Before the Senate confirmed controversial EPA head Scott Pruitt, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) offered a dark warning about Pruitt, telling Senate colleagues during a long speech: “Mr. Pruitt has extreme environmental policy views. And he has zero experience running an environmental protection agency. In fact, he does not believe in the fundamental mission of EPA.” But what is the EPA’s mission as currently stated?
At EPA.gov it says: “EPA’s basic mission is to protect human health and the environment — air, water, and land.” It enforces laws made by three bodies, congress, state legislatures and tribal governments. The EPA’s mandate concerns 4 types of regulations:
- controlling the emission discharge of pollution
- regulating certain industrial waste and products
- public information requirements
- cleanup of contaminated sites
As a New Mexico senator, Udall’s interests include a high priority on clean water (New Mexico has little surface water) and clean air. Udall asserts that Pruitt’s previous litigation against the Clean Power Plan demonstrates an antagonism toward the essence of the EPA’s mission.