Year of Publication

2005

College

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Executive Summary

The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) established, in section 507, the Small Business Stationary Source Technical and Environmental Compliance Assistance Program (SBTCP). SBTCPs under the CAAA are designed to provide small stationary air pollution sources with technical and compliance assistance, develop tools and disseminate information, communicate requirements under the Act, and assist small businesses with pollution prevention.

In Kentucky, the compliance and technical assistance program is known as the Kentucky Business Environmental Assistance Program (KBEAP). Since the program’s inception, measures of performance have primarily focused on outputs. With the establishment of Goal 5 of the 2003-2008 Environmental Protection Agency Strategic Plan, the focus on a federal level has shifted to measuring compliance assistance outcomes rather than outputs. To date, no programmatic outcome evaluation of a SBTCP has been conducted. Nationally, measuring outcomes of a SBTCP is an even greater concern because currently there is no mechanism in place whereby to measure programmatic.

A summative evaluation of KBEAP using Benefit-Cost Analysis establishes a standardized set of outcomes in terms of their dollar costs and benefits from fiscal year 1995-2004 as well as provides insights and recommendations for further study and programmatic improvements.

From the model, KBEAP exhibits positive net benefits as well as benefit to cost ratios greater than one. In fact, B/C ratios on average approximate 3:1 with netbenefits on average approximating $3,000,000 per fiscal year. The model does exhibit considerably more sensitivity to variations in variable assumption than discount rates and is limited from the standpoint that serious data gaps are observed and is only externally valid to those programs programmatically similar to KBEAP.

In conclusion, compliance assistance programs such as KBEAP have the opportunity to provide significant benefits to small businesses but the effort required to track these outcomes is still in its infancy both on a national and state level. It is hoped that this analysis will provide the impetus for other programs to explore outcome evaluation as well as lead to a national initiative to better understand the outcomes relating to environmental compliance assistance program and small businesses.

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