EPA Releases Climate Plans

by | Nov 3, 2014

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The EPA has released plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change impacts such as flooding, sea level rise, severe weather and temperature extremes.

These Sustainability Plans and Climate Change Adaptation Plans coincide with the fifth anniversary of President Obama’s 2009 Executive Order on Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance, which set aggressive energy, climate and environmental targets for agencies, and detail how the EPA’s actions have already contributed to reducing the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 17 percent since 2008.

In the Climate Change Adaptation Plan, the EPA identifies priority actions the agency will take to incorporate considerations of climate change into its programs, policies, rules and operations to ensure they are effective under future climatic conditions. This includes:

  • 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.

Additionally, the EPA’s Sustainability Plan outlines how the agency has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 57.4 percent, from fiscal year 2003, and it is meeting additional water, energy and waste targets.

The agency says it has consistently met or exceed the federal requirements for energy efficiency, fuel use, renewable energy, and other high-performance sustainable building metrics. In 2013, for example, EPA exceeded the 24 percent energy intensity reduction from its FY 2003 baseline, reducing its FY 2013 energy intensity by 25.6 percent from FY 2003. In FY 2013, EPA also reduced fleet petroleum use by 38.9 percent compared to the FY 2005 baseline, exceeding the goal of 16 percent.

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