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EPA Research


Regional Sustainability and Environmental Sciences Research Program

Collaboration and Partnership for Sustainable and Healthy Communities

EPA's research program is a critical part of implementing the Agency’s mission to protect public health and the environment.  It is strategically designed to directly support our programs and regulations while also being responsive and nimble to deliver the science and technology our partners need to solve emerging, high-priority environmental and related public health needs. 

The RESES program, led by EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD), matches Agency scientific and technical expertise with high-priority, short-term research needs in each of the Agency’s ten Regions across the nation.  The RESES program has helped Regions respond to state, local and Tribal interests in addressing priority science issues such as waste materials management.  Approaches include development of methods, use of science-based tools and multi-stakeholder engagement.  RESES has also provided resources for developing innovative regional approaches that can then be used on a national scale.  It has supported citizen science projects to address community concerns such as air pollution.

By design, RESES emphasizes collaboration and partnerships to deliver targeted science that can inform Agency and local decision-making. Projects are funded through an internal (EPA-only) annual solicitation for proposals. This year's program encouraged proposals focused on three topic areas:

  • ​Contaminated sites
  • Beneficial reuse of waste materials
  • Integration of ecosystem services with public health outcomes

2018 Projects

  • Emergency Planning at the Local-Scale with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection – Interactive Mapping of Flood-Induced Contaminants from Hazardous Waste Sites in New Jersey (R2)
  • Community Participation in Classifying Odors from Air Pollution Emissions (R4,5,8)
  • Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials: Opportunities, Community Benefits, and Applied Guidance (R5)
  • Detecting Elevated Temperature Landfills Using Landsat Thermal Imaging (R5)
  • Predicting/Modeling Improvements in Public Health and Ecosystems Goods and Services Associated with Major Urban Redevelopment and Infrastructure Projects at Sun Valley in Denver (R8)
  • Geophysical evaluation for plume mapping, remediation monitoring, and site characteristics at Tribal leaking underground storage tank sites in California and Arizona (R9)

2017 Projects

  • Sensor Pod Loan Trial for Investigating Regional and Community Air Pollution (R1, R2, R3, R5, R8)
  • Local Approaches for Regional Applications: Empowering EPA Regions & Stakeholders with Data-Driven Decision Making (R5)
  • Decision Makers Guide to Waste Combustion & Conversion Facilities (R5, R9)
  • A “Deeper” Look at the Ouachita River: Ecosystem Benefits and Approaches to River Maintenance for Sustainability & Resiliency from Flood Disaster Impacts (R6)
  • Environmental Siting Assessment for Solar Power Infrastructure – A Partnership with City of Brownsville on Economic Opportunities (R6)
  • Community Sustainability Snapshot: A Community Sustainability Indicators and Tear Sheet Project (R10)

2016 Projects

2012-2015 Projects

  • Making a Visible Difference in N/NE Portland: Engaging Communities, Using Citizen Science to Assess and Address Children’s Environmental Health from Transit and Air Pollution (R10, 2015)
  • Understanding and Evaluating Ecosystem Services at Site Remediation Projects and Applying Their Benefits to Sustainability and Livability for Surrounding Communities (R3, R9, R10; 2015)
  • Improving Public Health through Urban and Roadside Vegetation (R5, R9; 2015)
  • How the Relative Valuation of Ecosystem Goods and Services Empowers Communities to Impact the Outcomes of Remediation, Restoration, and Revitalization Projects (R5, 2015)
  • Using Ecosystem Services Assessment and Health Impact Assessments as Part of a Stakeholder-driven Approach to Storm Recovery: Long Island Case Study (R2, 2015)
  • CitySpace and Air Sensor Network: Evaluating Spatial Gradients of Urban Air Pollution with Low-Cost Air Sensor Technology (R4, R6, R7; 2015)
  • Implementation of the Sustainable Materials Management Tool and Pilot with Georgia Stakeholders (R4, 2015)
  • Floating Vegetation Islands: Using TEK for Development of Leading Indicators of Ecosystem Function for BMP Effectiveness, Water Quality Standards, Biological Criteria and Control of Harmful Algal Blooms (R9, 2015)
  • Real-Time Monitoring of Domestic Water Consumption in Concert with Real-Time Energy Measurement in Multifamily Housing (R8, 2014)
  • Research and Development of National Waste to Biogas Mapping Tool – Creating an Organic Resources Exchange (R9, 2014)
  • Preparing Communities for Disruptive Climate Events in Southeastern Massachusetts (R1, 2014)
  • Community Resilience Planning and Decision Making Framework for Coastal Communities (R4, 2014)
  • Using Green Infrastructure to Address Climate Change Resiliency: A Case Study in North Birmingham, Alabama (R4, 2014)
  • Parking Lot Strategies to Mitigate Storm Water Quality/Volume and Urban Heat Island Effect Using Trees in Green Infrastructure (R6, 2014)
  • Development and Implementation of Bioavailability Tools to Link with C-FERST, Community Involvement and Inform Community Decisions (R2, R9; 2013)
  • Supporting Communities using EPA Science Tools (R10, 2013)
  • Solution-Oriented Cumulative Risk and Near-Source Air Quality Assessments in Five Communities (R2, R3, R4, R5; 2013)
  • Inland Port Community Resilience Transportation Analysis in Mississippi (R4, 2013)
  • A Health Impact Assessment (HIA) in a Springfield, Mass., Environmental Justice Community Elementary School to Evaluate Proposed Remediation Scenarios for Indoor Sources and Near-Roadway Transportation Exposures (R1, 2012)
  • Citizen Monitoring of Water Quality and Sanitation in a Rural Puerto Rico Watershed (R2, 2012)
  • Development of a Sustainability Tool for Tribal Housing Decision Making (R8, 2012)
  • Conducting an HIA in the Proctor Creek District of Atlanta, Ga., to assess the distribution of both environmental and health impacts as Green Infrastructure approaches to Community Revitalization move forward (R4, 2012)
  • Working with Communities to Develop Practical Measures of Sustainability (R1, R2, R4, R7; 2012) 

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