FY 2013 Financial and Program Performance Highlights
Read Administrator Gina McCarthy's and Acting Chief Financial Officer Maryann Froehlich's messages introducing the Highlights and summarizing EPA's key FY 2013 accomplishments.
EPA’s FY 2013 Financial and Program Performance Highlights, provided through the tabs above, offers a snapshot of the Agency’s FY 2013 performance in five environmental areas as well as highlights of how the Agency manages its internal operations.
Measuring progress and reporting the results is essential to EPA’s public accountability and a critical component of the Agency’s planning and budgeting cycle.
EPA uses performance measures to assess progress toward the goals outlined in its FY 2011–2015 Strategic Plan, inform decision-making and communicate results to stakeholders. In its FY 2013 Annual Plan and Budget, EPA committed to 196 annual performance measures. The graph to the right depicts the number of these measures met and not met, as well as those awaiting data as of February 28, 2014. EPA discusses its results in more detail, including reasons for missing or exceeding FY 2013 targets, in its FY 2013 Annual Performance Report.
In addition to annual performance measures, the Agency tracks performance on the FY 2012–2013 Agency’s Priority Goals (APGs), a component of the Administration’s performance management framework which supports improvement in near-term outcomes related to the strategic plan. More information on the Agency’s APGs is available at performance.gov.
- EPA achieved the first milestone outlined in President Obama’s Memorandum proposing Clean Air Act standards to cut carbon pollution from new power plants, work with external stakeholders to establish carbon pollution standards for existing power plants, and build on state efforts to move toward a cleaner power sector.
- EPA proposed Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Standards for cars and gasoline. These standards, if implemented as proposed, would help avoid up to 2,400 premature deaths per year and 23,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children. In addition, they would reduce emissions of harmful pollutants, including smog-forming volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, by 80 percent; establish a 70 percent tighter particulate matter standard; and reduce fuel vapor emissions to near zero. They would also reduce vehicle emissions of toxic air pollutants, such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene, by up to 40 percent and reduce gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60 percent—down to 10 parts per million in 2017.
- The Agency took important steps to improve air quality by strengthening the annual National Ambient Air Quality Standard for fine particles (PM2.5): the new limit is 12.0 micrograms per cubic meter.
- EPA strengthened the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 319 program by releasing the final Nonpoint Source Program and Grants Guidelines for States and Territories, in which states must allot 50 percent of grant funds for watershed projects to restore impaired waters.
- Under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, EPA and 15 other federal agencies are working to clean up and delist Great Lakes Areas of Concern. In FY 2013, Presque Isle Bay became the second Great Lakes Area of Concern delisted in the United States since the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement was signed in 1972. The delisting was based on the success of various cleanup activities in the bay.
- EPA signed the final 2013 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Vessel General Permit for another five years. This permit will cover 700,000 vessels, ensuring that they do not introduce invasive species to U.S. waters and reducing the toxicity level and volume of pollutant discharge (e.g., oils) to the nation’s waterways.
- To respond to Hurricane Sandy, EPA provided supplemental funds for response actions at four Superfund sites, quickly activated the Emergency Operation Centers, and assessed 105 Superfund removals and 142 long-term remedial sites in the storm’s path to determine what damage Hurricane Sandy may have caused. EPA also supported debris management and recovery operations and partnered closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the states of New York and New Jersey to investigate more than 1,000 underground storage tanks for potential damage.
- Harvard University’s Kennedy School selected EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative as one of the 25 finalists for the Innovations in American Government Award. Since RE-Powering’s inception, more than 85 renewable energy projects have been installed on contaminated sites or landfills, with a cumulative installed capacity of over 507 megawatts.
- To support President Obama’s Executive Order on Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, EPA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives issued a chemical advisory that provides information on the hazards of ammonium nitrate storage, handling, and management.
- In consultation with federal tribes, the Agency released the Guidance on the Award and Management of General Assistance Agreements for Tribes and Intertribal Consortia. This new guidance establishes a framework for tribes and EPA to follow in building tribal environmental protection program capacities with the Indian General Assistance Program (GAP) resources.
