The Unites States Environmental Protection Agency is a dedicated agency of the Federal government of the United States. It was created mainly to protect and preserve human health and the environment that we live in. It’s mainly concerned with writing, regulating and reinforcing environmental and related laws that are often passed by the congress. History has it that it was started by President Richard Nixon in 1970. The headquarters are based in Washington D.C. However, it has selected regions in 10 other different locations.
The agency was brought into place following the outcry of environmental degradation that took place in the early 1950s and 1960s. It had been noted that several factories and companies were rapidly coming up in the U.S. These had several advantages because it meant better lives for the Americans at large. However this was also causing environmental degradation in the near future. Factories were noted to emitting large amounts of smoke to the environment. This caused massive air pollution which had several dire consequences to the public. The same factories were noted to direct other forms of waste material directly into the fresh water rivers, streams and lakes.
This then led to water pollution. Following this, there was an outcry by several members of the senate, notably Senator Henry M. Jackson. Together with the other members they insisted that an environmental policy needed to be put in place to ensure that the environment is well preserved. This then led to the development of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. This policy was signed by the then president on 1st January 1970 and was one of the major milestones that led to the later formation of the agency. Several laws were subsequently passed in that same year to the effect that the environment was well catered for despite the sudden rise of several factories and industries. Some changes started to be noted, however, these were not sufficiently satisfactory and they then led to the final formation of the United States Environmental protection agency in December 1970.
Several laws and acts have then been enacted following the establishment of the agency. These form the basis of the stipulated functions of the agency. These include acts controlling air, water and land pollution, endangered species, hazardous wastes among several other acts involving fungicides and pesticides. The main function of the EPA is to ensure that the several environmental acts of parliament passed across are followed to the later. It ensures that all or most of the companies are abiding by the stipulated regulations. Any factory or company going against the stipulation is bound to be interrogated and placed in custody for breaking the given laws. It follows up on proper disposal of hazardous waste products such as solid waste and sewage products. Through the federal insecticide, fungicide and rodenticide act, it ensures that these are used in a manner likely to preserve human life and ensure that no life is put at risk including the animals in the environment.
The agency also ensures that all the companies involved in one way or another in refining of oil do not pollute the environment. Oil pollution has been noted to be extremely hazardous especially to animals living in water. This is because oil forms a tight seal above the water and oxygen from the air can therefore not reach adequately into the water. This leads to suffocation of the animals and subsequently their death. In resource limited set ups, this water is also used by the inhabitants of the area. The use of such water places them at a very high risk of developing several water borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and bilharzia which can them have extremely detrimental effects on the individuals. There are several other laws that the agency follows up on including the radiation protection act.
This mainly protects the workers such as health personnel that work with radiation emitting materials used in imaging of the body among several other areas. The agency regulates the acts that ensures that these individuals are protected in their line of duty to prevent them from developing complications that often arise following several years of radiation exposure. It is a well-known, researched and documented fact that prolonged radiation can precipitate certain forms of cancer in the human body. Therefore the agency follows up on businesses such as hospitals to ensure that these individuals working in these conditions are protected as stipulated by the act.
There are several ways in which the agency directly impacts businesses. First and foremost, it ensures that all the businesses follow all the environmental laws as stipulated including the air protection acts, water and land protection acts, and hazardous wastes acts among several others. The agency has in turn led to the closure of several businesses which went contrary to the act even after being given ultimatums. Other than that, they have ensured that the factories that emit smoke do so in a specific manner in such a way as to protect the air from pollution.
It has also set up mechanisms to ensure that processed products are evaluated by the EPA technologists and scientists to ensure that only environmental friendly products are purchased. This has been known as the EPA safer choice label. All of the products that have this label are good for consumption by the consumers and do not create a risk both to them and their surrounding environment in the course of their use or even after their use. This has been taken up extremely well especially in the United States and could be listed as a very potent marketing strategy. In the recent past, several individuals have become extremely environment conscious and these are the products they often purchase. The companies that ensure their products go through that scrutiny have been noted to make tremendous profits in the recent past. On the contrary, the products that lack these labels do not make as much profit as their other counterparts.
Also in the same business field, the EPA launched an initiative that was dubbed The Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative. This follows up the detergents at their point of manufacture. They ensure that the surfactants that are used by the manufacturers are safe and do not pose a risk to the animals living in the water. This then ensures that when the detergent is disposed and finds its way back into the water, the aquatic life do not get to suffer, suffocate and die secondary to a toxic surfactant used in the manufacture. This meant a tremendous change in the business fields in that several companies came up with easy to break down surfactants that are beneficial to the end users. These companies have been able to sell a fortune. However, not many individuals are aware of the difference but the few that know about it very well make appropriate use of it.
The EPA also changed the face of energy and its conservation, in the recent years there has been an increased demand for energy saving bulbs for instance. This is advantageous to both the country at large and the consumers as well. For the consumer, it has meant lesser money spent in paying the electricity bills since the energy saving bulbs use very little power. To the country at large, it has ensured conservation and preservation of power. It has prevented wastage of resources and by so doing protecting our precious environment.