EPA 2013 Climate Change Adaptation Plan

On February 7, 2013, 35 federal agencies released their third annual Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans (SSPPs), which for the first time included Climate Change Adaptation Plans to help federal agencies reach sustainability and climate change resilience goals. President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on October 5, 2009, which required each agency to issue an SSPP, set new sustainability standards for federal agency operations and directed agencies to improve their environmental, energy and economic performance. Under this E.O. and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Implementing Instructions, each agency is required to submit a Climate Adaptation Plan for implementation in 2013. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Adaptation Plan examines the ways its programs are vulnerable to a changing climate and how the Agency can adapt to continue meeting its mission of protecting human health and the environment. Every program and regional office within the EPA is developing an Implementation Plan outlining how each considers the impacts of climate change in its mission, operations, and programs, and carrying out the work designated in the agency-wide plan.

The 'Synthesis of EPA’s Vulnerabilities' section of the plan summarizes the Agency’s known mission, facility, and operational vulnerabilities to climate change. This summary is organized by EPA’s five strategic goals:

  • Taking Actions 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

 A set of principles is outlined that the EPA has adopted to guide all of its efforts to integrate climate adaptation into its programs, policies and rules. The report examines mainstreaming climate adaptation in the across the EPA, presenting priority actions the Agency will take to begin integrating climate adaptation planning into its activities. Some example priority actions include: developing decision-support tools that enable EPA staff and partners to integrate climate adaptation planning into their work, partnering with Tribes to increase adaptive capacity, and developing program and regional office Implementation Plans.

Annual highlights of progress from each of the EPA's Environmental Programs and Regions will be included in updates to the Agency's Adaptation Plan that will be submitted on an annual basis with the Sustainability Plan. The Implementation Plans will also be used to provide input to the Agency’s annual planning and budgeting process. 



Publication Date: February 7, 2013

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