What We're Doing
EPA's National Programs
See EPA's National Programs for additional information, national guidance, documents, and fact sheets.
National Agriculture Information
- Basic Information
- Where You Live
- Frequent Questions
- A to Z Subject Index
- Business Assistance
- Health & Safety
- Site & Equipment
- Laws & Regulations
EPA Region 5's programs and people work with agriculture in many areas of interest. The links below describe what we do, and take you directly to that program's webpage.
- Air Quality describes the six criteria pollutants and ambient air quality standards.
- Air Enforcement explains the Region's air enforcement program and compliance assistance.
- Midwest Clean Diesel Agriculture and Freight Initiative
- Animal Feeding Operations Air Agreements
- Emergency Response and Removal provides quick response to threats from hazardous substances. This program acts as Region 5's lead in chemical releases and potential biological pathogen threats.
- Oil Planning and Response oversees oil spill cleanup with other agencies and regulates oil storage via Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures plans.
Land and Chemicals
- Pesticides provides technical support and assistance to reduce the risks of pesticides to human health and the environment through a variety of means, including education, promotion of Worker Protection Standards and Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and registration review.
- Pesticides Enforcement is responsible, with the states, for ensuring compliance with regulations for the registration, distribution, sale and use of pesticides.
Pesticides Compliance Assistance
- Solid Waste Program. Solid Waste Prevention and Reduction and Recycling encourage the elimination of toxic materials from the waste stream and recycling appropriate materials for re-use.
- Underground Storage Tanks regulates the operation of facilities to ensure that no leaks or spills adversely impact a facility's soil, ground water or human health. This includes the removal and/or cleanup of leaking underground storage tanks.
- Animal Feeding Operations/Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are operations where large numbers of livestock or poultry are confined in facilities requiring handling, removal and disposal of animal waste. Facilities which discharge waste into surface waters are subject to permitting and best management practice requirements under the Clean Water Act.
Animal Feeding Operations
- Disposal Wells (Class V Underground Injection) are shallow wells, pits, certain septic systems and other means to dispose of liquid wastes. Some of these wells and disposal practices pose threats to ground water and human health.
Managing Shallow Disposal Systems in Our Region
- Ground Water & Drinking Water regulates the safety of public water supply systems and encourages voluntary means of protecting ground water from contamination. The Source Water Protection Program encourages actions to reduce or eliminate contamination from entering surface or ground waters that serve as sources of untreated water to private and public water systems.
- Watersheds are affected by nonpoint source pollution, polluted water runoff that doesn't come from the end of a pipe or a ditch. The Region works closely with the state water quality agencies to fund voluntary projects and programs that will reduce nutrients and sediments from agriculture and urban development in runoff to surface waters. Many projects are accomplished under watershed plans, which address all water pollution sources within the area drained by specific lakes or streams. Special watershed plans, called Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), are water pollution "budgets" that define the amount of a particular pollutant that can come from end-of-pipe discharges and polluted runoff from fields, parking lots, roads and streets, while meeting the water quality standard established by the state. TMDLs are implemented through end-of-pipe discharge limits and voluntary actions to reduce or eliminate nonpoint source pollution.
- Water Program Grants and Loans are accomplished almost entirely by grants to or through state and tribal water quality agencies, including the State Clean Water Revolving Fund. The types of grants, use restrictions, qualifications to apply and applicability to agricultural uses varies by program and by state.
- Water Quality Standards and Monitoring work with the states to establish standards for particular pollutants that will meet Clean Water Act goals, and collect/analyze data with partners to characterize the chemical and biological status of waters, along with identifying changes, trends and problems over time in the quality of water.
- Wetlands provide critical nutrient, sediment, and water retention that affect the quality of adjacent waters, and offer important habitat and recreation functions as well. The Region works with many federal and state agencies to administer voluntary and regulatory programs that protect and enhance wetland resources.
Additional Region 5 Priorities
- The Upper Mississippi River Basin is a significant source of nutrients and sediments that affect water quality and aquatic habitat far downstream of their sources. The Region, along with its State and Federal partners and other EPA offices, continues work to correct these impairments via the Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan and the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative.
- Lake-wide Management Plans (LaMPs) for each of the Great Lakes identify water quality and habitat problems from nutrients, sediments, pathogens and pesticides that can be eliminated or reduced by wise use of agricultural best management practices. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative provides significant resources through grants and cooperative agreements to address stressors on the Great Lakes ecosystem, including agricultural pollutants such as nutrients, sediments, and pesticides.