EPN In Action March-April 2020
About the Environmental Protection Network: 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 created a snapshot of the expected health and environmental impacts of some of the most significant actions taken by the EPA over the past few years.
EPN requested an extension of the public comment period for the proposed supplemental provisions to the 2018 “censored science” rule proposal. EPN members also presented testimony on the proposed supplemental provisions at a virtual hearing held by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
EPN sent two letters requesting extensions of the public comment period for draft risk evaluations of 20 chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPN also submitted formal comments on the draft risk evaluation of trichloroethylene (TCE) and sent a letter to Administrator Wheeler calling for a ban on most uses of TCE.
EPN issued a press release in response to EPA’s regulatory finding on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) that it was not “appropriate or necessary” to regulate mercury and other hazardous air emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants. (See more EPN work on MATS here.)
EPN issued a press release when the administration finalized the Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule, which rolled back clean car regulations that have reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved air quality, and increased fuel economy. (See more EPN work on fuel efficiency here.)
EPN submitted comments in response to the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) proposal to update regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). EPN members also presented testimony on the “Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses” during a public meeting of the Science Advisory Board Economic Guidelines Review Panel.
EPN Highlights Estimated Health and Environmental Impacts of Trump’s Rollbacks
EPN’s Work on Censored Science
Censored Science In The News
March 24, 2020 / by
Ellen Knickmeyer /
Stan Meiburg, EPN member and former EPA Deputy Regional Administrator in Region 4 and Region 6 and Acting Deputy Administrator, was quoted in this article regarding the pace of EPA rollbacks, including the proposed “censored science” rule, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This article was reprinted by the Bradenton Herald.
March 4, 2020 / by
Zack Hale /
S&P Global Market Intelligence
EPN members Betsy Southerland, former Director, Office of Science and Technology, EPA Office of Water, and Dr. Bernard Goldstein, former chair, EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, were quoted and EPN was mentioned in this article focusing on the supplemental notice to EPA’s proposed “censored science” rule, which would limit the scope of studies available in the setting of pollution standards. Betsy was also quoted in Bloomberg, EcoWatch, E&E News, The Hill, The Hill’s Overnight Energy & Environment, and the Washington Examiner about the supplemental proposal.
EPN’s Work on Toxic Substances
EPN’s Work on Mercury and Air Toxics
Mercury and Air Toxics In The News
April 28, 2020 / by
London Gibson /
Janet McCabe, EPN member and former Acting Assistant Administrator, EPA Office of Air and Radiation, was quoted in this article on the Trump administration’s rollback of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).
Guess What: It’s No Longer ‘Appropriate or Necessary’ to Regulate Mercury Emissions From Power Plants
April 23, 2020 / by
Matt Cortina /
EPN members Mustafa Ali, former Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization and Assistant Associate Administrator for Environmental Justice, Joe Goffman, former Associate Assistant Administrator for Climate and Senior Counsel, EPA Office of Air and Radiation, and Ellen Kurlansky, former Air Policy Analyst and Advisor, EPA Office of Air and Radiation, were quoted in this article on the rollback of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).
April 16, 2020 / by
Ellen Kurlansky /
Ellen Kurlansky, EPN member and former Air Policy Analyst and Advisor, EPA Office of Air and Radiation, wrote this op-ed in on the Trump administration’s rollback of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). Ellen was quoted in similar articles by The Hill, E&E News, Roll Call, Reuters, Yale Environment 360, The Washington Times, Gizmodo, and Electrek.
EPN’s Work on Clean Car Standards
Clean Car Standards In The News
March 31, 2020 / by
Jeff Alson /
Jeff Alson, EPN member and former EPA Senior Engineer and Policy Advisor, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, published this op-ed concerning the Trump administration’s finalization of the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule. Jeff was also quoted by The Hill regarding a recent ruling by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which said it was wrong for the administration to withhold information about its SAFE models.
March 27, 2020 / by
Coral Davenport /
The New York Times
EPN members Dan Costa (former National Program Director, EPA Air, Climate, and Energy Research Program), Kathy Kaufman (former RIA team lead within EPA’s Air Economics Group), Margo Oge (former Director, EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality), and Betsy Southerland (former Director, Office of Science and Technology, EPA Office of Water), were quoted in this article on opposition to the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks within EPA.
EPN’s Work on NEPA and Economics
Economics In The News
April 24, 2020 / by
Doug Obey /
EPN members Roy Gamse, former EPA Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy, and Karl Hausker, former Deputy Assistant Administrator for Policy, were quoted in this article on EPA’s update to its economic guidelines and what it will mean for evaluating the effects of climate change.
EPN Member Op-Eds on COVID-19
EPN members penned their own op-eds on the administration’s environmental actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 7, 2020 / by
Joel Mintz /
American Constitution Society
Joel Mintz, EPN member and former EPA Enforcement and Supervisory Attorney, published this op-ed on EPA’s decision to suspend enforcement of environmental regulations.
March 31, 2020 / by
Margo Oge /
Margo Oge, EPN member and former Director, EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality, published this op-ed on the finalization of the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In a previous op-ed in Forbes, Margo discussed the links between combatting COVID-19 and climate change.
March 17, 2020 / by
Mustafa Santiago Ali /
U.S. News and World Report
Mustafa Santiago Ali, EPN member and former EPA Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization, and Assistant Associate Administrator for Environmental Justice, penned this op-ed about the environmental justice implications of COVID-19. Mustafa also wrote two op-eds in The Guardian on the inequities of the COVID-19 pandemic and how EPA’s suspension of enforcement exacerbates COVID-19 mortality rates.
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 the Clean Water Act, enforcement, and particulate matter standards.
April 21, 2020 / by
Jeremy Jacobs and Pamela King /
Mark Ryan, EPN member and former EPA Regional Counsel, Region 10, was quoted in this article concerning the finalization of the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which replaces and redefines what water bodies are protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Mark was quoted in similar articles by S&P Global and Our Daily Planet.
April 15, 2020 / by
John Bachmann, Chris Zarba, Chris Frey, and Gretchen Goldman /
EPN members, John Bachmann, former Associate Director for Science/Policy and New Programs, EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards and Chris Zarba, former Director, EPA Science Advisory Board, penned this op-ed alongside co-authors Chris Frey and Gretchen Goldman on the Trump administration’s proposal to retain the particulate matter standards.
April 14, 2020 / by
Cynthia Giles /
Harvard Law School Environmental & Energy Law Program
Cynthia Giles, EPN member and former Assistant Administrator, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, published this report on the harms of noncompliance with environmental rules. This was part two of her Next Generation Compliance series.