ozone nonattainment). As it grapples with climate change, this type of research would give the agency better understanding of interactions between climate change and air quality with respect to both atmospheric responses and opportunities for mitigation.
The Global Change Research Act of 1990 established a framework for federal research that continues today as the US Global Change Research Program. EPA is one of 13 agencies and departments participating in the program and has special responsibility for research to assess consequences of global change for air and water quality, aquatic ecosystems, and human health. EPA is responsible for the greenhouse-gas inventory that the United States submits to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which the United States ratified in 1992. In 2007, the US Supreme Court held that EPA is responsible for regulating greenhouse gas emissions as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act if the administrator finds that the act’s endangerment condition is satisfied. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson made that finding in December 2009. Accordingly, the agency has set greenhouse-gas emission standards for motor vehicles and is moving forward with greenhouse-gas emission regulations for stationary sources. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 required EPA to promulgate requirements for large sources of greenhouse-gas emissions to track and report these emissions.
During the 1970s, key legislation that focused on developing sound policies for protection of surface water and groundwater was passed, including the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Both concentrated on water quality and public health, but the presence of different goals, approaches, and targets led to fragmented water science and research agendas (Table 2-1). It has long been argued that a harmonization of the two acts is needed, and some view a national water quality policy as a threat to or a necessity for achieving secure and safe water supplies and addressing key challenges in the future.
Drivers of Water-Quality Policy
The major drivers for developing national research and science agendas are focused on looming water problems. Since 1970, although understanding of hydrologic systems has advanced, water problems have been overshadowed by the challenges and rapid changes in land use and economic systems (Langpap et