United States Environmental Protection Agency
Seal of the Environmental Protection Agency
Flag of the Environmental Protection Agency
|Formed||December 2, 1970|
William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Annual budget||$8.1 billion (2018)|
The Environmental Protection Agency is an independent agency of the United States federal government for environmental protection. President Richard Nixon proposed the establishment of EPA and it began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an executive order. The order establishing the EPA was ratified by committee hearings in the House and Senate. The agency is led by its Administrator, who is appointed by the President and approved by Congress. The current acting Administrator following the resignation of Scott Pruitt is former Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler. The EPA is not a Cabinet department, but the Administrator is normally given cabinet rank.
The EPA has its headquarters in Washington, D.C., regional offices for each of the agency's ten regions, and 27 laboratories. The agency conducts environmental assessment, research, and education. It has the responsibility of maintaining and enforcing national standards under a variety of environmental laws, in consultation with state, tribal, and local governments. It delegates some permitting, monitoring, and enforcement responsibility to U.S. states and the federally recognized tribes. EPA enforcement powers include fines, sanctions, and other measures. The agency also works with industries and all levels of government in a wide variety of voluntary pollution prevention programs and energy conservation efforts.
In 2018, the agency had 14,172 full-time employees. More than half of EPA's employees are engineers, scientists, and environmental protection specialists; other employees include legal, public affairs, financial, and information technologists. In 2017 the Trump administration proposed a 31% cut to the EPA's budget to $5.7 billion from $8.1 billion and to eliminate a quarter of the agency jobs. However, this cut was not approved by Congress.
The Environmental Protection Agency can only act under statutes, which are the authority of laws passed by Congress. Congress must approve the statute and they also have the power to authorize or prohibit certain actions, which the EPA has to implement and enforce. Appropriations statutes authorize how much money the agency can spend each year to carry out the approved statutes. The Environmental Protection Agency has the power to issue regulations. A regulation is a standard or rule written by the agency to interpret the statute, apply it in situations and enforce it. Congress allows the EPA to write regulations in order to solve a problem, but the agency must include a rationale of why the regulations need to be implemented. The regulations can be challenged by the Courts, where the regulation is overruled or confirmed. Many public health and environmental groups advocate for the agency and believe that it is creating a better world. Other critics believe that the agency commits government overreach by adding unnecessary regulations on business and property owners. 
- 1 History
- 2 Organization
- 3 Related legislation
- 4 Programs
- 4.1 EPA Safer Choice
- 4.2 Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative
- 4.3 Energy Star
- 4.4 Smart Growth
- 4.5 Pesticides
- 4.6 Fuel economy
- 4.7 Oil spill prevention program
- 4.8 Toxics Release Inventory
- 4.9 WaterSense
- 4.10 Drinking water
- 4.11 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
- 4.12 Radiation protection
- 4.13 Tools for Schools
- 4.14 Environmental Education
- 4.15 Clean School Bus USA
- 4.16 Environmental justice
- 5 Research vessel, 2004–2013
- 6 Advance identification
- 7 Freedom of Information Act processing performance
- 8 Controversies (1983–present)
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Beginning in the late 1950s and through the 1960s, Congress reacted to increasing public concern about the impact that human activity could have on the environment. Senator James E. Murray introduced a bill, the Resources and Conservation Act (RCA) of 1959, in the 86th Congress. The 1962 publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson alerted the public about the detrimental effects on the environment of the indiscriminate use of pesticides.
In the years following, similar bills were introduced and hearings were held to discuss the state of the environment and Congress's potential responses. In 1968, a joint House–Senate colloquium was convened by the chairmen of the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Senator Henry M. Jackson, and the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, Representative George Miller, to discuss the need for and means of implementing a national environmental policy. In the colloquium, some members of Congress expressed a continuing concern over federal agency actions affecting the environment.
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) was modeled on the Resources and Conservation Act of 1959 (RCA). RCA would have established a Council on Environmental Quality in the office of the President, declared a national environmental policy, and required the preparation of an annual environmental report.
President Nixon signed NEPA into law on January 1, 1970. The law created the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in the Executive Office of the President. NEPA required that a detailed statement of environmental impacts be prepared for all major federal actions significantly affecting the environment. The "detailed statement" would ultimately be referred to as an environmental impact statement (EIS).
On July 9, 1970, Nixon proposed an executive reorganization that consolidated many environmental responsibilities of the federal government under one agency, a new Environmental Protection Agency. After conducting hearings during that summer, the House and Senate approved the proposal. The agency’s first Administrator, William Ruckelshaus, took the oath of office on December 4, 1970.
EPA staff recall that in the early days there was "an enormous sense of purpose and excitement" and the expectation that “there was this agency which was going to do something about a problem that clearly was on the minds of a lot of people in this country,” leading to tens of thousands of resumes from those eager to participate in the mighty effort to clean up America’s environment.
When EPA first began operation, members of the private sector felt strongly that the environmental protection movement was a passing fad. Ruckelshaus stated that he felt pressure to show a public which was deeply skeptical about government’s effectiveness, that EPA could respond effectively to widespread concerns about pollution.
The EPA is led by an Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. From February 2017 to July 2018, Scott Pruitt served as the 14th Administrator. The current acting administrator is Deputy Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler.
