EPA watchdog to review pollution plans after threat to withhold California highway funding | TheHill
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) internal watchdog will review the agency’s methods for regulating states’ air pollution following threats by Administrator Andrew Wheeler Andrew WheelerOvernight Energy: EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus | Trump oil purchase in jeopardy | Analysis finds gasoline demand could fall 50 percent EPA suspends enforcement of environmental laws amid coronavirus EPA watchdog to review pollution plans after threat to withhold California highway funding MORE to withhold highway funding from California if they did not update their plans.
The evaluation from EPA’s Office of Inspector General, spurred by a request from lawmakers, will focus on State Implementation Plans (SIP), used by the agency to ensure states are meeting air quality standards.
But plans that would otherwise draw little attention beyond EPA circles were brought to the spotlight through the ongoing battle between the Trump administration and California.
In September, Wheeler wrote state leaders saying they owed the agency an urgent turnaround on a backlog of air pollution plans.
“Since the 1970s, California has failed to carry out its most basic tasks under the Clean Air Act. California has the worst air quality in the United States,” Wheeler wrote, adding that the state has 130 outdated plans across various regions, some of which date back decades.
He later floated withholding billions in federal highway funds.
“We certainly want to avoid these triggers, but our foremost concern must be ensuring clean air for all Americans,” Wheeler wrote.
Wheeler’s letter came just days after President Trump Donald John TrumpDefense industrial ...
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