About the author: Marcus Peacock is EPA’s Deputy Administrator.
EPA’s Quarterly Management Report (QMR) for the second quarter of FY 2008 is now available at http://www.epa.gov/ocfo/qmr. A comparison of mid-year data for FY 2008 versus FY 2007 indicates mixed results and that, overall, EPA is currently performing at about the same level as we did last year. We are clearly improving in some areas. For instance, the SmartWay program has more than doubled the amount of greenhouse gas emissions avoided (700,000 metric tons in 2008 vs. 300,000 tons in 2007, see graph). It also reveals areas where we may be challenged. For instance, there has been a dip in the number of significant water discharge permits issued in the Chesapeake Bay watershed (61 in 2008 vs. 150 in 2007). That’s important because fewer revised permits means pollution limits may not be getting tightened as quickly as last year. We need to find out if this is a problem (perhaps someone from the Chesapeake Bay Program wants to comment on this). I encourage you to look up, question, and use the measures, if any, that reflect what is going on in your area.
EPA is still the only federal agency which issues quarterly performance results to the public. While everyone at EPA should have a good idea of how we are doing, I think we are obligated to show the public how we are performing on a regular basis.
The QMR itself continues to improve. This report came out two weeks earlier than prior quarters. There is also now a Web-based version providing more contextual information and some ‘drilling down.’ The Web-based version, which we will continue to improve, can be found at http://iaspub.epa.gov/qmrpub/qmr_rpts.qmr_reports.