"Improving" Project XL: Helping Adaptive Management to Work within EPA

Title"Improving" Project XL: Helping Adaptive Management to Work within EPA
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsSusskind, L, Secunda, J
JournalUCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy

Since 1995, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to implement an experiment in regulatory reinvention it calls Project XL ("Excellence in Leadership"). In doing so, EPA is experimenting with regulatory reform based on the theory of "adaptive management", a theory that can conflict with EPA's "command and control" enforcement philosophy.(1) Project XL attempts to implement an adaptive management approach by planning "experiments" and monitoring their results for lessons that can be used to guide reform of regulatory systems. Proponents hope to encourage the private sector to collaborate with EPA to plan, run and monitor experiments in environmental compliance, rethink regulation and apply new technologies. To date, this has not occurred to the extent that XL's designers had hoped.