FY 2012 Financial and Program Performance Highlights
EPA’s FY 2012 Financial and Program Performance Highlights, provided through the tabs above, offers a snapshot of the agency’s FY 2012 performance in five environmental areas as well as highlights of how the agency manages its internal operations.
Measuring our progress and reporting on our results is an essential part of EPA’s accountability to the American public and a critical component of our planning and budgeting cycle.
EPA uses performance measures to assess our progress towards meeting the goals outlined in our FY 2011-2015 Strategic Plan, inform decision-making and communicate our results to our stakeholders. In EPA’s FY 2012 Annual Plan and Budget, the agency committed to 214 annual performance measures. The graph to the right shows the number of these measures we met, did not meet, and are awaiting data as of February 1, 2013. We will provide a more detailed discussion of our results, including reasons for missing or exceeding FY 2012 targets, in our FY 2012 Annual Performance Report.
In addition to annual performance measures, the agency tracks performance on the Agency’s Priority Goals, a component of the Administration’s performance management framework which supports improvement in near-term outcomes related to our strategic plan. More information on the agency’s APGs is available at Performance.gov.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Vehicles
To advance the FY 2012–2013 Agency Priority Goal to reduce GHG emissions from cars and trucks, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finalized national greenhouse gas emission standards for light-duty trucks and cars. These standards call for fuel economy to increase to 54.5 mpg and these, along with other standards, are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons between 2012-2016.
Strengthening Particle Pollution Standards
In June 2012, EPA proposed strengthening its national air quality standards for harmful fine particle pollution, known as PM2.5, because the current standard is not as protective as previously thought. Elevated levels of PM2.5 have been linked to health effects such as increased mortality rates and higher incidents of heart attack, stroke, and childhood asthma.
Mitigating Mercury and Other Toxic Pollution
EPA issued final Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), the first national standards that require power plants to limit emissions of mercury and other toxic air pollutants. MATS will reduce air pollution by relying on existing controls already in use at many U.S. coal-fired power plants. EPA estimates that the new safeguards will prevent as many as 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks per year.
Cutting Cross-State Air Pollution
EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) would require states to significantly improve air quality by reducing power plant emissions that contribute to ozone and/or PM2.5 in other states. On August 21, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion that vacated CSAPR. In the meantime EPA will continue to implement the Clean Air Interstate Rule.
Ensuring Drinking Water Quality
To advance the FY 2012-2013 Agency Priority Goal to improve public health protection for persons served by small drinking water systems by strengthening the technical, managerial, and financial capacity of those systems, EPA has worked to strengthen the capabilities of small drinking water systems to help improve drinking water quality. EPA’s performance in FY 2012 ensured that 94 percent of the population is receiving safe drinking water that meets all applicable health based standards, an increase of 280,000 people from FY 2011.
Avoiding Agricultural Pollution
To advance the FY 2012-2013 Agency Priority Goal to reduce pollution runoff from nonpoint sources, EPA worked closely in FY 2012 with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that federal resources—including both Section 319 grants and Farm Bill funds—are managed in a coordinated manner to protect water quality from agricultural pollution sources. EPA is also revising the 319 grant guidelines to ensure that states have updated Nonpoint Source Management Programs, which are important for setting state priorities.
Enhancing Storm and Wastewater Planning
In June 2012, EPA issued the Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Approach Framework to assist local governments in meeting their Clean Water Act obligations. The Framework allows for flexibility in implementing innovative, cost-saving storm- and wastewater infrastructure solutions.
EPA’s National Water Program’s Performance Information
EPA launched a comprehensive website on performance measures and program evaluations pertaining to the National Water Program. For more information, refer to: http://water.epa.gov/resource_performance/performance/index.cfm.
Cleaning Up Contaminated Sites
To advance the FY 2012- 2013 Agency Priority Goal to clean up contaminated sites and make them ready for use, EPA helped return more than 11,500 previously contaminated sites to communities for reuse. In addition, the agency continued making progress under several key land cleanup programs. For example, EPA completed the National LUST Cleanup Backlog: A Study of Opportunities, which provided significant information to better characterize the national inventory of sites awaiting corrective action, and outlined several strategies and opportunities to help reduce the backlog. In addition, under the Federal Facilities Site Evaluation Project, EPA worked closely with other federal agencies and state partners to make cleanup determinations for over 95 percent of the 514 federally owned sites that had not appeared to have been fully assessed.
