When it comes to regulations the first thing that comes to mind is the government and that is exactly who runs the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). This agency, ran by the Federal government, is led by an administrator who was appointed by the President and approved by Congress.
So I guess the real question is: Why, and how, did the government get involved in the mission to make sure that our planet is not destroyed by its inhabitants and/or emerging technology?
Let us go back in time when Richard Nixon was the President. Before we get into details about his influence in starting the EPA, I believe it is necessary to celebrate his Presidency with some fun random facts:
- In 1970, around the time the EPA was put into motion, Elvis Presley visited Nixon at the White House
- During his time in the White House, we landed on the moon!>/li>
- President Nixon enjoyed yogurt so much that it was flown in from California, every day
- Because of his love for bowling he had a bowling alley installed in the White House and yes it is still there today, but at a different location
Before Richard Nixon stepped into office Congress was overwhelmed with the ongoing concerns from the public regarding human activity along with advancements in technology and the impact the combination had on the environment. Congress could not just let this fly over their heads, something needed to be done. The first step was the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). This specific policy addressed the public’s concerns and was the first to make a national statement that the environment needed to be protected.
With a whole bunch of policies floating around to protect the environment, Richard Nixon (now President) wanted to consolidate these policies and the responsibilities of the Federal Government under one single agency: EPA.
EPA stands for Environmental Protection Agency and is part of the U.S. Federal government created for the main purpose to protect human health as well as the environment.
Control is what was needed in order for the people to feel more secure on this beautiful planet we call home. By the U.S. Federal Government getting involved this showed that they cared about the well being of the people, as well as the environment.
The EPA is responsible for maintaining and enforcing national standards under a variety of environmental laws. Just because the EPA is part of the Federal Government it does not give them any power over the state or local governments. Any law that is implemented by the EPA must be consulted with each state and local government. The EPA will not tell the state and/or local government how to put the law into effect, but they will help them in any way possible to make sure that the law is abided by because it involves the purification of the human race and of the planet. On the other hand if the states do not take these laws seriously they are increasing the risk of not only state pollution but pollution that could affect the world as a whole. It is in their best interest to make sure that they follow the EPA’s laws over and beyond the best of their ability.
The EPA does not only implement laws related to the overall health and well being of humans and the planet. The agency participates in a wide variety of pollution prevention programs and energy conservation efforts in order to make sure their mission is heard and accessible to everyone. By setting national standards for states to enforce through their own regulations the EPA is implying that they will work with any government/organization/business etc. and share information to help with the overall mission of protecting the planet and the population.
Did you know that half of the EPA’s budget goes to state environmental programs, non-profits, and many other projects to help the overall mission of the EPA?
Now the question is what exactly do they control? Or better yet; what do they regulate aside from heating and air conditioning products or any product with an EnergyStar labels?
- Air quality – They develop and research pollution control strategies
- Oil Pollution – The main focus is on spill prevention and control. All oil or oil product facilities are educated and regulated to make sure that if there is a spill what can be done to clean it up and what can also be done to prevent it
- Drinking water – Believe it or not the EPA makes it a top priority that each state ensures safe drinking water for the public by setting standards of which more than 160,000 public water systems must adhere to
- Nuclear contamination – Today the EPA has a total of 7 projects, possibly even more, of which all protect the public from any form of nuclear contamination (i.e. waste management program)
- Fuel Economy – Put simply, all automobiles in the USA are required, by the EPA, to provide fuel economy results for all vehicles in order to make sure that excess carbon from the exhaust does not happen (if it was not regulated it would be the main factor of extreme air pollution)
- Pesticides – They must all be registered and approved by the EPA. By meeting the EPA’s standards they prove to be no harm to the environment or the people.
When it all comes down to it the main goal of the EPA is to make sure the environment and the people are safe by not being a “secret” agency. Ensuring the health and well being of the planet as a whole means that the public needs to be knowledgeable and aware of the idea that pollution does happen but it can and will be reduced by making sure that anything from appliances to companies are expected to meet certain regulations.
The EPA is more than willing to share their information and advice on how to prevent pollution or what products are more energy efficient. Our knowledge on how to prevent the downfall of this planet will be carried to those who come after us.
It all starts with us; the EPA is just here to make sure that we spread the word across the nation.
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