- Office of the Administrator (OA). As of March 2017 the office consisted of 11 divisions, the Office of Administrative and Executive Services, Office of Children's Health Protection, Office of Civil Rights, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, Office of the Executive Secretariat, Office of Homeland Security, Office of Policy, Office of Public Affairs, Office of Public Engagement and Environmental Education, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Science Advisory Board.
- Office of Administration and Resources Management (OARM)
- Office of Air and Radiation (OAR)
- Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)
- Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO)
- Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)
- Office of Environmental Information (OEI)
- Office of General Counsel (OGC)
- Office of Inspector General (OIG)
- Office of International and Tribal Affairs (OITA)
- Office of Research and Development (ORD) which as of March 2017 consisted of the
- National Center for Computational Toxicology, National Center for Environmental Assessment, National Center for Environmental Research, National Exposure Research Laboratory, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, National Homeland Security Research Center, National Risk Management Research Laboratory
- Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM)
- which as of March 2017 consisted of the Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, Office of Underground Storage Tanks, Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, Office of Emergency Management, Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office.
- Office of Water (OW) which as of March 2017 consisted of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW), Office of Science and Technology (OST), Office of Wastewater Management (OWM) and Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds (OWOW).
Each EPA regional office is responsible within its states for implementing the Agency's programs, except those programs that have been specifically delegated to states.
- Region 1: responsible within the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont (New England).
- Region 2: responsible within the states of New Jersey and New York. It is also responsible for the US territories of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Region 3: responsible within the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
- Region 4: responsible within the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
- Region 5: responsible within the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
- Region 6: responsible within the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
- Region 7: responsible within the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
- Region 8: responsible within the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
- Region 9: responsible within the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the territories of Guam and American Samoa, and the Navajo Nation.
- Region 10: responsible within the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
Each regional office also implements programs on Indian Tribal lands, except those programs delegated to tribal authorities.
- 1955: Air Pollution Control Act PL 84-159
- 1963: Clean Air Act PL 88-206
- 1965: Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act PL 89-272
- 1966: Clean Air Act Amendments PL 89-675
- 1967: Air Quality Act PL 90-148
- 1970: Clean Air Act Extension PL 91-604
- 1977: Clean Air Act Amendments PL 95-95
- 1990: Clean Air Act Amendments PL 101-549
- 1948: Water Pollution Control Act PL 80-845
- 1965: Water Quality Act PL 89-234
- 1966: Clean Waters Restoration Act PL 89-753
- 1970: Water Quality Improvement Act PL 91-224
- 1972: Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972 PL 92-500
- 1974: Safe Drinking Water Act PL 93-523
- 1977: Clean Water Act PL 95-217
- 1987: Water Quality Act PL 100-4
- 1996: Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996
- 1964: Wilderness Act PL 88-577
- 1968: Wild and Scenic Rivers Act PL 90-542
- 1970: Wilderness Act PL 91-504
- 1977: Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act PL 95-87
- 1978: Wilderness Act PL 98-625
- 1980: Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act PL 96-487
- 1994: California Desert Protection Act PL 103-433
- 2010: California Desert Protection Act
- 1946: Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act PL 79-732
- 1966: Endangered Species Preservation Act PL 89-669
- 1969: Endangered Species Conservation Act PL 91-135
- 1972: Marine Mammal Protection Act PL 92-522
- 1973: Endangered Species Act PL 93-205
- 1979: Endangered Species Preservation Act PL 95 335
- 1965: Solid Waste Disposal Act PL 89-272
- 1970: Resource Recovery Act PL 91-512
- 1976: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act PL 94-580
- 1980: Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("Superfund") PL 96-510
- 1984: Hazardous and Solid Wastes Amendments Act PL 98-616
- 1986: Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act PL 99-499
- 2002: Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act ("Brownfields Law") PL 107-118
- 1947: Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act PL 80-104
- 1969: National Environmental Policy Act PL 91-190
- 1972: Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act PL 92-516
- 1976: Toxic Substances Control Act PL 94-469
- 1982: Nuclear Waste Policy Act PL 97-425
- 1996: Food Quality Protection Act PL 104-170
This section is missing information about several major EPA programs.(October 2010)
It is worth noting that, in looking back in 2013 on the agency he helped shape from the beginning, Administrator William Ruckelshaus observed that a danger for EPA was that air, water, waste and other programs would be unconnected, placed in “silos,” a problem that persists more than 50 years later, albeit less so than at the start.
EPA Safer Choice
The EPA Safer Choice label, previously known as the Design for the Environment (DfE) label, helps consumers and commercial buyers identify and select products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance. When a product has the Safer Choice label, it means that every intentionally-added ingredient in the product has been evaluated by EPA scientists. Only the safest possible functional ingredients are allowed in products with the Safer Choice label.
Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative
Through the Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative (SDSI), EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) recognizes environmental leaders who voluntarily commit to the use of safer surfactants. Safer surfactants are the ones that break down quickly to non-polluting compounds and help protect aquatic life in both fresh and salt water. Nonylphenol ethoxylates, commonly referred to as NPEs, are an example of a surfactant class that does not meet the definition of a safer surfactant.
The Design for the Environment, which was renamed to EPA Safer Choice in 2015, has identified safer alternative surfactants through partnerships with industry and environmental advocates. These safer alternatives are comparable in cost and are readily available. CleanGredients is a source of safer surfactants.
