Acid rain devouring New England forests. Homes built on toxic sites. Unswimmable rivers and cities cloaked in smog. The United States looked very different before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) arrived, but a recent Congressional bill calls for the agency’s abolition. So Americans may wonder: What would life be like without the EPA?
In its 47 years of operation, the EPA has achieved dramatic improvements in the cleanliness of the nation’s air and water, among other accomplishments, said Sara Gregg, an associate professor of history and environmental studies at the University of Kansas. To accomplish this, however, the agency has imposed numerous regulations on industry, making itself a frequent target of critics. Last month, Congressman Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, gave those criticisms stark expression in a bill calling for the agency’s abolition on Dec. 31, 2018.