The EPA: Can It, Will It Save Our Environment?
Pollution of our environment is an issue that concerns each and every one of us. "The threat of environmental degradation now looms greater than the threat of nuclear war." Patrick Henry said, "I know no way of judging the future but by the past." In the past man has trampled on the environment.
"The word 'ecology' means 'a study of home.'" It means discovering what damage man has done, then finding ways to fix it.The Environmental Protection Agency is trying to fix our home, the planet Earth.
Destruction of forests, land degradation, atmosperic contamination, and water scarcity are some of the major environmental problems. In 1970, the EPA was created by President Nixon to protect the public health and environment. The cancer-causing DDT was banned in 1972 and was found accumulating in the food chain. The use of lead in gasoline was phased out in '73 which caused lead levels to drop 98%. In '74 the agency required drinking water to be physically and chemically treated. CFCs were banned in '78 and a nation-wide toxic waste site cleanup program was developed in 1980. The EPA then evacuated Times Beach, Montana for dangerous levels of dioxin in soil, which was then criticized for its heavyhandedness and arrogance. Charges of mismanagement and undue political influence caused the head of the EPA to resign in '83. "The deputy director resigns because of charges of making a 'hit list' of employees to be hired, fired, or promoted because of political leanings. The former head of the toxic waste cleanup is found guilty of perjury and obstructing congressional inquiry. A regulation requiring treatment of hazardous wastes before disposal underground was made in 1984." The spill of the Exxon Valdez caused the Environmental Protection Agency to be ctiticized for slow response in '89. Texas Eastern Gas Pipeline was fined $15 million for the contamination of PCB at 89 sites in '90. They were also...
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