Six years ago today, Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created a Clean Air Act loophole allowing polluters to avoid regulation of “major source” toxic air pollution.
In response to the shameful anniversary of the Trump administration’s environmental loophole, American Bridge 21st Century Presidential Campaigns Communications Director Brandon Weathersby released the following statement:
“Trump is best known for his toxic treatment of women, veterans, people with disabilities, political rivals, and anyone who generally disagrees with him. For Americans living in areas with high levels of air pollution, Trump’s policies were literally toxic. He allowed polluters to avoid necessary regulations and put people’s health in jeopardy. When it comes down to the choice of protecting the bottom line for large corporate polluters and protecting public health, Trump will side with the corporations every time.”
The Clean Air Act required the EPA to regulate facilities that emit hazardous air toxins. Facilities that emitted air toxins over a certain threshold per year were classified as “major sources” of hazardous air pollution and required to use the “maximum achievable control technology” to reduce pollution as much as possible.
Trump’s EPA changed its guidance so that once a pollution source brought its air emissions below the threshold, it would be classified as an “area source” which allowed them to avoid the strict standard of reducing pollution as much as possible.
The regulation change favored steel, paper, energy, and chemical companies that spent years lobbying for lower standards. Environmental and health experts criticized the change, arguing it removed an important safeguard to ensure polluters did all they could to reduce the amount of hazardous pollutants like mercury and lead.
Published: Jan 26, 2024
Last Modified: Feb 5, 2024