EPA’s Air, Water and Toxic Waste Failures Compounding Health and Safety Risks to Public

Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), testifies during a hearing titled "Oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency" in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on May 20, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Al Drago/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Andrew Wheeler testifies Photo: Al Drago, AFP via Common Dreams

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, appeared before Congress yesterday and when asked about all the rollbacks of environmental regulations by the agency recently, he defended his leadership saying “All our rules make things better.”  Just in the last few weeks alone, under his leadership, the EPA has refused to regulate perchlorate, a toxic chemical compound that contaminates water and has been linked to fetal and infant brain damage, told polluters that because of COVID-19 he would suspend enforcement of environmental laws that require companies to monitor their pollution, and failed to back up his staff who objected to the Transportation Department’s rationale for rolling back the Obama Clean Car Rule.

Why This Matters:  It is patently clear that EPA is making things better for corporate polluters, not ordinary citizens who are negatively impacted by them.  This administration has systematically worked to pull back dozens of environmental protections for the public — these rollbacks make people sick and they hasten the deaths of thousands of Americans.  And now as we face the COVID-19 pandemic, which we know is more deadly for people who have been exposed to pollution, they are busy trying to expose even more Americans to pollution.

Devastating Recent Rollbacks

In response to Administrator Wheeler’s testimony, the Environmental Working Group put out this list of the EPA’s recent rollbacks of environmental, health, and safety regulations.  The EPA has:

Up Next

Hero: Linda Zall Pioneered Climate Intelligence at the CIA

Hero: Linda Zall Pioneered Climate Intelligence at the CIA

Earlier this year, the NY Times’ Bill Broad shone a spotlight on the fine work of Linda Zall, who was a leader in using the CIA’s spy satellites to gather and analyze climate change data and intelligence for the government.

Continue Reading 222 words

Interview of the Week: Rt Hon. David Lammy

This past week, Our Daily Planet got a chance to sit down with the Right Honorable David Lammy, Member of Parliament for Tottenham, as well as the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor in Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet. We were inspired to talk to David after a recent TED Talk he […]

Continue Reading 272 words
Young Woman Leads Her Community In Baltimore To “Starve” Polluting Incinerator With Zero Waste

Young Woman Leads Her Community In Baltimore To “Starve” Polluting Incinerator With Zero Waste

The Wheelabrator waste-to-energy incinerator is Baltimore’s biggest standing source of air pollution. Its smokestacks send toxic mercury, lead, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides into the air off of I-95 in South Baltimore, whose residents are primarily Black and low-income. 

Why This Matters:  High polluting incinerators like the Wheelabrator facility are both harmful and expensive.

Continue Reading 571 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.