Trump Swamp Deepens, Puts Public Health At Risk
March 8, 2018
Trump’s EPA is embracing the swamp. A series of administrative decisions made this week continue to award industry insiders, at the expense of Americans’ health. See for yourself:
Nearly half of Trump’s EPA political appointees have strong industry ties, including dozens of former lobbyists.
Associated Press: “An analysis by the AP shows that nearly half of the political appointees hired at the Environmental Protection Agency under Trump have strong industry ties. Of 59 EPA hires tracked by the AP over the last year, about a third worked as registered lobbyists or lawyers for chemical manufacturers, fossil fuel producers and other corporate clients that raise the very type of revolving-door conflicts of interests that Trump promised voters he would eliminate.”
A senior EPA official received approval to collect outside income from clients, while working for the Trump administration, whose identities are being kept secret.
Associated Press: “A key aide to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has been granted permission to make extra money moonlighting for private clients whose identities are being kept secret.”
Trump nominated a chemical industry insider to run the EPA office that oversees emergency response to hazardous spills and cleanups.
Associated Press: “President Donald Trump on Friday tapped a chemical industry insider to run the environmental protection agency office that oversees emergency response to hazardous spills and cleanups of the nation’s most toxic sites.”
Trump’s EPA awarded a $3,000 contract to sweep Scott Pruitt’s office for bugs to a business associated of the head of Pruitt’s security detail.
Washington Post: “Pasquale ‘Nino’ Perrotta — who heads Pruitt’s security detail and also serves as a principal of Rockville-based Sequoia Security Group — suggested last year to EPA officials that they hire a fellow member of the management team at Sequoia, Edwin Steinmetz, according to an administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal agency decisions. The roughly $3,000 contract to sweep Pruitt’s office for concealed listening devices was conducted by Edwin Steinmetz Associates, the official said.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s EPA plans to shut down a program that distributes grants to test the effects of chemical exposure on adults and children, and is overhauling an Obama-era initiative to regulate toxic coal ash waste.
The Hill: “A federal environmental program that distributes grants to test the effects of chemical exposure on adults and children is being merged as part of a proposed consolidation at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) will no longer exist following plans to combine three EPA offices, the agency confirmed to The Hill Monday.”
Washington Post: “The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed significant changes to an Obama-era initiative to regulate coal ash waste, giving states and utilities more latitude in how they dispose of the potentially toxic substance. […] It includes more than a dozen suggested changes for how coal ash — which has contaminated waterways in two high-profile spills during the past decade — is stored at more than 400 coal-fired power plants around the country.”