the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the 2019 Year in Review outlining major accomplishments and environmental progress during the Trump administration.
“Under President Trump, we have fulfilled many promises to the American people to address some of our most important environmental and human health challenges while unleashing the economy and fostering innovation,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “In 2019, EPA deleted 27 Superfund sites — the largest number of sites deleted from the National Priorities List since FY 2001 — and proposed the first update to the Lead and Copper Rule in nearly three decades. This administration is building on a long history of environmental success for example in the past three years, EPA has re-designated 36 areas around the country, moving them into attainment with federal air quality standards and lifting major regulatory burdens off local businesses, and all six criteria air pollutants have decreased. As we celebrate our 50th year of EPA, I am honored to lead an agency with such a successful record.”
FY 2019 EPA accomplishments include:
- Finalizing 16 deregulatory actions, saving Americans more than $1.5 billion in regulatory costs.
- Inviting 38 new projects in 18 states to apply for WIFIA loans totaling $6 billion dollars to help finance over $12 billion dollars in water infrastructure investments and create up to 200,000 jobs.
- Finalizing the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule – replacing the prior administration’s overreaching Clean Power Plan – which is projected to result in annual net benefits of $120 – 730 million along with a reduction in CO2 emission from the electric sector fall by as much as 35 percent below 2005 levels in 2030.
- Providing $64.6 million to 151 communities with Brownfields grants, which will provide communities with funding to assess, clean up, and redevelop underutilized properties. 108 of those communities – over 70 percent – had identified sites or targeted areas within Opportunity Zones.
- FY 2019 enforcement and compliance assurance actions resulted in the investment of over $4.4 billion in actions and equipment that achieve compliance with the law and control pollution, an increase of over $400 million from FY 2018.
- Signing a directive to prioritize agency efforts to reduce animal testing including reducing mammal study requests and funding by 30 percent by 2025 and eliminating them by 2035.
- Advancing EPA’s PFAS Action Plan – the first multi-media, multi-program, national research, management, and risk communication plan to address an emerging contamination of concern like PFAS. In 2019, EPA sent the proposed regulatory determination under the Safe Drinking Water Act for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water to the Office of Management and Budget for interagency review, validated a new test method to identify additional PFAS compounds in drinking water, issued Interim Recommendations for Addressing Groundwater Contaminated with PFOA and PFOS under federal cleanup programs, and announced the availability of nearly $5 million for new research on PFAS in agriculture.
- Awarding 36 environmental education regional grants in 25 states totaling more than $3 million.
- Launching Smart Sectors program in all ten regional offices covering a variety of sectors including agriculture, forestry, mining, oil and gas, cement, and concrete.