Last fall, when our federal government screeched to a grinding halt, we learned that federal environmental inspections and pollution monitoring did too. That was distressing enough. Now we may have to contend with less enforcement of limits on dangerous pollution by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) own design.
Reducing enforcement is equivalent to leaving communities overburdened by toxic air and water pollution out in the cold to fend for themselves. Cutting enforcement resources will disproportionately injure communities of color and low-income communities who are more likely to live near polluting industrial facilities. That’s why we have a BIG problem if EPA is deciding to reduce resources for their enforcement team while the stakes remain high.
Big polluters already release toxic pollution into our air and water with reckless abandon. One can only imagine how much more these Big Polluters would be emboldened by EPA willingly taking their eyes off the ball. How are fewer inspections a good thing? Who is better protected by less oversight? Certainly not you and your neighbors.
2013 highlighted a host of environmental challenges from explosions at refineries and fertilizer plants to multiple Exxon oil spills. Last year also marked the fifth Anniversary of the Kingston, TN coal ash spill that devastated still-recovering communities in Tennessee and Alabama. With these challenges in mind, EPA has just as many reasons today to hold industrial polluters to tough oversight as ever before.
Help hold big polluters accountable! Tell Administrator Gina McCarthy that you support a fully-staffed EPA enforcement plan.