New Case Conclusion Data Sheet (CCDS) Guidance – Calculation and Categorization of Environmental Benefits
The Office of Compliance has been working to finalize new Case Conclusion Data Sheet (CCDS) guidance (based on the work of the Environmental Outcome Reporting Management Committee). This new guidance when issued will describe a new approach to categorizing environmental benefits from EPA’s enforcement cases and will provide enhanced direction on how to calculate benefits under the new system described in the guidance.
The changes from the current approach to calculating environmental benefits are significant, but will not alter the way we calculate benefits for most of our enforcement cases. The most significant changes are:
A) The focus for determining the calculation and categorization of benefits will shift from the primary law under which a case was brought to the “nature of the remedy,” i.e., the nature of the actions that were taken to correct or remediate the environmental violations or problem.
B) Rather than three categories of environmental benefits (direct, preventative, and FMIP) there will be four: 1) Removal and Restoration, 2) Reduction of an Ongoing Release, 3) Prevention of Future releases, and 4) Work Practice. Each category is important, unique, and mutually exclusive.
C) May now report results from one case in more than one category, e.g., a portion of the environmental results might be counted in the Removal and Restoration category, and others in the Reduction of an Ongoing Release category (though the rule against double counting still holds).
D) Some environmental benefits will shift from one category to another (e.g., direct to preventative), and some benefits will be counted that were not previously counted.
E) It will now be possible to report in ICIS environmental benefits in the form of BTU reductions achieved from Clean Water Act cases.
The goal is to issue the new CCDS guidance in the second quarter of FY 2011 and to undertake training for the Regions and HQ on the new guidance shortly thereafter. How this data will be reported in the short term is still undecided. As soon as this decision is made the regions and OECA offices will be notified. In the long term, the data will be reported to ICIS via a revised complying action screen in the ICIS enforcement module.
Submitted by: Sara Ager; February 28, 2011