WASHINGTON DC – In advance of his appearance before the Environment and Public Works Committee later in January, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) yesterday, January 18, queried Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt about controversial changes to EPA policy that endanger public and environmental health and safety and run counter to EPA’s stated mission to protect “human health and the environment” and to ensure that “national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information.”
In his letter, Senator Markey asks for justification for key decisions Administrator Pruitt has made regarding climate change, fuel efficiency standards, the agency’s budget, and toxic chemicals, many of which have lacked transparency and scientific justification.
“NASA has declared 2017 the second-hottest year in history, and Administrator Pruitt is in the hot seat to explain the EPA’s refusal to act on climate change,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
“Mr. Pruitt has inexplicably ignored his own agency experts and other scientific expertise on toxic chemicals and fuel efficiency standards, all while restricting agency resources on monitoring and enforcement. Administrator Pruitt is not only abdicating his responsibility to the American people, he seems to be showing willful neglect of the EPA’s mission. It is past time to explain to the American people why he continues to endanger public health and give corporate polluters a free pass,” said Sen. Markey.
In the letter, Senator Markey asks for responses to dozens of questions that include:
- Why was climate change not included in EPA’s draft strategic plan for 2018-2022?
- What are the exact procedures put in place to ensure that EPA scientists can continue to be able to speak at public events about climate science?
- Who was responsible for authorizing the removal of EPA webpages on climate change?
- What lessons were learned from the flooding of two Superfund sites in Texas during Hurricane Harvey and the release of dioxins from the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund site?
- How will you ensure that financial impacts of a decline in air quality, including any additional public health costs, are accounted for in future fuel efficiency rulemaking?
- Can you commit to updating the public with more information on potentially hazardous chemicals or presumed safe chemicals, beyond simply stating that a focus meeting has occurred?
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter can be found HERE.