The National Marine Manufacturers Association participated last week in the launch of a partnership program with the Environmental Protection Agency.
Called Smart Sectors, the program is a joint effort between the EPA and regulated industries, including marine manufacturing, that focuses on achieving better environmental outcomes.
The NMMA said that being a part of the program is a tremendous step forward for the recreational marine industry because it creates more meaningful collaboration and builds more open dialogue with the EPA.
John McKnight, the NMMA’s senior vice president of government relations, was invited to attend the launch, along with Jeff Wasil, engineering manager at BRP, which builds Evinrude outboards.
“When we consider American business as a partner, as opposed to an adversary, we can achieve better environmental outcomes,” EPA administrator Scott Pruitt in a statement. “The Smart Sectors program is designed to effectively engage business partners throughout the regulatory process. When industries and regulators better understand each other, the economy, public and environment all benefit.”
The NMMA said a sector-based approach can provide benefits, such as increased long-term certainty and predictability; creative solutions based on sound data; and more sensible policies to improve environmental protection.
Program leads for each sector will serve as ombudsmen within the EPA across program and regional offices. Staff also will conduct educational site tours, host roundtables with EPA leadership, analyze data and advise about options for environmental improvement; maintain open dialogue with business partners and their environmental committees; and develop reports that profile the impact of each sector on the environment and the economy.
“We are thrilled to be part of the EPA’s launch of its Smart Sectors Program and are proud to represent an industry that’s always first in line when it comes to partnering with EPA to improve its processes and benefits,” McKnight said.
“The recreational boating industry is unique in that while the EPA, the state of California and many international environmental government agencies place stringent environmental requirements on our products, our customers — the 142 million Americans who went boating last year — also demand and expect clean water and a healthy environment in which to fish, swim and enjoy water sports,” McKnight said.
“As a treasured American pastime with 95 percent of the boats sold in the U.S., made in the U.S., an estimated 35,000 marine-related businesses, which provide approximately 650,000 jobs, and an estimated $121 billion in economic impact, the recreational boating industry is one of our country’s driving economic engines that is eager to continue meaningful collaboration with the EPA.”