After nearly a month off, U.S. elected officials returned to Washington, D.C. this week. And just as they so often do after returning from vacation, one of their first legislative actions was to dismantle portions of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a legislative packet that will greatly reduce the EPA’s ability to monitor environmental and health violations, leaving that responsibility to the states, many of which are constrained in their ability by tight budgets.
The package, known as the Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act, is a compilation of three separate bills, each attacking a different area of the EPA.
One of the biggest changes stemming from the legislation is a requirement that EPA update its rules for solid waste disposal every three years, and the agency will no longer be able to impose any regulations on solid waste disposal that interfere or attempt to supersede state laws.
Other parts of the legislative package compel the EPA to consult with states before imposing rules on the cleanup of Superfund sites, in addition to language that requires the President to consult with state leadership before enforcing environmental laws.
The three separate pieces of legislation included in the packet were proposed by Republican representatives Cory Gardner of Colorado and Bob Latta and Bill Johnson of Ohio. Altogether, the three Republicans have received more than $1,190,000 from the dirty energy industry.