The role and powers of the EPA

Whereas until recent years the problems of pollution and nuisances were distributed among different administrative authorities, which resulted in a proliferation of regulations and a lack of coordination, the United States witnessed an administrative consolidation. In most countries concerned by an environmental policy, we saw the creation of central administrations responsible for the environment then considered as a whole.

The Ministry of the Environment in France and the Environment Protection Agency in the USA are two good examples. Created in 1970, the E.P.A. is a large federal agency headed by an administrator. Its roles are those of a central defense administration of the environment, namely the establishment and application of preservation of the living environment, research on pollution and means of control, information on nuisances, technical assistance in control antipollution, the suggestion of new measures to the president and the Council on Environmental Quality.

The Clean Water Act of 1972 gives this central body great powers in water pollution control policy. These powers are are situated on two levels:

  • on the one hand, the EPA is only authorized to take a certain number of decisions to be followed by state authorities
  • on the other hand, the EPA is empowered to fill the gaps in the authorities state, possibly replacing them

Centralization is therefore characterized by decision-making power and substitute power of the federal administration.

The decision-making powers of the EPA

The Clean Water Act reflects Congress’ mistrust of capacity States to obtain an improvement in water quality. Whereas before all standards were defined locally, now they are mainly developed at the federal level. Discharge limitation standards which constitute the main innovation of the 1972 text are intended as uniform standards, defined by the E.P.A. and obligatorily implemented by the States.

It should also be noted that it exists alongside the E.P.A. the “Council on Environmental Quality”, created in 1969, formed of three members and directly attached to the president. Unlike the E.P.A., it does not have any administrative power and only fulfills an advisory role.

American Law and the Fight against WATER Pollution qualifies as guide standards. There are therefore federal, the standards of limitations of effluents, the performance standards set for new industries, pre-treatment standards before discharge into a public treatment plant and ocean discharge criteria set out in section 403.

The purpose of setting these standards at the federal level is to prevent any possibility of compromise between industrial firms and local authorities concerned with the economic power of the state. Conversely such system may not take into account local specificities, but the legislator stressed the need for close collaboration between agencies for the environment and the federal agency. This collaboration finds its more perfect expression in the way in which discharge permits are envisaged.

Section 402 of the law provides that it belongs to the EPA to authorize rejections meeting applicable standards and levels. However this power can be delegated to the relevant state authorities, i.e. to state agencies responsible for environmental issues. This power will only be delegated to the states if their anti-pollution programs have been approved by the E.P.A. which, in fact has a permanent veto over individual licenses and state programs for water.

The industrialists tried to contest, before American courts, the power of the E.P.A. to set individual standards applicable in discharge permits. Among the jurisdictions which have had to know such actions, most supported the federal agency and interpreted the law in the direction most favorable to the strengthening of federal powers.

Regarding domestic pollution, the role of the federal agency is at least as important since it is up to him to grant the credits of financing of the constructions necessary for the purification of water. The EPA distributes the funds annually allocated by the Congress according to the requests made to it by municipalities, states or agencies local. The funds are only granted if the structure to be built is able to meet the conditions for removing pollutants set out in the text (secondary treatment of discharges before 1983). To be accepted, the project must be given priority according to established water programs by state authorities.

Despite the complexity and scope of the tasks, despite also the possibilities of pressure on it, the Environmental Protection Agency is the vital center development and implementation of the American policy in the fight against pollution of river and maritime waters. The powers recognized by current legislation are enormous and do not allow it only to impose constraints on state authorities and polluters individual, but still to short-circuit the state authorities by substituting for them when they turn out to be weak or too lax.

Pollution in Oakland

Pollution is the process of making land, water, air or other parts of the environment dirty and not safe or suitable to use. This can be done through the introduction of a contaminant into nature, and all residents of Oakland and the world should pay attention to this matter.

Cars, trucks and buses powered by fossil fuels are major contributors to air pollution. Transportation emits more than half of the nitrogen oxides in our air, and is a major source of global warming emissions in the US. Studies have linked pollutants from vehicle exhaust to adverse impacts on nearly all aspects of human health.

Pollution may muddy landscapes, poison soils and waterways, or kill plants and animals. Humans are also regularly harmed by pollution. Long-term exposure to air pollution, for example, can lead to chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer and other diseases. Toxic chemicals that accumulate in top predators can make some species unsafe to eat.

Pollution in California relates to the degree of pollution in the air, water, and land of the state of California. Pollution is defined as the addition of any substance (solid, liquid, or gas) or any form of energy (such as heat, sound, or radioactivity) to the environment at a faster rate than it can be dispersed, diluted, decomposed, recycled, or stored in some harmless form.

California has eight of the 10 most polluted U.S. cities. Eight of the USA’s 10 most polluted cities, when it comes to ozone pollution, are in California, according to the American Lung Association‘s. The state’s new effort to map the areas most at risk from pollution features hot spots up and down California. But nowhere are there more of the worst-afflicted areas than in Fresno and Oakland.

Why is air pollution a problem in California? Three main factors are behind the unhealthy levels of air pollution in California: Large amounts of air pollution are generated by the activities of 33 million people, terrain or topography traps pollution, and a warm, sunny climate helps form ozone and other air pollutants.

Although the general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.

Marine debris is another global pollution problem that impacts human health and safety in California, endangers wildlife and aquatic habitats, and costs local and national economies millions in wasted resources and lost revenues.

At this time, the top legislative priority is cutting down on plastic pollution through redesigning plastic products and reducing consumer consumption. The Stop Plastic Pollution Page is a website specifically created to help people learn about the impacts of plastic pollution on the environment and the actions taken to reduce plastic pollution.

Polluted runoff, also known as nonpoint source pollution comprises the majority of pollution in the ocean off California. When it rains or when you water your lawn or you wash your car, water picks up pollutants and carries them into our storm drains. Recent tests have found more toxic material, bacteria and pollution in California rivers, streams, bays and lakes than has ever been documented before, according to the federal agency.

Finally the wildfires blazing across Northern California in recent years produced the same amount of air pollution as vehicles did in the state in one year. However, not all air pollution is created equal, and this type of pollution is highly toxic.

The best way to fight pollution in Oakland and in Calfornia is by avoiding amassing unnecessary objects at home or in the office. If you have too much junk at gome, hire a dumpster rental in Oakland to remove your litter and waste materials. Recycle as much as you can to avoid factories over-producing. Use as little plastics as possible as they may end up one day in the ocean.