Environmental Protection Agency
In order to keep our air, water and land clean, the United States federal government has established the Environmental Protection Agency, or what most refer to as the EPA. The current administrator, Lisa Jackson, is responsible for laboratories, headquarters, and trained staff across the United States. Most who are employed by the EPA gain degrees as scientists, engineers, and environmental specialists. Among the 17,000 workers, the EPA works alongside many legal, administrative, technical and financial specialists. All together, this creates a group of individuals that are dedicated to environment issues.
The EPA focuses on creating and maintaining environmental protection laws. These laws, however, are mandated by federal law and passed through Congressional legislation. By making environmental protection enforceable by the federal government, it allows the EPA to establish and maintain compliance by citizens. Also, the EPA is responsible for much of the research that is underway to improve environmental conditions. This research allows them to determine current problems associated with the environment and how to possibly fix them.
Most recently, the EPA has dealt with many concerns of air pollution. The devastations caused on September 11th and byHurricane Katrina have generated concern over the amount of contamination that is in the air through particles of dust, debris, and most dangerously, asbestos. Asbestos, if airborne, can be inhaled by those around the contaminated area. Asbestos fibers become lodged in the cavities in the lungs which can lead to serious health concerns later in life. The Air Quality Modeling Group has worked to research different techniques for testing and managing air pollution throughout the United States. The concern with asbestos, however, goes beyond the detrimental occurrences that have affected the air. Asbestos is a hazardous material used many years ago.Until 1980s, many did not know the effects it could have on peoples health. The EPA is trying to develop techniques to remove it safely and acquire the proper testing for individuals who think that they may be or have been in contact with the substance. The biggest goal for the EPA regarding air pollution caused by asbestos is to make sure it is contained, removed safely, and buried safely so that further contamination does not occur. It is very difficult to take the already airborne particles out of a general area, so along with making sure no other particles are let loose, the removal process is also important for air purification and asbestos confinement.
Last modified: December 28, 2010.