United States Environmental Protection Agency

United States Environmental Protection Agency

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or sometimes USEPA) is an agency of the federal government of the United States
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress. The EPA was proposed by President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 and began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon submitted a reorganization plan
Reorganization Plan No. 3
Reorganization Plan No. 3 was an executive order submitted to the United States Congress on July 9, 1970 by President Richard Nixon establishing the Environmental Protection Agency and setting forth the components of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration...

 to Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 and it was ratified by committee hearings in the House and Senate. The agency is led by its Administrator
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency is the head of the United States federal government's Environmental Protection Agency, and is thus responsible for enforcing the nation's Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, as well as numerous other environmental statutes. The Administrator is...

, who is appointed by the president
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 and approved by Congress. The current administrator is Lisa P. Jackson
Lisa P. Jackson
Lisa Perez Jackson is an American chemical engineer currently serving as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency . Previously, she worked at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for 6 years, first as an assistant commissioner and later as commissioner...

. The EPA is not a Cabinet
United States Cabinet
The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, which are generally the heads of the federal executive departments...

 department, but the administrator is normally given cabinet rank
Cabinet rank
A person who is of Cabinet rank holds a ministerial position in a government. They sit in Cabinet and form the highest body of leadership in a government.-United Kingdom:...

. The agency has approximately 17,000 full-time employees.Also see U.S. Census Bureau spreadsheet

Overview



The EPA employs approximately 17,000 people, and engages many more on a contractual basis. More than half of EPA human resources are engineers, scientists, and environmental protection specialists; other groups include legal, public affairs, financial, and information technologists.

EPA offices include:
  • agency headquarters
  • regional offices for each of the agency's 10 regions
  • 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. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

s and Native American tribes
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

. EPA enforcement powers include fines, sanctions
Sanctions (law)
Sanctions are penalties or other means of enforcement used to provide incentives for obedience with the law, or with rules and regulations. Criminal sanctions can take the form of serious punishment, such as corporal or capital punishment, incarceration, or severe fines...

, 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.

History


On July 9, 1970, citing rising concerns over environmental protection and conservation, President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 transmitted Reorganization Plan No. 3
Reorganization Plan No. 3
Reorganization Plan No. 3 was an executive order submitted to the United States Congress on July 9, 1970 by President Richard Nixon establishing the Environmental Protection Agency and setting forth the components of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration...

 to the United States Congress by executive order, creating the EPA as a single, independent agency
Independent agencies of the United States government
Independent agencies of the United States federal government are those agencies that exist outside of the federal executive departments...

 from a number of smaller arms of different federal agencies. Prior to the establishment of the EPA, the federal government was not structured to comprehensively regulate environmental pollutants.

EPA offices

  • Office of Administration and Resources
  • Office of Air and Radiation
  • Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
    Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
    The Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance is the law enforcement arm of the Environmental Protection Agency. It is made up of special agents and other employees.-Mission:...

  • Office of Environmental Information
  • Office of Environmental Justice
  • Office of the Chief Financial Officer
  • Office of General Counsel
  • Office of Inspector General
  • Office of International Affairs
  • Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances
  • Office of Research and Development
  • Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
  • Office of Water
  • Office of Chemical Safety & Pollution Prevention

EPA regions


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
    Connecticut
    Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

    , Maine
    Maine
    Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

    , Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

    , New Hampshire
    New Hampshire
    New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

    , Rhode Island
    Rhode Island
    The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

    , and Vermont
    Vermont
    Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

    .
  • Region 2 - responsible within the states of New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

     and New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

    . It is also responsible for the US territories of Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

    , and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Region 3 - responsible within the states of Delaware
    Delaware
    Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

    , Maryland
    Maryland
    Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

    , Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

    , Virginia
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

    , West Virginia
    West Virginia
    West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

    , and the District of Columbia.
  • Region 4 - responsible within the states of Alabama
    Alabama
    Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

    , Florida
    Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

    , Georgia
    Georgia (U.S. state)
    Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

    , Kentucky
    Kentucky
    The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

    , Mississippi
    Mississippi
    Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

    , North Carolina
    North Carolina
    North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

    , South Carolina
    South Carolina
    South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

    , and Tennessee
    Tennessee
    Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

    .
  • Region 5 - responsible within the states of Illinois
    Illinois
    Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

    , Indiana
    Indiana
    Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

    , Michigan
    Michigan
    Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

    , Minnesota
    Minnesota
    Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

