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Cross-Cutting Fundamental Strategies: Share Your Ideas!

2010 June 28

Since 1997, EPA has developed four Strategic Plans, which chart the Agency’s path in protecting the environment and human health. I am especially excited to introduce the Draft FY 2011-2015 EPA Strategic Plan, and to invite you to share your ideas on a new and innovative element of the Strategic Plan: the Cross-Cutting Fundamental Strategies.

For me, the Cross-Cutting Fundamental Strategies are about changing the very fabric of our Agency, including what we do and how we do it. Inspired by the Administrator’s priorities and the ethos of accountability, openness, and inclusion that guide EPA’s work, the Cross-Cutting Fundamental Strategies articulate and set a framework for our commitment to:

  • Expanding the conversation on environmentalism
  • Working for environmental justice and children’s health
  • Advancing science, research, and technological innovation
  • Strengthening state, tribal, and international partnerships
  • Strengthening EPA’s workforce and capabilities

Through our Discussion Forum, we are using web 2.0 technologies to provide a space for your engagement in the development of the Cross-Cutting Fundamental Strategies. Each week, we will be hosting a focused discussion around one of the Strategies. Your feedback will be used by senior Agency leaders who are “championing” the Strategies as we implement ideas and actions to tangibly change the way we do our work.

I am eager to hear your ideas on the Cross-Cutting Fundamental Strategies Discussion Forum— please share your input!

About the author: Kathy O’Brien is the Director of EPA’s Office of Planning, Analysis, and Accountability and leads the efforts to develop and measure progress towards the Agency’s Strategic Plan. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two daughters.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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5 Responses leave one →
  1. Tom Rothschild permalink
    June 28, 2010

    Thank you. I would like to know more about how you evaluate waste water from various industries? Do you have any books you recommend I find at the library, on the subject?
    I would also like to know if more clean water emptied from rivers into the ocean, would it have a cooling effect, besides improving the ocean’s quality, in general? If we could double the amount of clean water emptying into the ocean, would the difference be measurable?

  2. Mrunal Ahirrao permalink
    June 28, 2010

    To protect our environment, we should try to educate some countries of world about the future coming environmental threats.This education may be done strictly or softly.Because some developed nations are having well discipline about environment but some developing nations are having special environmental laws but those laws are not taken into considerations for the sake of corruption.So we should first mould this nations and then make a try to save environment.Because we are the not only living on this planet they are also living.

  3. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    June 28, 2010

    The cross-cutting strategies sound like a terrific way to blowup old silos and improve communications up-down-across organizational lines at the EPA which will be one major benefit. Another will be improving the communications between different agencies that share responsibilities for a common issue or set of issues. Too often in the past, one agency or department or branch was only concerned with the part of a problem it had specific jurisdiction for and did not concern itself with the problem as a whole or with working with other agencies having a responsibility over the same problem. Too often, there was duplication, overlap, re-inventing the wheel, and contradictory and/or confusing regulations. The new initiative is a perfect vehicle to right past wrongs by creating system improvement. This is great. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  4. David R Derbowka permalink
    July 28, 2010

    We really do not need to reinvent the wheel. But I believe there are ways to live more within the confines of creation. Mankind is part of the environment, but may need to understand creation’s workings better. We just have not adapted to; or respected planet’s requirements.
    Trees grow using various types of polluted water, ie: hydrocarbon pollution within water and soil. Using the sun’s energy to create fiber outside of the food chain specifically to remedy polluted water and saline soils makes sense to me. New methods being perfected expedite ethenol production from wood fiber.
    One third the dry weight of trees is carbon; sequestered from the atmosphere. Cleaner air therefor makes a compelling argument toward wood fiber production as well. Cheers David Derbowka

  5. Jeff Wilson permalink
    March 28, 2012

    I agree with David about not reinventing the wheel, imagine the energy used to perform research and development funded by our government on subjects like, “how many weeds grow out of cracks in concrete”. I’m not saying we need to stop looking for new ways and new technologies to improve energy & resources being wasted , but cut out the grants that are funding research that is obviously wasting more energy performing the research then the results will ever save. How about using that money for more incentives to make people want to invest in energy saving programs that cost so much that before it’s paid for itself in savings, it would brake or fail and need to be replaced. For example wind generators that break and solar water heating panels that lines break or who knows what, I’m in the auto motive industry and parts designed to last for tens of thousands of miles break just out of warranty.
    I live in Phoenix, AZ, and just a little common sense would save tons, how about running cold water lines deep under ground to help cool and hot water lines close to the surface to heat in homes. Not much extra cost, but good results. Years ago people here in Arizona understood the benefits of building homes partially below ground to help with heating and cooling out her, but have gone away from that way of building new homes. Even raising the required amount of insulation on west facing walls to reduce the A/C needed to keep those rooms cooler. We are constantly being told to landscape with low water use desert type landscapes, but never actually informing residents on how to best do this. Most people installing desert landscapes out here, toss out a couple of cacti and some dead looking shrubs with some type of gravel. How about letting people know that if they create a landscape with small dips and valleys, as opposed to a flat yard where water runs off into the street, (much better looking as well) they could capture the rain water. Even letting them know about GREEN trees and shrubs that can help not only catch water, but can provide shade for a home or even to help cool the ground. And how about a thicker less heat attracting ground cover to help retain the water for the greenery. Simple common sense ideas that would go a long way. Thanks for letting me rant a bit, I am proud of what we have accomplished as a country, but we have a ways to go, Jeff

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