Sunday, 03 March 2024 17:01

EPA launches new office to strengthen engagement with agricultural and rural communities Featured

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WASHINGTON – March 1, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is establishing a new office to expand engagement opportunities with agricultural and rural communities. The creation of the first-ever EPA Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs represents the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing commitment to improving environmental stewardship and economic opportunity for America’s farmers and ranchers, as well as strengthening the vitality of small towns and rural communities.

“Farmers and ranchers are crucial partners as we work together to deliver clean air, clear water, and climate solutions, all while playing the critical role of ensuring an abundant fiber, fuel and food supply,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “With the launch of this new office, we are ensuring agricultural and rural stakeholders will continue to have a seat at the table for many years to come.”

Administrator Regan announced the creation of the new office alongside U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack while delivering remarks at the 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston, Texas, the largest farmer-led annual convention in the country. He is the first EPA Administrator in history to attend the seminal event.

The new Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will be led by Rod Snyder, who has served as Administrator Regan’s Senior Advisor for Agriculture since October 2021. The new office will expand on the work of the Ag Advisor and increase coordination with a network of existing agriculture policy advisors located in all ten EPA regional offices across the country.

In close coordination with EPA’s program offices and regions, the office will forge practical, science-based solutions that protect the environment while ensuring a vibrant and productive agricultural system. In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Rural Partners Network, the new office will also collaborate with small, underserved towns and rural communities that are seeking federal investments in infrastructure upgrades and other community improvement opportunities.

Additionally, the new office will facilitate closer coordination with relevant federal and state partners such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and state departments of agriculture. The office will also house EPA’s existing Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC). The Committee provides independent policy recommendations to Administrator Regan on a range of policies that impact agriculture and rural communities.

Please visit the Office of Agriculture and Rural Affairs website for more information.

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