The plan provides a blueprint for protecting public health and the environment across the country
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its fiscal year (FY) 2014 to 2018 Strategic Plan, which provides a blueprint for advancing EPA’s mission to protect public health and the environment across the country.
The plan envisions 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.”
The five strategic goals in EPA’s plan include:
- Addressing climate change and improving air quality;
- Protecting U.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 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 also 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.
To achieve the outcomes articulated in the FY 2014-2018 Plan, the agency outlined four cross-agency strategies:
- Working toward a sustainable future;
- Working to make a visible difference in communities;
- Launching a new era of state, tribal, local and international partnerships; and
- Embracing EPA as a high-performing organization.
EPA developed the FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan in accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act of 2010. Reflecting the agency’s interest in reaching out to stakeholders and communities, it requested input on a draft plan last winter from more than 800 organizations and individuals, and issued a Federal Register notice to solicit broad public feedback. As appropriate, EPA incorporated suggestions and comments received in the final plan.