This is outrageous. At a time when taking care of our health is more important than ever, the Trump EPA just announced that it will no longer enforce some of our nation’s most important environmental safeguards during the coronavirus outbreak.
People that have been hardest hit by air pollution already face a greater risk from coronavirus. Breathing air polluted with soot and smog decreases lung function, making these communities even more vulnerable to serious health complications. And the Trump EPA already has a dangerous track record of ignoring scientists and doctors when it comes to the dangers of pollution.
Yes, it’s really that bad — EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is giving power plants and factories permission to spew unchecked pollution into our air and water without even the most basic restrictions. This has absolutely nothing to do with protecting people during a pandemic. Instead, it’s a blatant, opportunistic gift to the coal, oil and gas industries.
Instead of protecting the most vulnerable from harm, the EPA’s new order allows polluters to exceed pollution limits with zero penalties or fines. And the rules protecting public health and safety will be suspended for an “undetermined” amount of time — an incredibly dangerous precedent.