Report Evaluates EPA's Use of Innovative Technology Programs

EPA announced on May 18 the release of a report that evaluates the agency's stimulation, facilitation and use of innovative technology programs to further the agency's mission to protect public health and the environment.

The report, EPA Technology Programs and Intra-Agency Coordination, seeks to answer the question of how to optimize environmental technology programs in promoting the research, development, commercialization and implementation of sustainable private-sector technologies. In addition, the report lists recommendations for other programs and activities to promote this goal.

"Technological innovation is already a central driver of the U.S. economy. Now businesses are discovering sustainable technology delivers great environmental and economic results," said Dr. George Gray, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development. "EPA is pleased to provide tools, like the new Environmental Technologies Portal, to encourage private industry and other parties to turn research on sustainable technology into marketable products."

The report contains information on all of EPA's technology programs identified to date (the "Technology Development Continuum") and shows where these programs occur in EPA and how to access them. The report notes two recent successes relevant to optimizing environmental technology programs:

  • EPA has developed a broad range of programs and a large store of technology information that is available to the public through the Environmental Technologies Opportunities Web portal: http://www.epa.gov/etop.
  • EPA has committed to implementing the cross-Agency Environmental Technology Council to achieve real-world environmental results through the application of innovative technologies.

EPA's administrator established the Subcommittee on Environmental Technology of the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology to make recommendations on EPA's use of technology. Numerous representatives from EPA, other government agencies, states, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector have briefed the subcommittee on many technology issues since 2004.

In the future, the Subcommittee on Environmental Technology will report on national and international technology partnerships, EPA technology strategy and management, encouraging demand, communication and outreach, and the extent to which current EPA programs address issues such as sustainability, global warming, climate change, and catastrophic events.

The report is available at http://www.epa.gov/ocem/nacept/reports. A limited number of print copies will be available from EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) within the next few weeks. To obtain copies, contact NSCEP at (800) 490-9198 and reference EPA document EPA 100-R-00-021.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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