No. EPA is not requiring permit applicants to adopt the Promising Practices. Promising Practices are simply that: good ideas in the form of suggestions to permit applicants. Permit applicants may benefit from applying these Promising Practices. EPA hopes that when permit applicants practice early and meaningful dialogue with the community, they can help build trust, promote a better understanding in the community of the facility’s environmental impact, and build strong relationships that will lead to better results for both the permit applicant and community.
For example, EPA expects the alignment of interests between a permit applicant’s interests and those of community members, who can be employees, customers, or investors in the applicant’s company, to lead to creative solutions that promote the achievement of mutual economic and environmental goals. EPA also believes that engaging the community early and throughout the permitting process can be an effective tool for identifying and addressing (or even avoiding) potential problems, and avoiding delays resulting from concerns being raised late in the permitting process. These and other benefits are discussed in the Promising Practices.
The Promising Practices are meant to complement existing guidance and recommendations issued by permitting authorities, including state and local agencies. The Promising Practices are not themselves legal requirements and do not modify existing statutory or regulatory requirements for the permitting process for EPA-issued permits. EPA emphasizes that no permit applicant will be required to follow these suggestions. Nor are the Promising Practices intended to be de facto requirements in the process, as a checklist or otherwise.