As the co-founder of a Tea Party, you might guess that the federal agency that frustrates me the most is the Internal Revenue Service. However, from the eyes of this environmental health and safety professional, the tax men are a close second to the agents of the Environmental Protection Agency. One of the reasons is its aggressive handling of an investigation that the agency says was conducted because of possible violations of the Clean Water Act.

The recent uproar over armed EPA agents descending on a tiny Alaska mining town is shedding light on the fact that 40 federal agencies – including nearly a dozen typically not associated with law enforcement — have armed divisions. ….The incident that sparked the renewed interest and concern occurred in late August when a team of armed federal and state officials descended on the tiny Alaska gold mining town of Chicken, Alaska.

To put it in perspective, below is a picture of this den of polluting iniquity, which has a population of 17 with dozens of seasonal workers.

Chicken, Alaska in 2006

The agency’s officials have been as forthcoming about their raid as the US State Department has been about Benghazi. From FOX News:

The raid, according to one Senate staffer close to the matter, was conducted as such because of information received from the Alaska State Troopers about rampant “drug and human trafficking” in the area, the Alaska Dispatch reports. That purported explanation was seemingly debunked by a spokeswoman for the law enforcement agency who told the newspaper that it did not advise EPA officials to conduct the raid, adding that no evidence exists to believe those crimes are occurring. Calls seeking additional comment from the Alaska State Troopers were not returned early Friday. “Their explanation — that there are concerns with the area of rampant drug trafficking and human trafficking going on — sounds wholly concocted to me,” Murkowski told the newspaper. “This seems to have been a heavy-handed and heavy-armor approach. Why was it so confrontational? The EPA really didn’t have any good answers for this.”

Interestingly, the mission statement of the EPA centers on protecting human health and safety and the environment. I assert that sending armed agents to terrorize citizens runs counter to that mission.

Furthermore, the EPA bureaucrats seem to have an enforcement bias against conservatives that is no less unfair than that of the IRS:

A second federal agency is facing a probe and accusations of political bias over its alleged targeting of conservative groups. The allegations concern the Environmental Protection Agency, which is being accused of trying to charge conservative groups fees while largely exempting liberal groups. The fees applied to Freedom of Information Act requests — allegedly, the EPA waived them for liberal groups far more often than it did for conservative ones. …Research by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative Washington, D.C., think tank, claims that the political bias is routine when it comes to deciding which groups are charged fees. Christopher Horner, senior fellow at CEI, said liberal groups have their fees for documents waived about 90 percent of the time, in contrast with conservative groups that it claims are denied fee waivers about 90 percent of the time.

Finally, the EPA’s regulatory enforcement policies have exceeded their original bounds and are harmful to the economic health of American citizens:

If you want to know how the threat of regulation undermines economic growth, consider Monday’s decision by British mining giant Anglo-American to withdraw from the Pebble Partnership to develop North America’s richest copper and gold deposit in southwest Alaska. The investors haven’t even made a formal proposal. But the Environmental Protection Agency had threatened to issue a pre-emptive veto even before the traditional approving authorities in the state of Alaska and the Army Corps of Engineers had weighed in. The EPA typically regulates projects once they are approved, but in the Obama Administration such notions of regulatory restraint are considered quaint.

Based on how far it has deviated from its original mission, I think this agency is now officially toxic to the Americans it is supposed to protect.