The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Environmental Protection Agency

EPA redirects here. For the omega-3 fatty acid, see Eicosapentaenoic acid. For the city, see East Palo Alto, California.

The mission of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment: air, water, and land. The EPA began operation on December 2, 1970. The EPA is not a cabinet agency , but its administrator is normally given cabinet rank.

Stephen L. Johnson has been its acting Administrator since Michael O. Leavitt left on January 26, 2005 to become Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The EPA comprises 18,000 people in Headquarters program offices, 10 regional offices, and 17 labs across the country, EPA employs a highly educated, technically trained staff, more than half of whom are engineers, scientists, and environmental protection specialists. A large number of employees are legal, public affairs, financial, and computer specialists. EPA is led by the Administrator who is appointed by the President of the United States.

EPA provides leadership in the nation's environmental science, research, education and assessment efforts. EPA works closely with other federal agencies, state and local governments, and Native American tribes to develop and enforce regulations under existing environmental laws. EPA is responsible for researching and setting national standards for a variety of environmental programs and delegates to states and tribes responsibility for issuing permits, and monitoring and enforcing compliance. Where national standards are not met, EPA can issue sanctions and take other steps to assist the states and tribes in reaching the desired levels of environmental quality. The Agency also works with industries and all levels of government in a wide variety of voluntary pollution prevention programs and energy conservation efforts.

In July of 1970, the law that established the EPA was passed in response to the growing public demand for cleaner water, air and land. Prior to the establishment of the EPA, the national government was not structured to make a coordinated attack on the pollutants which harm human health and degrade the environment. The EPA was assigned the task of repairing the damage already done to the natural environment and to establish new criteria to guide Americans in making a cleaner environment a reality.

In 1992 the EPA launched the Energy star program.


Related legislation

The legislation here is general environmental protection legislation, and may also apply to other units of the government, including the United States Department of the Interior and the United States Department of Agriculture.




  • 1964 - Wilderness Act PL 88-577
  • 1968 - Scenic Rivers Preservation Act PL 90-542
  • 1969 - National Environmental Policy Act PL 91-190
  • 1970 - Environmental Protection Agency established
  • 1970 - Wilderness Act PL 91-504
  • 1977 - Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act PL 95-87
  • 1978 - Wilderness Act PL 98-625
  • 1980 - Alaska Land Protection Act PL 96-487
  • 1994 - California Desert Protection Act PL 103-433

Endangered species

  • 1946 - Coordination Act PL 79-732
  • 1966 - Endangered Species Preservation Act PL 89-669
  • 1969 - Endangered Species Conservation Act PL 91-135
  • 1972 - Marine Mammal Protection Act PL 92-522
  • 1973 - Endangered Species Act PL 93-205

Hazardous waste

EPA regional offices

Each EPA Regional Office is responsible within its states for the execution of the Agency's programs.

Region 1 - responsible within the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Region 2 - responsible within the states of New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Region 3 - responsible within the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Region 4 - responsible within the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Region 5 - responsible within the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Region 6 - responsible within the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Region 7 - responsible within the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Region 8 - responsible within the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Region 9 - responsible within the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the territories of Guam and American Samoa.

Region 10 - responsible within the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

List of EPA administrators

See also

External links

Last updated: 05-07-2005 12:58:09
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04