Political Editors / June 13, 2017

Pruitt Refocuses the EPA on Environmental Cleanup

He’s putting together a task force that aims to make the Superfund program more efficient.

Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt recently announced a plan to reform the Superfund program, which was established in 1980 to clean up hazardous waste sites. The EPA currently numbers 1,336 sites on its Superfund list, and Pruitt aims to prioritize and accelerate the EPA’s efforts in cleaning up these waste sites — an issue for which action is long overdue.

Many of the efforts to engage in the actual cleaning up of these sites has been stymied by a combination of the inefficacy of government bureaucracy and legal disputes. An example of this inefficient and costly government bureaucracy is seen in Portland Harbor, Oregon, where the EPA listed a Superfund site in 2000. The agency spent millions of dollars and years researching a plan to clean up the site only to eventually throw out the plan and research it again. It was just this past January, right before Donald Trump took office, when Barack Obama’s EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, finally settled on a plan for cleaning up the site. This is only one of many instances where the agency tasked with protecting the nation’s environment has wasted time and money, primarily due to bureaucratic distractions.

Pruitt has directed a task force to review the Superfund program’s business and management practices. Part of the reform plan will be to centralize leadership on decisions for projects costing over $50 million, with the aim of removing unnecessary obstacles in order to provide greater efficiency in implementing cleanup plans. This move would also help to cut costs, an important issue for Trump as he has called for a 30% cut to the EPA’s projected budget over the next fiscal year.

If it has to exist at all, it’s about time the EPA got back to its original purpose in doing real environmental protection work rather than spending so much time and funding on promoting the Marxist propaganda of climate change.

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