Under Trump, E.P.A. Has Slowed Actions Against Polluters, and Put Limits on Enforcement Officers

An analysis of enforcement data at the E.P.A. shows a substantial drop in activity against polluters when compared with the Obama and Bush administrations.

Comments: 100

  1. Investigators in the regional office in Denver, which handles many oil and gas cases, also sent out a series of requests during the Obama administration based on hints that energy producers were letting vast quantities of hazardous air pollutants escape into the atmosphere. The pollutants included benzene, which is a carcinogen, and methane, which is a major contributor to climate change. The investigations escalated after four workers at energy facilities in North Dakota were overcome by fumes and died. Ron Ness, the president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, wrote to Scott Pruitt in March describing the tests as burdensome and costly. “Under the previous administration, the E.P.A. initiated sweeping Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 114 information requests and threatened company-ending sanctions.” Mr. Ness wrote in a letter obtained by The Times. In his response to Mr. Ness, Mr. Pruitt wrote that the E.P.A. would “develop best practices for the judicious use” of the requests, and also hand off much of the enforcement of air pollution laws to North Dakota officials, except on Indian lands where the federal government has jurisdiction. Translation: "Drop dead, America !" Grand Old Poison 2017

  2. One would this they would use Best Science. What exactly does Best Practices even mean. I suspect scores of lawsuits against the EPA and Zinke.

  3. Correction not Zinke. Pruit. Zinke is different national Problem.

  4. I assume this is all just wonderful news to so called Green Party demagogues who ridiculously equate Republicans with Democrats and fundamentally undermine everything for which they ostensibly stand by running sham vanity “candidates” in elections they have no hope of actually winning. Shame on all of you. You did this. Shame. And not for nothing, but if either Al Gore or Hillary Clinton had been elected, Citizens United either would never have come to pass or would be on its way into the trash heap of history. But I digress. Will the earth survive the Green Party’s antics?

  5. I agree. Jill Stein was sitting at the table with Vladimir Putin and Mike Flynn in that infamous photo. Was she another of Putin's puppets put forth to prevent Hillary Clinton from winning the presidency?

  6. Arsenic is a poison. It does not matter if your are a Democrat or Republican it will kill you. Thus pollution shouls not be a political issue, rahte it is a public health problem. "Paul Calamita, who represents cities accused of violating the Clean Water Act when they release sewage and contaminated storm water into rivers and lakes, recommends that clients team up with state governments to push back against the E.P.A" So the states should tell the E.P.A. it is ok to dump sewage into waterways because the polluters are 'good pople' and they need jobs. Who cares about sewage in the water? It is more improtant to have people working. As Socrates wrote "Drop dead, America!"

  7. This is what happens when the wolf in the hen house gives a job to another wolf in another hen house.

  8. Our environment is befouled enough already. In Los Angeles county where I live, there are 4000 air pollution deaths every single year. What about this ominous statistic does thr Trump administration fail to understand?

  9. Once Pruitt is found guilty of conspiring with polluters to circumvent existing environmental protection law, he should be sentenced to a newly built prison at one of the Superfund sites where Pruitt can get some fresh air and exercise on the grounds every day. He can feed on crops planted there (local sourcing!) and enjoy a diet rich in contaminated fish. Yum. And since he doesn’t believe pollution is bad for you, he really has no grounds to object to his treatment.

  10. We voted for The Donald. Now the world will have to take the hit.

  11. Most people didn't vote for Trump. We need to abolish the Electoral College once and for all. The majority isn't being represented.

  12. If, on the outside chance a Democratic administration follows this one, Pruitt in my humble opinion should be tried for his criminal mismanagement and endangering actions against the USA.

  13. If there was no hazardous waste to begin with there would be nothing to incinerate that created dangerous pollution. Who buys the products that create such waste to produce? I'd go after them if I really wanted to nip the bud in the problem.