In 1992 the EPA launched the Energy Star program, a voluntary program that fosters energy efficiency. As of 2006, more than 40,000 Energy Star products were available including major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, and more. In addition, the label can also be found on new homes and commercial and industrial buildings. In 2006, about 12 percent of new housing in the United States was labeled Energy Star.
The EPA estimates it saved about $14 billion in energy costs in 2006 alone. The Energy Star program has helped spread the use of LED traffic lights, efficient fluorescent lighting, power management systems for office equipment, and low standby energy use.
EPA's Smart Growth Program, which began in 1998, is to help communities improve their development practices and get the type of development they want. Together with local, state, and national experts, EPA encourages development strategies that protect human health and the environment, create economic opportunities, and provide attractive and affordable neighborhoods for people of all income levels.
EPA administers the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (which is much older than the agency) and registers all pesticides legally sold in the United States.
The testing system was originally developed in 1972 and used driving cycles designed to simulate driving during rush-hour in Los Angeles during that era. Until 1984 the EPA reported the exact fuel economy figures calculated from the test. In 1984, the EPA began adjusting city (aka Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule or UDDS) results downward by 10% and highway (aka HighWay Fuel Economy Test or HWFET) results by 22% to compensate for changes in driving conditions since 1972, and to better correlate the EPA test results with real-world driving. In 1996, the EPA proposed updating the Federal Testing Procedures to add a new higher-speed test (US06) and an air-conditioner-on test (SC03) to further improve the correlation of fuel economy and emission estimates with real-world reports. In December 2006 the updated testing methodology was finalized to be implemented in model year 2008 vehicles and set the precedent of a 12-year review cycle for the test procedures.
In February 2005, EPA launched a program called "Your MPG" that allows drivers to add real-world fuel economy statistics into a database on the EPA's fuel economy website and compare them with others and with the original EPA test results.
The EPA conducts fuel economy tests on very few vehicles. "Just 18 of the EPA's 17,000 employees work in the automobile-testing department in Ann Arbor, Michigan, examining 200 to 250 vehicles a year, or roughly 15 percent of new models. As to that other 85 percent, the EPA takes automakers at their word—without any testing-accepting submitted results as accurate." Two-thirds of the vehicles the EPA tests themselves are randomly selected and the remaining third is tested for specific reasons.
Oil spill prevention program
EPA’s oil spill prevention program includes the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) and the Facility Response Plan (FRP) rules. The SPCC Rule applies to all facilities that store, handle, process, gather, transfer, refine, distribute, use or consume oil or oil products. Oil products includes petroleum and non-petroleum oils as well as: animal fats, oils and greases; fish and marine mammal oils; and vegetable oils. It mandates a written plan for facilities that store more than 1,320 gallons of fuel above ground or more than 42,000 gallons below-ground, and which might discharge to navigable waters (as defined in the Clean Water Act) or adjoining shorelines. Secondary spill containment is mandated at oil storage facilities and oil release containment is required at oil development sites.
Toxics Release Inventory
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is a resource for learning about toxic chemical releases and pollution prevention activities reported by industrial and federal facilities. TRI data support informed decision-making by communities, government agencies, companies, and others.
WaterSense is an EPA program launched in June 2006 to encourage water efficiency in the United States through the use of a special label on consumer products. Products include high-efficiency toilets (HETs), bathroom sink faucets (and accessories), and irrigation equipment. WaterSense is a voluntary program, with EPA developing specifications for water-efficient products through a public process and product testing by independent laboratories.
EPA ensures safe drinking water for the public, by setting standards for more than 160,000 public water systems nationwide. EPA oversees states, local governments and water suppliers to enforce the standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The program includes regulation of injection wells in order to protect underground sources of drinking water. Select readings of amounts of certain contaminants in drinking water, precipitation, and surface water, in addition to milk and air, are reported on EPA's Rad Net web site in a section entitled Envirofacts. Despite mandatory reporting certain readings exceeding EPA MCL levels may be deleted or not included. In 2013, an EPA draft revision relaxed regulations for radiation exposure through drinking water, stating that current standards are impractical to enforce. The EPA recommended that intervention was not necessary until drinking water was contaminated with radioactive iodine 131 at a concentration of 81,000 picocuries per liter (the limit for short term exposure set by the International Atomic Energy Agency), which was 27,000 times the prior EPA limit of 3 picocuries per liter for long term exposure.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program addresses water pollution by regulating point sources which discharge to US waters. Created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act, the NPDES permit program authorizes state governments to perform its many permitting, administrative, and enforcement aspects. As of 2017, EPA has approved 46 states to administer all or portions of the permit program. EPA regional offices manage the program in the remaining areas of the country. The Water Quality Act of 1987 extended NPDES permit coverage to industrial stormwater dischargers and municipal separate storm sewer systems.
EPA has the following seven project groups to protect the public from radiation.
- Radioactive Waste Management
- Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs Protective Action Guides And Planning Guidance for Radiological Incidents: EPA developed a manual as guideline for local and state governments to protect the public from a nuclear accident, the 2017 version being a 15-year update.
