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Thu May 21, 2020, 01:39 AM

Democrats decry 'pandemic of pollution' under Trump's EPA

Source: Associated Press

Democrats decry ‘pandemic of pollution’ under Trump’s EPA

By MATTHEW DALY
May 20, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats on Wednesday blasted the Trump administration’s moves to roll back environmental regulations during the coronavirus crisis, with one senator saying a “pandemic of pollution″ has been released.

The Environmental Protection Agency has weakened regulations dealing with fuel efficiency and mercury emissions and has waived enforcement on a range of public health and environmental mandates, saying industries could have trouble complying with them during the coronavirus pandemic. The rollbacks are among dozens of actions by the EPA to ease requirements on industry to monitor, report and reduce toxic pollutants, heavy metals and climate-damaging fossil fuel emissions.

Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the EPA remains “open for business” and “at work meeting our mission of protecting human health and the environment.″

Wheeler told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that the EPA has approved hundreds of virus-killing disinfectants in recent weeks — more than 400 now, compared with 60 on March 5.

Wheeler cited a series of actions the agency has taken, including a revised rule that lifts protections for some of the millions of miles of streams, creeks and wetlands in the United States. The long-sought rule change to the Clean Water Act provides much needed regulatory certainty and predictability for American farmers, landowners and businesses, Wheeler said.

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Read more: https://apnews.com/7606cb23ded65b7695b1d57ee8951e1b

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