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All Politics Is Local…And The Environment, Too

2010 March 18

As part of my job at EPA, I meet with elected officials and stakeholders who visit the Agency to discuss their local environmental challenges and concerns. Whether they are concerned about local drinking water issues, air quality concerns, site cleanups, these stakeholders often come to meet with EPA officials to discuss the Agency’s regulations and economic opportunities. EPA’s actions in the Nation’s capital or at the regional level directly affect communities across the United States and its territories.

Increasingly, I see the relevance of the popular phrase attributed to the former Speaker of the House of Representatives Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neil, “all politics is local.” With time, I’ve been able to see how the phrase also applies to environmental decisions and actions, not only at EPA but for the general public as well. For example, the things we do at home, at school, at work, or in our community have a direct impact on our environment. Every day activities can harm our immediate surroundings and areas far away. What type of activities you might ask? Well, everyday decisions such as taking a bath vs. shower, driving vs. commuting, applying fertilizers and pesticides vs. greenscaping, all have different repercussions on the environment.

What can you do at home to reduce non point source pollution
and protect the environment? Need some tips for conserving water at home?  For more info on acting locally and thinking globally, please visit our Web site.  I’m sure many of you have many green experiences that you would like to share. We want to hear from you. Have a great day.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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9 Responses leave one →
  1. Lori permalink
    March 18, 2010

    When the snow bagan to melt, i noticed alot of garbage near and around our townhome residence. Every time i drove in n out, there seemed to be more, even broken glass….. So, i decided to doublebag n part with my latex gloves. My clean up was worth it, although, i got alot of looks. It was probalby because i wasn’t wearing a uniform to clean up. And, maybe others will act in their neighborhood : ) Have a Happy Spring ~

  2. wade harter permalink
    March 19, 2010

    Non point source pollution is now being defined as that coming from our political leaders, especially on way Obamacare is being pushed thru congress. To control such I intend to post a sign in front of my farm stating: Vote ‘em out. Local, State, Federal. Hope many will follow.

  3. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    March 21, 2010

    I had to go away from home for 2 days to a meeting in another city at the other end of the state. You don’t know how environmentally friendly a town Mission Viejo is until you go someplace else. Mission Viejo is ranked number 7 in the country as an environmentally friendly community. The city I went to up north could not say the same thing. They are having a major funding crisis. One of the things I noticed on the shuttle from the airport to the hotel as we went through residential areas to leave people off at their homes, was in the gutter in front of each house a pile of leaves and trash some so high they spilled over into the roadway. No police to be seen anyplace accept at the airport. The transit agency serving the city saying big and deep service cuts are on the way. And several full city blocks of what used to be warehouses and manufacturing facilities being bulldozed out. It shows you don’t know how good things really are at home until you have gone someplace else. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  4. Lina-EPA permalink*
    March 21, 2010

    I guess that the grass is not always greener at the other side! How long did it take for Mission Viejo to get that top rating? Keep up the good work.

  5. David Mc permalink
    March 22, 2010

    I did some of that myself a couple days ago around my church. I ended up with burrs all over my jacket. I was surprised at myself, I was more amused than POed as I would normally be at getting stuck with them. I didn’t wear gloves though, yuck.

  6. David Mc permalink
    March 22, 2010

    yes, you can bet many will follow in their footsteps.

  7. Al Bannet permalink
    March 23, 2010

    I have a more accurate motto — All politics are local, continental, global and universal. You cannot play one to ignore the other. It won’t work. We live on a global biosphere in a Cosmic system.

  8. lyounes permalink*
    March 23, 2010

    I like that! One global biosphere in a Cosmic system. Very true.

  9. Al Bannet permalink
    March 24, 2010

    A gentle hug for you.

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