WWB: Toxic Air Pollutants, Oh My!

On the off chance that you have been living in a cave for the past year and a month, the Trump administration is continuing to make some serious rollbacks on policies aimed to curb climate change, and TBH, it’s pissing me off.

So in an effort to try and bring some information to the masses and share it in a way that is not so shoved down your throat, Tova Wild decided to launch WWB’s or Wednesday Weekly Breakdowns where I single-handedly tackle topics like environmentalism, governmental policies and the like, and break-them-down for you and me.

I will preface this as always by saying, I am in NO WAY an EXPERT. I have no formal degree or training in this field beside volunteer work, but I am eager to learn as much as possible. In My Breakdowns, if there are facts that are misleading or untrue, or I am not fully understanding the information, please feel free to comment. I am really trying to come into this discussion with humility and eagerness to learn, this is just my way of doing it. I will provide links to all of the resources used and they will be located throughout the post and underlined.

If you are looking for a current list regarding all of the things the Trump administration has been doing environmentally, feel free to check it out the real professionals at National Geographic, Michael Greshko, Laura Parker, and Brian Clark Howard, who have been reporting on the environmental impact the Trump administration has had since he stepped in office.

Air Pollution EPA.jpg

EPA LOOSENS REGULATIONS ON TOXIC AIR POLLUTION

What is Happening? 

The Trump EPA has dropped “once in, always in” (OIAI), a Clinton-era EPA policy aimed to lock in reductions of hazardous air pollution from industrial resources.

*the legal memo*

What Does that Mean? 

The policy that enforced regulations on polluters is now removed.

What is the OIAI Policy? 

The OIAI Policy singled out all “major” polluters, polluters that emit 10 tons/per year of any listed toxic air pollutants, or 25 tons/per year of a mix of these pollutants. The OIAI essentially would place all of these polluters on a list and enforce stricter regulations, thus cutting down the amount of pollution being produced.

The OIAI policy required major polluters to retool their processes and get their emissions down to the lowest levels set by peers within the industry.

What Does This Mean for Me? 

With the removal of the OIAI Policy, the EPA will now be able to reclassify major pollution sources, like power plants and factories, so they face less regulation on air pollutants—meaning, lower-income communities and populations that live near these areas will be living with higher levels of pollution that before.

“This is among the most dangerous actions that the Trump EPA has taken yet against public health,” — John Walke, the Clean Air Director at the Natural Resources Defencse Council (NRDC).