Press Release: Nearing Full Implementation, EPA’s Lean Management System Delivers Results

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it has implemented the EPA Lean Management System (ELMS) to 83% of the agency across the U.S.

“Solving problems efficiently is an essential part of the work EPA carries out daily,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “Utilizing ELMS shortened the State Implementation Plans review timetable thereby enabling state and local agencies to implement emission control strategies sooner.”

ELMS is an agency-wide systematic approach to continuous process improvement. It is based on lean principles used for years by the private sector and is comprised of six components: visual management, standard process, cascading performance measures, problem solving, business reviews & huddles, and leader behaviors. EPA implementation of each of these elements has allowed EPA to make significant improvements to the speed and quality at which it delivers its services to the American people.

EPA Office of Continuous Improvement – the team responsible for implementing ELMS – set a goal to deploy this system to 80% of agency personnel and use it to improve 250 processes by fiscal year 2020. Both goals were successfully met with the agency reporting over 500 processes improved and 83% of personnel using ELMS.

Region 4 has accounted for 31 of those process improvements using this system.

EPA Region 4 Air and Radiation Division (ARD) continues to utilize the ELMS to process State Implementation Plans (SIPs) to comply with Clean Air Act requirements. In implementing ELMS, Region 4 has made the process more efficient by bundling similar SIPs into a single action to reduce the amount of administrative processing time, expeditiously processing SIPs that are a priority for state and local programs, reducing backlogs and meeting on a weekly basis to ensure all targets are being achieved. ELMS principles allowed Region 4 ARD to act on 76 SIPs in the last fiscal year.

By implementing these ELMS tools, the ARD team reduced the backlog of SIPs that were not able to be finalized during the standardized timeframe by 68%.

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