Chapter 20: Global Economic Challenges
"The Environmental Protection Agency"
Students have already learned that pollution is the contamination
of air, water, or soil by the discharge of poisonous or noxious
substances. Pollution is a problem that most countries face
today. Pollution does not occur on its own; it occurs because
people and firms have an incentive to pollute. If that incentive
can be removed, pollution will be less of a problem. In this
activity, students will learn more about prevention of pollution
and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Students will use information from the United States Environmental
Protection Agency Web site to find out more about pollution
and protection of the environment.
Students should be familiar with the following term:
pollution: contamination of air, water, or soil by
the discharge of a poisonous or noxious substance
Content Standards (from the National Council on Economic Education)
Standard 2: Effective decision making requires comparing
the additional costs of alternatives with the additional benefits.
Most choices involve doing a little more or a little less
of something; few choices are all-or-nothing decisions.
Standard 4: People respond predictably to positive
and negative incentives.
1. Students will restate the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's mission statement.
2. Students will describe a current environmental issue.
3. Students will list sources of information related to environmental
4. Students will research EPA-regulated facilities in their communities.
Student Web Activity Answers
1. The EPA's mission is "to protect human health and to safeguard
the natural environment--air, water, and land--upon which
2. Student answers will vary but should reflect one of the issues discusses on the main page.
3. The EPA Web site provides extensive lists to related Web sites on a variety of topics, such as conservation, ecosystems, and human health.
4. Student answers will vary.
Encourage students to research further information about pollution
prevention on the Internet. The EPA Web site for students
has information related to waste and recycling, air, conservation,
ecosystems, water, human health, local environmental issues,
and environmental basics. The site also features projects
and student activities.
Encourage students to learn more about the environment and
alternative energy sources. Have students present their findings
to local community or civic groups.
Student Web Activity