President Trump signed an executive order on May 19, directing agencies to identify deregulatory actions to spur economic growth. The order directs agency administrators to “identify regulatory standards that may inhibit economic recovery,” highlighting that regulations could be permanently or temporarily lifted. This could have sweeping consequences for environmental regulations, including the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
The executive order is the latest deregulatory effort during a global pandemic from an administration that has worked to revoke more than 100 environmental and human health regulations. A March 2020 memo from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alerted industry that EPA would suspend enforcement of environmental laws that require companies to monitor their pollution.
The Office of Management and Budget is expected to issue a more detailed memo on how to implement the order in the coming weeks.
Statement issued by Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO, Jamie Rappaport Clark:
“President Trump’s latest attack on regulations, including those that protect our clean air and water, completely disregards the important role these laws play in protecting human health. While shoring up the economy is vital in these troubling times, casting environmental regulations as the enemy ignores the key role they play in safeguarding all Americans and making a strong economy possible.
“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we should be doing more to build long-term resilience, for human health and our future. For the Trump administration to turn a blind eye to compliance will be detrimental to the American people, wildlife and the places we all love.”