The 4 Major Environmental Issues and Concerns of the EPA

Updated on July 15, 2019
Kathryn Vercillo profile image

Kathryn is a concerned environmentalist who hopes to shed light on some of the issues facing our planet, our people, and our environment.

The EPA has outlined four major areas of concern currently threatening the health of our environment.
The EPA has outlined four major areas of concern currently threatening the health of our environment. | Source

If someone asked you what the biggest threats facing our environment are today, what would you answer? The question is overwhelming because there are so many different aspects of the environment that are being impacted simultaneously.

Environmental Threat Categories Outlined by the EPA

Overpopulation, deforestation, and a host of other problems could ultimately lead to the devastation of the natural environment. This concern impacts all of the people living on this planet. To help make sense of a problem of this magnitude and complexity, the EPA has broken down its environmental concerns into four major areas so that people who are interested in making changes can understand how to best focus their efforts. Each of these four areas of environmental concern is comprised of many different components, but a basic understanding of each of them will help you familiarize yourself with some of the major issues that this planet faces today.

The EPA's 4 Major Environmental Concerns

  1. Water Issues
  2. Air Issues
  3. Waste and Land Pollution
  4. Climate Change

In certain areas of the world, groundwater contamination has significantly limited locals' access to drinkable water.
In certain areas of the world, groundwater contamination has significantly limited locals' access to drinkable water. | Source

1. Water Issues

One of the most important areas of environmental concern is the earth's water supply. We need to be concerned about water pollution as well as the increasing scarcity of drinkable water in certain areas of the world.

People who are concerned about this issue should start helping out by reducing their water waste as much as possible. This can be approached by analyzing your water use at home. Make an effort to minimize water used during showers, cooking, tooth-brushing, and restroom visits.

What Can You Do?

  • Collect rainwater for re-use.
  • Set up a natural landscape that doesn’t require water for your plants.
  • Join a local organization to assist in fighting water pollution around the world.

Deforestation and fossil fuel emissions have lowered air quality significantly in certain parts of the world.
Deforestation and fossil fuel emissions have lowered air quality significantly in certain parts of the world. | Source

2. Air Issues

Air pollution isn’t an issue that most people consider to be of primary environmental concern since it doesn’t seem to pose an immediate or pressing threat to a lot of us. However, air pollution causes serious health problems and threatens the natural environment. This means that it is actually one of the most important areas of environmental concern that we can start working to change today.

What Can You Do?

  • Minimize your use of cars and other vehicles in favor of walking or riding a bike.
  • Be conscious of your use of air-polluting chemicals.
  • Reduce your engagement with air-polluting services like dry-cleaning.
  • Limit your consumption of products that come from air-polluting factories.

The materials we discard can have a lasting impact on the quality and safety of the surrounding land.
The materials we discard can have a lasting impact on the quality and safety of the surrounding land. | Source

3. Waste and Land Pollution

Another area of grave concern to the EPA that impacts many different aspects of the planet's health is waste. Toxic waste like dangerous electronics and harmful chemicals are deposited in landfills on a large-scale basis. Toxic waste is a major issue, but other types of waste are of concern as well. All waste ends up leading to land pollution, causing problems in the environment and taking up much-needed land space.

A lot of items that can be recycled or donated still get thrown away because it’s more convenient for people to toss stuff in the trash. Those who analyze their waste habits are often able to make simple changes in order to minimize the amount of material they discard.

What Can You Do?

  • Get in the habit of buying only what you need.
  • Recycle all recyclable items instead of throwing them away.
  • Re-use or donate all useful, non-recyclable items instead of throwing them away.

Polar ice has already begun to melt due to climate change. Eventually, rising sea levels could displace millions of coastal humans and animals.
Polar ice has already begun to melt due to climate change. Eventually, rising sea levels could displace millions of coastal humans and animals. | Source

4. Climate Change

All of these different types of pollution and waste end up contributing to what is probably the biggest area of concern for the planet—the changing climate. Climate change is a major environmental concern because of the fact that even small changes can cause significant problems for large portions of the world.

Climate change is causing increase in the severity of natural disasters like floods and hurricanes worldwide. These things devastate society and wreak havoc on the regions that they hit. If it continues at its current rate, global warming will cause an increase in these issues along with additional problems that could ultimately end civilization as we know it.

What Can You Do?

If you work on improving your efforts in the EPA's first three areas of environmental concern, then you will be contributing to the battle against this major threat to our planet's health.

Why Focus on These Four Concerns?

It’s true that there are other types of environmental issues that we might be inclined to focus on when we are fretting about what’s going on with the earth around us. However, if you take a close look at any of those specific concerns, you will see that they usually fall into one of the four major categories outlined by the EPA.

Example Issue: Deforestation

Deforestation is a really serious problem that is causing a lot of environmental issues. This can be viewed through the EPA's waste category—it usually happens as a result of organizations or individuals using too many trees from a single area to build bigger homes, make paper products, or otherwise create wasteful material. Reducing waste by building homes using recycled materials and storing more information digitally could help address this issue.

