Climate Resiliency at EPA
In response to Executive Order 14008, EPA developed an agencywide Climate Adaptation Action Plan (CAAP) in October 2021. To ensure that EPA achieves its agencywide CAAP goals, EPA’s Office of Mission Support (OMS) has developed Office of Mission Support (OMS) FINAL Implementation Plan (pdf) with a priority action to conduct climate resilience assessments at EPA’s 18 owned laboratory locations by the end of 2026.
EPA uses these onsite assessments to learn about the facility’s past experiences with hazard events and to assess the facility’s exposure to, vulnerabilities from, and consequences to future hazards through the mid-2050s. The assessments ultimately identify discrete project recommendations to help ensure the facility’s resilience against risks associated with current and future climate conditions and to use the assessment as a tool to enhance awareness and capacity of EPA staff to assess and reduce climate and hazard risks.
EPA has conducted resiliency assessments at its owned laboratories in Montgomery, Alabama; Gulf Breeze, Florida; Fort Meade, Maryland; Cincinnati, Ohio; Ada and Gaar Corner, Oklahoma; Corvallis, Oregon; Newport, Oregon; Narragansett, Rhode Island; Edison, New Jersey; and Port Orchard, Washington. Each assessment employed a climate resiliency framework that requires coordination with other EPA offices and programs that manage EPA’s owned laboratory facilities, and where appropriate, interviews with these key external partners due to their influence on EPA’s resilience and ability to implement adaptation measures.
Following each climate resilience assessment, EPA develops a report with project recommendations that address both the risk from hazards the facility is most likely to face over the next 30 years, as well as hazards that may be less likely but would be consequential to the facility’s mission, workforce, physical assets and/ or external connections.
EPA’s OMS has committed to initiate 100 percent of the highest priority projects from each climate resilience assessment within 24 months of the assessment completion, depending on budget. Priority projects identified thus far include:
- Evaluate options to raise and fortify a vehicular causeway.
- Replace a lab building’s roof and evaluate opportunities for solar additions and electrical storage.
EPA Facility Hazard Exposure Map
In support of the OMS implementation plan, EPA also developed a facility hazard exposure map. This map displays the likelihood of exposure to 15 different hazards across EPA’s regional offices and owned laboratories.