BOSTON -- Fourteen attorneys general sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday, demanding that the agency rescind its new policy suspending enforcement of key environmental laws during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
John Rumpler, senior attorney for Environment America, made the following statement in response:
“The EPA’s decision to stop enforcing key provisions of our environmental laws puts our air and water at the mercy of polluters. We commend these attorneys general for standing up against this egregious attack on our environment and our health.
“As our nation struggles to confront an urgent public health crisis, it’s more important than ever to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and the water we drink is safe. If EPA fails to enforce requirements for monitoring or reporting, we won't know when polluters are violating the law or putting our health at risk. Moreover, under its reckless policy, the EPA could let facilities off the hook for actual instances of excessive pollution. It’s an open invitation to pollute.
“Right now, it’s so encouraging to see these state attorneys general push back and call on EPA to enforce our nation’s environmental laws. More should join them. Especially at this time, our health depends on it.”