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EPA Research

About the Regional Sustainability and Environmental Sciences Research Program

EPA's research program is a critical part of implementing the Agency’s mission to protect public health and the environment. It is strategically designed to directly support our programs and regulations while also being responsive and nimble to deliver the science and technology our partners need to solve emerging, high-priority environmental and related public health needs.

The RESES program, led by the Sustainable and Healthy Communities National Research Program within EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD), matches Agency scientific and technical expertise with high-priority, short-term research needs in each of the Agency’s ten Regions across the nation. The RESES program has helped Regions respond to state, local and Tribal interests in addressing priority science issues such as waste materials management. Approaches include development of methods, use of science-based tools and multi-stakeholder engagement. RESES has also provided resources for developing innovative regional approaches that can then be used on a national scale. It has supported citizen science projects to address community concerns such as air pollution.

By design, RESES emphasizes collaboration and partnerships to deliver targeted science that can inform Agency and local decision-making. Projects are funded through an internal (EPA-only) annual solicitation for proposals. This year's program encouraged proposals focused on science and technology to:

  • ​Clean up contaminated sites
  • Reduce the burden of contamination
  • Support community resilience and revitalization

RESES Impacts

  • Since the inception of RESES in 2012, the program has funded over 40 projects across all ten EPA regions.  These projects have informed communities in 34 states and Puerto Rico.  The RESES program has enabled collaborations among ORD, Regions, and Program Offices to solve on-the-ground science challenges.
  • Helped Regions respond to states’ interests in addressing issues of concern with new tools and multi-stakeholder engagement.
  • Provided resources for developing innovative regional tools for use on a national scale.
  • Supported Regional-ORD collaboration on citizen science projects to address community concerns like air pollution.

Projects have influenced stakeholder decisions or actions by EPA, states, local government, community organizations, and others. Often, these stakeholders are direct participants in project, acting as core work team members, in and advisory capacity, or participating in specific events held by project teams.