    , Ohio
    Ohio
    Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

    , and Wisconsin
    Wisconsin
    Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

    .
  • Region 6 - responsible within the states of Arkansas
    Arkansas
    Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

    , Louisiana
    Louisiana
    Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

    , New Mexico
    New Mexico
    New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

    , Oklahoma
    Oklahoma
    Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

    , and Texas
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

    .
  • Region 7 - responsible within the states of Iowa
    Iowa
    Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

    , Kansas
    Kansas
    Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

    , Missouri
    Missouri
    Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

    , and Nebraska
    Nebraska
    Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

    .
  • Region 8 - responsible within the states of Colorado
    Colorado
    Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

    , Montana
    Montana
    Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

    , North Dakota
    North Dakota
    North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

    , South Dakota
    South Dakota
    South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

    , Utah
    Utah
    Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

    , and Wyoming
    Wyoming
    Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

    .
  • Region 9 - responsible within the states of Arizona
    Arizona
    Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

    , California
    California
    California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

    , Hawaii
    Hawaii
    Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

    , Nevada
    Nevada
    Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

    , and the territories of Guam
    Guam
    Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

     and American Samoa
    American Samoa
    American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa...

    .
  • Region 10 - responsible within the states of Alaska
    Alaska
    Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

    , Idaho
    Idaho
    Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

    , Oregon
    Oregon
    Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

    , and Washington.


Each regional office also implements programs on Indian Tribal lands, except those programs delegated to Tribal authorities.

Related legislation


The legislation here is general environmental protection legislation, and may also apply to other units of the government, including the Department of the Interior
United States Department of the Interior
The United States Department of the Interior is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native...

 and the Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

.

Air

  • 1955 - Air Pollution Control Act
    Air Pollution Control Act
    The Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 was the first United States Clean Air Act enacted by Congress to address the national environmental problem of air pollution on July 14, 1955...

     PL 84-159
  • 1963 - Clean Air Act
    Clean Air Act (United States)
    The Clean Air Act is a United States federal law enacted by Congress, and signed by President Richard Nixon on December 31, 1970 to control air pollution on a national level. It requires the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and enforce regulations to protect the general public from...

     PL 88-206
  • 1965 - Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act
    Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act
    The Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act is a 1965 amendment to the U.S. Clean Air Act of 1963. The amendment set the first federal vehicle emissions standards, beginning with the 1968 models. These standards were reductions from the 1963 emissions: 72% reduction for hydrocarbons, 56% reduction...

     PL 89-272
  • 1966 - Clean Air Act Amendments PL 89-675
  • 1967 - Air Quality Act PL 90-148
  • 1969 - National Environmental Policy Act
    National Environmental Policy Act
    The National Environmental Policy Act is a United States environmental law that established a U.S. national policy promoting the enhancement of the environment and also established the President's Council on Environmental Quality ....

     PL 91-190
  • 1970 - Clean Air Act Extension PL 91-604
  • 1976 - Toxic Substances Control Act
    Toxic Substances Control Act
    The Toxic Substances Control Act is a United States law, passed by the United States Congress in 1976, that regulates the introduction of new or already existing chemicals. It grandfathered most existing chemicals, in contrast to the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals ...

     PL 94-469
  • 1977 - Clean Air Act Amendments PL 95-95
  • 1990 - Clean Air Act Amendments PL 101-549

Water

  • 1948 - Water Pollution Control Act PL 80-845
  • 1965 - Water Quality Act PL 89-234
  • 1966 - Clean Waters Restoration Act PL 89-753
  • 1969 - National Environmental Policy Act
    National Environmental Policy Act
    The National Environmental Policy Act is a United States environmental law that established a U.S. national policy promoting the enhancement of the environment and also established the President's Council on Environmental Quality ....

     PL 91-190
  • 1970 - Water Quality Improvement Act PL 91-224
  • 1972 - Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972
    Clean Water Act
    The Clean Water Act is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution. Commonly abbreviated as the CWA, the act established the goals of eliminating releases of high amounts of toxic substances into water, eliminating additional water pollution by 1985, and ensuring that...

     PL 92-500
  • 1974 - Safe Drinking Water Act
    Safe Drinking Water Act
    The Safe Drinking Water Act is the principle federal law in the United States intended to ensure safe drinking water for the public. Pursuant to the act, the Environmental Protection Agency is required to set standards for drinking water quality and oversee all states, localities, and water...