- EPA’s Role in Emergency Response – Special Teams
- Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM) Program
- Radiation Standards for Air and Drinking Water Programs
- Federal Guidance for Radiation Protection
Tools for Schools
EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program helps schools to maintain a healthy environment and reduce exposures to indoor environmental contaminants. It helps school personnel identify, solve, and prevent indoor air quality problems in the school environment. Through the use of a multi-step management plan and checklists for the entire building, schools can lower their students' and staff's risk of exposure to asthma triggers.
The National Environmental Education Act of 1990 requires EPA to provide national leadership to increase environmental literacy. EPA established the Office of Environmental Education to implement this program.
Clean School Bus USA
Clean School Bus USA is a national partnership to reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust by eliminating unnecessary school bus idling, installing effective emission control systems on newer buses and replacing the oldest buses in the fleet with newer ones. Its goal is to reduce both children's exposure to diesel exhaust and the amount of air pollution created by diesel school buses.
The EPA has been criticized for its lack of progress towards environmental justice. Administrator Christine Todd Whitman was criticized for her changes to President Bill Clinton's Executive Order 12898 during 2001, removing the requirements for government agencies to take the poor and minority populations into special consideration when making changes to environmental legislation, and therefore defeating the spirit of the Executive Order. In a March 2004 report, the inspector general of the agency concluded that the EPA "has not developed a clear vision or a comprehensive strategic plan, and has not established values, goals, expectations, and performance measurements" for environmental justice in its daily operations. Another report in September 2006 found the agency still had failed to review the success of its programs, policies and activities towards environmental justice. Studies have also found that poor and minority populations were underserved by the EPA's Superfund program, and that this situation was worsening.
Barriers to enforcing environmental justice
This section possibly contains original research. (March 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Many environmental justice issues are local, and therefore difficult to address by a federal agency, such as the EPA. Without strong media attention, political interest, or 'crisis' status, local issues are less likely to be addressed at the federal level compared to larger, well publicized incidents.
Conflicting political powers in successive administrations: The White House maintains direct control over the EPA, and its enforcements are subject to the political agenda of who is in power. Republicans and Democrats differ in their approaches to environmental justice. While President Bill Clinton signed the executive order 12898, the Bush administration did not develop a clear plan or establish goals for integrating environmental justice into everyday practices, affecting the motivation for environmental enforcement.[page needed]
The EPA is responsible for preventing and detecting environmental crimes, informing the public of environmental enforcement, and setting and monitoring standards of air pollution, water pollution, hazardous wastes and chemicals. "It is difficult to construct a specific mission statement given its wide range of responsibilities."[page needed] It is impossible to address every environmental crime adequately or efficiently if there is no specific mission statement to refer to. The EPA answers to various groups, competes for resources, and confronts a wide array of harms to the environment. All of these present challenges, including a lack of resources, its self-policing policy, and a broadly defined legislation that creates too much discretion for EPA officers.[page needed]
The EPA "does not have the authority or resources to address injustices without an increase in federal mandates" requiring private industries to consider the environmental ramifications of their activities.
Research vessel, 2004–2013
In March 2004, the U.S. Navy transferred USNS Bold (T-AGOS-12), a Stalwart class ocean surveillance ship, to the EPA. The ship had been used in anti-submarine operations during the Cold War, was equipped with sidescan sonar, underwater video, water and sediment sampling instruments used in study of ocean and coastline. One of the major missions of the Bold was to monitor for ecological impact sites where materials were dumped from dredging operations in U.S. ports. In 2013, the General Services Administration sold the Bold to Seattle Central Community College (SCCC), which demonstrated in a competition that they would put it to the highest and best purpose, at a nominal cost of $5,000.
Advance identification, or ADID, is a planning process used by the EPA to identify wetlands and other bodies of water and their respective suitability for the discharge of dredged and fill material. The EPA conducts the process in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and local states or Native American Tribes. As of February 1993, 38 ADID projects had been completed and 33 were ongoing.
Freedom of Information Act processing performance
In the latest Center for Effective Government analysis of 15 federal agencies which receive the most Freedom of Information Act FOIA requests, published in 2015 (using 2012 and 2013 data, the most recent years available), the EPA earned a D by scoring 67 out of a possible 100 points, i.e. did not earn a satisfactory overall grade.
Fiscal mismanagement, 1983
In 1982 Congress charged that the EPA had mishandled the $1.6 billion program to clean up hazardous waste dumps Superfund and demanded records from EPA director Anne M. Gorsuch. She refused and became the first agency director in U.S. history to be cited for contempt of Congress. The EPA turned the documents over to Congress several months later, after the White House abandoned its court claim that the documents could not be subpoenaed by Congress because they were covered by executive privilege. At that point, Gorsuch resigned her post, citing pressures caused by the media and the congressional investigation. Critics charged that the EPA was in a shambles at that time.
Gorsuch, appointed by Ronald Reagan, resigned under fire in 1983. Gorsuch based her administration of the EPA on the New Federalism approach of downsizing federal agencies by delegating their functions and services to the individual states. She believed that the EPA was over-regulating business and that the agency was too large and not cost-effective. During her 22 months as agency head, she cut the budget of the EPA by 22%, reduced the number of cases filed against polluters, relaxed Clean Air Act regulations, and facilitated the spraying of restricted-use pesticides. She cut the total number of agency employees, and hired staff from the industries they were supposed to be regulating. Environmentalists contended that her policies were designed to placate polluters, and accused her of trying to dismantle the agency.
