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Performance Partnerships

EPA and States share responsibility for environmental protection. In 1995, State and EPA leaders recognized they needed to work together more effectively – as partners – to solve the nation's remaining environmental challenges. They agreed to put in place a new approach to EPA-State partnerships – the National Environmental Performance Partnership System ("performance partnerships").

The goal is to build an environmental management system that is focused on achieving the best results possible, taking full advantage of the unique strengths of each partner.

Through performance partnerships, EPA and States are working to:

  • Promote joint planning and priority-setting based on information about environmental conditions and program needs;
  • Give States greater flexibility to direct resources to the most pressing environmental problems;
  • Foster use of innovative strategies for solving water, air, and waste problems;
  • Use a balanced mix of environmental indicators and traditional activity measures for managing programs; and
  • Improve public understanding of environmental conditions and protection efforts.

To implement performance partnership on the ground, many States develop Performance Partnership Agreements (PPAs) with EPA Regions. In this process, EPA and State officials sit down together to discuss environmental conditions and program needs, agree on goals and priorities, devise strategies for addressing priority needs, decide what the roles and responsibilities of each partner will be, and decide how they will measure progress. States can choose to receive Federal environmental program grant funds in a combined Performance Partnership Grant (PPG) which allows them to direct resources where they are needed most or try innovative, cross-cutting solutions.

Other information

Frequently Asked Questions Background information answering questions on the National Environmental Performance Partnership System.

Status and Trends: Trend data on the number of States negotiating Performance Partnership Agreements and Performance Partnership Grants.

Benefits of Performance Partnerships: Contains examples of how performance partnerships have fostered flexibility and benefits to individual States and EPA.

Reviews and Evaluation: Evaluations on the National Environmental Performance Partnership System.

Speeches and Publications: Speeches on the National Environmental Performance Partnership System.


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