The EPA or sometimes USEPA is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and with safeguarding the natural environment: air, water, and land. The EPA began operation on December 2, 1970, when it was established by President Richard Nixon. It is led by its Administrator, who is appointed by the President of the United States. The EPA is not a Cabinet agency, but the Administrator is normally given cabinet rank. The current Administrator (as of 2006) is Stephen L. Johnson.
The EPA comprises 18,000 people in headquarters program offices, 10 regional offices, and 17 laboratories across the country. The 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.
The EPA provides leadership in the nation's environmental science, research, education, and assessment efforts. The EPA works closely with other federal agencies, state and local governments, and Native American tribes to develop and enforce regulations under existing environmental laws. The 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, the 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, spurred by such scandals as the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire. Prior to the establishment of the EPA, the federal 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.
EIA is the parent organization for the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC). EIA supports these associations through research and administrative, legal, federal affairs and public relations resources. EIA also has its own members (public officials), and programs and events, such as the annual Hall of Fame awards, the Women’s Council, Drivers of the Year, Insurance programs, Manual of Recommended Safety Practices, and Doing Our Best – A Matter of Integrity, a practical guide to ethical behavior. EIA also is a primary sponsor of WasteExpo, the industry’s leading trade show and is responsible for the show’s educational sessions. All of these are just a click away! We invite you to learn about the solid waste industry and the positive, vital role it plays in protecting human health and the environment.