Political pressure and scientific integrity, 2001–present
In April 2008, the Union of Concerned Scientists said that more than half of the nearly 1,600 EPA staff scientists who responded online to a detailed questionnaire reported they had experienced incidents of political interference in their work. The survey included chemists, toxicologists, engineers, geologists and experts in other fields of science. About 40% of the scientists reported that the interference had been more prevalent in the last five years than in previous years. The highest number of complaints came from scientists who were involved in determining the risks of cancer by chemicals used in food and other aspects of everyday life.
EPA research has also been suppressed by career managers. Supervisors at EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment required several paragraphs to be deleted from a peer-reviewed journal article about EPA's integrated risk information system, which led two co-authors to have their names removed from the publication, and the corresponding author, Ching-Hung Hsu, to leave EPA "because of the draconian restrictions placed on publishing". EPA subjects employees who author scientific papers to prior restraint, even if those papers are written on personal time.
EPA employees have reported difficulty in conducting and reporting the results of studies on hydraulic fracturing due to industry and governmental pressure, and are concerned about the censorship of environmental reports.
In 2015, the Government Accountability Office stated that the EPA violated federal law with covert propaganda on their social media platforms. The social media messaging that was used promoted materials supporting the Waters of the United States rule, including materials that were designed to oppose legislative efforts to limit or block the rule.
In February 2017, U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) sponsored H.R. 861, a bill to abolish the EPA by 2018. According to Gaetz, "The American people are drowning in rules and regulation promulgated by unelected bureaucrats. And the Environmental Protection Agency has become an extraordinary offender." The bill was co-sponsored by Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Steven Palazzo (R-Ms.) and Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.).
Fuel economy, 2005–2010
In July 2005, an EPA report showing that auto companies were using loopholes to produce less fuel-efficient cars was delayed. The report was supposed to be released the day before a controversial energy bill was passed and would have provided backup for those opposed to it, but the EPA delayed its release at the last minute.
In 2007, the state of California sued the EPA for its refusal to allow California and 16 other states to raise fuel economy standards for new cars. EPA administrator Stephen L. Johnson claimed that the EPA was working on its own standards, but the move has been widely considered an attempt to shield the auto industry from environmental regulation by setting lower standards at the federal level, which would then preempt state laws. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with governors from 13 other states, stated that the EPA's actions ignored federal law, and that existing California standards (adopted by many states in addition to California) were almost twice as effective as the proposed federal standards. It was reported that Stephen Johnson ignored his own staff in making this decision.
After the federal government had bailed out General Motors and Chrysler in the Automotive industry crisis of 2008–2010, the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox was released with an EPA fuel economy rating abnormally higher than its competitors. Independent road tests found that the vehicle did not out-perform its competitors, which had much lower fuel economy ratings. Later road tests found better, but inconclusive, results.
Mercury emissions, 2005
In March 2005, nine states (California, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Mexico and Vermont) sued the EPA. The EPA's Inspector General had determined that the EPA's regulation of mercury emissions did not follow the Clean Air Act, and that the regulations were influenced by top political appointees. The EPA had suppressed a study it commissioned by Harvard University which contradicted its position on mercury controls. The suit alleged that the EPA's rule exempting coal-fired power plants from "maximum available control technology" was illegal, and additionally charged that the EPA's system of cap-and-trade to lower average mercury levels would allow power plants to forego reducing mercury emissions, which they objected would lead to dangerous local hotspots of mercury contamination even if average levels declined. Several states also began to enact their own mercury emission regulations. Illinois's proposed rule would have reduced mercury emissions from power plants by an average of 90% by 2009. In 2008—by which point a total of fourteen states had joined the suit—the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the EPA regulations violated the Clean Air Act.
In response, EPA announced plans to propose such standards to replace the vacated Clean Air Mercury Rule, and did so on March 16, 2011.
Climate change, 2007–2017
|Wikinews has related news: EPA proposes using Clean Air Act to fight global warming|
In December 2007, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson approved a draft of a document that declared that climate change imperiled the public welfare—a decision that would trigger the first national mandatory global-warming regulations. Associate Deputy Administrator Jason Burnett e-mailed the draft to the White House. White House aides—who had long resisted mandatory regulations as a way to address climate change—knew the gist of what Johnson's finding would be, Burnett said. They also knew that once they opened the attachment, it would become a public record, making it controversial and difficult to rescind. So they did not open it; rather, they called Johnson and asked him to take back the draft. Johnson rescinded the draft; in July 2008, he issued a new version which did not state that global warming was danger to public welfare. Burnett resigned in protest.
A $3 million mapping study on sea level rise was suppressed by EPA management during both the Bush and Obama Administrations, and managers changed a key interagency report to reflect the removal of the maps.
On April 28, 2017, multiple climate change subdomains at EPA.gov began redirecting to a notice stating “this page is being updated.” The EPA issued a statement announcing the overhaul of its website to "reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt." The removed EPA climate change domains included extensive information on the EPA’s work to mitigate climate change, as well as details of data collection efforts and indicators for climate change.
Gold King Mine waste water spill, 2015
In August 2015, the 2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill occurred when EPA contractors examined the level of pollutants such as lead and arsenic in a Colorado mine, and accidentally released over three million gallons of waste water into Cement Creek and the Animas River.
