EPA – Q & A

Q. Why is the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) essential to our well being?

Ans. The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment. Using the best scientists, the law, and public input the EPA is charged with reviewing scientific data, monitoring industrial processes, and developing appropriate controls

Q. How has our country benefited from the Clean Air Act Amendments?

Ans. A recent EPA report shows that “in 2010 alone, the reductions in fine particle and ozone pollution  prevented more than:  160,000 cases of premature mortality, 130,000 heart attacks, 13 million lost work days, and 1.7 million asthma attacks… The direct benefits from the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments are estimated to reach almost $2 trillion for the year 2020, a figure that dwarfs the direct costs of implementation ($65 billion).”

Q. Why does the EPA need to update regulations under the Clean Air Act?

Ans. To control toxic air pollutants and limit pollutants that are causing global climate change.

Q. Why should the EPA control CO2 emissions?

Ans. Science shows that rising average temperatures, caused by increases in CO2 and other greenhouse gases, are already affecting the global climate. These changes will result in extreme weather events, flooding, social disruptions, threats to human health, habitat destruction, and alterations in food production.

Q. Why does the EPA intervene in coal mining permits?

Ans. The Clean Water Act gave the EPA the responsibility to oversee the impacts of mining and other practices on our waters. Mountain Top Removal mining has destroyed over 2,000 miles of headwater streams so far.

Q.. Why is the EPA mandating that runoff from West Virginia and other states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and its tributaries be controlled?

Ans. The Chesapeake Bay is the country’s largest estuary and historically its harvest was abundant. The Bay is also a center for recreation for millions of people. Through the years agricultural runoff and untreated sewage have degraded the Bay’s ecosystem causing a crash in harvesting oysters and other aquatic sources of food. Voluntary efforts to clean up the Bay and its tributaries have been unsuccessful. The time has come to mandate a reduction in the nutrients and sediment ending up in the Chesapeake Bay.

Q. Why are many in Congress and others trying to emasculate the EPA by working to keep the EPA from controlling CO2 and toxic air pollutants, and restricting its regulatory powers over water pollution?

Ans. I don’t know.

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