     PL 93-523
  • 1976 - Toxic Substances Control Act
    Toxic Substances Control Act
    The Toxic Substances Control Act is a United States law, passed by the United States Congress in 1976, that regulates the introduction of new or already existing chemicals. It grandfathered most existing chemicals, in contrast to the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals ...

     PL 94-469
  • 1977 - Clean Water Act
    Clean Water Act
    The Clean Water Act is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution. Commonly abbreviated as the CWA, the act established the goals of eliminating releases of high amounts of toxic substances into water, eliminating additional water pollution by 1985, and ensuring that...

     PL 95-217
  • 1987 - Water Quality Act
    Clean Water Act
    The Clean Water Act is the primary federal law in the United States governing water pollution. Commonly abbreviated as the CWA, the act established the goals of eliminating releases of high amounts of toxic substances into water, eliminating additional water pollution by 1985, and ensuring that...

     PL 100-4
  • 1996 - Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996
    Safe Drinking Water Act
    The Safe Drinking Water Act is the principle federal law in the United States intended to ensure safe drinking water for the public. Pursuant to the act, the Environmental Protection Agency is required to set standards for drinking water quality and oversee all states, localities, and water...

     PL 104-182

Land

  • 1947 - Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act
    Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act
    The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act , et seq. is a United States federal law that set up the basic U.S. system of pesticide regulation to protect applicators, consumers, and the environment. It is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and the appropriate...

  • 1964 - Wilderness Act
    Wilderness Act
    The Wilderness Act of 1964 was written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society. It created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected some 9 million acres of federal land. The result of a long effort to protect federal wilderness, the Wilderness Act was signed...

     PL 88-577
  • 1968 - Scenic Rivers Preservation Act PL 90-542
  • 1969 - National Environmental Policy Act
    National Environmental Policy Act
    The National Environmental Policy Act is a United States environmental law that established a U.S. national policy promoting the enhancement of the environment and also established the President's Council on Environmental Quality ....

     PL 91-190
  • 1970 - Wilderness Act
    Wilderness Act
    The Wilderness Act of 1964 was written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society. It created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected some 9 million acres of federal land. The result of a long effort to protect federal wilderness, the Wilderness Act was signed...

     PL 91-504
  • 1977 - Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act PL 95-87
  • 1978 - Wilderness Act
    Wilderness Act
    The Wilderness Act of 1964 was written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society. It created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected some 9 million acres of federal land. The result of a long effort to protect federal wilderness, the Wilderness Act was signed...

     PL 98-625
  • 1980 - Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act
    Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act
    The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act was a United States federal law passed in 1980 by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on December 2 of that year....

     PL 96-487
  • 1994 - California Desert Protection Act
    California Desert Protection Act of 1994
    The California Desert Protection Act of 1994 is a federal law , signed by President Bill Clinton, and passed by the United States Congress on October 8, 1994, that established the Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks and the Mojave National Preserve in the California...

     PL 103-433
  • 1996 - Food Quality Protection Act
  • 2010 - California Desert Protection Act
    California Desert Protection Act of 2010
    The California Desert Protection Act of 2010 is legislation proposed by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. The stated aim of the legislation is to provide for conservation, enhanced recreation opportunities, and development of renewable energy in the California Desert Conservation Area..-Overview:The...


Endangered species

  • 1946 - 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
    Marine Mammal Protection Act
    The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 was the first article of legislation to call specifically for an ecosystem approach to natural resource management and conservation. MMPA prohibits the taking of marine mammals, and enacts a moratorium on the import, export, and sale of any marine mammal,...

     PL 92-522
  • 1973 - Endangered Species Act
    Endangered Species Act
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is one of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and...

     PL 93-205

Hazardous waste

  • 1965 - Solid Waste Disposal Act PL 89-272
  • 1969 - National Environmental Policy Act
    National Environmental Policy Act
    The National Environmental Policy Act is a United States environmental law that established a U.S. national policy promoting the enhancement of the environment and also established the President's Council on Environmental Quality ....

     PL 91-190
  • 1970 - Resource Recovery Act PL 91-512
  • 1976 - Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
    Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
    The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act , enacted in 1976, is the principal Federal law in the United States governing the disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste.-History and Goals:...

     PL 94-580
  • 1980 - Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("Superfund") PL 96-510
  • 1982 - Nuclear Waste Repository Act PL 97-425
  • 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
    Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act
    The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 11, 2002...

     ("Brownfields Law") PL 107-118

Programs



Energy Star



In 1992 the EPA launched the Energy Star program, a voluntary program that fosters energy efficiency.