Get an Environmental Education!

This article only touches on the four major environmental concerns of the EPA. To really be able to make a difference on this planet, it’s important to understand each of these four issues in greater depth. The only way to do that is to get an education in what each of these four areas of concern is really all about. Reading through the EPA’s website is a great place to start your environmental education. After that, you can choose which of the four areas concerns you most and focus your personal efforts on that area to do your own small part to change your planet for the better.

Comments

Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    deulatriz 

    5 years ago

    It’s true that there are other types of environmental concerns that we might be inclined to focus on when we are fretting about what’s going on with the earth around us. However, if you take a close look at any of those specific concerns then you will see that they usually fall into one of the other categories as a subcategory within it. For example, deforestation is a really serious problem that is causing a lot of environmental issues. However, it can be considered a problem that is related to waste because it usually happens as a result of the fact that people are using more of the trees than they actually need either for building bigger homes or for making paper products or something like this. Reduction of waste and choosing to only use what we need would reduce this problem. Similarly, a major issue related to deforestation is its relationship to climate change so dealing with the issues surrounding it would help us to deal with the bigger picture of our changing climate.

  • profile image

    Ajahnay thomas 

    6 years ago

    i was just wondering if theres anything else we could talk about that has to do with the enviroment

  • profile image

    bellcaro 

    7 years ago

    good information. being a specialist, i would like to ask you to add some more information as this much is not enough for the children of the 21st century. i would like to ask you to add some images of the models that children can do in this wonderfull topic of environment.

  • profile image

    samreen 

    7 years ago

    it is very nice to take information and help others

    we must take care of our environment

  • profile image

    barryh@driveaway.com 

    7 years ago

    The domain name;

    Enviromentalissues.com

    is for sale.

  • profile image

    King Neece 

    7 years ago

    Our University of Alabama patented personal solar desalination product (U.S. Made) uses no electricity, can be taken anywhere and extracts pure water from any contaminated water source. It removes radiation, fluoride, salt, pesticides, bacteria, dirt and other contaminants from any water source.

    http://freshwater.ecogreenenergies.com

  • profile image

    archana 

    7 years ago

    dude its really fab. from now i will try to save my earth as much as possible. thanks hor this website its really good.

  • profile image

    archana 

    7 years ago

    dude its really fab. from now i will try to save my earth as much as possible. thanks hor this website its really good.

  • profile image

    vanessa 

    7 years ago

    awsome

  • profile image

    pran singh 

    7 years ago

    please send how to make the model of this issue

  • profile image

    ss 

    7 years ago

    want how to make the model on this topic

  • profile image

    bm 

    8 years ago

    i real appriciate this.......bt there must be strong policy and laws which can be aplicable so as to protect our environment.(sustainable)

  • profile image

    ron 

    8 years ago

    terrorism is not the problem, that's the one that's made up... environmental issues should be the main concerns of governments today

  • profile image

    Felicia 

    8 years ago

    Dude, im sorry but your retarded our grandchildren will look back and say wow im really glad that everone before us finally pulled there heads out of there asses and decided to stop being so dumb. Our grandchildren are gonna be happy and proud.

  • profile image

    realist 

    8 years ago

    who cares about environmental issues the real issues are human poverty and terroism environmental issues are irrelvant at this stage, the well beings of humans around the world need to be considered first

  • profile image

    Jordan 

    8 years ago

    Buy local. Less shipping and trucking. Consume less.

    Stop travelling. Use phone and computer instead.

    Be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

    Each of us doing a bit will make the difference.

  • profile image

    mohamed 

    8 years ago

    the more you do the more youget

  • profile image

    Bell 

    8 years ago

    This is hopeless it's not right! It's one concern and it has four letters! Do the math

  • profile image

    DIYA 

    8 years ago

    IT IS REALLY FAB!

  • profile image

    Ent 

    9 years ago

    Waste and pollution also cause displacement of people.

  • darklingthrush profile image

    darklingthrush 

    10 years ago from an underground bomb shelter

    Really? The EPA? Aren't they the government agency that claimed Co2 to be hazardous to our health, paving the way for major tax increases on everything from Industrial/Energy products/services to exhaling when we are breathing? I'm sorry, but I have to laugh(1cent everytime I exhale, paid to the government based on the average number of exhales in a year). That sounds very silly, but government is getting very desperate due to the amount of debt is has amassed. I tell you, we should not litter and pollute our rivers, nor should we stop using the natural resources that has made this country so great. "Man-made" global climate change is just another way for politicians to confiscate your money. It isn't true...one day, this period of "green" will be laughed at by our grandchildren. The truth will have to come out one day because there are too many scientists getting fed up with political agendas. Science is about finding the truth behind everything we see, hear, feel and taste...not so much, truth...but the "why" of everything.

  • accofranco profile image

    accofranco 

    10 years ago from L Island

    ...our Earth's climat is changing day by day and people do not care, all we know is to make money, we don't care about what happens to our environment at all. strict policies should be passed to protect thi rising crisis...you have a wonderful work here. keep it up.

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