EPA touts achievements: ‘The U.S. became the number one energy producer in the world’ under Trump admin


By: - Climate DepotOctober 22, 2020 10:53 PM

EPA’s current list of achievements:

Deregulation

  • To-date, finalized 70 deregulatory actions, saving an estimated $95 billion
  • Additional 32 actions to save billions more
  • Exceeded the deregulatory goals of the two-for-one Executive Order by finalizing more than 4 deregulatory actions for every regulatory action under the EO.

Air

Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule

  • ACE will reduce CO2 by 34% by 2030, compared to the former administration’s Clean Power Plan, which achieved zero emissions reductions because it ignored the law and was prevented from going into effect by the Supreme Court.

 

SIP Backlog

  • The State Implementation Permit (SIPs) backlog in January 2013 was 699. By July 2020, the SIP backlog had fallen to 350, a roughly 50% decrease. During this same period, the historic backlog (SIPs backlogged as of 2013) has decreased from 699 to 68; a 90% decrease.
  • Over the past three years, we have:
    • approved over 1200 SIPs, both new and backlogged;
    • converted 30 FIPs to SIPs; and
    • re-designated 54 non-attainment areas.
  • By 2022, working with state partners, we are on track to re-designate at least 25 additional areas.

 

Criteria Pollutants

  • Thanks to the efforts of the states, in collaboration with EPA, America is a global leader on clean air progress and carbon dioxide reductions.
  • The reductions have continued in the past 3 years. From 2017 to 2019, the combined emission of criteria pollutants and their precursors dropped 7 percent.
  • As a result of these falling emissions, in 2019 we saw a significant improvement in air quality.
  • From 2017 – 2019, the amount of criteria pollutants in our air continued to fall:
    • Carbon monoxide fell 10 percent.
    • Lead (3-month average) fell 28 percent.
      • Since 2010, lead concentrations in the air have fallen by 85 percent.
    • Ozone fell 4 percent.
    • NO2 (annual) fell 4 percent.
    • Large particulates (24-hour) fell 22 percent.
    • Fine particulates (24-hour) fell 12 percent.
    • Sulfur dioxide fell 10 percent.
  • From 1970 to 2019, combined emissions of criteria air pollutants and their precursors fell by 77 percent while the economy grew 285 percent.
  • Since 2000, fine particulate matter concentrations in the U.S. have dropped by roughly 40 percent.
  • The U.S. now has some of the lowest fine particulate matter levels in the world.
    • Five times below the global average.
    • Seven times below Chinese levels.
    • 20 percent lower than France, Germany and Great Britain.
  • Based on the most recent monitoring data, over 80 percent of that population is breathing air that meets EPA’s 2012 annual or 2006 24-hour PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards, compared to only 43 percent in 2008.

Greenhouse Gases

  • From 2005 to 2018, total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 12 percent.
    • And while the U.S. became the number one energy producer in the world.
    • In contrast, global energy-related CO2 emissions increased over 23.8 percent.
    • And since 1990, U.S. natural gas production has increased by 71 percent.
    • Over that period, methane emissions across the natural gas industry have fallen by 24 percent.
  • The United States saw the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 on a country basis. In fact, U.S. emissions are now down almost 1 gigaton from our peak in 2000, marking the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions by any other country over that period (International Energy Agency).
  • Overall, U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions declined by 2.8% in 2019 (EIA).

 

SAFE

  • The final SAFE rule strikes the right regulatory balance for the environment, the auto industry, the economy, safety and families by improving fuel economy, continuing to reduce air pollution, and making new vehicles more affordable for all Americans.
  • The benefits of the final SAFE rule outweigh the costs and will result in thousands of lives saved. Specifically, the final rule will result in:
    • A $200 billion-dollar reduction in total costs over the lifetimes of vehicles through Model Year 2029. This includes the value of increased safety.
      • Half of that – a full $100 billion dollars – is saved in regulatory costs.
  • Most importantly, the final SAFE rule will save lives, with:
    • 3,300 fewer crash fatalities.
    • 46,000 fewer hospitalizations after serious crashes projected over the lifetimes of vehicles built through Model Year 2029.
    • 397,000 fewer injuries.
    • And 1.8 million fewer vehicles damaged in crashes.
  • Safety will increase with consumers purchasing newer, safer vehicles because they are more affordable.
    • Consumers will see a $1,400 reduction in the total cost of owning a new vehicle,
    • a more than $1,000 reduction in the up-front sales price per new vehicle, and
    • 2.7 million additional new vehicles sold due to increased affordability.
  • The average age of vehicles on the road today is at a record high 12 years. In 1990, the average age was eight years. By reducing regulatory burdens, thereby reducing manufacturing costs, we will get more Americans into newer, safer, cleaner vehicles.
  • The final SAFE rule will actually reduce emissions compared to the previous administration’s standards, which allowed companies to “comply” through credits related to actions that didn’t really impact emissions and/or through penalties to the companies.

