Carper Calls on Pruitt to Disavow Reports of Plan to Outsource Clean Water Rules to Industry “I question the legal validity of allowing industry to assist the agency in writing a rulemaking proposal, and consider it an utter and complete abdication of EPA’s responsibility to protect the ....
PoliticalNews.me - Apr 21,2017 - Carper Calls on Pruitt to Disavow Reports of Plan to Outsource Clean Water Rules to Industry
Ranking Member: “I question the legal validity of allowing industry to assist the agency in writing a rulemaking proposal, and consider it an utter and complete abdication of EPA’s responsibility to protect the water and people of this country”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt seeking clarification on media reports that EPA officials are in active discussions with private sector industries to hire private attorneys to quickly re-write a weakened version of the Clean Water Rule, which protects water sources across the country.
In his letter, Senator Carper noted, “…such an approach suggests either that EPA lacks the appropriate staff or budgetary resources to complete a new rule or that the agency intends to devolve its regulatory obligations to industry. Frankly, neither reason for considering such an action is acceptable. I question the legal validity of allowing industry to assist the agency in writing a rulemaking proposal, and consider it an utter and complete abdication of EPA’s responsibility to protect the water and people of this country.”
Senator Carper continued, “It is not surprising that the President’s proposed 30 percent cut to EPA’s fiscal year 2018 budget, and the loss of twenty percent of its workforce, would constrain the agency’s ability to function as it is obligated to do. However, the solution to that problem is not to outsource the development of rules designed to protect the air, water, and public health to the polluters themselves. I urge you in the strongest possible terms to disavow this reported industry plan, if true, and recommit yourself to ensuring that EPA’s budget and workforce are maintained at levels necessary to perform its vital mission of protecting human health and our environment.”
To better understand the agency’s plan for re-writing the Clean Water Rule, Senator Carper asked that Mr. Pruitt provide responses to specific requests no later than May 12, 2017.
In February, President Trump signed an executive order allowing Mr. Pruitt to abandon the critical clean water protections included in the final rule. Senator Carper, along with five of his EPW colleagues, sent a letter to Mr. Pruitt in March asking the administrator to address the apparent conflict of interest regarding his participation in EPA’s review of the Clean Water Rule, which Mr. Pruitt sued to overturn as Oklahoma’s Attorney General. Mr. Pruitt has yet to respond to that March 21st letter.
Text of the letter to Administrator Pruitt can be found below and in pdf form here.
April 18, 2017
The Honorable Scott Pruitt
Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Federal Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
Dear Administrator Pruitt:
I write with incredulity regarding a report in Politico stating that industry groups with close ties to you are studying whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “could hire lawyers