News Releases

News Releases from Headquarters

EPA’s Weekly Round-Up

05/12/2017
Contact Information: 
U.S. EPA Media Relations (press@epa.gov)

From meeting with Florida Governor Rick Scott, signing a proposed rule that will let North Dakota regulate CO2 storage and reaffirming his commitment to cleaning-up Superfund sites, it was a successful week at EPA.  Below is a recap of all of the good news from an EPA that is protecting the environment and American jobs. 

National Stories …

The New York Times reports one of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s top priorities is to clean up toxic Superfund sites. “Scott Pruitt has directed his regional chiefs to elevate Superfund cleanup efforts to what he describes as their rightful place as the agency's core mission. ‘I am making it a priority to ensure contaminated sites get cleaned up. We will be more hands-on to ensure proper oversight and attention to the Superfund program at the highest levels of the agency, and to create consistency across states,’ Pruitt said.”

The Washington Examiner reports that Pruitt is working with local leaders to clean-up the East Chicago Superfund site. “Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Friday joined Democrats and Republicans to reaffirm the agency's commitment to communities outside of Chicago hit by high levels of lead contamination. Pruitt had visited the Indiana city of East Chicago last month affected by contamination from a closed lead production facility owned by the firm U.S. Steel that had been designated a Superfund cleanup site by the agency in 2009.”

The Washington Times reports Pruitt said that Barack Obama was no ‘environmental savior.’  “Mr. Pruitt said the past administration talked a good game on the environment, but has little in the way of concrete accomplishments. He pointed to the environmental disaster in Flint, Michigan, and the Gold King Mine spill, both of which led to widespread water contamination. He also said the administration’s attempts to rein in carbon emissions were blocked by federal courts, as were other high-profile regulations. At the same time, Mr. Pruitt charged, much of the country remained in non-compliance with federal ozone standards, and the number of Superfund sites — areas contaminated by hazardous waste and identified for federal clean-up efforts — increased during Mr. Obama’s tenure.”

The Hill reports that Pruitt was highly critical of the previous administration. “Pruitt was also highly critical of his predecessor, naming similar environmental problems over the last eight years. ‘What’s so great about that record,’ he asked North Dakota conservative radio host Rob Port, after listing similar statistics about air quality, Superfund and the Flint and Gold King disasters. ‘I don’t quite understand the environmental left when they say that somehow, what the past administration, what was done, was so great.’”

The Daily Caller reports that Pruitt said he sued the previous administration because they exceeded their statutory authority. “Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said he sued the agency he heads so many times while Oklahoma attorney general because ‘they exceeded their statutory authority.’ ‘They deserved it and they deserved it because they exceeded their statutory authority, they exceeded their constitutional authority.’” 

Additionally, the Daily Caller notes that after the Flint water crisis, the previous administration does not deserve the plaudits it has received. “Pruitt said the former administration does not deserve the plaudits it has received, especially after the EPA’s failure to fix Flint’s water system.”

On Hugh Hewitt, Pruitt set the record straight about false information being circulated about the EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors. “The board of scientific counselors that we have at the EPA, they serve three year terms. And so those are reviewed every three years. Those same individuals can apply through the competitive process. … There was no firing that took place. These individuals can apply, will apply, I’m sure, in some instances, and very well could be put back on the board. But it’s the right thing to do to ensure transparency, its activity, peer-reviewed science and geographical representation on the board.”

Need to Know Network reports that Pruitt said that Obama’s administration used the authority of Washington to walk over the states. “Pruitt said during the interview that the Obama administration used the authority of Washington to walk over the states, and looked at states as mere vessels of federal will. … Pruitt went on to say that the EPA has restored a focus on “cooperative federalism” and working with the states.”

To The States …

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Pruitt met with Florida Governor Rick Scott to talk about water issues. “[Governor Rick] Scott popped in for a visit with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to talk water issues.”

The Bismarck Tribune reports that the EPA signed a proposed rule that will let North Dakota regulate CO2 storage wells. “Tuesday marked a new day for North Dakota’s ability to regulate storage of carbon dioxide gas, an important part of a cleaner coal future. The federal Environmental Protection Agency took a first step toward giving the state primary authority to regulate federal Class VI wells for injecting CO2 into deep underground pore space for either long-term storage or for store-and-sell in enhanced oil recovery.”

The Fargo Forum reports Pruitt promised a friendlier, more cooperative relationship with states. “‘If you go back to the inception of the agency…Congress has been very insistent in saying the states have a role,’ EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told me during an interview on my radio show today. ‘The past administration simply disregarded that,’ he continued.”

The Grand Forks Herald reports that all of sudden North Dakota and the EPA are getting along. “Under the Trump administration, there has been a big shift in our state’s relationship with that federal agency. ‘The days of coercive federalism are over,’ new EPA head Scott Pruitt said earlier this year in a letter to Governor Doug Burgum.”

The Minot Daily News reports that North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum said EPA Administrator Pruitt will have the biggest single impact on his state. “Gov. Doug Burgum said he thinks the biggest change for North Dakota as a result of the Trump administration is the president’s new team, in particular, two of its members. Burgum said he feels Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, will have the biggest single impact on North Dakota.”

Ozark News reports that Pruitt slammed the brakes on a pesticide rule from the Obama Administration. “Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has announced a 12-month delay for the implementation of the Certification and Training of Pesticide Applicators rule. Pruitt says the new extension will enable EPA to work with states and provide adequate compliance and training resources, after the group received feedback from states and stakeholders that more time and resources were needed to prepare for compliance with the rule.”

Oklahoma City’s KOCO-TV reports that the EPA awarded Oklahoma with an $855,000 grant to protect water quality. “The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $855,000 to the Oklahoma Office of the Secretary of Energy to support management of nonpoint-source water pollution, officials said in a news release. … ‘Improving the Nation's water is one of EPA's highest priorities under the Trump administration,’ said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who was Oklahoma's attorney general before taking a position in President Donald Trump's administration.”

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