The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued itsStrategic Plan for the five years 2014-2018.
The plan envisions what the agency calls “a new era of partnerships with state and local governments, tribes, federal agencies, businesses, and industry leaders to achieve environmental benefits in a pragmatic, collaborative way.”
“EPA will address the increasingly complex array of environmental challenges we face by advancing a rigorous research and development agenda that informs and supports our policy and decision making with timely and innovative technology and sustainable solutions,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
“We are heeding President Obama’s call for action on climate change, the biggest challenge for our generation and those to come by building strong partnerships at home and around the world.”
“We are working to mitigate this threat by reducing carbon pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions and by focusing on efficiency improvements in homes, buildings and appliances,” McCarthy said.
The five strategic goals in EPA’s plan include:
- Addressing climate change and improving air quality;
- Protecting America’s waters;
- Cleaning up communities and advancing sustainable development;
- Ensuring the safety of chemicals and preventing pollution; and
- Protecting human health and the environment by enforcing laws and assuring compliance.
The agency will continue to deliver significant health benefits to the American public through improved air quality and reduced emissions of toxic pollutants, and will take action to keep communities safe and healthy by reducing risks associated with exposure to toxic chemicals in commerce, indoor and outdoor environments, products, and food.
The agency will continue efforts to improve water quality, given the nation’s significant water infrastructure needs, focusing on common sense, flexible approaches that rely on sustainable solutions, such as green infrastructure, and build resiliency to help us adapt to the effects of a changing climate.
The plan prioritizes environmental justice, continuing to focus on urban, rural, and economically disadvantaged communities, to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, race, economic status, or ethnicity, has access to clean water, clean air, and the opportunity to live, work and play in healthy communities.
Reflecting the agency’s interest in reaching out to stakeholders and communities, the EPA requested input on a draft plan last winter from over 800 organizations and individuals and issued a Federal Register Notice to solicit broad public feedback. The EPA incorporated suggestions and comments received in the final Plan.