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EPA to work with marine businesses on environmental initiatives

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The Environmental Protection Agency Region 1 office announced the launch of Smart Sectors New England. The EPA said in a statement that the new program is a partnership initiative between the agency and “regulated sectors focused on achieving better environmental outcomes.”

The EPA met with representatives of the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association and Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, as well as other industries, to discuss the initiative.

“This approach provides a significant opportunity for EPA to consider more forward-thinking ways to protect the environment in collaboration and dialogue with key sectors of the economy in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont,” said the statement.

The agency said it plans to convene forums and workshops to facilitate communication, raise public awareness and information sharing, and enhance knowledge of federal environmental programs. “EPA believes that if we better engage with important regional businesses, we can achieve better environmental outcomes,” said Alexandra Dunn, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office, in the statement.

“We strive to grow our industry in ways that enhance sustainability, promote best environmental practices for businesses and educate others on how to expand clean boating efforts,” said Wendy Mackie, executive director of RIMTA, in the statement. “We are thrilled by the announcement of the new Smart Sectors initiative in EPA Region 1, and we look forward to working together on our shared commitment to the future of New England's coastal communities.”

The program is designed to provide “creative solutions based on sound data and more sensible policies to improve environmental protection,” according to the statement. The EPA said it would maintain “open dialogue” with its “business partners” about options for environmental improvement.

Randall Lyons, executive director of the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association, said his organization was “proud” to work with the EPA to “advance the sector focus in this manner.”

More information about the program is available here.

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