To The Daily Sun,
Getting rid of the Environmental Protection Agency is a real non-starter. And yet, a bill to do just that has been proposed by a legislator from Florida. If you were to pick a state with the most environmental abuse, Florida would rank near the top of the list. Pollution is one of the least glamorous problems the U.S. has to solve. Yet, all of us are part of the problem. Turning a blind eye to a problem won't make it go away.
So, how did the EPA become the pollution police? What brought on all the rules set forth by the EPA? How do their regulations affect our local and state scene? What is a Materials Safety Data Sheet anyway? Who creates (MSDS) and how are they used in material storage and transportation?
Concern for the environment had been building since the 1930s. Those who may not be from Kansas, probably don't have any vivid memories of the "dust bowl." As a former resident of eastern Kansas, I can tell you, I've seen some dust. We used to dread the west wind blowing in from Wichita and points west of there. President Roosevelt started the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 30s to augment the efforts of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Soil Conservation Service. They focused on retaining the soil in times of drought and flooding. Erosion was a big problem partly because of poor practices in farming. The progress was slow and was interrupted by WWII.
A seminal book was published in the 1950s. It was titled "Silent Spring." Rachael Carson pulled no punches. She made some dire predictions about what would happen if we didn't pull back from the brink of environmental disaster. After being so profoundly jolted by her stark words and the other things going on in the 60s, then president Nixon and Congress developed the National Environmental Act of 1969. The agency was formed and came into being on December 2, 1970.
There are 10 regions in the Environmental Protection Agency. Region one includes CT, ME, NH, VT and RI. Various acts became law shortly after the agency was formed. The objective was to set standards for air, water, land, endangered species, the handling of hazardous wastes and the chemicals used in controlling pests.
Most of us remember the superfund sites, getting rid of leaking underground storage tanks, chemical spills and the list goes on; do we really want to get rid of this agency? What are the motives, other than profits, of those who want to see it gone? For every 10 people who want it gone, there are a hundred who are protected by its regulations. In a future letter, I will address why New Hampshire should be thankful that the EPA was there at a critical time in the not too distant past.
- Category: Letters
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