Wednesday, January 13, 2010

EPA Administrator Jackson Expands Her Priorities from Five to Seven

Way back when Lisa Jackson offered a list of five priorities in her "First Day" memo, she promised to provide updates as time went by. Now, in a new memo to all EPA staff issued yesterday, she says that EPA has "made enormous strides on all five, and our achievements reflect your hard work and dedication." She then goes on to note that EPA has "strengthened our focus and expanded the list of priorities." She lists "seven key themes to focus the work of our agency" for 2010.

Taking Action on Climate Change: Continuing the effort to enact clean energy and climate legislation, as well as use their current authority to develop "common-sense solutions for reducing GHG emissions from large stationary sources like power plants."

Improving Air Quality: Building on the proposed stronger ambient air quality standards for ozone to "develop a comprehensive strategy for a cleaner and more efficient power sector, with strong but achievable emission reduction goals for SO2, NOx, mercury and other air toxics," as well as other critical activities.

Assuring the Safety of Chemicals: Continuing to push for "significant and long overdue progress in assuring the safety of chemicals in our products, our environment and our bodies," which includes more aggressively using their current TSCA authority.

Cleaning Up Our Communities: "Using all the tools at our disposal, including enforcement and compliance efforts, we will continue to focus on making safer, healthier communities." This includes additional strategies for Superfund, brownfields, and other challenges.

Protecting America’s Waters: Continuing "comprehensive watershed protection programs for the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes," and initiating other "measures to address post-construction runoff, water quality impairment from surface mining, and stronger drinking water protection."

Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism and Working for Environmental Justice: Expanding "a new era of outreach and protection for communities historically underrepresented in EPA decision-making," including "building strong working relationships with tribes, communities of color, economically distressed cities and towns, young people and others."

Building Strong State and Tribal Partnerships: EPA "must do its part to support state and tribal capacity and, through strengthened oversight, ensure that programs are consistently delivered nationwide."

Jackson notes that there will also be focus on strengthening internal operations, performance measures and agency processes. The priorities she lists will be the focus of 2010, but will also set the stage for continuing efforts beyond this year.

The full memo can be read here.

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