On Tuesday, September 18, 2018, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Action Fund released its first chemical scorecard. The scorecard revealed that many House members regularly voted against toxic chemicals safeguards and protections. Trump has pushed a pro-chemical industry agenda. Approximately 100 House members have repeatedly voted “to make it harder for federal agencies like [EPA] to inform the public about the risks of toxic chemicals, eliminate health and safety protections for chemicals, allow pesticides to be discharged into water, and block local governments from prohibiting pesticide use at playgrounds and parks.”
The EWG found that 140 House members consistently voted against the chemicals protections in a group of 17 bills and amendments observed. 149 House members consistently voted for the protections. The representatives voting against chemical protections voted to ban certain chemicals, enforce chemical safety rules, ensure worker and consumer protections, and aid asbestos victims.
This is not the first move during the Trump Administration to reduce environmental regulations. In March of 2018, EPA eliminated the 2022-2025 carbon emissions goals for light duty vehicles. Additionally, a 2016 law gave the EPA the authority to prohibit asbestos use, but in June 2018, EPA announced that its proposed Significant New Use Rule (SNUR). The SNUR essentially states that previously banned uses of asbestos still apply. EPA would have to approve new uses. This proposed rule, however, makes it possible for new imports and uses for asbestos, a known carcinogen.