EPA Releases 2020 Report on Supporting Rural America
WASHINGTON (January 15, 2020) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2020 Support of Rural America Report which highlights key scientific decisions and successful partnerships that directly impact rural communities across the country, and ultimately, our nation's food supply. In this past year, EPA has worked closer than ever with other federal agencies to ensure consistent federal policies that provide certainty and support to rural America especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
EPA recognizes the hard work and determination of American agriculture and through this publicly available report, showcase the innovative ways regional staff embarked on furthering work with agriculture groups to promote environmental stewardship practices.
"The clear takeaway of the report shows that EPA continues to succeed in strengthening robust relationships with farmers and ranchers across the country, and those relationships will help achieve better environmental outcomes." said Carrie Vicenta Meadows, Agriculture Advisor to Administrator Wheeler. "Our report details how EPA worked to restore trust through proactive engagement with the agriculture community, delivered regulatory relief and certainty to U.S. agriculture, and provided rural America with environmental support through grants and other tools. This report makes clear, that agriculture remains a top priority for EPA."
Among the report highlights:
- EPA's first-time Memorandum of Understanding with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
- EPA Regions entering into formal partnerships with State Departments of Agriculture, and Farm Bureaus.
- EPA's reinstation of the Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee, and subsequent meetings and deliberation on assigned charge topics: how EPA can create a holistic pesticide program for the future, and how EPA can support environmental benchmarks with interagency partners on the topics of water quality and quantity, and food loss and waste.
- EPA's renewed agreement with the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration on the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative.
- Providing regulatory clarity to farmers and landowners with the implementation of Navigable Waters Protection Rule and completing timely pesticide registration approvals.
- Releasing new grant opportunities on solutions to pressing issues in rural America including PFAS and pesticide managements.
- Regional success stories showing EPA grants at work in local communities improving air and water quality, promoting environmental education and more.
To read the 2020 Support of Rural America Report, or to learn more about available ways to engage with EPA on American agriculture issues, visit https://www.epa.gov/agriculture/2020-report-supporting-rural-america.
At EPA, the Agriculture Advisor's Office enables two-way communication between EPA and agriculture stakeholders about priority environmental issues and works with each of EPA's ten Regional Offices around the country to encourage outreach. The Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee, which provides independent policy advise and recommendations to the EPA Administrator, is housed in the Office.