Earth Minute: The EPA & COVID-19

Late last week, the Environmental Protection Agency suspended enforcement of US environmental laws using the coronavirus outbreak as the excuse to greenlight environmental destruction.

The Hill quoted Cynthia Giles, head of EPA’s Enforcement Office under Obama: “This EPA statement is essentially [an indefinite] nationwide waiver of environmental rules.  Companies will not face enforcement if they emit unlawful air and water pollution…so long as they claim those failures are ’caused’ by the virus pandemic. And it allows them an out on monitoring too, so we may never know how bad the pollution was.”

“Incredibly, the statement does not even reserve EPA’s right to act in the event of an imminent threat to public health…I am not aware of any [other] instance when EPA ever relinquished this fundamental authority…”

This, however, is just one instance of the pandemic being used to skirt democratic process. Right wing rulers around the world are opportunistically using COVID19 to gain power and crush democratic opposition.

We will need to get creative if we are to effectively respond to these threats.

For the Earth minute in the Sojourner Truth show this is Anne Peterman from global justice ecology project.

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