Climate Change

Pruitt's EPA falls down on job one: enforcement

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been so busy rolling back clean water and air regulations, it appears to have forgotten its original purpose: to act as a regulatory watchdog. According to a report released by the Environmental Integrity Project, the EPA under Scott Pruitt pursued just half the number of cases against likely violators as the past three administrations did in the same time frame. Likely reasons for the lax attitude? Agency downsizing and the pro-industry priorities of the administration. The report highlighted 15 examples of facilities that received notices for serious violations of air pollution limits before Trump took office—but none since. Even more alarming is the fact that a quarter-million people lived within three miles of those facilities, according to the report. Someone should remind Pruitt that crucial protections for our land and health are only as good as their enforcement, which is, oh right, his job.  

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