Politics & Government

Palazzo among those who would shut down EPA

Eighteen Mile Creek flows behind the former Flintkote Plant in Lockport, N.Y. The EPA in late January announced finalized plans for the second phase of their $23 million Superfund project to dredge and cap former residences and manufacturing facilities along the creek.
Eighteen Mile Creek flows behind the former Flintkote Plant in Lockport, N.Y. The EPA in late January announced finalized plans for the second phase of their $23 million Superfund project to dredge and cap former residences and manufacturing facilities along the creek. AP

Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-4, is one of four Republican congressmen who want to get rid of the EPA.

The Biloxi lawmaker is a co-sponsor of what is basically the one-sentence House resolution “to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency.”

The bill’s main sponsor is freshman Rep. Matt Gaetz of Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The other co-sponsors are Thomas Massie of the 4th District in Kentucky and Barry Loudermilk of the 11th Georgia District.

“As an avid sportsman, I believe safeguarding our air, water and federal lands is crucial,” Palazzo said in a written statement. “However, unelected bureaucrats at the EPA have spent the past 8 years issuing thousands of pages of regulations that are strangling American businesses. The EPA is a prime example of federal agency overreach, and they have far surpassed their original intent. Ultimately, I believe state regulatory organizations can develop and implement environmental regulations better than bureaucrats in Washington, DC.”

Here’s the bill:

“Section 1. Termination of the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018.”

The bill was referred to Texas Rep. Lamar Smith’s Science, Space and Technology Committee, which at 11 a.m. today is holding the hearing “Making EPA Great Again.”

Gaetz has said his bill would shift responsibility for enforcing environmental regulations to the states. Critics say the many states wouldn’t be able to afford that responsibility.

“A lot of states just don’t have resources available to them,” Mary Jane Angelo, professor and director of the Environmental and Land Use Law Program at the University of Florida told the Pensacola News Journal. “Wealthier states would have better protection for their citizens’ health than poorer states.”

Palazzo has often blamed the EPA for regulations that hurt businesses.

“If America is going to have free trade, it must have fair trade,” he told the National Port Authority Conference in October, according to a release from his office. “We should export the EPA to other countries if we truly want our ports to succeed.”

Paul Hampton: 228-896-2330, @JPaulHampton

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