Photo: Media attend a press briefing by EPA administrator Gina McCarthy on the Animas river mine spill, in Farmington, NM; McCarthy said she would update President Obama on the situation Friday - @allenschauffler
Environmental Protection Agency officials: Gold King Mine discharged an estimated 3 million gallons of contaminated water into Colorado's Animas River; 3 times the amount previously believed - @azcentral
More: US officials have filed extradition request for British man arrested in England for hacking into computer networks of agencies including US Army, NASA, Federal Reserve and Environmental Protection Agency - @NBCNews
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Supreme Court ruling in EPA case: 'Today's Supreme Court decision puts polluters before people, creating new obstacles for the Environmental Protection Agency's mission to protect our health and environment'
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott statement on Supreme Court EPA ruling: 'The Supreme Court rightly held that the EPA violated the law when it imposed a multi-billion-dollar regulation on power plants without considering whether the cost was justified. While today's decision is good news for Texas, the EPA continues to push an agenda with little regard for the price tag these regulations would impose on employers and ultimately, Texans. Texas will stand ready to continue our fight against an over-bearing federal government that stands in the way of economic prosperity'
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or sometimes USEPA) is an agency of the U.S. federal government which was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress. The EPA was proposed by President Richard Nixon and began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an executive order. The order establishing the EPA was ratified by committee hearings in the House and Senate. The agency is led by its Administrator, who is appointed by the president and approved by Congress. The current administrator is Gina McCarthy. The EPA is not a Cabinet department, but the administrator is normally given cabinet rank.
The EPA has its headquarters in Washington, D.C., regional offices for each of the agency's ten regions, and 27 laboratories. The agency conducts environmental assessment, research, and education. It has the responsibility of maintaining and enforcing national standards under a variety of environmental laws, in consultation with state, tribal, and local governments. It delegates some permitting, monitoring, and enforcement responsibility to U.S. states and the federally recognized tribes. EPA enforcement powers include fines, sanctions, and other measures. The agency also works with industries and all levels of government in a wide variety of voluntary pollution prevention programs and energy conservation efforts.
The agency has approximately 15,193 full-time employees and engages many more people on a contractual basis. More than half of EPA human resources are engineers, scientists, and environmental protection specialists; other groups include legal, public affairs, financial, and information technologists.