Legislative & Executive Branch Advocacy
Policy Navigation Group members have an extensive track record of combining analysis and advocacy into valuable results for clients. We have a long track record of delivering success to clients even with seemingly intractable regulatory and other policy problems.
Policy Navigation Group has developed and managed the national advocacy strategy for trade associations and a coalition of companies for several high-profile emerging chemical issues. We are performing and coordinating the economic and regulatory analysis as well as the policy and science policy advocacy for these issues. In addition to our Federal efforts, we are carrying out the advocacy effort in several states.
Clean Air Act Permitting
PNG members designed the air quality modeling for a major industrial facility to support an air permit that was part of a major multi-media settlement of environmental issues at the facility. The air portion of that agreement was the only part of the plan that did not meet with serious opposition from regulatory officials.
Changing Policies to Promote Innovation
Our members devised and helped implement a risk-based remediation strategy for one of the largest chemical facilities in the western hemisphere. When existing state regulations presented an obstacle, we advocated for and obtained senior agency support for a regulatory change. The state promulgated new regulations, saving the company tens of millions of dollars.
Our members obtained a formal EPA guidance memo that allowed a client to install an innovative remediation system that avoided tens of millions of dollars in conventional groundwater treatment costs. We positioned the client’s site-specific issue as a national example of this technology and obtained the support of a states’ organization for the need for an EPA policy change.
PNG members obtained a favorable hazardous waste regulatory interpretation for innovative recycling technology. Four companies that developed and licensed the technology saved millions of dollars. Our project involved regulatory analysis, quantitative analysis of regulatory benefits, state, EPA Regional, and Federal advocacy with career and political leadership. EPA considered the innovation important enough to highlight the technology and the regulatory interpretation process as a key reform in its national RCRA conference.
Winning Approval for New Facilities
We negotiated the first new mine expansion permitted in Idaho in years, adding millions of dollars to a client’s revenues and assets. We devised a collaborative multi-agency process that combined Federal and State environmental reviews. PNG members created an environmental analysis of project’s potential environmental impact and developed successful arguments to agency concerns.
Quantitative Economic Analysis to Support Advocacy
Our approach is to produce high quality, focused analysis in a nimble and cost-effective manner. Our strategy springs from our OMB experience where we were often asked to review, critique, and create major economic analyses and policy alternatives with very limited time and resources. Our results and methodologies also had to be understood by senior political officials who often did not have much time or background in economics.
From this experience, our guiding principles on economic analysis for clients are the following:
- Focus: We recommend analysis that is focused on those choices and options relevant to the on-going policy debate. Analysis for its own sake is of little value.
- Clarity: Analyses must be well written and clear enough for policy officials and the public to understand. Analysis that is only understood by the experts is of little value as an advocacy tool.
- Cost-effectiveness: Effort spent on analysis needs to be consistent with the value of the choice being made. Moreover, overly ambitious analysis is usually delivered too late.
- Credibility: Analysis needs to be credible to the target audience. Rather than the state-of-the-art methodologies, we may choose well-accepted ones since government officials are familiar with them. Our analysis builds on peer-reviewed literature, government methodologies, and other accepted approaches to boost advocacy credibility. Custom design is the approach of last resort, especially in time-critical policy debates.
- Quality: Our credibility as a firm relies on the quality of our analysis. We seek to remove bias and error to the extent possible and be clear about what the results of our analyses do and do not mean.
Regional Economic Analysis
Our professionals estimated social cost, economic and fiscal implications of changes in drinking water standards in California. We used a commercially-available economic forecasting model to track the changes in the interactions between industries in the region resulting from the change in water prices. We estimated the changes in employment, production, government revenues, household income, and prices resulting from the policy choices made by the state.
Federal Fiscal Analysis
We prepared a budget impact and economic analysis of a more stringent chemical standard on Federal agencies. We examined not only increases to cleanup costs, but also the cost to ongoing agency programs. This analysis was prepared according to OMB guidelines.
Regulatory Impact Analysis
We currently provide analytical support to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (“CDC”), Division of Global Migration and Quarantine. Specifically, we are supporting the CDC’s efforts by preparing the regulatory analyses for the two important rulemakings to prevent importation of disease from abroad. The analysis evaluates the social benefits and costs of programs aimed at preventing the importation of communicable diseases.
Economic Analysis in Support of Alternative Regulatory Approaches
Our members conducted an analysis of the cost of potential regulation of cooling water intake structures for electrical power plants. This analysis used a simple model of technology retrofit costs to illustrate the magnitude of the costs associated with the then preferred regulatory approach. The results of the analysis were used to support a more cost-effective and flexible approach to regulation that recognized the inherent variability between industrial and electricity generating facilities.
Obtain Federal Resources for Innovation and Growth
For several clients, we have assisted them in preparing their applications for Federal research and development funding. We provided these clients insights into the needs of Federal agencies and reviewed their applications so that their applications met the standards and expectations for Federal reviewers.