In this month's issue we are covering environmental policy from 2006-2010! The nation emerged from the aftermath of national disasters like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and into the Obama administration, where there was a shift in focus for federal environmental policy. Rather than responding to emergencies, much of the EPA's work was focused on bolstering safety standards of air and water, while improving the security of nuclear waste and the byproducts of fossil fuel collection.
2006- Groundwater Rule
In October of 2006, the EPA issued the Ground Water Rule (GWR) that was meant to “reduce disease incidence associated with harmful microorganisms in drinking water” (OW US EPA). A primary concern surrounding groundwater systems was possible fecal contamination, which if consumed, can cause/spread disease. The rule applies to any public groundwater source used as drinking water, and a primary focus is simply on identifying the, “... subset of ground water sources that are at higher risk of fecal contamination” throughout the United States (Federal Register, Volume 71 Issue 216 (Wednesday, November 8, 2006). The GWR requires any such source to engage in sanitary surveys, and “compliance monitoring of treatment technologies” (OW US EPA).
2009- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Soon after being sworn into office, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), colloquially known as the Stimulus Act. As it related to the EPA, the ARRA sought to “spur technological advances in science and health and to invest in environmental protection and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits.(EPA Information Related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) | US Environmental Protection Agency). Much of the economic benefit that the bill outlined related to job creation, particularly through eight ARRA funded projects that the EPA led (OA US EPA). Two of these successful projects included the construction of a state of the art drinking water filtration plant in Kingston, Indiana and the cleanup of an industrial park in South Plainfield, New Jersey (Top Recovery Projects | Implementation of the Recovery Act | US EPA).
Check back with us next issue as we cover policies from 2011-2015!