U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
|Environmental Protection Agency|
|Deputy Director:||Bob Perciasepe|
|Annual budget:||$8.2 billion (2014)|
|Total employed:||15,913 (2013)|
|Official website:||Office website|
- 1 History
- 2 Structure
- 3 Initiatives
- 4 Issues
- 5 Analysis
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The EPA employed 15,913 people in 2013. The EPA develops and enforces regulations; gives grants to non-profit, educational institutions and state environmental agencies; studies environmental issues; publishes the agency's findings (as well as other educational materials) and sponsors partnerships.
The EPA was formed in 1970, deriving its duties from the U.S. Department of the Interior; U.S. Department of Agriculture; U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare; Atomic Energy Commission; Federal Radiation Council and the Council on Environmental Equality.
Following are important dates in the EPA's history:
- 1970: The Environmental Protection Agency is formed by President Richard Nixon under its first Administrator, William D. Ruckelshaus.
- 1970: Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to set standards for pollution, auto emissions and air quality.
- 1972: EPA bans the pesticide DDT.
- 1972: Clean Water Act passed by Congress.
- 1972: Ocean Dumping Act passed, allowing EPA to restrict ocean pollution.
- 1973: Transportation controls established in cities, such as carpool and bus lanes.
- 1973: EPA begins to gradually decrease lead in gasoline.
- 1974: Safe Drinking Water Act passed, allowing EPA to regulate drinking water quality.
- 1977: Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act regulatory control strengthened through amendments passed by Congress.
- 1979: EPA chosen to monitor radiation levels after Three Mile Island incident.
- 1982: Nuclear Waste Policy Act passed, allowing for safe disposal of nuclear waste.
- 1986: Safe Drinking Water Act regulations tightened through amendments passed by Congress.
- 1990: Pollution Prevention Act passed.
- 1996: Leaded gasoline completely phased out.
- 1996: Renters and home buyers required to be informed about lead-based paint hazards.
- 2006: EPA signs contract to offset all electricity the agency uses by investing in wind power.
- 2007: BP pays largest environmental fine in history, $62 million.
The official EPA mission statement is as follows:
|“||The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.||”|
Gina McCarthy is currently the Administrator of the EPA.
|Administrators of the EPA Full History|
|EPA Administrator||Years in office||Nominated by||Confirmation vote|
|William D. Ruckelshaus||1970-1973||Richard Nixon|
|Russell E. Train||1973-1977||Richard Nixon|
|Douglas M. Costle||1977-1981||Jimmy Carter|
|Anne M. Gorsuch||1981-1983||Ronald Reagan|
|William D. Ruckelshaus||1983-1985||Ronald Reagan|
|Lee M. Thomas||1985-1989||Ronald Reagan|
|William K. Reilly||1989-1993||George H.W. Bush|
|Carol M. Browner||1993-2001||Bill Clinton|
|Christine Todd Whitman||2001-2003||George W. Bush|
|Michael O. Leavitt||2003-2005||George W. Bush|
|Stephen L. Johnson||2005-2009||George W. Bush|
|Lisa P. Jackson||2009-2013||Barack Obama|
|Gina McCarthy||2013-Present||Barack Obama||59-40|
Note: Votes marked "N/A" represent voice votes or unrecorded votes. Missing votes will be filled as they are researched.
The EPA released seven themes of the agency's future. They are as follows:
—U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Water rights rule
The EPA proposed a rule, as part of the Clean Water Act, that would allow the agency to determine which bodies of water is regulated by the federal government. The House passed legislation with a 262-152 vote to stop the EPA from being able to make rules regarding the Clean Water Act. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) commented on the EPA's proposal, saying, "I have heard from many of my constituents that this rule would force them to prove that large mud puddles and ditches on their property are not federally regulated waters." On the other hand, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) wrote it off, stating, "We have departed from reality." Thirty-five democrats broke ranks to vote in support of the bill, while one Republican, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), went against the grain and voted against its passage.
The White House acknowledged that a veto would be used if the bill were to pass the Senate. A White House statement to House leaders read, "Clarifying the scope of the [Clean Water Act] helps to protect clean water, safeguard public health, and strengthen the economy."
Carbon cap executive order
On June 2, 2014, President Barack Obama signed an executive order intended to cut carbon pollution in the United States by 30 percent of 2005 levels by 2030. The order allowed states to individually determine which policies would be more effective for them to reach their goals. A similar bill was debated by Congress during Obama's first term in office, but it failed to pass. Obama used powers established by the 1970 Clean Air Act to sign the executive order. Legal challenges were expected to arise over the 645 page order. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said of the rule, "This is not just about disappearing polar bears or melting ice caps. This is about protecting our health and our homes. This is about protecting local economies and jobs."
