EPA's Region 6 Office
Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations
The Environmental Protection Agency is faced with a challenge unprecedented since the beginning of our Agency in 1970, in addressing clean energy and global climate change. EPA Region 6 – overseeing federal environmental concerns in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas -- is committed to meet these challenges and to position itself as a leader in addressing climate change factors. We are using our position as a regional environmental leader to promote innovative approaches to clean energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions.
What is EPA Region 6 Doing to Address Climate Change?
EPA’s national regulatory programs provide the basic direction and regulatory structure. However, EPA Regional Offices can sometimes work more closely with our State, local, and Tribal partners and help tailor EPA’s programs to their needs.
A major EPA regulatory effort in greenhouse gas avoidance and reduction is the Agency’s air permitting program for new source construction and major modification to existing sources. Because of the large concentration of heavy industry in this part of the country, Region 6 received 39 greenhouse gas permit applications between the program’s start in January 2011 and December 2012.
EPA Region 6 has compiled a partial inventory of climate change adaptation and mitigation projects in Texas and Louisiana. The projects highlight innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and change the natural and built environment to adapt to climate change impacts. The inventory is available at this climate change page.
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- EPA and Climate Change
- Climate Change and Water Programs
- Clean Energy Programs
- US Climate Policy
- Climate Change Basic Info
- Health and Environmental Effects
- Energy Efficiency in Water and Wastewater Facilities: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs
Adapting Programs to a Changing Climate
In 2013 the Region drafted a Regional Implementation Plan for Climate Change Adaptation, which will guide the office’s future operations in a climate change-forced environment. The Implementation Plan provides program specific climate change issues, vulnerabilities, priorities and actions to take, to ensure our programs, policies and procedures remain effective in light of a changing climate.
Also, through nationally branded partnership programs that Regional staff administer, participating companies, governments, and non-governmental organizations in Region 6 reduce or avoid approximately 50,000 tons per year of greenhouse gas emissions. Such partnership programs include Energy Star, WaterSense, the Federal Green Challenge, Climate Showcase Communities, SmartWay, the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities, and the Brownfields redevelopment program.
Climate Change has important impacts on Water Resources. As climate change warms the atmosphere and alters the hydrological cycle, there are likely to be changes to the amount, timing, form, and intensity of precipitation and the flow of water in watersheds, as well as the quality of aquatic and marine environments.
Need to Adapt to Climate Change
Climate change is no longer a distant threat - we are already feeling its impacts across the country and the world. The President's Climate Action Plan (June 2013)
Increased drought conditions are already challenging our communities, while more frequent and intense storms are straining our ability to manage stormwater runoff, to deliver safe drinking water and to ensure proper wastewater treatment. EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy (July 31, 2013)
What are some specific on-the-ground partnership examples in EPA-Region 6?
In addition to nationally branded programs, the Region may initiate customized, regional-specific partnership programs with State, local and tribal governments; the private sector; non-governmental organizations; and other federal agencies when it recognizes a opportunities to build synergies to reduce greenhouse gases or adapt to climate change. Below are some specific examples.
In 2007-2010 Dallas Habitat for Humanity conducted a pilot green building program in concert with Region 6, EPA-OAQPS, the City of Dallas, and the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The 40 new homes in Frazier Park were the first Dallas Habitat homes to achieve a LEED rating (LEED-Silver). They save their owners an average of 10-21% in utility bill costs per month, and each avoids approximately 1 ton/yr in CO2 emissions. As a result of this pilot, Dallas Habitat for Humanity adopted the goal of building all its future homes to at least a LEED-Silver standard.
Coastal land loss is a significant problem in Region 6. The Whiskey Island Back Barrier Marsh Creation Project in Louisiana restored 300 acres of marsh, tidal ponds, and tidal creeks. In 2011 Region 6 helped restore 4,731 acres of coastal habitat.
North Central Texas Environmental Stewardship Forum
In 2012 Region 6 awarded a grant to begin and operate this Forum for approximately 18 months. The Forum’s prime purpose is to bring together environmental protection staff from over 100 municipalities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to prioritize the most pressing environmental sustainability problems in the North Texas area, identify short-term steps to address these problems, and work together to implement those solution steps. Energy, green purchasing, water conservation, waste management, and air quality are the current concentrations. In addition to other environmental benefits, significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions and avoidances are anticipated from the Forum’s actions.
Pilot Climate Change Mitigation Plan
In addition to implementing nationally branded partnership programs, in 2013 the Region’s Multimedia Planning and Permitting Division will conduct a customized pilot program to encourage voluntary greenhouse gas emissions reductions among various sources and source-types. Many such reduction efforts reduce other air pollutants, conserve energy, and reduce water use, and thus may be very cost-effective. The 2013 pilot will identify the best opportunities among sources for “win-wins” and bring our technical expertise to bear to identify and help participating entities effect improvements..
DFW Airport became the first airport WaterSense partner plus signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Region 6 to green its $1.9 billion remodeling of four of its five terminals. Water Upgrades will save 5.5 million gallons per month (a 20-50% savings in passenger terminals). Lighting upgrades will provide approximately 20% reduction in electricity consumption for lighting. As of September 2012, DFW Airport is one of the country’s largest purchasers of Renewable Energy Certificates, currently accounting for 20% of its electricity needs.
What is the National Water Program Doing to Respond to Climate Change?
- The draft Climate Change Implementation Plan for the EPA Office of Water is available here: http://epa.gov/climatechange/Downloads/impacts-adaptation/region-1-plan.pdf
- The final National Water Program 2012 Strategy: Response to Climate Change is available here: http://water.epa.gov/scitech/climatechange/2012-National-Water-Program-Strategy.cfm)
- The National Water Program website on climate change and water is available here: http://water.epa.gov/scitech/climatechange/index.cfm
For more information:
Climate Change Advisor
Multimedia Planning and Permitting Division
U.S. EPA-Region 6
1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200
Dallas, Texas 75202-2733
Water Quality Protection Division
U.S. EPA-Region 6
1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200
Dallas, Texas 75202-2733