Inside Trump's EPA
Making the decision to write this book was no small undertaking. Not only would I be telling my story in the aftermath of a controversial firing, but I would also be telling it in the aftermath of one of the more controversial administrations in US history. Why do this, then? I decided to write Inside Trump's EPA for several reasons.First, I wanted to be able to share a side of the EPA that the general public and even those who interface with the agency on a regular basis didn't understand. While the perception of the EPA is generally as an agency whose sole focus is on the regulatory front and playing gotcha, the enforcement and regulatory side of the EPA is actually a small amount of the work that their career men and women do every day in carrying out the EPA's mission to protect human health and the environment.While the EPA takes enforcement of our environmental laws and regulations very seriously, the fact is that over 60 percent of the EPA's total budget goes to grants and funding for our states, tribal nations, US territories, and even indirectly, the Freely Associated States of Palau, Marshall Islands, and the Kwajalein Atoll to implement clean air and water programs and strategies, facilitate the removal of marine debris and microplastics, protect the coral reefs, develop brownfield projects, clean up Superfund sites, and engage in effective emergency management during federally declared emergencies. The list goes on from there. The extent and nature of the true work of the EPA will be explored in depth in this book and may belie many commonly held misconceptions about the agency.I also wanted to write this book to pay tribute to the career staff of the EPA. My term working as regional administrator of the Southwest region gave me the opportunity to work with the most professional and most dedicated people I have ever worked with in my life. I can tell you that not once did I see a person from rank and file to senior staff who didn't give 110 percent every day they went to work.I am also writing this book to publicly disclose actions that were taken by the top leadership in Trump's EPA that I feel did not serve the interests or directions of the administration. I don't believe the president or the senior members of the White House staff were aware of these actions. These actions didn't serve the mission of the EPA. I also believe they were unethical, violated the oath taken to serve, and perhaps were even illegal. These were actions that were taken by Administrator Wheeler, Acting Deputy Administrator Doug Benevento, and potentially a handful of other presidential appointees.My final reason for writing this book is to provide anyone interested in the environment and its protection with an inside look at the dayâ€“toâ€“day operations of the EPA and the vast role the agency and its employees play in making our environment safer and cleaner, improving our daily quality of life in so many ways, and protecting our human health.I want to dedicate this book to my incredible wife, Debi, without whose persistence this book would not have been written. I would also like to dedicate this book to the career men and women of the Southwest region of the US EPA, who gave me years of working with the best of the best. This book is a salute to all of you and what you do every day in getting up and giving it your all in service to the EPA and its mission.
-- Mike Stoker