Chief Scott Pruitt, 2017
On February 17, 2017, Scott Pruitt was selected Administrator of the EPA by president Donald Trump. This was a seemingly controversial move, as Pruitt had spent most of his career countering environmental policy. He did not have previous experience in the field and had received financial support from the fossil fuel industry.
Pruitt resigned from the position on July 5, 2018, citing "unrelenting attacks" due to ongoing ethics controversies.
- Environmental policy of the Donald Trump administration
- AP 42 Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors
- Brownfield land
- Environmental Technology Verification Program
- EPA Methods
- Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP Federation)
- Green Sticker programs
- Renewable energy
- Volkswagen diesel scandal
- Fiscal Year 2018 Interior and Environment Bill. United States House of Representatives, 2018
- "Our Mission and What We Do". EPA. January 21, 2017.
- CNN, Sophie Tatum,. "A former coal lobbyist is the new leader of the EPA". CNN. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
- "EPA Regional Laboratories Unique Analytical Capabilities and Services by Region". EPA. September 12, 2017.
- "EPA's Budget and Spending". Washington, D.C.: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). January 12, 2017.
- Hiroko Tabuchi (April 10, 2017). "What's at Stake in Trump's Proposed E.P.A. Cuts". New York Times.
- Vig, Norman J. Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century. Sage. pp. 167–170. ISBN 978-1-5063-84346-0 Check
|isbn=value: length (help).
- Rinde, Meir (2017). "Richard Nixon and the Rise of American Environmentalism". Distillations. 3 (1): 16–29. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
- "EPA History: Clean Air Act of 1970/1977". EPA. October 18, 2016.
- "The Guardian: Origins of the EPA". EPA Historical Publication. EPA. Spring 1992.
- Griswold, Eliza (September 21, 2012). "How 'Silent Spring' Ignited the Environmental Movement". New York Times Magazine.
- Luther, Linda (2005). The National Environmental Policy Act: Background and Implementation (PDF) (Report). U.S. Congressional Research Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 27, 2010.
- United States. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Pub.L. 91–290, Approved January 1, 1970. 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq.
- Weiland, Paul S. (Spring 1997). "Amending the National Environmental Policy Act: Federal Environmental Protection in the Twenty-First Century" (PDF). Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law: 275–301. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 12, 2007. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
- Luther, Linda (November 16, 2005). CRS Report for Congress: The National Environmental Policy Act: Background and Implementation (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service; The Library of Congress. p. CRS-3. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
- CRS-3. 2 Senate Report 91-296, 91st Congress, 1st session, July 9, 1969, pp. 11-12
- Caldwell, Lynton Keith (1998). The National Environmental Policy Act : an agenda for the future. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana Univ. Press. pp. 26–27. ISBN 0253334446.
- "Legislative Accomplishments: Henry M. Jackson Foundation". Hmjackson.org. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. § 4342
- Reorganization Plans Nos. 3 and 4 of 1970. Message from the President of the United States to the House of Representatives (PDF) (Report). House of Representatives, 91st Congress, 2d Session. July 9, 1970. Document no. 91-366.
- EPA Alumni Association: EPA Administrator Bill Ruckelshaus and some of his closest aides recall the opening months of the new agency in 1970, Video, Transcript (see p. 2).
- EPA Alumni Association: EPA Administrator Bill Ruckelshaus and some of his closest aides recall the opening months of the new agency in 1970, Video, Transcript (see p. 4).
- "About the Office of the Administrator". EPA. October 26, 2017.
- "About the Office of Administration and Resources Management". EPA. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
- "About the Office of Air and Radiation". EPA. November 17, 2010.
- "About the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention". EPA. May 13, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- "About the Office of the Chief Financial Officer". EPA. January 20, 2017.
- "About the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance". EPA. November 17, 2010.
- "About the Office of Environmental Information". EPA. February 18, 2017.
- "About the Office of General Counsel". EPA. November 17, 2010.
- epa.gov Archived May 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- "About the Office of International and Tribal Affairs". EPA. November 17, 2010.
- "About the Office of Research and Development". EPA. November 17, 2010.
- EPA: Basic Information about the Integrated Risk Information System
- "About the Office of Land and Emergency Management". EPA. November 17, 2010.
- "About the Office of Water". EPA. November 17, 2010.
- "About the Office of Water". EPA.
- EPA Alumni Association: Former EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus and his senior assistants discuss integrating 10 regional offices into the fledgling agency. Video, Transcript (see pp. 6, 9).
- Memorandum Of Agreement between The Navajo Nation and The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regions 6, 8, and 9 regarding the Implementation of Environmental Standards and Regulations on the Navajo Nation, October 9, 1991
- EPA Alumni Association: EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus comments on the “silos” problem that has dogged EPA from the start in an interview in which he and some of his closest aides recall the opening months of the new agency in 1970, Video, Transcript (see p. 11).
- "EPA SDSI Home Page". Epa.gov. December 22, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- "CleanGredients Home Page". Cleangredients.org. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "2006 Annual Report: Energy Star and Other Climate Protection Partnerships.". Retrieved March 1, 2008.
- EnergyStar.gov, "History: Energy Star.". Retrieved March 1, 2008.
