Barbara Boxer, Democrat Senator and chairman of the US Senate’s committee on environment and public works, has slammed a series of policy changes made by the Environmental Protection Agency over the past year, arguing they have weakened protection and made it harder for the public to access information about toxic hot spots.
The no-nonsense accusations were made at an official hearing of the committee this week, when Boxer openly accused the EPA of pandering to the needs of big business whilst failing to carry out its primary duties – protecting the environment and public health.
“These EPA rollbacks have common themes,” she said.
“They benefit polluters’ bottom line, and they hurt our communities by allowing more pollution and reducing the information about pollution available to the public.”
“EPA has gone too long without oversight. I want to send a clear signal to EPA and to this Administration. We are watching. The American public is watching. And no longer will EPA rollbacks quietly escape scrutiny.”
“The pattern of these year-end actions is striking – the public interest is sacrificed, and environmental protection compromised. Who gains from these rollbacks? Just look at who asked for them, like Big Oil and the battery industry. EPA’s proposed actions make it clear who EPA is protecting. The purpose of this oversight hearing is to remind EPA who they are truly accountable to-the American people.”
The hearing was essentially held to ask who watches the watchman and how EPA policy should be overseen by legislators.