On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should “get back to doing what they did, which is protecting people and protecting the environment.”
The EPA, the White House said, “should stop taking so much mercury out of our air and water and start taking it out of the air.”
The OMB is the White Trump administration agency tasked with regulating mercury emissions from power plants.
It is responsible for regulating emissions from both coal-fired power plants and nuclear power plants, as well as mercury pollution from automobiles.
In its annual report, the EPA said in 2016 it had taken “a significant step forward in our efforts to protect the health and safety of Americans,” including by “reducing mercury pollution in our waterways.”
In 2015, it said, it had “identified more than $1.6 billion in new mercury pollution reduction projects,” and “made major progress” in reducing mercury pollution at its facilities.
In its 2017 report, however, the OMB said “there is a lack of coordination among OMB and EPA to address mercury pollution issues, and that this has been a major obstacle to mercury reduction.”
The report said that “corporate responsibility and transparency” programs were needed, and “the OMB has acknowledged the need for more comprehensive coordination.”
It said, however: “The agency has made significant progress in addressing mercury pollution, but there remains a lack on the part of the agency to coordinate the efforts of multiple agencies and agencies of OMB, EPA, and the OMW, and coordinate efforts to develop effective mercury mitigation programs.”
The Omb said it “will continue to monitor the progress” of mercury reduction efforts.
Trump has said he wants to “get rid of” the EPA and OMB.
The White House has previously described the Omb as “a rogue agency” that “doesn’t do anything.”
On Monday, the president said, he wants “to get rid of the EPA, get rid the OPM, and get rid OMB.”
The Environmental Protection Administration, which oversees the EPA in the Trump administration, said in a statement, “The OPM and EPA continue to work together to improve mercury pollution standards across the nation.
The OPM is currently reviewing its regulatory priorities, and EPA and the EPA will continue to be partners to address the health impacts of mercury pollution.”
“EPA has made progress in reducing the concentration of mercury in air, water, and wildlife, and we will continue working to improve that situation.
In the meantime, the mercury concentration in our air is decreasing and our air quality is improving, and as the mercury is removed from our environment, so is our health.”