Beginning Friday, the EPA is accepting comments on its draft plan, which calls for the agency to amend its operations — including the promulgation of new regulations — to account for increasingly rapid global warming. The effort comes in response to a 2009 government-wide directive via President Obama’s Council on Environmental Quality, requiring agencies to plan this year for future climate change.
“It is essential that EPA adapt to anticipate and plan for future changes in climate,” according to the 55-page plan, which carries a 2012 date but was put forth now for public consideration. “It must integrate, or mainstream, considerations of climate change into its programs, policies, rules and operations to ensure they are effective under future climatic conditions.”
Rising sea levels, loss of snowpack and drought linked to climate change will likely require the agency to take additional steps to protect watersheds, wetlands and water supplies, the report argues.
Increasing temperatures and more frequent extreme weather events, meanwhile, will demand measures to protect public safety and adapt emergency response plans, it says.
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