State of Risk: How Weakening EPA Imperils Our Health, Families, Jobs & Economy

State of Risk: How Weakening EPA Imperils Our Health, Families, Jobs & Economy

EPA was created to protect our air, water, lands –  and, above all, our health.  Since its creation in 1970, EPA has made our air and water cleaner, prevented millions of asthma attacks and hospitalizations, and avoided hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, all while America enjoyed a growing economy and expanding population.  Protecting the Environment: A Half Century of Progress

The current Administration is intent on strangling EPA’s ability to do its job. The anti-public agenda is clear. Over the past year, we’ve seen deep budget cuts to programs that protect our air and water, clean up contaminated land, and provide emergency response when disasters cause toxic chemical spills.  We’ve seen public health standards rolled back or eliminated over the objections of many states and millions of  public commenters.  Behind the scenes, Scott Pruitt’s EPA is quietly closing EPA science labs and eliminating staff positions. This year, we’ll likely see more budget cuts and proposals to eliminate EPA offices outright.

Weakening EPA has very real, negative impacts on our lives.

As the Environmental Defense Fund notes,

“…the result of these actions will be more asthma attacks, more toxic pollution in our communities, and more lead in our drinking water…We need to be moving forward, not backward – especially when it comes to protecting children, the elderly, and others who are vulnerable to lung and heart disease.” 

EDF has developed a series of fact sheets and in-depth reports detailing how EPA budget cuts are impacting us, state by state.  Fact sheets are also provided for Latino and African American communities of color, who are disproportionally burdened by industrial pollution.

You can access these resources at  Deep EPA cuts put public health at risk

You can take action.

From our colleagues at Friends of EPA:

“We are reaching out to environmental leaders to ask what priorities they think the next Governor and other elected officials should have in the environmental and natural resources area. Carol Romero-Wirth and Denise Fort are getting this underway and your participation would be welcome. We have a modest speakers’ bureau that is available to further discussions about environmental and natural resources issues. To learn more, or to join our efforts, please reach out to us at info@friendsofepa.org 

Friends of EPA is working to bolster public support for protection of environmental health and public lands. There is a torrent of information about environmental news, mostly bad, and we are trying to stay on top of as much of it as we can. We did want to let you know about a few new resources that might be relevant to your work.

The Environmental Defense Fund has released two important reports, the first about the effect of federal budget cuts on New Mexico and the second about the damage that has occurred to the N.M. Environment Department’s budget and the serious environmental health risks that need to be addressed within the state. There is a focus on methane pollution from oil and gas operations, but a suite of air and water quality issues also need to be tackled by the executive and legislative branches. Please review the latest report at How a State and Federal Retreat on Environmental Safeguards Threatens New Mexicans’ Health and Prosperity

The take home is that a new Governor and legislature must address polluted drinking water, surface and groundwater, air quality and initiate solid programs to address environmental justice within the state.

Westerners Care About Our Environment

Another important report confirms the impression that many of us share; New Mexicans and Westerners truly care about our public lands and environment, by very large margins. A poll released by Colorado College (conducted by professional pollsters) should be a wakeup call to any elected official who wants to cut the size of national monuments, destroy the Antiquities Act, or otherwise impair our natural resources. The report can be found at: The 2018 Conservation in the West Poll: The 8th Annual Survey of Voters in Eight Western States

Please let us know if you would like to discuss any of this and keep letting us know about your perspectives.”

 

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