About EPA

About the Office of Policy (OP)

What We Do

Located in the Office of the Administrator, the Office of Policy (OP) is the primary policy arm of EPA. We work with our EPA colleagues to support Agency priorities and enhance decision-making. We provide multi-disciplinary analytic skills, management support, and special expertise in five areas:

  • regulatory policy and management,
  • environmental economics,
  • strategic environmental management,
  • sustainable communities, and
  • climate adaptation.


Joel Beauvais, Associate Administrator

Shannon Kenny, Principal Deputy Associate Administrator

Alex Barron, Deputy Associate Administrator

The Office of Policy includes:

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Office of Regulatory Policy and Management (ORPM)

What We Do

EPA issues regulations to carry out the environmental and public health protection laws passed by Congress. On average, we issue about 150 new regulations each year. We manage the regulatory development process via OP's Office of Regulatory Policy and Management (ORPM), which provides support and guidance to EPA's program and Regional offices as they develop their regulations. ORPM also provides information and tools to offices throughout EPA that help them analyze their programs and seek out ways to improve their performance.

  • Policy and regulatory analysis - ORPM advises the Administrator's Office and other senior Agency decision-makers on regulatory and policy development; manages the Agency's policy priority agenda; conducts timely and effective policy analysis; and ensures Agency decision processes are invested with high quality information.  ORPM assists the Administrator's Office in executing the Administrator's priorities, such as climate adaptation, environmental justice, children's health, and achieving greater regulatory transparency.
  • Regulatory management - ORPM manages EPA's action development and review process, provides comprehensive action development training for EPA staff and managers, and provides procedural and analytical support to help EPA consider the impact of its actions on small entities and state and local governments.
  • Rulemaking Gateway - ORPM maintains the EPA-wide Rulemaking Gateway. The Gateway provides information to the public on the status of EPA's priority rulemakings. It displays information as soon as we being working on a rule and follows the evolution of a rule throughout the rulemaking process.
  • Small Business Advocacy Chair - ORPM's Office Director serves as EPA's Small Business Advocacy Chair (SBAC). The SBAC is responsible for guidance and oversight of the Agency's implementation of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and serves as the permanent chair of all Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panels.
  • Laws and Regulations – ORPM maintains the EPA-wide Laws and Regulations website, which provides general information about the laws we administer, the regulations we are developing, and how we write regulations.

Programs and projects managed by the Office of Regulatory Policy and Management

Mail code: 1806A | EPA mailing addresses

Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

ORPM Organization

Alex Cristofaro, Director

  • Phone: 202-564-4332

William Nickerson, Acting Associate Director

  • Phone: 202-564-4332

The Office of Regulatory Policy Management includes:

Regulatory Management Division

  • Nicole Owens, Director
    • Phone: 202-564-5480

Policy and Regulatory Analysis Division

  • Sarah Rees, Director
    • Phone: 202-564-5480

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National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE)

What We Do

Economics is one of the basic sciences that routinely guides EPA decision-making. The National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE) specializes in analyzing the costs, benefits, and economic impacts of environmental regulations and policies. NCEE is recognized for identifying and pursuing new research to develop improved methods for measuring the economic consequences of environmental outcomes. NCEE is a resource for quality analysis in many ways.

  • Consultants to the Agency - NCEE helps EPA programs perform sound economic and risk analysis and promotes consistency across the Agency. To do this, NCEE provides regulatory review support for economically significant rules, provides training on economic analysis guidance, assessing exposures and risks, quantitative uncertainty analysis and related issues as requested. NCEE also helps represent good analysis to OMB.
  • Guidance for Economic Analysis – To promote consistency and quality in EPA’s economic studies, NCEE works with economists from across the Agency to develop guidance materials, including Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses and more specialized documents such as the Children’s Health Valuation Handbook.
  • Enhancing EPA’s Economic Tools – NCEE develops data and methods for benefit and cost assessments by targeting priority needs across the Agency for research and analysis. For example, NCEE conducts research on the latest issues in climate change economics (e.g., effect of uncertainty in climate sensitivity on GHG benefits estimates, social cost of carbon, intergenerational discounting, safety valve). NCEE promotes efforts across the agency and elsewhere to improve the quality and reliability of economic information and analysis, and to keep EPA analysts abreast of advances in the field.
  • Linking Science and Policy – NCEE staff scientists review and provide risk assessment information to support economic analyses and inform policy. This work improves EPA’s ability to evaluate risks to public health and the environment in the context of economic analysis. In addition, NCEE collaborates with other Agency offices to analyze relationships between environmental pollution and human health, and to develop environmental health indicators reported in the America’s Children and the Environment reports.
  • Support for Academic Research  – NCEE communicates EPA’s economic research priorities to economists across the nation through workshops, working papers, and seminars, helping outside researchers identify topics pertinent to the Agency’s needs. NCEE also jointly conducts and funds research in these areas through grants and cooperative agreements with universities and other research institutions. Through these and related efforts NCEE serves as a Nexus for academic research in environmental economics

