Q:

What does the EPA do?

A:

Quick Answer

The Environmental Protection Agency researches environmental issues, creates and enforces regulations, provides grants and partners with other organizations. According to its website, the EPA's mission is to protect human health and the environment.

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Full Answer

The EPA releases its research to the public and also invites public comment. For example, white papers were released in 2014 that detailed low-cost ways to reduce methane gas emissions. The papers were part of a plan meant to regulate the release of methane, especially by the oil and gas industry, which is the largest producer of methane pollution. Under the Clean Air Act, the agency spearheaded another regulation meant to reduce the release of ozone into the atmosphere from manufacturing plants. Improving air quality is one of five goals in the agency's 4-year strategic plan, which also includes a focus on sustainable development and ensuring chemical safety.

EPA grants are given to nonprofits, educational institutions and state programs to aid in improving the environment at the local level. Nearly half the EPA budget is used for such grants. In addition to these organizations, the EPA also partners with local and state governments as well as businesses. The EPA, along with its partners, teaches people about climate issues, recycling and conservation strategies to help achieve its goals of protecting the environment and human health.

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