Dysfunctional agency

The Environmental Protection Agency has taken a turn for the worse, and it began in Nevada.

In an editorial Sunday, the Los Angeles Times described the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an agency that has lost its moral authority and gone over to the enemy. It cited a Nevada project as evidence.

“The EPA was criticized last week by the Government Accountability Office for its weak efforts to keep lead out of drinking water. Its own inspector general reported last week that the agency ignored scientific evidence in its poorly planned effort to come up with soft limits on mercury pollution. Its requirements for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada were thrown out of court in 2004 because they fell far short of those called for by the National Academy of Sciences. Now the EPA would like to weaken rules on toxic reporting.”

The newspaper said that after the top U.S. official walked out of international talks in Montreal on greenhouse gases, it was left to representatives of U.S. state governments to “show the world that this country does care about global warming—even if its leaders don’t.”

Worse, the Times said, the EPA interferes with state governments that try to do the job the EPA won’t do.

“Once a proud protector of public well being, the Environmental Protection Agency has become an agency that too often ignores science and must be dragged into taking even the smallest steps.”