Talk about an organization that's gone green. The US
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops and enforces
environmental policy and regulations throughout the country. It
is responsible for administering all or part of a
multitude of laws, such as the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking
Water Act, and the ubiquitous National Environmental Policy Act.
Besides working to ensure compliance with federal environmental
rules, the agency provides support for state environmental
protection programs. The agency is led by an administrator
appointed by the US President.
The agency operates 10 regional offices and some two dozen
R&D and regional laboratories around the country.
Its labs -- each specializing in a particular area of research
-- include the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory, the
National Center for Environmental Assessment, Environmental
Chemistry Laboratory, and the National Center for Computational
The EPA's strategic plan, which it develops every five years,
centers on seven key priorities: climate change, improving air
quality, chemical safety, community clean up, clean water,
compliance and environmental stewardship, and land
preservation. Nearly half of the EPA's annual budget (it totaled
$8.6 billion for fiscal 2016) is used for clean and safe water
initiatives and enforcement.
The agency was established in 1970, the same year as the first
Earth Day, in response to growing concerns over air, water, and