US House Energy and Commerce Democrats restate demand for EPA enforcement data

US House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) and chairs of two subcommittees sent a letter to US Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler reiterating their demand for documents and information on what they consider the agency’s lack of enforcement action.

US House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) and chairs of two subcommittees sent a letter to US Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler reiterating their demand for documents and information on what they consider the agency’s lack of enforcement action.

In their Feb. 1 letter, Pallone, along with Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul D. Tonko (D-NY), said the agency has failed to take enforcement action aimed at addressing climate change and protecting public health. This letter followed one that the trio sent Wheeler on Dec. 6, 2018, and included some additional requests.

“EPA documents over the past year indicate several disturbing trends, including a declined in the number of enforcement actions initiated, a reduction in enforcement staff, an overreliance on state enforcement programs, and an increased political review of potential or pending enforcement actions,” the Democrats said.

“We are deeply concerned that these actions undermine key enforcement programs and severely limit EPA’s ability to address climate change and protect public health and the environment,” they said. They asked for answers to their questions by Feb. 15. They sent the letter days before the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee advanced Wheeler’s nomination to become EPA administrator to the full Senate by 11 to 10 votes on Feb. 5.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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