- "Smart Growth US EPA". Epa.gov. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
- "Federal Test Procedure Revisions". EPA.gov. October 22, 1996. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
- "EPA Fuel Economy". EPA.gov. Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- "Welcome to Your MPG!". FuelEconomy.gov. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
- Dave Vanderwerp (August 2009). "The Truth About EPA City / Highway MPG Estimates". CarAndDriver.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2010. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
- Chuck Squatriglia (November 17, 2010). "Honda Finds EVs a Perfect Fit | Autopia". Wired.com. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- "Oil Spills Prevention and Preparedness Regulations". EPA. March 7, 2017.
- "Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program". EPA. February 13, 2017.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, DC. "WaterSense Timeline." Revised April 14, 2011.
- EPA. "WaterSense."
- http://www.epa.gov/radnet/ EPA
- Envirofacts EPA Archived October 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
- Sandy Bauers (December 7, 2012). "Spike in iodine-131 found in city water". Philadelphia Inquirer. p. 2. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
- "Iodine-131 levels in Philadelphia, PA drinking water". EPA RadNet Environfacts. EPA. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
- Jeff McMahon (April 10, 2013). "EPA Draft Stirs Fears of Radically Relaxed Radiation Guidelines". Forbes. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "About NPDES". EPA. November 29, 2016.
- "NPDES State Program Information". NPDES. EPA. February 6, 2017.
- Clean Water Act section 402(p); 33 U.S.C. § 1342(p).
- Radiation Protection Programs EPA retrieved March 13, 2017
- "Radioactive Waste Management" (website). EPA. February 28, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Radiological Emergency Response" (website). EPA. July 27, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "EPA Protective Action Guide" (PDF). EPA. January 11, 2017. p. 86. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Consequence Management" (website). EPA. March 1, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Naturally-Occurring Radiation Program" (website). EPA. December 21, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Radiation Regulations and Laws, Standards for Air and Drinking Water" (website). EPA. January 19, 2017. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Federal Guidance for Radiation Protection" (website). EPA. September 1, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
- "Creating Healthy Indoor Air Quality in Schools | US EPA". Epa.gov. November 28, 2016. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
- "Environmental Education (EE) | US EPA". Epa.gov. August 16, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
- "Clean School Bus | Clean Diesel and DERA Funding | US EPA". Epa.gov. October 24, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
- O'Neil, S. G. (2007). Superfund: Evaluating the Impact of Executive Order 12898 Archived March 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.. Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 115, Number 7, pp. 1087–93
- Bullard, Robert (July 25, 2007). Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Regarding Environmental Justice.
- Bullard, Robert. Growing Smarter: Achieving Livable Communities, Environmental Justice, and Regional Equity. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007
- Rosenbaum, W. A. "Still reforming after all these years: George W. Bush's new era' at the EPA. Environmental Policy: New directions for the Twenty-first century. Washington DC: CQ Press, 2003
- Burns, Ronald G. Michael J. Lynch, and Paul Stretesky. Environmental Law, Crime, and Justice. New York: LFB Scholarly publishing Inc, 2008
- Environmental Justice Coalition (EJC). "Environmental Justice act of 2009." Environmental Justice Coalition, 2008. EJ Coalition Online:Ejcoalition.Multiply.com Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
- "About the OSV Bold". EPA. p. EPA 842-F-05-004. Archived from the original on February 24, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
- Long, Katherine. "What a $5,000 deal: Seattle Central gets former Navy ship | Local News". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- "EPA – Wetlands – Wetlands Fact Sheet". Epa.gov. June 28, 2006. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- Making the Grade: Access to Information Scorecard 2015 March 2015, 80 pages, Center for Effective Government, retrieved March 21, 2016
- "Burford Resigns As Administrator of Embattled EPA", Toledo Blade, March 10, 1983, p. 1
- Ingersoll, Bruce. Burford out; agency is in 'a shambles', Spokane Chronicle, March 10, 1983
- Views from the Former Administrators Archived September 25, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., EPA Journal, November 1985.
- Sullivan, Patricia. Anne Gorsuch Burford, 62, Dies; Reagan EPA Director, Washington Post, July 22, 2004; Page B06.
- Douglas Martin (July 22, 2004). "Anne Gorsuch Burford, 62, Reagan E.P.A. Chief, Dies". Nytimes.com. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- "Meddling at EPA? Activists point to survey; Two thirds of 1,586 EPA scientists polled cite interference, UCS reports". Associated Press. April 23, 2008.
- Stedeford, Todd (2007). "Prior restraint and censorship: acknowledged occupational hazards for government scientists". William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review. 31 (3): 725–745.
- Stedeford (2007), p. 738, note 95
- Stedeford (2007), pp. 736–740
- Urbina, Ian (March 3, 2011). "Pressure Limits Efforts to Police Drilling for Gas". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
More than a quarter-century of efforts by some lawmakers and regulators to force the federal government to police the industry better have been thwarted, as E.P.A. studies have been repeatedly narrowed in scope and important findings have been removed
- DiCosmo, Bridget (May 15, 2012). "SAB Pushes To Advise EPA To Conduct Toxicity Tests In Fracking Study". InsideEPA. Inside Washington Publishers. (subscription required). Retrieved May 19, 2012.
But some members of the chartered SAB are suggesting that the fracking panel revise its recommendation that the agency scale back its planned toxicity testing of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process, because of the limited resources and time frame ... Chesapeake Energy supported the draft recommendation, saying that "an in-depth study of toxicity, the development of new analytical methods and tracers are not practical given the budget and schedule limitation of the study."