- EPA launched a Web-based tool, ChemView, to significantly improve access to chemical-specific regulatory information developed by EPA and data submitted under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). ChemView facilitates comparison of chemicals by use and by health or environmental effects, providing more streamlined access to EPA assessments, hazard characterizations, and information on safer chemical ingredients as well as links to information on manufacturing, processing, use, and release data reported under the Chemical Data Reporting Rule and the Toxics Release Inventory.
- EPA met its accelerated FY 2013 target for reviewing, and where appropriate challenging and declassifying, confidential business information (CBI) claims under TSCA. Seventy-eight percent of the 22,483 existing CBI cases have been addressed, positioning EPA to complete this effort by the end of FY 2014, a year ahead of schedule.
- The Agency expanded the Safer Chemical Ingredients list, which now includes more than 600 safer chemicals. In FY 2013, 119 fragrance chemicals for commercial and consumer cleaning products were added to the list.
- EPA is pursuing justice for Gulf Coast residents through Deepwater Horizon cases. Transocean Deepwater Inc. has agreed to pay a total of $1.4 billion in civil penalties, criminal fines and court-ordered environmental projects for violating the Clean Water Act, as well as substantial injunctive relief to improve the safety of oil drilling practices, spill response and preparedness. BP Exploration and Production Inc. was sentenced to pay a total of $4 billion in criminal fines and court-ordered environmental projects.
- EPA required Wal-Mart to pay more than $80 million for mishandling hazardous waste and to commit to compliance and training programs that will protect employees and nearby residents.
- Facility-specific information, such as inspection information and pollutant monitoring results, will be made available on EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) website. ECHO offers interactive state dashboards and comparative maps and makes federal and state inspection, violation, and enforcement action information available to the public for more than 800,000 regulated facilities.
- FY 2013 marked the largest single-site cash-out settlement in the history of the Superfund Program. On September 19, 2013, the United States District Court for Massachusetts entered a CERCLA consent decree whereby AVX Corporation agrees to pay $366.25 million towards the cleanup of PCB contamination in New Bedford Harbor. The payment will mean that the cleanup, which under current funding would have taken 40 years, will be completed in 5-7 years.
EPA’s five cross-cutting fundamental strategies set clear expectations for changing the way EPA does business in achieving its results. Selected highlights from the FY 2013 Action Plan Annual Progress Reports are described below.
Strategy 1: Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism
- To support community and citizen involvement in environmental decision-making, EPA published 74 datasets and 9 applications from the agency’s national programs in Data.gov. Since FY 2011, EPA has published 296 raw datasets and 44 applications in Data.gov.
- EPA’s Region 3 collaborated with Haverford Township, Pennsylvania, the Community Capital Campaign and the YMCA of Philadelphia to address environmental issues associated with the development of a YMCA adjacent to the Havertown PCP Superfund site. This 7,000 square-foot facility, comprising a wellness and aquatic center, a gymnasium, a running and walking track, and a child and family development center, was built over a portion of the groundwater plume that is originating from the Superfund site.
Strategy 2: Working for Environmental Justice and Children’s Health
- EPA headquarters and regional staff participated in 40 outreach forums to promote the Agency’s voluntary guidelines for schools. Forty additional outreach forums supported other school environmental health program tools (e.g. Tools for Schools, the School Chemical Cleanout Campaign and the "Sensible Steps" brochure.)
- In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, EPA’s Region 2 identified and prioritized severely affected areas through the EPA tool, EJSCREEN, alerting disaster relief providers with detailed information on the existing demographics, environment, health, and economic condition of those particularly vulnerable communities most impacted by the storm.
Strategy 3: Advancing Science, Research, and Technological Innovation
- EPA supported the implementation of several Next Generation Air Monitoring (NGAM) initiatives in order to promote the development and implementation of low-cost air monitoring technology for use by citizens, community groups, schools, researchers, government agencies, and industries. One example is the first public pilot launch of the Village Green Project, a community-based monitoring system built into a park bench platform using solar power with wireless streaming in Durham, NC. EPA also continued to support challenge competitions like the DHHS/EPA My Air My Health challenge.
