On February 24, President Trump signed an Executive Order “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” intended “to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens” on the American people. Agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are directed to evaluate existing regulations and “make recommendations to the agency head regarding their repeal, replacement, or modification.” EPA Director Scott Pruitt is in the process of issuing rules to cut EPA staff and roll back a wide variety of regulations that protect our air, water and environmental health.
Before any Federal agency creates new rules and regulations or changes old ones, they must submit the proposed changes for public comment. The agency must respond to each comment on a proposed rule or regulation. If they don’t take the feedback into serious consideration, there are grounds for lawsuits to challenge those same rules and regulations. This is a concrete way for you to resist Trump’s unreasonable Executive Actions and is different from our earlier calls to protect the EPA more generally. The deadline for your comments is May 15, 2017.
You don’t need any technical knowledge to submit comments on proposed rules and regulations. You can make a general statement in support of existing EPA regulations and the level of environmental protection currently being provided by the EPA. Obviously, it is better if you can make particular objections to loosening regulations based on your personal experience and knowledge. Below are some sample comments to help you.
CALL TO ACTION
Before May 15, go to https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190-0042 At the top right, you’ll see a box labeled “COMMENT.” Click there and proceed. Here are some ideas for comments:
- I urge the EPA not to weaken any regulations but instead to strengthen standards to better protect the environment and public health. The EPA’s past efforts to protect the environment are supported by the American public. Short-sighted industry interests should not be allowed to undermine the progress the EPA has achieved in promoting public health and safety by protecting our air and water.
- I strongly oppose the Trump administration’s destructive and unpopular agenda to roll back public health and environmental safeguards under our bedrock environmental laws. We have a moral obligation to provide clean air and water and a safe, healthy climate for future generations. In addition, there is clear evidence that environmental regulations and protection protect public health. For example, the Clean Air Act prevents more than 160,000 premature deaths and 1.7 million asthma attacks each year. Additionally, environmental regulation encourages technological innovation, giving American industry a worldwide advantage.
- Examples of regulations now under attack that EPA include the EPA’s Clean Car and Truck Standards, EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and EPA’s Methane Standards. These regulations save lives and protect the environment.