EPA Releases Climate Plans on Preparing for Climate Change Impacts

On October 31, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Sustainability Plans and Climate Change Adaptation Plans as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.  The plans address reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change impacts including flooding, sea level rise, severe weather, and temperature extremes. The plans coincide with the fifth anniversary of President Obama’s 2009 Executive Order on Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance.

“Climate change is no longer a distant threat. It is already challenging our communities and our ability to protect the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “EPA’s Adaptation Plan provides the agency with a roadmap for how we will anticipate and plan for a changing climate, while our Sustainability Plan identifies specific ways we will help slow the rate of climate change by reducing our own carbon footprint.”

The plan provides actions the Agency will perform to incorporate climate change considerations into its programs, policies, rules, and operations.  The EPA received input from States, Tribes, and municipal and county officials during the development of the plans.

As part of the plan, the EPA is also releasing the final Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plan, which provides more detail on how the EPA will carry out the work identified in the other plans. The EPA’s commitments include:

  • Incorporating climate adaptation criteria in the Brownfields grants process to ensure cleanup actions taken by communities are effective as the climate changes.
  • Integrating considerations of climate change into the Clean Water State Revolving Funds process and continue working with States to ensure investments in water infrastructure are resilient to changes in climate.
  • Providing communities with the tools they need to increase their resilience. For example, a Stormwater Calculator and Climate Adaptation Tool empowers community planners to estimate the amount of stormwater runoff that they’ll have to manage today and in the future.

To view the full plans, click here.

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