The war on the EPA America's endangered environmental protections

William M. Alley

Book - 2020

Examines the daunting hurdles facing the EPA in its critical roles in drinking water, air and water pollution, climate change, and toxic chemicals. This book takes the reader on a journey into some of today's most pressing environmental problems: toxic "forever chemicals" known as PFAS, pervasive agricultural pollution, dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico, and widespread air and water pollution from use of fossil fuels. Delving into the science, politics, and human dimension of these and other problems, the book illustrates the challenges of regulation, how today's war on science is undermining the scientific foundation upon which the agency's legitimacy rests, and why a strong U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is m...ore important than ever before.

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2nd Floor 363.70561/Alley Checked In
Lanham, Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield [2020]
Main Author
William M. Alley (author)
Other Authors
Rosemarie Alley (author)
Physical Description
x, 289 pages ; 23 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 271-278) and index.
  • EPA 101
  • Part I: Drinking water. Take it from the tap ; Environmental justice
  • Part II: Water pollution. A wicked problem ; Inconvenient connections
  • Part III: Air pollution and climate change. A never-ending battle ; Costs, benefits, and politics ; Climate change
  • Part IV: Toxic chemicals and hazardous waste. Toxic chemicals ; The forever chemicals ; Superfund ; A success story ; Resurrecting the EPA.
Review by Choice Review

Readers should underscore every sentence in this book--one for advocates of the Environmental Protection Agency who expect it to live up to legislative mandates--as it presents an in-depth history of the agency's efforts to provide clean water and air to the public, despite corporate and political pressures that thwart it. William Alley, a groundwater expert, formerly for the US Geological Survey, and his wife, Rosemarie Alley, coauthors of High and Dry: Meeting the Challenges of the World's Growing Dependence on Groundwater (CH, Sep'17, 55-0196), unfold in chapter after chapter the ways in which regulations, negative attitudes about science, incompetence, and the public's general unawareness of what is in their tap water are all problematic. The book is organized into four parts: "Drinking Water," "Water Pollution," "Air Pollution and Climate Change," and "Toxic Chemicals and Hazardous Waste," each so frightening it may remind one of Upon Sinclair's 1906 classic The Jungle. However, two final chapters, "A Success Story" and "Resurrecting the EPA," do offer hope. For a companion, readers should consult Richard J. Lazarus's The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court (2020). Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. --Paul D. Travis, Texas Woman's University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

In this lacerating follow-up to High and Dry (2017), the Alleys provide another smartly written text full of fact-based fervor and addressing an important environmental topic. This time they tackle the history of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which from its earliest days has been under attack by various industries and corporations and the mostly conservative politicians who support them. In a narrative that addresses water pollution, air pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and hazardous waste (including Superfund sites), the Alleys whip through events in American history that will make readers cringe with horror. In just one example, they reveal the 100-year battle to clean the Anaconda copper mine in Montana, a fight begun by Teddy Roosevelt that will continue seemingly forever (migrating birds have died in its open pit by the thousands). Equal parts infuriating and inspiring, this account covers some familiar stories (Erin Brockovich; Flint, Michigan) while framing them as part of a larger national tragedy. A fully sourced, clarion call for action that many will respond to.--Colleen Mondor Copyright 2020 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.