MOU

Sports and a Sustainable Future

By Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe

With football season starting back up and baseball playoffs around the corner, this is one of my favorite times of the year – and I know many Americans share my excitement.

I am a sports enthusiast. But I am also an environmentalist. Today more than ever, these two passions of mine seem to go hand-in-hand. For the past few years, a number of sports teams, venues and leagues have come forward and expressed interest in greener, cost-saving ways of doing business. These improvements will ensure that, as each pitch is thrown, each goal is scored and each car completes another lap on the racetrack, we’re doing more to conserve resources, clean up our environment and protect the health of our communities.

Green Sports Alliance Board of Directors Chairman and Seattle Mariners Vice President of Ballpark Operations Scott Jenkins and U.S. EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe sign the memorandum of understanding.

Green Sports Alliance Board of Directors Chairman and Seattle Mariners Vice President of Ballpark Operations Scott Jenkins and U.S. EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe sign the memorandum of understanding.

Yesterday I joined representatives from the Green Sports Alliance, an organization that represents over 100 teams and venues from 13 different leagues, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Alliance’s second annual Summit in Seattle, WA.

The agreement we signed seeks to build upon our current outreach and sustainability efforts, and it strengthens the partnerships we have with the Alliance so our work can be as far-reaching as possible. It will help ensure that America’s sports teams and venues have the tracking and reporting tools and technical expertise they need to address environmental challenges like waste management, water conservation and pollution. It will also help with the effort to make sports venues’ energy use more efficient – specifically through EPA’s Energy Star program. This year our annual Energy Star National Building Competition has attracted five new sports venues. That’s good news for teams, for the environment and for local communities: Last year’s competition resulted in $5.2 million of utility bill savings and prevented nearly 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere – about the same amount of emissions that come from more than 3,600 homes each year.

Teams, stadiums, and venues across the country are already taking significant steps to increase sustainability and protect our environment. The Philadelphia Eagles are preparing for on-site wind and solar generation at Lincoln Financial Field. The National Hockey League became the first league to join EPA’s Green Power Partnership, offsetting 100 percent of its post-season electricity consumption through its green power commitments. These are just two of dozens of examples of how the sports industry has been discovering cost-effective ways to reduce their environmental footprint and engage fans in bringing about a cleaner, healthier future for our communities.

The best news about all of this work is that it has the potential to reach far beyond the stadiums, the fields and the courts. From little league baseball to the majors, from Pop Warner football to the NFL, Americans share a great love for sports. Our favorite teams are not only important to us; they also have the ability to be influential in raising awareness among their fans and setting positive examples when it comes to sustainability.

For all of these reasons, I’m very proud of EPA’s work with the Green Sports Alliance, and I look forward to seeing where our partnership will take us in seasons to come.

About the author: Bob Perciasepe is the Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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EPA Works with Oil & Natural Gas Producing States

About the author: Rob Lawrence joined EPA in 1990 and is Senior Policy Advisor on Energy Issues in the Dallas, TX regional office. As an economist, he works to insure that both supply and demand components are addressed as the Region develops its Clean Energy and Climate Change Strategy.

I recently attended a meeting that serves as an example of how EPA collaborates with state agencies, including those agencies with functions not contained within the traditional state environmental agencies. In December 2002, then EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman and then Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee entered into a Memorandum of Understanding between EPA and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). The MOU was subsequently revised and renewed twice and currently runs to May 2009.

image of Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission

The IOGCC was congressionally chartered in 1935 as an organization of the governors of the oil and natural gas producing states with the mission to promote conservation and efficient recovery of the nation’s oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. The states are represented by officials from energy and minerals agencies, public utility commissions, oil & gas conservation commissions and natural resources departments. Examples of the participating agencies include: North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, and the Railroad Commission of Texas.

The MOU created a Task Force made up of seven states (currently Texas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Arkansas, Kansas, Alaska, and Montana) and six EPA units (Regions 6, 8, & 10, Office of Water, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, and Office of Congressional and Inter-agency Relations) and meets a couple of times a year. The Task Force works to better understand the differing missions of the parties; conduct in-depth explanations of positions, regulations and policies; seek opportunities for greater cooperation, and generally to improve the working relationship between EPA and the state oil & gas regulatory agencies.

As a participant in most of the Task Force meetings held over the last 5 years, I can say that having regular, face-to-face meetings has improved the dialogue between the agencies in both substance as well as demeanor.

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.