Programs and projects managed by the National Center for Environmental Economics

Mail code: 1809T | EPA mailing addresses

Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

NCEE Organization

Al McGartland, Director

  • Phone: 202-566-2244

Nathalie Simon, Deputy Director

  • Phone: 202-566-2244

The National Center for Environmental Economics includes:

Benefits Assessment and Methods Development Division

  • Brett Snyder, Director

Research and Program Support Division

  • Jenny Bowen, Director

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Office of Strategic Environmental Management (OSEM)

The Office of Strategic Environmental Management helps EPA and others improve the effectiveness and efficiency of current programs and make strategic policy and governance changes necessary to meet the Agency’s goals in the future through analysis of emerging issues, program evaluation, and deployment of strategic management practices.

  • Program Analysis – OSEM provides direct support to the Deputy Administrator, as COO, to improve EPA management and operations; convenes national meetings of Agency leadership (e.g., Executive Management Council) to address key management and policy issues and to review metrics to drive progress toward Agency goals; Analyzes and synthesizes measurement and other information on program activities and policies to advance data-driven decision-making and to support a structured review of Agency progress; Identifies and deploys strategic management practices to continually improve Agency programs.

  • Program Evaluation - OSEM houses the Agency’s centralized evaluation unit; maintains a portfolio of evaluations that are systematic studies designed to objectively assess programs’ efficiency, cost-effectiveness, outcomes, and/or impacts; provides skilled program evaluation staff, operating free of inappropriate influence and not engaged in program advocacy; manages EPA’s improvements to evaluation capacity per OMB’s Evaluation Initiative.

  • Analysis, Coordination and Leadership on Emerging Cross-Cutting Policy Issues - OSEM manages and provides Agency-wide support in the form of analysis, coordination and leadership to address emerging, cross-cutting policy issues; provides analysis, coordination and leadership on emerging environmental issues that fall outside traditional programs; and coordinates Agency response on cross-cutting administration or interagency efforts.

Programs and projects managed by the Office of Strategic Environmental Management

Historical Information

Mail code: 1807T | EPA mailing addresses

Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

OSEM Organization

Sandra Connors, Director

The Office of Strategic Environmental Management includes:

Integrated Environmental Strategies Division

Strategic Management Division

Evaluation Support Division

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Office of Sustainable Communities (OSC)

What We Do

The Office of Sustainable Communities (OSC) collaborates with other EPA programs; federal agencies; regional, state, and local governments; and a broad array of nongovernmental partners to help communities become stronger, healthier, and more sustainable through smarter growth and green building. This work helps to address the Agency’s priorities for water, air and the cleaning up of communities and substantially furthers the Administration’s objectives with respect to environmental justice.

Programs and projects managed by the Office of Sustainable Communities

Mail code: 1807T | EPA mailing addresses

Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

OSC Organization

Matthew Dalbey, Office Director

The Office of Sustainable Communities includes:

Federal and State Division (FSD)

Community Assistance and Research Division (CARD)

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Climate Change Adaptation Planning and Implementation

What We Do

EPA must adapt to anticipate and plan for future changes in climate to ensure its programs, policies, rules and operations continue to be effective under future climatic conditions. The Office of Policy provides cross-agency coordination and leadership on climate change adaptation, and is leading a cross-EPA Work Group on Climate Change Adaptation Planning that has developed and is implementing a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for EPA. This effort also supports the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force (established under Executive Order 13514 on “Federal Leadership in Energy, Environment and Economic Performance”), which called for all federal agencies to establish and implement climate change adaptation action plans that address the challenges posed by climate change to their missions, operations, and programs.

Programs and Projects

  • Represent EPA on Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force.
  • Co-chair the Task Force's Agency Adaptation Work Group, responsible for preparing guidance and other activities to support and monitor the mainstreaming of adaptation planning across the Federal Government.
  • Integrate climate adaptation into EPA's programs, policies, rules and operations to ensure they are effective under future climatic conditions.
  • Strengthen the adaptive capacity of EPA staff and partners in states, tribes, and local communities through training and the development of decision-support tools.
  • Communicate the importance of climate adaptation for EPA's mission and provide training and decision-support tools to EPA personnel.
  • Address the Environmental Justice implications of climate change impacts and climate adaptation strategies.
  • Integrate climate adaptation, sustainability, and Smart Growth activities.
  • Assess priority socioeconomic issues related to climate adaptation, including barriers to effective adaptation, co-benefits of adaptation and mitigation strategies, and potential "maladaptation" (i.e., unintended consequences).

Mail code: 1804A | EPA mailing addresses

Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

Climate Change Adaptation Contacts

  • Dr. Joel Scheraga, Senior Advisor for Climate Adaptation
  • Phone: 202-564-3385
  • Dr. Gerald Filbin, Team Leader
  • Phone: 202-566-2182

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