The Environmental Protection Agency has restored healthier air and cleaner water for millions of Americans, bringing our country back from the brink of far-reaching – and dangerous – industrial pollution. All Americans in red, purple and blue states alike have benefited profoundly from the balanced safeguards EPA has put in place.
Gutting EPA, as proposed by some, imperils American lives, puts our children and communities at serious health risk, and will have lasting public health and environmental consequences for future generations.
Here is a snapshot of EPA by the numbers:
EPA established with bi-partisan support by Republican President Richard Nixon
Percent of Americans across the country who think EPA should stay the same or be strengthened
Lives saved each year by EPA’s implementation of the Clean Air Act in 2020
Asthma attacks prevented each year by EPA’s implementation of the Clean Air Act in 2020
Avoided lost school or work days each year due to EPA’s implementation of the Clean Air Act in 2020
Ratio of benefits to costs– the Clean Air Act provides $30 in health benefits for every $1 invested in compliance
Number of enforcement actions concluded in fiscal year 2016 under the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act
Pounds of hazardous waste EPA enforcement actions required companies to commit to treat, minimize, or properly dispose of in fiscal year 2016
Cubic yards of contaminated soil and groundwater cleanup commitments secured in fiscal year 2016 alone (enough to fill the Empire State Building over 138 times)
Number of compliance inspections and evaluations EPA conducted in fiscal year 2016
EPA staff in 2016 – already down from 18,110 staff in 1999
EPA staff under the Trump Administration’s proposed draconian budget cuts (assumes a 25 percent cut in EPA staff). This would put staff near 1984 levels
Pounds of toxic mercury cut from coal plants by the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule
EPA Administrator who laughed about dismantling the EPA – 1 in over 40 years
EPA has saved and improved millions of Americans’ lives while our nation has also had tremendous economic growth and prosperity, as the graphic below demonstrates. Gross Domestic Product, population, vehicle miles traveled, and energy consumption have risen dramatically while the U.S. has reduced lethal particulates, lead, sulfur dioxide, smog, and other contaminants.
Unfortunately, many Americans still struggle with dirty air and unclean water supplies. And we are all at risk from the threat of climate change. The progress that EPA has made in protecting Americans needs to be continued and strengthened, not cut back. We need EPA operating on all cylinders – fully staffed — to protect human health and the environment for all Americans.