The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the Smart Sectors Program on Oct. 3 to help companies use new technologies to protect the environment.

“When we consider American business as a partner, as opposed to an adversary, we can achieve better environmental outcomes,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “The Smart Sectors program is designed to effectively engage business partners throughout the regulatory process. When industries and regulators better understand each other, the economy, public, and the environment all benefit.”

The program uses a sector-based approach that provides benefits, such as increased long-term certainty and predictability, creative solutions based on sound data, and more policies to improve environmental protection.

“The auto industry is living through what may be its most dynamic moment in history,” said Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. “Our technology is transforming the driving experience and mobility models, offering more fuel efficient and safer transportation for all. We are breaking ground on new plants and expanding existing plants to build the most innovative vehicles in the world. The Smart Sectors Program benefits us all by providing an open and transparent dialogue on policy that is predicated on solid facts and meaningful data. Protecting the environment while supporting economic growth–these twin goals are paramount, mutually supportive, and enabled by thoughtful collaboration between government and business.”

The participating sectors include aerospace, agriculture, automotive, cement and concrete, chemical manufacturing, construction, electronics and technology, forestry and wood products, iron and steel, mining, oil and gas, ports and marine, and utilities and power generation. The program leads for each sector will be ombudsmen within the EPA, and across program and regional offices.

“Modern agriculture is environmentally sustainable,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “From satellite technology and data management to the use of cover crops, farmers and ranchers continue to adopt innovations that are effective in helping them grow more food with fewer resources. EPA’s Smart Sectors Program provides a framework of welcome collaboration that embraces continued innovation aligned with our commitment to continuous improvement.”

The program also includes educational site tours, roundtables with EPA leadership, data analysis, and advice about options for environmental improvement. The EPA will enable an open dialogue with businesses, and develop reports that profile the impact of each sector on the environment and the economy.

“The Smart Sectors Program holds great promise to enable the technology industry to drive environmental protection and economic growth,” said Gary Shapiro, Consumer Technology Association president and CEO. “Improved dialogue and collaboration between industry and the EPA at the earliest stages will ideally lead to fewer onerous rules that handcuff innovation and job creation. Working together, we can unleash our nation’s tech sector to help improve environmental performance and increase sustainability across multiple industries.”

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Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.