Posted on June 11, 2019

On Tuesday, June 11, the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee is set to hold a hearing on the mission and future of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), who is a champion of the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019, and Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO) will lead the hearing next week. 

A bipartisan group of former EPA Administrators will testify throughout the hearing. The panel includes Lee Thomas (EPA Admin from 1985-1989), William Reilly (1989-1993), Christine Todd Whitman (2001-2003) and Gina McCarthy (2013-2017).

“The United States faces serious and pressing challenges in protecting public health and the environment,” Reps. Pallone and DeGette said in a statement. “There has never been a more important time to affirm the bipartisan mission of the Agency. The Committee will examine the management and policy challenges facing the Agency today, the essential role of rigorous consensus science, and the need for an EPA that is robust and credible.”

ADAO agrees with Congressman Pallone and Congresswoman DeGette that the EPA’s actions and mission must be made clear. The current EPA administration is failing to protect public health, specifically by refusing to fully regulate asbestos, a known human carcinogen that remains legal and lethal in the United States.

Although asbestos kills nearly 40,000 Americans every year, it is still being imported and used in the U.S. with no federal regulations. In April, EPA released a final significant new use rule (SNUR) for asbestos that is anything but a ban, and does not protect the health of the public. It is time for EPA’s mission to be made clear, and for their job of protecting public health to be enforced.

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Linda Reinstein
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