Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. on Wednesday decried the latest efforts from House Republicans to roll back crucial regulations that preserve and protect the environment. Under the guise of creating jobs and protecting the border, the proposals put forth by Republicans would roll back historic advances in environmental protection and harm public health by blocking the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to enforce rules that prevent hazardous air pollution from entering the air, dangerous materials such as mercury from entering the water supply and our ability to protect the iconic bald eagle from extinction.
"If House Republicans had their way, federal lands that are a national treasure would no longer be protected and polluters would no longer be accountable with the false and misleading claim they are securing the border," said Pallone. "Americans should be outraged at this latest in a string of attacks against EPA. Congress should focus on creating jobs above all else such as moving forward with the American Jobs Act."
The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, which was rushed through the Natural Resources Committee, would waive over 35 environmental laws that protect historic sites, endangered species and air and water quality, based on the fallacy that they interfere with Customs and Border Patrol agents' ability to protect the border.
The assault on the environment continued on the House floor today with consideration of a Republican bill that would weaken EPA's ability to regulate pollution from cement kilns that incinerate waste and release some of the most harmful pollutants including mercury and acid gases.
Pallone offered an amendment that would weaken the disastrous effects of this legislation on public health. His amendment would prevent the bill from going into effect if it interferes with the Department of Health and Human Service's goal of reducing our children's exposure to mercury.
"Republicans have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at EPA today in an effort to weaken regulations that are vital to public health. The effect of both of these pieces of legislation becoming law would be higher prevalence of asthma, heart attacks and chronic bronchitis and hundreds of acres less of federally protected lands for Americans to enjoy. That's a bleak landscape," Pallone added.