News Releases from Region 04
EPA Releases 2019 Year in Review Highlighting Agency Accomplishments and Environmental Progress under President Trump & Administrator Andrew Wheeler
ATLANTA (Feb. 6, 2020) – Today, 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. Since the beginning of the administration, EPA has finalized 49 deregulatory actions saving Americans more than $5 billion in regulatory costs and re-designated 35 areas around the country, moving them into attainment with federal air quality standards and lifting major regulatory burdens off local businesses. As we celebrate our 50th year of EPA, I am honored to lead an agency with such a successful record.”
“Over the past year, EPA has delivered on its promise to provide greater regulatory certainty while promoting economic growth and protecting public health and the environment in the Southeast,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “In 2019, the Southeast was first in the nation for returning land for beneficial reuse, exceeding the target by 108%. The region approved the first Water Quality Standards (WQS) from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), which will protect the water quality of 237 miles of streams. Additionally, the entire Southeast is 100% in attainment with air quality standards for small particulates (PM2.5), lead, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, actions that will help create jobs and benefit the region’s economy. In honor of EPA’s 50th anniversary, we celebrate these successes and hope to build on our progress for future generations.”
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.
- Securing 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.
Click here to read the full report: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-releases-2019-year-review-highlighting-agency-accomplishments-and-environmental