Top reporting on environmental rollbacks

Under Trump budget, Florida water could get a lot dirtier.

Florida stands to lose up to $600 million that over the last five years has helped keep beaches poop-free, cleaned up pollution from old chemical spills and tracked leaks in thousands of underground storage tanks. Miami Herald, Florida

With Obama EPA rule in force, compliance clash may loom.

The Trump administration is giving scant details on how or whether it plans to enforce restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas industry after a federal court revived the standards last month. EnergyWire

How the White House's proposed EPA cuts would devastate Florida.

Trump's proposed budget would put millions of Florida residents and tourists at risk. Congress has just over a month to hash out how much of his proposed cuts will become law. Pacific Standard

Our Reporting on Trump's rollbacks

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Commentary: Fiends of the Earth.

Some environmental planners spend their careers mapping out worst-case scenarios. As of January 20, they've got one in the White House. Environmental Health News

Commentary: He’s no Ronald Reagan.

Some have compared Trump’s wrecking crew to the one brought in by Ronald Reagan in 1981. But there are crucial differences between then and now. Environmental Health News

Meet Debbie Dooley. Her candidate won the White House. Can she still win with clean energy?

Photo courtesy Debbie Dooley

One political activist with connections on both sides of the ideological environmental wall, and how she views the Trump era. Daily Climate

Endocrine disruptors: The interference of the United States.

Since 2013, the United States has been contesting by all means available the European regulation of these chemicals in the name of free trade. Part 3 of 3. Environmental Health News


Trump's EPA threatens kids' health by rejecting pesticide ban.

Now the New Jersey Legislature is taking a welcome stand against Trump's Environmental Protection Agency and its chief, Scott Pruitt, over a pesticide called chlorpyrifos. more…

Environmental regulations weren’t created without cause.

Join us on a trip to the 1960s and early 1970s with this true-or-false test about the Clean Water Act, which turns 45 this year, and the Clean Air Act, which is 2 years older. more…

Trump said he wants 'beautiful' water. Did you believe him?

As if the Christie administration's all-out assault on our clean water protections weren't bad enough, now we have President Trump's rollback of a crucial federal rule. more…

Environmental justice rollbacks

Trump's coal rollbacks face opposition from ranchers and tribal leaders.

Ranchers and tribal leaders alike are taking a stand against Secretary Zinke's rollbacks. Newsweek

Trump targets environmental justice at EPA, but a kindred DOT program could thrive.

The Department of Transportation’s TIGER grants are an important source of funding for poor and minority communities, and they’re likely here to stay. Undark

Trump: Praise for Justice and coal.

In turn, West Virginia's governor cites the president's support for the coal industry as part of his reason for switching parties. Politico

Has the moment for environmental justice been lost?

Given how President Donald Trump has taken aim at the Environmental Protection Agency with regulatory rollbacks and deep proposed budget cuts, it may come as no surprise that the Office of Environmental Justice is on the chopping block. ProPublica

Under Trump's orders, EPA considers gutting lead contamination rules even as water in schools tests positive.

Under the leadership of the Trump administration, which has pledged to slash federal regulations at every level, lead protections and regulations may be at risk. Truthout

Commentary: Will we reverse the little progress we've made on environmental justice?

Policy retrenchment at the EPA will affect all of us, as well as future generations, but it is the poor and minorities who stand to lose the most. Minneapolis MinnPost, Minnesota

Water quality rollbacks

Pruitt stars in industry video promoting WOTUS repeal.

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt appears in an agribusiness video urging farmers and ranchers to comment on the proposed repeal of the Obama-era Clean Water Rule, promoting the rollback of a regulation that he sued to stop as Oklahoma attorney general. Greenwire

Scott Pruitt is carrying out his E.P.A. agenda in secret, critics say.

When career employees of the Environmental Protection Agency are summoned to a meeting with the agency's administrator, Scott Pruitt, at agency headquarters, they no longer can count on easy access to the floor where his office is, according to interviews with employees of the federal agency. New York Times

Why the scariest nuclear threat may be coming from inside the White House.

Does anyone in the White House really understand what the Department of Energy actually does? And what a horrible risk it would be to ignore its extraordinary, life-or-death responsibilities? Vanity Fair

Superfund cuts would lead to delays in toxic cleanups, experts warn.