Pesticide


EPA administers the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act , et seq. is a United States federal law that set up the basic U.S. system of pesticide regulation to protect applicators, consumers, and the environment. It is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency and the appropriate...

 (FIFRA) (which is much older than the agency) and registers all pesticide
Pesticide
Pesticides are substances or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest.A pesticide may be a chemical unicycle, biological agent , antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest...

s legally sold in the United States.

Environmental Impact Statement Review


EPA is responsible for reviewing Environmental Impact Statement
Environmental impact statement
An environmental impact statement , under United States environmental law, is a document required by the National Environmental Policy Act for certain actions "significantly affecting the quality of the human environment". An EIS is a tool for decision making...

s of other federal agencies' projects, under the National Environmental Policy Act
National Environmental Policy Act
The National Environmental Policy Act is a United States environmental law that established a U.S. national policy promoting the enhancement of the environment and also established the President's Council on Environmental Quality ....

 (NEPA).

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 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.

Fuel economy


Manufacturers selling automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

s in the USA are required to provide EPA fuel economy
Fuel economy in automobiles
Fuel usage in automobiles refers to the fuel efficiency relationship between distance traveled by an automobile and the amount of fuel consumed....

 test results for their vehicles and the manufacturers are not allowed to provide results from alternate sources. The fuel economy is calculated using the emissions data collected during two of the vehicle's Clean Air Act certification tests by measuring the total volume of carbon captured from the exhaust during the tests.

The current testing system was originally developed in 1972 and used driving cycle
Driving cycle
A driving cycle is a series of data points representing the speed of a vehicle versus time.Driving cycles are produced by different countries and organizations to assess the performance of vehicles in various ways, as for example fuel consumption and polluting emissions.Fuel consumption and...

s designed to simulate driving during rush-hour in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 during that era. Prior to 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
UDDS
UDDS stands for Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule , and refers to an United States Environmental Protection Agency mandated dynamometer test on fuel economy that represents city driving conditions which is used for light duty vehicle testing....

 or UDDS
UDDS
UDDS stands for Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule , and refers to an United States Environmental Protection Agency mandated dynamometer test on fuel economy that represents city driving conditions which is used for light duty vehicle testing....

) 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. The updated testing methodology was finalized in December, 2006 for implementation with model year 2008 vehicles and set the precedent of a 12 year review cycle for the test procedures.

In February 2005, the organization 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 the original EPA test results.

It is important to note that the EPA actually conducts these tests on very few vehicles. "While the public mistakenly presumes that this federal agency is hard at work conducting complicated tests on every new model of truck, van, car, and SUV, in reality, 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 selected randomly, and the remaining third are tested for specific reasons.

Although originally created as a reference point for fossil fuelled vehicles, driving cycles have been used for estimating how many miles an electric vehicle will do on a single charge.

Air quality


The Air Quality Modeling Group (AQMG) is in the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) and provides leadership and direction on the full range of air quality models, air pollution
Air pollution
Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere....

 dispersion models and other mathematical simulation techniques used in assessing pollution control strategies and the impacts of air pollution sources.

The AQMG serves as the focal point on air pollution modeling
Atmospheric dispersion modeling
Atmospheric dispersion modeling is the mathematical simulation of how air pollutants disperse in the ambient atmosphere. It is performed with computer programs that solve the mathematical equations and algorithms which simulate the pollutant dispersion...

 techniques for other EPA headquarters staff, EPA regional Offices, and State and local environmental agencies. It coordinates with the EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) on the development of new models and techniques, as well as wider issues of atmospheric research. Finally, the AQMG conducts modeling analyses to support the policy and regulatory decisions of the EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS).

The AQMG is located in Research Triangle Park
Research Triangle Park
The Research Triangle Park is a research park in the United States. It is located near Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill, in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

.

Oil pollution


SPCC - Spill Prevention Containment and Counter Measures. Secondary Containment mandated at oil storage facilities. Oil release containment at oil development sites.

