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Trump's EPA is letting polluters get away with just about anything

A new report sent to Congress found that Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement actions ‘fell sharply’ last year.

By Emily Singer - February 26, 2019
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Donald Trump

Trump vowed during the 2016 election that he would drain the swamp. Turns out he’s polluting the swamp instead.

Trump’s EPA has drastically reduced the number of enforcement actions against those who break environmental regulations, a move that is leading to “public health hazards,” according to a new report sent to Congress on Tuesday from an environmental group.

That’s possibly because Trump’s EPA barely even tried to find the polluters in the first place.

According to the study, the EPA completed 10,612 inspections on whether entities were complying with environmental regulations — “less than 60 percent of the annual average since 2001,” according to the study.

But that’s not even the worst statistic from the report, written by the Environmental Integrity Project, a nonpartisan environmental watchdog.

The EPA opened just 129 criminal cases, which happens when the EPA believes a polluter’s violations were intentional. That’s more than were opened in 2017, Trump’s first full year in office, “but only about a third of the levels reported between 2008 and 2013,” according to the study.

Even more, according to the study, the EPA “recovered $69.5 million in total civil penalties in fiscal 2018, the lowest in both actual and inflation-adjusted dollars since at least 1994.”

The EPA’s lack of enforcement against polluters is just the latest affront to the climate and science from the Trump administration.

Since taking office, Trump’s EPA suppressed a study that found there were hazardous levels of toxic chemicals in U.S. drinking water.

The EPA also wrote a memo to employees instructing them to sow doubt about climate change, giving them eight approved talking points.

And the EPA used a debunked study to justify a repeal of emissions standards for a certain type of diesel-fueled truck.

Ultimately, more than 1,500 employees left the EPA in the first 18 months of Trump’s presidency, many citing Trump’s anti-science agenda.

And speaking of the Trump administration’s anti-science agenda, news broke just last week that Trump is planning to put together a panel to attack climate science, which will be headed by a guy who compared climate scientists to Nazis and ISIS.

This all comes as scientists warn the effects of climate change could have dire impacts on people’s health and the global economy.

Democrats are working to try and come up with solutions to stop the negative impacts of climate change and make the planet a sustainable place to live.

Republicans, on the other hand, are doing everything they can to vilify Democrats’ efforts to stop climate change — ensuring that future generations may pay for their reckless inaction.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. 


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