How the EPA Stole Christmas: The Top Five Most Outrageous Stories of 2015 from the EPA

Posted December 22, 2015

epa stole christmas

5. EPA Punctures Dam During Clean Up of Century-Old Mine; Sends Toxic Waste Into Colorado River

From Slate: The Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged that its cleanup operation at a Colorado mine has led to the release of around three million gallons of toxic waste into the San Juan and Animas Rivers, the Washington Post reports. The agency accidentally punctured a dam holding back water filled with arsenic and heavy metals left behind by the Gold King Mine, which has been closed since 1923.


4. EPA Tells Kids to Avoid Baths and Check Toilets for Leaks

From Parents across America who struggle to keep their young rambunctious kids clean now have a new obstacle: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As part of its effort to help save the planet from the dangers of taking too many baths, the EPA’s WaterSense program is trying to convince kids they should avoid bathtubs in favor of showers, which it says is a far more efficient use of water. “To save even more water, keep your shower under five minutes long—try timing yourself with a clock next time you hop in!” the “WaterSense for Kids” website says.


3. EPA Proposes new rules on ozone; 26 National Parks fail to meet standard

From U.S. News: The EPA’s newest ozone pollution threshold has placed 26 national parks at non-compliant levels. But while the rest of the nation’s communities must spend billions conforming to the new normal, the parks – including such gems as Sequoia and Rocky Mountain – may be off the hook. The National Park Service blames power plants for much of the problem. But scientists and officials from California say that car emissions – and the tourism that brings $15.7 billion per year to the parks — are mostly to blame.

“Usually ozone pollution is caused by traffic rather than power plants,” said Dr. Saewung Kim, an assistant professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of California, Irvine. “Power plants have done a great job cleaning up their emissions and ozone-causing pollutants.”


2. EPA Grants Itself Power to Regulate Ponds, Ditches, and Puddles

From The EPA has released its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule critics say would allow the agency to regulate waterways previously not under federal jurisdiction, including puddles, ditches and isolated wetlands.

Republicans, farmers and industrial groups have called the rule an EPA “power grab” because it extends the agency’s powers to new heights. Environmentalists and the Obama administration, however, argue the WOTUS rule is necessary for protecting water quality.


1. EPA Releases Clean Power Plan Rule; Midwesterners expect to see 30% increase in electricity rates

From Forbes: President Obama recently announced the most far-reaching regulation for the energy sector in the history of the United States. The new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clean power rule set the first-ever carbon emission ceiling for power plants. This federal limit will impact the industry at virtually every level from the miners to the consumers and will have implications for the entire economy.