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The New England Environmental Finance Center (NE/EFC) has been conceived as a knowledge-based clearinghouse, training, and change-agent program aimed at helping EPA's constituencies find financially successful approaches to environmental improvements. The NE/EFC will develop approaches to needs of particular priority in New England and potentially useful throughout the nation; share such approaches through the EFC national network; and help make tools from that network accessible throughout New England. In 1999 we began exploring with potential users how this ninth of the nation's EFCs might best address the region's needs. The assessment continued through the Muskie School's EFC proposal to EPA Region I in 1999, its designation as NE/EFC in Spring 2000, and this Fall 2000 planning phase for fiscal year 2001 initiation.

This report summarizes what has been learned and suggests a multi-year set of work tasks aimed at different needs. Sources of information for this analysis include detailed interviews with representatives of key clienteles in the Region I states, discussions at professional meetings, and ongoing conversations with local governments, NGOs, state agencies, and with EPA Region I managers. The report sets forth the context, approach, and data sources for our investigation; our major findings; and their implications for the NE/EFC's immediate and longer-term work programs.



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