Term: Environmental Protection Agency

Description: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an agency of the United States federal government. EPA is charged with protecting human health and safeguarding the natural environment, including water, land, and air. The EPA leads the nation's environmental science, research, education, and assessment efforts. Their mission is "to protect human health and the environment." They are working for a cleaner, healthier environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency was proposed by Richard Nixon and began operation on December 2, 1970. In July of 1970, the White House and Congress worked together to establish the Environmental Protection Agency in response to the growing public demand for cleaner water, air and land. The EPA was assigned the task of repairing the damage done to the natural environment and to establish new criteria to guide Americans in making a cleaner environment. Agency executives include Gina McCarthy, the Administrator and Bob Perciasepe, the Deputy Administrator. The annual budget is $7.9 billion.

The EPA protects human health by making the air, water, and land cleaner and safer for mankind to live. Some programs the EPA has established are Energy Star, WaterSense, and the Air Quality Modeling Group (AQMG). Energy Star, established in 1992, fosters energy efficiency. In 2006, WaterSense was developed to foster water efficiency. AQMG provides leadership and direction on the full range of air quality models, air pollution dispersion models, and other mathematical simulation techniques used to assess pollution control strategies and the impacts of air pollution sources.

Water Enforcement - The EPA enforces regulations under the clean water act and the safe drinking water act. The clean water act regulates the discharge of pollutants into America's waters and quality standards for surface water. In order to enforce these regulations they undertake investigations and monitor actions through different agencies. Some of these include inspections to prevent oil spills and storm water inspections on industrial sites. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was put in place to protect the quality of all water that could even potentially be used for drinking. This act is also enforced through monitoring and inspections. The Public Water Supply Supervision was put in place to monitor drinking water and protect public health. Through this three resources are provided to help the regulated community monitor their drinking water. These resources include Drinking Water Academy, Sanitary Survey Training, and Laboratories and Monitoring.

The Environmental Protection Agency employs 17,000 people across the country; including 27 laboratories and 10 regional offices. The staff includes scientists, engineers, and environmental protection specialists. The EPA conducts environmental assessment, research, and education. They are also responsible for setting and enforcing national standards under a variety of environmental laws, in consultation with state, tribal, and local governments. The EPA also works with industries and all levels of government in a wide variety of voluntary pollution prevention programs and energy conservation efforts.



Resources:
http://www.epa.gov/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPA

Citations/References:
http://www.epa.gov/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPA
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/03/gina-mccarthy-seasoned-regulator-primed-for-the-climate-fight-88356.html

Graphics:
Gina McCarthy is pictured. | AP Photo
Gina McCarthy is pictured. | AP Photo
Current Administrator Gina McCarthy.


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