From: ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] [EXTERNAL] Re: [DCHAS-L] EPA Freezes Grants, CDC cancels climate change conference
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2017 11:17:52 -0500
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
I live in a state with 105 open SuperFund sites and we're pretty much adding them at the same rate we're clearing them. SuperFund is paid for by the EPA (you and me the taxpayer) because industry lobbyists changed the original law which supported the fund with a user fee (tax) borne by those who benefitted from production of the products. Nice.
When an anti-science crusader with the President's ear states regarding budget cuts at the EPA "Let's aim for half and see how it works out, and then maybe we'll want to go further." that is NOT business as usual, so I reject the argument of your first paragraph regarding ebb and flow. My state also happens to have an unfunded pension liability of $90+ billion and has been diverting money from antismoking campaigns, open space, clean energy, gasoline taxes, unemployment taxes and more to just make their budget supposedly balance each year. There is no way that we can clean up these sites or even tread water if the EPA budget is slashed (to *help* pay for a wall, right). I consider this agenda a direct attack on the health and safety of myself and fellow citizens.
As to your second point, it sounds great, but let's look further into private sector-oh right, 105 SuperFund sites in just one state. Guess that worked well so far. There are a handful of major companies that do environmental stuff right (Apple, for example), but then again, they are not involved in the production of low-margin industrial commodity chemicals. You tell me how any of us could have stopped Solvay from contaminating several nearby towns' water supply with PFNA (which was not EPA-regulated); or gotten a better legal action result than a small monetary award to the towns and a fund to pay for future blood tests for residents (while doing nothing to remove the contamination). Not to mention that Solvay also denies responsibility, denies doing it, dragged their heels on paying for bottled water for residents and more.
And tell that private sector idea to my friend who worked at the nearby DuPont plant and, even though he is retired, calls him in each year to check his PFOA level which is off the charts (for reasons unknown to him), but won't pay for his hearing aids that he needs as a result of spending his working hours loading hissing tank cars without proper hearing protection. Isn't DuPont supposed to be a leader in corporate safety and environmental stewardship? Right, thats what they have almost as many lawsuits against them for PFOA exposures as our new leader has against him for non-payment of debts (3,500, by the way), and why the city hosting DuPont's Chambers Works plant filed a $1.1 billion lawsuit against DuPont so they can't use their Chemours move to duck responsibility for the (wait for it, wait for it-.) 100 million pounds of toxic chemicals they have dumped into the ground and water since the plant was opened in 1892.
So, no, the private enterprise model never works for this kind of stuff because those who don't follow the rules and cut corners in a commodity level business are the ones who profit the most. It's capitalism at it's finest. Capitalism is undoubtedly the best economic system ever invented, but it fails as a social system, which is why we need regulations. People complain about agencies like the EPA or OSHA - but fail to realize that if everyone did act responsibility we wouldn't *need* these agencies in the first place. Don=E2=80™t like regulations? Don't do harm to others that makes us have to regulate you.
I do understand that folks have issues with certain instances of over-reach by EPA, and some of those have merit and should be examined. However, the rational approach is to deal with it, not try to throw the baby out with the bathwater or use "alternative facts" to attack established science because you don't like what it says.
Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names
Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012
--- This e-mail is from DCHAS-L, the e-mail list of the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety. For more information about the list, contact the Divisional secretary at secretary**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org Evidently most of the readers do not work in the Federal Government. Budgets increasing or decreasing is a regular reoccurrence for the life of a federal worker - our budgets and specific priorities change every year but the mission continues. I work in the VHA and our budgets were near an all-time low in the last 90's and then the winds of Congress changed and budgets/programs increased. For those focusing on the safety side - OSHA budgets have not been all that generous over the last 8 years but that will ebb/flow just like all the other budgets. Now if the order came to eliminate an organization like the EPA, I would be concerned - but a change in priorities/focus is normal business in the Federal Government. One thing that is always certain in the Federal Government is "change". Thought - since when does the private sector have to wait and only follow Federal/state regulations. Private sector may always be more protective/stringent simply through their internal policy change. So if greenhouse gas, product stewardship, or any other topic is a concern for the organization - they can make it happen. Maybe we need to become agents of change in our organizations for best practice instead of waiting for the government to mandate it. I hear much talk about "all the science in recent posts" - well, use that science to convince your CEO, Boards of Director, or whoever is in charge to make the change. Thoughts from a person who has worked in private, municipal and federal sectors. Industrial Hygiene/Safety Manager Clement J Zablocki VA Medical Center
5000 West National Avenue (00S), Milwaukee, WI 53295
(414) 384-2000 X42934
Good news and bad news on this front today. First the good news:
====================================================== Safety Emporium - Lab & Safety Supplies featuring brand names Fax: (856) 553-6154, PO Box 1003, Blackwood, NJ 08012
--- This e-mail is from DCHAS-L, the e-mail list of the ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety. For more information about the list, contact the Divisional secretary at secretary**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org
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