Whether you are a critic or a believer in the global warming, it’s time to have your say; the Environmental Protection agency is formally moving forward with its “Climate Change Adaptation Plan.”
On Friday, the EPA began accepting public comment on its 55-page draft plan to amend its operations and implement new regulation in the name of fighting rising sea levels, melting ice and extreme weather the agency believes are the result of higher global temperatures.
From the EPA plan:
It is in this rapidly changing world that EPA is working to fulfill its mission to protect human health and the environment. Many of the outcomes EPA is working to attain (e.g., clean air, safe drinking water) are sensitive to changes in weather and climate. Until now, EPA has been able to assume that climate is relatively stable and future climate will mirror past climate. However, with climate changing more rapidly than society has experienced in the past, the past is no longer a good predictor of the future. Climate change is posing new challenges to EPA’s ability to fulfill its mission.
It is essential that EPA adapt to anticipate and plan for future changes in climate. 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. Through climate adaptation planning, EPA will continue to protect human health and the environment, but in a way that accounts for the effects of climate change.
The EPA report says the agency plans to integrate “climate change science trend and scenario information” into its rule-making processes by 2015. The move results from a 2009 government-wide directive from President Obama’s Council on Environmental Quality, which requires agencies to plan now for future climate change.
A 60-day public comment period on the EPA’s upcoming changes began Friday. You can read the full 55-page plan here.