Detailed Information on the
Surface Water Protection Assessment

Program Code 10004380
Program Title Surface Water Protection
Department Name Environmental Protection Agy
Agency/Bureau Name Environmental Protection Agency
Program Type(s) Regulatory-based Program
Assessment Year 2005
Assessment Rating Moderately Effective
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 100%
Strategic Planning 78%
Program Management 91%
Program Results/Accountability 50%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $193
FY2008 $193
FY2009 $199

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Working with States and other partners, EPA will assess 100% of rivers, lakes, and streams in the lower 48 states using statistically-valid surveys by 2010.

Action taken, but not completed Completed assessment of 100% of rivers in the lower 48 states using statistically-valid surveys. Selection of lakes assessment design/sampling sites is underway. This is an ongoing process to determine status and trends in water condition. Regarding 2008 target of 65%: 100% of lakes will be surveyed and data analyzed in 2008. The report will not be issued until 2009.

Working with States and other partners, EPA will issue water quality reports based on the statistically-valid surveys in the lower 48 states by 2011.

Action taken, but not completed Completed assessment of 100% of rivers in the lower 48 states using statistically-valid surveys. Selection of lakes assessment design/sampling sites is underway. This is an ongoing process to determine status and trends in water condition. Regarding 2008 target of 65%: 100% of lakes will be surveyed and data analyzed in 2008. The report will not be issued until 2009.

Conduct permit quality reviews as part of the regional review cycle and incorporate agreed-upon action items into the NPDES program action item tracking list.

Action taken, but not completed This is an "on going" activity and will go beyond 8/30/2008. To date, 5 comprehensive reviews have been completed, 1 report has been finalized, and 4 reports are in the process of finalization.

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Require that 106 State workplans and performance data are formatted and reported consistently and directly support specific goals in EPA's strategic plan.

Completed EPA's NPM's have integrated the template into their national program guidances and the template is part of the FY 07 workplans that will be negotiated with the states

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Long-term/Annual Outcome

Measure: Number of waterbody segments identified by States in 2002 as not attaining standards, where water quality standards are now fully attained.

Explanation:Focuses on cumulative successes in achieving standards in previously impaired waters. Future long-term measures will look at net improvement or degradation in statistically-valid samples of all waters nationally, starting with wadeable streams.

Year Target Actual
2002 Baseline 0
2006 n/a 924
2007 1,166 1,409
2008 1,550
2009 1,660
2010 1,770
2012 2,250
Annual Output

Measure: Percentage of submissions of new or revised water quality standards from States, and Territories that are approved by EPA.

Explanation:Annual percentage, based on submissions EPA receives in the 12 months ending in April of each year. About 50-60 submissions are received annually. Some recent and expected submissions include more complex science and policy issues that may preclude approval by year end.

Year Target Actual
2004 baseline 87.6%
2005 89.5% 83.5%
2006 90.9% 89.1%
2007 85.0% 85.6%
2008 87.0%
2009 85%
2010 85%
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Loading (Pounds) of pollutants removed per program dollar expended

Explanation:Investment includes 1) EPA resources devoted to the surface water program, 2) grants to States under CWA section 106, and 3) State match. Loadings are cumulative, and include conventional, nonconventional and toxic pollutants from ELGs (direct and indirect dischargers), NPDES permitting for CAFOs, POTWs, CSOs, Municipal Storm Water and Construction Storm Water. Industrial Storm Water is not included. Loadings from water quality based effluent limits are not included.

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 122
2005 180 180
2006 233 233
2007 285 331
2008 332
2009 368
Annual Output

Measure: Percentage of high priority EPA and State NPDES permits that are issued as scheduled.

Explanation:Priority based on environmental significance from EPA activities: approved standards, approved TMDLs, new effluent guidelines.

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 0%
2005 95% 100%
2006 95% 98.5%
2007 95% 110%
2008 95%
2009 95%
2010 95%
Annual Output

Measure: Number of TMDLs that are established or approved by EPA [Total TMDLs] on a schedule consistent with national policy (cumulative). A TMDL is a technical plan for reducing pollutants in order to attain water quality standards. The terms "approved" and "established" refer to the completion and approval of the TMDL itself.


