Recently, President Trump boasted about the number of regulations he repealed or otherwise inactivated, as the most in history. We’re not sure how factually true that statement is, but it certainly is true that the most active agency in carrying out this de-regulation was the USEPA. There have been a number of roll backs of Obama Administration rules and initiatives, headed by the Clean Power Act, as part of the Trump Administration’s desire is to encourage coal production. A recent article also stated that not only has the agency lost much in the way of personnel, but it is enforcing existing rules with much less vigor than in the recent past, even under a past Republican administration. See https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/10/us/politics/epa-enforcement-methodology.html
In addition, the Trump Administration has cut drastically environmental and public health research and has scrubbed mention of Climate Change from its websites, educational materials, and conferences, including terminating research in these areas.
One of the few areas that the USEPA has remained active is in Superfund cleanups. The degree of cleanup has accelerated in the past year. Many think prioritizing certain Superfund cleanup projects coincides strongly with where valuable mineral and oil and gas deposits are found, which can be profitable for future owners or miners in the area.
However, one other area that has disappointed many in the environmental community is the President’s vigorous attempt to free up federal land for mining and oil exploration, including the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and several national parks, such as Bears Ears National Monument, in which President Trump announced that the section of this monument that is protected from private use and exploration will be reduced by 1 million acres or 85%, the largest reversal of national monument protections in US history. The proposed change has been challenged in court by conservation groups.
The good news in all of this is that this news has galvanized the environmental community and many citizens, worried about the impacts of repealed environmental rules on the health and wellbeing of millions in this country. Many states will maintain and strengthen their rules. Several political candidates have discussed environmental concerns, something that rarely happens. In addition, global images, such as extreme haze and people walking around with filters in India and China have shown all the importance of smart, workable environmental regulations.
However, all in all, 2017 was not a good year for environmental protections and governance in the U.S.
CCES has the experts to help your company stay in touch with environmental regulations and provide technical assistance on how to comply in the least expensive, yet reliable way, without disrupting operations. Contact us today at karell@CCESworld.com or at 914-584-6720.