EPA Fails to Protect Public Health & Enforce Environmental Laws—Catskill Mountainkeeper Joins Lawsuit to Hold Agency Accountable

NRDC represents Mountainkeeper and other organizations from across the US calling on EPA to issue emergency rule

Livingston Manor, NY - Today Catskill Mountainkeeper joined the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other grassroots groups from across the country in suing the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

On March 26, 2020 the EPA announced a new policy  allowing polluters like power plants and factories to determine for themselves whether or not they can comply with monitoring and reporting requirements and that the agency may or may not enforce failure to comply with permit requirements.

These monitoring and reporting requirements are critically important to protecting communities already burdened by pollution--monitoring and reporting are the way communities know if they're being exposed to additional toxins, and its often the monitoring and reporting that signals a problem in facility operations, before it becomes a crisis. Requiring monitoring and reporting and enforcing permits are some of the most basic and important ways the EPA enacts its mission to "protect public health and the environment."

In response, Catskill Mountainkeeper joined a petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on April 1 calling on the agency to issue an emergency regulation amending its March 26 non-enforcement policy. Under federal law, EPA had one week to respond. The agency ignored the petition, and today the groups sued.

"Catskill Mountainkeeper has one ask of the EPA: do your job. The EPA was established to protect our communities and environment, but it is shirking its responsibility,” said Wes Gillingham, Associate Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper. “As our country struggles with a pandemic—one that is proven to be exacerbated by toxic air pollution—the EPA is allowing power plants, compressor stations, mines, well pads, and chemical plants to spew toxic pollution into our air and water without even the basic requirement that they report their emissions. The policies coming out of the EPA under this administration are downright dangerous, and now we have to force the agency to do its job.” 

The NRDC and partners’ lawsuit is here: https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/complaint-epa-non-enforcement-20200416.pdf

The NRDC and partners’ petition is here: https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/petition-emergency-rulemaking-20200401.pdf

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