WASHINGTON (TNS) – Under President Donald Trump, the Environmental Protection Agency is abandoning its core mission to protect the air, water and human health, former leaders of the agency told Congress Tuesday.
“Under the current administration, the EPA is retreating from its historic mission to protect our environment and the health of the public from environmental hazards,” said Republican Chris- tine Todd Whitman, who led the agency under former President George W. Bush.
Whitman was testifying before a House panel alongside three other former EPA administrators on Tuesday, as the agency moves to ease rules governing emissions from oil wells, automobiles and power plants.
“Agency leadership has been on a seemingly unstoppable crusade to roll back rules with seemingly little regard to the health impacts of their rollbacks,” Gina McCarthy, a Democrat who led the EPA under former President Barack Obama, said in her submitted testimony. “EPA is going backward on health protections in favor of lowering costs to polluting industries at every turn.”
“This administration is trying to systematically undo health protections” by running roughshod over the law and ignoring science, McCarthy said. “It feels like the fox is minding the henhouse.”
Representatives of the EPA did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The agency’s former officials have increasingly been sounding alarm about its current direction under Trump. Seven former administrators sent a letter to House lawmakers in April offering to guide congressional oversight of the agency because “time is of the essence and much is at stake.”