Perspectives

EPA Regulation Rollbacks are ‘Really Alarming’ says Health Science Expert


Posted on:

< < Back to

Some 70 environmental regulations have been rolled back by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since the beginning of the Trump Administration. And, Dr. Michele Morrone, professor of Environmental Health Science at Ohio University finds this to be “really alarming.”
She claims that these rollbacks are exposing citizens, especially in Appalachia and other poverty stricken areas to increased environmental health risks – including danger to the purity of drinking water. Anxiety and other mental health issues also may be associated with environmental health
Dr. Morrone claims the EPA is putting the promise of some jobs before concerns over people’s health. She cites the easing of regulations on coal burning power plants as an example.
The easing of these regulations will cause between 350 and 1,500 deaths nationally, according to the EPA’s own study.
The northern two-thirds of West Virginia and Pennsylvania will be hit the hardest, according to a recent Associated Press story.
In addition, the EPA has eased the monitoring of coal ash impoundment facilities. Coal ash, containing mercury, arsenic and other substances, is stored in large holes in the ground and the ash soaks into the ground or spills over causing dangers to ground water and the surrounding environment.
Recently, a coal ash impoundment facility burst as a result of Hurricane Florence and its contents spewed into the surrounding area.
Another concern is large lagoons used to store pig manure. These are vulnerable to Hurricanes and other natural disasters. For example, North Carolina, where Hurricane Florence struck, is estimated by the “New York Times” to have 9.7 million pigs producing 10 billion gallons of manure annually.
“The Trump Administration is showing no concern over people’s health today, people’s health tomorrow, or people’s health 15 years from now,” Dr. Morrone claims.
In addition to being concerned over environmental regulation rollbacks, she also is concerned about the fact that, under the Trump Administration, we no longer have viable climate change action plans. Former plans were revoked by the President.
All of these factors cause Dr. Morrone to have concerns for the health and safety of our population.
Dr. Morrone is the current Coordinator of the Environmental Health Science Program at Ohio University and also is the National Director of the Appalachian Rural Health Institute.