What is the EPA’s mis­sion?

The Week (US) - - News -

The agency was cre­ated by Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon in 1970—a time when in­dus­trial pol­lu­tion shrouded cities in smog, turned rivers and lakes into toxic stews of hu­man waste and chem­i­cals, and left shore­lines black­ened by garbage and oil spills. “Through our years of past care­less­ness,” Nixon said, “we in­curred a debt to na­ture, and now that debt is be­ing called.” He tasked the new agency with pro­tect­ing Amer­i­cans’ health and the en­vi­ron­ment. For most of the past half-cen­tury, Con­gress and the White House have en­acted en­vi­ron­men­tal laws that set out broad pol­icy goals, which the EPA turns into reg­u­la­tions rooted in sci­en­tific re­search. These reg­u­la­tions carry the force of law. Es­sen­tially, Con­gress loans the EPA its con­sti­tu­tional au­thor­ity to reg­u­late com­merce, on the as­sump­tion that sci­en­tists and tech­ni­cally ori­ented ex­perts are able to make more spe­cific, up-to-date reg­u­la­tions than leg­is­la­tors can.

A coal-fired power plant in New Mex­ico: Less reg­u­la­tion

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