City of ArlingtonRemember how we reported on green sports venues, and one of them was the new stadium of the Dallas Cowboys, and the stadium was steeped in land-use controversy, but the good news was that the team was registering with the EPA to monitor the facility’s long-term performance?
Turns out that EPA program no longer exists. The agency axed the National Environmental Performance Track — a voluntary program that asked member facilities to “set typically four public, measurable goals” showing their eagerness to “go above and beyond their legal requirements” — last month. The program’s website, which is still up but carries a message at the top notifying visitors of its cancellation, says it had more than 500 members. A mid-March memo from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says the program “may not speak to today’s challenges” and outlines a plan for halting and reviewing it. A follow-up document from March 25 spells out details of the closure for members. The good news: You can still display your certificates, and next week’s National Environmental Partnership Summit is still on! The bad news: uh, your program has been killed.
In fact, it’s not bad news at all. The program, created in 2000, is a Bush-era relic that apparently did nothing much more than cozy up to corporations — this Philadelphia Inquirer piece from December outlines numerous sketchy dealings, including wooing big polluters and padding membership numbers by adding subsidiaries and individual facilities instead of parent companies. And that whole “voluntary” thing didn’t pan out so well: a review in 2007 showed that only two of 30 members surveyed had actually met their goals.
As for the Cowboys, they may be better off without it.