Can President-Elect Donald Trump Eliminate the EPA?
There’s a great deal of worry and concern for employees of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) since the presidential election. Now with Donald Trump being the president-elect, all of us stand to see some of the most dramatic changes under his new administration. Even though former President Ronald Reagan tried to eliminate it in his administration — the EPA is still functioning.
What does the EPA do?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent federal agency, created in 1970, that sets the standard and enforces the rules that protect the environment and control pollution. In addition, the EPA carries out research, helps fund education initiatives, and supports voluntary pollution reduction schemes around the United States.
In lead exposure prevention, EPA uses science to help protect our health and environment from toxic chemicals. EPA also provides information about specific chemicals and how you can protect yourself, your family, and your community from toxins like lead.
There are some early indications that Trump will de-regulate rather than regulate polluting industries, says Bruce Lanphear, a professor at Simon Fraser University who studies the effects of environmental neurotoxins on children’s health. “That would be unfortunate,” Lanphear said.
“Water and public health are not partisan issues — Americans won’t stand for a President who attacks landmark laws like the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts,” said Bob Wendelgass, the president and chief executive of Clean Water Action, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group. “Over the next few months we will mobilize our members from across the nation, and the public, to be ready to push back on the Trump Administration’s attempts to weaken protections for our water, climate, and communities.”
“Even before his election, Trump had started to back away from some of his more aggressive ‘abolish-the-E.P.A.’ speeches, suggesting in September that he would simply ‘refocus’ the agency’s priorities,” according to an article written by journalist Aleszu Bajak.
The Trump administration can seriously damage the agency’s ability to fulfill its mission simply by eliminating or significantly reducing the funding. With Trump’s anti regulation attitude, it’s very likely that the already under-funded EPA will be seriously weakened in his administration.
What many Republicans and Trump supporters fail to realize is that there are actual functions within the EPA that support industry positions. The EPA is also a facilitator of discussions about legislation such as the Toxic Substances Control Act. In that case, the EPA supported the revision of the Act with both environmentalists and industry concerns addressed.
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