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Environmental Protection Agency mission


Gina McCarthyMaking a Visible Difference in Communities across the Country: EPA must work each and every day - hand-in-hand with other federal agencies, states, tribes and local communities - to improve the health of American families and protect the environment one community at a time, all across the country. We must:

  • expand the work we do to enhance the livability and economic vitality of neighborhoods in and around brownfields sites;
  • strengthen our relationship with America's agricultural community;
  • support green infrastructure to manage urban waters;
  • reduce air pollution along roadways, railways and at ports; and
  • take into consideration the impacts of our decisions on environmental justice communities through increased analysis, better science, and enhanced community engagement to ensure the protection of basic fundamental rights.

Addressing Climate Change and Improving Air Quality: Working across EPA and in partnership with other agencies, we will heed the President's call to action on climate change. We will work to mitigate this threat by reducing carbon pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and energy sectors, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) through our Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program, and focusing continued attention on efficiency improvements in homes, buildings, and appliances. In collaboration with other agencies, EPA will build strong partnerships with states, tribes, and local communities to enhance the resiliency of local infrastructure as part of EPA's Sustainable Communities initiative.

On-going EPA programs such as Energy Star, SmartWay, WaterSense, the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), and the Economy, Energy and Environment (E3) program, as well as partnerships with business and manufacturing, will continue to be critical to build innovation and to help consumers save money while seeing pollution reductions. International mitigation efforts, in partnership with other agencies, are an essential component of our work. Co-benefits of criteria pollution reduction will be maximized to deliver significant health benefits to the American public, while continuing to make progress to improve ambient air quality and reduce emissions of toxic pollutants in areas where exposures remain challenging.

Taking Action on Toxics and Chemical Safety: Keeping communities safe and healthy requires action to reduce risks associated with exposure to chemicals in commerce, our indoor and outdoor environments, and products and food. EPA must implement the existing Toxic Substances Control Act to the maximum extent possible in the near term, while providing technical assistance in support of a bipartisan effort to modernize the law. Continuing to oversee the introduction and use of pesticides, improve our Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program, reduce radon risks, identify and address children's health risks in schools and homes, and improve chemical management practices will remain of central relevance to EPA's mission, including maintaining incentive-based efforts and research to promote green chemistry.

Oversight of chemical storage and manufacturing in coordination with our interagency partners will remain a key focus of attention, as will efforts to reduce urban air toxics. EPA must also enhance the tracking and management of hazardous waste through modern e-Manifest tracking systems and continue to improve our ability to monitor and model air emissions and provide American families with the information they need to understand and minimize adverse health impacts.

Protecting Water: A Precious, Limited Resource: Given the nation's significant water infrastructure needs and substantial evidence that progress in advancing clean water and safe drinking water goals in the U.S. is stalled, there is a clear need to reinvigorate efforts to improve water quality. By taking action to reduce uncertainties about the scope of the Clean Water Act, to employ green infrastructure and other locally driven solutions that restore degraded waterways and revitalize communities, and to focus resources to decrease pollution to our waters and protect high quality waters, we can achieve real, cost-effective solutions to our nation's water quality challenges.

Simultaneously, our efforts will protect drinking water from known and emerging contaminants that endanger public health. Achieving these results requires new paradigms including state, tribal, city roles and incentives for local action. EPA realizes that we are not the only entity engaged and investing in this critical work. To complement these efforts and enhance our ability to fulfill our mission, we will coordinate closely with local, state, and regional stakeholders, including elected officials, industry, non-governmental organizations, and environmental entities.



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