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Policy & Guidance
The EPA has primary responsibility for enforcing many of the environmental statutes and regulations of the United States. As such, the Agency is granted explicit enforcement authority in environmental statutes. Sometimes, however, that authority needs to be further refined or explained. In such cases, EPA may develop and implement policies and write guidance. In addition, EPA sometimes issues policy or guidance to encourage compliance with environmental requirements.
Policy documents represent EPA's official interpretation or view of specific issues. Guidance documents are published to further clarify regulations and to assist in implementation of environmental regulations.
Significant Guidance Documents:
EPA maintains a list of significant guidance documents as called for by the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Final Bulletin for Agency Good Guidance Practices (PDF) (23 pp, 158K, About PDF).
Browse the Significant Guidance list:
Other Policy & Guidance Websites:
- Air Enforcement Policy, Guidance and Publications
- OAR Policy and Guidance: documents produced by the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR)
- Radiation Information for Technical Users and the Regulated Community
Find more on EPA’s Air website.
Compliance and Enforcement
Find more on EPA’s Compliance & Enforcement website.
- Emergency Management Policy and Guidance: documents related to preventing oil spills, chemical accidents, and other emergencies, and implement planning and response requirements.
Find more on EPA's Emergency Management website.
Pesticides and Toxic Substances
- Pesticides: Science and Policy: Policy and Guidance: Science policy issues key to the implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA)
- Waste, Chemical and Cleanup Enforcement: Policy, Guidance and Publications
Find pesticides and chemical substances information on EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention website.
- RCRA Guidance, Policy and Resources: guidance documents, policy statements, training modules, and more for the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
- Waste, Chemical and Cleanup Enforcement Policy, Guidance and Publications
Find more on EPA's Waste website.
- Office of Water Policy and Guidance: policy and guidance information for drinking water, NPDES, water quality standards, Clean Water Act Section 404, and fish advisory technical guidance.
- Water Enforcement Policy, Guidance and Publications