The U.S Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt has taken another step in his plan to roll back the rules put into place during former President Barack Obama’s presidency to protect isolated wetlands and small streams.
Pruitt held a meeting with business people in South Carolina last week to discuss plans to roll back federal wetland protections. The forum included farmers, energy company representatives, economic development officials, and home builders, and was held at an Oregon County Agribusiness.
He did not invite anyone who is against the Trump administration, or the rollbacks.
Among those in attendance are Republican state Attorney General Alan Wilson, Republican State Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers (R-S.C.) and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Pruitt only invited those who are against the wetlands rule to ensure there is no one getting on the way of Trump and his innate need to screw up our environment.
Uninvited Conservation Groups React
Representatives of South Carolina’s major green group said they were unhappy for not being invited or given the chance to contribute to the forum. That Pruitt intentionally failed to invite them and the media to ensure he bypasses any opposition to the roll back of the environmental protection.
Blan Holman, a Southern Environmental Law Center attorney, said the failure to notify green activists and the media looks like a major organized effort to “influence news coverage.”
This green group has been engaged in active effort to stop Trump administration from rolling back the wetlands rule.
John Tynan, director of the Conservation Voter’s director, said he was sorry a “broader community’’ was not invited. In fact, it seems like no one except those who want to scrap the wetlands rule knew about the meet.
According to The State:
“Groups that said they were not notified before Pruitt’s visit included the Southern Environmental Law Center, American Rivers, the Coastal Conservation League, the Conservation Voters of South Carolina, the state Sierra Club, Audubon South Carolina, the S.C. Nature Conservancy, the S.C. Wildlife Federation, the Congaree Riverkeeper organization and Friends of the Edisto. The State newspaper also was not notified of the meeting by the EPA.”
Congaree Riverkeeper Bill Stangler said the EPA officials had their plan mapped out concerning what they intended to do.
Protecting wetlands and small streams are important because they provide habitation for wildlife, cleanse polluted storm water, and controls the flood, it also helps to protect the river they flow into.
Some of these are not already protected by law and the Obama-era rule was intended to protect them. But Pruitt led a charge as Oklahoma Attorney General to drop the rule because he thinks it is confusing and burdens farms and businesses.
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