EPA defends enforcement record, despite drop in penalties
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement chief is defending the Trump administration’s work, despite a report by her own agency showing that civil and criminal crackdowns on polluters have dropped sharply in the past two years.
Assistant administrator Susan Bodine says the idea that EPA is soft on enforcement is “absolutely not true,” adding that the agency is giving states a greater role in regulation and enforcement and stressing education and voluntary compliance by companies.
Bodine told a House subcommittee Tuesday that a media “narrative” about lax enforcement “discredits the tremendous work of the compliance and assurance staff” at EPA.
Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado, who chairs an oversight and investigations subcommittee, said EPA’s own statistics show an agency that’s “sitting on its hands” and “giving polluters a free pass.”