EPA Essay

1481 words - 6 pages

Most people often take for granted the simple things in life, which although simple, are also the foundation of life itself. These simple things come in the form of clean air, water, and land for us and our future generations. The protection of the environment has become increasingly important as we now realize the damage that our generation along with previous generations have done to the environment. From bustling New England cities to the quite farmlands of the Midwest, America has come to realize the need to relate and protect the environment from industrial and agricultural pollution, thus the EPA was formed.The protection of ?human health and the environment? is the simple yet power ...view middle of the document...

Prior to the EPA, environmental regulation was in the state?s hands. Since the government had never tried to regulate environmental concerns industries had been allowed for decades to pollute the land, air and water of the surrounding areas with in consequences to them. The lack in corporate morals had created polluted rivers and lakes, contaminating the drinking water of millions over the years. Not only were corporations to blame but the American farmers was also to blame for the pollution of the waterways and more importantly of the drinking water supplies of Americans. Without federal regulation of harmful chemical manufacturer were allowed to produce many chemicals that eventually had harmful, even deadly effects on human, many causing cancer. Besides the corporate manufactures, farmers were using a surprising number of chemicals on crops that once in water runoff and in the streams would cause health problems for humans; among the numerous effects was cancer. America was now aware of the point and no point source pollution. Agricultural pollution is considered nonpoint source pollution because there is not one main concentrated point that the majority of pollution originates from. Characteristics of farmland pollution are that it is often unpredictable and sporadic. Runoff from heavy rain or wind erosion is examples of sporadic natural events that produce agricultural pollution. Besides the regulation of water pollution, some stemming from agriculture, America was also growing concerned by other environmental hazards like air pollution, waste fields, or brown fields, regulation of harmful pesticides and pollutants/toxics, and future prevention.Since the recognization that there was a need for environmental regulation in the 70?s, America has stepped up to the plate a passed hundreds of pieces of legislation aimed at pollution control and health safety in the past thirty years. After the EPA legislation, the Clean Water Act of 1972 was passed by Congress which impacted, among many industries, the agricultural industries in America by regulating the discharge of point source pollution areas, like livestock, hog and poultry farms. The act came from the recognization that large amounts of animal byproducts created numerous problems in the water supply like the depletion of oxygen in water, increases the growth speed of grasses and algae in water and hazardous to humans who came in contact with the polluted water. Later in 1974, another regulation was pasted that would affect the agriculture industries, it was the regulation of pesticides in the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, which establishes a maximum level of contaminants that can be in drinking water. The last major regulation that was passed in the 70?s to affect agriculture was the ban of DDT in 1972. DDT was a pesticide that became known for its harmful affects on the environment and on humans. Some of the effects attributed to DDT was a decrease in population of the bald eagle and ...

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