WaterSense



The WaterSense program is designed to encourage water efficiency
Water efficiency
Water efficiency can be defined as:# The accomplishment of a function, task, process, or result with the minimal amount of water feasible;# An indicator of the relationship between the amount of water required for a particular purpose and the amount of water used or delivered.Though the two are...

 through the use of a special label
Label
A label is a piece of paper, polymer, cloth, metal, or other material affixed to a container or article, on which is printed a legend, information concerning the product, addresses, etc. A label may also be printed directly on the container or article....

 on consumer
Consumer
Consumer is a broad label for any individuals or households that use goods generated within the economy. The concept of a consumer occurs in different contexts, so that the usage and significance of the term may vary.-Economics and marketing:...

 products
Product (business)
In general, the product is defined as a "thing produced by labor or effort" or the "result of an act or a process", and stems from the verb produce, from the Latin prōdūce ' lead or bring forth'. Since 1575, the word "product" has referred to anything produced...

. Products include high-efficiency toilets (HETs), bathroom
Bathroom
A bathroom is a room for bathing in containing a bathtub and/or a shower and optionally a toilet, a sink/hand basin/wash basin and possibly also a bidet....

 sink
Sink
A sink is a bowl-shaped plumbing fixture used for washing hands, for dishwashing or other purposes. Sinks generally have taps that supply hot and cold water and may include a spray feature to be used for faster rinsing...

 faucets (and accessories), and irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

 equipment. WaterSense is a voluntary program, with EPA developing specifications for water-efficient products through a public
Public
In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individuals, and the public is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the Öffentlichkeit or public sphere. The concept of a public has also been defined in political science,...

 process and product testing by independent laboratories. The program was launched in 2006.

Drinking water



EPA ensures safe drinking water
Drinking water
Drinking water or potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually...

 for the public, by setting standards for more than 160,000 public water system
Public water system
The US Safe Drinking Water Act and derivative legislation define public water system as an entity that provides "water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances to at least 15 service connections or serves an average of at least 25 people for at least 60 days a year."The...

s throughout the United States. EPA oversees states, local governments and water suppliers to enforce the standards, under the Safe Drinking Water Act
Safe Drinking Water Act
The Safe Drinking Water Act is the principle federal law in the United States intended to ensure safe drinking water for the public. Pursuant to the act, the Environmental Protection Agency is required to set standards for drinking water quality and oversee all states, localities, and water...

. The program includes regulation of injection well
Injection well
An injection well is a vertical pipe in the ground into which water, other liquids, or gases are pumped or allowed to flow.-Waste disposal: One application is waste water disposal, in which treated waste water is injected into the ground between impermeable layers of rocks to avoid polluting fresh...

s in order to protect underground sources of drinking water.

Radiation Protection


EPA has following seven groups of projects to protect public from nuclear contamination.
  • Waste Management Programs
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs
Protective Action Guide
EPA developed the manual to provide guideline for local and state governments to protect public from nuclear accident.
  • EPA Cleanup and Multi-Agency Programs
  • Risk Assessment and Federal Guidance Programs
  • Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Materials Program
  • Air and Water Programs
  • Radiation Source Reduction and Management

Research vessel




On March 3, 2004, the United States Navy transferred USNS Bold
USNS Bold (T-AGOS-12)
The Ocean Survey Vessel Bold is operated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Originally commissioned as the USNS Victorious, it was renamed USNS Bold and was a Stalwart-class Modified Tactical Auxiliary General Ocean Surveillance Ship of the United States Navy.Stalwart class...

, a Stalwart class ocean surveillance ship
Stalwart class ocean surveillance ship
Stalwart class auxiliary general ocean surveillance ships were a class of United States Naval Ship auxiliary support Ocean Surveillance Ships commissioned between April 1984 and January 1990...

, to the EPA, now known as OSV Bold. The ship previously used in anti-submarine operations during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, is equipped with sidescan sonar, underwater video, water and sediment sampling instruments, used in study of ocean and coastline. One of the major missions of Bold is to monitor sites where materials are dumped from dredging operations in U.S. ports for ecological impact.

Advance identification


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
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

. As of February 1993, 38 ADID projects had been completed and 33 were ongoing.

Air quality standards review


Since its inception the EPA has begun to rely less and less on its scientists and more on non-science personnel. EPA has recently changed their policies regarding limits for ground-level ozone
Tropospheric ozone
Ozone is a constituent of the troposphere . Photochemical and chemical reactions involving it drive many of the chemical processes that occur in the atmosphere by day and by night...

, particulates, sulfur dioxide
Sulfur dioxide
Sulfur dioxide is the chemical compound with the formula . It is released by volcanoes and in various industrial processes. Since coal and petroleum often contain sulfur compounds, their combustion generates sulfur dioxide unless the sulfur compounds are removed before burning the fuel...

