Bob Woodmansee: EPA endangered
On June 29, 1969, Ohio’s Cuyahoga River, polluted from years of industrial waste, caught fire. The previous decade saw the human health and environmental disaster known as Love Canal in New York. In 1962, Rachael Carson warned of the human and environmental dangers of the indiscriminate and unregulated use of pesticides. Severe air pollution was becoming recognized as having human health risks, including emphysema and asthma.
These and many other human health and environmental crises in the nation and the world led to the “Environmental Revolution.” Congress and President Richard Nixon responded in 1970 by enacting the National Environmental Policy Act and creating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
EPA’s basic mission is “to protect human health and the environment — air, water and land.” EPA, state, local and tribal agencies work together to ensure compliance with environmental laws passed by Congress, state legislatures and tribal governments. For much more information about the EPA visit and explore the web site http://www.epa.gov.
Since its inception, the EPA and its regulatory authority has caused the ire of many special interest groups for placing “undue” regulatory burdens on existing or proposed activities. Rationalizations or excuses for claiming regulatory “over” burden are threats to jobs, the economy, increased cost of doing business, greed, or simply due to anti-government and anti-science ideology.
A prime example of this ideology is the current assault on the EPA by President Trump and EPA Administrator Pruitt through proposed drastic budget and program cuts. People must remember; regulations are simply protections put in place because someone, some group, or the “environment” (public domain) has been, or likely will be, harmed by activities initiated by other individuals or groups.
In Colorado, the EPA has a close working relationship with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that in turn works closely with local county and municipal agencies such as the Routt County Environmental Health Department.
Active EPA programs of special interest to Northwest Colorado are water quality monitoring and assessment via the Clean Water Act. Air pollution monitoring and regulation through the Clean Air Act is another major emphasis of EPA.
EPA awards grants to counties and municipalities for cleanup of hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants through the Brownfield Program. The EPA collaborates with many federal, state and local and non-governmental agencies and universities to determine the scientific basis of causes and consequences of climate change (e.g., future water availability and water quality in river basins, greenhouse gas dynamics, etc.).
Call Senator Cory Gardner in Washington D.C. at 202-224-5941 and Representative Scott Tipton in Washington D.C. at 202-225-4761 and tell them to oppose cuts to EPA budgets and programs.
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