Siting Renewable Energy Facilities
EPA developed new tools and policies to enhance its RE-Powering America's Land: Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites Initiative. The purpose of this program is to encourage siting renewable energy facilities on thousands of current and formerly contaminated properties across the nation, with the goals of decreasing the amount of green space used for development, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and providing economic benefits (including job creation) to local communities.
Decreasing Material Use and Associated Impacts
In FY 2012, EPA advanced a new Sustainable Materials Management Program, an approach that focuses on reducing negative environmental impacts across the life cycle of materials from resource extraction, manufacturing, use, reuse, recycling and disposal. EPA partners with federal agencies and corporate stakeholders through the Food Recovery Challenge, the Federal Green Challenge, and the Electronics Challenge.
Improving U.S.–Mexico Border Health
Throughout FY 2012, EPA implemented innovative techniques to address environmental concerns on tribal lands and with international partners. One program—Border 2012—successfully completed a 10-year collaboration between the United States and Mexico to improve the environment and protect the health of the nearly 14 million people living along the U.S.–Mexico border. The program, which has now been renewed to Border 2020, resulted in the removal and proper disposal of more than 12 million scrap tires and 570 tons of used electronics; improved water quality and environmental health through targeted infrastructure projects; and improved air quality through diesel truck/bus retrofitting programs.
Enhancing Tribal Consultations
EPA finalized the Policy for Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes on May 4, 2011. Since issuing the Policy, EPA has initiated over 120 consultations with tribal governments on topics such as regulations, policies, and permitting.
Ensuring Chemical Safety
In FY 2012, EPA took action to ensure that chemicals used for agriculture, manufacturing, and construction are safe and do not pose potential risks to human health or the environment. EPA also participated in domestic and international partnerships and collaborations to reduce waste; conserve energy and natural resources; and leave homes, schools, and workplaces cleaner and safer.
Protecting Children From Lead
Through FY 2012, EPA and authorized states certified 126,323 firms under the Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule, which aims to protect children from risks associated with lead-based paint present in many American homes. As one indication of progress, the Centers for Disease Control reported that the rate of elevated blood lead levels (>5µg/dL) among children under 6 years old has decreased from 4.1 percent in 2003–2006 to 2.6 percent in 2007–2010.
Better Understanding Human Exposure to Contamination
In FY 2012, EPA invested in research activities to better understand human exposure to contaminants. EPA finalized the noncancer health assessment for dioxins, which contributes to a range of agency initiatives, including establishing cleanup levels at Superfund sites. EPA also reported to Congress on its progress in implementing April 2011 recommendations made by the National Research Council to improve the Integrated Risk Information System, which provides health effects information on chemicals to which the public may be exposed.
Increasing Availability of Chemical Information
In FY 2012, EPA exceeded its annual target for addressing confidential data claims under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA increased the availability of TSCA 8(e) chemical hazard filings through the Chemical Data Access Tool, and is working to promote transparency through its Design for the Environment (DfE) program by posting an online list of 494 chemicals, updated periodically, that meet the criteria for the DfE Safer Product Labeling Program. EPA also conducted stakeholder meetings to obtain input on which TSCA chemical data products might be useful to users or customers of TSCA data.
Helping Manufacturers Be More Sustainable
In FY 2012, EPA participated in the E3: Economy, Energy and the Environment Program partnerships, which help small to medium-sized manufacturers improve productivity, energy efficiency, and environmental performance. E3 brings federal agencies and state and local communities together to provide manufacturers with assessments that promote sustainable manufacturing and growth through innovative technologies that improve regional economies and reduce environmental impacts. E3 partnerships are actively in place in 18 states. Organizations in an additional 15 states and territories have begun the E3 process.
Promoting Sustainable Development
In June 2012, the EPA Administrator attended the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, commonly known as Rio+20. The Administrator worked to advance U.S. positions and interests in promoting a global green economy and supported an improved institutional framework for sustainable development, focusing on enhanced U.N. operations.
Increasing Accessibility to Environmental Information
EPA finalized a number of key cases and worked to make environmental information more accessible to the public. EPA is planning to convert to 21st-century electronic reporting technology, which will require some short-term investments but is expected to provide substantial long-term benefits for industry, states, EPA, and the public.
