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"Five Star

Clean Air

Stars Comes Out in Indiana

Indiana has placed great reliance on compliance assistance, flexible "beyond compliance" concepts, and voluntary pollution-prevention efforts. When the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, or NESHAPs, were promulgated pursuant to the 1990 federal Clean Air Act Amendments (and incorporated into the state air-quality rules), the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (DEM)  actively tried to identify all the sources that were now going to be subject to the new rules and help them understand the rules. The newly subject businesses were ones that, till then, had had little regulatory exposure (drycleaners, chrome electroplaters, various small degreasing operations), had trouble distinguishing between different environmental agencies (and believed they were all the U.S. EPA), and could not understand complicated regulations.

Indiana’s drycleaner program allows regulated entities substantial flexibility in what environmental investments they pursue. Indiana drycleaners can participate in the "Five Star Recognition Program," which awards stars to drycleaners based on an environmental-ranking system, with five stars as the highest ranking. Of 800 drycleaners in Indiana, about 125 participate in the program, which is now two years old. As more drycleaners acquire stars (for instance, as the new NESHAP rules mandate greater investments in environmental technology), the requirements for earning stars may be increased, so that the five-star program continues to reward the "elite" of environmentally responsible drycleaners. The program is nonregulatory; if a drycleaner finds that it is not appropriate for his facility, he is free not to participate in the program, though he must, of course, still comply with all regulations.

Source: Race to the Top: The Innovative Face of State Environmental Management



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