Over the past two months EPN members submitted two sets of formal comments, released a brief analysis on EPA’s final FY 2019 appropriation, provided testimony and a white paper on a proposed rule-making, and continued to be a trusted source of information to reporters including during the partial government shutdown.

Highlights of this update:

EPN Marks Two Years of Environmental Advocacy Work!

EPN’s work on Pigment Violet 29, the Government Shutdown and FY19 Appropriations

The Effects of a Government Shutdown at EPA

EPN shared information about the effects of a government shutdown on EPA’s ability to do its work before and during the shutdown. Shutdowns are disruptive, bad for morale, hurt productivity, and are a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars. On January 25, 2019, a short-term spending bill was signed, and the 34-day shutdown over the FY2019 budget ended.

EPN Fact Sheet: 2019 Appropriations Act Passes and What that Means for EPA

On February 15, 2019, the president signed the FY2019 Appropriations Act, which saved EPA from the proposed 33.7% cuts originally proposed by the administration, allocating an $8.06 billion budget, similar to its FY2018 budget. Unfortunately, a flatlined budget for EPA continues a longer-term trend of inadequate funding for EPA.

TSCA and the Government Shutdown in the News

Trump’s EPA Is Undermining New Law to Regulate Chemicals

Jan 5, 2019 / by

Daniel Ross /


Bob Sussman, EPN member, former EPA Deputy Administrator and Senior Policy Counsel to Administrator, is quoted in this article on concerns about the current EPA’s modifications to the way it evaluates and regulates chemicals under The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Federal Work at Superfund Sites Suspended During Shutdown

Jan 11, 2019 / by

Ellen Knickmeyer and Kim Chandler /

Associated Press

Bonnie Bellow, EPN member and former EPA Director, Public Affairs Division, Region 2, is quoted in this article on suspended federal cleanups at Superfund sites around the nation and forced cancellations of public hearings due to the partial government shutdown.

You can read more government shutdown articles featuring EPN members here.

EPN’s work on WOTUS

WOTUS In The News

Officials Mull Possible Changes in the Way Pollutants in Our Water Supply Are Regulated

Feb 28, 2019 / by

Shannon O'Brien /

Fox 4 Kansas City

Mark Hague, EPN Board Member and former EPA Regional Administrator and Deputy Regional Administrator in Region 7, is quoted in this article about the two days of hearings held by EPA and the Army in Kansas City on the proposed new definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS).

Critics Slam WOTUS Economics: ‘In theory, pigs could fly’

Jan 21, 2019 / by

Ariel Wittenberg /

E&E News

Betsy Southerland, EPN member and former EPA Director, Office of Science & Technology in the Office of Water, is quoted in this E&E article about environmental experts who say closing the gap between current federal waterway protections and the administration’s proposed Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule will be all but impossible given state laws limiting environmental regulations or imposing budgetary restrictions.

EPN’s work on PFAS

PFAS in the News

Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Drinking Water Leave Military Families Reeling

Feb 22, 2019 / by

Julie Turkewitz /

The New York Times

EPN member Judith Enck, former EPA Regional Administrator for Region 2, is quoted in this article about the Defense Department’s admission that it allowed a firefighting foam to slip into at least 55 drinking water systems at military bases around the globe, exposing tens of thousands of Americans to PFAS chemicals.

U.S. Unveils Plan to Control Some Toxins in Drinking Water, Sets No Limits

Feb 14 2019 / by

Valerie Volcovici /


Betsy Southerland, EPN member and former EPA Director, Office of Science & Technology in the Office of Water, is quoted in this article on the EPA’s proposed PFAS management plan, which did not provided a maximum contaminant level, a legal limit allowed in drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act, for the chemicals. Betsy was also quoted in similar articles in The Intelligencer, Earther and The Guardian.

Industry, EPA Alumni Find Flaws in EPA Fluorochemical Reviews

Jan 23, 2019 / by

Sylvia Carignan /

Bloomberg Environment

EPN’s PFAS comments are referenced in this article on EPA’s reports on the health hazards of chemicals GenX and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), which many groups say came too late, weren’t done correctly, and fail to address the chemicals’ presence in drinking water across the country.

EPN Member Op-Eds

EPN members penned their own op-eds on the effects of regulatory rollbacks on health, climate change and enforcement. You can read more op-eds by our members here.

It’s Official: Trump’s Policies Deter EPA Staff from Enforcing the Law

Feb 16, 2019 / by

Joel Mintz /

The Hill

EPN member Joel Mintz, former EPA Enforcement and Supervisory Attorney, wrote this op-ed about the dismal decline in EPA enforcement under the Trump Administration.

Use Tariffs to Fight a Real Emergency: Climate Change

Feb 7, 2019 / by

Dan Reich /

The Hill

EPN member Dan Reich, former EPA Assistant Regional Counsel, Region 9, wrote this op-ed  about using tariffs to address the real and present danger of climate change.

The Trump Administration Is Jeopardizing Public Health

Jan 28, 2019 / by

Betsy Southerland and Jacob Carter /

Scientific American

Betsy Southerland, EPN member and former EPA Director, Office of Science & Technology in the Office of Water, co-wrote an op-ed about the administration’s long list of regulatory rollbacks that put public health in jeopardy.

More examples of EPN In The News

In addition to the news articles above, EPN members contributed to a range of articles on topics such as enforcement, MATS, car negotiations with California, climate, and science

Trump administration talks with California over fuel efficiency break down

Feb 21, 2019 / by

Steven Mufson and Brady Dennis /

The Washington Post

EPN member Margo Oge, former EPA Director, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air, and Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality, is quoted in this article about negotiations between California and the White House ending as the Trump Administration prepares to move forward with their rollback on vehicle fuel-efficiency standards.

Polluters Are Paying Much Lower Fines Under Trump, EPA Says

Feb 8, 2019 / by

Anna M. Phillips /

Los Angeles Times

EPN members Dave Coursen, former EPA Office of General Counsel, and Cynthia Giles, former EPA Assistant Administrator, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, are quoted in this article about an 80% drop in some penalties levied against polluters, signaling that the EPA has become a less aggressive watchdog:. The piece also ran in Press of Atlantic City, among other outlets.

EPA Model for Measuring Rule Benefits May Inspire Other Agencies

Jan 22, 2019 / by

Stephen Lee /

Bloomberg Environment

Janet McCabe, EPN member and Advisor and former EPA Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, is quoted in this article, which discusses how limiting the positives of a rule by discounting its “co-benefits,” as the EPA proposed last month with its mercury emissions regulation, allows agencies to tweak their regulations in ways that are friendlier to those covered by them.

Read all recent EPN In The News items here