Collaborate by working with our federal, state, tribal and local partners, with non-governmental organizations, academia and industry and with the public
Collaboration is ingrained in our operations and an important part of being open, fair and inclusive. We collaborate by working with our federal, state, tribal and local partners, with non-governmental organizations, academia and industry and with the public. EPA’s partners implement many of the Agency’s most critical environmental programs, including protecting water quality, reducing air pollution, safeguarding drinking water and mitigating hazardous waste. Almost all of the environmental data EPA collects comes from our partners and the regulated community. We collaborate on issues as wide ranging as data collection and sharing, enforcing regulations, setting standards of protection, voluntary programs (e.g. EnergyStar (www.energystar.gov), a joint EPA and Department of Energy effort), and how best to empower local communities to tackle local issues. One of the most significant examples of collaboration with a broad spectrum of partners is the Brownfields program. This program is designed to empower states, communities and other stakeholders to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up and sustainably reuse Brownfields (sites with the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant). The idea for the program was presented by a state at an Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) meeting in the early 1990s. Shortly thereafter, EPA funded Brownfields as a pilot voluntary program, and the program evolved based on feedback and lessons learned from early projects. Congress recognized the success and potential of the program and passed the 2001 Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. Our Brownfields program empowers citizens to reclaim and revitalize properties in their communities. EPA has well-established tools and procedures for collaborating with the public, and we are exploring new ways to collaborate with our partners and other stakeholders. The remainder of this section provides information about the Agency’s: * Collaboration history and baseline. * Collaboration innovations.
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