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Smart Sectors

Learn about Smart Sectors

Meaningful Collaboration with Regulated Sectors

EPA Smart Sectors is partnering with trade associations that represent the engine of the American economy and significant opportunities for environmental improvement. Additional sectors may be added over time.

Program leads for each sector will:

  • Serve as ombudsmen within the Agency across program offices
  • Conduct educational site tours and host roundtables with EPA leadership
  • Analyze data and advise on forward-thinking options for environmental improvement
  • Maintain meaningful, open dialogue with trade association partners and their environmental committees
  • Develop reports that profile the impact of each sector on the economy and the environment

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Sensible Policies to Improve Environmental Outcomes

A sector-based, collaborative approach is a great opportunity for EPA to consider more forward-thinking ways to improve environmental outcomes. This change in how EPA conducts business will result in benefits such as:

  • Increased long-term certainty and predictability
  • Decreased operating costs
  • More innovation, more efficiencies
  • Lower costs for the American taxpayer
  • Creative solutions based on sound data
  • Better environmental protection

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Better EPA Practices and Streamlined Operations

This program will facilitate better communication and streamline operations internally at EPA. Smart Sectors is located in the Office of Policy’s Immediate Office, which enables the sector leads to work across EPA’s land, water, air, and chemical program offices, as well as with EPA regional offices. The Smart Sectors team will help address executive orders on regulatory reform, energy independence, permit streamlining, and the reconsideration of major regulations. 

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Historical Context

An outgrowth of EPA’s Common Sense Initiative, which began in the 1990s as part of the Clinton Administration’s platform to “reinvent government,” the Sector Strategies program launched in 2003 under the George W. Bush Administration. Sector Strategies created effective non-regulatory solutions to environmental problems; increased transparency about environmental performance trends; facilitated communication with industry through regular meetings with associations; increased the use of environmental management systems; and improved regulations through the participation of EPA experts in industry operations. Despite these successes, Sector Strategies was discontinued in 2009.

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