Inventory of Environmental Damage from Trump Administration

The Alt National Park Service (ANPS), a group of 2.1 million federal, state and local employees who have used social media during the past four years to track environmental and conservation harms, issued an inventory of the environmental regulations attacked, destroyed, or altered by the Trump Administration.  The 10-page inventory can be found online at  Listed below is a sample of the items sorted by area and status:

Air Pollution and Emissions (Status – 27 completed, 2 in progress):

Weakened Obama-era fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for passenger cars and light trucks; replaced the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which would have set strict limits on carbon emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants, with a new version that would let states set their own rules; and cancelled a requirement for oil and gas companies to report methane emissions.

Drilling and Extraction (Status – 12 completed, 8 in progress):

Made significant cuts to the borders of two national monuments in Utah and recommended border and resource-management changes to several more; finalized a plan to open up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for oil and gas development, a move that overturns six decades of protections for the largest remaining stretch of wilderness in the US; and rescinded water pollution regulations for fracking on federal and Indian lands.

Infrastructure and Planning (Status – 11 completed, 1 in progress):

Relaxed the environmental review process for federal infrastructure projects; weakened the National Environmental Policy Act, one of the country’s most significant environmental laws, in order to expedite the approval of public infrastructure projects such as roads, pipelines, and telecommunications networks; and restricted most Interior Department environmental studies to one year in length and a maximum of 150 pages, citing a need to reduce paperwork.

Animals (Status – 11 completed, 2 in progress):

Overturned a ban on the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands; changed the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, making it more difficult to protect wildlife from long-term threats posed by climate change; and overturned a ban on the hunting of predators in Alaskan wildlife refuges.

Water Pollution (Status – 7 completed, 1 in progress):

Revoked a rule that prevented coal companies from dumping mining debris in local streams; extended the lifespan of unlined holding ponds for coal ash waste from power plants, which can more easily spill their contents because they lack a protective underlay; and withdrew a proposed rule requiring groundwater protections for certain uranium mines.

Toxic Substances and Safety (7 completed, 1 in progress):

Narrowed pesticide application buffer zones that are intended to protect farmworkers and bystanders from accidental exposure; changed safety rules to allow for rail transport of highly flammable liquefied natural gas; and rejected a proposed ban on chlorpyifos, a pesticide linked to developmental disabilities in children.

Other (Status – 8 completed, 4 in progress):

Changed the process for how the government sets energy efficiency standards for appliances and other equipment; changed a 25-year-old policy to allow coastal replenishment projects to use sand from protected ecosystems; and limited funding of environmental and community development projects through corporate settlements of federal lawsuits.

In addition, there were twelve other rules initially reversed by the Trump Administration but later reinstated, often following lawsuits and other challenges.