Public Involvement Policy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


EPA has long been committed to public involvement. The fundamental premise of this Policy is that EPA should continue to provide for meaningful public involvement in all its programs, and consistently look for new ways to enhance public input. EPA staff and managers should seek input reflecting all points of view and should carefully consider this input when making decisions. They also should work to ensure that decision-making processes are open and accessible to all interested groups, including those with limited financial and technical resources, English proficiency, and/or past experience participating in environmental decision-making. Such openness to the public increases EPA's credibility, improves the Agency's decision-making processes, and informs its final decisions. At the same time, EPA should not accept any recommendation or proposal without careful, critical examination. This Policy supplements, but does not amend, existing EPA regulations that prescribe specific public participation requirements applicable to EPA's activities under specific statutes, such as those found at 40 CFR Part 25 "Public Participation in Programs Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Clean Water Act." The public participation requirements contained in such regulations specify the minimum required level of public participation. (A partial listing of existing public participation regulatory requirements is contained in Appendix 3.) Whenever feasible, Agency officials should strive to provide increased opportunities for public involvement above and beyond the minimum regulatory requirements.


37 pages; available for download at the link below.


public participation, public outreach, environmental policy, environmental protection