Letter to the Editor: Do Not Abandon Environmental Protections

It is shocking to think that the Environmental Protection Agency could be destroyed by being defunded. Throughout our country, every day, numerous activities for the wellbeing of us all are taking place under the umbrella of the EPA.

A recent example hits close to home – the Chicago Tribune story (April 16) of a chromium spill near the southern shore of Lake Michigan, which required closing a water intake pipe in a neighboring community and the closing of four beaches of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

The EPA linked hexavalent chromium to stomach cancer about a decade ago. President Trump’s budget would abolish the EPA office still working on hexavalent chromium standards in drinking water, long delayed by objections from the chemical industry.

The administration also plans to sharply reduce funding for scientific reviews of toxic chemicals, and cut back on the EPA’s enforcement of environmental laws. This looks like serious abandonment of protections that citizens and the economy rely upon.

Let’s say the EPA is not perfect. To some, it is too accommodating to the objections of polluting industries. Others emphasize dangers of over-regulation that may do economic harm.

But does this range of opinions add up to castrating the EPA? Polls and surveys published over several years indicate that the public is in favor of strong environmental protection. The current Administration does not have a mandate to eliminate (by a thousand cuts) the national agency responsible for our health and a livable environmental future.

Karen Wilson

Juddville, Wis.

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