Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)

A SEP is an environmentally beneficial project funded by a company or individual to mitigate part of a civil penalty assessed by LRAPA. A SEP must improve, restore, protect, or reduce risks to public health and/or the environment beyond that achieved by compliance with applicable laws. When enforcing environmental laws and regulations, LRAPA has the authority to incorporate a SEP into the settlement agreement that is separate from and in addition to correction of the violation. It can be part of a settlement of a civil penalty as long as it is consistent with LRAPA’s goal of protecting the public health and environment.

Company A is fined for a violation of its air permit. Rather than pay the full penalty to Lane County, the company elects to do a SEP, requesting to put part of the penalty towards paving a well used gravel parking lot in Lane County, resulting in less particulate in the air. LRAPA approves the project as part of the settlement of the enforcement penalty, and the company enters an agreement to have the parking lot paved at their expense.

Qualifying Types of Projects
SEPs should primarily benefit human health and/or the environment in Lane County. LRAPA particularly encourages an air pollution prevention component in the proposal. Other desirable objectives in a SEP proposal would be projects shown to improve the environment and increase public awareness and education. Pollution prevention SEPs that result in implemented pollution prevention and quantifiable reductions are favored more than pollution prevention studies. For a list of the current approved projects, click here.
The following categories of projects are examples of appropriate ideas for SEPs. Further description of each category can be found in project types. The idea bank contains examples of projects for each of the categories:
  • Pollution Prevention and Resource Efficiency
  • Pollution Reduction
  • Green Schools
  • Environmental Restoration and Protection
  • Emergency Planning and Preparedness
  • Technical Assistance and Outreach
  • Environmental Education and Public Awareness
  • Other Projects
Implementation Difficulty
Projects may range from simple to complex; however, projects that are easy for a company (violator) to implement may more likely be funded. For example: a project that requires a 1-time funding option, such as contributing funds to an ongoing project such as a city wood stove change-out fund, may be preferred over a comprehensive project that requires management oversight.