Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Region 9 Strategic Plan, 2011-14
EPA Region 9 Strategic Plan (PDF) (44pp, 460K) (Duplicate of the content on this web topic.)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9 encompasses four states, 147 sovereign tribes and dozens of Pacific islands. It is a diverse, beautiful and productive part of the nation, from the lush rainforests of Hawaii and the agricultural oasis of the Central Valley to the thrumming economies of Silicon Valley, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Nearly 50 million people make their homes and livelihoods throughout EPA Region 9’s 386,000 square mile-jurisdiction, producing more than $2 trillion in goods and services each year.
But these places – Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific islands and tribal lands – also are encumbered with a host of environmental challenges. While much progress has been made over the last 40 years to reduce smog, improve water quality, clean up hazardous waste and create sustainable, healthy communities, much work remains to achieve the Agency’s co-equal goals of protecting our environment and ensuring public health.
EPA Region 9 Facts
- Region 9 is home to 15% of the total population of the United States, and three of the fastest-growing states in the nation.
- Our 147 tribes account for 25% of the total Native population of the United States, and 50% of all tribal lands nationwide.
- A full 61% of the lands in Region 9 are federally owned, and our partnerships with local, state, and other federal agencies of primary importance to accomplishing our mission.
- Region 9 is host to 25% of the nation’s dairies, employs 25% of the nation’s agricultural workers, and produces 50% of the nation’s produce. Other important industries include electronics and technology, forestry, mining, and tourism.
- Region 9 has more Superfund megasites than any other Region.
- We have the largest number of abandoned mines in the country; California alone has 47,000 abandoned mines.
- Includes priority watersheds – the Klamath Basin, which drains 10.5 million acres in California and Oregon; Lake Tahoe, one of the deepest lakes in the world; and the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary, a 4-million acre watershed that covers more than 40% of California.
- 80% of the funds Region 9 is appropriated go out the door as grants; we provide more than 900 grants to states, tribes, and communities.
The Region 9 Strategic Plan outlines the agency’s clear and measurable efforts to build on that strong foundation while also tackling emerging problems such as climate change, marine debris and the development of safe chemicals. Over the next half decade, Region 9 will strive to enforce federal standards governing clean air, clean water, toxics and hazardous waste. The Region is also developing detailed plans for a multi-disciplinary approach to specific geographic sub-regions and populations.
Among the agency’s highest priorities are the I-710 freeway corridor in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley in Central California. In both areas, predominantly minority and low-income populations grapple with some of the poorest air quality in the country. In addition, Region 9 is committed to improving residents’ access to clean drinking water and to ensuring the proper disposal of hazardous waste in these primarily commercial and agricultural zones.
In the Pacific islands, Region 9 has somewhat different aims: among them, addressing the growing impact of climate change, the increasing flow of marine debris, limitations posed by septic water systems, and efforts to clean up large-scale military installations.
Tribal lands, including the Navajo Nation, face similar challenges – namely, the legacy of highly-toxic uranium mining for weapons development. On those lands, EPA Region 9 has outlined a set of clear, attainable benchmarks for cleaning up these sites and protecting the nation’s critical natural resources for future generations.
2011 was an impressive year for Region 9. Our office ordered responsible parties to spend tens of millions of dollars to clean up hazardous Superfund sites; proposed a plan to reduce emissions from a Four Corners power plant by almost 90%; pioneered a clean-tech groundwater clean-up and leveraged millions in grants to improve water quality in the Napa River, the lifeblood of Wine Country.
Over the past four decades, Region 9 has spent billions of dollars and millions of staff hours to maintain and safeguard our most precious resources: the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we treasure.
For more information about our work in past years, please see our Annual Region 9 Progress Reports
This EPA Region 9 Strategic Plan identifies the measurable environmental and human health outcomes the public can expect this year and, in some cases, the next three years, and describes how we intend to achieve those results. The Plan reflects a commitment to our core values of science, transparency, and the rule of law in managing our programs.
This document was developed by Region 9 to advance former Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s seven priorities and EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. EPA submitted the Agency’s National Strategic Plan on September 30, 2010 to the Congress and to the Office of Management and Budget.
EPA’s national 2010-2015 Strategic Plan sets forth five major goals plus five “cross-cutting fundamental strategies” to determine EPA’s work nationwide:
- Goal 1: Taking Action on Climate Change and Improving Air Quality
- Goal 2: Protecting America’s Waters
- Goal 3: Cleaning Up Communities and Advancing Sustainable Development
- Goal 4: Ensuring the Safety of Chemicals and Preventing Pollution
- Goal 5: Enforcing Environmental Laws
- Strategy 1: Expanding the conversation on environmentalism
- Strategy 2: Working for environmental justice and children’s health
- Strategy 3: Advancing science, research, and technological innovation
- Strategy 4: Strengthening state, tribal, and international partnerships
- Strategy 5: Strengthening EPA’s workforce and capabilities
The National Plan is available at the FY 2011-2015 EPA Strategic Plan website.
The Region 9 Strategic Plan takes these same goals and applies them to our specific environmental issues here in the Pacific Southwest. Organized similarly to the national Plan, the Region 9 Plan describes our statutory programs first. We then describe several strategies that focus on particular environmental issues, vulnerable populations or geographic areas within the Region that have especially severe impacts. Of course, this Plan cannot describe the thousands of actions EPA Region 9 will take over the course of few years. Rather, it provides guidance and direction for major areas of focus.
What Does EPA Do?
EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment, and our work is mandated by federal environmental laws. The EPA is responsible for implementing many laws, including:
- Clean Air Act
- Clean Water Act
- Safe Drinking Water Act
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, commonly known as Superfund
- Resource, Conservation and Recovery Act
- Toxic Substances Control Act
- Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act
- Oil Pollution Act
- Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
In some cases, EPA directly implements the law. Often it shares authority with another federal agency, or the program may be “delegated” or “authorized” to a state or tribe, meaning that the state or tribe implements the program. In that case, EPA may conduct oversight and enforcement, in addition to providing financial support in the form of grants.