The EPA Abstracts
The Environmental Protection Agency in the 1980s
  By: Jay Sandhu

         The 1980s were a decade of peril for the Environmental Protection Agency.  The election of Ronald Reagan started an era of many reforms.  Since President Reagan felt that although some regulation was necessary to protect public health, the costs and
bureaucratic problems of regulating pollution had gotten out of hand and needed to be cut back, he formed the Presidential Task force on January 22,1981. Headed by George Bush, this task force was set up to review existing and proposed regulations for all
government agencies.  In its review of environmental regulations, the task force recommended changes that would relieve regulatory "burden" on business, industry, and state and local governments.  By August 1983, it had reviewed 119 regulations, of which 76 were revised or eliminated, many were EPA regulations. Reaganís Administration also put a new policy into effect.  Under the Executive Order 12291, issued February 17, 1981, any government agency proposing new regulations had to weigh economic benefits and its cost. In other words, thereís got to be a healthy profit to be made.  Reagan also cut the EPAís staff by11% and its budget by 12%.  As bad as that cut was, more came. By 1984, the EPA staff cuts totaled 29% and budget cuts 44% from 1980.  Things got even tougher when the first administrator from the 70s, William D. Ruckelshaus,
returned morale and prestige to the EPA during his second term.

Information provided by the Environmental Protection Agency by
     Kevin J. Law, introduction by Arthur M. Schlesinger, JR., copyright 1988.

For more information, contact the headquarters in Washington D.C., our closest region, 5, in Chicago, The EPA Journal published monthly in Washington D.C., or the EPAís website at

Amber Renftle
Honors Chemistry
Period 9

 My presentation is on the history of the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA during the 1970ís.  There are many events that happened during this time frame. The EPA was created in 1970 in response to the growing awareness of  ecological concerns in the 1960ís. There had been many environmental protection laws that were in effect for years, but partly because their enforcement responsibilities were scattered over nine different agencies, they had little impact on the environment. Therefore, the EPA pulled those enforcement powers together, creating the largest independent  regulatory agency in the federal government.  The EPA had some hard times, such as when 29 states failed to meet the 1979 deadline for plans to reduce air pollution to acceptable levels by 1983. Despite a few problems, the air became cleaner, EPA standards reduced sulfur dioxide levels 30%, carbon monoxide 20%, and smoke and dust particulates 12% during the 1970ís. These are a few of the events that took place during the 1970ís involving the EPA. The Environmental Protection Agency is a wonderful organization which sets an example to keep our world clean.