What Does The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Do?

As we all know, there are major problems with our environment because of widespread industrialization and urbanisation. For example, the use of pesticides such as DDT had been a mainstay for farmers and crop growers in the 1960s because it protected the harvest from damage by insects. It had been used because it was extremely toxic to many insects and was economical and easy to use because of its insolubility in water. However, scientists published journals and books that criticized the use of such chemicals because of its effects on our environment. As a result, Richard Nixon put together a federal agency called the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) so that the efforts to put together regulation and law regarding our environment were united. Here at Iris Environmental Laboratories, we specialize in mold and asbestos inspection and remediation services that are the best in the country for the most competitive prices. We have laboratories in many different locations and are dedicated to providing the best for our customers. Below are some of the things that the EPA does for our country and the environment.

Air Pollution

Before the government even cared about regulating air pollution, many American towns and cities were plagued by smog. The smog caused severe health problems and led to the deaths of many people. In 1970, something known as the Clean Air Act authorized the EPA to regulate the air pollutants in America. The EPA then began to regulate the levels of lead in the air. At that point, close to 5000 Americans were dying annually because of lead poisoning.

Because of the Clean Air Act, the EPA was able to reduce the levels of many toxic compounds that could be found in the air at the time. Some of these dangerous substances include mercury and arsenic. They were also able to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions which caused acid rain.

Water Pollution

Similarly to the Clean Air Act, there was something called the Clean Water Act that was passed in 1972. This also allowed the EPA to set some water pollution regulations. It is interesting to note that water pollution at the time was not only caused by the toxic waste from industrialization. Before the 1970s, most places in America channelled their sewage into water bodies without any treatment. The act allowed the usage of federal money to build municipal sewage treatment plants. Since then, the condition of the rivers and other water bodies in the United States has largely improved thanks to the EPA’s efforts.

Climate Change

The EPA is also playing its part in fighting climate change. In order to do this, they have to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide that is a by-product of burning fossil duels. Carbon dioxide is the main cause of climate change and global warming because it destroys our ozone layer, which is our planet’s protection from the sun. The EPA has set national regulations for power plants in order to reduce carbon pollution. This has greatly reduced the amount of carbon emissions coming from power plants and contributes to the climate change effort by the rest of the world.