EPA Unveils Draft FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan


Source: SOCMA
Related Topics: US Environmental Protection Agency
Yesterday, EPA unveiled its Draft FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan.  (The plan can be found at: )  Comments on the Draft Plan are due on January 3. 

The Draft Plan expands upon the priorities that Administrator Gina McCarthy has previously discussed.  The five strategic goals are:
  1. Addressing Climate Change and Improving Air Quality;
  2. Protecting America’s Waters;
  3. Cleaning Up Communities and Advancing Sustainable Development;
  4. Ensuring the Safety of Chemicals and Preventing Pollution
  5. Protecting Human Health and the Environment by Enforcing Laws and Assuring Compliance
Within those goals, EPA addresses a variety of issues, including:
  • Air Toxics -- EPA writes that the agency of course will “continue to set and enforce control-technology based air toxics emissions standards and, where needed, amend those standards to address residual risk and technology advancements.”  Chemical manufacturing, it should be noted, was one of four sectors listed as a “priority category.” 
  • Nutrient Limits -- EPA has listed the following as a proposed FY 2014-2015 “Priority Goal” within its Protecting America’s Waters broader goal:
  • “Improve, restore and maintain water quality by enhancing nonpoint source program leveraging, accountability, and on-the-ground effectiveness to address the nation’s largest sources of pollution.  [EPA describes nonpoint source pollution on the following page as “principally nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediments”] 

The Agency elaborates,

“In the second priority goal, EPA is implementing a strengthened nonpoint source (CWA Section 319) grant program[6] to continue yielding on-the-ground water quality results in watersheds nationwide. A significant component of this effort is working with state partners to update their nonpoint source programs, which guide overall priorities and investments for Section 319 funds. Updated nonpoint source programs, combined with collaboration efforts with USDA, state departments of agriculture, and other partners, will result in better protection of water quality from nonpoint sources of pollution.”

“By September 30, 2015,” EPA writes, “100% of the states will have updated nonpoint source management programs that comport with the new Section 319 grant guidelines that will result in better targeting of resources through prioritization and increased coordination with USDA.”

EPA also discussed the issue of increases in nutrient loadings, nutrient recovery from wastewater, and applied research.  Among other topics, EPA would conduct and integrate “EPA nitrogen and co-pollutant research efforts across multiple media and various temporal and spatial scales including support for developing numeric nutrient criteria, decision support tools, and cost-effective approaches to nutrient reduction.”
  • Remediation issues including Superfund, RCRA corrective action, and the Integrated Cleanup Initiative (ICI). 
  • Assessing and reducing risks from chemicals , and promoting the use of safer chemicals in commerce; and
  • Enforcement and Compliance

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