Year Target Actual
2000 Baseline 2,610
2004 12,145 14,205
2005 17,383 18,434
2006 20,275 22,648
2007 25,274 26,844
2008 33,801
2009 36,914
2010 40,027
Annual Output

Measure: Percentage of waters assessed using statistically valid surveys.

Explanation:EPA and States will assess and identify trends for 100% of the Nation's waters by 2017 using statistically-valid surveys to evaluate the extent that waters support the fishable and swimmable goals of the Clean Water Act.

Year Target Actual
2000 Baseline 31%
2004 38% 38%
2005 38% 38%
2006 54% 54%
2007 54% 54%
2008 65%
2009 65%
2010 82%

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: The Clean Water Act established the national surface water program as the primary tool for restoring and maintaining water quality nationwide and protecting the social and economic values associated with clean water. The Act directs EPA to develop national programs for the prevention and reduction of pollution while recognizing that the primary responsibility for program implementation lies with the States. EPA's Strategic Plan also articulates a clear overarching goal for the program, "Clean and Safe Water."

Evidence: Sections 101(a), 101 (d), 104, 106, 303, 305, 307 402 of the Clean Water Act EPA's Strategic Plan: Direction for the Future 2003-2008, See Page 6.

YES 20%

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: The program is needed for: addressing the environmental and health problems caused by water pollution; maintaining a nationally consistent water quality baseline across state boundaries; addressing emerging, nationally pervasive, pollutants and pollution sources such as mercury and nutrients and urbanization; and to collect consistent information across the states to develop national status and trends on the condition of the nation's waters. States report that about 21,000 waterbodies can't be used for their designated uses. About 850,000 river miles and over 15 million lake acres have fish consumption advisories. About 20% of shellfish acres are not approved for human consumption.

Evidence: EPA's Surface Water Protection Program: White Paper National Section 303(d) List Fact Sheet National Listing of Fish Advisories Fact Sheet Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference: Analysis of Classified Shellfish Water 1985-2003 Federal Incentives Could Help Promote Land Use That Protects Air and Water Quality: GAO October 2000 Report to Congress: Impacts and Control of CSOs and SSOs: Executive Summary, Page 7, EPA 833-R-04-001, August 2004.

YES 20%

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: It is the only program that sets water quality targets for the Nation's waters and regulates discharges to achieve them. EPA provides national leadership to achieve the program's strategic goals. EPA enables program effectiveness and consistency through policy direction, target-setting, scientific and technical baselines, and reviewing and approving state and tribal regulatory actions. EPA provides scientific and program tools for states and tribes to carry out the program's front-line functions, and fosters innovations such as water quality trading. EPA works with other federal agencies to build partnerships and avoid duplication.

Evidence: Clean Water Act, 31 U.S.C. 1251-1387, especially §§ 1251, 1254), 1256, 1313, 1342; Surface Water Protection Program Structure Diagram

YES 20%

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: Most core functions are implemented by States and some Tribes. Proximity to regulated entities, variability in local needs, and experience in overseeing water programs suggest that state centered programs are more efficient and effective than centralized federal programs. If a State is unable to administer the program, the CWA assigns responsibility to EPA. EPA oversight, and issuance of guidance, regulations and technical tools are critical for national consistency.

Evidence: CWA §106, §301, §302 §303, §305, §307, §309, §402, §404, CWA §304(b) and CFR 125.3(d) for cost analysis of BAT, BCT and BCT; CWA §306(b) for New sources; CWA303(c) and CFR 131.10 for Use Attainability Analysis Revised Policy Framework for State/EPA Enforcement Agreements, August, 1986. See pp. 21-25, "Criteria for Direct Federal Enforcement in Delegated States."

YES 20%

Is the program design effectively targeted so that resources will address the program's purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries?

Explanation: The surface water program conducts rigorous annual processes to identify the highest-priority projects. EPA determines where implementation activities need to take place and develops annual workplans in coordination with state workplans to prioritize activities such as approval of state standards and TMDLs and review of permits; technical, scientific and regulatory support for state efforts; development of national policy; and implementation activities in the absence of state implementation where necessary. States' determinations of water quality impairments serve as the basis for targeting activities. Funding is based on needs identified on impairment lists. Targeting is done via the National Water Program Management System.

