Reporting, Sustainability

EPA: 2021 Highlights

On December 28, 2021, the EPA released a list of key accomplishments the Agency achieved in 2021 under the Biden administration.

The Agency’s achievements include:

Tackling the climate crisis

Advancing environmental justice

  • Directing all EPA offices to clearly integrate environmental justice considerations into their plans and actions;
  • Announcing $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding for environmental justice initiatives and air monitoring in overburdened communities;
  • Embarking on a first-of-its-kind “Journey to Justice” tour, traveling the Southeast to spotlight long-standing environmental justice concerns in historically marginalized communities and hear firsthand from residents dealing with the impacts of pollution; and
  • Leveraging enforcement authority to protect overburdened communities from pollution.

Protecting the health and safety of communities

  • Issuing a comprehensive strategic road map to confront per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination nationwide and taking significant additional actions, including launching a national PFAS testing strategy; restarting a rule-development process for designating perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) as Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) hazardous substances; and working toward setting a national primary drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS;
  • Announcing a $1 billion investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to initiate cleanup and clear the backlog of 49 previously unfunded Superfund sites and accelerate cleanup at dozens of other sites across the country;
  • Reinitiating the Clean Water Act Section 404(c) process, which, if finalized, would afford long-term protection for Bristol Bay in Alaska; and
  • Stopping the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on all food to better protect human health, particularly that of children and farmworkers.

Restoring scientific integrity

  • Issuing agency-wide guidance reaffirming scientific integrity as a core value at the EPA and outlining concrete steps to reinforce the Agency’s commitment to science.
  • Resetting the Scientific Advisory Board and Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and the inclusion of the most diverse membership since the committees were established. These actions are expected to ensure the EPA receives the best-possible scientific insight to support its work to protect human health and the environment.
  • Relaunching the Agency’s climate change website and climate indicators report after a 4-year absence during the prior administration.

“Thanks to the EPA workforce’s ambition, world class expertise, and dedication, this agency has taken bold action to protect future generations from climate impacts, advance environmental justice, and build healthier, more equitable communities,” says EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I am so grateful for what we’ve accomplished together, and I’m looking forward to the big things we’ll achieve in 2022 and beyond.”