Experts warned a Senate panel Tuesday that the Trump administration’s proposed 30 percent cut in the Superfund program would likely delay cleanup at some of the nation’s most toxic sites. USA Today

Trump proposes scrapping Obama-era fracking rule on water pollution.

The Bureau of Land Management says it is moving to discard a 2015 regulation as it duplicates state rules and ‘imposes unjustified costs’ on oil and gas industry. The Guardian

Trump’s EPA Chemical Safety nominee was in the “business of blessing” pollution.

Michael Dourson's company was picked by DuPont for its ability to “assemble a package and then sell this to EPA, or whomever we desired.” The Intercept

Six ways Trump is 'dismantling' the US after six months in office.

Trump has been paralyzed on healthcare and tax reform, but his administration has been active in eroding safeguards and protections elsewhere. The Guardian


How Trump is enabling famine.

The president’s love for the despotic regimes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is perpetuating the crisis. more…

Trump: Flood protection for me, none for thee.

Trump sought to protect his golf course from rising seas, but is undoing protections for vulnerable Americans and taxpayer-funded projects. more…

The axis of climate evil.

The GOP is completely united behind its project of destroying civilization, and it’s making good progress toward that goal. more…

Toxics rollbacks

Trump's decision to allow plastic bottle sales in national parks slammed.

Reversal of ban shows ‘corporate agenda is king and people and environment are left behind’, say campaigners. The Guardian

National parks put a ban on bottled water to ease pollution. Trump just sided with the lobby that fought it.

The Trump administration has ended a six-year-old ban on selling bottled water at some national parks that was aimed at easing plastic pollution and the huge amount of waste being recycled. Washington Post

National Park Service ends ban on disposable water bottles.

The federal government announced Wednesday it will eliminate a policy that allowed national parks like the Grand Canyon to ban the sale of bottled water in an effort to curb litter. Associated Press

Greens sue EPA over toxic chemical rules.

Several environmental groups sued the EPA on Monday over rules, published in July, that determine which uses of chemicals the agency will assess before allowing the chemicals to be sold on the open market. The Hill, District of Columbia

Biodiversity rollbacks

Trump's day of doom for national monuments approaches.

Created by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the Cascade-Siskiyou monument protects Oregon’s extraordinary biodiversity, from butterflies to trout. But a Trump review threatens to open the landscape to the timber industry. The Guardian

US national monument review to test key land protection law.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will recommend on Aug. 24 whether to eliminate or shrink nearly two dozen national monuments, creating the first major test for a 111-year-old law that gives presidents the power to protect swaths of public land. Reuters

Army Corps unveils $275M plan to battle Asian carp.

Environmental groups and Gov. Rick Snyder demanded immediate action on Monday after the Trump administration released a long-awaited report on a $275 million plan to control the invasive Asian carp before it reaches the Great Lakes. Detroit News, Michigan

US to relax rules protecting sage grouse, in win for oil drillers.

The U.S. Interior Department on Monday launched an overhaul to an Obama-era plan to protect sage grouse that it says aims to both preserve the species of bird while expanding opportunities for oil development in western states where they live. Reuters

Idaho governor pleased by sage grouse plan’s nod to states.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter said he is “encouraged” by changes to federal protections for the threatened sage grouse that allow for mining, logging and other economic development where it now is prohibited. Boise Idaho Statesman, Idaho Associated Press

US eases environment laws for Mexico border wall near San Diego.

The U.S. will waive environmental rules so extra barriers can be built to bar illegal immigrants from crossing the border with Mexico near San Diego, the Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday. Reuters

Why Americans are fighting over a gorgeous monument called Bears Ears.

Some Utahans say the U.S. owns too much of their land, but others argue for protection. Washington Post

US House hacks away at renewable energy, efficiency programs.

One area of energy funding the House spared as it voted on its 'minibus' budget bill was fossil fuel research. The Trump White House wanted deeper cuts. InsideClimate News

Human health rollbacks

Coal mining health study is halted by Interior Department.

The Interior Department has ordered a halt to a scientific study begun under President Obama of the public health risks of mountaintop-removal coal mining. New York Times

Halt ordered on study of health threat from surface mines.