Addressing Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Violations
In 2012, EPA, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U.S. Coast Guard finalized a $90 million settlement with MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC for alleged Clean Water Act violations resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Approximately $45 million will go directly to Gulf states in the form of penalties or expedited environmental projects and will include $20 million to facilitate land acquisition projects. EPA, DOJ, and the U.S. Coast Guard continue to pursue enforcement actions against those who are responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Reducing Pollution From Refineries
In April 2012, EPA and DOJ announced an innovative environmental agreement with Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum Company (MPC), estimated to reduce harmful air pollution by approximately 5,400 tons per year. In addition to other activities outlined in the consent decree, MPC has agreed to install state-of-the-art controls on combustion devices known as flares and to cap the volume of waste gas it will send to its flares at the company’s six refineries in the United States—marking a first for the refining industry. MPC will also pay a $450,000 civil penalty to resolve Clean Air Act violations and $10,000 to resolve violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.
Obtaining Fines for Violations
In the largest criminal penalty to date under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, a lawn and garden pesticides producer, was ordered to pay a $4 million fine and perform community service for 11 violations. In addition to other charges, Scotts pleaded guilty to illegally applying insecticides that are toxic to birds to its wild bird food products, falsifying pesticide registration documents, distributing pesticides with misleading and unapproved labels, and distributing unregistered pesticides. Scotts will also contribute $500,000 to organizations in Ohio that support the protection of bird populations and habitats.
Making Pollution Data Publicly Available
EPA’s enforcement program also launched the Clean Water Act Pollutant Loading Tool, which allows the public to identify and compare the annual pollutant discharge amounts for Clean Water Act direct dischargers. This data is a key component of EPA's Clean Water Act Action Plan, which focuses on the most relevant Clean Water Act dischargers. EPA released 2007–2010 data through a website that includes an interactive mapping application and a feature that helps evaluate actual releases against other data sources, such as the Toxic Release Inventory.
Electronic Reporting: Cross Program Agency Priority Goal
To advance the FY 2012-2013 Agency Priority Goal to develop a plan to convert existing paper reports into electronic reporting, establish electronic reporting in at least four key programs, and adopt a policy for including electronic reporting in new rules by September 30, 2013, the agency established a task force to recommend important reports to convert to electronic reporting, streamline, consolidate, or delete. The task force began developing an agency policy to encourage electronic reporting as a default for new rules and also established a working group with Environmental Council of the States commissioners to develop a framework and vision for e-reporting. As part of this initiative, the agency is looking at ways to incorporate e-reporting into existing and new rules.
EPA’s five cross-cutting fundamental strategies set clear expectations for changing the way EPA does business in achieving its results. For more information on how EPA implemented these strategies please view our FY 2012 Action Plan Annual Progress Reports.
Strategy 1: Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism
Enhancing Access to Water Quality Data
EPA released a new data access and outreach tool called How’s My Waterway for the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. This multiplatform application helps users find information on the condition of their local waters using a smart phone, tablet, or desktop computer.
Developing Mobile Environmental Applications
EPA’s “Apps for the Environment” Challenge harnessed the innovation and technical expertise of software developers to create applications that enable the use of EPA data to promote public health and environmental awareness. EPA received 100 ideas for new applications and 38 mobile apps entries, ranging from dashboards to consumer-based information products and games. EPA also launched the Developer Central website, a “how-to” guide for using EPA data and Web services for application development.
Detailed performance information can be found in the FY 2012 Action Plan Annual Progress Report for Strategy 1 (PDF).
Strategy 2: Working for Environmental Justice and Children’s Health
Improving Environmental Justice Screening
EPA developed the EJSCREEN tool, now available to every EPA employee via the GeoPlatform. This tool will increase consistency in the data and methods used for environmental justice (EJ) screening and reduce the cost of screening activities across the agency.
Increasing Public Involvement Opportunities
EPA’s Region 1 led the development of EJ and Permitting Regional Implementation Plans under the Plan EJ 2014 Permitting Initiative. The purpose of the plans is to establish a process for prioritizing enhanced public involvement opportunities for EPA-issued permits that may disproportionately impact overburdened communities.
Educating Schools on Safe Chemical Management
As part of the School Chemical Cleanout Campaign Program grants awarded, Region 8 developed and printed for national distribution 11,000 booklets on “Sensible Steps to Healthier School Environments,” providing information to address some of the most common environmental health concerns in schools and identifying inexpensive measures for resolving them.
Detailed performance information can be found in the FY 2012 Action Plan Annual Progress Report for Strategy 2 (PDF).
Strategy 3: Advancing Science, Research, and Technological Innovation
Spurring Economic Growth Through Technology
EPA and American University jointly sponsored the 2012 Technology Market Summit, bringing together various decision-makers from government, industry, academia, and the private sector to discuss how to accelerate the development and adoption of technologies to spur economic growth through environmental protection. Through a series of case studies and “market talks” from an investor perspective, meeting speakers and participants explored barriers and solutions related to technology, policy, and finance.