  14. We all buy the products that generate hazardous waste. There are very few manufacturing processes that don't generate some quantity of hazardous waste (i.e. that which cannot be just dumped down the drain), from paper, textiles, electronics, building materials, fuels, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals...you name it. Hazardous waste generation is here to stay for the near future, and incineration, when conducted under tightly controlled temperatures and other parameters, is currently the most efficient way to effectively neutralize the dangers of this waste. So by all means, vote with your dollar - don't buy products that generate disproportionate amounts of hazardous waste, and put that money toward investments that support development of green manufacturing practices. But in the meantime, there are immediate hazards like the facility mentioned in the article that must be addressed now.

  15. In Mr. Pruitt's case and others where Trump appointees are foot-dragging, not meeting their responsibilities to enforce existing law, shouldn't they be prosecuted for dereliction of duty and even criminal negligence in those cases where people's lives have been endangered!

  16. The E.P.A. under Scott Pruitt has become a criminal organization. Pruitt is NOT protecting the environment and should be forced to resign for dereliction of duty. This entire administration is making a mockery of our institutions and standards of decency.

  17. The #1 cause of environmental degradation is the heartbreaking industries that produce animal flesh, egg, and dairy for human consumption. Boycott cruelty. Eat plants. Start with Meat-free Mondays and take it from there. It's easy.

  18. Mr. Pruitt's leadership is very bad for America and the world. It sets the wrong example in a time when Earth's very being is threatened. Pollution kills. Corporations know better, and often operate deviously to hide their damage. There is no reason not to be fully accountable. Pruitt's time has come. We need to insist that all presidential appointees will support the office they are appointed to lead and not destroy it.

  19. I worked for EPA decades ago. It has been the same story under every Republican President since Reagan.

  20. When the President watches 4 to 8 hours of television per day, it certainly can't be expected that cabinet officials take the time to do the jobs to which they were appointed.

  21. As an underwriter what Pruitt does not realize that these companies are over exposing themselves to an inordinate amount of risk. And they could be taken to court by civil cases brought by other people. These companies need to wake up to the fact that their stockholders, HUGE institutional investors, can and will and are forcing management to change their ways. No matter what the EPA says they can get away with. And if you want me to insure you, you had better have some best practices in order. Thankfully I do not do workers comp policies. They can punish you and you can watch your premiums go through the roof.

  22. There are consequences to losing elections. I would suggest that the energy otherwise used by 5000 people gnashing their teeth and commenting here about the demonstrably bad policies resulting from Trump's election would be better spent working at choosing and for the election of better candidates in coming elections, especially state legislators, as they will do the post-2020 census, district gerrymandering. It will also help if those of the Democratic Party persuasion resist the temptation to reject the Party's current lemming-like insistence at forming a circular firing squad.

  23. Is this decline in enforcement what occurs when an anti-Agency person is put in charge of the Agency? The Fox guarding the hen house appears to be the order of the day at the EPA. If people die or are injured as a result of the lack of enforcement, this is a dereliction of duty. The communities that are impacted by the lack of enforcement should continue to lobby their elected officials and also seek redress in the Courts.

  24. The situation in East Liverpool is most difficult, but I wonder, don't you need a permit to perform these services? In our state you need a state permit. Where is Ohio in this? The state really is the first line of defense. Revoking their burning permit would be the quickest way to get action. Perhaps the town should establish a TIF district for one of its primary employers to help the company upgrade their facilities? This would appear to be a win-win solution rather than one which threatens the viability of an important employer. I do not endorse any form of pollution, but the things that we do everyday create hazardous waste, and as a society we have to have mechanisms to take care of it. NIMBY is a very real phenomenon, and those who live next door are the most impacted. If private enterprises don't do it, then perhaps the EPA should take over the conversion/reduction of hazardous waste. Oops, they aren't any better at it than private business. It is a dangerous enterprise, and the companies that perform the service should have the best technology to do it in the safest way possible. The ones who generate the hazardous waste (hospitals, industry, etc.) should pay higher disposal fees, so that the job can be done to standard. Otherwise just accept that it is all going into the landfill. Spend the money to do it right.

