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EPA Releases Interactive Sector Snapshots of Industry Environmental and Economic Performance

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new interactive, web-based tool that provides information about the environmental and economic performance of industry sectors. Developed by EPA’s Smart Sectors Program, the sector snapshots application shows comprehensive, historical environmental and economic performance on a sector basis and allows users to visualize the data over the last 20 years.

“The sector snapshots released today show in a transparent and accessible way how a specific industry’s environmental and economic performance has changed over the last two decades,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This type of data can help the public, the regulated community, and EPA gains a common understanding of sector performance that will better inform environmental improvement strategies moving forward.”  

“The Smart Sectors Program is dedicated to improving the way EPA engages with different sectors of the economy,” said EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Henry Darwin. “As the Agency pursues better environmental outcomes, it is important to present measurable, understandable data.”

The first modules to be released showcase three sectors: iron and steel, chemical manufacturing, and utilities and power generation. The program plans to release modules for other sectors participating in the Smart Sectors program on a rolling basis.

“We are pleased to collaborate with EPA in showcasing the iron and steel sector’s commitment to strong environmental performance and working toward a smarter, more sensible regulatory framework,” said American Iron and Steel Institute President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson. “The domestic steel industry, which supports more than two million American jobs, continues to strive toward the goal of protecting human health and the environment. These data demonstrate that this goal is being realized.”

“The Smart Sectors program is illustrating the positive environmental and economic impact of 21st century steelmaking,” said Steel Manufacturers Association President Philip K. Bell. “I am incredibly proud of our partnership with EPA in the development of the sector snapshot, which provides the public with easily accessible information about how the iron and steel industry safely and sustainably operates while continuing to improve its performance.”

“America’s chemical manufacturers are leaders in providing materials and technologies that enhance sustainability while helping our economy grow,” said American Chemistry Council Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs Michael Walls. “We are equally committed to making strides in our own operations, as reflected in our participation in Responsible Care®, the industry’s environmental, health, safety and security performance initiative. EPA’s new sector snapshot will be a valuable tool to help guide future efforts to ‘connect the dots’ between environmental and economic progress.”

“SOCMA is a strong supporter of the Smart Sectors Program, and we applaud EPA on the new online tool that will serve as a visual benchmark for key trends within the specialty chemical sector,” said Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates President & CEO Jennifer Abril. “SOCMA appreciates the collaboration we have with Smart Sectors on a variety of issues and believe this new tool is another step in the right direction. It will be instrumental in helping the public understand the positive economic impact the chemical industry has on our society, as well as showcasing the significant strides our sector continues to make in environmental stewardship.”

“The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) appreciates EPA’s Smart Sectors program, which highlights the electric power industry’s progress in environmental protection and the significant contributions our industry makes to the U.S. economy,” said EEI Vice President of Environment and Natural Resources Quin Shea. “The electric power industry contributes 5 percent to our nation’s GDP; we call this the first 5 percent of the American economy because virtually every other sector of the economy depends, to a significant degree, on safe, reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean energy delivered by the men and women of the electric power industry. As a whole, the industry supports more than 7 million jobs in communities across the United States. Our industry has made tremendous progress to transition to a cleaner generating fleet, reducing greenhouse gas emissions 27 percent below 2005 levels as of the end of 2017, while providing affordable and reliable energy for all customers. Additionally, our industry has reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides by 84 percent and sulfur dioxide by 92 percent compared to 1990 levels.”

 “EPA’s Smart Sectors snapshot highlights the electric utility industry as a powerful economic engine that is making great strides to improve our environmental performance, “said Delia Patterson, American Public Power Association’s Senior Vice President of Advocacy & Communications and General Counsel. “The industry provides public power utility jobs to 93,000 people (in addition to the 387,000 private-sector jobs identified in this snapshot). As community-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities, public power is committed to serving our customers with reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible power,”

“Today’s manufacturing is cleaner, more efficient and more responsible than ever—as this new tool illustrates so well,” said Ross Eisenberg, Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy, National Association of Manufacturers. “Working with the EPA and the public, manufacturers are driving innovation and keeping our promise to be good stewards of the environment and supporters of our communities. The NAM appreciates the EPA’s work to provide the public the best data available on the manufacturing sector’s environmental performance.”

The sector snapshots tool uses public data from EPA and other federal sources. The application offers users access to information about general sector characteristics, environmental performance indicators, and economic data through interactive graphics. Users can select environmental and economic indicators individually, or paired combinations of indicators, to view trends over time.

EPA Smart Sectors is a partnership program that provides a platform to collaborate with regulated sectors and develop sensible approaches that better protect the environment and public health. To learn more about the program, visit:

To access the snapshots, visit:

Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

The original press release is available on the EPA website.

© Copyright 2021 United States Environmental Protection AgencyNational Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 249

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The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency or the EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

EPA's purpose is to ensure that:

  • all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work;
  • national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;
  • federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;
  • environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies...