Residents of Polluted Communities Fear Planned Cuts In EPA Enforcement

"In New Mexico, Navajo communities worry that uranium mining could contaminate the aquifer that feeds their drinking water. In southeastern states from Alabama to Virginia, residents fear a cluster of coal-powered plants will impact their health for generations. And in the Harlem section of Manhattan, advocates say the high rates of asthma among residents are a “direct result from breathing dirty air.”

For these communities and others abutting big industry, worry over failing health and pollution has intensified as the Environmental Protection Agency intends to significantly curtail the number of inspections and enforcement cases it brings nationwide over the next five years.

Those cutbacks — continuing a trend, the Center for Public Integrity found, that began in 2006 and accelerated last year — mean the EPA will conduct thousands fewer inspections and evaluations each year, and initiate and conclude thousands fewer judicial and administrative enforcement cases."

By Ronnie Greene and Chris Hamby, Center for Public Integrity: April 9, 2014.

Thursday, April 10, 2014