2006 Annual Priorities Report
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
View the Updated Region 10 Environmental Strategy
Priorities are provocative. For instance, should one always choose protecting human health over restoring and maintaining the environment? Does one opt for protecting more people who are moderately at risk or fewer people exposed to more profound hazards? We are rarely confronted with issues sharply cast in black or white, and we reject the impulse to make ‘either/or’ choices. In all, we are responsible for both respecting the abundant complexity of the issues spread out before us and focusing on those where we can and must make the greatest difference.
Priorities are useful. Priorities not only naturally mass resources to get work done, they attract the sort of notice that opens doors to new sources of capacity and capability. In committing to sustained and active purpose, priorities can also protect an organization against the whipsawing effects that volatile, short-term issues and events can induce. Finally, priorities affect the way organizations perceive and exploit opportunity by viewing the wide field of information through a more focused lens.
This document describes the seven environmental priorities established by EPA Region 10 for its work in the Pacific Northwest. It outlines our reasons for their selection, what we hope to accomplish, what we plan to do, and how we will measure our progress.
It would be fair to ask why we have bothered to establish priorities at all.
Priorities are necessary. The demands of modern life require all of us to set priorities of one sort or another in our everyday lives. EPA is no different. The challenges we regularly face in protecting human health and the environment and in providing assistance and value to the public we serve, frequently outstrip our capacity to respond with a satisfying level of quality or timeliness. At their core, the priorities we select are the product of increasingly hard choices calculated to deliver the greatest positive difference in the safety and quality of the environment in which our citizens live.