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Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
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Frank Bernheisel
Posted 12.17.20
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

WHY ENVIRONMENTAL REGS ARE NEEDED

Over the last almost four years, Trump with the help of his anti-government cronies, has kept one of his 2016 campaign promises. That was his promise to roll back regulations, particularly environmental regulations.

The recent Brookings blog post this morning had the summary of this activity(more like the tip of the iceberg). The internal links in this discussion lead to a lot of supporting detail, which adds depth to the summary.

Of particular interest to me, is the link to Regulatory Policy and its Tracking deregulation in the Trump era, which has a comprehensive list of individual regulatory action with their status.

licking on the expansion button provides a summary of each policy and where it is in the process.

We all benefit by environmental regulations, as illustrated by the recent crisis in Flint, Michigan.

The city of Flint, in April 2014, changed its water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River in an effort to save money. They violated a number of environmental regulations resulting in eroding of old pipes and elevated levels of lead in the drinking water.

As many as 12,000 children were exposed to drinking water with high levels of lead, which cause long-term health problems. The water supply change also caused an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that killed 12 people.

As a result, four government officials -- one from the city of Flint, two from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and one from the EPA -- resigned over their roles in the crisis, and one additional MDEQ staff member was fired.

The Flint residents impacted sued and were awarded $641 million, with 80 percent going to the families with children. A major result has been the replacement of about 10,000 lead pipes by the city, at a cost of about $60 million.

Further upgrades to the Flint water system to bring it up to the environmental standards are estimated at $110 million. In 2017, Flint received an EPA grant of $100 million to help pay for water infrastructure repairs.

So Trump did keep a little bit of his campaign promise to "invest $1 trillion on infrastructure" to bail out Flint. Flint would have saved lives and a ton of money, if it had replaced the lead pipes and brought their system into environmental compliance.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/12/15/the-trump- administrations-major-environmental-deregulations/?utm_campaign= Brookings%20Brief&utm_medium=email&utm_content=103152261&utm_source= hs_email

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