About the Office of Policy (OP)
What We Do
Located in the Office of the Administrator, the Office of Policy (OP) is the primary policy arm of EPA. We work with our EPA colleagues to support Agency priorities and enhance decision-making. We provide multi-disciplinary analytic skills, management support, and special expertise in five areas: regulatory policy and management, environmental economics, strategic environmental management, sustainable communities, and climate adaptation.
Laura Vaught, Associate Administrator
Shannon Kenny, Principal Deputy Associate Administrator
Kevin Rennert, Deputy Associate Administrator
- Office of Regulatory Policy and Management
- National Center for Environmental Economics
- Office of Strategic Environmental Management
- Office of Sustainable Communities
- Climate Change Adaptation Staff
Office of Regulatory Policy and Management (ORPM)
What We Do
EPA issues regulations to carry out the environmental and public health protection laws enacted by Congress. OP's Office of Regulatory Policy and Management (ORPM), manages the regulatory development process for the Agency, providing support and guidance to EPA's program and regional offices as they develop regulations. ORPM provides policy and analytical advice and support to these offices, works to ensure compliance with key statutes and Executive Orders relating to regulatory process, and helps to promote analytical consistency and rigor across EPA’s regulatory portfolio.
- Policy and Regulatory Analysis – ORPM advises the Administrator and other senior Agency decision-makers on regulatory and policy development; manages the Agency's policy priority agenda; conducts timely and effective policy analysis; and helps ensure that EPA’s regulatory decision processes and actions are invested with high quality information. ORPM assists the Administrator's Office in executing the Administrator's priorities.
- Regulatory Management – ORPM manages EPA's action development and review process, provides comprehensive action development training for EPA staff and managers, and provides procedural and analytical support to help EPA consider the impact of its actions on small entities and state and local governments.
- Regulatory Development and Retrospective Review Tracker – ORPM provides information to the public on the status of EPA's priority rulemakings by maintaining the Reg DaRRT website. This site displays information as soon as we begin working on a rule and follows the evolution of a rule throughout the rulemaking process.
- Small Business Advocacy Chair – ORPM's Office Director serves as EPA's Small Business Advocacy Chair (SBAC). The SBAC is responsible for guidance and oversight of the Agency's implementation of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and serves as the permanent chair of all Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panels.
- Laws and Regulations – ORPM maintains the Laws and Regulations website, which provides general information about the laws we administer, the regulations we are developing, and how we write regulations.
Programs and projects managed by the Office of Regulatory Policy and Management
- Laws and regulations
- Regulatory Development and Retrospective Review Tracker
- Laws that EPA administers
- Regulatory agendas and plans
- Regulatory Flexibility Act / Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (RFA/SBREFA)
- Actions Initiated by Month
Mail code: 1806A | EPA mailing addresses
William Nickerson, Acting Director
- Phone: 202-566-0326
The Office of Regulatory Policy Management includes:
Regulatory Management Division
- Nicole Owens, Director
- Phone: 202-564-1550
Policy and Regulatory Analysis Division
- Mark Corrales, Acting Director
- Phone: 202-564-7493
What We Do
Economic analysis plays a central role in informing EPA decision-making. The National Center of Environmental Economics (NCEE) leads the Agency’s work in this area, with a range of expert economists specializing in evaluating the economic costs, benefits and impacts of proposed environmental regulations and policies on the national economy. In addition, NCEE evaluates new research and develops improved methods for measuring the economic consequences of environmental changes. The office maintains an Environmental Economics website providing research, publications and resources on the subject.
- Consultants to the Agency – NCEE helps EPA programs perform sound economic and risk analysis and promotes analytic rigor and consistency across the Agency. To do this, NCEE provides regulatory review support for economically significant rules and provides training on economic analysis guidance, assessing exposures and risks, quantitative uncertainty analysis and related issues as requested.
- Guidance for Economic Analysis – To promote consistency and quality in EPA’s economic studies, NCEE works with economists from across the Agency to develop and continually update guidance materials, such as Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses and more specialized guidance documents, including:
- Enhancing EPA’s Economic Tools – NCEE develops data and methods for benefit and cost assessments by targeting priority needs across the Agency for research and analysis. For example, NCEE conducts research on the latest issues in climate change economics (including those related to the social cost of carbon). NCEE promotes efforts across the agency and elsewhere to improve the quality and reliability of economic methods, models, and information and analysis, and to keep EPA analysts abreast of advances in the field.
Linking Science and Policy – NCEE works in partnership with other Agency scientists to develop risk assessment information used to support economic analyses and inform policy. This work improves EPA’s ability to evaluate risks to public health and the environment in the context of economic analysis. In addition, NCEE collaborates with other Agency offices to analyze relationships between environmental pollution and human health, including characterizing morbidity risks to children and adults, as well as investigating the expected benefits of preventing prenatal risks from exposure to pollutants.
Support for Academic Research – NCEE communicates EPA’s economic research priorities to economists across the nation through workshops, working papers, and seminars, helping outside researchers identify topics pertinent to the Agency’s needs. This includes focusing the Agency’s internal and extramural research grant programs to support the development of new and improved analytic tools and information meeting these needs.
