A federal court order gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) until June 30 to establish water pollution limits on perchlorate, a chemical “known to cause potential brain damage in fetuses and newborns and thyroid problems in adults.” Last week, the EPA announced it would not set those limits.
The New York Times reports, “The decision by Andrew Wheeler, the administrator of the E.P.A., appears to defy a court order that required the agency to establish a safe drinking-water standard for the chemical by the end of June. The policy, which acknowledges that exposure to high levels of perchlorate can cause I.Q. damage but opts nevertheless not to limit it, could also set a precedent for the regulation of other chemicals, people familiar with the matter said.”
This announcement is only the latest of an egregious series of pro-polluter Trump Administration decisions thwarting the data-driven findings and guidance of the EPA’s own scientists.
University of Maryland law professor Rena Steinzor said, “This is all of a piece. You can draw a line between denial of science on climate change, denial of science on coronavirus, and denial of science in the drinking water context. It’s all the same issue. They’re saying, ‘We don’t care what the research says.’”
Worst of all, the Trump Administration clearly does not care it is defying a federal court order and jeopardizing children’s health in making that statement.