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The Unsticking Process

If you have a candidate for the Unsticking process, please contact David Paylor at 804-786-0044 or Following is a brief description of the background and the process.

The U.S. EPA encourages the use of innovative strategies, but at the same time innovation can raise challenging issues. It can be difficult and time consuming to resolve these issues when they raise complex policy questions affecting multiple offices with competing priorities. To make it easier to resolve this sort of issue, the ECOS Cross Media Committee worked with the U.S. EPA Innovation Action Council (IAC) to develop the Issue Resolution Process, also known as the "Unsticking" process within ECOS.

States should use the process for issues that remain unresolved despite best efforts using standard decision-making processes. States may also use the process when an innovation fails to get approval, but they believe the approach merits consideration at a higher level, by an Assistant Administrator (AA) or Regional Administrator (RA), for example. Additionally, states may have multi-office, multi-media issues re-considered using this process.

The process starts with an attempt at quick resolution. If that does not work, an advisory panel is convened to review the issue and to identify possible solutions. If the issue continues to be unresolved, the panel may elevate the issue to the EPA Deputy Administrator.

More Information

For a one-page description of the process, see the Issue Resolution Factsheet.
For a flowchart of the process, see the Issue Resolution Flowchart.
For a detailed description of the process, see the Issue Resolution Process.
For a photocopy of the memo from Steve Johnson supporting this process, see the Issue Resolution Memo from Steve Johnson.

Each of the above links to a pdf file.

Last updated 7/1/2005.