Home Climate justice EPA Concludes Year of Significant Achievements

EPA Concludes Year of Significant Achievements

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In 2021, under the new leadership of the Biden-Harris administration and Administrator Michael S. Regan, the US Environmental Protection Agency took significant steps to tackle the climate crisis, advance justice environmental protection, protect the health and safety of communities across the country, and restore scientific integrity.

“Thanks to the ambition, world-class expertise and dedication of the EPA workforce, this agency has taken bold steps to protect future generations from climate impacts, advance environmental justice and build healthier and more equitable communities ” said administrator Michael S. Regan. “I am so grateful for what we have accomplished together, and I look forward to the big things we will achieve in 2022 and beyond.”

In 2021, Administrator Regan visited communities in 18 states, nine of EPA’s 10 regions and three countries, where he met with local residents, key stakeholders and elected leaders to advance the ambitious environmental program of the Biden-Harris administration. Administrator Regan and agency officials also signed over 50 rules. The agency is also providing a landmark $ 60 billion bipartisan infrastructure investment in safe and healthy water, cleaning up pollution and revitalizing the community, and healthier school buses for children.

Highlights of the EPA’s accomplishments in 2021 include:

Facing the climate crisis

  • Issue the most ambitious federal greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards ever set for passenger cars and light trucks. (LINK)

  • Finalize action to establish a comprehensive program to dramatically reduce the production and consumption of climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the United States. (LINK)

  • Offer comprehensive new protections to dramatically reduce pollution from the oil and gas industry – including, for the first time, reductions from existing sources nationwide. (LINK)

Advancing environmental justice

  • Request all EPA offices to clearly integrate environmental justice considerations into their plans and actions. (LINK)

  • Announcing $ 100 million in US Rescue Plan funding for environmental justice and air watch initiatives in overburdened communities. (LINK, LINK).

  • Embark on a first-ever ‘Journey to Justice’ tour, traveling the South East to highlight long-standing concerns about environmental justice in historically marginalized communities and hear first-hand from residents facing the impacts of pollution. (LINK)

  • Leverage enforcement powers to protect overburdened communities from pollution. (LINK)

Protect the health and safety of communities

  • Issue a comprehensive strategic roadmap to tackle PFAS contamination nationwide and take important additional actions, including launching a national PFAS testing strategy, restarting a process to develop rules for designating PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA hazardous substances, and working towards establishing a national primary drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS. (LINK)

  • Announcing a $ 1 billion investment from the bipartisan infrastructure law to start the cleanup and clear the backlog of 49 previously unfunded Superfund sites and accelerate the cleanup of dozens more across the country. (LINK)

  • Re-launch the Clean Water Act Section 404 (c) process which, if finalized, would provide long-term protection to Bristol Bay in Alaska. (LINK)

  • Stopping the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on all foods to better protect human health, in particular that of children and agricultural workers. (LINK)

Restore scientific integrity

  • Issue agency-wide guidelines reaffirming scientific integrity as a core value of the EPA and outlining concrete steps to strengthen the agency’s commitment to science. (LINK)

  • Reset the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Board and Scientific Advisory Board to help ensure that the EPA receives the best possible scientific information to support our work to protect human health and the environment, and select the most diverse members since the creation of the committees. (LINK, LINK, LINK)

  • Relaunch the agency’s climate change website and climate indicators report after a four-year absence under the previous administration. (LINK, LINK)

Contact the EPA press office for more information ([email protected]). Click here to view the original press release.

© Copyright 2022 United States Environmental Protection AgencyNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 2

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