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Members of SEEC Leadership condemn EPA suspension of environmental enforcement during COVID-19 crisis

Mar 31, 2020
Press Release

Today the leaders of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) sent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler a letter condemning the Agency’s March 26 memorandum announcing that the EPA will cease all enforcement actions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter sent today reads in part:

“The health impacts of these [industry] pollutants are well-established, and exposure is particularly dangerous for those with respiratory conditions. We are currently facing a severe respiratory pandemic, taking lives and hospitalizing thousands—at this moment, communities need more protections from toxic pollution, not less. Waiving environment enforcement will only add to the severity of the COVID-19 crisis... While our doctors and nurses work urgently to keep people healthy and manage hospital overflows, you are granting polluting industries a free pass to contaminate our air and water, likely adding patients to healthcare providers’ already overwhelming caseloads.”

The letter was led by SEEC Vice-Chair Rep. Mike Quigley along Co-Chairs Reps. Gerry Connolly, Paul Tonko, and Doris Matsui and fellow SEEC Vice-Chairs Reps. A. Donald McEachin, Chellie Pingree, Rep. Alan Lowenthal, and Matt Cartwright. The full text of the letter can be found below, and a signed copy can be found here.