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Congressman Matt Gaetz is currently working on legislation that, if passed, would completely abolish the Environmental Protection Agency.

The freshman congressman from Fort Walton Beach outlined his plan in a letter to colleagues first reported by The Huffington Post.

“Today, the American people are drowning in rules and regulations promulgated by unelected bureaucrats; and the Environmental Protection Agency has become an extraordinary offender,” Gaetz wrote in the letter asking support from House lawmakers.

The proposed bill would be the first piece of legislation sponsored by Gaetz, who represents much of Northwest Florida. If passed, the bill would shutter the EPA by the end of next year.
A sign at Pensacola's former American Creosote Works plant warns against entering the contaminated site. (Derek Cosson/The Pulse)

A sign at Pensacola’s former American Creosote Works plant warns against entering the contaminated site. The EPA has spent millions remediating the site for possible redevelopment as a city park. (Derek Cosson/The Pulse)

The EPA was created 47 years ago and has a budget of more than $8.1 billion. The federal agency employs more than 15,000 Americans and is responsible for enforcing numerous laws like the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Superfund Act.

In Pensacola alone, the EPA has led and primarily funded cleanup of at least seven superfund sites that are currently being remediated as part of plans to return them back to the public for redevelopment.

It’s not clear how much support Gaetz’s bill could gain in the House. Additionally, the Senate would have to also pass legislation to seriously threaten the agency’s future.

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