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Disarm the EPA? - Article by Michael R. Fisher

In early 2015, a Senate amendment called for disarming EPA’s criminal investigators. But EPA’s agents face risks similar to those confronted by other law enforcement officers, explains Mike Fisher, the legal division director in the agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics & Training.

Fisher describes how EPA’s law enforcement powers were conferred by Congress at the request of the Reagan administration, and why recent events underscore the wisdom of that bipartisan decision nearly 30 years ago. Citing threats that have arisen during recent EPA investigations, as well as prosecutions resulting from EPA’s work—including a chemical discharge to a river that shut down drinking water supplies for several hundred thousand West Virginians, and the use of high school students from a vocational education program to illegally rip out asbestos-containing building materials without proper protective gear— Fisher argues that maintaining EPA’s current law enforcement authority is necessary to protect both its agents and the American public from harm.

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  • Disarm the EPA? (PDF)(4 pp, 58 K, June 2015)
    Article published in Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report. Author: Michael R. Fisher