A group of former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrators is calling for a “reset” of the agency’s course after the 2020 presidential election.
Six of the seven living former EPA administrators who served during the terms of Democratic and Republican presidents signed a letter supporting recommendations for a new agency direction.
The only former administrator who did not sign is Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s first EPA administrator, who resigned after a series of controversies.
“As EPA approaches its 50th anniversary this December, we believe the time has come to reset the future course for EPA in a new, forward-looking direction to address the environmental challenges we face today and those that lie ahead,” the group wrote.
The group said it was concerned about the “current state of affairs” at the agency, but hopeful for the agency’s future.
During the Trump administration, the EPA has rolled back or weakened dozens of environmental regulations, including bedrock environmental laws like the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires the federal government to assess the environmental impact of major federal actions, and the Endangered Species Act, a law intended to protect endangered species and their habitats.
The administrators support recommendations written by the Environmental Protection Network, a nonprofit organization made up of former EPA staff and scientists, that include more funding, a recommitment to public health and the environment and depoliticization of its scientific and economic analyses.
“We have successfully risen as a nation to confront past threats to our health and environment. We are at an environmental crossroads, and we are hopeful that America will again muster the resolve, the will, and the action needed to protect public health, the environment and our economy,” the group wrote.