Chipping away at our health

The Trump administration has quietly reshaped enforcement of air pollution standards in recent months through a series of regulatory memos. The memos are fulfilling the top wishes of industry, which has long called for changes to how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the nation’s factories, plants and other facilities. The EPA is now allowing certain facilities to be subject to less-stringent regulations and is letting companies use friendlier math in calculating their expected emissions. Environmentalists and public health advocates say the memos could greatly increase levels of air pollutants like mercury, benzene and nitrogen oxides. They accuse the EPA of avoiding the transparency and public input requirements that regulatory changes usually go through.

I have picked just this one instance of harming-the-public-while-delighting-business to illustrate what is happening, mostly behind closed doors and without input from health or public interest groups. Air pollutants like mercury benzene and nitrogen oxides were unknown in the days of Epicurus (lucky Epicurus!), but if they had been I think he sould have been an advocate for regulation, and would have excoriated those who were knowingly and deliberately endangering both health and lives. And for what? Grubby donations to a political cause?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.