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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a federal system set up to protect the United States health by protecting our water, air and soil from pollution. By enforcing both the Clean Air/Water Act, the EPA demands responsibility upon them to protect our water and air from harmful contaminations. Although the Clean Air/Water Act is worldwide, not everyone in the world abides by it. However, it is an act that the United States has taken very serious.
The Clean/Air Water Act, which was established in 1948 but later renamed in 1970, enforced waste pollution control programs. For example, to control the restriction of polluted discharges into our waters used for business and transportation, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program was established. This permit program requires permission to dump waste in our water, creating excessive pollution. The Clean Water Act also enforced the Pretreatment program, which controls what is released down our drains and sewers and also monitors industries. The EPA also enforces ways to protect acid rain, conditions to ozone layer, toxic pollutants in the air, as well as regional haze. However, depending on what the pollution problem is, calls for either the state, local, federal and tribal government programs to get involved. For example, in regards to preventing acid rain, the EPA sets up a federal program to dispose power plants that develop acid rain. Programs that are established through the Clean Air/Water act allow legislation that is needed in the United States. Without the enforced acts to protect our environment, our world would most likely be under environmental attack. I believe this because even with the attempt to protect our water and air by recycling and decreasing air pollution, Americans still do not cooperate or care to save our environment. Within the Clean Air/Water Act that is regulated through the EPA, our environment is protected through force rather than volunteered action. However, if the Environmental Protection Agency regulations were repealed, the U.S’s atmosphere would be in severe danger.
The Washington Examiner published an article about Republicans vowing to repeal Obama’s proposal to regulate the amount of carbon that is released into the air from power plants. By limiting the carbon levels in our power plants, President Obama’s proposal was an attempt to “fight climate change.” However, the republicans weren’t fond about the idea and believed that our technologically advanced enough. They also believed this approach would result in economic instability. “The presidents decision today is an escalation of the war on coal, and what that really means for Kentucky families is an escalation of his war on jobs and the Kentucky economy,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said. However, if this EPA regulation to protect our air is repealed, excessive amounts of carbon will continue to be released into the air. This problem can affect us severely and only get worst as time goes on. (http://washingtonexaminer.com/republicans-vow-to-repeal-epa-regulations-on-coal-plants/article/2536155)
Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, is a process of drilling into the earth. However, the mixture of water, sand and chemicals that are inserted into the earth releases an excessive amount of gas. The use of fracking has become an environmental problem in numerous ways. For example, according to environmental campaigners, fracking requires a needless amount of energy and the investment of renewable sources of energy encourage us to have to use our fossil fuels. In addition, the extracting amount of gas being released into the air is also causing air pollution. Also, the use of the chemicals is contributing to the contamination of our bodies of water. Although our water is being polluted, to protect our drinking water, the U.S has enforced the Safe Water Act and the Clean Water Act. These acts separate us from being contaminated from the polluted water.
Waste products are a huge part of pollution. Electronic waste, also known as e-waste, is the disposal of electronic products that have no specific use anymore. However, even though these electronic products are not of any use anymore, they can still be re-used or recycled. When disposed or thrown away, they left to end up in landfills or incinerators. Worldwide, e-waste contributes as five percent of solid waste to our environment. However, five percent is still as hazardous.
“But the air and waters surrounding us cannot be readily fenced, and so the tragedy of the commons as a cesspool must be prevented by different means, by coercive laws or taxing devices…”(302) The Tragedy of the Commons by Garrett Hardin speaks upon pollution. In relations to the EPA regulations enforced, the tragedy of the commons is attempting to be prevented. Although we as Americans are not cooperating to keep our environment clean, the use of the Environmental Protection Agency prevents us from being in complete global destruction.
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