Air pollution not only causes serious harm to human health, but also contributes heavily to the climate crisis. EPN's volunteers spent decades as leaders in regulatory and voluntary air programs across the country and continue to add value by producing formal comments on EPA proposals, testifying at hearings, and providing background information and insights to reporters and NGOs.
Low-wealth communities and communities of color across America have been disproportionately impacted by pollution for decades. EPN not only weighs in on EPA policies to ensure equitable protections and benefits, but also provides pro bono technical assistance to communities and supports full implementation of the Justice40 Initiative.
One of EPA’s core missions is to ensure that Americans have safe drinking water, and that rivers, lakes, streams, and coastal waters are kept clean. EPN's volunteers spent decades as water experts in offices across the country and continue to weigh in on proposed rules, educate congress, and serve as a resource to NGOs and the press.
Hazardous and non-hazardous waste can significantly impact human health and the environment. EPN's volunteers spent decades working to reduce waste, safely dispose of waste, clean-up waste, and protect people from dangerous exposures. But the work is far from over, and EPN's volunteers are continuing to help advocate for policies that offer better protections, especially in disadvantaged communities.
Chemicals & Pesticides
EPA is tasked with protecting the American public from the dangers of toxic chemicals and pesticides by evaluating new and existing chemicals and their risks, and researching and registering pesticide use. EPN volunteers are scientists, lawyers, and policy experts who know that there are emerging contaminants, forever chemicals, and significant work to be done.
Years of disregard for the dangers of hazardous waste left a legacy of contaminated land and water that poses serious threats to people’s health, and the natural environment. In 1980, Congress gave EPA responsibility for hazardous waste cleanups and responses to environmental emergencies, spills, and natural disasters under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, known as Superfund. EPN provides recommendations to EPA on how to improve this vital program as well as technical assistance to communities living near current or potential Superfund sites.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) acts as “our basic national charter for protection of the environment.” Congress mandates that federal agencies look carefully at the environmental consequences of their actions and engage all practicable measures to prevent environmental harm when engaging in agency action. EPN works to improve the implementation of NEPA and ensure that issues of environmental justice and climate change are fully considered.
Science is at the core of nearly everything EPA does in order to protect Americans' health and environment. EPN promotes scientific integrity throughout the executive branch. And EPN's volunteers weigh in on the work of EPA and its scientific advisory boards and committees to ensure that sound science is practices and adhered to.
EPA must provide reliable and transparent data, inspect facilities, stop environmental crimes, and pursue polluters to fulfill its obligations under the law. EPN's volunteers spent decades on this work in many different offices across the country, and are continuing to add value in this space because they understand how much more work still needs to be done.
Budget and Appropriations
After four years of defending EPA’s budget from sweeping budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration, EPN continues to call for a robust EPA appropriation that supports EPA's abilities to fulfill its statutory obligations as well as prioritizes climate and environmental justice. EPN continues to provide insight and information to the public, NGOs, and Congress on the importance of rebuilding the agency’s budget after decades of chronic disinvestment.
EPN's volunteers have decades of experience as economists seeking to improve the effectiveness of its environmental policies through economic analyses. They continue to monitor regulatory proposals and provide insights and expertise on a variety of issues including the social cost of carbon.
EPA Core Values/Collaboration and Innovation
The 21st Century is an era of rapid and profound change, and EPA faces major challenges in achieving its mission. The agency must be forward-thinking and capable of confronting uncertainty and engaging change. To push forward, EPA leadership must strive for a more resilient, innovative, and collaborative institution, better able to sustain effective action and adapt to shifting conditions.
EPA's Strategic Plan, Regional EPA Offices, and Regulatory Reform
EPA's Strategic Plan is a planning document for the agency’s work over four years. EPN expressed support for EPA's recommitment to three principles articulated by former Administrator William Ruckelshaus: follow the science, follow the law, and be transparent.
Resetting the Course of EPA
"Resetting the Course of EPA" outlines specific and actionable steps that EPA can take to reset the course of the agency to address the most significant and pervasive threats to public health and our environment. As there is no single roadmap, EPN looks forward to collaborating with others to advance the dialogue around the future of EPA and set ideas into motion that will better protect the health and wellbeing of everyone.