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EPA Plain Writing

Clear air... clear water... it all depends on clear writing.

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 requires federal agencies to use “clear government communication that the public can understand and use.”

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency writing should reflect thoughts and ideas with clarity and in an organized manner.

EPA employees make decisions that ultimately affect the lives of millions of Americans. If the EPA fails to communicate these decisions or if the decision-making process appears confusing, then protecting human health and the environment will become even more difficult.

Simple writing does not mean simplistic writing. Plain writing does not advocate for the shortening of agency writing. Rather, it advocates for writing that is straightforward, clear and precise. Language that is colloquial, such as what one might use in conversation or in a letter to a friend, is not appropriate when writing to the public. Plain writing does not always mean substituting simple words at the expense of more accurate, appropriate words or removing complex information to make your writing more reader-friendly. Sometimes it is necessary to include complex information in your writing, but plain writing will help ensure it is accessible and will be understood.


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