The principal aim of the OECD Environmental Performance Review (EPR) programme is to help member and selected partner countries improve their individual and collective performance in environmental management by:

  • helping countries assess progress in achieving their environmental goals

  • promoting continuous policy dialogue and peer learning

  • stimulating greater accountability from governments towards each other and public opinion.

This is the third EPR of the United States. It examines the country’s environmental performance since 2010. Progress in achieving domestic objectives and international commitments provides the basis for assessing the United States’ environmental performance. Such objectives and commitments may be broad aims, qualitative goals or quantitative targets. A distinction is made between intentions, actions and results. Assessment of environmental performance is also placed within the context of the United States’ historical environmental record, present state of the environment, physical endowment in natural resources, economic conditions and demographic trends.

The OECD is grateful to the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency for providing information and comments, organising the review mission (19-23 September 2022) and virtual policy mission (14 February 2023), as well as for facilitating contacts inside and outside government institutions. Thanks are also due to all government ministries and agencies, as well as non-governmental organisations, that participated in the missions and provided information or comments.

The participation in the review of the representatives of the two countries engaged in the multi-country assessment of marine litter, Go Kobayashi (Japan) and Rofi Alhanif (Indonesia), is also gratefully acknowledged.

The authors of this report are Kathleen Dominique, Sho Yamasaki and Sarah Miet of the OECD Environment Directorate (Chapter 1) and Tibor Vegh, John Virdin, Zoie Diana, Natalie Dixon, Rachel Karasik, Amy Pickle and Ria Utz of the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability at Duke University (Chapter 2). Nathalie Girouard provided oversight. Carla Bertuzzi and Maria Adelaida Rojas Lleras provided statistical support, Alice Leblanc provided research support, while Lydia Servant provided administrative support. Mark Foss copy-edited the report. Natasha Cline-Thomas provided communications support. Preparation of this report also benefited from inputs and comments from Ruben Bibas, Peter Börkey, Andrew Brown, Ivana Capozza, Elisa Lanzi, Xavier Leflaive, Daniel Ostalé Valriberas, Julia Wanjiru and Frédérique Zegel of the OECD Secretariat. The OECD Working Party on Environmental Performance discussed the draft Environmental Performance Review of the United States at its meeting on 13 April 2023 and approved the Assessment and Recommendations.

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