The Environment

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  Obama Expected To Kill Key Bush Epa ProgramMarch 15, 2009 18:53 The Obama Administration intends to close an EPA program heavily promoted by the Bush Administration that rewards voluntary pollution controls by hundreds of corporations with reduced environmental inspections and less stringent regulation, according to EPA sources and internal emails.

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson is expected to sign a memo terminating the Performance Track program, possibly as early as this week, senior EPA officials said today.

Performance Track offers regulatory perks to corporations that pledge to save energy and reduce pollution. Entry into Performance Track, EPA's premier voluntary "Green Club," is supposed to be reserved for companies with sterling environmental records, but has been denounced by environmentalists as a public relations charade.

EPA's decision to close Performance Track comes three months after an Inquirer investigation found that the program lauded companies with suspect environmental records, spent millions on recruiting and publicity and failed to independently confirm members' environmental pledges. The program became so desperate to find new members, The Inquirer found, that it turned to gift shops and post offices to pad its numbers.

A senior EPA official said today in an interview that the Inquirer's findings played a role in Jackson's decision.