Focusing Research Where It Is Most Needed
EPA adopted integrated trans-disciplinary Research Action Plans for programs on: 1) air, climate, and energy; 2) safe and sustainable water; 3) chemical safety and sustainability; and 4) safe and healthy communities. These plans identify relevant, timely, and sustainable solutions to specific issues and were developed with extensive feedback from EPA program offices and regional partners, to ensure that EPA’s research is focused on the highest priority needs.
Detailed performance information can be found in the FY 2012 Action Plan Annual Progress Report for Strategy 3 (PDF).
Strategy 4: Strengthening State, Tribal, and International Partnerships
Enhancing Government Outreach
EPA conducted outreach meetings with key associations representing state, tribal, and local elected officials to discuss EPA's program and policy priorities and to facilitate dialogue on the environmental priorities of state and local governments. The meetings allowed the associations to provide feedback directly to EPA on topics such as 1) EJ and EPA's Plan EJ 2014, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act; 2) the Urban Waters Federal Partnership; 3) EPA's Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Framework; 4) the National Academy of Sciences Green Book Report on incorporating sustainability into the agency's principles and decision-making; 5) EPA's FY 2013 Budget Priorities; and 6) Hydraulic Fracturing (which also included two additional conference calls with 130 state and local government officials).
Conducting Research in Partnership with Tribal Colleges and Universities
EPA’s inaugural Tribal EcoAmbassadors Program provided support to professors from eight different tribal colleges and universities across the country to develop year-long research initiatives that solve an environmental or public health challenge for their students or larger tribal community. A total of 63 tribal students engaged on projects ranging from assessing water quality in local wells, to creating a local business using recycled, carbon-negative building materials. Each project culminated in a report that outlined its community engagement and research process, conclusions, and proposed solutions to the chosen challenge.
Promoting Environmental Solutions
In May 2012, EPA, joined by the Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Agriculture, the U.S. Trade Representative, and other leaders, announced EPA’s new export-promotion strategy, which is designed to promote environmental solutions designed and manufactured by U.S. companies and also serves to demonstrate that environmental standards stimulate new technologies, manufacturing, and jobs.
Detailed performance information can be found in the FY 2012 Action Plan Annual Progress Report for Strategy 4 (PDF).
Strategy 5: Strengthening EPA’s Workforce and Capabilities
Reducing Waste Generation and Increasing Recycling
EPA’s Region 9 decreased overall waste generation in the regional office by 12 percent and achieved a 97 percent rate for diverting materials to composting and recycling in lieu of landfills, saving $45,900.
Improving Workspace Efficiency
To build modern workplaces that promote collaboration and improve efficiency, the agency initiated an ambitious, multi-year effort to redesign EPA workspace, including an analysis of organizational needs and employee work styles to ensure workplace changes match workforce needs. In FY 2012, we focused on space planning and design in Regions 7, 9, and 10 and in three headquarters offices.
Improving Resource Management
During FY 2012, EPA continued to reduce unliquidated obligations on expired grants and on expired contracts. Tracking and lowering unliquidated obligations is an important internal control to ensure that the agency is using government funds more efficiently and in a timely manner.
Detailed performance information can be found in the FY 2012 Action Plan Annual Progress Report for Strategy 5 (PDF).
Sound Financial Management
EPA carries out its mission to protect human health and the environment with the support of strong financial management. For the 13th 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 2012 include:
- Paid 92.69 percent of its invoices on time and 100 percent of its grant payments electronically;
- Implemented guidance to reduce conference spending by establishing a new process for tracking, reviewing, and approving conference-related activities.
EPA’s Financial Statements
The chart to the right displays assets, liabilities, net position, and net cost of operations as of September 30, 2012. EPA’s assets totaled $17.26 billion at the end of FY 2012, a 19.9 percent decrease from FY 2011. EPA’s liabilities totaled $2.27 billion at the end of FY 2012, a 5.4 percent decrease from FY 2011. 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 the 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 2012, the agency reviewed 10 key financial processes and 266 key controls and found no new material weaknesses. Subsequent to the agency’s review, EPA’s OIG identified one new material weakness related to financial management systems that has since been corrected by the agency. Based on the results of the agency’s FY 2012 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 2012:
- Oversight of Delegation to States
- Safe Reuse of Contaminated Sites
- Limited Capacity to Respond to Cyber Security Attacks
- EPA's Framework for Assessing and Managing Chemical Risk
- Workforce Planning