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EPA's Region 6 Office

Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations

Our Efforts in Water Based Programs

"The traditional water programs were conceived without an inkling of understanding of the consequences of a changing climate for water resources and the health of aquatic systems. we must "reboot" .reframe and rethink the programs to respond to the realities of climate change." sustainable results." And we must start now.

Benjamin Grumbles; EPA Assistant Administrator for Water [Remarks given @ WEFTEC 2008 (10/21/08)]

Adapting to a Changing Climate: Strategic National Water Program Response

Recognizing the potential effects of climate change (e.g. warming water temperatures, changes in rainfall, and sea level rise) and the possibility for them to significantly impact many of our core water programs, EPA started work on development of a proactive strategy in early 2007. The National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change was formally released on September 30, 2008.

Key Impacts

Potential impacts of climate change on water resources reviewed in the strategy include increases in certain water pollution problems, variations in location, duration, and intensity of precipitation, changes in availability of drinking water supplies, modified aquatic biology and habitats, sea level rise, and collective impacts on coastal areas (e.g. shoreline movement, wetlands displacement).

EPA Signs Joint Memorandum

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Key Response Actions:
  • Mitigation of greenhouse gases
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Research related to water and climate change
  • Education on climate change and impacts on aquatic systems
  • Water program management of climate change
Learn more about how climate change from EPA's national water program strategy. For a broader overview of water issues, visit EPA's national page on water resources.

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Climate Change Objectives for the EPA Region 6 Water Programs

Our Clean Energy and Climate Change Strategy outlines how EPA Region 6 will use our position as a regional environmental leader to promote innovative approaches to clean energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions. The Region 6 Water Quality Protection Division's climate change activities currently focus on Coastal Zones and Seal Level Rise, the WaterSense Program, and Geosequestration.

Coastal Zones and Sea Rise Issues

Coastal zones are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Key concerns include sea level rise, land loss, changes in maritime storms and flooding, responses to sea level rise and implications for water resources. Region 6 has been responding to dramatic coastal land loss for many years. Eustatic sea level rise is but one of a number of interacting causative agents.

On the TX & LA shores we expect to see more of the same types of land submersion & erosion impacts. From the seaward side, we need to be prepared for increasing risks of exposure to hurricanes. From the landward side, we expect to see increased ecological stresses from changes in the timing & intensity of precipitation.

In response, we are promoting landscape scale coastal protection projects. By the end of 2008, we will complete the engineering designs for a barrier island restoration project & a Mississippi River pipeline sediment delivery project. Together, these projects will restore 800 acres of coastal habitat.

Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act (CWPPRA)

Louisiana currently accounts for 90% of the nation's coastal marsh loss.  The Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conservation and Restoration Task Force Web siteExit EPA Disclaimer contains information and links relating to coastal restoration projects in coastal Louisiana.  This program constructs coastal restoration and enhancement projects in areas of Louisiana subject to the effects of sea level rise.   Visit the EPA Region 6 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection & Restoration site to learn more about coastal land loss and our coastal restoration projects.

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Climate Ready Estuaries

The Climate Ready Estuaries program is a partnership between EPA and the National Estuary Programs (NEPs) to address climate change in coastal areas.  This effort brings together EPA’s Oceans and Coastal Protection Division and Climate Change Division to build additional capacity in the NEPs and other coastal communities as they prepare to adapt to the effects of climate change.

R6 CONTACT:   Barbara Keeler
Coastal and Wetlands Planning Coordinator
(214) 665-6698 or email: keeler.barbara@epa.gov

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EPA Water Sense

The WaterSense Program

WaterSense is a voluntary partnership program sponsored by EPA, and seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by promoting water efficiency and enhancing the market for water-efficient products, programs, and practices. EPA is building WaterSense as a national brand for water efficiency. The brand is more than just a product label; it is a symbol that represents the importance of water efficiency in the United States.  Learn how you can become a WaterSense partner.

The WaterSense Current is a quarterly update dedicated to news and events related to WaterSense. Sign up to receive a quarterly e-mail update of the WaterSense Current.

WaterSense is making it easy to find and select water-efficient products with a label backed by independent testing and certification.  Look for the WaterSense label on high efficiency toilets, showerheads, bathroom sink faucets, irrigation control units . . . , even new construction homes!

Learn about some of the most important environmental benefits of water efficiency, and other water conservation/efficiency programs.

R6 CONTACT: Debora Browning
WaterSense Liasion
(214) 665-8025 or email: browning.debora@epa.gov

EPA WaterSense Logo

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Geologic Sequestration

Carbon dioxide (CO2) can be captured at stationary sources such as a coal-fired electric generating power plant, and injected underground for long term storage in a process called geologic sequestration.  In its Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and StorageExit EPA Disclaimer, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identified carbon dioxide capture and geologic sequestration as one of several options (including energy efficiency and renewable energy) that have the potential to reduce climate change mitigation costs and increase flexibility in achieving greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Regulatory Development

In July 2008, EPA published proposed Federal Requirements under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program for Carbon Dioxide Geologic Sequestration Wells for public review and comment.  EPA held hearings to solicit public comment on the proposed regulations for geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide on September 30, 2008 at the EPA Region 5 Office in Chicago, IL and on October 2, 2008 in Denver, CO at the Colorado Convention Center.  The public comment period closed on December 24, 2008, and EPA regulations workgroup is currently reviewing the submitted comments. EPA's goal is to have final Federal Requirements under the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program for Carbon Dioxide Geologic Sequestration Wells promulgated by 2011.

For more information on the regulatory development of this rule, visit EPA’s Geologic Sequestration web page.

The Department of Energy provides informationExit EPA Disclaimer on events and projects related to geologic sequestration.  Learn how the Department of Energy has created a network of seven Regional Carbon Sequestration PartnershipsExit EPA Disclaimer to help develop the technology, infrastructure, and regulations to implement large-scale CO2 sequestration in different regions and geologic formations within the Nation.

R6 CONTACT:   Brian Graves
Land Ban Coordinator
(214) 665-7193 or email: graves.brian@epa.gov

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