Evidence: Description of EPA's watershed subobjective in the 2006 President's Budget, see ""Restore and Improve Water Quality on a Watershed Basis"", pp. 19-21 Discussion of the Surface Water Protection program/project, including 2006 priorities and performance highlights, pp. 175-178 The National Water Program Management System (NWPMS; also described in response to Question 2.5 -- see White Paper) incorporates annual Water Program guidance and commitments against established output and outcome measures designed to ensure that activities conform to established priorities.

YES 20%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 100%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: The agency has one long-term outcome performance measure that supports the goal of the surface water protection program-- attaining water quality standards/designated uses (including Water Safe for Swimming, Water Safe for Drinking, and Safe Fish and Shellfish). EPA is also developing measures to demonstrate incremental progress toward full restoration and maintenance of water quality that could be expressed in terms of waterbodies and watersheds.

Evidence: Clean Water Act Section 101 EPA's Strategic Plan: Direction for the Future 2003-2008 National Water Program Guidance: FY06

YES 11%

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: Waterbodies take a long time to improve, with numerous factors affecting water quality. In setting ambitious targets, EPA tried to balance realistic time frames with the need to strive continually for significant water quality improvements. Full restoration of impaired waterbody segements is the critical step to achieving overall restoration of individual watersheds.

Evidence: National Water Program Guidance: FY06

YES 11%

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals?

Explanation: The surface water protection program uses an annualized version of its long term measure, as well as annual measures that assess progress for key program activities--permitting, total maximum daily loads, water quality monitoring, and water quality standards.

Evidence: Sections 101(a), 101 (d), 104, 106, 303, 305, 307 402 of the Clean Water Act EPA's Strategic Plan: Direction for the Future 2003-2008

YES 11%

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?

Explanation: The program has established ambitious baselines and targets for most of its annual measures. Over the upcoming year, EPA should review progress and consider setting more ambitious targets for 2007.

Evidence: EPA's Strategic Plan: Direction for the Future 2003-2008 National Water Program Guidance: FY06

YES 11%

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: The States are EPA's primary partner, but most State workplans do not link their proposed activities to EPA's Strategic Plan or annual performance measures. Program contracts also do not link to EPA's Strategic Plan or annual performance measures.


NO 0%

Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: EPA's Inspector General does comprehensive reviews of the program under two tracks - Watershed Protection and Reducing Pollutant Loadings - which build on past evaluations of the program. EPA supplements this with other periodic external reviews by the National Academy of Sciences such as the 2001 study that made recommendations on Total Maximum Daily Loads, water quality standards, monitoring and assessment.

Evidence: OIG's Two Year Plan October 1, 2004 - September 30, 2006, pages 15-17 National Academy of Science: Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems, 1992 National Academy of Science:: New Strategies for America's Watersheds, 1999 National Academy of Science: New Strategies for America's Watersheds, 1999 Assessing the TMDL Approach to Water Quality Management, Executive Summary, 2000

YES 11%

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: EPA's budget requests for this program do not link to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals.


NO 0%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: In the past, national baselines and targets for outcome measures were not expressed at the Region level. In FY 05 and 06, EPA is developing Regional targets for outcome measures and will organize Regional programs to best support accomplishment of these targets. The program is also reducing reporting burden on States and Tribes. In FY 06, the total number of program measures was reduced to 89 from the 106 measures in effect in FY 05. The program is also improving its outcome measures: the FY 06 National Water Program Guidance includes developmental measures to address maintenance and improvement of water quality, for consideration for adoption in future Strategic Plans.

Evidence: FY 05 and FY 06 National Water Program Guidance National Water Program Strategic Planning White Paper Permitting for Environmental Results

YES 11%

Are all regulations issued by the program/agency necessary to meet the stated goals of the program, and do all regulations clearly indicate how the rules contribute to achievement of the goals?

