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Federal Environment Agency / Umweltbundesamt, Germany

The Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) is the central scientific authority for environmental protection in Germany. Being under the jurisdiction of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Umweltbundesamt is responsible for protecting the environment and human well-being from adverse environmental hazards. The Agency advises governmental institutions on environmental matters and informs the general public on almost every kind of question concerning environmental protection.


The Federal Environment Agency was established by an act of the Federal German Parliament (Bundestag) on 22 July 1974. Together with the Agency for Nature Conservation and the Office for Radiation Protection, the Umweltbundesamt provides a scientific basis for environmental policy in Germany.

The Federal government has assigned the Agency with a variety of duties which can be divided into the following categories:

  • scientific support to the Federal Ministries for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), Health (BMG), Education and Research (BMBF), Transport, Building and Urban Affairs (BMVBS) on questions regarding environmental protection, including related health matters;
  • implementation of science-based legislation such as the recently established legislation on emissions trading or consent-approval of chemical products;
  • information to the general public about environmental issues.

Budget and number of staff

In 2011 the Agency had a budget of 99 million euros, of which 26 million were allocated to the annual Environmental Research Plan the Agency administrates for the Ministry of the Environment. 

The Agency has about 1,400 employees (2011) working at 13 locations, including seven of the Agency’s monitoring stations. Approximately 800 employees work at the Agency’s headquarters in Dessau.

Areas of responsibility

  • to provide scientific support to the Ministry of Environment on the issues of air pollution control, noise abatement, soil protection, waste management, water management, chemicals control and health related aspects of environmental protection, and assist in the preparation of regulations;
  • to develop and maintain an information system for environmental planning and key environmental documentation;
  • to monitor national air pollution;
  • to provide centralised services for research and development in the Ministry of Environment and coordinate environmental research on the national level;
  • to support the Federal Government in its assessment of environmental impact.


  • Agriculture and foodstuffs industry
  • Air and Air Pollution Control
  • Chemicals policy and pollutants, REACH
  • Climate Change
  • Energy
  • Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Consumption
  • Environmental Data
  • Environmental Economics and Management
  • Environmental Law/Associational Claims
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Environmental and Spatial Planning
  • German Emissions Trading Authority
  • Health and Environmental Hygiene
  • International Environmental Protection, Antarctic
  • Noise
  • Products
  • Resource Conservation
  • Soil and Contaminated Sites
  • Technology – Processes and Safety
  • Transport
  • Waste management
  • Water, Drinking Water and Water Protection


Website: www.umweltbundesamt.de

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