EPA Research

Strategic Research Action Plans

EPA research provides the solutions the Agency and the nation need to meet today’s complex environmental and human health challenges.

The overall research effort is organized around six highly coordinated national research programs aligned on the core principle of sustainability. Each program is guided by a Strategic Research Action Plan developed by EPA with input from its many internal and external partners and stakeholders.

Science for a Sustainable Future: EPA Research Program Overview

Provides an overview of the six EPA research programs and strategies aligned around the core concept of sustainability. Illustrates how the programs are coordinated to form a seamless, highly efficient, innovative, and responsive overall research portfolio that meets Agency priorities and the environmental and related human health challenges facing the nation.

Science for a Sustainable Future: EPA Research Program Overview 2012-2016

The Strategic Research Action Plans are:


Air, Climate, and Energy

EPA’s Air, Climate, and Energy research program examines the interplay between air pollution, climate change, and the dynamic energy sector to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for improving air quality and taking action on climate change. The results of the research efforts support policies that have far-reaching and positive impact across the nation.

Air, Climate, and Energy Strategic Research Action Plan


Safe and Sustainable Water Resources

EPA’s Safe and Sustainable Water Resources research program provides the science and innovative technologies that the Agency and the nation need to maintain drinking water resources and systems, as well as to protect the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. It uses an integrated, systems approach to support the availability of the clean, adequate, and equitable water supplies necessary for human well-being and resilient aquatic ecosystems.

Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Strategic Research Action Plan


Sustainable and Healthy Communities

How do we meet today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs in ways that are economically viable, beneficial to human health and well-being, and socially just? EPA’s Sustainable and Healthy research program is working to provide the knowledge, data, and tools needed to answer those questions while supporting local communities seeking to become more sustainable. 

Sustainable and Healthy Communities Strategic Research Action Plan


Chemical Safety for Sustainability

Improving the safe production, use, and disposal of chemicals is a major priority in support of actions to protect human health and the environment. The Agency’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability research program provides the decision-support tools needed to meet that priority, while advancing innovative ways to evaluate chemicals, conduct risk management, and prioritize time-critical research.

Chemical Safety for Sustainability Strategic Research Action Plan


Human Health Risk Assessment

Human Health Risk Assessment plays a unique role in serving the needs of EPA programs by incorporating, integrating, and coordinating the use of scientific information as a foundation for regulatory decision-making to meet the Agency’s mission to protect human health and the environment. 

Human Health Risk Assessment Strategic Research Action Plan


Homeland Security

EPA’s Homeland Security research program advances the Agency’s ability to carry out its homeland security responsibilities, including protecting and restoring drinking water supplies and infrastructure, and helping communities become more resilient from acts of terrorism that might involve chemical, biological, or radiological weapons, as well as from natural disasters. 

Homeland Security Strategic Research Action Plan