The Cuyahoga River in Ohio was so polluted that it caught fire in 1969–a precipitating event for the EPA being founded. EPA, Clean Water Act, Clean Air act… protecting Americans’ right to clean air, clean water, and a sustainable way of life.
from a letter to a constituent from Senator Bob Casey (D-PA):
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 with the mission to protect human health and the environment. The EPA achieves this core goal through the development and enforcement of standards to ensure our drinking water remains safe for consumption, to reduce pollutants in our air, test the chemicals in everyday products, clean up hazardous Superfund sites and conduct critical research.
Given the critical role that the EPA plays in establishing environmental protections for children and families, I am particularly concerned about efforts from the Trump Administration to undermine the EPA. I voted against the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be Administrator of the EPA. Given Administrator Pruitt’s record of opposing environmental protections before joining the EPA, it is of no surprise that the EPA, under his leadership, has indicated that it will delay, pause or rescind key environmental protections for ozone, methane, carbon pollution and other harmful pollutants.
In addition, on May 23, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released President Trump’s final Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget, which provided proposed figures for government spending. Congress may choose to pass the President’s budget as a resolution, but it is important to note that it is non-binding. Budget resolutions provide a framework for discretionary and non-discretionary spending, but do not actually fund the government. The President’s proposed budget cuts the EPA’s budget by 31%, with a specific focus on eliminating climate related programs. The budget also seeks to eliminate Restoration Initiatives for several regions, including the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay. It also seeks to eliminate the Energy Star program, the Office of Environmental Justice and Categorical Grants for Radon, Lead and Pollution Prevention, while reducing funding for the Hazardous Substance Superfund Account, the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and Brownfields programs. While I was glad to see an increase in funding for the TSCA Chemical Risk Review and Reduction Program to evaluate chemicals for health risks, the cuts to the EPA’s programs will cripple the ability of the Agency to continue its critical work.
As a result, I signed on to a letter to Senate Appropriators expressing concern with the EPA budget cuts and requesting that appropriations legislation for FY 2017 and FY 2018 ensure that the EPA can meet its core mission to protect the environment and safeguard public health. I also signed on to a letter to Administrator Pruitt opposing the budget cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Further, I signed on to a letter to Senate Appropriators requesting funding for lead abatement, inspection and enforcement programs at the EPA. Lastly, I joined a letter to Senate appropriators opposing the cuts to Chesapeake Bay programs in the President’s budget and requesting robust funding for these programs.
I understand that some Pennsylvanians are concerned about efforts to reduce or eliminate the EPA, while other support such actions. I believe that we can protect our air and water while continuing to grow a robust energy economy. Please be assured that I will work to hold Administrator Pruitt accountable….
The Environmental Protection Agency, proposed by president Richard Nixon in 1970 and authorized by Congress that same year, was deprived of its scientific independence under Donald Trump in 2017. From “Counseled by Industry, Not Staff, E.P.A. Chief Is Off to a Blazing Start” by Coral Davenport, New York Times, 7/1/17, excerpt:
…Mr. Pruitt has outsourced crucial work to a network of lawyers, lobbyists and other allies, especially Republican state attorneys general, a network he worked with closely as the head of the Republican Attorneys General Association. Since 2013, the group has collected $4.2 million from fossil fuel-related companies like Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries, Murray Energy and Southern Company, businesses that also worked closely with Mr. Pruitt in many of the 14 lawsuits he filed against the E.P.A.
Within the agency, Mr. Pruitt relies on the counsel of a small network of political appointees, including a number of former lobbyists and senior industry officials. For example, he tapped Nancy Beck, previously a policy director for the American Chemistry Council, which lobbies on behalf of companies such as Dow and DuPont, to oversee the E.P.A. office charged with enforcing regulations on hazardous chemicals.
“It amounts to a corporate takeover of the agency, in its decision- and policy-making functions,” said Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, a government watchdog group….
read the full article at New York Times
Donald Trump wants to slash the EPA’s budget and defund public health programs — which could cost people like Heather Von St. James their lives. This is her story.
Heather Von St. James has a friendly, Midwestern quality to her voice. Speaking to her over the phone, she comes off relaxed and assured, passionate yet polished.
But when you ask her about Donald Trump, something in her voice starts to change. There’s an exasperation, a sense of controlled but forceful frustration just under the surface of her jovial tone.
“It just makes me so angry,” was the first thing she said when I asked her what she thought of Trump’s decision to place Scott Pruitt at the head of the EPA.
That’s because Heather knows firsthand the devastation that could happen if Trump and Pruitt’s attempts to gut the EPA are successful.
At 36 years old, Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. She’s one of about 7 to 9 percent of mesothelioma patients who has lived more than five years after diagnosis, and one of even fewer who have actually defeated the disease. Since recovering 11 years ago, Heather has poured her time into fighting for regulations that limit Americans’ exposure to asbestos and championing protections for environmental health.
And she was seeing important progress in regulating pollutants and carcinogens like asbestos through the EPA — until Trump entered office. …
keep reading and view video at Greenpeace