Explanation: EPA uses its Action Development Process to screen all regulations to ensure that they are necessary. Preambles to regulations describe pollutant reductions and/or other impacts contributing to environmental and human health improvements. When EPA finds that regulations are not likely to contribute to program goals, the Agency uses its discretion not to proceed. The Agency explains regulatory decisions thoroughly in preambles, documents the decisions and underlying analysis in the record, and provides an opportunity for public comment. EPA believes there are no obvious regulatory gaps.

Evidence: Clean Water Act sections that authorize EPA to issue surface water protection regulations: 118, 301, 303, 304, 306, 307, 308, 311, 312, 316, 318, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 501. Highlights from EPA's Action Development Process that refer to EO12866: EPA's Action Development Process, "Guidance for EPA Staff on Developing Quality Actions," June 2004. Additional internal EPA guidance referring to E.O. 12866: EPA's Action Development Process, "Guidelines for Preparing Analytic Blueprints," September 2004. Additional internal EPA guidance referring to EO12866: Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analysis, EPA 240-R-00-003, September 2000. Example of an EPA finding that it was not necessary to issue regulations: Industrial Laundries, Withdrawal of Proposed Regulation. Federal Register notice: 64 FR 45071,August 18, 1999.

YES 11%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 78%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: EPA lacks statistically valid national water quality data. This lack of data severely hinders the ability of EPA to make informed decisions regarding program priorities, resource allocations, and general program management. EPA is currently working with States to generate better water quality data. EPA does use performance information from Regional Offices and States to manage the program and improve performance. However, because State workplans generally do not directly link to EPA's Strategic Plan or annual performance measures, the connection between reported data and management actions is not transparent.

Evidence: PER Management Actions

NO 0%

Are Federal managers and program partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: EPA requires that both SES and non-SES manager's performance standards link directly to Agency program strategic goals and objectives and administrative management of contracts and grants. National Office Directors and Regional Division Directors are held accountable for surface water program performance, contracts and grants management through performance standards. Additionally, federal regional grant and contract project officers are held accountable for ensuring that all policies and procedures of the EPA Grants Administration Division and contract regulations are followed.

Evidence: February 18, 2004 Morris Winn Memo, paragraphs 2 & 3. March 17, 2004 memorandum Linking Performance Standards for Managers and Supervisors to EPA's Strategic Goals and Mission; EPA manager's performance standards OARM guidance for managers and supervisors dated 3/4/04 Memo requiring contracts and grants oversight be included in performance standards EPA Grants Management Plan EPA Grants Review Policy 00-05 Environmental Order No.: 5700.7, Environmental Results under EPA Assistance Agreements OECA Post Award Assistance Management Plan, Jan. 28, 2002; from Sylvia K. Lowrance, Senior Resource Official to Marty Monell, Director, EPA Grants Administration Division; OECA's Post Award Management Assistance Plan, January 4, 2005, from Phyllis P. Harris, Principal DAA to Richard Kuhlman, Director, Grants Administration Division.

YES 9%

Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose?

Explanation: The program creates an annual operating plan and allocates resources by goal, objective, subobjective, program and object class. Obligations and expenditures are tracked in the Integrated Financial Management System against the operating plan. Fund transfers between program objectives in excess of Congressionally established limits require OMB and Congressional notification and/or approval. EPA ensures grants workplans reflect the program's goals and operating plans and their spending is consistent with the approved workplan. The program conducts post-award monitoring of grants, including funds draw-down against workplan progress, ensuring that grantees spend the funds for the intended purpose. All grantees are required to submit annual or more frequent financial status reports. In Headquarters, use of funds and FTE are monitored through weekly status reports, augmented by quarterly Senior Resource Official reports and annual program reviews. Regions employ similar tracking procedures. Resource tracking is also conducted at the sub-program level. Prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, the program develops an operating plan which reflects how it plans on spending its budget (as requested in the President's Budget). Resources are allocated by goal, objective, subobjective, program and object class. Programs then adjust the operating plan to reflect appropriated levels. EPA's budget and annual Operating Plan are aligned with the Agency's Strategic Plan and approved by OMB and Congressional Appropriations Committees. Obligations and expenditures are tracked in the Agency's Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) against the Operating Plan. Fund transfers between program objectives in excess of Congressionally established limits require Congressional notification and/or approval.

