EPA Region 9 Launches Smart Sectors Pacific Southwest

In the Pacific Southwest, EPA is engaging with the oil and gas sector initially and plans to expand to several other sectors this year.

EPA's Region 9 office announced the launch of Smart Sectors Pacific Southwest, a partnership initiative between the agency and regulated business sectors that is focused on achieving better environmental outcomes. Based on the national Smart Sectors Program, this approach provides a significant opportunity for EPA to consider more forward-thinking ways to protect the environment through collaboration with key sectors of the economy in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, and 148 tribes in the region.

In the Pacific Southwest, EPA is engaging with the oil and gas sector initially and plans to expand to several other sectors this year. Nationally, Smart Sectors engages with 13 sectors of the economy. EPA will focus on best practices, convening workshops to facilitate communication, raising public awareness and information sharing, and enhancing knowledge of federal environmental programs. "We are very pleased to work with partners in the oil and gas sector to ensure communities are protected and facilities are complying with EPA requirements," said Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. "Through our Smart Sectors dialogue, we can understand the issues and challenges faced by our business partners and work together for the benefit of all."

"We applaud the U.S. EPA Region 9 on the Smart Sectors initiative," said Cathy Reheis-Boyd, the Western States Petroleum Association's president. "The way to a sustainable energy future is by an inclusive conversation with everyone having a seat at the table and working together in partnership to achieve environmental and economic goals, so communities we all serve are benefited."

Maris Densmore, California Resources Corporation's government and regulatory affairs manager, said the Smart Sectors Program "provides a path for the industry and our regulators to align on our common goals, emphasizing transparency, collaboration, and efficiency on environmental priorities."

The program was announced nationally in October 2017 and since launched in two EPA regions (mountains and plains, Region 8 and New England, Region 1).

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