“Deeply Flawed” Bill Would Erode Federal Public Health and Environmental Protections

Longstanding framework for judicial review of regulatory safeguards would be overthrown

WASHINGTON –  John D. Walke, a senior attorney and the clean air director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, today urged a House subcommittee to reject proposed legislation that would erode federal public health safeguards and environmental protections.

In testimony before the House Judiciary’s subcommittee on regulatory reform, commercial and antitrust law, Walke said the “Separation of Powers Restoration Act of 2016” (H.R. 4768) is a “deeply flawed and harmful bill” that would overthrow a longstanding and well-founded framework for judicial review of U.S. regulatory safeguards that is grounded in “extensive administrative records, lengthy processes of public input, and expert evaluation.”

He described the measure, sponsored by Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-TX), as the latest in “a wave of legislation embodying conservative political and corporate attacks on our modern system of federal regulation and law enforcement by the executive branch.’’

Walke said the proposal also would encourage “judicial forum shopping,” a practice that could lead to the “uneven application of national laws (that) would adversely impact the certainty with which businesses could operate across the country, and would bias outcomes and justice in favor of those possessing the resources to challenge a federal agency decision in multiple circuits.’’

A copy of Walke’s written testimony can be found here:  https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/testimony-separation-of-powers-restoration-act-20160517.pdf


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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