EPA asks what rules to cut, gets earful about dirty water
The Trump administration got an earful Tuesday from people who say federal rules limiting air and water pollution aren’t tough enough, even as it was seeking suggestions about what environmental regulations it should gut.
The Environmental Protection Agency held a three-hour "virtual listening session" on Tuesday to collect public comments by phone about which clean water regulations should be targeted for repeal, replacement or modification.
The call was part of the agency’s response to President Donald Trump’s order to get rid of regulations that are burdensome to business and industry.
"I actually enjoy breathing clean air and drinking clean water and would find it quite burdensome not to," said Emily Key, who identified herself as a citizen worried about what cancer-causing chemicals children may be exposed to.
"I’m from Pittsburgh, where our skies were dark at noon and people changed their shirts at lunch because they were filthy from the smoke from the mills," Doug Blair told EPA.
"I oppose any rollback of environmental protections premised on the ‘jobs vs. the environment’ dilemma.
Since his appointment by Trump, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been accepting confidential petitions from lawyers and lobbyists for businesses asking him to eliminate regulations affecting their profits.
An example came last month when Pruitt acted against the recommendations of his own agency’s scientists to reverse an Obama-era effort to bar the use of a widely-used pesticide on fruits and vegetables.
Recent peer-reviewed studies found that even tiny levels of exposure of Dow Chemcial’s chlorpyrifos could hinder the development of children’s brains.
In his prior job as Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt often aligned himself in legal disputes with the interests of executives and corporations who supported his state campaigns.