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Why Work at EPA?

  • You can make a difference at EPA:  Our challenging work affects your local air, water and land, as well as the environment around the nation. Our mission is to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment – the air, water, and land upon which life depends.

    For more than 40 years, we have been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people -- eliminating lead from gasoline and the air, reducing acid rain, banning the widespread use of DDT and cancer-causing pesticides, cleaning up contaminated sites and emissions from cars, protecting wetlands and the ozone layer, and more. Nowhere else can you have such a positive impact: the number of people you affect can span the entire country or even reach international communities.  More information:

  • You’ll be working with top people in their field:  EPA employees have been recognized with presidential awards; have patented new technologies; and have won the Nobel Peace Prize.
    • Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals

      Over a dozen employees have been honored to receive Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals ("Sammies"):

      • David A. Hindin Exitspearheaded our use of advanced pollution monitoring technology to increase compliance with federal environmental laws, provide more public transparency and reduce harmful pollutants in our air and waterways.

      • Jessica Hall Zomer Exithelped craft and served as chief legal advisor on a major power plant regulation that will eliminate one-third of toxic heavy metals now dumped into the nation’s rivers, lakes and streams by regulated industries.

      • Brenda Brown Doroski and John Mitchell Exitcreated a program to combat indoor air pollution that has reduced health risks for more than 300,000 people.

      • Ramona Trovato Exithelped transform national environmental health policy by focusing attention on the impact of pollutants on children, and by devising strategies to respond to contamination from a terrorist attack.

      • Along with James Tamm of NHTSA, Bill Charmley Exitled an interagency team that developed standards for cars and light trucks that will double fuel economy by 2025 and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by six billion metric tons.

      • Stephanie Hogan Exitprotected citizens from dangerous power plant emissions that blow across state lines by leading the EPA’s legal defense of its interstate air pollution rule.

      • Kristen Taddonio Exitcreated a unique industry-government alliance that is accelerating adoption of greener technologies.

      • Bob Kavlock Exittransformed how EPA tests the toxicity of industrial and household chemicals, dramatically increasing the number that are assessed for potential health risks, while reducing the cost, time and need for animal studies.

      • Saskia van Gendt Exitfostered a new breed of environmentally-friendly construction and packaging materials that promote reuse, cut down on waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

      • Jacob Moss Exitbuilt an alliance of federal and international agencies, countries and corporations to bring more efficient cook stoves and cleaner burning fuels to homes in developing nations, protecting the environment and the health of millions of people worldwide.

      • Doug Norton Exitengaged citizens, scientists and state agencies in protecting their local streams, lakes and rivers by providing access to water quality data and assessment tools via the web.

      • Martin Harrell Exitsuccessfully prosecuted a case involving illegal transportation of hazardous waste in the United States and the export of 300 tons of hazardous waste and other chemicals from Pennsylvania to the Netherlands.

      • Cara Peck Exithelped urban areas improve the way they process food waste, promoting new efficiencies and ways to use refuse as a source of renewable energy.

      • Katherine Antos Exitled the creation and evaluation of state plans to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary, and one of the planet’s first identified “marine dead zones.”

      • Stephen O. Andersen Exitplayed a key role in implementing the landmark Montreal Protocol which has put us on a path to restoring the ozone layer by phasing out 95 percent of the world’s ozone-depleting substances and is leading current federal efforts to combat climate change.

      • Regan Murray and the TEVA Research Team Exitimproved the safety of U.S. water supplies by designing a sophisticated software suite that identifies risks and solutions to possible terrorist attacks.

    • Arthur S. Flemming Award

      Established in 1948, the Flemming Awards honor outstanding federal employees. Recognized by the president of the United States, agency heads, and the private sector, the winners are selected from all areas of the federal service. In 2015, two EPA employees were named as recipients of this award:

      • Dr. Gayle Hagler, an Environmental Engineer in the Office of Research and Development’s National Risk Management Research Lab received an award for her leadership of the Village Green Project.
      • Elliott B. Zenick, an Attorney Advisor, in the Office of the General Counsel is being recognized for leading the EPA’s legal team that is focused on the Clean Power Plan.
      Learn more about Dr. Hagler, Mr. Zenick and the other 2015 award recipients. Exit
    • Several of our scientists have received PECASE awards, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their careers.  Learn more about the PECASE awards and about the work of EPA recipients.

    • Patents for environmental technologies

      The work of EPA scientists and engineers has resulted EPA receiving dozens of patents for environmental technologies that range from methods to detect coliforms and e. coli, to reporting systems for automotive emissions testing.  Learn more about patented EPA technologies.

    • Nobel Peace Prize

      In 2007, 30 EPA employees shared the Nobel Peace Prize for their work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Read the IPCC's statement about the prize (PDF) Exit

    • Washington Post Federal Players of the Week
  • You’ll be serving at the leading federal government environmental agency on the planet:  EPA is a world-renowned environment organization with decades of experience in addressing domestic public health and environmental challenges. EPA collaborates through the United Nations and with other multilateral programs to protect human health and the environment. More information:

  • You’ll receive outstanding benefits: EPA and other federal government agencies offer generous retirement and health benefits, life and long-term care insurance, flexible work schedules, competitive salaries and more. Learn more about the benefits of working at EPA.
  • You’ll get to work with a diverse group of people in an agency that is committed to employing people as diverse as the nation we serve:  At EPA, diversity is our strength, and a vital element in bringing a balance of perspectives to bear on every challenge we face. Learn how we support a diverse workforce.
  • You’ll be working at an agency committed to reducing its “environmental footprint”:  To ensure that EPA's practices reflect our mission, we use a range of strategies to reduce the environmental impact of our facilities and operations, from conserving water, to improving the environmental performance of the buildings we lease, to increasing our use of alternative fuel vehicles. We are one of the largest purchasers of green power in the federal government, and were the first agency to choose 100% green power as a percentage of our total electricity use.  More information:

  • You’ll have the opportunity to volunteer in your community through EPA: At EPA, we help touch people's lives through our environmental work every day.  Many of us also support local and national charities by participating in federal-government-sponsored programs like the annual Combined Federal Campaign, Toys for Tots Exit, and Feds Feed Families.