  25. I'm an EPA contractor working on Superfund enforcement. I've never seen work this slow in the past 6+ years of my career here. All of my clients (EPA enforcement officers) seem so depressed, it's clearly affecting their ability to do their normal job. In the past year, I have personally seen EPA choose to disregard my investigative work, because the decision as to whether to proceed with the case or not is now up to a Pruitt appointee, instead of a mid-level civil servant who actually cared about their job (as it used to be). Any you know what's ironic? The work I do ("cost recovery") actually brings in EPA more money than they spend on the enforcement. We do not cost tax payers anything. And that's probably the main issue...we're recovering costs from Pruitt's friends.

  26. I hope everybody realizes that to put things right again will cost Americans a lot of money. It will mean increasing taxes. The strategy has been, first repeal Obamacare, use the saved money to pay for tax relief, and later say we still have a deficit to reduce, all of which justifies cutting government services and entitlement programs. If sometime in the future people complain, just tell them it will require massive tax increases. Remember, there is no plan for salary increases that would make it possible to earn more revenue and all departments have already started cutting their budgets to reduce the effectiveness of their programs. To fill the gap, I am sure the private sector is ready to pounce, for a fee. Wait till you see what infrastructure is all about. Those rich guys will need a place to invest, especially those companies that no longer have to worry about correcting a pollution problem.

  27. National Geographic published a story in Sept, "Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year." It comes from a report, "The Economic Case for Climate Action in the United States," from the Universal Ecological Fund. "Extreme weather, made worse by climate change, along with the health impacts of burning fossil fuels, has cost the U.S. economy at least $240 billion a year over the past ten years, a new report has found...In the coming decade, economic losses from extreme weather combined with the health costs of air pollution spiral upward to at least $360 billion annually, potentially crippling U.S. economic growth..." For example, no one can deny that air and water pollution have costs. Consider the decades of litigation and billions per year spent on increased medical expenses the populous Northeast has spent over pollution generated by Midwest coal power plants and the case is still going on. This is just one example. Considering that the Trump administration refuses to consider these costs in its economic projections, it makes recent attempts to pass health care legislation, budget and tax reform seem ludicrous. How can a budget be put together if major costs of doing business are not included? Of course they're saying, e.g. Paul Ryan's recent statements about entitlements, big cuts will have to be made. Those cuts will be made in exactly the programs people need more because of the damage they experience from pollution and climate change.

  28. Just one more reason why we must do whatever we can to block Trump and his henchmen and take action to remove this scourge from holding the reigns of government.

  29. The legal actions generated by this administration will be their legacy.

  30. Nicole Cantello, the EPA attorney, needs much more press. She has a voice that must be heard by many more in this nation. Not everyone reads The New York Times.

  31. No Healthcare? No Problem. Poisoning the air, soil and water will help make you die faster.

  32. Pollution control costs money, who needs it? The only thing from the business world that is going to trickle down to the middle class and the poor are toxins.

  33. They may as well simply rename the EPA as the Extinction Promotion Agency. What ever happened to the idea of working to ensure that our children inherit a better world than this one?

  34. This is sad. It took 4.5 billion years for life to evolve to its current form. Now people are happy to rapidly poison and destroy the planet in the name of industry and capitalism. There are about 8 million species of life just trying to survive while one single species thinks they can do what they want with the planet all the while content with staring at their cell phone.

  35. Benedict Arnold now has competition. Administrator Pollute-It is betraying his country - its people, its glories, its institutions, its future - perhaps more monstrously than anyone in our history. And his craven perfidy will last a whole lot longer. Here's another plea to remember this in 2018. Citizens uniting can defeat Citizens United any day of the week. Thanks to The Times for this gorgeous, comprehensive and necessary reporting.

  36. A year ago, obstructing E.P.A. enforcement of environmental regulations would have been a major, front page exposé. Now it is just one of many stories about the dismantling of consumer protections for the benefit of big business. No other country in the world is taking these giant steps backward.

  37. And as America relinquishes it's leadership role, other countries are filling the gap. This is what Trump calls making America Great Again.

  38. Trump, Pruitt, et al. are a dangerous toxic mixture to society that should be collected and disposed of asap. Hurry up Mr. Mueller; people will die.

  39. Well it seems the polluters are not concerned because Republican voters will not be compromised health wise because they voted for Dotard Thrump. Only the non-Thrump voters will be infected. Oxymorons = GOP.