- Satterfield, John (June 30, 2011). "Letter from Chesapeake Energy to EPA" (PDF). InsideEPA. Inside Washington Publishers. (subscription required). Retrieved May 19, 2012.
Flowback and Produced water ... Chesapeake agrees that an indepth study of toxicity, the development of new analytic methods and tracers are not practical given the budget and schedule limitations of the study ... Wastewater Treatment and Waste Disposal ... Chesapeake believes there was unjustified emphasis on the surface disposal of produced water to treatment plants in the SAB's Review ... Chesapeake disagrees with the inclusion of water distribution network corrosion and burden of analyzing for contaminants by POTW's into the study.
- "The Debate Over the Hydrofracking Study's Scope". The New York Times. March 3, 2011. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
While environmentalists have aggressively lobbied the agency to broaden the scope of the study, industry has lobbied the agency to narrow this focus
- "Natural Gas Documents". The New York Times. February 27, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
The Times reviewed more than 30,000 pages of documents obtained through open records requests of state and federal agencies and by visiting various regional offices that oversee drilling in Pennsylvania. Some of the documents were leaked by state or federal officials.
- Adler, Jonathan H. (December 15, 2015). "GAO hits EPA for 'covert propaganda' to promote 'waters of the United States' (WOTUS) rule". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
- "H.R. 861". United States Congress.
- Hensley, Nicole (February 5, 2017). "Florida congressman pitches bill that would abolish the Environmental Protection Agency". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
- Danny Hakim (July 28, 2005). "E.P.A. Holds Back Report on Car Fuel Efficiency". New York Times.
- Keim, Brandon. "Governor Arnie to EPA: Hasta La Vista, Bureaucratic Delay Monkeys | Wired Science". Wired.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
- "EPA Denies California Waiver". ABC. February 29, 2008.
- Simon, Richard; Wilson, Janet (December 20, 2007). "EPA denies California's right to mandate emissions". LATimes.com. Retrieved November 21, 2009.
- "Absurdity at the EPA: Denying California emissions plan a new low | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Opinion: Editorials". The Dallas Morning News. January 1, 2008. Retrieved November 21, 2009.
- "Text of Letter from Gov. Schwarzenegger and 13 other Governors Regarding U.S. EPA's Denial of California's Tailpipe Emissions Waiver Request". Gov.ca.gov. Archived from the original on November 24, 2009. Retrieved November 21, 2009.
- Wilson, Janet (December 21, 2007). "EPA chief is said to have ignored staff". LATimes.com. Retrieved November 21, 2009.
- "2010 Chevrolet Equinox LT2 Full Test and Video". Edmunds InsideLine. September 29, 2009. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
- Jared Gall (August 2009). "2010 Chevrolet Equinox LT – Short Take Road Test". Car and Driver. Archived from the original on January 11, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
- John Voelcker (October 27, 2009). "Drive Report: 26mpg in 2010 Chevrolet Equinox Four-Cylinder". GreenCarReports.com. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
- "Why the Chevy Equinox EPA Mileage Numbers Don't Add Up". Thetruthaboutcars.com. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
- "2010 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2011 Kia Sorento, Program #2939". Motorweek. May 28, 2010. Archived from the original on June 1, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
- "Review: 2010 Chevrolet Equinox LT FWD".
- Proposed Mercury Rules Bear Industry Mark, Washington Post, January 31, 2004
- EPA Inspector Finds Mercury Proposal Tainted, Washington Post, February 4, 2005
- New EPA Mercury Rule Omits Conflicting Data, Washington Post, March 22, 2005
- Bustillo, Miguel.States Sue EPA Over Mercury Emissions, LA Times, March 30, 2005
- Governor Blagojevich and Illinois EPA Propose Aggressive Mercury Controls For Illinois Power Plants, Environmental Progress, Spring 2006, page 12
- Baltimore, Chris (February 8, 2008). "EPA must rewrite utility mercury rule: U.S. court". Reuters. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- "History of the MATS Regulation". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
- John Shiffman and John Sullivan (December 7, 2008). "An Eroding Mission at EPA; The Bush administration has weakened the agency charged with safeguarding health and the environment". Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Josh Harkinson and Kate Sheppard (April 27, 2010). "Coastal Collapse". Slate. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
- "EPA website removes climate science site from public view after two decades". Washington Post. April 29, 2017.
- "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "EPA Kicks Off Website Updates," (April 28, 2017)". EPA. April 28, 2017.
- "Changing the Digital Climate How Climate Change Web Content is being Censored Under the Trump Administration". Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI). January 10, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- Schlanger, Zoë (August 7, 2015). "EPA Causes Massive Spill of Mining Waste Water in Colorado, Turns Animas River Bright Orange". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
- Kolb, Joseph J. (August 10, 2015). "'They're not going to get away with this': Anger mounts at EPA over mining spill". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
- "EPA's Scott Pruitt haunted by corruption allegations, old and new". MSNBC. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
- CNN, Jeremy Diamond, Eli Watkins and Juana Summers,. "EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns amid ethics scandals". CNN. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
- EPA Alumni Association, "Protecting the Environment, A Half Century of Progress" – an overview of EPA’s environmental protection efforts over 50 years
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to United States Environmental Protection Agency.|