Evidence: EPA's Office of Budget prepares an "advice of allowance" memo based on each year's appropriation, detailing agency-wide spending guidelines, ceilings, etc. The FY04 memo The Office of Water disseminates weekly "status of funds" reports detailing, for program managers, spending status against categories of funds (salaries, extramural, etc.) Similarly, the Office of Water's Senior Resource Official disseminates a quarterly report on various aspects of financial management, including obligations, grants and contracts management issues, etc. Regional offices, likewise, track obligations to ensure timeliness. For examples of regional funding and FTE tracking documents, Individual programs resource monitor usage to ensure timeliness and adherence to policy. For example, the national TMDL program carefully monitors the use of $8-9 million provided annually to regional offices to develop TMDLs and review/provide technical support for state-developed TMDLs.

YES 9%

Does the program have procedures (e.g. competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, appropriate incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: The program includes an annual outcome efficiency measure. The program conducts a third of its work through contracts, grants, and assistance agreements that are all competitively awarded unless very small or specifically justified. Contracts require performance measures and contain quality standards. EPA considers past performance when awarding new contracts. Several IT initiatives will reduce reporting burden and enhance productivity, and the program is actively managing even small IT investments. The Water Program Management System and PER include several timeliness measures, and conduct regular senior manager reviews. The program has consolidated many administrative functions to achieve greater efficiencies. The program actively promotes the use of watershed approaches, which dramatically improve the efficient delivery of core clean water programs and prevents the expensive repetition of these efforts on single water bodies.

Evidence: Electronic Permitting Fact Sheet EPA Order 2100.2A1 on CPIC 2002 National Water Quality Assessment Database WATERS (Watershed Assessment, Tracking & Environmental ResultS) EPA's CDX (Central Data Exchange) Draft FY 2006 National Water Program Guidance, showing timeliness measures WQ-5, 6, 17, 18, and watershed measures WQ-26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Water Quality Trading Outreach Website Water Quality Trading Assessment Handbook: EPA 841-B-04-001, November 2004

YES 9%

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: EPA and the States jointly establish performance targets for restoration and maintenance of surface waters and undertake Permitting for Environmental Results. EPA coordinates with: USDA to control nutrients from agricultural runoff; with the Coast Guard to control invasive species; with USGS to create the National Hydrography Database as the Geographical Information System backbone for the program; with the states, USGS and others to create the Wadeable Steams Assessment, a statistically valid stream assessment; and with EPA's waste program, including the implementation of the Urban Rivers Restoration Initiative for 8 urban river restoration pilot projects, in conjunction with the US ACE.

Evidence: EPA's Surface Water Program: Collaborates and Coordinates with Related Programs: White Paper National Water Management System: White Paper Permitting for Environmental Results: White Paper USDA/EPA Unified National Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations,March 9, 1999. June 2001 Memorandum of Agreement Between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development National Risk Management Research Laboratory and National Exposure Research Laboratory Environmental Technology Verification Program and the U.S. Coast Guard On Collaborative Environmental Technology Verification National Hydrography Data Wadeable Streams Assessment July 2, 2003 Memorandum of Understanding between the USEPA (Office of Water and Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response) and the Dept of Army: Restoration of Degraded Urban Rivers Urban Rivers Restoration Initiative

YES 9%

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: The program follows EPA's financial management guidelines for committing, obligating, reprogramming, and reconciling appropriated funds. At each step in the process, the propriety of the obligation and subsequent payment is reviewed. The Agency has a system of controls and accountability in place, based on GAO and other principles, to ensure that improper payments are not made. EPA received an unqualified audit opinion on its financial statements and had no material weaknesses associated with the audit. The Senior Resources Official (SRO) in Office of Water as well as SROs in regional offices conduct regular resources management reviews which focus on integrating financial and program performance information.

Evidence: EPA's Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) EPA's Financial Statements Audit Report

YES 9%

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: The NPDES backlog weakness is addressed using the PER Strategy to identify weaknesses and opportunities for streamlining and increased efficiencies, prioritizing based on environmental significance, and to obtain commitments to issue priority permits. The Section 305(b) data reporting weakness is expected to be resolved by Oct. 2005, when EPA completes analysis of State monitoring strategies and the 2004 integrated Section 303(d)/305(b) reports. This will be a first step toward improving national water quality data. The water quality standards weakness is on track to close in 2006, as priority is being given to resolve outstanding disapprovals and unreviewed standards.

