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Environmental Protection Agency

Headquarters: Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20004

Phone: 202-272-0167
Employees: 17,278
Administrator: Lisa Jackson

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The Environmental Protection Agency leads the nation's environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts. The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

The agency develops and enforces regulations, gives out grants, studies environmental issues and teaches people about the environment.

Nearly half of the EPA budget goes into grants to state environmental programs, non-profits, educational institutions, and others. They use the money for a wide variety of projects, from scientific studies that help the EPA make decisions to community cleanups.

The EPA employs 17,000 people across the country, including at headquarters offices in Washington, DC, 10 regional offices, and more than a dozen labs.

The EPA staff is highly educated and technically trained; more than half are engineers, scientists, and policy analysts. In addition, a large number of employees are legal, public affairs, financial, information management and computer specialists.

The EPA has proposed a $8.9 billion budget for fiscal 2012, a 13% decrease from the fiscal 2010 budget of $10.3 billion.


In July of 1970, the White House and Congress worked together to establish the EPA in response to the growing public demand for cleaner water, air and land. The EPA opened its doors on Dec 2, 1970.

Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970. In 1971, the EPA began setting National Air Quality standards.

Prior to the establishment of the EPA, the federal government was not structured to make a coordinated attack on the pollutants that harm human health and degrade the environment. The EPA was assigned the daunting task of repairing the damage already done to the natural environment and to establish new criteria to guide Americans in making a cleaner environment a reality.

Updated April 1, 2011