The EPA has the power to enforce environmental protection rules, but this is not enough to protect the environment. The government also must balance its budget. EPA employees often face a difficult trade-off between enforcement and other priorities. Some industries lobby against these rules, and others simply try to cheat the system. The EPA is forced to hire inspectors, and even buying land to protect a watershed has to compete with other priorities. Unfortunately, the Trump administration is not able to accept this status quo and is cutting billions from its budget.
The EPA works with various agencies to enforce environmental protection laws. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is in charge of protecting the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determines permits for wetland areas. The Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management are responsible for regulating waste, air pollution, and other issues related to the environment. Many critics of the EPA argue that the regulations are too costly and stifle international trade.
The EPA has several powers under the Constitution to regulate commerce, including international trade. The agency can also regulate commerce with foreign nations, states, and Indian tribes. Most major environmental protection laws were passed after the 1970s, and the Commerce Clause is the cornerstone for most of them. It is the power of the federal government to protect its land that makes them a central part of the environment. However, this doesn't mean that the EPA is infallible. There are laws in place to protect the environment.