Evidence: Supplemental Information for Sustained Progress in Addressing Management Issues. Supplement to EPA FY 2004 Annual Report. See pp. 14; 35 for discussion of NPDES. NPDES FY05 FMFIA Status Report, including Backlog Trendline, FY2000-FY2004 CWA Section 305(b) FY05 FMFIA Status Report; Water Quality Standards FY05 FMFIA Status Report Permitting for Environmental Results (PER) White Paper Guidance for Including Action Plans for Program Enhancements in FY 2006 Section 106 Grants." Memo from James A. Hanlon, Director, Office of Wastewater Management, to Water Division Directors, Regions I - X, including List of Potential "Action List" Items. April 1, 2005. URL Addresses for Sample PPA Workplans and Other Action Plans resulting from PER PER Action Item Data Base Report

YES 9%

Did the program seek and take into account the views of all affected parties (e.g., consumers; large and small businesses; State, local and tribal governments; beneficiaries; and the general public) when developing significant regulations?

Explanation: Whenever EPA proposes a regulation, it goes to great lengths to identify who the affected parties will be, to communicate so they understand the context of the rulemaking, to share underlying data and analysis, and to solicit comment on the regulatory options. This dialogue often goes beyond what is required by law. The Agency reviews all comments and incorporates new information as part of reaching a decision for a final regulation. EPA often issues a notice of data availability to provide additional information for public comment after a proposed rule is published. Preambles to the regulations summarize the analysis and consequences in terms of regulatory decisions. When required or otherwise appropriate, EPA consults with specific groups of stakeholders, such as small business representatives, or elected officials

Evidence: Samples of changing a rule based on State input, including consultation with state representatives even when not required by statute or Executive Order: Water Quality Standards for Coastal and Great Lakes Recreation Waters.Federal Register notice 69 FR 67217,November 16, 2004: See pages 67230-67231 and 67240-67241. Sample of soliciting comments on a proposed rule: Meat and Poultry Products Effluent Guideline, proposed rule. Federal Register notice: 67 FR 8581, February 25, 2002: See pages 8654-8655. Sample from a final rule, summarizing comments and Agency's response to alter the final decision based on the comment:Meat and Poultry Effluent Guideline, final rule. Federal Register notice: 69 FR 54476, September 8, 2004: See pages 54482 and 54487. Sample from a final rule, summarizing comments and Agency's explanation not to adopt the comment: Meat and Poultry Effluent Guideline, final rule. Federal Register notice: 69 FR 54476, September 8, 2004: See page 54488, which refers to the Notice of Data Availability. Meat and Poultry Effluent Guideline, Notice of Data Availability. Federal Register notice: 68 FR 48471, August 13, 2003: See page 47477.

YES 9%

Did the program prepare adequate regulatory impact analyses if required by Executive Order 12866, regulatory flexibility analyses if required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act and SBREFA, and cost-benefit analyses if required under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act; and did those analyses comply with OMB guidelines?

Explanation: EPA's regulatory analysis and documentation comply with EPA and OMB guidelines, and meet the specifications of Executive Orders and statutes. When benefit-cost analysis is required, it complies with Circular A-4. In addition, the Agency often prepares analyses beyond the requirements of E.O. 12866 with extensive economic assessments, such as for the California Toxics Rule in 2000. Regulatory analysis is subject to public comment, and key scientific findings are subject to scientific peer review. Also, in response to OMB review and to address uncertainty, the results from sensitivity analysis are considered before issuing the regulation.