, nitrogen oxide
Nitrogen oxide
Nitrogen oxide can refer to a binary compound of oxygen and nitrogen, or a mixture of such compounds:* Nitric oxide, also known as nitrogen monoxide, , nitrogen oxide* Nitrogen dioxide , nitrogen oxide...

s, carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide , also called carbonous oxide, is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air. It is highly toxic to humans and animals in higher quantities, although it is also produced in normal animal metabolism in low quantities, and is thought to have some normal...

 and lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

. New policies will minimize scientist interaction with the agency and rely more on policy makers who have minimal scientific knowledge. This new policy has been criticized by Democrats. On March 12, 2008, the federal government of the United States
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 reported that the air in hundreds of U.S. counties was simply too dirty to breathe, ordering a multi-billion dollar expansion of efforts to clean up smog
Smog
Smog is a type of air pollution; the word "smog" is a portmanteau of smoke and fog. Modern smog is a type of air pollution derived from vehicular emission from internal combustion engines and industrial fumes that react in the atmosphere with sunlight to form secondary pollutants that also combine...

 in cities and towns nationwide.

Fuel economy


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 at the last minute the EPA delayed its release.

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
Stephen L. Johnson
Stephen L. Johnson was the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush during the second term of his administration...

 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
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

, 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 bailed out General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

 and Chrysler
Chrysler
Chrysler Group LLC is a multinational automaker headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA. Chrysler was first organized as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925....

 in the Automotive industry crisis of 2008–2010, the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox
Chevrolet Equinox
The second generation Equinox was announced by GM on December 21, 2008, and debuted at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The 2010 Equinox went on sale in June 2009. It is built on a stiffened version of the same "Theta" platform used in the previous model. The new Equinox...

 was released with EPA fuel economy rating abnormally higher than its competitors. Independent road tests found that both vehicle did not out-perform its competitors, which had much lower fuel economy ratings. Later road tests found better, but inconclusive, results.

Global warming


In June 2005, a memo revealed that Philip Cooney
Philip Cooney
Philip A. Cooney is a former member of the administration of United States President George W. Bush. Before serving in the federal government, he was a lawyer and lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute.-Personal:...

, former chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality
Council on Environmental Quality
The Council on Environmental Quality is a division of the Executive Office of the President that coordinates federal environmental efforts in the United States and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental and energy policies and initiatives...

, and former lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute
American Petroleum Institute
The American Petroleum Institute, commonly referred to as API, is the largest U.S trade association for the oil and natural gas industry...

, had personally edited documents, summarizing government research on climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

, before their release. Cooney resigned two days after the memo was published in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

. Cooney said he had been planning to resign for over two years, implying the timing of his resignation was just a coincidence. Specifically, he said he had planned to resign to "spend time with his family." One week after resigning he took a job at Exxon Mobil in their public affairs department.

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 didn't open it; rather, they called Johnson and asked him to take back the draft. U.S. law clearly stated that the final decision was the EPA administrator's, not President Bush's. 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.

Greenhouse gas emissions


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began regulating greenhouse gases (GHGs) from mobile and stationary sources of air pollution under the Clean Air Act (“CAA” or “Act”) for the first time on January 2, 2011. Standards for mobile sources have been established pursuant to Section 202 of the CAA, and GHGs from stationary sources are controlled under the authority of Part C of Title I of the Act. See the page Regulation of Greenhouse Gases Under the Clean Air Act
Regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act
The United States Environmental Protection Agency began regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act from mobile and stationary sources of air pollution for the first time on January 2, 2011...

 for further information.

Libraries


In 2004, the Agency began a strategic planning exercise to develop plans for a more virtual approach to library services. The effort was curtailed in July 2005 when the Agency proposed a $2.5 million cut in its 2007 budget for libraries. Based on the proposed 2007 budget, the EPA posted a notice to the Federal Register
Federal Register
The Federal Register , abbreviated FR, or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal of the federal government of the United States that contains most routine publications and public notices of government agencies...

, September 20, 2006 that EPA Headquarters Library would close its doors to walk-in patrons and visitors on October 1, 2006. The EPA also closed some of its regional libraries and reduced hours in others, using the same FY 2007 proposed budget numbers.

On October 1, 2008, the Agency re-opened regional libraries in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Dallas and Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

 and the library at its Headquarters in Washington, DC.

In June 2011, the EPA Library Network published a strategic plan for fiscal years 2012-2014.

