Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
By Alex Ebert
The EPA won’t change direction under Andrew Wheeler’s watch, but it will talk about issues in a different way, the new acting administrator told Bloomberg Environment in an exclusive interview.
“President Trump, when he called me to take on this role, he asked me to clean up the water, clean up the air, and provide regulatory relief,” Wheeler said July 16 prior to a visit at Canonsburg, Pa.-based machine parts manufacturer AccuTrex Products, Inc. “And I think you can do all of that at the same time.”
The trip was one of Wheeler’s first after replacing Scott Pruitt, the former Environmental Protection Agency administrator who resigned amid multiple ethics scandals.
While Wheeler said that he wanted to follow through on priorities that Pruitt laid down, including faster enforcement and permitting, he will also focus on agency communication to the public.
One of his key policy goals will be to increase risk communication, which he said is one of the main criticisms of the agency. Calling the Flint, Mich., water crisis, a “poster child” for why better communication is necessary, Wheeler said he will gather working groups in the next several weeks to encourage the agency to speak with “one voice” on health concerns.
Wheeler repeated those comments to leaders of the Washington County, Pa., business community. He also said the agency will focus on drastically reducing the amount of time it takes to research potential samples so that it can more quickly process enforcement actions and warn individuals if they are exposed to health risks.
Like Pruitt, Wheeler said that many of the agency’s rules are 30 years old and need to be updated to better monitor current evolving business practices. That includes both making sure people are safe, but also not getting in the way of industry, he said.
“I don’t expect in the short time I’m at the agency that I’ll solve all these problems, but I want to get us on a glide path,” he said.
Wheeler said another priority would include further research into which lead pipes need to be replaced to protect drinking water from lead contamination. The EPA has been working for years on updating its standards on lead in drinking water, formally known as the Lead and Copper Rule.
He also put to bed questions about reopening the greenhouse gas endangerment finding, which underpins all of the agency’s climate change regulations. He said that since the science hasn’t changed, he sees no reason to revisit the finding.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)