Environmental Protection Agency was created on December 2, 1970 by President Nixon. He combined several committees and organized them in to EPA. This was in the wake of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson and the focus around environment and pollution. Nixon declared that its mission would center on:
- The establishment and enforcement of environmental protection standards consistent with national environmental goals.
- The conduct of research on the adverse effects of pollution and on methods and equipment for controlling it; the gathering of information on pollution; and the use of this information in strengthening environmental protection programs and recommending policy changes.
- Assisting others, through grants, technical assistance and other means, in arresting pollution of the environment.
- Assisting the Council on Environmental Quality in developing and recommending to the President new policies for the protection of the environment.
What are the consequences of shutting down EPA?
“Taken literally, Trump’s proposal to abolish EPA is a recipe for dirty air and legal chaos. EPA doesn’t just invent its regulations out of thin air. It is the agency charged with implementing laws such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, which have been passed by Congress. It studies pollutants that are harmful to human health, writes rules to curb those pollutants, and monitors compliance. If Congress abolished EPA but did not repeal the laws that require the federal government to limit pollution, the result would be total incoherence. The government would have legal obligations it could not meet.
As The Guardian explained in a February article:
Scrapping the EPA … would cause an unravelling of basic protections of air and water. …
Robert Percival, director of the environmental law program at the University of Maryland, said ditching the EPA was a “ridiculous idea.”
“It reflects a lack of understanding over the US legal system, you’d have to fundamentally repeal or change all our environmental laws,” he said. …
“Trump is demagoguing. It plays to the far-right base but it would have enormous consequences for people’s health.”
If Trump actually managed to kill EPA, Percival predicts that a race to the bottom would ensue, with states deregulating pollution and toxic chemicals in order to attract dirty industries. But it could be even more chaotic than that: Liberal states, environmental and public health organizations, and affected communities could sue the federal government, arguing it is failing to meet its legal obligations. That could lead to court orders that the executive branch would not be able to comply with unless Congress reestablished the agency or something like it.
Of course, there is a relatively simple solution to this problem, which would be to repeal the pollution-control laws themselves. That would be principled, if unpopular, small-government conservatism (not that Trump is actually an advocate of small government). But Trump and other Republicans haven’t taken that politically risky stance. Most voters may dislike bureaucracy, but they like clean air and clean water.”
EPA in the media
MSNBC: Tip exposes Trump lockdown of EPA, also USDA and other US agencies.