Mercury emissions


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
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

 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
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 which contradicted its position on mercury controls. The suit alleges that the EPA's rule allowing exemption from "maximum available control technology" was illegal, and additionally charged that the EPA's system of pollution credit trading allows power plants to forego reducing mercury emissions. 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.

9/11 air ratings


A report released by the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Environmental Protection Agency in August 2003 claimed that the White House put pressure on the EPA to delete cautionary information about the air quality in New York City around Ground Zero following the September 11, 2001 attacks.


Very fine airborne particulates


Tiny particles, under 2.5 micrometres, are attributed to health and mortality concerns, so some health advocates want the EPA to regulate it. The science may be in its infancy, although many conferences have discussed the trails of this airborne matter in the air. Foreign governments such as Australia and most EU States have addressed this issue.

The EPA first established standards in 1997, and strengthened them in 2006. As with other standards, regulation and enforcement of the PM2.5 standards is the responsibility of the state governments, through State Implementation Plan
State Implementation Plan
A State Implementation Plan is a United States state plan for complying with the federal Clean Air Act, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency...

s.

Political pressure and Scientific Integrity


In April 2008, the Union of Concerned Scientists
Union of Concerned Scientists
The Union of Concerned Scientists is a nonprofit science advocacy group based in the United States. The UCS membership includes many private citizens in addition to professional scientists. James J...

 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 has been more prevalent in the last five years compared to previous years. The highest number of complaints came from scientists who are 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 in a 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. 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.

Environmental justice


The EPA has been criticized for its lack of progress towards environmental justice
Environmental justice
Environmental justice is "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies." In the words of Bunyan Bryant,...

. Administrator Christine Todd Whitman
Christine Todd Whitman
Christine Todd "Christie" Whitman is an American Republican politician and author who served as the 50th Governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001, and was the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the administration of President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2003. She was New...

 was criticized for her changes to President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

'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
Office of the Inspector General
Office of the Inspector General is an office that is part of Cabinet departments and independent agencies of the United States federal government as well as some state and local governments. Each office includes an Inspector General and employees charged with identifying, auditing, and...

 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
Superfund
Superfund is the common name for the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 , a United States federal law designed to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous substances...

 program, and that this equity was worsening.

Barriers to enforcing environmental justice



Localization
Many issues of environmental justice are localized, and are therefore hard to be addressed by federal agencies such as the EPA. Without significant media attention, political interest, or ‘crisis’ status, local issues are less likely to be addressed on local or federal level. With a still developing sector of environmental justice under the EPA, small, local incidents are unlikely to be solved compared to larger, well publicized incidents.

Conflicting political powers
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, and perceived concerns of, 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, which in turn affected the motivation for environmental enforcement.

Responsibilities of the EPA
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. While the EPA aids in preventing and identifying hazardous situations, it is hard to construct a specific mission statement given its wide range of responsibilities. 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.

Authority of the EPA
Under different circumstances, the EPA faces many limitations to enforcing environmental justice. It 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.

List of EPA administrators


No. Administrator Picture Start of term End of term President(s)
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

1 William D. Ruckelshaus 1971 1973 Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

2 Russell E. Train
Russell E. Train
Russell Errol Train was the second Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency , from September 1973 to January 1977, and the Founder Chairman Emeritus of World Wildlife Fund . As head of the EPA under U.S...

1973 1977 Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

3 Douglas M. Costle
Douglas M. Costle
Douglas Michael Costle was one of the architects of the United States Environmental Protection Agency , and he served President Jimmy Carter as EPA Administrator from 1977 to 1981.- Early life and education :...

1977 1981 Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

4 Anne M. Gorsuch (Burford) 1981 1983 Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

5 William D. Ruckelshaus 1983 1985 Ronald Reagan
6 Lee M. Thomas
Lee M. Thomas
Lee Muller Thomas was head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency from 1985 to 1989 under President Ronald Reagan...

1985 1989 Ronald Reagan
7 William K. Reilly
William K. Reilly
William K. Reilly was Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George H. W. Bush. He has served as president of World Wildlife Fund, as a founder or advisor to several business ventures, and on many boards of directors...

1989 1993 George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

8 Carol M. Browner
Carol M. Browner
Carol Martha Browner is an American lawyer, environmentalist, and businesswoman, who served as director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011...

1993 2001 Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

9 Christine Todd Whitman
Christine Todd Whitman
Christine Todd "Christie" Whitman is an American Republican politician and author who served as the 50th Governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001, and was the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the administration of President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2003. She was New...

