Enviro groups see Tennessee impacts from Pruitt EPA changes

Aug 8, 2017

Credit nature.org

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee environmental groups are deeply concerned about President Trump’s appointment of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Pruitt sued the EPA a dozen times over environmental regulations in his previous post as Oklahoma’s Attorney General.

The New York Times notes that during his first four months in office, Pruitt has delayed, rolled back, or postponed more than 30 federal environmental rules.

The Nature Conservancy is known in environmental circles for taking a low-key, non-confrontational approach to advocacy, but the 66-year-old charity is concerned about Administrator Pruitt’s agenda.

Sally Palmer speaks for the Tennessee chapter of the Conservancy. She says Pruitt’s changes will have an impact here in Middle Tennessee, some as close as your kitchen water faucet.

“In fiscal year 2016 there was about $19 million that came from EPA to Tennessee to help our local municipalities with water projects, and a lot of that money was distributed across the state, but also right here in Tennessee.”

Palmer says there is some good news regarding the EPA. She says that while President Trump proposed cutting the agency’s budget by almost one-third, the Republican leadership in Congress is proposing cuts under seven percent.

She also notes that others are stepping up to keep environmental goals on track.

“Hundreds of our business leaders, corporations, our states and local governments are staying focused on doing the kinds of work that really need to get done to become more efficient, and to reduce our emissions.”

Palmer concludes by noting she’s a life-long Tennessee resident, and feels confident her neighbors share her concerns about the quality of the state’s air and water.