The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is notorious for serially, consistently doing things the laws as written do not allow it to do. Meanwhile, its bureaucrats are so unlawfully distracted – they miss a mess they are actually supposed to address.
Is the EPA constantly doing things it’s not supposed to do? Absolutely.
And on, and on, and….
So preoccupied with their overreaches are the EPA’s denizens that when something glaringly, obviously wrong happens – about which the agency that shouldn’t exist can actually do something – they miss it entirely.
Puerto Rico Demands EPA Clean Up Its ‘Toxic Landfills’: “Puerto Ricans, disgusted with the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘willful dereliction’ of its oversight of the island’s toxic landfills, are demanding that the head of the agency close them, saying they have lost faith in an EPA deputy in charge of the territory.”
That article was written on September 4, 2016. It’s now into a New Year – has the EPA caught up to the reality of the situation? Of course not.
EPA Admits Guilt Once Again: “In a recent letter to Puerto Rico Limpio, EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck admits that Puerto Rico’s ’19 municipal landfills continue to put trash in unlined waste cells.’ This is a complete dereliction of her duty, and her actions are simply criminal. ‘It is encouraging to read that the EPA shares our concerns about this crisis, but given the dismissive approach by the Regional Administrator and her team to date, and the continuing widespread contamination acknowledged by the EPA, this is yet another empty statement,’ said Hiram Torres Montalvo, co-founder of Puerto Rico Limpio. ‘Federal law continues to be flagrantly violated every day, and the EPA continues to let it happen. The EPA finds composting dirt and buying new vehicles for the Port of San Juan more important to the health and safety of Puerto Ricans than stopping toxic ponds from leaking into our water supply.’”
Oh look: The EPA yet again adhering to its own priorities – rather than those that Reality and the laws of the land demand.
Who is Puerto Rico Limpio? They are the small, merry band of brothers and sisters working to hold the EPA accountable.
Puerto Rico Limpio Demands Investigation of Enck and Guerrero: “Puerto Rico Limpio…demanded an investigation and full accountability for EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck and the Agency’s director for the Caribbean, Carmen Guerrero. Criminal charges were filed yesterday against two former Michigan officials for the same documented actions by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials in the Puerto Rico landfill crisis.”
Get that? Lower level officials have been charged with crimes – for doing exactly what Enck, Guerrero and their fellow federal bureaucrats have done.
Of course, Washington, D.C. is an anti-Reality black hole. So why should they be held accountable? To Reality – or the law? Well, thankfully, Congress seems to be moving in the Reality direction.
Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico: “(T)he Task Force held a staff-level briefing via phone with officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to discuss the subject of Puerto Rico’s municipal solid waste landfills….According to a chart provided to the Task Force by EPA, about 70 percent of Puerto Rico’s landfills are in violation of 40 CFR 258, EPA’s regulations governing solid waste management, including a number of landfills that EPA has not yet scheduled for closure.”
Get that? 70% of Puerto Rico’s landfills aren’t up to code. And have been for, in many instances, years. And the EPA has been too busy turning rivers Day-Glow Orange to do anything about it.
Because, as this particular Congressional Task Force acknowledges, this is a bit outside of its purview. So they rightly recommend that the Congressional committees with more direct jurisdiction examine this issue.
Puerto Ricans have been subjected to the poisons of the landfills – and the Environmental Protection Agency – long enough.
Congress should get more proactive – to finally save the Shining Star of the Caribbean from the EPA’s overreaching, distracted incompetence.
This first appeared in Red State.