  40. Everybody suffers under a Scott Pruitt-Donald Trump led EPA, but the poor and uneducated will suffer more and sooner. Ironic that the poor and uneducated are Trump's core constituents. They just don't get the fact that the swamp that is being drained in Washington will be made up of carcinogens and other pollutants placed closer to them. And when there are the inevitable spikes in cancer clusters all around them, they will consider the reports to be fake news.

  41. How does Pruitt live with himself? Oh yeah, guarded by a taxpayer funded security force. Pathetic. This is not democracy.

  42. I winder if he has bought property in New Zealand yet!

  43. Sounds like Pruitt would like a "Times Beach" in every state.

  44. Putting Pruitt in charge of the EPA is like putting Roy Moore in charge of the Girl Scouts.

  45. A reminder two Democratic Senators voted to confirm Pruitt: Senators Joe Manchin and Heidi Heitkamp.

  46. This Administration is all for protecting Corporations and donors. Appointing Scott Pruitt is as bad as putting the fox to guard the hen house. The unfortunate part of all this, it will take Years to undo all the harm this administration is giving the wink to.

  47. It's really unfortunate that so much of the needed enforcement is in areas where dumping of pollutants has been going on for years in the name of jobs any jobs. And that many of these areas voted for Trump as a champion of jobs in spite of the damage that would return. But allowing companies and even farmers to contaminate the commons in the name of short term profit, and to leave behind a legacy of pollution and illness, is a sad return to a time in the 70's and 80's before the EPA really had any teeth. And what did corporate America do? Superfund sites anyone?

  48. Thank You Republicans

  49. EPA under Trump/Pruitt = Enabling Polluters Agency

  50. To Trump voters in East Liverpool: Elections have consequences. When Trump called climate change a Chinese hoax, when he based part of his campaign on returning coal power, you didn't pay attention. If you are angry now, then speak up and denounce what Trump is doing. Otherwise, nothing will happen. Scott Pruitt isn't about to change his policy of enabling polluters unless enough of Trump's base rises up and very vocally proclaims: "We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore."

  51. Excellent. We saw in yesterday's news just how far India has gotten ahead of us. In New Delhi, one doesn't see across the street--just a wall of what could be fog rolling in off the ocean...if it didn't smell like paint fumes and burn your nostrils and esophagus like acid. But under Trump's leadership and with his choice of appointees, we will be able to lead again. I remember when our air was foul, and we were always warned not to walk or run outside. Are we ready for that again? Have you been to a really polluted modern city in the past couple of years? You can't relax, there's always the pressure of taking in the next foul breath--because you need the remnant of air still mixed in with it. The people around you wear masks and kerchiefs. Babies and little children suck the brown air right into their lungs. (The babies that Trump talks about all the time.) And what are the "products" that are more valuable to us than clean water and air? I always forget.

  52. Colombiana county Ohio, where the story takes place, voted 70-26 in favor of Trump, who ran on gutting the the EPA. It would seem that their votes really do have consequences. Who would have thought?

  53. Unfortunately, it will be children and low income families who will suffer the most under this administration that has all but declared war on environmental and climate concerns. After one term of inaction by the EPA to enforce much needed regulations, you can count on America's air, land, and water to be more contaminated than before. Hopefully, even Trump supporters who are impacted will be galvanized to vote him out in 2020.

  54. He and his GOP and the wealthy destroy the environment with no concern for anything but personal wealth. The US is isolated from all allies in this. Bringing back coal is like bringing back polio. The wealthy Democrats ironically will benefit just like republicans from the tax cuts and deregulation no matter how destructive. They wii enjoy their gains. The isolationist nationalistic economy is glee for banks and Wall Street. The market is up and smiling without a care. Military buildup talk markets up. Exploration in protected land markets up. Consumer protection diluted with Mulvaney markets up. Sold out my McCain in the tax bill rendering him persona non grata markets up. Money money money but they can’t eat it or breath it. The planet is disintegrating and if you think that’s an over exaggeration you need you check the facts. Hurricanes, floods and drought are increasing with unprecedented inertia. The foods we love will diminish just as you found healthy eating. The oceans a disaster. The air worsens. But those in s money bubble think that will get fixed later so let’s go buy things. Holiday season has a grey cloud of reality particles. We need to be back in leadership and part of the world community.

