Friday, January 20, 2012

Lori Uhacz view on Environmental Regulation

Warner Pacific College

January 18, 2012

When I think about environmental regulation, I think that not enough is being done. While the EPA is good, I honestly don’t think that much is changing. Personally I don’t know a whole lot about environment regulation except that they are trying to protect the ever shrinking environment around us.

According to the EPA’s website,,

“The EPA has primary responsibility for enforcing many of the environmental statutes and regulations of the United States. As such, the Agency is granted explicit enforcement authority in environmental statutes. Sometimes, however, that authority needs to be further refined or explained. In such cases, EPA may develop and implement policies and write guidance. In addition, EPA sometimes issues policy or guidance to encourage compliance with environmental requirements.”

How do we know exactly that whatever statutes and regulations the EPA enforces are actually being enforced? They have regulations for everything it seems, water, air, pollution, waste and a lot more. I know that these regulations are put in place to keep us safe but how affective are they? I mean look at what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. The BP oil spill was a huge environmental disaster obviously. Could the EPA have done anything to prevent it from getting completely out of hand like it did? I don’t know if there really was anything that they could have done differently but I would hope that they have learned a few things because of it.

While yes I do worry about things that are going on all across our country, I often wonder how environmental regulations are impacting where I life specifically. Growing up, I lived on a piece of land where we had our own well for water. I never had to worry about the quality of my water or if things were getting in our water supply. Now that I live in Vancouver, I have what we call “city” water to drink. What kinds of things could be getting into the city’s water supply? On the EPA’s website you can check the different conditions of air, water and such in your area. Because I cannot read the graphs and all the different data on my part of Vancouver, I am not exactly sure what it is saying. I did look on the City of Vancouver’s website at the report from 2010 which states

“The city of Vancouver goes far beyond state and federal requirements [concerning water]. In 2010, we analyzed your water for more than 238 different substances, some regulated and some not regulated.” (, 2011).

The letter goes on to list all the different things they tested and how the water came out just as they predicted it would.

Even though I’m still not sure exactly how I feel about environmental regulation, I do see that it has a great purpose for protecting us from dangerous things. I think it might be nice to have more of their policies and test results more readily available to the public. Not just for peace of mind, but to keep us informed and out of the dark.


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