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EPA Celebrates 25 Years of Success with the National Environmental Performance Partnership System

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WASHINGTON (September 24, 2020) — Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrates the 25th anniversary of the National Environmental Performance Partnership System (NEPPS). To commemorate the anniversary milestone, the agency is highlighting the progress made with this unique partnership program that is designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness between EPA, states, and tribes.

“Across the nation, EPA works hand in hand with our state and tribal partners to address human health and environmental concerns efficiently and effectively,” said Associate Deputy Administrator Doug Benevento. “As the former head of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, I know NEPPS enables us to work together in addressing environmental priorities in communities throughout the country.”

For many years, states and tribes requested greater flexibility in how they use and manage the grant funds they receive from EPA. Established in 1995, NEPPS was designed to improve efficiency and effectiveness of EPA partnerships in environmental program grants. NEPPS offers states and tribes the opportunity to set joint priorities, strategically leverage resources, and assess environmental conditions. Some of the benefits of the NEPPS program include:

  • Fostering joint, cross-media planning and long-term priority setting between EPA and states or tribes to achieve results.
  • Promoting results-oriented environmental programs.
  • Reducing administrative burden of managing multiple grants.
  • Directing grant funds to priority environmental problems or program needs.
  • Using multi-media approaches and initiatives that were difficult to fund under traditional categorical grants.

States and tribes can manage environmental program grants through two tools offered by NEPPS, Performance Partnership Agreements (PPAs) and Performance Partnership Grants (PPGs).

PPAs outline jointly developed goals between EPA and a state agency. These negotiated agreements document the strategies to be used in meeting these goals; the roles and responsibilities of the State and EPA; and the measures to be used in assessing progress. PPAs align a State’s priorities with EPA’s priorities and should be based on assessments of environmental conditions and program imple­mentation needs to ensure outcome-oriented results.

In order to increase overall grant performance, states and tribes can choose to combine two or more environmental program grants into a single PPG. PPGs allow states and tribes to combine separate streams of funding from 19 eligible categorical grants into one multi-program grant, with a single budget and workplan. PPGs allow states and tribes to direct resources to where they are needed most and to generate innovative solutions to environmental problems. PPGs allow recipients to meet cost-share requirements as a whole under a PPG rather than by individual grant program.

Over the years, EPA has provided financial assistance to states and tribes to help them develop and implement environmental programs.

"The flexibility to shift resources to confront today’s environmental problems allows us to better protect human health and the environment and better serve our citizens," said Jim Macy, Director of the Nebraska Department of Energy and Environment.

EPA remains committed to working together to continue our progress in protecting our air, water, and land resources.

For more information about the National Environmental Performance Partnership System, visit:

To view the 25th Anniversary video on the National Environmental Performance Partnership System, visit:

To view the blog highlighting the National Environmental Performance Partnership System, visit: