The Environmental Protection Agency has seen a radical but discreet shift in regulatory power during 2017. Recently, Nancy B. Beck joined the agency as the Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. She previously worked as an executive on the American Chemistry Council, the largest advocacy association for the chemical industry. Under Beck’s guidance, the EPA’s office of water has been asked to limit the tracking of hazardous chemicals. If successful, the risk of toxic materials entering groundwater could become a greater risk not only for humans, but also for local wildlife.
This is one of many instances within the administration of regulatory power being actively undermined by changing policies and replacing administrators. Since Scott Pruitt took over as Donald Trump’s appointed head executive of the EPA, the agency has focused increasingly on the concerns of select companies over human and environmental protectionism.
Not only do these pro-corporate changes decrease equity of policy, they also are not publically favored.
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll from last January 60 percent of Americans want the EPA’s regulatory powers to either remain constant or increase; only 19 percent preferred a decrease in this power. Scott Pruitt’s attack on these laws is currently happening behind the scenes and out of the minds of most citizens. As Donald Trump’s tweets are debated and discussed nationally, few know the damage being done to the EPA. These charges affect the health of Americans and the conservation of the environment. Employees within the EPA are doing what they can to leak and illuminate internal changes, but they are not generating enough noise.
As Americans we must display that our values of environmental conservation and protection are more important than the profits of a select group of companies. Due to how unpopular this policy is, Scott Pruitt would like to have agenda pursued as quietly as possible.
Government agencies are meant to value the will the constituents they serve. In this case polling is evidence that political pressure will be effective. Take action by advocating disapproval to friends, and calling local representatives to demand action.