States Pick up Slack with Federal Enviro Cuts

by Remo Diventura

The Trump Administration’s budget cuts include reducing federal environmental protections by millions of dollars. As a result, state governments are filling the gaps, with 23 states (including PA) proposing a combined total of 112 new policies to limit exposure to toxic chemicals. This isn’t about emissions or pollution specifically, but about what one is calling “common sense chemical reform”. This includes banning some pesticides, paint removers, fire-retardants, plastic additives, and water regulations. The belief behind this is to help not only the environment by removing harmful chemicals, but with public health. Many of these regulations are aimed at fixing the overburdened healthcare system. In Pennsylvania specifically, two bills have been proposed. One bans the use of a certain chemical (bisphenol-A) in food and beverage containers. The other requires the Environmental Quality Board to adopt a limit on perfluorinated chemicals in drinking water.

What these regulations will do to either public health or the environment is not really known. But the fact this is panning out in the current presidential administration is interesting to see, especially with many of these states also vowing to continue with the Paris Agreement regardless.


7 thoughts on “States Pick up Slack with Federal Enviro Cuts

  1. I agree that restricting these products from being released out in the public is a step in the right approach, I still feel we need to take a plan of action towards big corporations and their overall impact of the environment. Yes, the economy and the environment will be a constant battle of compatibility, but If the majority of the states are forming these policies, then we should all make this a collective choice. We could assume these policies will work in the next decade, but how about later down the line when there will likely be a vast amount of companies polluting the surrounding area. In favor of these states participating in this act, I hope they shed some environmental light on the Trump administration and making them realize how important it is to keep a sustainable healthcare system. Health care is provided amongst so many people in the United States so making that not a priority, but a compromising plan of action could certainly pave the way for future members of congress. A questionable thing about this article is that it’s proposing how these policies have an unknown affect on both the healthcare system and the environment so that needs to come into question, why make a policy if you don’t know the outcome?

  2. I think that it is great plan of action that these states are taking because not only does the environment become contaminated with these toxic chemicals, but people do as well. Again, this seems to be a perfect example of a collective action problem. For instance, the Trump Administration wants to create more jobs and seems to think that actions to protect the environment are costing too much money. In comparison, most people would like the idea of clean drinking water and sanitary food. Although the Trump Administration has cut back on funding to help environment, I think that if a goal to limit harmful chemicals is going to be accomplished and people want that bad enough, then it will happen, and it seems that is what is happening here.

  3. Many people have been complaining about the Trump Administrations budget cuts on environmental policy and say that he simply doesn’t care about the environment. It is important for the EPA to receive money to help the environment but when they are doing that exact opposite I fully believe that states should take over then. I think this is a way to get the US to have a safer and healthier environment because its a more personal approach where there can be greater restrictions and limits implemented state-wide rather than over-broad general national guidelines. These guidelines were not being followed and as stated in the article, the EPA has lifted bans off of toxic chemicals that are linked to brain problems and cancer that is in drinking water.

  4. I think this is a very good response to the budget cuts at the federal level. I also believe that there is no other response that is viable from the states. There must be someone who regulates the chemical exposure as well as the water regulations. These collective action problems were dismissed by the federal government, but I do believe that it was because there was faith in the state governments to step up and take action. The issue, however, is that this sets up precedent for the states to be used as a safety net to dismiss policy on the federal level. This will also require a boost in taxpayer allocations and will cause other policy to take a back seat at the state level. It will be interesting to see how the rest of this regulatory process is handled and how much support this collective action problem will be supported.

  5. Many people on the center and right side of the political spectrum believe that issues such as environmental regulations are best managed by the states. The current administration’s cutting of environmental regulations is an example of this policy belief being put into action.
    Despite the administration cutting environmental regulations, it is a good thing that states are stepping up to fill in the gaps, because it ensures that companies remain accountable and doesn’t give them free reign to pollute the environment. It also is a tangible solution to what seems like a reverse direction from the Trump Administration.

  6. I believe that this was a great response to federal environment cuts. The states needed to act quickly and strongly and I believe that there response was crucial. The states did not have much of a choice but to start taking action into their own hands. Like other students above said, this is a great example of a collective action problem that is frankly being ignored by the government. Somebody needs to regulate these toxic materials and if the federal government wont than the states need to pick up their slack. Overall I think this is a great response by the states. I believe it shows that the states want to take the right steps in cleaning up and managing our environment. Although the Trump administration has cut back on funding for the environment, many disagree and want to fund the environment more.

  7. I think this post presents great issues to be discussed. As everyone said it is a collective action problem and the way that the states acted was very rational and great or the environment. I love the at that the states come together and took matters into their own hands to solve an issue… or at least try to alleviate it. This shows that even if the federal government does not help the states, they themselves will find a way. Despite budget cuts, it is good to know that something still can be done.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s