Once again, the Trump Administration is taking aim at reasonable protections for American public health in favor of their cronies in the oil and gas industry. Their target this time are air pollution control guidelines (formally known as Control Techniques Guidelines, or CTGs) issued by the EPA in October 2016, that set a baseline for how oil and gas companies must reduce smog-forming pollution in areas exceeding national pollution limits, and in areas that are part of the Ozone Transport Region.
In order to roll back these common-sense guidelines, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has just cleared EPA’s proposal to withdraw these recommendations, where it awaits Administrator Pruitt’s signature and then will be put out for public comment before the proposal is finalized.
“These guidelines provide a vital blueprint to the states on how to tackle a major source of dangerous emissions,” said Sarah Smith, Program Director for Clean Air Task Force, an environmental NGO working to maintain and strengthen air pollution regulations under the Clean Air Act. “They are a flexible tool that help states identify and implement strategies in areas most impacted by smog. By rolling these guidelines back, EPA seeks to deprive exactly those communities who need help the most, of protections from dangerous air pollution.”
In fact, CATF’s 2016 report, “Gasping for Breath,” found that 750,000 annual childhood asthma attacks were due to pollution from the oil and gas industry. EPA’s move to roll back these guidelines is the opposite of what those children need.
“We will take advantage of the comment period to review and strongly oppose this latest, egregious move by Trump’s EPA to make America sick again,” said Smith.