EPA Protects Human Health & The Environment

William Hungerford, in his recent article “Three Bad Bills“, reported on the House actions which seem to weaken the EPA. With that in mind, this is the first article in a series which examines the EPA and it’s role in our society.

epaThe Environmental Protection Agency grew out of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 which President Nixon signed on January 1, 1970.  The NEPA outlined the national policy to protect the environment. By an Executive Order, Nixon combined the NEPA and other environmental laws to form the Environmental Protection Agency. Congress authorized Nixon’s re-organizational plan.

The EPA mission statement includes: ” establishment and enforcement of environmental protection standards consistent with national environmental goals… The conduct of research on the adverse effects of pollution and on methods and equipment for controlling it; the gathering of information on pollution; and the use of this information in strengthening environmental protection programs and recommending policy changes… assisting others, through grants, technical assistance and other means, in arresting pollution of the environment… assisting the Council on Environmental Quality in developing and recommending to the President new policies for the protection of the environment.”

The EPA’s purpose is to protect human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress. (Congress authorized the EPA to be a ‘regulatory agency’). That is an important concept—the Legislative Branch passes laws. The Executive Branch, lead by the President, enforces them. When Congress created the environmental laws, the President needed to create the means to enforce them.

The EPA is charged to administer 23 Acts  and 3 Executive Orders that protects human health and the environment. There are 11 laws and Executive Orders that control the EPA’s regulatory process.

Besides regulating the laws, the EPA enforces them. It deals with different types of   enforcement categories, including: Civil enforcement, Criminal enforcement, Cleanup enforcements and federal facilities enforcements. Their website’s “Enforcement” section  defines each category. The EPA is also responsible to justify the type of enforcement actions it has chosen, along with the results of their actions.

EPA fosters the use of science and technology and conducts leading-edge research  to protect human health and safeguards the natural environment. The topics the EPA deals with include: Air; Climate Change; Ecosystems; Health; Land, Waste and Cleanup; Pesticides; Substances and Toxics; Sustainable Practices; and Water.

The EPA has an important and massive task– “to protect human health and the environment.” Notice it said human health, not corporate wealth.

From Fiscal Year 2010 to Fiscal Year 2013, Congress has reduced the EPA’s budget by 23.3%, and the staff by 7.9%.  That roughly coincides when the republicans took over the House. The EPA regulates. Corporations do not like regulations. House Republicans protect the corporate interests.

Who protects the constituents’ interests?

EPA Series

About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
This entry was posted in Constituents, Economics, Environmental, EPA, Hydrofracking/Gas& Oil Industry. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to EPA Protects Human Health & The Environment

  1. whungerford says:

    I am eagerly anticipating Part II.


  2. Pingback: EPA’s Science Advisory Board and HR 1422 | New NY 23rd

  3. Pingback: A look at Rep. Reed’s Proposed Bills | New NY 23rd

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