OSWER to OLEM
In December 2015, the EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) became the Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) with the unchanged mission of restoring land, preventing releases, and conserving resources. The new name reflects the breadth and depth of our programmatic footprint in protecting human health and the environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are we changing our name?
Our programmatic footprint has expanded beyond “solid waste”. We are, and have for some time been, a multi-dimensional office with a critical role in restoring land, preventing releases and conserving resources. “Office of Land” broadly captures our efforts in our cleanup and prevention programs. Our efforts contribute to the preservation and restoration of land. “Emergency Management” describes the prevention, preparedness, and response aspects of our emergency activities. By incorporating “Land” in our new name, we are consistent with other EPA program offices such as Office of Water and Office of Air and Radiation.
What is the new name?
Office of Land and Emergency Management with the unchanged mission of Restoring Land, Preventing Releases, and Conserving Resources. Please view our interactive accomplishments report for more information about our mission and impact. It has great information about OLEM’s impact and all that we do!
When will the name change take effect?
The name change was effective on December 15, 2015.
Will programs change as a result of the name change?
Our programs and work will continue as usual. OLEM will continue to provide policy, guidance and direction for the Agency's emergency response and waste programs; develop guidelines for the disposal of hazardous waste and underground storage tanks; provide technical assistance to all levels of government to establish safe practices in waste management; administer the Brownfields program which supports state and local governments in redeveloping and reusing potentially contaminated sites; manage the Superfund program, which responds to abandoned and active hazardous waste sites and accidental chemical releases; and encourage innovative technologies to address contaminated soil and groundwater.
How much will the name change cost?
We anticipate little or no significant expenses related to the name change.
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