Press Release

Legislators from 40 states denounce EPA’s suspension of regulatory compliance

April 10, 2020

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National

NCEL Point of Contact

Taylor Anderson
Communications Manager

Contact

More than 280 members of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL), representing 40 states, voiced opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to pause regulatory compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the EPA’s new guidance, the agency plans to limit enforcement action on companies that pollute air or water. 

“This crisis should mean that our government acts in the best interest of the American people,” said Beth Kerttula, NCEL President. “Our lives, especially now, depend on clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. The EPA’s job is to ‘protect human health and the environment.’ It is incredible that the EPA used this time to put polluters first.”

While COVID-19 threatens the health and safety of many around the country, vulnerable populations in our communities are facing some of the highest mortality rates from the coronavirus. These same groups are put more at risk by the EPA’s decision. Those exposed to poor air quality are more likely to die from complications from COVID-19, and pollution sources are more likely to be located in low-income communities. As a result, these communities experience compounded health risks due to lack of access to medical facilities and treatment, fresh food, and jobs in healthy environments.

The letter, spearheaded by Oregon Representative Karin Power and Utah Representative Joel Briscoe, cites the environmental inequities that this new decision creates.

State legislators fight every day to overcome the environmental inequities in their communities and call on the EPA will rejoin them in that fight. 

The full letter can be viewed here: https://www.ncel.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/EPA-Suspends-Regulatory-Compliance-Sign-On-Letter.pdf