2001 2003 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

10 Michael O. Leavitt 2003 2005 George W. Bush
11 Stephen L. Johnson
Stephen L. Johnson
Stephen L. Johnson was the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush during the second term of his administration...

2005 2009 George W. Bush
12 Lisa P. Jackson
Lisa P. Jackson
Lisa Perez Jackson is an American chemical engineer currently serving as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency . Previously, she worked at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for 6 years, first as an assistant commissioner and later as commissioner...

2009 present Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...


See also



  • Acid mine drainage
    Acid mine drainage
    Acid mine drainage , or acid rock drainage , refers to the outflow of acidic water from metal mines or coal mines. However, other areas where the earth has been disturbed may also contribute acid rock drainage to the environment...

  • Air dispersion modeling
  • Air pollution
    Air pollution
    Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere....

  • American Heritage Rivers
    American Heritage Rivers
    American Heritage Rivers are designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to receive special attention to further three objectives: natural resource and environmental protection, economic revitalization, and historic and cultural preservation.The American Heritage Rivers...

  • AP 42 Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors
    AP 42 Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors
    The AP 42 Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors, was first published by the U.S. Public Health Service in 1968. In 1972, it was revised and issued as the second edition by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency . In 1985, the subsequent fourth edition was split into two volumes...

  • Atmospheric dispersion modeling
    Atmospheric dispersion modeling
    Atmospheric dispersion modeling is the mathematical simulation of how air pollutants disperse in the ambient atmosphere. It is performed with computer programs that solve the mathematical equations and algorithms which simulate the pollutant dispersion...

  • BioWatch
    BioWatch
    BioWatch is a United States Federal Government program to detect the release of pathogens into the air as part of a terrorist attack on major American cities. Reportedly operating in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, DC, San Diego, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, St...

  • Brownfield land
    Brownfield land
    Brownfield sites are abandoned or underused industrial and commercial facilities available for re-use. Expansion or redevelopment of such a facility may be complicated by real or perceived environmental contaminations. Cf. Waste...

  • Energy law
    Energy law
    Energy laws govern the use and taxation of energy, both renewable and non-renewable. These laws are the primary authorities related to energy...

  • Environmentalism
    Environmentalism
    Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

  • Environmental Technology Verification Program
    Environmental Technology Verification Program
    The Environmental Technology Verification Program of the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States develops testing protocols and verifies the performance of innovative environmental technologies that can address problems that threaten human health or the natural environment...

  • EPA Methods
    EPA Methods
    The United States Environmental Protection Agency maintains test methods, which are approved procedures for measuring the presence and concentration of physical and chemical pollutants; evaluating properties, such as toxic properties, of chemical substances; or measuring the effects of substances...

  • Federal On Scene Coordinator
    Federal On Scene Coordinator
    The Federal On Scene Coordinator , is a designation in the United States for an individual that:*Is responsible for providing access to federal resources and technical assistance...

  • Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP Federation)
    Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP Federation)
    The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners is a broad-based, distributed community of data and information technology practitioners that voluntarily come together to leverage collaborative synergies that create coordinated interoperability efforts across domain-specific communities...

  • FMVSS
  • Green Sticker programs

  • List of solid waste treatment technologies
  • List of Superfund sites in the United States
  • List of waste management companies
  • List of waste management topics
  • Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency
    Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency
    Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 549 U.S. 497 , is a U.S. Supreme Court case decided 5-4 in which twelve states and several cities of the United States brought suit against the United States Environmental Protection Agency to force that federal agency to regulate carbon dioxide...

  • MyEnvironment
    MyEnvironment
    is an application built by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to help the public get a sense of environmental indicators in their neighborhood. By keying in a geography, the application comes back with information about the local land, air and water. It mines mostly EPA but also...

  • Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training
  • Regulatory Flexibility Act
  • Renewable energy
    Renewable energy
    Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

  • Stormwater
    Stormwater
    Stormwater is water that originates during precipitation events. It may also be used to apply to water that originates with snowmelt that enters the stormwater system...

  • U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
    U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
    The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, also known as the Chemical Safety Board or CSB, is an independent U.S. federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the agency's board members are appointed by the president and...

  • U.S. Climate Change Science Program
  • Watershed central
    Watershed Central
    Watershed Central is an Environmental Protection Agency website developed to organize information and tools relevant to watershed management from across the country....

  • Wise Use Movement


External links