  55. I would suggest that the energy potentially used by 5000 people gnashing their teeth and commenting here about the demonstrably bad policies resulting from Trump's election would be better spent working at choosing and electing better candidates with better policies in coming elections, especially for state legislators, as they will do the post-2020 district gerrymandering. Elections have consequences. "We" lost the last one. No matter how it occurred, Trump is President. We need to accept the reality -- much as with the 2000 election and the absurd Bush v.Gore decision -- and work to succeed in the future. As labor advocate and Wobbly songwriter Joe Hill wrote before his unjust execution by the state of Utah, "Don't mourn. Organize!" It will also help if those of the Democratic Party persuasion resist the temptation and, instead, reject the Party's current lemming-like insistence at forming a circular firing squad.

  56. Sadly, my state is so gerrymandered that my vote has lost all power. On top of that, 3 sparsely populated states can overrule the will of 30 million people. If voting can't stop this madness, what will?

  57. Al, do not be discouraged. That is what they want! Such gives them the freedom to do what they wish to do, unimpeded. It was not votes that advanced the cause of civil rights or stopped the Viet Nam War. Rather, votes and executive decisions advancing civil rights and withdrawing from the war followed from many direct actions by the American people.

  58. Pruitt is nothing if not downright self-serving and ideologically evil. Remove this man from the E.P.A. before he willfully destroys this country.

  59. A recent study came out that showed that pollution affects babies’ brain development. It can cause irreversible brain damage. Climate change is not the only reason to protect the environment. There should be bipartisan support for protecting the environment as it also means protecting the health and safety of all of our citizens, especially our most vulnerable ones.

  60. This is a good point. The national government's job is to protect the citizens of the country. They are NOT complying with their oath of office.

  61. This is not recent, but well known for decades. For examples, mercury emission from coal fired power plants can cause developmental problems in children located miles away from the plant. Also there is another class of toxins called endocrine disrupters. They are still studying all the evil these chemicals can cause, and at minute quantities at that.

  62. And anyone should be surprised because????

  63. The EPA has taken the lead internationally for identifying and initiated control strategies for toxic chemicals that can do serious harm to human health and the health of the environment. For example, mercury emission from coal fired power plants can cause developmental problems in children located miles away from the plant. Then there are the non-biodegradable toxins that can bio-magnify in the environment. Also there is another class of toxins called endocrine disrupters. They are still studying all the evil these chemicals can cause, and at minute quantities at that. Sad that we as a country have elected an uneducated anti-science leader who is intent on destroying our legacy and handing the lead to another country like China.

  64. At some point Americans, if they really feel Trump's policies are dangerous, need to take the kind of stand taken by those who refused induction into the military during the Viet Nam War, actions that risked both personal career opportunities and physical well-being. I do understand the reasonable argument by government employees that they can do more to limit ill effects of Trump's idiocies by remaining where they are. But at a certain point, while reasonable, the argument simply becomes wrong. As with draft resisters during the War, there is consequently ethical and political imperatives for the rest of us to support those individuals who sacrifice their careers and well-being by either quitting or acting in a principled manner that gets them fired. Bodies need to be put on the line, much as was done on the Pettus Bridge, and advocates and apologizers of Trump's most egregious policies need to be confronted at their homes, their businesses, their country clubs. And there must be highly organized boycotts of their businesses, especially sponsors of hate radio talk shows. Money talks. If America is going to suffer because of Trump, then his cohorts must be made to suffer also. That said, it important not to characterize all those who voted for and still support Trump as "deplorables." Sure, some are racists, misogynists, theocrats, and homophobes, but most really are trying to send a message to elites that things just aren't working, and more of the same will not do.

