water
pollution reduction outcomes

- Commitment to scientific research and data as an essential basis for
policymaking and evaluation

- Put the financing of environmental services on a more adequate and
sustainable path

- Develop models and guidelines for dedicated feebased revenue systems;
providing leadership for pollution credit-trading

- Innovative programs should be made readily available more quickly to
policymakers, program directors, and implementation organizations

- Improve outcome-oriented performance management systems by
incorporating timely new accountability mechanisms for inputs, outputs and
outcomes provided by both traditional and nontraditional partners

- Re-evaluate the alignment of partners, tools, and coordinating mechanisms
within all their partnership programs, using the analytical framework developed
for this study