Evidence: Cooling Water Intakes final rule: Federal Register notice: 69 FR 41575,July 9, 2004 See pages 41650-41664. Also see supporting document for same final rule: "Economic and Benefits Analysis for the Final Section 316(b) Phase II Existing Facilities Rule," EPA-821-R-04-005, February 2004 For summaries of costs and benefits, see pages D1-1 through D1-6. For impacts on facilities and firms, see Chapter B2. For Unfunded Mandates Reform Act analysis, see Chapter B5. For Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, see Chapter B4. For costs and benefits of regulatory alternatives, see supporting document for the proposed rule: "Economic and Benefits Analysis for the Proposed Section 316(b) Phase II Existing Facilities Rule," EPA-821-R-02-001, April 2002 See pages A1-6 through A1-9. Metal Products and Machinery effluent guidelines, final rule: Federal Register notice: 68 FR 25685, May 13, 2003 See pages 25712-25717. Also see supporting document for same final rule: "Economic, Environmental, and Benefits Analysis of the Final Metal Products & Machinery Rule," EPA-821-B-03-002, February 2003. See pages 1-1 and 1-2. For social costs, see pages 11-1 through 11-7. For benefits analysis, see pages 12-1 through 12-15 and for additional details on various categories of benefits, see chapters 13, 14, 15, and 16. For benefit-cost comparisons, see pages 18-1 through 18-4. For costs and benefits of regulatory alternatives, see pages 19-1 through 19-9. For economic impacts to facilities, see pages 5-1 through 5-24. Construction and Development effluent guidelines, proposed rule Federal Register notice: 67 FR 42643, June 24, 2002 See page 42666. Also see supporting document for the same proposed rule: "Economic Analysis of Proposed Effluent Guidelines and Standards for the Construction and Development Category," EPA-821-R-02-008, May 2002

YES 9%

Does the program systematically review its current regulations to ensure consistency among all regulations in accomplishing program goals?

Explanation: EPA regularly reviews NPDES and effluent guidelines regulations. As a result for NPDES, EPA removed some provisions, streamlined others, and improved program implementation. The reduced burden is especially important in light of the resource challenges faced by many States. The annual review of effluent guidelines evaluates the regulations' progress toward accomplishing the program's goals. The 2004 review identified four industries needing additional analysis and more than 50 not needing revision this year. EPA's surface water protection regulations reflect the best available scientific information, and data solicitations comply with the Data Quality Act, EPA policies, and OMB bulletins.

Evidence: In 1995, EPA initiated a detailed review of its NPDES regulations to determine which provisions were obsolete, duplicative, or unduly burdensome. In response, the Agency removed some regulatory provisions and streamlined others, thus ensuring the program's necessity and usefulness. Additional, upcoming regulatory revisions will reduce burdens in the permit application process and in the pretreatment program. The NPDES program also regularly develops tools and guidance to help streamline the permitting process, such as promoting the use of general permits and developing electronic tools to facilitate permit development and improve permit quality and consistency. Clean Water Act provision regarding review of effluent guidelines: 33 USC 1314(m) 2004 Effluent Guidelines Plan. Federal Register notice: 69 FR 53705,September 2, 2004. For summary of 2004 review, see page 53706. For description of industries identified for revision, see page 53712. For documentation of EPA's review of all existing effluent guidelines, see pages 53716-53717. For example of conclusions regarding the review and program goals, see page 53714. Example of regulation granting monitoring waivers for certain pollutants to permittees. Federal Register notice: 65 FR 30886, May 15, 2000: See page 30891, #10 Evidence of removing obsolete or redundant rules: Federal Register notice: 60 FR 33926, June 29, 1995: See page 33926 in Federal Registry Volume 60.

YES 9%

Are the regulations designed to achieve program goals, to the extent practicable, by maximizing the net benefits of its regulatory activity?

Explanation: EPA selects regulatory options that maximize net benefits to the extent practicable. Throughout regulatory development, in preambles, and in supporting documentation, EPA directs considerable attention to the rule's benefits. A detailed analysis of the costs and benefits accompanies regulatory decision materials for senior managers. The program promotes innovative tools such as trading and watershed-based permitting that can increase net benefits. The program facilitates the use of existing regulatory flexibilities, such as the CSO Control Policy, to increase net benefits in local situations.

