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Environmentalists Accuse GOP of ‘Environmental Racism’

4th March 2014

Read it.

I am not making this up.

Environmentalists are whining that the House GOP is practicing “environmental racism” for their legislation that would make the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to focus its attention on chemicals posing the greatest risk to the public, rather than trying to put its energies into finding every single chemical threat, no matter how minimal it is.

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, who is sponsoring the bill, has said that the bill would make the 1976 Toxic Chemicals Control Act (TSCA) much stronger because it concentrate on the greatest chemical threats. He added, “The vast majority of chemicals are low priority, and we really want to free up the time and energy to focus on the more important chemicals.”

But the Environmental Justice Health Alliance claims that the chemical left unscathed would be found more frequently in non-white communities and said the legislation was “environmental racism.” Michele Roberts, co-coordinator of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance, pontificated, “This bill harms communities of color disproportionately. Most of these chemicals are either manufactured, stored in, or disposed of in primarily communities of color.”

One Response to “Environmentalists Accuse GOP of ‘Environmental Racism’”

  1. RealRick Says:

    Back when every other commercial and nearly every news broadcast was trying to get money for Africa (Somalia?), Sam Kinison did a painfully funny bit about it in which he would scream, “You don’t need food! You need luggage! You live in a f***ing desert! There’s never going to be any food! Get out!!”

    Same applies to chemical disposal.

    The reality is that TSCA doesn’t have anything to do with chemical disposal. It tracks and regulates new chemicals (or new uses for old chemicals) to try to identify health effects. It doesn’t DO that because it’s so extremely complicated and confusing that it’s impossible for it to be useful. That is, except for one thing: It’s EPA’s “gotcha” regulation. Nobody is ever 100% in compliance. (For example, TSCA applies to intermediate chemicals that might form in a reactor mix.) So if EPA doesn’t like the way you do something (like process wastewater) but they don’t have a regulation that allows them to force you to make arbitrary changes, they simply threaten to do a “multimedia audit”, which will include TSCA. Company lawyers and consultants will quickly point out that they can’t pass, and so they give in to the will of the EPA.

    RCRA regulates disposal and cleanup of hazardous waste, not TSCA. RCRA was originally proposed to encourage recyling and re-use, but thanks to certain Senators from California, it now makes it nearly impossible to recycle and re-use (unless you’re willing to go through a long and tortuous permitting effort.)

    EPA is the poster child for government programs that were proposed with the best of intentions and then grew into bureaucratic monsters that suck the life out of the country and do more harm to the environment than anything else.