Environmental Protection Agency

Pollutants in the environment come from many different sources: from cars and trucks, from factories and farms, and from that guy who just poured half his Diet Mountain Dew Big Gulp down the sewer.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tries to reduce the impact of human activities and random soda ingredients on our natural surroundings.. Founded in 1970 by President Nixon, the EPA writes and enforces regulations aimed at keeping our air breathable and our water drinkable. In 2011, it also began regulating greenhouse gases.

And when they’re not keeping tabs on polluters, they stay busy overseeing land conservation, wetland protection, endangered species designation, and more. Like the breadth of their mission, their operational scope is wide. The Captain Planet of the federal government divides its operations into 10 different regions across the country and 12 different Offices varying from the more specific “Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances” to the more all-encompassing “Office of Water.”

So whether you work in the coal industry, your house is sitting on a rich deposit of shale and natural gas, or you are adamant about the protection of the Gambelia silus (blunt-nose leopard lizard), there are a variety of reasons to pay attention to the EPA and its work in your backyard.

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