Trump's EPA to Stop Surprise Inspections of Potential Polluters
With each passing month, the Trump administration is finding new ways to gut America's environmental laws and some are quite creative. The EPA is now abandoning an essential policy which allows them to carry out surprise inspections of power and chemical plants to check for violations without notice to the company or to the state in which the potential polluter resides.
Susan Bodine, assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assistance, says they are doing it to promote cooperation with state regulators, and the state would then decide “whether or when” the company would get advance notice of an inspection. And that is key. The EPA was established during the Nixon administration because many states refused to address air and water pollution by their most influential businesses. And, throughout its history, the EPA has shown that it can't be bullied or unduly influenced by wealthy, powerful polluters.
Former EPA enforcement attorney, Tim Whitehouse, understands what will happen after implementation of the new Trump administration policy.
The Hill: “Taking the element of surprise away from inspections decreases their effectiveness, for obvious reasons,” Tim Whitehouse, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and a former EPA enforcement attorney, said in a statement.
“I fear that EPA’s ‘no surprises’ posture masks a ‘see no evil’ approach to corporate polluters.” ...
...“Nobody opposes cooperation or supports duplication, but this policy risks environmental protection by giving the upper hand to corporate polluters and states that don’t want to enforce environmental laws.”
Exactly. Regulators in states like California or Vermont won't warn potential polluters before inspections. But in states like Alabama or West Virginia where regulation of the coal and chemical industries isn't popular you may well have a very different outcome.
By Don Lam & Curated Content