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EPA Budget Cuts Spell Stricter Enforcement:Technology the Answer

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Courtesy of Courtesy of ABCOV Companies

How does the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) receive funding? The simple answer - the taxpayer -from the taxpayer to Congress from Congress to the EPA, the taxpayer being the catalyst.

The economy is in deep trouble; our government is looking at options not to default on our debt, trim budgets and reduce unemployment.

One disturbing factor is that Congress wants to take billions from the EPA budget by weakening part of the Clean Air Act.

The EPA’s job is to enforce environmental regulations passed by Congress to keep us and our country in a healthy and pollutant-free environment by monitoring a myriad of industries, conducting walk-in inspections, audits and investigating record keeping fraud.

In order to effectively do their job, the EPA needs money besides Congressional appropriations. The EPA creates funds by issuing permits, overseeing environmental cleanup projects, criminal punishment and fines, and issuing fines from violation enforcement.

If Congress cuts the EPA budget by billions, the EPA will have to find the money to fund operations. One way would be through dogged-tougher industrial enforcement.

Industry is lobbying Congress to trim down the Clean Air Act, because of the price of compliance. If this happens, what will be the cost to the environment and ultimately humans?

Cost and price are two different things, price is something you pay immediately, but cost is what you pay in the long term. That leads to the question: What does human sickness cost, and even worse, what is the cost of losing a human life?

The question is how industry complies with the EPA, keeping itself intact and financially viable, creating jobs and paying taxes, as well as becoming good corporate citizens, who are socially responsible, and who practice sustainability in their quest for a cleaner and healthier environment.

Instead of paying high-priced lobbyists to lobby Congress to limit environmental regulations, and pay for research and development to create technologies that will prevent environmental releases, have your environmental departments explore existing technologies that can be implemented; fund research and development projects that will create solutions to the environmental problems of your industry:

  • For stack releases invest in research to create a viable technology that will arrest toxic releases. 
  • Instead of sending toxic wastes, such as Chromium VI soil, heavy metals, asbestos, etc to a landfill, diligently invest in research for new technologies or search for and use existing environmentally safe technology that will stop landfilling of all toxic wastes.

We have become so conscious of environmental issues and green initiatives that we live in a world of corporate and individual social responsibility and sustainability; Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) with landfills and incinerators; landfill mining, which is becoming a trend (digging up landfills and removing the recyclables to make more space) or removing the waste from a truck at the tipping gate to cull the recyclables, and the constant reminder to recycle, reduce and reuse.

Treatment of toxic substances may originally have a higher price to create and to use, and existing technology may be a slightly higher price to implement, but the long-term cost will be a lot less, environmental cleanups will start to diminish, air will start to become cleaner, and people will have a good chance for good health.



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