Programs and projects managed by the National Center for Environmental Economics
- Guidelines for Economic Analyses
- NCEE Publications and Research
- NCEE Reports
- Economic Workshop Documents and Proceedings
Mail code: 1809T | EPA mailing addresses
Al McGartland, Director
- Phone: 202-566-2244
Kelly Maguire, Acting Associate Director
- Phone: 202-566-2244
The National Center for Environmental Economics includes:
Benefits Assessment and Methods Development Division
- Brett Snyder, Director
- Phone: 202-566-2261
- Email: NCEE@epa.gov
Research and Program Support Division
- Jenny Bowen, Director
- Phone: 202-566-2281
- Email: NCEE@epa.gov
The Office of Strategic Environmental Management plays a critical role in supporting key cross-cutting management and policy initiatives at EPA. These include leading the facilitation of EPA’s work on sustainability; serving as the National Program Manager for Lean government at EPA; and advising program offices on organizational change management and effective program design and implementation through program evaluation and other evidence-based tools. More detail on these practice areas follows:
Facilitation of EPA’s Work on Sustainability – OSEM works across EPA to operationalize sustainability in specific projects, including creating a national green grants policy; developing purchasing policies to leverage EPA’s and the federal government’s purchasing power to increase the sustainability of the supply chain; and transferring lessons learned in cross-federal agency sustainability projects focused on reducing energy, water, and waste.
Leading EPA’s Lean Efforts – As the Agency’s National Program Manager for Lean government, OSEM provides the Agency with Lean expert facilitators; builds the infrastructure for Lean activities across EPA (via training, coaching, guidance publications, traditional and innovative intranet presence, and documenting results); develops and supports projects for replication and/or scale up; and explores approaches to engage EPA’s management to support their goals for continuous process improvement.
Advising on Organization Change Management and Effective Program Design and Implementation – OSEM supports evaluation studies for EPA programs; explores innovative avenues for learning by working with external evaluators to develop an open-access database of environmental evaluations; tests new approaches to evaluation meta-analysis and synthesis; and works with academics and other evaluators to improve the use of systems thinking and behavioral sciences in EPA's evidence-based decision-making and program implementation.
Programs and projects managed by the Office of Strategic Environmental Management
Mail code: 1807T | EPA mailing addresses
Nena Shaw, Acting Director
- Phone: 202-564-5106
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Office of Strategic Environmental Management includes:
Integrated Environmental Strategies Division
- Tom Tyler, Acting Director
- Phone: 202-566-0808
- Email: email@example.com
Evaluation Support Division
- Kevin DeBell, Acting Director
- Phone: 202-566-1931
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What We Do
The Office of Sustainable Communities (OSC) collaborates with other EPA programs; federal agencies; regional, state, and local governments; and a broad array of nongovernmental partners to help communities become stronger, healthier, and more sustainable through smarter growth, green building, green infrastructure and related strategies.
OSC leads EPA’s participation in the interagency (HUD-DOT-EPA) Partnership for Sustainable Communities, as well as EPA’s cross-Agency focus on Making a Visible Difference in Communities. This work is integral to EPA’s priorities of improving air quality, addressing climate change, protecting America’s waters, cleaning up our communities and promoting environmental justice.
To help communities learn about and implement development strategies that protect human health and the environment, create economic opportunities, and provide attractive and affordable neighborhoods, the Office of Sustainable Communities:
- Manages technical assistance programs, including:
- Produces tools and publications on a variety of topics.
- Shares examples of smart growth communities and projects that can be models for other places.
- Works through partnerships to bring together diverse interests to encourage better growth and development.
Programs and projects managed by the Office of Sustainable Communities
- Smart Growth Program
- Smart Growth Technical Assistance
- HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities
- National Award for Smart Growth Achievement
- Making a Visible Difference in Communities
Mail code: 1807T | EPA mailing addresses
Matthew Dalbey, Director
- Phone: 202-566-2860
- Email: email@example.com
The Office of Sustainable Communities includes:
Federal and State Division (FSD)
- Chitra Kumar, Director
- Phone: 202-564-2232
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Assistance and Research Division (CARD)
- Alice Ewen, Acting Director
- Phone: 202-566-1351
- Email: email@example.com
What We Do
The impacts of a changing climate pose significant challenges to the EPA’s ability to fulfill its mission. The EPA must therefore adapt. It must anticipate and plan for future changes in climate to ensure its programs, policies, rules and operations continue to be effective even as the climate changes. The Office of Policy provides cross-agency leadership and coordination on climate change adaptation. Its goal is to build and strengthen the adaptive capacity of the EPA’s Programs and Regions, and their partners in states, tribes, and local communities. The Office of Policy is leading a Cross-EPA Work Group on Climate Change Adaptation that has developed and is now implementing a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the agency and 17 Implementation Plans prepared by the National Environmental Program Offices, all 10 Regional Offices, and National Support Offices. This work also supports the President’s Climate Action Plan and responds to directives in Executive Order 13653 on "Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change".
Programs and Projects
- Mainstream climate adaptation planning into the EPA’s programs, policies, rules and operations to ensure they are effective under future climatic conditions.
- Communicate the importance of climate adaptation for the EPA’s mission and provide training and decision-support tools to the Programs and Regions, and their partners in states, tribes, and local communities.
- Implement priority actions to fulfill the three Strategic Measures on climate adaptation in the FY 2014-2018 EPA Strategic Plan.
- Support climate-resilient investments by states, tribes, and local communities by integrating climate adaptation criteria into financial mechanisms (grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and technical assistance agreements).
- Fulfill the priority commitments in the 17 Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plans developed by the EPA Programs and Regions.
- Address the Environmental Justice implications of climate change impacts and adaptation strategies.
- Integrate climate adaptation, sustainability, and Smart Growth activities.
- Chair the federal Agency Adaptation Work Group established by the White House Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to support the development and implementation of all agencies’ climate change adaptation plans.
- Co-Chair (with DOI) the interagency Community of Practice that brings together staff from across all federal agencies working on common adaptation challenges.
Mail code: 1804A | EPA mailing addresses
Climate Change Adaptation Contact
- Dr. Joel Scheraga, Senior Advisor for Climate Adaptation
- Phone: 202-564-3385