Official: EPA future good in spite of critics

For some Americans, the federal Environmental Protection Agency is a misguided mistake and a waste of taxpayers’ money that Congress never should have created.

But Karl Brooks, the EPA’s Region 7 Administrator, told Lincoln University students and faculty Friday: “The job’s not going away.”

Brooks, an Obama administration political appointee, and his staff of career scientists and other civil servants, monitor environmental issues and the enforcement of federal environmental laws in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa, from headquarters in Kansas City, Kan.

If not the agency itself, at least some of its rules have been targeted by members of Congress.

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Last month, for instance, Missouri’s 4th District U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, in a news release praised the House passage of the “Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, which would remove burdensome, job-threatening regulations governing dust that is kicked up by driving on unpaved roads or by farmers working in their fields.”

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, agreed.

“From trying to force dairy farmers to create a complex oil spill prevention plan to regulating farm dust, it is clear that the folks in Washington who are coming up with these rules don’t understand agriculture or the rural way of life,” he said in a news release. “This legislation is necessary to protect our nation’s rural economies.

“It is just plain common sense.”

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