A Dismantling or Elimination of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would be Devastating to Western New York – Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins Warns
Take the U.S. Congressman’s Warning to Mean it would be Devastating for the Rest of Us Living in the Great Lakes Region
A News Release from the Buffalo, New York office of U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins
Posted February 17th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
(A Note from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper – Since the Congressman’s office circulated this news release, Trump’s choice to head up the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – … Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a climate denier who has sued the EPA several times and who sees the agency as a threat to corporate interests in the petro-chemical, coal and other sectors – was confirmed this February 17th by a Republican-dominated U.S. Senate.
Trump himself, who has already started rolling back Obama policies for acting on climate and other environmental threats, campaigned last year on a promise to ultimately get rid of the EPA if elected.
The EPA, established in 1970, the same year that hundreds of millions of people around the world observed the very first Earth Day, has long operated (for any and all complaints that have been made against it by environmentalists and polluters alike) as one of the leading edge environment agencies in the world and has worked with legislation like the U.S. Clean Water and Clean Air Acts that are model laws for other nations around the world, including Canada.
In his first four weeks of office, Trump has already taken steps to tear all that down and as one who covered the work of this agency as an environment reporter for decades, I feel sorry for younger people who will live with the consequences of gutting these vital environmental protection systems. It is the health and welfare their future that is being put in jeopardy for short-term gain.
One can’t help but wonder how Trump and so many of his supporters who claim they care about the safety and security of people, and about the sanctity of human life, can’t see how declaring war on environmental protection turns all such claims into a lie. – Doug Draper )
U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) says Western New York and the Country would have a great deal to lose if actions are taken to dismantle or eliminate the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The future of the EPA is currently in question with the introduction of a bill that would eliminate the agency entirely, the Administration’s EPA nomination of Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator, who has a record of opposing the EPA’s air and water protections, and recent reports that President Trump is planning Executive Orders relative to the EPA in the coming days.
Congressman Higgins spoke about the critical role of the EPA in remarks on the House Floor. You can hear and see what he had to say by clicking here –
“Mr. Speaker: In a time of seeming uncertainty, I rise to affirm the great work of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“In my home community of Buffalo, New York we have seen the EPA’s effectiveness firsthand. Thirty years ago the Buffalo River was declared biologically dead and ecologically destroyed because of industrial dumping of toxic waste directly into the river bed.
Today the Buffalo River has been remediated and continues to show vastly improved water quality. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative administered by the EPA, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper and corporate partner Honeywell has invested more than $70 million to remove 67,000 truckloads of toxic waste from the Buffalo River.
Today the Buffalo River and adjacent land is helping to lead an economic and life quality renaissance at the water’s edge in Buffalo, New York.
The EPA leads the US effort to restore and protect the Great Lakes including the oversight of issues ranging from legacy sediment and beach quality to invasive species and shoreline protection.
In 1987 the Buffalo River was designated as one of 43 Areas of Concern under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The EPA and other stakeholders have worked to improve and restore the health of the Buffalo River, which was once declared “ecologically dead.” In the last decade the federal government has invested $72.8 million in and around the Buffalo River and it is on track to be removed from the Area of Concern list by 2019.
The EPA has also played a critical role in local issues of great environmental and community impact including: the creation of the Steel Winds site in Lackawanna, support for a new green-job training program led by PUSH Buffalo, the cleanup of superfund sites, and the protection of Western New York residents against clean-air violations by Tonawanda Coke, just to name a few.
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders