Trump Rollbacks Create Pollution Nightmare in Congressfolks’ Backyards

“President Donald Trump’s environmental rollbackapalooza has been well-documented, as has the Environmental Protection Agency’s transformation into the Environmental Pollution Agency (please clap). But a new report chronicles what that means on the ground, including the local impacts in districts and states of representatives and senators tasked with making sure the EPA does its job.

The analysis, released by the Environmental Data Governance Initiative (EDGI) on Thursday, shows that Clean Water Act violations are up in 84% in districts home to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and in 70% of the states home to senators on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. At the same time, enforcement has declined 17% and 22% in those districts and states respectively. All told, it paints a picture of Trump’s willful disregard for the environment and Congress’ inability or lack of interest in doing anything about it, even when it’s in the EPA overseers’ backyards.

The reasons for poor oversight are manifold, but one is the challenge of data access itself. EDGI began as a watchdog for the Trump administration’s efforts to memory hole federal data and webpages devoted to climate. But in expanding into the realm of federal data mining, it’s become clear just how much of a mess the data actually is.”

Brian Kahn reports for Earther October 22, 2020.