Save EPA | Dive Into Democracy

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On top of trying to remove the regulatory safeguards that industry finds too costly, the Trump administration is also launching an effort to weaken – and in some cases, eliminate entirely – the federal agencies charged with creating these safeguards.

The “Reorganizing the Executive Branch” website features a video of the Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney decrying one of the main functions of federal agencies – creating regulations after extensive studies and public engagement. He also enlightens us as to what “draining the swamp” actually means for the Trump Administration: removing the agencies and regulations that keep Americans healthy and safe. The website then directs you to a questionnaire for anyone who wants to suggest specific agencies they think should be eliminated.

This presents a great opportunity to re-purpose the Trump Administration’s questionnaire to speak out in support of the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Most of the survey includes drop-down lists of agencies that could be on the chopping block, but there is one question at the end – “Do you have any other ideas for reorganizing the Federal government?” – that allows you to push back against the destruction of EPA and explain why EPA is important to you (*NOTE: the questionnaire does not allow for copy & paste).

Below are some key points that show why EPA is important. You can use these points to help draft your own comment:

  • A strong, well-funded EPA is vital to a healthy environment and American public.
  • Without the EPA effectively creating and enforcing federal standards, states may be forced into a “race to the bottom,” lowering their standards in hopes of attracting industry and jobs. This situation only benefits the profits of corporations, while the public pays the price.
  • The regulations created by EPA have historically had higher benefits and lower costs of compliance than industry predictions.
  • There is no evidence that EPA’s work has adversely impacted economic competitiveness in the U.S.
  • The Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, both administered by the EPA, protect drinking water for hundreds of millions of Americans.
  • Here are some specific clean water victories that EPA was instrumental in:
    • EPA’s Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan is starting to reverse that problem and protect this resource that provides an estimated one-trillion dollar value in tourism, fishing, shipping, and more.
    • In Northern California, EPA recently completed an emergency cleanup and removal of four million gallons of toxic liquids left in leaking 50-year old tanks at an industrial site that had been abandoned nearly a decade ago.
    • EPA played a key role in the historic New York City Watershed Agreement, which protects the unfiltered drinking water of 9 million Americans and is an international model of environmental economics letting nature pay for conservation.
    • EPA has played critical roles for Great Lakes cities and regions like Western New York that are still recovering from more than 100 years of industrial pollution of their lakes, rivers, and streams.

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