Provide input to Executive Orders Targeting the EPA

Executive Order 13777

This comes via the @altEPA twitter account.  There is a way to input your thoughts and comments about Trump Executive order 13777 directly into den docket via this website: docket.

(Summary:

Executive Order 13777, issued 2/24/17, directs agencies to establish a Regulatory Reform Task Force to oversee the evaluation of existing regulations to make recommendations about potential repeal, replacement, or modification.)

A transcript of the Rachel Maddow Show on this topic is below the break. If you see other sources that could be used as talking points please add as a comment

MADDOW: Give the pen to Andrew, Dow Chemical. Pleasure working with you.

That was the president rolling out Executive Order 13777, enforcing the
regulatory reform agenda and thanking by name Andrew, CEO of Dow Chemical,
for all the help.

Well, tonight, we can report exclusively on how one part of the government
is responding to that executive order, how it`s going to work in real life.
We got this exclusively in the sense that we have obtained new internal
administration documents that have not been publicly released. We believe
them to be genuine but the EPA is not answering our questions about them.

What these documents appear to show is a fairly sweeping change and how the
government deals with questions like, whether to ban a pesticide from Dow
Chemical when the government`s own scientific studies have determined that
that testified pesticide is unsafe. And it isn`t just about pesticides.
It`s broadly about clean air and clean water and things like keeping the
public safe from radiation.

Again, the EPA did not answer any of the questions that we asked them over
the last two days about these documents. But what we believe these are our
internal memos from inside the EPA and they show the first steps and how
that part of the government is going to carry out that “here`s your pen,
Andrew” executive order, the one about health and safety regulations.

The memos appeared to be from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. They`re
dated March 24th. You can see there. it says, we got to close up. You see
the from line, it is from a Scott Pruitt and then it looks to be his
signature off to the side on the right.

This first memo that we obtained calls for EPA regulators to start
reporting any action they take, any regulatory action anywhere in the
country needs to now be reported in a central database, quote, “effective
immediately, EPA program and regional offices shall report all regulatory –
– excuse me, all regulatory actions in the agency`s regulatory management
system. Regulatory actions to be reported include but are not limited to
those related to any statutory or judicial deadlines, petitions, pesticide
tolerances, significant new use rules national priority listings or
delistings, permits federal implementation plans, state implementation
plans. As a general matter, offices should err on the side of including
actions in the system.”

It`s basically – basically, what that means that is that if any action is
taken anywhere by any EPA office, any EPA personnel anywhere in the
country, you know, a statement on how much pesticide it`s safe to leave on
a crop, or a response to a petitioner response to a court, anything has to
be reported to headquarters in D.C. Everything everywhere in the country
goes through D.C. now, everything. So, that`s memo one, that`s the first
thing that we obtained. That`s new.

Then there`s the second memo we obtained. It specifically cites that
“here`s your pen, Andrew” executive order, and then it says this, quote,
“By May 15th, the Offices of Air and Radiation, Land and Emergency
Management, Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Water, Environmental
Information. Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, and Small and
Disadvantaged Business Utilization should provide the task force with
recommendations regarding specific rules that should be considered for
repeal, replacement or modification. While we intend to do some outreach
regarding this effort, I would like the recommendations from those offices
to be informed by consultation with their particular stakeholders.”

And that is all supposed to be done by May 15th, which is six weeks from
now. And that`s the first step in the process.

Obviously, it makes a huge difference who the EPA considers to be a
stakeholder affected by their regulations, right? If it`s the Dow
Chemicals of the world who are getting daily calls and ceremonial pins from
the White House, we can imagine some of what you know Dow Chemical would
like to have happen. Having it all done by May 15th should be no problem
for them since they`re there talking every single day anyway.

But if it isn`t just out chemical, if it`s also like our lungs and skin and
vital organs have a stake in these regulations, are those interests getting
consulted to as we wholesale plan to get rid of health and safety
regulations? I mean, that we don`t know we talked to two leading
environmental groups today who have been a EPA stakeholders in the past,
each of them said they have heard beans from the EPA about these new
prophecies that we have documented in these two memos that we have
obtained.

One of them told us they used to talk to EPA all the time under the old
administration. But under the new one, their official communication with
the EPA is down to zero. Maybe that will change, they`ve got a whole six
weeks.

Something else interesting to watch here – we spoke with one lawyer who
represents companies that have to submit to EPA regulations. Those
companies are actually worried about the huge budget cuts that have been
revealed in other EPA documents that have been leaked to the press, even
from the corporate side. They`re worried about the EPA no longer having
enough staffers even just to do the permitting work that industry needs to
move ahead, as long as we`re going to have any regulations left.

That lawyer says the industry has not heard anything from EPA about this
broad national review of every last single health and safety regulation,
including anything about any regulations that the industry might actually
like to keep. So, that`s curious. There`s definitely a mismatch between
what EPA is doing internally and what everybody who deals with them, EPA
has heard from them and thinks is going on now.

Now, that said, what is Dow Chemical think about this? We asked. We asked
Dow Chemical. They did not answer our question about whether EPA has
reached out to them about these new processes. The company spokespeople
did tell us that, quote, “Dow works closely with EPA every day on matters
that affect Dow.” Yes, we know now.

Dow also told us that as a company, they support the EPA decision not to
ban their pesticide. Oh, well, blow me down.

If we hear more from the EPA about these memos, about this radical new
process they apparently are putting in motion very fast without telling
very many people about it, we will let you know. In the meantime though,
we are going to make these memos public now. We are going to post them at
MaddowBlog.com. So, everybody can see them for themselves.

And anybody else who has seen something that you think ought to be news, if
you would like to get something into my hands, whether or not the EPA will
ever answer my questions about it, please send us what you`ve got. You can
do so through a website we`ve set up, www.sendittorachel.com. What do you
got? Thank you in advance for whatever it is you sent.

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