Agriculture

  • EPA continues to seek ways to strengthen our existing partnerships in the ag community and foster relationships with rising leaders in the industry.
  • In June 2020, we announced new members of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee, each serving a two-to-three-year term, who will provide input on a variety of agricultural topics.
  • In 2019, Administrator Wheeler signed a first-time MOU with National Future Farmers of America, which has over 700,000 student members throughout its 8,612 chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Brownfields

  • Under this administration, we have delivered approximately $295 million in Brownfields grants directly to communities and non-profits in need.
  • In FY2020, 151 communities were selected to receive 155 grants totaling $65.6 million in EPA Brownfields funding through our Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup (ARC) Grants.
    • Of the selected communities, 118 can potentially assess or clean up brownfield sites in census tracts designated as federal Opportunity Zones.
  • In FY2020, EPA announced $6.9 million in supplemental funding for 25 current successful Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (Revolving Loan, RLF) grantees.
    • All communities receiving supplemental funds have census tracks designated as federal Opportunity Zones within their jurisdiction.
  • To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $32.6 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds.
  • This has led to over 167,487 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
  • Through fiscal year 2019, on average, $17.45 was leveraged for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 9 jobs leveraged per $100,000 of EPA brownfields funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
  • One study of 48 brownfields sites found $29 million to $97 million in local tax revenue was generated in one year after cleanup.
    • Two to seven times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed.
  • And thanks to EPA’s Environmental Workforce and Job Training Program, many of those jobs have been filled by people living near the site being cleaned up, with the majority of those people going on to find full-time employment after the work is complete.
  • The benefits of Brownfields extend to neighboring residents as well.
    • One study found that property values of homes near revitalized Brownfields sites increased between 5 percent and 15 percent following cleanup.

 

COVID-19 Response

  • In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the pesticides program developed List N: Surface Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2.
  • This is a list of 470+ products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Launched in early March 2020, EPA updates the list on an ongoing basis with new products that meet our criteria.

Superfund

  • Over the last four fiscal years, EPA has fully or partially delisted 82 sites from the National Priorities List.
    • By comparison, in the entire first term of the previous administration, 47 sites were delisted (82 total during the past administration).

FY19 Superfund Achievements

  • Finishing the job by deleting all or part of 27 sites from the NPL, the largest number of deletions in a single year since 2001.
  • Targeting sites for the Administrator’s immediate and intense attention, using the Administrator’s Emphasis List to resolve issues delaying cleanups and spur action at sites, that in many cases have been waiting idle amid uncertainty for years.
  • Completing 233 removal actions to address imminent and substantial threats to human health and the environment.
  • Securing more than $570 million from Potentially Responsible Parties to clean up Superfund sites and reimburse the Agency by more than $280 million.
  • Celebrating 20 years of redeveloping more than 1,000 Superfund sites that now support 9,180 businesses generating $58.3 billion in sales and employing more than 208,400 people earning a combined income of more than $14.4 billion.
  • Expanding the charge for the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to identify additional opportunities for EPA to engage with communities, expedite cleanups and return sites to productive use.

Water

Water issues are the largest and most immediate environmental and public health issues affecting the world right now. This includes (1) access to safe drinking water, (2) water infrastructure, and (3) marine plastic debris.

  • Over 2 billion people around the world lack access to safe drinking water and, as a result, proper sanitation, leading to anywhere from one to three million deaths every year.
  • According to the United Nations, nearly a thousand children die each day due to preventable water and sanitation-related diseases.

 

Clean Water

  • In the 1970s, more than 40 percent of our nation’s drinking water systems failed to meet even the most basic health standards.
  • Today, over 92 percent of community water systems meet all health-based standards, all the time, 24 hours a day, every day.

 

Navigable Waters Protection Rule

  • Our Navigable Waters Protection Rule protects the nation’s navigable waters while rebalancing the relationship between the federal government and the states in managing land and water resources.
  • Together with existing state and tribal regulations and local government programs, our rule provides a network of coverage for our nation’s water resources in accordance with the Clean Water Act (CWA).
  • This rule respects the limited powers that the executive branch has under the Constitution and the CWA to regulate navigable waters; we also took into consideration relevant Supreme Court decisions

Marine Litter

  • About 80 percent of marine plastic litter is a result of insufficient solid waste management.
    • Six countries account for over half of the plastic waste in the oceans: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam.
    • A recent study estimates up to 95 percent of plastic waste transported by major rivers starts from just 10 rivers, eight of them located in Asia.
  • EPA’s main program here is our Trash Free Waters Program, which is focused on preventing trash from reaching our waterways in the first place.
    • We have over 50 partnership projects across the country, and we are scaling up this program internationally.

WIFIA

  • Under President Trump, EPA has issued 28 WIFIA loans totaling more than $6 billion in credit assistance to help finance $40 billion for water infrastructure projects while saving ratepayers nearly $3 billion over traditional financing tools and creating 27,000 jobs.
  • Since the beginning of March 2020, the WIFIA program has closed twelve loans and updated three existing loans with lower interest rates. These recent efforts will save ratepayers over $1 billion compared to typical bond financing.

5 Pillars

EPA is doing five things that are changing the way the agency operates today.

  1. We are creating cost-benefit rules for every statute that governs EPA.
  2. We are creating science transparency rules that are applied consistently.
  3. We have already published new guidance policy procedures that brings all of our guidance documents to light.
  4. We have reorganized regional offices that make it much easier for community members to interact with the agency.
  5. And we’ve implemented the lean management system throughout the agency to improve the way we operate.

5 Goals

In President Trump’s second term, we will help communities across this country take control and reshape themselves through the following five priorities.

  1. Creating a Community-Driven Environmentalism that Promotes Community Revitalization.
  2. Meeting the 21st Century Demands for Water.
  3. Reimagining Superfund as a Project-Oriented Program.
  4. Reforming the Permitting Process to Empower States.
  5. And, Creating a Holistic Pesticide Program for the Future.