EPN In Action September-October 2020

Welcome to your EPN in Action Newsletter

The Environmental Protection Network was launched in January 2017 to harness the expertise of former EPA career staff and confirmation-level appointees from multiple administrations to provide an informed and rigorous defense against efforts to undermine the protection of public health and the environment.

  • EPN updated and rereleased a snapshot of the real-life health and environmental impacts of some of the most significant actions taken by the EPA over the past few years.

  • EPN submitted comments on EPA’s proposed rulemaking for greenhouse gas emissions standards that would apply to certain commercial airplanes. 

  • An EPN member presented testimony as a follow-up to EPN’s  previous comments and testimony on EPA’s proposal, “Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process.”

  • EPN members provided testimony on the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone, a follow-up to previously submitted EPN comments.

  • EPN members testified on final draft risk evaluations of the chemicals 1-bromopropane and methylene chloride.

  • EPN sent a letter to EPA supporting a petition from six community NGOs requiring testing on 54 different PFAS manufactured by Chemours in Fayetteville, NC.

  • EPN submitted comments on EPA’s proposed 2020 financial capability assessment for Clean Water Act obligations.


EPN Highlights Estimated Health and Environmental Impacts of Trump’s Rollbacks

The Trump Administration Environmental Record Update

EPN updated its snapshot of the Trump administration's most significant proposed and finalized harmful decisions and rulemakings in order to highlight the real-world implications of these often devastating actions.

EPN’s Work on Air

EPN Comments on EPA’s Proposed GHG Emission Standards for Airplanes and Airplane Engines

EPN submitted comments on EPA's proposed rulemaking for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for certain new commercial airplanes, including all large passenger jets. EPN urged EPA to re-propose this rule to apply to all aircraft taking off or landing at U.S. airports. In addition, standards should create meaningful reductions that reflect EPA's own factual findings about the severity of health impacts from these emissions.

EPN’s Work on Toxics

EPN Writes Letter of Support for TSCA Petition to Require PFAS Testing

EPN sent a letter to EPA Administrator Wheeler expressing strong support for the petition filed under the Toxic Substances Control Act to require health and environmental effects testing on 54 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) manufactured by Chemours in North Carolina.

EPN’s Work on Water

EPN Member Op-Eds

EPN members penned their own op-eds on water policy and censored science.

Trump EPA’s Water Rule Will Swamp Midwest Communities

October 22, 2020 / by

Arthur Smith /

Inside Sources

Art Smith, EPN member and former EPA senior attorney, penned this op-ed concerning the current administration’s rollback of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule and its potential effect on midwest states.

Trump’s New Interest in Water Resources — Why Now?

October 21, 2020 / by

Jeff Peterson /

The Hill

Jeff Peterson, EPN member and former Senior Policy Advisor, EPA Office of Water, published this op-ed regarding the current administration’s recent creation of a “water subcabinet.”

Another Toxic EPA Cookbook

September 29, 2020 / by

David Coursen /

The Hill

David Coursen, EPN member and former lawyer in EPA’s Office of General Counsel, published this op-ed on the current administration’s environmental record and the consequences of its proposed “censored science” rule.

Examples of EPN in the News

In addition to the articles above, EPN members contributed to a range of articles on topics such as Superfund cleanup, the importance of science, climate change, and race-related government training.

Claiming Major Superfund ‘Success,’ Trump EPA Focused on Completing Cleanups, Not Climate Planning

October 8, 2020 / by

David Hasmyer and Lise Olsen /

InsideClimate News

EPN members David Coursen (former lawyer in EPA’s Office of General Counsel), Michael Cox (former Regional Manager for Drinking Water Lead and Copper Rule, Drinking Water Disinfection Byproducts Rule, and Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative), and Dennis McLerran (former Regional Administrator, EPA Region 10), were quoted in this article on the Superfund program under the current administration.

How Trump Damaged Science — and Why it Could Take Decades to Recover

October 5, 2020 / by

Jeff Tollefson /


John Bachmann, EPN member and former Associate Director for Science and Policy and New Programs, EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, was quoted in this article concerning the treatment of science under the current administration.

As the West Burns, the Trump Administration Races to Demolish Environmental Protections

September 19, 2020 / by

Sharon Lerner /

The Intercept

EPN members Dr. Bernard Goldstein, former chair, EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and EPA Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, and Betsy Southerland, former Director of the Office of Science and Technology in EPA’s Office of Water, were quoted in this article on how the administration’s rollback of environmental regulations exacerbate the consequences of climate change.

EPA Cancels Race-Related Training Sessions

September 16, 2020 / by

Kelsey Brugger /

E&E News

Mustafa Santiago Ali, EPN member and former Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization and Assistant Associate Administrator for Environmental Justice, was quoted in this article on EPA canceling race-related training sessions. Mustafa was quoted in a similar article by E&E News.

Read all recent EPN In the News items here