  65. I find it interesting (and perhaps not coincidental) that many comments (not simply referring to this article) forecasting doom essentially mirror or are parallel expressions of Christian Great Tribulation Eschatology. I wonder as to the possibilities of cause and effect interplay. Do the Christian "teachings" in that regard reflect something elemental in the human psyche, which currently is being manifested by secular doomsday attitudes, or have the Christian "teachings" embedded themselves so deeply within our culture that secular analyses reflect that?

  66. There is no God in Trump, the GOP or the White House

  67. When all he can say after telling bold faced lie is "believe me", I suspect the God he worships is Trump himself.

  68. Is this really news to anyone?

  69. Nope

  70. This article is an example of why I subscribe to the New York Times, and why we need a free and well-funded press. How would any of us know about this if not for the exhaustive investigative work by the authors, Eric Lipton and Danielle Ivory? There's no doubt the media as a whole have inched further toward click-bait and breathless, poorly researched reporting that tracks every tweet and emission that spews from politicians (and others). The Times is too often guilty of this as well. But there is GREAT journalism being done out there, and we need every bit of it. If we don't support it, it will disappear — especially local newspapers that are often the only ones showing up at community meetings and covering state-level politics. Thank you, New York Times for pieces like this.

  71. Trump's EPA motto: Don't Ask, Don't Tell

  72. This is yet another article about how people in red states that voted for Donald Trump are now complaining about the policies Trump championed during the election. What did the residents of East Liverpool think was going to happen when they voted for someone who says that global climate change is a hoax and regularly complained bitterly about the EPA?

  73. Thank you to the New York Times for this excellent article. Please continue to expose the damage Trump and Pruitt are doing and plan to do to the environment. The country deserves much better than their plans for environmental degradation. We want a fully functioning EPA that protects the environment from polluters and destruction. Trump and Pruitt must be stopped.

  74. Truly amazing the ROT of trump's GOP they can't even support clean air and clean water!

  75. This is not surprising. Trump and the GOP are junk. Reckless determination for personal gain. By the time the world unites with the US again their destruction could be irreversible. We don’t need long winded analytic comments. The US went from positive climate change response and environmental concern to no concern for anything but unwinding everything that preceded him. He says “terrible 8 years of Obama”. Can it get more stupid than Trump and the GOP. I am saying it plain and it is the plain truth everyone can see if they look. He’s dangerous and a racist. Every cut is calculably considering the control of and impact on diversity in America. Trump, GOP, Moore and on and on sexist racist and our biggest enemies. The super wealth will only cushion them as they destroys the world.

  76. The most dispiriting aspect of these revelations is that Republicans don't even care anymore to disguise their hurtful actions. By any reckoning, this flood of laissez-passez initiatives are bad for the country and bad for the world. And yet the profit seekers, taking advantage of conservative complicity and abetment, sneer back and say, "yeah, whadda ya gonna do about it?" These times are dark times, the effects of which will last long into the future.

  77. Leadership and policy work hand in hand. Slack leadership leads to lack of policy management. We don't need more government intervention but we do need the watchdog groups to do what they were commissioned to do. What's next - OSHA doing safety inspections via mail questionnaire? "Do you have any violations" - "No, Ok, keep working". Maybe we should institute a new program requiring Ethics training for all government employees and have actual performance evaluations with At Risk dollars for poor performance.

  78. Don't confuse politically appointed hacks like Scott Pruitt with the vast majority of government employees who take their jobs and responsibilities seriously. I was an Army civilian employee for 33 years. It didn't matter who the Secretary of Defense was. We did our job for the warfighter. The vast majority of government employees express their political bias in only one place - the voting booth. And yes, we had ethics training every year.

  79. Only 68 comments to an article containing such awful news... That's how important our planet is to most people.

  80. I am shocked--SHOCKED--to hear of lax and nonexistent enforcement of Federal EPA code. But also edified that some brave attorneys at Chicago EPA around the corner dared to speak out about this deplorable neglect under Pruitt. Apparently the wealthy people and multinationals behind this evil laissez-faire policy don't think they'll suffer from environmental degradation. Just the little people who pay the taxes, as always.

