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EPA Publishes FY 2011-2015 Strategic Plan

October 8, 2010

On Thursday, October 7, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a 5-year strategic plan outlining strategies for advancing its mission and priorities.

The plan presents 5 strategic goals that will dictate EPA’s actions over the next 5 years.  The strategic goals are:

  • Taking action on climate change and improving air quality
  • Protecting America’s waters
  • Cleaning up communities and advancing sustainable development
  • Ensuring the safety of chemicals and preventing pollution
  • Enforcing environmental laws

While much of the plan deals with issues not directly relevant to agriculture, food systems, and rural development, some sections are worth taking note of.  One of EPA’s 5 strategic goals is to ensure the safety of chemicals and prevent pollution.  The plan makes explicit mention of pesticides and agricultural pollution, stating, “By 2015, no watersheds will exceed aquatic life benchmarks for targeted pesticides[…] Agricultural watersheds that exceed the National Pesticide Program aquatic life benchmarks are 18 percent for azinphos-methyl and 18 percent for chlorpyrifos.”

The plan also states, “Over the next five years, EPA will manage a comprehensive pesticide risk reduction program through science-based registration and reevaluation processes, a worker safety program, certification and training activities, and support for integrated pest management.”

In addition to reducing pesticide toxicity and pollution, EPA intends to protect America’s waters by limiting pollution and run off from agricultural operations, among other sources.

The fifth of EPA’s 5 strategic goals is to enforce environmental laws.  According to the strategic plan, EPA intends to cut pollution from animal waste through better enforcement.  Over the next 5 years, EPA will develop strategic enforcement measures, “designed to demonstrate progress toward achieving its national enforcement goal of aggressively going after specific pollution problems that matter to communities.”  As part of this effort, the Agency will “work to improve compliance by the tens of thousands of animal feeding operations that contribute to water pollution in many communities.”

Finally, as part of the effort to protect America’s waters, EPA will work with USDA and other partners to achieve by 2015 a net increase of wetlands nationwide (from a 2004 baseline of 32,000 acres annual net national wetland gain).

You can download the full 72 page report here.

Categories: Conservation, Energy & Environment

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