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Five Reasons a Pruitt EPA Would Threaten Public Health

Monday, January 16, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency is a notorious opponent of efforts to cut carbon pollution that causes climate change. The nominee, Scott Pruitt, has a record that also raises the specter of crippling rollbacks of vital public health protections.

If Pruitt is confirmed as EPA administrator, he could pose these five threats to Americans’ health and safety:

  1. Dirtier air. Pruitt could weaken air pollution rules intended to cut mercury, lead and other air pollutants that lower IQ and cause asthma attacks. As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt sued the EPA twice to block new air pollution rules that could save thousands of lives.
  2. Dirtier water. Pruitt could roll back rules designed to prevent pollution of drinking water supplies from factories and farms. As attorney general, he sued the EPA to block new rules to protect clean water. Instead of fighting the water polluters who funded his campaigns, Pruitt spent the last six years suing the EPA.
  3. More toxic pesticides. Pruitt could allow more toxic pesticides to be sprayed on our food, including chemicals like chlorpyrifos, which lowers IQ, and atrazine, which harms the hormone system. Pruitt could also remove special pesticide protections for pregnant women and children.
  4. More toxic chemicals. Pruitt could likely allow more toxic chemicals to be used in consumer products, including toxic chemicals linked to cancer such as formaldehyde. In particular, he could undermine a new law designed to finally ban dangerous substances such as asbestos.  
  5. More environmental crime. Pruitt could turn a blind eye to polluters who break environmental laws by polluting our air and water, and dumping toxic waste. As Oklahoma’s attorney general, he shut down the state’s environmental protection unit.

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