New Report Lays Out a Plan to Replace EPA

August 11, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a rogue agency that has long outlived its effectiveness and should be dismantled and replaced.

In “Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency,” a new Policy Brief from The Heartland Institute, Science Director Jay Lehr writes,

It made sense for there to be a single national agency given authority to enforce the nation’s new environmental protection laws in the first decade of the 1970s. But by the end of that decade, the lion’s share of benefits from that noble experiment were already achieved and the states could have been, and should have been, allowed to play their intended role in implementing the new programs.

The study explains why EPA should be replaced and describes the steps needed to replace the agency with a better system.

Instead of attempting to reform EPA, Lehr calls for a “Committee of the Whole” of the 50 state environmental protection agencies to replace EPA over a five-year period. Lehr writes, “The Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental agencies would meet the needs of the nation more effectively and more efficiently than the national EPA. Fifty state environmental protection agencies with more than 30 years of experience have the talent to do the job without the oversight of 15,000 federal employees.” He notes, “It is, after all, well-known that government close to the location of the governed is best for all.”

Lehr concludes, “Authority [for environmental protection] should have remained in the hands of the states, where innovation would be rewarded and accountability to local voters and taxpayers was more likely to be preserved.”

To read the Policy Brief, click here.

If you have any questions about this Policy Brief or The Heartland Institute, or if you would like to discuss environment issues with author Jay Lehr, please contact Deputy Director of Communications Keely Drukala at kdrukala@heartland.org and 312/377-4000.


The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.