The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 by President Nixon. It was created to permit coordinated and effective governmental action on behalf of the environment. Its mission is to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment – air, water, and land – under the laws enacted by Congress. EPA’s purpose is to ensure that: all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work.
National efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information. Environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies on natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy. All parts of society have access to accurate information in order to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks. Environmental protection contributes to making American communities and ecosystems diverse, sustainable and economically productive.
Environmental technology, one of the fastest growing industry sectors worldwide, has evolved in response to growing concerns about the risks and costs of pollution and the enactment of pollution control legislation in the United States and around the world. It advances sustainable development by reducing risk, enhancing cost-effectiveness, and creating products and processes that are not environmentally harmful.
Environmental technology is comprised of four major categories: 1) monitoring and assessment, or technologies used to establish and monitor the condition of the environment; 2) pollution avoidance, or equipment and processes used to prevent or minimize the generation of pollutants; 3) pollution control, or technologies that render hazardous substances harmless before they enter the environment; and, 4) remediation and restoration, or technologies used to render hazardous substances harmless.
Abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials.