Elimination and Rollback of Federal Regulations
by Maureen Rupe,
I keep hearing about the current administration's elimination or rollback of regulations as a good thing. Most regulations are put into place to protect us, either our health or our quality of life even down to whether we are paid for all the time we work. I found an article in the New York Times by Nadia Popovich, Livia Albeck Ripka and Kendra Pierra Lous, last updated on Sept. 12, 2019. I didn’t list all of them, but some are of concern.
Air pollution and emissions
1.Canceled a requirement for oil and gas companies to report methane emissions.
2.Revised and partially repealed an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions on public lands, including intentional venting and flaring from drilling operations.
3.Loosened a Clinton-era rule designed to limit toxic emissions from major industrial polluters.
4.Stopped enforcing a 2015 rule that prohibited the use of hydrofluorocarbons, powerful greenhouse gases, in air-conditioners and refrigerators.
5.Repealed a requirement that state and regional authorities track tailpipe emissions from vehicles traveling on federal highways.
6.Reverted to a weaker 2009 pollution permitting program for new power plants and expansions.
Infrastructure and planning
43.Revoked Obama-era flood standards for federal infrastructure projects, like roads and bridges. The standards required the government to account for sea-level rise and other climate change effects.
44.Relaxed the environmental review process for federal infrastructure projects.
45.Revoked a directive for federal agencies to minimize impacts on water, wildlife, land and other natural resources when approving development projects.
46.Revoked an Obama executive order promoting “climate resilience” in the northern Bering Sea region of Alaska, which withdrew local waters from oil and gas leasing and established a tribal advisory council to consult on local environmental issues.
Toxic substances and safety
66.Rejected a proposed ban on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide linked to developmental disabilities in children.
67.Narrowed the scope of a 2016 law mandating safety assessments for potentially toxic chemicals, like dry-cleaning solvents and paint strippers. The E.P.A. will focus on direct exposure and exclude air, water and ground contamination.
71.Scaled back pollution protections for certain tributaries and wetlands that were regulated under the Clean Water Act by the Obama administration.
72.Revoked a rule that prevented coal companies from dumping mining debris into local streams.
73.Withdrew a proposed rule aimed at reducing pollutants, including air pollution, at sewage treatment plants.
I didn’t list them all, but I couldn’t find many that although would help business, would not hurt our overall quality of life.