- EPA’s Region 4 partnered with each of its eight states to create the nation’s first region-wide customized recycling measurement program. This program allows local government to collect, manage, report and analyze all information related to solid waste recycling and diversion programs without creating a new reporting requirement. This program allows access to real-time data and has reduced the administrative time associated with paper-based reporting systems, increased the accuracy of reporting and increased the states’ efficiency in responding to legislative requests. For example, the State of Tennessee estimates a savings of $75,000 per year in reduced information technology expenses.
Strategy 4: Strengthening State, Tribal, and International Partnerships
- In response to Hurricane Sandy, EPA’s Region 2 worked with state personnel on ambient air monitoring for burning vegetative debris, developed guidance on the handling of abandoned boats and vehicles, advised on rebuilding using EnergyStar and WaterSense products, and coordinated issuance of fuel waivers and other necessary documentation to minimize disruption to fuel supplies. The region also worked with the states to determine project eligibility and other criteria for nearly $600 million in supplemental SRF assistance to New York and New Jersey. In addition, Region 2 worked to assess storm impacts at all hazardous waste sites in the affected areas.
- Working in partnership through the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Program Hazardous Waste effort, EPA diverted one million pounds of junk vehicles, batteries, scrap metal and electronics from the 53 member communities.
- In November 2013, the United States signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a new multilateral environmental agreement that addresses specific human activities which are contributing to widespread mercury pollution. EPA worked closely with the U.S. State Department and other federal agencies in the negotiation of this agreement. Implementation of this agreement will help reduce global mercury pollution over the coming decades.
Strategy 5: Strengthening EPA’s Workforce and Capabilities
- In support of the President’s request to expedite the disposal, consolidation, and realignment of unneeded property to realize savings, promote sustainability, and reduce the deficit, EPA consolidated space for three offices, resulting in a projected savings of over $1.6M per year.
- EPA saved nearly $2.6 million in FY 2013 with the implementation of strategic sourcing solutions for cellular service, domestic deliveries, and office supplies. EPA anticipates saving an additional $500,000 in FY 2014 with the November 2013 Blanket Purchase Agreement for Lab Supplies.
- To improve work productivity in field settings, EPA’s Region 1, with assistance from EPA’s Office of Environmental Information, developed and tested a mobile application that allows EPA inspectors to complete their off-site work using automated forms on a tablet device that sends inspection results back to EPA in real time.
Sound Financial Management
EPA carries out its mission to protect human health and the environment with the support of strong financial management. For the 14th consecutive year, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued an unqualified or “clean” opinion on the Agency’s financial statements. A clean opinion means that the Agency’s numbers are reliable.
Some of EPA’s most significant financial achievements in FY 2013 include:
- Paying 97 percent of invoices on time and 100 percent of grant payments electronically.
- Reducing conference spending by 29 percent through a more robust set of controls related to conference spending.
- Implementing a policy requiring employees to scan 100 percent of their travel receipts into the electronic travel system, allowing the Agency to audit travel vouchers as they are paid.
EPA’s Financial Statements
The chart to the right displays assets, liabilities, net position, and net cost of operations as of September 30, 2013. EPA’s assets totaled $16.67 billion at the end of FY 2013, a 3.45 percent decrease from FY 2012. EPA’s liabilities totaled $2.38 billion at the end of FY 2013, a 4.5 percent increase from FY 2012. The net cost of operations shows EPA’s gross cost to operate, minus exchange revenue earned from its activities.
The EPA Holds Itself Accountable
The Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act and Office of Management and Budget Circular A-123 require agencies to report to the President and Congress on the effectiveness of internal controls over programmatic operations and financial activities, and the conformance of the Agency’s financial systems to government-wide standards. During FY 2013, the Agency reviewed 10 key financial processes and 287 key controls and found no new material weaknesses. After this review, EPA’s OIG identified no new material weakness related to financial management systems. Based on the results of the FY 2013 evaluation and reviews, the Administrator provided reasonable assurance on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Agency’s internal controls over programs, financial activities, and financial systems.
The Agency also responded to management challenges, which EPA's OIG identifies each year. The following are the Key Management Challenges (PDF) (20 pp, 2.7 MB) identified in FY 2013:
- Oversight of delegation to states
- Safe reuse of contaminated sites
- Enhancing information technology security to combat cyber threats
- EPA’s framework for assessing and managing chemical risk
- Workforce planning