Bush Budget Cuts Environmental Enforcement

May 4, 2001
According to Public Employees\r\nfor Environmental Responsibility (PEER), President Bush's budget includes "significant cuts in the number of\r\ninspections, investigations and enforcement actions that could be undertaken by EPA."

According to administration records released by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), President Bush''s budget plan for the next fiscal year includes "significant cuts in the number of inspections, investigations and enforcement actions that could be undertaken by EPA."

"Bush''s environmental enforcement plan is a shell game," said PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, whose organization represents both EPA and state enforcement professionals. "Cutting inspections makes it harder to track compliance, thus impeding targeted enforcement. At the same time, Bush is also slashing the very scientific staff needed to identify what the priority public health needs are."

Compared with the current fiscal year, the Bush proposed EPA budget would reduce inspections of facilities by 12 percent; criminal investigations by 11 percent; and civil investigations by 20 percent, according to information from PEER.

Ruch said that with respect to the shift of enforcement authority to the states, the Bush plan admits several times that a series of EPA Inspector General reports in 1997 and 1998 found grave problems with the inability of states to identify or prosecute significant environmental violators.

"Despite admitting serious weaknesses with state enforcement efforts, the Bush plan cuts nearly 200 employees from EPA whose jobs are to assure accountability for the federal dollars spent by the states," added Rush. "Bush''s plan allows states to attract industry by pursuing a race to the bottom of environmental protection."

by Virginia Sutcliffe

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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