President Obama gave the EPA until June 2015 to finalize the rule and states have until June 2016 to submit their plans, but the EPA pushed the deadline for states back to 2017 for those working individually and 2018 for those working together on plans.
According to some estimates, hundreds of the nation's 6,000 coal plants that could be shut down by 2030 as a result of the new. The Chamber of Commerce estimated that the new rule could result in a lowering of the gross domestic product (GDP) by as much as $50 billion annually.
The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) president spoke out against the action, suggesting 75,000 jobs could be lost by 2020. He stated, "The proposed rule … will lead to long-term and irreversible job losses for thousands of coal miners, electrical workers, utility workers, boilermakers, railroad workers and others without achieving any significant reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions." Additionally, Democratic lawmakers and candidates in coal-driven states have come out in opposition to the president's plan, including Alison Lundergan Grimes, Natalie Tennant and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV).
The attorneys general from 13 states sent a letter on August 25, 2014, demanding that the rule be repealed, as the EPA broke the law by excluding information from the report. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey claimed the rule was unlawful, explaining, "hese docketing requirements are nondiscretionary,” wrote the attorneys, who represent major coal states including Wyoming, Indiana and Montana. “Finalizing a rule without providing parties with the technical information necessary for meaningful comment renders the final rule unlawful." He continued, including the Obama administration, "This is another blatant example of this agency’s disregard for the rule of law,” Morrisey said in a statement. “It is abundantly clear that EPA and the Obama administration will not allow anything to get in the way of enacting these illegal, burdensome regulations on coal-fired power plants."
Twelve of the states also filed a lawsuit against the EPA on August 4, 2014, claiming that the agency can't, by its own rules, regulate the emissions of existing power plants. Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) stated, "Congress has already rejected legislation that would put limits on carbon dioxide emissions, and a law of this significance should be passed by the legislative branch." States participating are Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina, Wyoming and South Dakota.
Hydraulic fracturing study
- See also: Fracking
In 2009, the United States House of Representatives requested that the EPA investigate the possible impact of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," on drinking water resources. The agency began its research in 2011, focusing on the five stages of the fracking water cycle and associated primary research questions:
—Environmental Protection Agency
The agency is conducting analyses of existing data, scenario evaluations, laboratory studies, toxicity assessments and case studies in its preparation of the report. In December 2012, the EPA released a progress report. The agency expects to release a draft report in "early 2015."
GAO analysis report
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) called for an investigation by the Government Accountability Office in 2011 on the cost-benefit analysis numbers produced by the EPA for their reports. Their findings, released in a 53 page report on August 11, 2014, showed that the agency did not monetize the costs and benefits of seven large programs and used a decades old study when examining the impact of the programs on employment. The GAO report stated, "Without improvements in its estimates, EPA’s RIAs may be limited in their usefulness for helping decision makers and the public understand these important effects." Issa released a statement criticizing the agency, saying, "Rather than using a fair and open rulemaking process, EPA pushed through regulations using sloppy analysis without sufficiently informing Congress or the public of the economic impact." The report recommended the agency ensure their reporting methods follow the government standards.
|EPA Annual Budget|
|Year||Budget (in billions)||% Difference from previous year|
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- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Official EPA website
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- EPA on Flickr
- EPA YouTube channel
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Our Mission and What We Do," accessed March 14, 2014
- The Huffington Post, "Senate approves Obama-pick McCarthy to head EPA," July 18, 2013
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "EPA's Budget and Spending," accessed March 14, 2014
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Duties Transferred to EPA," accessed March 14, 2014
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "EPA History," accessed March 14, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "EPA's Themes - Meeting the Challenge Ahead," accessed August 5, 2014
- The Hill, "House passes bill to halt EPA water rule," September 9, 2014
- GovTrack, "H.R. 5078: Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014," September 9, 2014
- The Hill, "White House threatens to veto bill to kill EPA water rule," September 8, 2014
- The New York Times, "Obama to Take Action to Slash Coal Pollution," June 1, 2014
- USA Today, "EPA seeks 30% cut in power plant carbon emissions by 2030," June 2, 2014
- Fox News, "Unions slam Obama EPA rule," June 3, 2014
- The New York Times, "Democrats in Coal Country Run From E.P.A.," June 2, 2014
- The Hill, "States: EPA climate regs illegally left out data," August 25, 2014
- The Hill, "Coal country sues EPA over climate rules," August 4, 2014
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "EPA's Study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources," accessed August 27, 2014
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources: Progress Report," December 2012
- JD supra Business Advisor, "EPA Further Delays Hydraulic Fracturing Study as Controversy Builds," November 4, 2014
- The Hill, "GAO faults cost analyses for EPA regulations," August 11, 2014