New Rule: Polluters Can Appeal Judgments, But No One Else Can

TNS via ZUMA

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President Trump plans to propose eliminating the ability of local communities to appeal the EPA’s decisions on pollution permits:

The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to weaken rules that for the past quarter-century have given communities a voice in deciding how much pollution may legally be released by nearby power plants and factories. The changes would eliminate the ability of individuals or community advocates to appeal against E.P.A.-issued pollution permits before a panel of agency judges.

That sounds bad. Still, I suppose the silver lining here is that polluters will also lose the ability to appeal judgments that go against—

However, the industrial permit-holders could still appeal to the panel, known as the Environmental Appeals Board, to allow them to increase their pollution.

Oh. Even industry lawyers are apparently a little taken aback by this proposal, which follows a decision a few months ago to weaken New Source Review rules that require permits for power plant upgrades. Keep in mind that this is all from the president who says no one in the history of the country has been more committed to clean air and water than him.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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