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Reader: After Harvey, lookin' at you Lamborn



To Congressman Doug Lamborn: I may have missed your posts regarding the positive things that the EPA does and "good" environmental regulations. On the other hand, you have posted for many years about the EPA being ineffective, environmental regulations being "bad for business," and the "overreach" of the previous administration's use of Executive Orders (EO). Could you please discuss some policy decisions made by you, your peers and your president in light of damages caused by Hurricane Harvey? For example:

• On Aug. 15, Trump signed an EO reversing an Obama EO that required the federal government to take into account the risk of flooding and sea-level rise as a result of climate change when constructing new infrastructure and rebuilding after disasters.

• Following a 2013 West Texas chemical plant explosion that killed 15 people, the previous administration put forward an EO to overhaul the EPA's Risk Management Program, strengthen existing safety procedures, add third-party audits of safety procedures and improve public awareness of chemical hazards at these plants. As a result of extensive lobbying efforts by chemical industry interests, including the Arkema chemical plant, the provisions of that EO were delayed and/or reversed. Last week there were reports of two explosions at the Arkema chemical plant, and more problems are expected.

• Several superfund sites were closed down prior to Harvey making landfall. The flooding knocked out power to those facilities and the backup power sources were incapacitated by flooding. Do you have any knowledge if the EPA has been able to do inspections and assess damages? If not yet, when will that happen? Will it happen?

— Becky Robinson, Colorado Springs

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