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Release of EPA plans for adapting to Climate Change

Release of EPA plans for adapting to Climate Change:

 On November 1, 2013, EPA released its draft Climate Change Adaption Implementation Plans for review and public comment by January 3, 2014.  The public is invited to review and provide comment on the draft Implementation Plans through the public docket at www.regulations.gov (Docket Number EPA-HQ-OA-2013-0568).  Please note the plan(s) your comments pertain to.

 Plans cover each National Program Office and each Regional Office and can be found at: http://epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/fed-programs/EPA-impl-plans.html.  These 17 plans are part of an ongoing effort to address adaptation across the federal government, in response to Executive Order 13514 – “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.”  EPA’s plans were released in support of the President’s Climate Action Plan and Executive Order “Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change”. 

 Priority Actions in Region 3 (see below) exist for each program office in the Water Protection Division to assess how programs are vulnerable to climate change and to take steps to adapt against these negative impacts.  We look forward to working with our stakeholder and partners on this important matter.

 Priority Actions, Goal 2 Protecting America’s Waters:

• Include climate change parameters in next Chesapeake Bay TMDL and associated implementation plans.

• Work with states and source water protection partners to raise awareness of climate change impacts and assist states and water protection partners in incorporating climate adaptation actions into source water assessments and protection plans.

• Promote awareness and encourage use of the Climate Ready Water Utilities Tools with an aim toward incorporating climate change impacts into resiliency planning by drinking water and wastewater utilities.

• Messaging to decision makers to encourage utilities to make sustainable investments, including improvements to prepare utilities for extreme weather events.

• Continue work in the Anacostia area of DC, Patapsco area of Baltimore and greater Philadelphia Area/lower Delaware River watershed through the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) to assist with and leverage the partners ongoing climate adaptation planning activities.

• Support Maryland Inland Bays and Delaware Coastal Bays as they incorporate climate change and adaptation into their amended Comprehensive Management Plans.

• Incorporate adaptation and resiliency principles into ongoing “greening” discussions with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

• Host climate change workshops for Region III water utilities to broaden the need for resiliency and awareness of available planning tools.

• Begin discussions with state water quality standards managers on possible climate change impacts on current and future water quality standards.

• Work with the EPA’s Office of Water (OW) as a pilot region to develop a framework and inventory of relative wetland vulnerabilities, at multiple scales, based on integration of information on vulnerability assessment methods and wetlands classification systems. This framework will use relevant information from OW’s CWA Section 404, HWI, and NWCA program efforts, and the results will be framed to inform on best approaches for development of further guidance for integrating climate change considerations into each of these program’s practices.

• Work with the EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD), along with regional state bioassessment scientists, to lay the foundation for a regional reference/climate change monitoring network in the Mid Atlantic, including a vulnerability analysis for streams.

• Work with the EPA’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds to include adaptation actions in the future work plans for our Wetlands permitting and enforcement programs.

• Continue efforts with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary on climate change adaption planning by expanding upon the work of the climate change adaptation plan of 2010

 Patti Kay Wisniewski
Drinking Water Security Coordinator
Drinking Water Branch (3WP21)
US EPA Region 3
1650 Arch Street
Phila, PA 19103

 215-814-5668
215-514-7893 (cell)

wisniewski.patti-kay@epa.gov

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