  81. Trump's policies have found the middle ground. There will always be some pollution. The progress hating, anti capitalists, leftist tree huggers like Al Gore and Leo Decrapio who preach to us about carbon footprints fly around the globe in their private Lear Jets. So don't preach to me. We need good clean coal, fracking, arctic drilling, the Alaskin pipeline, clean gas and offshore drilling. Sorry to the spotted owl. The windmills won't cut it. Global warming is a provable Chinese hoax just like Trump campaigned on. Those are the facts.

  82. I’ll pray for you Steve

  83. We will be he "left behind" when other countries clean up their environment and the Americans who have not died or been debilitated by polluted air, poisoned water, water that can be set on fire, and farms that are ruined from spilled oil (the Alaska pipeline just had another major leak a couple of weeks ago). You may not miss the spotted owl or the millions of birds that fly to the special breeding grounds in the arctic every spring, but you will notice the increase in the insects that they normally eat. I don't know what part of long Island you live on, but if your local duck farms, potato fields and grapevines die out you might eventually care. And I gather you don't travel anywhere by plane and rarely by car?

  84. Did you read the article? It wasn't about global warming. It was about the pollution of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, etc.

  85. The time has come for the revolution.

  86. Pruitt believes that his job won't be done until he sets and turns the entire nation into a burning toxic waste, dumpster fire. Then and only then will he see his mission as complete.

  87. What good are laws if they aren't enforced? We can all of the laws made in regards to protection of the environment but who is enforcing them? If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear it?

  88. When will the rural Trump voters see that their emperor has no clothes?

  89. I disagree. The emperor has the finest clothes that Vietnam and Bangladesh have to offer under the Trump brand.

  90. When will the Trump voters see that the naked guy with yellow hair is nothing more than an attention seeking blowhard that has no idea what he is doing.

  91. Looking forward to Pruitt and Minuchin wearing orange in the Cook County Jail, for the rest of their natural lives.

  92. I suspect that the new world order according to Trump will be an EPA that protects the polluters against law suits and actions by us, the tree huggers, who think it is worthwhile to protect the environment and our planet.

  93. an impressive piece of investigative journalism! Thank you for such important and well done documentation!

  94. Greed for profit, chosen by "representative" government, as the operating principle...... over human health and life itself...... undeniable proof that American politics (and perhaps ALL politics) deteriorates and devolves......more or less and sooner than later........into institutionalized opportunistic corruption !

  95. Trump voters can’t afford to move away from their toxic, contaminated homes. This is not a surprise. Unfortunately, as they cast their vote for this, they should stay put and enjoy their new found “freedom” from the “establishment”. Give us all a break and stop writing about these people. Hopefully they don’t move to my community.

  96. Those who voted for Trump got what they asked for. Now, we all have to live with it (if it doesn't rot us out and we can breathe through it for the rest of his term.)

  97. Americans, if they genuinely feel Trump's policies are dangerous, not just wrong, need to take the kind of stand taken by those who refused induction into the military during the Viet Nam War, actions that risked both personal career opportunities and physical well-being. I do understand the reasonable argument by government employees that they can do more to limit ill effects of Trump's idiocies by remaining where they are. But at a certain point, while reasonable, the argument simply becomes wrong. As with draft resisters during the War, there is consequently ethical and political imperatives for the rest of us to support those individuals who sacrifice their careers and well-being by either quitting or acting in a principled manner that gets them fired. Bodies need to be put on the line, much as was done on the Pettus Bridge, and advocates and apologizers of Trump's most egregious policies need to be confronted at their homes, their businesses, their country clubs. And there must be highly organized boycotts of their businesses, especially sponsors of hate radio talk shows. Money talks. If America is going to suffer because of Trump, then his cohorts must be made to suffer also. That said, it important not to characterize all those who voted for and still support Trump as "deplorables." Sure, some are racists, misogynists, theocrats, and homophobes, but most really are trying to send a message to elites that things just aren't working, and more of the same will not do.

  98. These guys Trump appointed have easy jobs: destroy regulations, diminish government, spend money on executive offices and send future generations the bill.

  99. ‘I, Scott Pruitt, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.’” Where are Scott Pruitt's parents? His clergyman? His conscience?

  100. The Trump regime seems determined to do as much damage as it can before it is ended.