Federal mining regulators have told the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to halt its study of the health risks for people living near Appalachian surface coal mines. Associated Press

E.P.A. promised ‘a New Day’ for the agriculture Industry, documents eeveal .

E.P.A. Promised "a New Day" for the agriculture industry, documents reveal. New York Times

EPA welcomed industry feedback before reversing pesticide ban, ignoring health concerns.

Before the Environmental Protection Agency issued its March 29 decision to reverse a proposed ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos, the agency considered information from industry groups that wanted to keep it on the market, according to internal agency documents. The Intercept

Trump’s first list of science priorities ignores climate—and departs from his own budget request.

The memo lists five priority areas (in this order): military superiority, security, prosperity, energy dominance, and health. Each is prefaced by the word “American” in keeping with the administration’s approach to branding issues. Science

Climate rollbacks

Trump Interior moves to stop mountaintop removal study.

Trump administration officials have told the National Academy of Sciences to cease all work on a study of the public health risks for people living near mountaintop removal coal-mining sites in Appalachian. Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia

Trump rebuffs coal industry; CEO claims promise broken.

The Trump administration has rejected a coal industry push to win a rarely used emergency order protecting coal-fired power plants, a decision one executive said breaks a personal promise from President Donald Trump to take the extraordinary step to benefit the industry. Associated Press

Undermanned EPA delays action on lead in drinking water.

Even after the Flint scandal reawakened the nation to the dangers posed by lead drinking water pipes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appears to be in no rush to strengthen federal health standards. Circle of Blue

Energy rollbacks

Governor urges Trump to drop Virginia from offshore drilling plan.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe urged the Trump administration to exclude his state from a federal offshore oil and gas drilling plan, citing concerns about revenue sharing and environmental issues, in a letter that his office revealed on Thursday. Reuters

EPA plans to rewrite Obama-era limits for coal power plant wastewater.

The Environmental Protection Agency says it plans to scrap an Obama-era measure limiting water pollution from coal-fired power plants. Associated Press

Trump’s environmental agenda is crashing into the courts.

Pruitt used to sue the EPA. Now he’s being sued for what he’s doing with it. Vox

Against the stream: The future of the federal Clean Water Act.

Brian Bienkowski

A pitched battle is being waged over which water sources warrant federal protection under the Clean Water Act. Who’s right, and who will prevail? Undark

Trump officials begin review of Obama emissions standards for cars.

The Trump administration gave notice it intends to relax the rules governing greenhouse gas emissions on new model cars Thursday, in its latest move to undo President Barack Obama’s climate policies. Washington Post

US scientists contradict Trump's climate claims.

As President Donald Trump touts new oil pipelines and pledges to revive the nation's struggling coal mines, federal scientists are warning that burning fossil fuels is already driving a steep increase in the United States of heat waves, droughts and floods. Associated Press

Court ruling on HFCs deals another blow to Paris climate goals.

A U.S. court ruled the EPA lacked authority to regulate the powerful greenhouse gases, used for cooling and refrigeration. Industry had supported the regulations. InsideClimate News

Under Trump, coal mining gets new life on US lands.

A business-friendly secretary of the interior has moved to invigorate a struggling industry, reversing Obama-era restrictions to help create “wealth and jobs.” New York Times

Air quality rollbacks

Study: Fines for illegal pollution plummet under Trump.

Fines for illegal pollution have plummeted under President Donald Trump, according to analysis by an environmental advocacy group. Associated Press

Penalties assessed by EPA decline under Trump, study finds.

Civil penalties assessed by the Environmental Protection Agency are 60 percent lower so far under President Trump than at the same point in each of the last three administrations, according to a report released Thursday. The Hill, District of Columbia

Trump EPA lags behind in environmental enforcement: Report.

During the first six months of the Trump presidency, the Environmental Protection Agency has lagged behind three previous administrations in environmental enforcement, collecting 60 percent less in civil penalties from polluters, a report released on Thursday said. Reuters

California's power to preserve environmental rules is tested as Congress takes aim at the Clean Air Act.

A push by Republicans to roll back parts of the Clean Air Act would affect California more than any other state, rattling its lawmakers and regulators. Los Angeles Times