Environmental Protection Agency


What is your agency’s mission and how does supporting research in the Arctic advance that mission?

The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment. We have partnerships with many Arctic and Alaska-based organizations, such as the state of Alaska, Tribal governments, and nonprofit entities such as the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. These partnerships provide funding for activities such as sanitation projects, research projects, and environmental program capacity building and development.

Where would one go to find out what research is being funded by your agency in the Arctic?

Information can be obtained through the Alaska Operations Office and also from the Office of Research and Development through its science portal and Science Matters Newsletter. There is currently no consolidated funding list of funding opportunities for Arctic research.

Where would one go to read about scientific research results from your agency?

EPA's research site provides information on research products, tools, and events. Topic areas include air, water, climate, ecosystems, land and waste management, emergency response, human health, and chemicals.

In terms of budget, approximately how big is your agency’s investment in Arctic research?

Since research is delineated by topic instead of geographic region, EPA’s investment in the Arctic is not tracked.

What are your agency’s funding priorities over the next two years?

Human health research is a priority. The Office of Research and Development's strategic action plans provide more information. In addition to supporting the Office of Research and Development's work on emerging contaminants (PFAS and PFOA) and impacts to water and air quality related to wildfire, EPA Region 10 has identified the following science priorities that relate to the Arctic:

  • Alaska Native Villages, including health risks from landfills, improved waste management techniques, and resilience to environmental change;
  • Harmful algal blooms, including early detection techniques, understanding causes, and reduction of nutrient loading; and
  • Fairbanks air quality, including improving existing models and reducing emissions that form PM 2.5.

How does your agency coordinate and collaborate with other agencies to advance your mission in the Arctic?

EPA collaborations with other agencies are formed on a topic by topic basis, and sometimes project by project. For example, the EPA has coordinated with the Agency for Toxic Disease and Substance Registry to identify emerging and transboundary contaminants in Alaska, and has partnered with Canada, as well as the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and U.S. Coast Guard, to evaluate oil spills in cold water.

Activities in Alaska

Does your agency have office(s) in the Alaska?

EPA has an Alaska Operations Office in Anchorage. Alaska is served by EPA's Region 10 Office located in Seattle. 

Does that office support research?

Several environmental programs are administered out of the Alaska Operations and Region 10 offices, including the Performance Partnership Agreement with the state of Alaska and the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program grants to Tribal governments and Tribal consortia in Alaska. Some of the activities funded through these programs include monitoring transboundary contaminants, compilation of observational science, monitoring of emerging contaminants, and baseline environmental monitoring.

Where can one go to learn more about your agency’s presence in Alaska?

EPA Alaska webpage.


Tim Benner
Physical Scientist
Office of Research and Development

Tami Fordham
EPA Region 10 Alaska Operations Office

External Links

IARPC Collaborations Links