Since we often rely on Environmental Protection Agency rules and regulatory actions to achieve our goal of protecting the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers from pollution, the Trump administration’s plan to eliminate a quarter of the agency’s 15,000 jobs is deeply troubling. Plans to shrink EPA spending by nearly a third go beyond what could reasonably considered waste reduction and belt tightening – they would undermine the ability of the EPA to execute the agency’s mission statement of “protecting human health and the environment.”
Potomac Riverkeeper Network has participated in national organizing calls led by the Waterkeeper Alliance to coordinate a response, which includes participating in the EPA public comment process, ostensibly designed to seek feedback on “reducing regulatory burden.” We feel “reducing regulatory protection” is a more honest description of what is taking place.
In March, Potomac Riverkeeper Nean Naujoks was asked to speak at a rally supporting the EPA in front of their DC headquarters. Here is an excerpt from his speech:
“Because of the Clean Water Act, because of the EPA, we’ve slowly, steadily cleaned up our nation’s rivers. And now we’re talking about eviscerating 45 years of progress and dismantling the EPA. My kids and your kids deserve better.”