Evidence: EPA regulations grant monitoring waivers for certain pollutants to Categorical Industrial Users (CIUs). The CIU would need to demonstrate that the pollutant is not expected to be present. This provision is already available for NPDES permittees [40 CFR 122.42(a)(2)] and we would be extending it for indirect dischargers in the pretreatment program Memorandum: Watershed-Based NPDES Permitting Policy Statement,January 7, 2003. Describes the benefits of watershed-based permitting, the implementing mechanisms for this component of the watershed approach, and how EPA will be encouraging use of watershed-based NPDES permits. Memorandum: Committing EPA's Water Program to Advancing the Watershed Approach, Assistant Administrator G. Tracy Mehan, III, December 3, 2002. Report to Congress on the Implementation and Enforcement of the CSO Control Policy , U.S. EPA Office of Water, EPA 833-R-01-003, December 2001. This report identifies progress made in implementing and enforcing CSO controls prior to, and as a result of, the 1994 CSO Control Policy. Report to Congress: Impacts and Control of CSOs and SSOs U.S. EPA Office of Water, EPA 833-r-04-001, August 2004. This report presents a comprehensive characterization of CSOs and SSOs, including the extent of environmental and human health impacts caused by CSOs and SSOs the technologies used by municipalities to address these impacts, and the resources spent.

YES 9%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 91%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?

Explanation: The program has made progress on an annualized version of its long-term measure.

Evidence: FY '05 National Water Program Assessment Performance Report Permit Compliance System (PCS) National Water Program Management White Paper


Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: In 2005, EPA met 5/6 of its annual goals for which it had targets and baselines.

Evidence: Draft National Water Program Guidance: FY06


Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: Through its efficiency measure, EPA can demonstrate progress between 2004 and 2005.

Evidence: Draft National Water Program Guidance: FY06 FY '05 National Water Program Assessment Performance Report


Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: EPA and States share responsibility under the Clean Water Act for protecting and restoring our nation's waters. However, States and others rely on EPA to set scientific standards, develop national policy, and provide technical assistance. EPA is also leading States to improve accountability and performance.

Evidence: Clean Water Act FY 06 National Water Program Guidance


Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: Independent evaluations conducted by the EPA's Office of Inspector General and the National Academy of Sciences indicate that key components of the National Water Program are effective but further improvements are needed. For example, the OIG found in its study of the effluent guidelines program that while the Agency has promulgated more effluent guidelines for a broader range of pollutants and industries than ever before it needs to do a better job in collecting data to determine the effectiveness of individual guidelines. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has conducted several studies over the past decade that indicate EPA is making progress in adopting and promoting the watershed approach at the federal, state, and local levels.

Evidence: OIG's Multi-Year Plan March 2003- October 2005 (EPA-350-R-03-002) OIG's Two Year Plan October 1, 2004 - September 30, 2006, pages 15-17. NAS: New Strategies for America's Watersheds, 1999 NAS: Assessing the TMDL Approach to Water Quality Management, Executive Summary, 2000


Were programmatic goals (and benefits) achieved at the least incremental societal cost and did the program maximize net benefits?

Explanation: An EPA study of costs and benefits of surface water regulations in 2000 concluded that the benefits of the CWA are believed to outweigh the costs by a considerable amount. The cost, primarily for public sewerage and industrial pollution control, was estimated to be approximately $14 billion in 1997. The benefits of controlling conventional pollutants in freshwater rivers and streams were estimated to be approximately $11 billion. This amount does not include significant additional benefits that were not estimated in the study, such as benefits to estuaries and coastal waters, and benefits from controlling nutrients and toxic pollutants.

Evidence: Progress in Water Quality: An Evaluation of the National Investment in Municipal Wastewater Treatment, US EPA Office of Water; EPA-832-R-00-008, June 2000. See pages 2-68 through 2-73. EPA's National Pretreatment Program, 1973-2003: Thirty Years of Protecting the Environment, Program (833-F-03-001);September 1, 2003. Four-page brochure highlighting 30 years of progress to reduce or eliminate discharges of pollutants to US waters and to POTWs: A Benefits Assessment of Water Pollution Control Programs Since 1972: Part 1, The Benefits of Point Source Controls for Conventional Pollutants in Rivers and Streams. January 2000: See Executive Summary and page 5-8. A Retrospective Assessment of the Costs of the Clean Water Act: 1972 to 1997. See the Executive Summary and page 7-5.

YES 17%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 50%

Last updated: 09062008.2005SPR