The United States Environmental Protection Agency was formed in 1970 by Richard Nixon. The current 2018 Administrator who runs the government agency is Andrew Wheeler. The EPA is in charge of maintaining and enforcing national standards of environmental law, as well as monitoring, permitting, and delegating. The EPA as has the authority to and enforcing responsibility, fine payment, sanctions, and various other measures. The Agency’s 14,000+ employees include information technologist, financial, public affairs, and legal representatives. The agency releases statements and regulations in their website and many pages of educational information for the public. The EPA has been shown to lean more liberal and has blocked more conservative requests in recent years. The EPA continually release statements and articles about environmental destruction and prevention and six of their short articles were chosen from this discourse community for analysis.
In the EPA’s informative articles “Basica Information about Nonpoint Source (NPA) Pollution” and it’s similarly connected article “NPDES Stormwater Program” originally published within the EPA’s website was written by uncredited authors, gives valuable information on the types and causes of NSP pollution and the legal definition of both NSP pollution as well as the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES. NPS pollutants include bacterial and nutrients from livestock and pet wastes, and excess fertilizers and herbicide/insecticides. Stormwater runoff is a large source of NSP pollution as it created from snow melting and rain as it runs over impervious surfaces that have NSP pollutants. The NPDEA program require that in most states all construction, industrial, and municipal activities must acquire a permit to discharge stormwater. The benefits of and effective NPDES program and stormwater runoff management include things like flood control, protection of public health, conservation of water resources, improvement in the quality of receiving waterbodies, and protection of wetlands and aquatic ecosystems.
These articles use plain English with any higher or uncommon language/terms explained throughout and as they stay unbiased and read like and educational piece of writing. These articles use conditional or inconclusive language and terms nine times throughout the text using ‘can’ six times, ‘generally’ twice in the total word count of 681. There is only a few pronouns used throughout the texts that only include they/them and we/our 5 times in total. This fits into the academic/public learning style of writing. The article stays mostly in the present tense but use future tense six times using phrases like ‘may be’ ‘before they can’ and ‘to prevent’ when talking about future pollution.
There is a large absence of pathos and ethos throughout these articles with the only arguable instance being the advanced vocabulary used as an appeal to ethos making the reader trust they the EPA knows what they are talking about. The talk of these current issues shows kairos throughout the entire passages but the heaviest appeal is the section that reads “Population growth and the development of urban areas are major contributors to the amount of pollutants in the runoff as well as the volume and rate. Together, they can cause changes in water quality that result in habitat modification and loss, increased flooding, decreased aquatic biological diversity, and increased sedimentation and erosion” which are all things happening right now.
In the EPA’s educational articles “The Problem” and the sub article titled “Sources and Solutions” originally published within the EPA’s website was written by uncredited authors explains what nutrient pollution is and how the excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the air and water are poisoning and polluting coastal waters, bays, lakes, rivers, and even streams which causes environmental and health issues in both aquatic organisms and humans. The excess of the two elements increase algae in the waterbody faster than the ecosystem can adapt to and decreases the oxygen level in the water. This also lowers water quality and destroys habitats which all lead to illness and death of fish in large numbers. If enough algae is produced it can make humans sick if they come in contacts with or consume tainted water, fish and shellfish. If there is excess of these elements in the air it produces ammonia and ozone which alters plant growth causing a decrease in air quality and limits visibility and our ability to breath. Primary sources of excess nitrogen and phosphorus are listed in ‘Sources and Solutions’ that include common household soaps, detergents, pet waste, yard scraps, and fertilizers. Fossil fuels create excess elements along with waste and stormwater. And lastly, agriculture creates the greatest amount of excess nitrogen and phosphorus from the extensive amount of fertilizer used in crops and fields, and the large amounts of animal manure produced in concentration.
These two articles use common English and remain unbiased and stay true to the aim of informing the public with valuable information. The words ‘nitrogen’, ‘phosphorus’, ‘nutrient’, were used many times within these very short articles. It was excessive since the main focus was the problems with and sources of these elements and the words could have been avoided to cut the repetitiveness. The word ‘nitrogen’ was used nineteen times, ‘phosphorus’ twelve, ‘nutrient’ eight, and ‘pollution’ nine times in the passages that only had a total word count of 649. There was a large absence of pronouns through both articles, only using they/their and we/our few times which fits the pattern of an inclusive learning style of writing. The bulk of these writing are in present tense which fits that kiarotic nature of this topic. The last notable language feature of these articles is the use of the word ‘can’ and other conditional or inconclusive language. In total there was fifteen words or phrase that were inconclusive, twelve of which were the word ‘can’. This makes sense for the more hypothetical aspect of these articles since these elements and situations can occur if certain things are present/happen.
There is little to no appeals to ethos or pathos throughout the text since they are speaking in an academic sense and not trying to persuade in any way. Logos is appealed through throughout the entire article as this is explaining a subject that requires logic to follow. These articles are talking about current issues and therefore are entirely kiarotic with sentences like “Nutrient pollution is one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems” and “Nutrient pollution in ground water – which millions of people in the United States use as their drinking water source – can be harmful, even at low levels”. These sentences explain very briefly why this is such a problem today and how widespread the issue actually is.
In the EPA’s short informational statement titled “Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)” and the connected statement “Oil Spills Prevention and Preparedness Regulations” originally published within the EPA’s website was written by uncredited authors define the main idea of the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) and the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA), as well as the Oil Spill Prevention and Preparedness Regulations. The everyday products that many people use contain chemicals that can be harmful to both the environment and humans. The TSCA and PPA allow the EPA to evaluate the harmfulness of new/existing chemicals and mandate ways to reduce or even prevent further pollution. The EPA’s oil spill prevention program includes the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) which prevents future discharge of oil into water sources. And the Facility Response Plan (FPR) “requires that certain facilities submit a response plan and prepare to respond to worse case oil discharge or threat of discharge”.
Both articles are incredibly short but are unbiased and are very informative. These sections are to inform and educate the general public and uses plain English, any higher language or uncommon terms are explained throughout. These texts have three pronouns used throughout the entire text that included ‘their’, we’, and ‘our’ all used once, which fits into the statement style of writing that these very short texts follow. There is only 261 words used in total and is not what is expected for such large topics which easily could have been written about and explained for pages and pages. These passages are mostly in present tense but, especially the oil prevention and preparedness regulation section, there is quite a bit of future tense as well with the word ‘prevent’ or ‘prevention’ being used eight times. There is no conditional language used throughout these statements.
There is no pathos evident throughout the text, but there is appeal to ethos when the U.S. Costal Guard is brought into the passage. The largest and one of only two examples of kairos is when it is said that “One of the EPA’s top priorities is to prevent, prepare for, and respond to oil spills that occur in and around inland waters of the United States” and the second example being “Some chemicals pose risks to humans and the environment” naming the reason for the TSCA, SPCC, and FPR are all needed today.
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