Boston – The attorneys general of 14 states, including Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, sent a letter yesterday objecting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to suspend enforcement of key environmental laws during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts, issued the following statement:
“The EPA’s decision to stop enforcing key provisions of our environmental laws puts our air, water, and health at the mercy of polluters. I commend Attorney General Maura Healey and her colleagues for standing up against this egregious attack on our environment and our well-being.
As our nation struggles to confront an urgent public health crisis, it’s more important than ever to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and the water we drink is safe. If the EPA fails to enforce requirements for monitoring and reporting of pollution, we won't know when polluters are violating the law or putting our health at risk. Moreover, under this reckless policy, the EPA could let facilities off the hook for actual instances of excessive pollution. It’s an open invitation for polluters to pollute.
This is no time to abandon protections for clean air and clean water. Thank you, AG Healey, for your continued commitment to enforcing environmental laws and protecting the health of Massachusetts residents.”