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The Government Shutdown and the EPA: The Environmental Dangers of Congressional Recklessness

Yesterday, the Hill published an op-ed by Center for Progressive Reform Scholar Joel A. Mintz entitled, “The Government Shutdown and the EPA: the Environmental Dangers of Congressional Recklessness.”

It can be read in full here.

According to Mintz:

The indefinite close down of EPA’s operations poses major risks, some imminent and others long term, to the health and natural environment of millions of Americans.

The EPA’s enforcement of existing regulations provides vital protections against the emission of toxic air and water pollutants and the contamination of public drinking water supplies. The EPA works to prevent the exposure of school children to asbestos, the ingestion of toxic lead paint by infants, and the release of poisonous chemicals from long-abandoned hazardous waste dumps. The Agency also works to guard against the destruction of fish, shellfish and other aquatic life. In addition, the EPA supplies much-needed grant money to state and local environmental agencies—entities that (in many cases) are already starved of the financial resources necessary to carry out their tasks. Due to the government shut down, nearly all of the important EPA work of enforcing these safeguards, and the channeling of federal funds to the states, is now at a standstill.


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