ASBC Says EPA Exploits COVID-19 Crisis

Media Release

Washington, DC – A sweeping suspension of environmental rules by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exploits the COVID-19 crisis, according to the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC).

“This EPA decision exploits a public health crisis to further advance a dangerous political agenda that is stripping away the very environmental protections that science suggests are needed to combat climate change which may have a role in generating future pandemics, “ said Thomas Oppel, ASBC Executive Vice President, referring to a recent Scientific American article which noted that the “risks of pandemics are growing” due to the rising temperatures of the climate crisis.

 “While EPA says this unprecedented step back from generations of protections is somehow related to the crisis, it has offered little evidence to back that up,” said Oppel.

Oppel noted that while EPA said the policy was temporary, it had offered no date for ending the suspension. “Polluters profiting at the expense of our health and safety lobbied for these actions,” said Oppel. “And polluter profiteers are the only ones applauding the EPA as it advances its politically motivated agenda.”

These diminished compliance requirements for industry come after EPA has gutted numerous protections already, while refusing to extend deadlines for comments as they proceed with a number of deregulatory actions. Environmental and public health groups contend that many science and health experts who want to weigh in on EPA rollbacks have recently been diverted into dealing with the coronavirus and don’t have time to meet EPA review deadlines.

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) is the leading business organization serving the public policy interests of responsible companies, their customers and other stakeholders. Founded in 2009, ASBC’s membership represents over 250,000 businesses in a wide range of industries. ASBC advocates for policy change and informs business owners, policymakers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, broadly prosperous, sustainable economy.